';

everything’s coming up roses

everything's coming up roses

narrowboat woolies is transformed!

It is so good when you get to see a narrowboat completely made over through the superb skills of a couple of traditional artists.

Julie Tonkin, trading as Art by Julie, has been in the business for 20 years, but on this occasion she was joined by a relative newcomer Kerri Williams, also known as 'the heritage crafter'.

Graham Paton, owner of narrow boat “The Woolies” has always been a great fan of the traditional artwork created by Julie Tonkin. He already had many of her creations on his boat, so when he decided to have 36 panels painted, Julie was the obvious choice.

He took his boat to Julie in Netherton on the Dudley Number 2 Canal for his artwork to be done. As Julie says, "Graham has the most wonderful engine room which houses his Gardner engine with lots of panels on the walls needing decoration as well as a back door and 3 side hatches."

The work was such a big job that Julie enlisted the help of Kerri Williams, previously Julie's student, then apprentice, then assistant, and now an established traditional artist in her own right. Julie says of her "Kerri is a very talented painter of the future who is keen to uphold the tradition."

julie tonkin nb woolies

julie tonkin nb woolies

Canal Art by Julie

Together they painted the panels in Craftmasters heritage green undercoat with a red frame, yellow undercoat around the panels and, after painting roses and daisies, they added scumble paint and 2 coats of clear varnish.

"There were 36 panels in total and we counted 124 roses, we didn’t even count the daisies!"

Canal Art by Julie

Canal Art by Julie

If you would like your boat doors and panels painted with roses and castles, or items for your boat, please contact us. Julie  and Kerri.

Canal Art by JulieI decorate narrowboats and all sorts of items for narrowboats including water cans, stools, coal skuttles etc. I trade on e bay as "juliecanalart", you can find me on e bay in the "canal barge ware" section. I am also to be found at canal fetes and craft fayres.

I teach canal art as a college subject and to groups

Contact Julie by email, visit her website,  or follow her on Facebook.

kerri williams the heritage crafterHi I’m Kerri - artist, designer and chief mischief maker at The Heritage Crafter.

My passion is decorative art, created on the boat dock or in my paint splattered workshop. The results can be seen here.

Although I have a range of ready painted items, commissions are always welcome.

Contact Kerri by email, visit her website or follow her on Facebook

water and waste tanks for boats

water and waste tanks for boats

the best in fabricated plastic tanks

what we make

We at Goodwin Plastics are now in our 25th year of manufacturing and what a journey we have travelled. From pig farming to the establishing of a large plastics company and then on to the design, manufacture and distribution of bespoke products for all types of industry including agriculture, sports and leisure, and emergency services. We now ship our products to several different countries.

But one of our main businesses is the manufacture of water and waste tanks for canal boats and yachts.

why make tanks out of plastic?

We have come a long way in our manufacture of plastics, until we are now creating the best fabricated plastics on the market.

When creating water tanks, plastic is the perfect material.  It can take any shape or size, is extremely tough and can be made right here at Goodwin Plastics in Crewe.

We make plastic water tanks to meet all specifications.

Polypropylene tanks are very easy to clean, light weight and don’t harbour bacteria - while stainless steel tanks can be very heavy, and do have a tendency to rust at the welded joint.

why are our tanks baffled?

All tanks are fully Internally baffled to help reduce the movement of the liquid which otherwise could cause stress on the tank sides.

Inside the water tanks the baffles are from top to base with areas cut out to allow the passing of water and for the air to escape.

On our waste holding tanks the welding of the tank is the same as that of the water tanks, but the design of the internal baffle is different.

