Work has been proceeding apace on Willow. Whilst Amy has been out to work, I’ve been able to crack on with many of the jobs that needed doing.
As with most boat projects, things have to be done in a certain order; I can’t put in the wooden floor in the saloon until I’ve got the tiles at the end done, which I can’t do until the bulkhead’s in, which I can’t put in until…. So far so good, though.
In the bathroom, I have made the mounting for the Thetford cassette toilet, which will let it be moved away from the position to change the cassette; installed shelves and a top in the narrow cupboard between the shower and the side of the boat where the spare cassettes will live; and installed the copper pipes for the washstand. We also took the marble top of the washstand to a nearby monumental masons, who will cut the three holes required for the bathroom sink waste and the taps.
In the kitchen, in preparation for the tiled splashback, I cut plywood boards to fit between the worktop and the cabin sides, and made a removable box to cover the gas and water pipes under the Paloma. The plywood boards will be removable, held on normally with magnets, so that they can be taken out for access to the gas and water pipes behind. These butt up on the bottom edge to narrow upstands on the edge of the worktop, sealed in with sealant, so that any liquid spills won’t drip down behind the cupboards. I also installed plywood sheets around the end of the kitchen units that face the living room. Solidly screwed to the floor and to one of the cabin beams, they hold the units rigidly in position, so that bumping a lock cill won’t have them shifting.
Cutout in the plywood for access to the back of the cooker, the gas isolation valve, and pipework.
I’ve also done a lot of work at the front of the living room, in the small area that will become storage for coats, shoes, hats, gloves, and all the bulky things that are needed in the winter, that otherwise pile up on the sofa or in the way.
Firstly, I reinforced the front step with some internal bracing and more screws, and added battens on the floor so that it can’t shift and move about; it’s getting annoying telling all visitors, “mind the step, it wobbles!” The problem isn’t completely solved, I I’ll add some flip catches or something to hold it down securely, but still allow it to be quickly removed for access to the waterpump and accumulator which are underneath it.
I also added in a small, part-bulkhead just inside the doors, to support a rail for coats and shelves for gloves, hats, etc. This was made out of two thicknesses of 9mm plywood, glued and screwed together, as it will support bookshelves on the living room side of it. Once the structural plywood was cut to size, I cut some of the oak-faced ply to cover it and match the surrounding woodwork. The front bulkhead was also lined with this oak-faced ply; this time, it stands clear by two inches, allowing air from the louvered vents at the top of the bulkhead to be ducted down behind it and provide low level ventilation, which Willow lacked.
Bulkhead and coat rail in place; the trim strips of oak along the edges still need to be fitted.
Opposite this area, I painted and prepared a space under the small worktop that’s just by the door. This will hold a shoerack, made from aluminium rods from Mackays cut to length, with space underneath it for welly boots, hammers, mooring pins, and the other things that collect at the foreend of a boat.
Another job was collecting all the tiles and things needed to tile three separate areas; the entrance hallway described above, which will be done in black and red quarry tiles in a checkerboard pattern; the kitchen, which will have plain red quarry tiles; and the bathroom, which will be done in black and white checked tiles.
Although work on the boat is moving well, there is still a lot still to do- but we’re getting there!