Thursday, 26 January 2017

Time flies

Hi, welcome back

Doesn't time fly?  I can't believe it's been so long since my last blog.  It's been an eventful 3 weeks too.

First David came to stay for a few days at the beginning of January.  Both Roger and I were still struggling with the lurgy, but that didn't stop the men going karting.  David had never been before but enjoyed it so much that he's coming back again next month for another session.

After David had left us we took the boat to Sainsbury's to stock up. You can moor right outside the supermarket which makes it really easy to do a big shop.  We were just about to set off again when Roger spotted a man in the canal.  He rushed over and with the help of a passerby tried to pull the man out.  It was an elderly boater who had slipped in as he was pushing his boat away from the bank. The canal is very deep here and he couldn't touch the bottom. I'm sure you can imagine just how cold the water is at the moment and the poor man was in shock. The two men couldn't haul him out as his sodden clothes were so heavy they kept dragging him back down.  Luckily we'd recently bought a combined safety ladder/gang plank which I carried over for them to use.

We managed to get a rope underneath his armpits and it then took the three of us to haul him up the ladder onto the towpath. In the meantime another passerby had phoned the emergency services who arrived a couple of minutes after we'd got him out of the water.  Because he'd been in the water for 30 minutes he was suffering from hypothermia so the paramedics took him to hospital where they kept him in overnight.  After securing his boat and making sure the fire was damped down we moved our boat to moor beside his to make sure nothing untoward happened to it until he got back.  He'd told me that he was 75 so I was a quite concerned for his health but he arrived home at lunchtime the next day and apart from being tired due to lack of sleep in the hospital he said he was OK. I won't mention his name of that of his boat as he was very embarrassed but we've seen him since and he seems to have recovered from his fall.  He was a very lucky man.

Living on Bluey is quite different to living on the narrowboat.  Because we'd built Fizzical Attraction for us to live on it had under-floor insulation, secondary double glazing, a solid fuel fire and a cooker extractor fan to make sure that we had the minimum amount of condensation in the boat. Condensation = Damp = Mould and apart from ruining clothes mould can be seriously bad for your health.
Bluey had none of these features and we've been fighting a losing battle against damp patches, so for the past 2 weeks we've made a concerted effort to get rid of the cold spots that have caused condensation & damp and consequently mould.

The first major job was fitting a Dometic cooker hood. Being vented outside this has made a dramatic reduction in condensation in the boat caused by cooking and washing up.

We store a lot of things under the beds but as there is no under-floor insulation these are intense cold spots and were getting very damp.  We dried the area out using a de-humidifier (best thing we've ever bought) and then lined it with silver foil backed bubble wrap insulation which is sold in Wickes.

The foil insulation made a huge difference to the temperature in the bedroom and should cure the problem.

I've also put a tray of silica gel cat litter under the bed to soak up any further damp but I doubt it'll be needed.

We've also insulated inside the wardrobes and underneath cupboards and later on we'll insulate under the floor which is the ceiling to the engine room. That should help keep the living room warmer and also deaden the noise from the engine a bit.

While it's been very cold recently, it's also been bright and sunny and the solar gain through the windows has been very noticeable. Unfortunately that also means we have a lot of heat loss through them at night and secondary double gazing is high on the list of jobs to do before we head off to France.

Chico is a real sun worshiper and loves it when the rays land on his bed.

That's all for now
Take care and come back soon.


Carol said...

Hi Yvonne,
We're very interested in the domestic cooker hood that you've installed. We didn't have one on our nb but had secondary glazing which cut down the condensation tremendously.

Here on our wb even though we've got Chanel Glaze double glazed units we still get condensation on the inside of the frames. We've fitted perspex panels with magnetic tape for the winter which helps but still have some condensation on the frames so I've been thinking of a cooker extractor for a while now.

What fitting have you used on the outside and is the unit vented upwards or out to the side of the boat? What sort of size is the unit and does it use a lot of power when running? Any tips would be most useful.

We were also experiencing problems under the bed but have now used insulation (usually used in walls) and it seem so far to be doing the job. I like your idea of putting thinner insulation in the wardrobes too and will look at doing that.
Thanks for an interesting post!

Yvonne said...

Hi Carol. It's a DOMETIC CK400 and is available from caravan stores and eBay for around £190 comes complete with all fittings and external vent cover. It also has lights on the under surface. I used the one on Fizzi mainly to reduce cooking smells but it makes a huge difference to the steam and condensation

Paul said...

Nice to see a new post from you ... much fascinated by your boat and the sudden change of beam !!

Carol, we had these fitted in the galley and bathroom, and they fit a standard mushroom hole and turn it into an extractor. Powerful but low wattage and very neat. Apprx £50 I think?

Carol said...

is it vented through the roof or an outside wall please Yvonne?

Yvonne said...

It's through the roof. If you let me have your email address I'll send you some better photos. I wont publish the email address

Unknown said...

Still following your progress with interest,Yvonne,as and when. Sorry to hear about the damp and condensation, but you will live on the water!! Just finished mopping out bilge water ourselves, from a burst central heating pipe(my fault of course)so I know the feeling. We seem also to have paralleled you with the lurgy over Christmas.
When do you hope to start some real cruising?
John C