The baffles inside the waste tank are shaped more like a bridge so there is no obstruction for the waste to get behind and build up.

reliable and durable plastic fittings

Our aim is always to make exactly what you need and to use the best possible materials to do it.  That’s why we use plastic such as Perspex and polycarbonate sheeting along with other styles of plastic fabrication.  That way, whatever we make is a strong as possible, durable and long lasting and needs only basic maintenance.

choosing the right tank

Sometimes you know you need a tank but aren’t quite sure of the specifications or dimensions.  We are happy to help with this by assisting you to work out the size of the tank you need before designing it.  All of the tanks we make also come with a standard BSP threaded sockets that are welded into the tank as well as hose tails supplied to screw into position.

All tanks are fabricated with Polypropylene which is a tough and durable plastic that has a high impact strength.

We can provide tanks for any purpose across the country and also offer a range of other plastic fabrications for professional or personal use.

working out the volume

To work out the volume of the tank that you require, there is a calculation as below:

e.g. Fresh water tank 48″ x 24″ x 24″ :

48 x 24 x 24 = 27648 cubic Inches. Divide this by 1728. This will give you the cubic feet volume (16).  Multiply this figure by 6.25, this will give you the volume of the tank in  gallons (100), multiply this figure by 4.54 for litres (454)
The volume of this tank 48″ x 24″ x 24″ is 100 gallon or 454 litres.

Full range of water tanks

We offer a range of water tanks suitable for boats, campers and other mobile homes.

These include water tanks with a pump available in different sizes to ensure you have a steady supply of fresh water.  We also offer polypropylene water tanks that can sit under the hull or bow floor of a boat and meet the latest RINA and AISR standards.

Other tank variations include flare edged polypropylene tanks complete with inspection cover, tri water tanks and also wall hanging water tanks.  The last of these is ideal for mounting behind cabinets or interspaces and have a level indicator flange.

goodwin plasticsWe specialize in creating water and fuel tanks made to standard or custom specifications.  We work in a range of plastic materials including polycarbonate and Perspex.

We can create what you need from scratch if we don’t already have it.  Call us today for an initial no-obligation quote for any plastic fabrication needs.

Tel: 01270 582 516
Visit: website link
Email: sales@goodwinplastics.co.uk
And don't forget to like us on Facebook

choose the way you cruise

choose the way you cruise

conquer land or water with the caravanboat Departure One M & XL

caravanboat logo

caravan boat

Living off the grid just got even more interesting!  When we heard the word ‘Caravanboat’ floating around we decided it was too good of an opportunity to miss, so ‘cast off’ those doubts (that was a sailing joke) and get ready for the strangest and most awesome caravan boat in existence!

meet the caravanboat

The tiny house can come in all shapes and sizes, in fact there are really no rules about how you should begin a life of off grid living.

The one factor that people normally take into account is whether they want to live on the land or on the water, but with the Caravanboat you can do both with ease. The Departure One is both a caravan and a fully motorized houseboat for those van dwellers that just can’t get enough of the water! It’s the ultimate cure for Wanderlust, letting you go pretty much wherever you want whenever you feel like it.

what’s inside the caravanboat?

The Departure One Caravanboat is fully kitted out for getting off grid, and has been designed so that you can stock up on supplies for two days living without having to hook up to extra power or refill water for drinking or cooking. What’s more, the Caravanboat has solar panels on the roof so that you can power up on the go or connect to an electrical hook up once you’re back on land.

The Departure One has enough room for four people to sleep inside, and it’s got a fully fitted bathroom too.

There’s a kitchen with induction hobs, hot plate and fridge, and the covered terrace area means that you can sit and enjoy the ocean whilst eating or relaxing with friends. Plus there's a ship's steering wheel inside – any vehicle with a ship's wheel must be OK!

what about landlubbers?

The engine folds up so it’s out of the way when you’re on the land, and a pull out awning means you can keep dry when the elements are against you.

The Caravanboat XL is 8.00m in length and 2.45m in width, but if you’re used to towing trailers with an SUV then you’ll be absolutely fine driving down those tight country lanes.

