Saturday, 16 April 2016

Renovating the Cratch area

Friday 15 April Work day at Clayworth. There's always a job when you've got a boat!

After dropping off Liana in Lincoln to visit a friend, it was over to Clayworth to check out paintwork and the cratch on Annie. After chatting with Ian Lawford and Nick Elliott, I got cracking. Removing the cratch cover left me wondering if the material had weakened too much to be repaired, so inspection by a cratch cover maker/repairer looks essential. The mortice and tenon joint at the bottom of the vertical front cratch support had let in water to make the wood wet and soft, so the woodwork was unbolted and taken away, too. I suspect that I will need to fabricate a hardwood replacement. Out with the angle grinder and fibre discs to remove rust spots down to shiny steel, followed by a coat of iron oxide paint before the rain came down. Removing the headlamp stand showed bad pitting underneath, so it was a good job I did take time to unscrew it. There's always a job when you've got a boat!

Without a cratch, the 6 feet long front cockpit looks very roomy, as our neighbour noted.
There were so many little chips that it looked better to paint all the top surround.

The hatch was cream with a red diamond, originally, with red hinges: Maybe it will be, again.

The lovely bow is hull builder G Reeves' take on a josher type design, looking broader than the Steve Hudson bow. Phill and Sue Abbott of Wharf Narrowboats, who won Most Popular Boat of Show at Crick with Annie in 2005, have just fitted out Steve's last boat beautifully, after his untimely death.
I still need to sort out front fender chains: The new button fender sits well on the original fender, as there isn't a place above to secure a shackle, for some reason. The low fender (which I may raise a few inches) protects Annie from lock top gate sills when going uphill - at least, that is the idea!

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