Friday, October 24, 2008

Things Are Moving

Grabbed some pictures whilst over at the builders, pleased with the progress. Simon is making an excellent job on the bedroom. Above is our single wardrobe and below is our bedbase and bedside cabinets. Bit of a result on the storage front normally they would fit the invertor under the bed, but because the boat is reverse layout this isn't practical due to the cable lengths that this would involve, so we will gain this area as a cupboard.

And here is the double corner wardrobe with a bi-fold door, the alcoves will be backed with mirrors to bounce a bit of light around, we are not having glazed doors upfront but they are stable doors so we will be able to keep them half open.

Couldn't resist another piccy of the "pod" on it's amazing plinth made by Stuart. On Wednesday had a call from Ken, "do you reckon you could help us draw up a pattern for the stainless base to fit under the hotpod" He said they had a quote from a laser cutters which was very high, so nipped over grabbed a pattern and we spent couple of hours transferring the shape onto graph paper, recordered loads of co-ordinates and joined the dots, couple of phone calls and emails later the shape was sent of to some mates who I work with up north ( I won't mention your names as I dont want to get you into trouble) but many thanks for all your help and the shape was laser cut. Anyway collected it on Friday and delivered it to the builders for them too mount and then send out for polishing. We cant wait to see this finished. We have also incororporated an uplighter in the base to backlight the stove, we really want a red led bulb in this for the warm glow effect but are a little worried about men in raincoats knocking on the boat in the middle of the night.
Also had a great email from Dan (the blacksmith artist who designed the stove) I had sent him some pictures of the build as they are keeping a record of where the hotpods are "homed"
He also mentioned that the pod is now to come out in a unlimited version for general sale, as the first lot was limited to 350 (ours is No.75) so if anyone is interested give him a call.
If you mention the blog I might be able to negotiate a deal with him on the companion sets that he makes for the stoves.
I did admit to him that we had been quite sad and named ours Herbie, due to the volkswagon parts used in its construction. He did put my mind to rest and reassureme that he had always named his camper-vans that the stove was originally designed to work in, so we can't be the only sad people out there.

The office is coming on aswell, shame when we arrived Stuart was just dismantling this area for laquering etc. so it is further on than the picture suggests. You can see my spaghetti junction of cables coming in here so hopefully everything will be linked. ( I know this is sposed to be a simple life style) but hey gotta have a few whistle and bells.

We Now have an oven, hob fridge. The oven is a combination job which consists of fan oven, microwave and grill combined. Only time will tell if this was a good decision but it does save a lot of space and looks great and the instruction book suggests roast chicn in 20 mins cooking on the combined method, so this is the first thing in the long list for us to start to learn how to use with our new off grid lifestyle.

This area has been done by Gary and once again the worforces workmanship shines through.
Magic corners with the swing out baskets really maximise the use of space even in the dead corner we have created by the generator location in the the engine room.
We really love the sink infill chopping board, the small chest freezer will sit under here.

and another "magic corner" and you can just see the fridge.

Still loads to do on the list:-
Engine Room
Media Corner
Cooker Hood
Cratch Area
Bow Thruster
But a least it is getting shorter
Pre Xmas delivery? (always said I wouldn't say this, anyone who watches grand designs on TV will know just about everyone who builds says "we will be in by christmas" and they never are) but it would be great if we could be, as long as the oven works !!!!!!
On the internet front, just saw that "3" are doing a wireless router for their mobile broadband dongles, things are moving forward in this direction aswell.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Mooring

Lesley from nb Caxton has asked about the mooring. Well tip one is when embarking on the journey of getting a narrowboat is get a mooring, all the books tell you this but we never thought it would take as long as this.
We have had our names down at a few boatyards in the Cambridgeshire area for 4 years now, us naively thinking that would be plently of time to get one, but we have not moved up the lists hardly at all in this period.
I know we have restricted ourselves by selecting this area as boatyards are few and far between but wanted a base we could use when we return to the area as family are mostly located around here plus our doctors and dentists etc.
Well as the boat has progressed we have got more and more anxious about where we was going to put our boat until we started on our journey around the system, well what an offer from some friends of my Parents, they have some land that they said we could put a mooring on (as long as we cleared and constructed it) well this semed like a great deal to us and we will be forever in their debt.
We love the location as it is pretty remote (infact very remote which suits us down to the ground) it will be a great base for us to return to when needed, we even have our own resident kingfisher as well as a nearby mobile phone mast which gives great connection speed on the 3 data card I have been experimenting with on their payg setup, I think the remoteness of the location means that their are not too many sharing the bandwidth :)
So as mentioned before we have nearly finished the mooring, so thats another big tick on our list of things to do.
We are now down to one car, hopefully soon to hand our notice in on our rented flat and hopefully will get my motorcycle on ebay in next few days :( but it has to go.
So it is very exciting/nervous times for us both.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where Does The Time Go?

Just looked and havn't posted for so long, then ran through what we had been up to. First we have been busy on constructing our mooring which has taken up quite a few weekends but one more good go should do it, flicking through some photo's reminded us of how much we have achieved, from clearing the land, to installing our two mooring towers.
As for the boat that is really starting to come on now the galley is well under way, the bedroom is also coming progressing well and the office area and the hotpod plinth are better than we can ever of imagined. We just love the polished stainless surround behind the Hotpod. We have had to revamp our plans slighty to aid the fitment and service access to the generator, this certainly is a large lump to accomodate, but are now happy with the decisions we have jointly made with our builder.
The roof and sides now have colour which we love. Fridge, freezers hob & washer dryer have all been chosen so hopefully will be fitted this week. The laminates for the bathroom have now been finalised so hopefully we will see some progress in this area soon. The sofa base is the next main construction/design item on our list.
Just writing this makes us realise how far we have come in the last couple of months.
As for launch date we reckon we could just make pre- xmas which would be brilliant, the downside of this is that we won't be able to launch at Debdale as planned, this is due to stoppages on the Grand Union and the River Nene so we will launch at March on the middle levels. This is a real shame as we was quite looking forward to this being our maiden cruise, but hey!!! plently of time for that. Hopefully back to builders this week so may have some updated photo's to upload and so will try not to leave it too long next time.