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Water Lilac Water Class Cruiser 1959-present


Becky70
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Trying to find out if there is a brochure of Water Lilac. We own her now, and at some point she changed from centre wheel to stern steering. In the photo she had a rounded stern. Then was changed to a straight full teak deck. She also had the engine in a engine room, now changed to under deck. We do have a 1972 brochure but this has the updated version and layout. Would be interested to find out when these changes happened. Especially the transformation of centre wheel to just a hatch. And where did this photo come from??? Any info would be greatly appreciated. 

 

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Has she still got the big Lister (HA2), wooden bottom and 2cwt(100kg)  ballast weights under the floor?

IIRC, a lot of work was done on the boat at Runcorn ,early 80s , not sure if that was when the stern  and steering was altered.

If she still has composite construction, some of the planks at the fore-end are relatively new, about 15 years.

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Water Lilac is mentioned in an article in Waterways Journal 20 (2018). The article is titled "Healthily Active, Mildly Adventurous, Abounding in Interest, as well as Delightfully Different - The story of British Waterways’ early involvement with leisure craft" At the top of p60 there are two photos: the one you have posted here alongside a shot showing the boat with centre steering. You can find this latter photo by searching for R2562 at collections.canalrivertrust.org.uk. Unfortunately it appears to be undated.

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1 hour ago, billh said:

Has she still got the big Lister (HA2), wooden bottom and 2cwt(100kg)  ballast weights under the floor?

IIRC, a lot of work was done on the boat at Runcorn ,early 80s , not sure if that was when the stern  and steering was altered.

If she still has composite construction, some of the planks at the fore-end are relatively new, about 15 years.

Yes she does have the HA2, and the weights. And she still has the original composite hull!! Do the weights have any special significance? We were told about alot of the past work and do have paperwork but sometimes it can be slightly unclear, on dates and the extent of the work done. I think the previous owners would have kittens if they saw it at the moment. Have had to take the whole interior refit out 1980s I think? Bar the galley kitchen. The shower/bathroom was rotten as a peach. And you know how these things go it carried on the length of the boat. We have discovered some areas of the gunnel are rotten. Going to use fillets of wood to fix. Replacing some of the framework and all new Marine Ply. She did have square windows, but now are thinking put portholes in. We would like some advice on what type of portholes to use to keep a traditional feel. But as the boat is 1935/1960 it’s a bit difficult to know how to blend the two ages. As we have a 1972 brochure we do have a layout so think we may go back to bunks either side, bathroom in the middle. How do you know about past work done? 

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It is good to see the work being carried out. I think that early hire boats are a type which are not being preserved and therefore we will shortly have only photographice reords of them. If the boat was mine I would want to restore to what the boat lookedlike and was fitted out to a given date say 1972.

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We do really want to return it to some of its originality. To much for us to have a central wheel steering. But certainly how it would have been as an original cruiser.

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It would be nice to see her in the BW hire boat style, as so few seem to have survived.

 

Portholes. We kept YARMOUTH's brass for the back cabin and engine'ole, but the front cabin got aluminium ones and painted in a contrast to the cabins sides (after the steel cabin was put on).

 

Before: Plywood cabin sides, steel top. It had a wooden top prior to, but a previous owner went through it jumping from a lockside.

Never a hire boat to our knowledge. Converted from an open day boat circa 1962, shortened to 60', and re-named 'GOLDEN VALLEY'

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Interesting what hull is it? Ours is a Woolwich. Exactly same roof profile like ours. How could you have steel roof on ply sides wouldn’t that be heavy? Or was it wooden skinned with steel? Never seen a stern with the curve and straight deck together!!

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Edited by Becky70
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YARMOUTH (if indeed that was the boats original name, there is some doubt as there were never any distinguishing numbers anywhere) was one of 24 horse boats built by Braithwaite & Kirk for Fellows Morton & Clayton between 1912 & 1914: https://hnbc.org.uk/boats/yarmouth

Some of Pete Harrison's data on B & K:

Braithwaite & Kirk had their yard just along from the bottom lock at Ryders Green. They are still going (I think) and specialise in bridge building.

 

The ply cabin sides were pop rivetted onto a metal one inch square box framework, as was the curved steel roof. As such, it was quite a strong structure, lined in T & G with polystyrene sheeting as insulation.

 

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The diagonal bars from hull sides were bolted into the wooden bottoms. The intention seemed to be to stop the sides from spreading. It didn't work.

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On 24/07/2020 at 10:16, Becky70 said:

Yes she does have the HA2, and the weights. And she still has the original composite hull!! Do the weights have any special significance? We were told about alot of the past work and do have paperwork but sometimes it can be slightly unclear, on dates and the extent of the work done. I think the previous owners would have kittens if they saw it at the moment. Have had to take the whole interior refit out 1980s I think? Bar the galley kitchen. The shower/bathroom was rotten as a peach. And you know how these things go it carried on the length of the boat. We have discovered some areas of the gunnel are rotten. Going to use fillets of wood to fix. Replacing some of the framework and all new Marine Ply. She did have square windows, but now are thinking put portholes in. We would like some advice on what type of portholes to use to keep a traditional feel. But as the boat is 1935/1960 it’s a bit difficult to know how to blend the two ages. As we have a 1972 brochure we do have a layout so think we may go back to bunks either side, bathroom in the middle. How do you know about past work done? 

 

The  2cwt. weights have special significance to  one's lumbar regions if they have to be moved!

The boat was moored with us  in the last century, I assisted  the  skilled artisans with labouring  on various maintenance works on the boat over the years.

 

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