About Me

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The name describes my demeanour and voice! I love narrowboating and that is why this blog is mainly about the boat and our interaction with it. I have been keeping a log for Sonflower ever since we bought her and moved onto her as our main residence. Some incidents in our boating life have been hilarious, some scary and some down right dangerous. I cannot tell what will come in the future but you can now share them! The crew are an 'ordinary' couple. The Best Mate and I.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Finished for now

The survey report arrived in the post this morning. Careful reading indicates that there are no problems with SONFLOWER that would make her uninsurable!  All the recommendations are advisory. All are intended to prolong the life of the boat.

hardly worn anode (magnesium)
Newly coated rudder

The report also indicates that, from the index number, the boat was biult in 1982. I think we knew tyhat but a previous survey had said 1984. Hence this was a 32-year inspection!

The main probem is the damp bilge. We must find a way of keeping it dry and ventilating it. The surveyor suggests removing the fixed steps and fitting removable ones that could be remived to provide access to a 400mm square  hatch in the floor.

Removing the rot from the back of the boat and replacing the floor fills me with dread but will provide the opportunity for a much needed re-fit of the aft end of the boat, sorting out the outdated shower oom. A lot of thought needs to be put into this.

One interesting recommendation is to have the hull shot blasted and coated with an epoxy resin coating at the next "out of the water" opportunity. Sounds expensive.

The "cosmetic" welding to the port bow rubbing strake/eybrow was completed by Tooley's this morning so I  went down, collected my Invoice and keys and took the boat cback to the mooring. The 1/4mile cruise didnt even get the engine to oprarting temperature so I left her idling for a while to charge the batteries whike I chatted to three crews of other boats inteh mmoring. The sun has brough all out. The chatter put another hour on the hours run metre!

Now all I have to do is pay the bill.

Friday, 7 March 2014

SURVEY - PROBLEM 1, 2, 3, 4 . .

Here is SONFLOWER in the dry dock. She has been water washed and is waiting for inspection.

PROBLEM ONE: The boarding plank was rotten. Alternative means of access was imediately saught!

PROBLEM TWO. It is not difficult to spot that an anode has been comletely ripped off the stern starboard side of the boat.

A new one is to be fitted a little further forward where there is a little more "rake" on the side of the boat.

 Here is the inspector at his work tapping the plates to see if he can dislodge rust to reveal pitting from galvanic action. There was a little but nothng serious.

PROBLEM THREE  The fungus  had done its worst at the stern end of the cabin of the boat. My inability to keep the bilge dry and the lack of a drying stove during the winter months has meant that there is rot in the woodwork that needs to be dealt with. Maybe it is time to think about the refit on the bathroom and bunk room that is well overdue! No photo: it is too distressing.

PROBLEM FOUR Minor cosmetic welding work required to the rubbing strake on the port bow. The hollow section has rotted from the inside out.

RESULT: Nothing that prevents the boat floating and she is likely to keep afloat for the next five years.

So on with the blacking.

Then the engine service.....

. . .  . then getting the bilge dry   

............then the re-fit?                    

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


I am getting anxious!

One never knows what a survey will throw up. Five years ago SONFLOWER floated into the dry dock and recieved a report that indicated that it would not float out again! The problem was the weed hatch. There was NO ULLAGE (air space). Although the weedhatch was bolted down and sealed the water under the bolted cover was below the water line! If the cover had been taken off the boat would have sunk! A new weed hatch was fabricated and fitted to give 6 inches of ullage  below the hatch to the waterline. This could well have been the problem that caused CRT's Problem here . We also removed a considerable amount of ballast to ensure that the swim was, correctly, only just submerged. It looks like the tug was too deep inthe water too!

I wonder what the surveyor will find this time!