While the wild weather continues to whip across the UK Cleddauremains safe and dry in her shed at Stoke-on-Trent. Is she the driest boat on the system this winter…?
Up the M1, turn left on the A50 for about 30 miles, right at Stoke’s Britannia Stadium, continue for about three miles – and arrive on Newcastle Street at Stoke Boats.
So, what progress in the last fortnight? There was much techno talk about the need to strip out previous generations of electrical cabling, about the need for exact length cables between batteries and alternator and about the intricacies of providing dual throttles for the respective extremely left and extremely right-handed helmswomen.
The engine instrumentation is now built into a smart wooden frame,
though there is still more woodwork to be done in the engine room. Obscured under the piles of now redundant wiring on the stern counter
are the fittings for the Captain’s Perch (that being top of Techno Son-in-Law’s Wish List).
To get into the boat it’s still access by step ladder by the bow (which now has the extra protection of a third rubbing strake). It’s a steep clamber
but once up on the front deck it was apparent that the lid of the water tank on the front deck is back in place. Inside there was a harsh reminder that much sorting out will need to be done…
Down the back, as requested, two additional shelves have been installed to maximise storage beside the airing cupboard
and a flush grab handle
fitted to the door between engine room and bedroom.
After so many months with Cleddau resting snug in her shed the prospect of floating again, of cruising again, seems a little closer. Notebook, pen and tape measure were produced. What exactly is the diameter of the portholes? (11 inches / 28 cm). And what is the depth from lining edge to window glass? Well, well, 1 inch / 2 cm less in the bedroom than the portholes in bathroom and corridor – and that is because, so explained the Captain, the earlier (front end) refit used solid pre-cut foam insulation behind the wooden lining whereas the Stoke (rear) end of the boat has been insulated with spray foam which is thinner and therefore has given slightly more room in the bedroom. These smartly lined portholes deserve some new porthole bungs, hence the measuring exercise. Just think, in those early days of boat ownership (way back in 1995) darkness and privacy were achieved by scrumpling up newspaper bundles into the portholes… The UK needs some relief from the wild winds and lashing rain… Dry weather is essential for the shot blasting and subsequent blacking of the hull. Somehow it doesn’t seem as if Cleddau will be emerging from her cocoon just yet!
Before driving back to Beds there was lunch at Westport Lake,
where at the water’s edge even the Canada geese
looked thoroughly fed up with the rain from above and the mud underfoot!