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Rose Narrowboats

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Rose Narrowboats last won the day on August 31 2017

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  1. As I type this I'm being held up by a 49 year old 1/4" plate bottom which has never seen a lick of paint, and passed its last survey with flying colours. It is not however a through bilge! Age is not the defining factor and I'm not sure that modern steel and paint is better - there are still one or two GU boats out there with their original bottoms which are now knocking on 85 years old. Local conditions, stray volts and internal dryness are significant factors IMHO. Steel is certainly very variable. I have six boats from the same shell builder all built between 87 and 89, plus another from the same builder which we built for a private customer and have always maintained. They have been treated the same in terms of paint systems etc, and five of them are still in excellent condition - two of the hireboats however have had to have significant amounts of steelwork as they seem to have been built out of recycled Austin Allegros.
  2. If the ones we see here for blacking are indicative of the general standard then the bad jobs are few and far between, no doubt because of competent oversight by the hull surveyor who will have specified the scope of the work in the survey that led to remedial works being deemed necessary. At the end of the day, it's the surveyor that signs it off, and that oversight should include checking downflooding heights etc. That said, bad jobs do exist - the most memorable for me was when a gentleman booking his boat in for blacking asked if we could "re-do the silicone" while the boat was on the slip. I had not a clue what he was on about, and he got quite impatient until it dawned on me (and I still didn't believe it until I saw it) that the above water line welds were not continuous, and between the tacks it had been siliconed - no word of a lie. Worse still he'd paid good money for the boat on the basis of a recent survey provided by the vendor which confirmed that all the work required to the hull had been carried out to a good standard. That surveyor went out of business rather than answer to his proffessional body for that one, and as the survey was in the name of the previous owner, the unfortunate new owner had to spend a lot of money having it all cut off and re-done at his own expense..
  3. It was said partly tongue in cheek - the serious point is that the sort of weights people routinely put on cabin tops (which the boats were never designed to accommodate) seemingly without consequence, are far more significant to a vessel's stability characteristics than overplating.
  4. That's a downflooding issue though, and what I'd like to know is what the freeboard of that vent was in the first place? For three people to put the stern down by 65mm I'd suggest that it must have also been a very short boat. I'll stand three people on our 32' day boat next week and measure. On a sixty footer, assuming 6mm thick overplate of baseplate and hullsides up to 500mm you are adding about 2300kg. I don't think the article factors in how much weight the boat will have lost since built - presumably if it needs overplating (rather than pit welding) then a significant mass will have ..er...dissolved. I don't know if anyone has ever tried to work that out, or indeed weighed what they've swept up off the floor after the baseplate has been cleaned off, but how's 500kg for a starting point? We have had overplated, boats from 34' to 60' which have not sat noticeably lower in the water, nor have we had to raise anything other than a weedhatch on one boat which was already marginal. If necessary, removal of ballast to compensate should be a viable option in most cases.
  5. The problem with most of that is that the theory isn't backed up by practice. 1: True, but not by an amount to cause concern in any case I have yet come across. 2: Potentially, but lets worry about all the coal and logs on the coachroof first eh? Also, assuming the weight of steel added to the baseplate is greater than the footings then it won't apply will it? 3: Yes, but move the bags of coal (see above) 4: Take the coal off the roof altogether or lift the floor and take some ballast out if the boat is significantly deeper in the water. (Be careful how much coal you back up there afterwards though...) 5: Certainly can be an issue on dutch barges, but not on modern narrowboats where I would argue that the framing isn't vital to the structural integrity anyway. Decent overplating always has plug welds to support the plating. There are cleverer ways of doing it with short sheets and multiple tranverse welds too. 6: See point 5 7: Assuming the original platework is not holed, and the new welds are not porous, then there's no oxygen in there for corrosion to continue, surely? Brinklow Boats posted some pictures of a baseplate overplate they cut off a while back and the inside face of the overplate was still immaculate) That said, given the option I'd always prefer to cut out and let in because it's the right thing to do (although potentially you could get issues that way too with weld stress) but it is by no means the only option.
  6. A wise man once said: "The ideal boat is three feet longer than the one you've already got."
  7. Hi Tom, We'd be happy to see if we can help - but I can't find any message from you. Best regards, Anthony Rose Narrowboats Ltd
  8. It's late and I haven't got a calculator to hand....
  9. Just for the sake of it, let's split that £500 down: -£100 straight to the VAT man (unless you are a very small operation) -£60 fuel (if diesel heated, more if gas). Granted, few operated fuel inclusive these days. -£60 cleaning (inside and out) and laundry -£70 servicing (pump out, engine checks, internal checks) -£70 handover/office admin/credit card fee -£30 for someone to cover out of hours call out (assuming only one boat out per week in the winter). Assuming no booking fee/commission that leaves less than £100 before wear and tear (higher in the winter), breakages etc. One phone call "The steering's broken - no we definitely haven't hit anything, we're below the lock and it's just stopped working....) just as it's getting dark on Sunday afternoon and you're heavily into the red. Talking of red, fuel theft is more likely in the winter too. I suspect it's only a matter of time before a set of batteries goes walkies while the customer is in the pub. Experience says that on average you'll lose less money leaving them tied up than hiring out at that sort of price unless you know the customer, and that the people engaged in providing the services listed above would be more profitably employed on other jobs - assuming the operator also offers boatyard services. That's not to say that we don't ever offer that sort of deal, but we probably shouldn't in the accountant's eyes. However, if it were just about the money we wouldn't be doing it.
  10. The OCC numbers are in the length books. I have a copy of the most recent (1840) complete book which was still in use in the 1970s when my copy was made. The earlier ones and the 1925 part survey from Longford to Napton are at Ellesmere Port and will answer a lot of pointless questions I have about OCC bridges when I get time to get up there. The BW cruising guides where part of the drive to encourage pleasure boating - their use by commercial crews was never considered as a) they generally knew exactly where they where so didn't need them, and b) the vast majority wouldn't have been able to read them.
  11. Nearer three hundred bridges originally . I suspect the Oxford started using names only as the early maps show unique names for each bridge and not numbers, but that a numbering system was in use by the time the canal was completed to Oxford. The numbering system itself was originally quite arcane: Lift, swing and fixed bridges all had their own number sequences, all starting at "1". Evidence of this can still be seen in a couple of bridges south of Banbury which still bear the original number (carved into the keystone) as well as the post straightening number (on cast iron plate) which is a higher number.
  12. The Oxford certainly used bridge numbers prior to 1830.
  13. Looking at the way (in the video at least) it seems to create a concentrated plume of heat I predict it will be very good for sales of baffle plates....what colour crystal do you sell to help please?
  14. The offside (original lock) has always had wooden gates - I'd have thought you of all people would have remembered those particular gates
  15. Cast iron actually, and considerably more than 50 years old. All of three the "new" locks at Hillmorton were built with cast iron gates They are believed to only been removed once (in the 1960's) to have the faces re-machined since they were put in.
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