I attach a photo of
Sananna II taken yesterday at her moorings on the Thames in Port Meadow (Bossoms
Boatyard at Binsey just outside Oxford). The other internal photos I took
before I did any of the work described below. I am having to learn some DIY
skills in the process, which has astounded my wife who had given me up
completely on that score.
1) replacing the cabin doors with 18 mm marine plywood (the previous ones
seem to have been made of MDF were falling of their hinges);2) also making a
much more solid sliding hatch (you could put your fist through the previous
one). The mooring is not a terribly secure site especially on the Port Meadow
side - it is not unknown for boat owners to find that people have been
sleeping rough on their boats - but it would take a pretty determined attempt
to get into either cabin now.
3) I have also put in a hinged marine plywood hatch to provide access to the
engine from the rear cabin - before it was a just a piece of screwed on MDF
which had got very soggy and meant that you had to stick your head out the
rear window to prime the engine (see photo).
4) I have also replaced the wooden rear window shelf which had lost all its
varnish and provided All sort of opportunities for rain to get in to the
cabin. as a result much of the plywood panelling in the rear cabin was rotten
and falling to bits. I have made a start in replacing this but there is a lot
more to do (also in the cockpit).
The Oxford Canal joins the river about a mile downstream from the mooring and
runs by the back of my house. . So I have acquired a BWB 30 day Explorer
licence which is ideal for short canal trips without having to experience the
full weight of BWB's licence fees. I can moor her overnight just 100 yards
from my house which is handy. One nice little voyage is the "loop" from Port
Meadow joining the canal downstream at "Isis" lock , up the canal past my
house through a couple more canal locks to where the "Dukes Cut" allows one to
rejoin the river at Kings Lock (we are now back on what was once Thames
Conservancy - now Environment Agency - territory ) and back down through
Godstow Lock onto the Port Meadow reach and back to the moorings.
I had the engine overhauled and fitted with a rudder which provides much
better steering especially on the canal. It is very narrow in places not
least where the "boat people" (whom Philip Pullman has immortalised in his
books) are moored and outboards are not very sensitive when it comes to
steering a slow speed. The locals can be very critical of cruiser owners.
The most recent expenditure has been to get "Coverit" to repair the cover
where it was losing its rear window and some stitching was coming undone so at
least it should now be OK to survive the coming winter (not that the summer
was much better).
The main problem I now have to address a) the wiring and b) small leaks. The
hull seems to be basically OK but rain water seeps through the GRP from a few
places above where it collects in pools on the deck for any length of time.
The deck seems to have been blue originally but at some point all the decks
and "superstructure" ( a rather grandiose term for such a small boat!) has
been painted white which is now beginning to crack and peel off. I think I
am going to need some expert advice on how to deal with that. I fear some of
these problems developed during the long period of Phil Perry's (the previous
owner's) illness when she was left largely unattended.
Apart from the picture taken yesterday in the sunshine am afraid I do not
have any "after" photos though I have a feeling Phil may have sent you one (I
may be mistaken on that). My plan is to get some fun out of her next year
with day trips on the river and canal and perhaps letting my sons take longer
trips down to say Henley or up to Lechlade with their girlfriends. I am
afraid my wife is not a great boating fan (she has been very supportive so far
but I know that she doesn't really enjoy being afloat) and I may well sell