Rose Narrowboats

I cruised to Rose Narrowboats yesterday afternoon, ready for a prompt start this morning, and moored opposite their base on the Oxford Canal, between Hawkesbury Junction and Rugby.

Rose Narrowboats base on the Oxford Canal
Rose Narrowboats base on the Oxford Canal

We are heading into the paint shop and the first task is to slide the empty trolley down the gently sloping ramp.

Waiting for the lift up the ramp into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats
Waiting for the lift up the ramp into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats

Then our Waterway Routes narrowboat is slid forwards onto the trolley.

Floating onto the trailer ready to go into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats
Floating onto the trailer ready to go into the paint shed at Rose Narrowboats

I made sure everything inside would be safe when the boat is tipped a little as it’s pulled up the ramp.

Climbing the ramp onto the hard standing.
Climbing the ramp onto the hard standing.

We’re soon on the hard standing waiting for the pressure washing below the water line.  As it will be repainted above the water line too then it’s not necessary to be too careful aiming the pressure washer.

On the level waiting for pressure washing.
On the level waiting for pressure washing.

The weather was a little overcast and trying to rain but Paul, the painter, created lots of spray as he pressure washed the stern.

Pressure washing the stern.
Pressure washing the stern.

Paul is making sure he gets all the gunk off the hull from below the water line.  He doesn’t want any of that in his nice clean paint shed.

Pressure washing the bows with a visible difference in the before and after.
Pressure washing the bows with a visible difference in the before and after.

With a clean hull it’s time to pull the trolley and boat into the paint shed.  It’s a good job the doors at the far end open so the tractor can go out that way.

Entering the paint shed.
Entering the paint shed.

Once inside the decking is slid up to the sides of the boat to make a safe working area.

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I was made welcome by everyone at Rose Narrowboats and I’m looking forward to returning later this week to see progress, and take a few more photos.

Christmas Posting Dates 2015

christmas-parcel-200Our Cruising Maps (available on CD as well as by download) and our Canal DVDs make great ideas for Christmas Presents, but please remember to order in time.

The Post Office publish latest recommended posting dates for Christmas and you need to order from us by these dates for 2015:

UK — Sunday 20th December
Western Europe — Sunday 13th December
Eastern Europe — Sunday 6th December
USA/Canada — Monday 14th December
Rest of World — Thursday 3rd December

If you order from us after these dates we will still post the order promptly, but is unlikely to arrive in time for Christmas. The earlier you order, the more certain you can be of arrival in time for Christmas.

Repainting

I visited Rose Narrowboats yesterday to see progress as our boat was prepared for re-painting.  The preparations are well under way.

The mains input socket was fitted in the roof at the side of the hatch when the boat was new but it kept filling up with water and that wasn’t wise. Sometime ago we had it moved to a better location near the rear door and the hole was fitted with a blanking plate, seen removed and upside down to the left of the photo.  The hole is now being filled properly, with the circular piece on the right about to be welded in.  Once finished it will be invisible under the new paint which will be continuous grey non-slip over the former socket.

Former electrical socket in roof ready for blanking off.
Former electrical socket in roof ready for blanking off.

The posts for the rear seat had been straightened and welded back into place so they were upright again.

Rear seat frame re-welded into place.
Rear seat frame re-welded into place.

This earlier shot shows the left hand rear seat pushed forward after it had been struck from behind by another boat.

Left rear seat bent forwards after being hit from behind.
Left rear seat bent forwards after being hit from behind.

All the window frames have been removed ready for repainting.

Window frames removed making the boat look a little unusual.
Window frames removed making the boat look a little unusual.

Here’s one of the frames out of the boat.

Window frames out for repainting
Window frames out for repainting

The seal between the window frames and the boat has lasted but wouldn’t have lasted much longer.  There were a few minor leaks where water was just starting to get inside the boat and running down behind the panelling in the boat.  It would have been un-noticed there for a while until the damp had started to cause serious damage so I’m glad we had the work done now.

A lot of the existing paintwork should be stripped back by the next time I visit.

A busy day

Thursday was a busy day as I went by train and bus to Rose Narrowboats to see progress with repainting our boat.

The first few photos are from my previous visit.

Paul (the painter, not me) busy working on the roof, with the sides taken back to bare metal
Paul (the painter, not me) busy working on the roof, with the sides taken back to bare metal

Most of it was back to bare metal with Paul (the painter, not me) busy on the roof.

The sides were still in good condition.
The sides were still in good condition.

I was pleased to see the sides were lovely and smooth with no significant damage. They will look good when the painting is finished.

