January 17th 2016
Shortly after arriving at the marina and planning to start building the interior, we were frozen in, the stove at the front hadn't been fitted yet and the central heating although tested wasn't filled with anti-freeze so it had been drained down. Luckily for us we had Miss Ellie No 1 alongside which was nice and "toasty
24th January 2016, Helen took a picture of one of the portholes before polishing...........
.....and one after polishing
The first bit of brass cleaned up, it took a while but worth it, only another 10 to do plus all the mushrooms plus all the other brass soon to be fitted, this would be an ongoing job, I just couldn't lacquer them it wouldn't be right.
While Helen was busy polishing, I set up the workshop in the front of the boat and started making up some trims for the fuse-cupboard doors, next job was tiling the bathroom wall. We bought these metro style tiles from Supatile Wall and floor tiles in Rugby
Tiling almost done, just a few small cuts on the edges. Left to dry for 24 hours before grouting with mid-grey grout between the tiles and grey silicone on the edges. Grout looks good on the edges but there tends to be more movement near the edges which just cracks the grout, even with grout hardener, however the silicone doesn't look bad at all.
Tiling finished, fitted a few accessories from Homebase in Daventry. only the floor and porthole liners to do in the bathroom, then finally fit the Loo.
Painted the wall in the boatmans cabin, fitted the brass and porthole liner, another cabin nearly finished, at the time of writing another brass lock was fitted to the rear doors.
All the side opening doors would eventually be fitted with brass bolts and pull handles, however as these are not too secure, we had metal inserts welded to each door, these were threaded for a 10mm thick steel flat plate to be secured across them. The photo below shows the inserts.
The porthole liners were made in Birmingham via Midland Chandlers, Quotes for these originally had been £500.00 to £2500.00 from various places, we opted for Midland Chandlers at £750.00 for 11 of them in Oak, they come with a splash coat of varnish, once fitted they need at least 3 more.
Applying some silicone adhesive to the back of the porthole liner before fitting, its also a good idea to make sure they fit before applying adhesive, only 2 out of the 11 needed minor shaving with a plane and sandpaper.
Fitting the Cabin porthole liner, once in place we applied some gaffer tape to hold in place till dry.
We managed to buy some Oak flooring from Wickes in Rugby, even better when we got to the till they were having another 15% off, the whole floor area from the front to the bathroom came in at around £300.00, we had to buy some cork edging to fit on the edges under the hull sides to allow for expansion. With the floor fitted in the bathroom we could now fit the toilet and radiator
The toilet is a dump through! anyway its an easy explanation, you press the floor pedal and the contents drop through to a stainless steel holding tank beneath the floor, as you press the pedal water pumps in similar to any other toilet, however for the non-boaters among you the contents of the tank are pumped out via a machine at various places along the canal, all very civilised nowadays.
Next job on the list is Galley and forward cabin, this is the part I've been looking forward to, I can really hone my woodwork skills, this is where I attempt some joinery on my own ooer!!
At this point, I had 2 trestles with timber under and oak faced boards and Birch ply on top, as I used up the boards, I moved more up from the sides, as the galley got longer, my bench got shorter. The picture above shows the washing machine getting positioned, the oven/Grill would be positioned above it. The picture below shows both units fitted, with just the door and drawer fronts to make.
Looking at the side door on the left you can see one of the security plates fitted across the doors, screwed via hexagonal head tapered screws. The washing machine is a full size Hoover Dynamic, the motor is 1500watts compared to the usual 1800w to 2100w normally found on full size domestic machines, we purchased it via Currys in Rugby. There are 2 rectangular plates fitted under the machine which have wheels fitted, this allows easy removal for servicing if necessary. There is a drawer fitted above the machine and a small cupboard above the oven unit, this will allow easy access to the gas valve for the oven/grill unit.
This was the first of around 9 drawers to be fitted, the units and handles were purchased via https://www.handlesandironmongery.com/ these are all Hafele units and the shop we dealt with were excellent, I would definiteley recommend them.
Once the oven/washing machine housing was made and fitted, next job was the port side drawer unit, comprising 1000mm wide cutlery drawer and 3 further deep pan drawers, then the Oak worktop. The worktop was purchased via Ikea at Milton Keynes, we opted for the 28mm thick worktop to reduce weight.
Measuring out the worktop, you can see the washing machine doors and drawer front fitted, with cupboard door hinging at the top above oven, the doors and drawer fronts were made with 12mm birch ply with 6mm birch edges laid over, glued and nailed.
Cutting the worktop and doors were made easier using a Makita plunge cut saw, more or less guarantee a straight cut with ease, got this one at Axminster tools in Nuneaton, Helen had to drag me out of there kicking and screaming, its a professional tool specialist, they had everything you would ever want but couldn't buy unless you won the lottery. The chop saw sitting on the fridge is an old McAllister I got from B & Q years ago, it was relatively cheap but its great for mitres and precision cuts.
Worktop fitted, next job was to fit the corner cupboard unit just to the right of the oven unit, then make the door and drawer fronts for the port side
The corner unit is a single door opening which pulls 2 shelf racks out, minimal space is wasted in the corner and its easy on the back, not too much bending down. Drawer fronts and cupboard fronts now fitted. All soft closers, the closers work well on holding the drawers even when the boat lists. Gas hob fitted.
Custom fit cutlery drawer fits perfectly, you can just about see the corner unit. The picture below shows the sink unit & worktop fitted on the opposite side.
Theres a cupboard planned for below the sink which has 2 pull out units, one to carry a waste bin and one to carry the usual under sink products.
When I was at the Hafele stockist and planning which drawers to have on the starboard side, I spotted this fold-away ironing board. It fits snug above the top drawer, works perfectly.
The worktops sanded and oiled with 3 coats of danish oil, looked lovely, took ages to dry between coats, so have now opted for Ronseal floor oil (Yes! floor oil) it dries super fast, is rock hard, easy to apply and looks just as good.
As I'm writing this at least a year after the application the danish oil lasted about 4 months, the floor oil is still going strong.
We didnt want any visible sockets fitted, so opted for this pop up unit on the port-side work top, now you see it!
Now you don't!!
The kitchen now complete, we started to lay the final section of flooring up to the front door.
The work bench has gone now, and so has my workshop, its all looking like a fitted out boat now, just the stove and chimney to fit, but first the tiles.
We had some tiles left over so we tiled the splashbacks in the kitchen
As it was close to summer and most of the fit out near completion, we decided to sell our old boat Miss Ellie No 1 which had served us well for 8 years, we could now transfer all our things from Ellie No 1 to Miss Ellie no 2, it was a sad day but also one we had worked very hard to achieve, a year earlier when we picked up the unfinished shell from Hudson Boatbuilders I didn't think we would make it this far, and even with the financial losses we had to accept, an engine that was far from usable, we had made it to the other side.
As most boaters will tell you, its rarely finished there is always something else to do, and it's no exception here as there is still some snagging work, additional extras to fit and a business to start.
The next stage of the blog will try and bring you up to date with the extra works that have been carried out and general day to day life on Miss Ellie No 2.