Thursday, 3 March 2011

Boatfitter's block

Apologies for the lack of posting. I haven't had much to write about. I've been suffering the boatbuilding equivalent of writer's block.
You know when you catch your jumper on something sharp and break a stitch. Before you know it the whole damned thing is unravelling around you. It's been the same for me. I had a plan, then I caught myself having a re-think on one aspect and before I knew it the whole damned plan had dissolved away and I was questioning everything.
It all revolved around the calorifier. We've always been able to place everything in our boat plan - except the calorifier (hot water cylinder for the landlubbers). On many boats it goes under the bed. It can't in ours because we're a tug and the bed is at floor level under the deck. Or it stacks in the bathroom. That's tricky in ours because there's really no room.
But I came up with a scheme and it seemed ok - until someone suggested we could always put it in the engine room. And, of course, if we put it in the engine room we could have a bath in the bathroom - which would be easier to install than a shower.
But by now we were also re-thinking our heating system. We'd planned to have an oil stove with back boiler and rads but the oil stove on our present boat, while great in the cold weather, overheats us madly when the weather just a tad parky. So why create a sauna for ourselves when all we want to do is take the chill off the room and maybe heat some water.
Which is why we've thought about fitting an Alde gas boiler - one of the tall thin ones that cleverly fits in a tiny space. A great plan but where will it go? Answer: in the bathroom. Meaning: no bath. Which means we're back to a shower and maybe back to putting the calorifier in the bathroom. But now I have a lot of extra water pipes to think about the location of.
So I've stopped thinking and started painting. I've bought a load of tongue and groove timber - I went for the cheap softwood stuff after being scared off the expensive hardwood - and I'm busy priming and painting it. All 20 4.8 metre long planks of it which completely fill the inside of the boat. Half are on the floor so I can crawl around and paint them; the rest are on trestles above them so I can do them too.
In 3-4 days they'll all be ready to fit and after that it will be time to start thinking again. Hopefully my boatfitter's block will have lifted and I can find answers as well as questions.


Captain Ahab said...

Better to pause and reflect than plough on to an unsatisfactory conclusion. My moments of inspiration come in the shower in the morning, so maybe thats a case for avoiding the bath option.......

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Kevin
Check the running costs of as gas C/H system, we were hearing horror stories from a boater stuck in the ice Brum about their running costs. Caxton has a Hurricane C/H system and we would choose it again on the next boat.

Anonymous said...

Ah! the calorifier, I have spent the last four years thinking about it, I have even engaged the Moomin's mind to no avail. Good luck


nb.bobcat said...

My Calorifer was originally under the half dinette but that actually made the seat too high to be comfortable so it has been modified into a tall thin cupboard above the calorifier which holds the cushions that form the spare bed (which now has to go on the floor)with a flap down desk/table.

I would definitely go for a bath with shower over because if your shower pump packs up you can still have showers and use a bucket to empty bath.

Given my time again I would have the bathroom near the engine room to shorten water pipe runs etc. And then the rest of the boat can be open plan and therefore spacious.

I too have a bed that goes under the tug deck which in the day time could be a sofa. Unfortunately as it is now in a separate room after the bathroom it is never used as a sofa.

Diesel central heating plus stove.

I only have a gas hob and am still on my first 6kg bottle. Gas central heating I believe is a bit of a gas guzzler.

Whatever you decide K.I.S.S everytime.

Wish I was back at the beginning like you knowing what I know now.