Rust on the roof will require treatment.
Rust on the roof will require treatment.

The roof has several rust spots which have spread from damaged areas.  I was aware the rust was there, but I hadn’t realised how far it had spread as most of this was still covered in blue paint.

Tunnel bands showing the water damage.
Tunnel bands showing the water damage.

The tunnel bands show signs of rust, still to be treated.  Despite blacking the bottom 5cm (2 inches) of the lower band instead of painting there’s still water damage there.

Tunnel bands with primer look a lot better
Tunnel bands with primer look a lot better

This week’s visit shows two coats of primer makes a lot of difference to the tunnel bands and the general appearance of the boat.

Paul (the painter) applying the primer
Paul (the painter) applying the primer

Paul (the painter) busy applying the second coat of primer with a long handled roller.  The primer is rolled on, but the undercoat and top coats will be hand painted.

Smooth sides with primer
Smooth sides with primer

The sides look lovely and smooth, any apparent unevenness is just the recently applied second coat of primer dryer in some places than others.

After the visit it was a quick phone call to check where another blogger was, then a walk south along the Oxford Canal towpath to see them.

Looking for the approaching boat
Looking for the approaching boat

This is the front of the boat I was looking for, it’s No Problem rounding the corner.

Sue, Meg and Penny looking out for me (Vic already has the kettle on)
Sue, Meg and Penny looking out for me (Vic already has the kettle on)

Vic already has the kettle on, producing a mug of tea as I stepped aboard, leaving Sue, Meg and Penny looking out for me.

We chatted about all sorts of canal things as we cruised northwards, back towards Rose Narrowboats where Sue and Vic had a chance to see narrowboat Waterway Routes in the paint shed.

Waving goodbye to No Problem
Waving goodbye to No Problem

I shut the swing bridge for them and left them heading north as I went to catch the bus to Coventry and train to Birmingham in search of more bloggers.

Granny Buttons
Granny Buttons

The first boat I spotted was the famous Granny Buttons, from a former blogger.

Waiouru and Valerie
Waiouru and Valerie

Then I spotted Valerie (disguised in her plain green paint scheme part way through repainting) and Waiouru.

I spent time with Jaq, on Valerie, and with Tom and Jan on Waiouru before catching the train back home.

More painting

We were back at Rose Narrowboats yesterday to see the progress that Paul (the painter, not me) had made with repainting our narrowboat.

Paul (the painter) working on the roof
Paul (the painter) working on the roof

Paul had finished the two layers of primer and applied the first undercoat which is grey, and was busy sanding it down.  The second undercoat will be blue.

Chimney exposed and holes welded up
Chimney exposed and holes welded up

The chimney collar has been removed, exposing a little rust which has been dealt with, and the holes in the centre of the roof where the television aerial used to be have been welded up.

Smooth sides for the name panel
Smooth sides for the name panel

The large smooth area to the right is where the name panel will be.

Tunnel Bands already looking better with a little red paint
Tunnel Bands already looking better with a little red paint

The red undercoat on the lower tunnel band makes a surprising difference to the appearance.

Red undercoat makes a surprising difference
Red undercoat makes a surprising difference

More red undercoat at the bows makes it look a little nearer finished.

I’ll be back on Friday when I’m expecting to see a big change as the second coat of undercoat will be blue and that will be very different.

Map Updates – October 2015 – Issue 43

I’ve just published the October 2015 updates for our maps of canals and rivers.

Our England & Wales map is now at Issue 43 with the monthly updates.  These include the changes we have identified ourselves by cruising along the canal or cycling the towpaths.  They also include changes reported by other boaters, including several regular contributors, with a big thank you to them.

Caldon Canal Map Extract
Caldon Canal Map Extract

The Caldon Canal map is just one example which was updated after I cycled the full length of the canal, including the Leek Branch.

When you obtain a map from us you not only get the most up to date maps to start with but you the first year of updates by download are included so you can keep them up to date.  A small fee (20% per year) will enable you to keep them up to date for future years too. Compare that with printed books that start to go out of date the day they go to the printers – which could be several months or even years out of date when you buy them – and where you have to pay full price again for the next issue which will already be a few months out of date by the time its printed again.

This month we have significant updates to the following maps – and it’s unlikely these updates will be in any of the printed books, and probably won’t be for some time.

