Readers who’ve been reading our Lucky Duck blog since 2011 may well realise that I’ve recycled the title of this post, having used it before…. But it’s so good, I couldn’t help it!
After a very wet and rainy start to the day, Amy and I headed over by bus to the nearby Giltbrook retail park, home to Screwfix and Ikea. We walked part of the way into Eastwood to see what shops the were- including a useful hardware and storage box shop- but took the bus the rest of the way because of the rain.
Once in Ikea, which was mercifully empty compared to previous weekend visits, we made our way to the kitchen design area. We’d been up a couple of times already, and fiddled around online with their online design tool, and were pretty sure of the design we wanted- Lidingo off white doors if any one is interested-, so we were going to buy it to have it delivered the following weekend.
However, when it came to specifying the delivery, we hit a snag. Ikea deliver within 48 hours, but you have to be in the store in person to arrange the delivery. This would mean Amy leaving work early on Thursday, heading up by train, ordering it, and then returning- clearly madness!
Nevertheless the Ikea staff rallied round after we explained our problem, and we were told that, as everything was in stock apart from a couple of items, we could have it delivered later this afternoon, which we hadn’t bargained for at all! We had a think and quickly agreed, hoping we would be able to find space on Willow to store all the kitchen boxes.
After arranging the delivery we went over to Screwfix to collect a large plumbing parts order I’d made online on Friday before leaving work. I managed to order most of the things we needed to plumb in the boat, with the visible bits being done in 15mm copper pipe, and the bits you can’t see done in Speedfit for cheapness and convenience. We collected several large carrier bags of plumbing pieces, several 2m long lengths of copper pipe, and a large coil of Speedfit pipe. We also picked up a new hose reel, as it was on special offer.
Loaded down, we met up with Simon who had kindly arranged to give us a lift back to the boat, a d so we headed back. Back at the boat there was just time to talk to him about the blocks for the LeD lights that he was machining up, and a variety of other little bits and pieces he is making. We’re so luckily that he’s happy to make all these little detail pieces that I can’t, they’ll really enhance the look of the boat.
Once back, we made some fairly serious changes to the layout of the varnished oak faced ply panels in the saloon. We moved a couple around and put up some others so that the entire left hand wall of the saloon was covered for the first time. It made a very big difference to the look of the boat.
I made a start on the plumbing, and ran the main old water supply tithe kitchen, tee’d off for the tap, ran it along the the bulkhead, tee’d off for the Paloma heater, and put a temporary stop e d on in the bathroom. Amy then rang from ASDA where she had been getting lunch- the IKEA delivery was due in 20 minutes! Quickly I downed tools a d started the engine.
Willow’s normal mooring is accessible by car, just, but not easily by van. To save carrying the multitude of kitchen boxes a long distance, we moved the boat down to the lock, alongside the first and widest part of the access road, and moored in the lock. A stoppage a couple of locks down meant we weren’t expecting traffic, but soon could move if anyone showed up.
Threading the boat through a very narrow gap between moored boats- only a couple of niches wider than Willow- was slightly nerve wracking. But we didn’t scratch any paint, which was a relief.
Once at the lock, the Ikea van turned up and we were soon hard at work shifting the boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff to a large pile by the boat, to be stored away once the van had gone. After a solid 30 minutes of work, we had everything stowed away- although there’s a large pile of kitchen bits in he bathroom, and another in the bedroom, to clear space. We shifted lots of bits and pieces around and cleared a space in the kitchen to make a start on fitting a couple of cupboards. A long reverse past lines of moored boats took us back to the mooring, with only some gentle fended-off contact on moored boats.
After using the Bosch multitool to rout out a groove for the fridge cables, we were able to mount the first cupboard. This, on the bulkhead, will be the most important cupboard of all, as it’s where we’ll store the tea! A very good one to start with. It fitted together in no time, and was soon mounted solidly onto the bulkhead, and suspended from the solid oak cabin beam via long screws.
Although it was half past six by this point, we pressed on and decided to assemble another cupboard- one of the more complicated ones. This large unit is to go in the corner and incorporates sliding and swivelling shelves to make use of the “dead” space in the corner. I can really recommend Ikea style designs for making the most of small spaces, such as boat kitchens.
Finally we decided that it was time for a late tea of fish and chips, and now bed, ready to assemble more in the morning.