England & Wales

Aire & Calder and Calder & Hebble Navigations Maps
Ashton and Peak Forest Canals Maps
Birmingham & Fazeley Canal Maps
Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Maps
Bridgewater Canal Maps
Caldon Canal Maps
Chesterfield Canal Maps
Coventry Canal Maps
Grand Union Canal Maps
Leeds & Liverpool Canal Maps
Oxford Canal Maps
River Avon (Stratford) Maps
River Weaver Maps
Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigations Maps
Shropshire Union Canal Maps
Stratford upon Avon Canal Maps
Trent & Mersey Canal Maps
Worcester & Birmingham Canal Maps

Avon Ring Maps
Birmingham Mini Ring Maps
Black Country Ring Maps
Cheshire Ring Maps
East Midlands (Leicester) Ring Maps
Four Counties Ring Maps
Mid Worcestershire (Droitwich) Ring Maps
South Pennine Ring Maps
Stourport Ring Maps
Warwickshire Ring Maps

A few other maps have minor updates too.  My website has a full list of the current maps issued.

 

More painting

While our boat is out of the water the hull is being blacked, with parts of it already done.  The anodes are approaching the end of their life and won’t last until the next blacking so now is the best time to replace them.  The blacking will be completed around the new anodes.

New anodes fitted
New anodes fitted

The blue undercoat makes a lot of difference since my last visit.  The left hand side is done, with the lining marked out ready.

Blue undercoat with lining marked out
Blue undercoat with lining marked out

The name panel will have a red background and the red undercoat is there ready.

Red name panel, left side
Red name panel, left side

The red is on the right hand name panel too.  The gunwales still have to be painted here and the grey makes it look unfinished, but Paul (the painter) is working his way around the boat and it will be blue by the time you read this.

Red name panel, right side
Red name panel, right side

Paul has been working around the front doors too.

Front, right side
Front, right side

Once again, the grey along the gunwales makes the left side unfinished – at least until Paul gets there.

Front, left side
Front, left side

The wet undercount around the bows gives a shiny appearance, making it easier to imagine how it will look when finished.

Wet undercoat on the bows
Wet undercoat on the bows

That’s three weeks of hard work completed.  Another three to go.

Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals

The Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals are derelict, with plans for restoration.  Together they will form a through route between the Aire & Calder Navigation and the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.

Overview map of the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals
Overview map of the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals

There are two branches, the Elsecar Branch and the Worsbrough Branch, both from the Dearne & Dove Canal. With help from members of the Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust I’ve produced the next maps in my series, covering these canals.  Like all my maps for restoration projects, these are free to download.

Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals detailed map
Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals detailed map

The maps show the original route with the proposed restoration route clearly marked to show where they differ.  Much of the Barnsley Canal route is still available, but it will require some new sections such as at Walton (shown above) where the original route has been built over. Much of the route of the Dearne & Dove Canal has been lost to modern developments, meaning most of the route will be on new alignments, although the Elsecar and Worsbrough Branches are largely intact.

Barnsley and Dearne & Dove maps front cover
Barnsley and Dearne & Dove maps front cover

I’ve produced one map covering both the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals.  It’s available to download in the usual Acrobat (pdf) and Memory-Map (qct) formats.  There’s a choice for the Acrobat (pdf) format

  • Single page Great for viewing on screen but too large to print
  • Seven individual pages Great for printing A4 (or A5 if your eyesight is good enough)

Visit the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals map page on my website to download the free maps. Eagle-eyed readers may spot there are discrepancies in the levels, particularly for the Elsecar and Worsbrough Branches between the old and new alignments as the old and new lock depths don’t match.  I’m waiting for clarification about this.

First Top Coat

I was back at Rose Narrowboats again yesterday, to see even more progress with repainting our narrowboat.

Bows with second undercoat sanded down.
Bows with second undercoat sanded down.

The bows, which looked shiny in my last post because the undercoat was wet have been sanded down.  Now its the red paint looking good with the first coat of gloss complete.

Front with second undercoat sanded down.
Front, with second undercoat sanded down.

The whole of the front had been sanded down and will probably have the first coat of gloss on by the time I publish this.

Paul (the painter, not me) painting inside the marked panels on the left hand side.
Paul (the painter, not me) painting inside the marked panels on the left hand side.

Paul, the painter, was working his way along the left hand side of the boat, painting inside the marked out panels.

Paul, working his way around the outside of the panels.
Paul, working his way around the outside of the panels.

A lovely picture of Paul’s reflection in the red name pane.  He’s working his way around the outside of the panels with the blue paint now.

Right hand side with first top coat still wet
Right hand side with first top coat still wet

Paul had already finished the first (of three) top coats on the right hand side.  The reflections are gradually making it harder to photograph the boat as they fool the camera.  The red name panels in the last two photo really are the same colour, but the light and reflections make them look very different.

Paul has warned me that the boat will look different outside.