There are also USB charging points, batteries, LED lights and an on board water heater.

final thoughts…

We love the sense of freedom that the Caravanboat brings to the camping experience, and now you can really take your trip into those far reaches that were otherwise unreachable when you only had your camper with you. On land or off land, the Caravanboat is a luxury vehicle that compliments your sense of adventure and can take you to some truly exciting places. At an affordable price, the caravanboat offers sheer luxury and the freedom to choose how and where you cruise.

editor's note

The Caravan Boat is manufactured in Germany, and the manufacturers are looking for an agent in the UK. The Caravanboat meets UK standards and apart from the road tax for your vehicle, the only thing you will need is a waterways licence for when you are on the water.

You can get short term water licences from the Environment Agency, a one week or one month licence from CRT (for spreading days afloat through the year) and an annual licence for Lake Windermere - worthwhile as it is currently only £19 .

The other thing you would need to consider is launching places. Many Marinas have both Caravan Sites and Slipways. In fact the Caravanboat would be an exciting purchase option for Marinas and Holiday Hire companies who would be able to offer their customers a very different boating, camping or combination holiday.

IF YOU HAVE ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, WHY NOT LOOK AT OUR ARTICLE ON THE 1970S BRITISH EQUIVALENT - THE CARABOAT. CLICK HERE TO READ

 

canalboat agent wanted

We only allow selected shipyards and suppliers to work together on our products and monitor the entire process chain from planning to the purchasing chain and production processes to delivery. Our customers benefit from this effective production concept, which enables good product quality and market-driven sales prices.

Our clients can accompany the entire construction project in close cooperation with us in all work steps and can thus incorporate change requests during the construction progress. Together we build an individual caravan boat for our customers.

caravanboat logo

+49 172 419 72 84 SALES
info@caravanboat.de
https://www.caravanboat.de/

winterise your boat

winterising your boat

tips from river canal rescue to help you save on costly repair bills

With winters getting colder and sub-zero temperatures becoming more common, River Canal Rescue has put together some tips on how to winterise your narrowboat and so avoid costly repair bills.

Read More

babies to boats

babies to boats

a journey of new beginnings

If someone had told me 4 years ago when I semi retired from the NHS  that I would own and run a narrow boat holiday business instead of looking after mummies and babies , I wouldn't have believed them for a moment!  And yet here I am running, single-handedly, Tiller Girl Narrow Boat Holidays.

mummies and babies

tiller girl melanie franklin pryce

Having spent my 45 year working life with the NHS, firstly as a Cardiac ICU nurse then Registered Midwife. I have been so very fortunate to have had an exceptional career. I love meeting and working with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, its what makes life interesting and varied.

Having cared for  women, babies and their families for the past 26 years it has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I have loved every minute (Well nearly every one...).

But all good things come to an end and times change. The opportunity to take flexi retirement. I would have more time with my family and hobbies, but keep one leg in midwifery and still maintain a working wage. It seemed to be a good move.

I had for some time been thinking of having a second income such as a self catering property and had been looking for a small cottage preferably in the Yorkshire dales (I'm a Yorkshire lass through and through) or on the Yorkshire Coast to invest my hard earned pension.

My eldest son Ben who bought a narrow boat a few years ago to live aboard and who completely rebuilt the interior, said 'Mum, a narrow boat would be better!'   He  felt it would be easier to maintain and hire out, being closer to home. So off we went to have a look.

a boat of my own

tiller girl luxury boat hire

We were offered a viewing there and then... she really seemed to fit the bill and because she was only 4 years old, we felt she would be a sound investment. My father always said when making a big decision, sleep on it and if it still feels good in the morning then do it!

I had searched the internet to look at average costs and what type and standard of narrow boat was available, the range was mind blowing but we felt that this was the one for us and had lots of potential.

Within a week the job was done!  Following a full survey (which we would always suggest!) and  a bottom blacking, John and I moved her to Sawley Marina and changed her name to Tiller Girl which was John's suggestion because, as he keeps telling me, she is my boat, not ours!

I must admit to waking a few times in the night with  'what have I done, that's a lot of money to spend!' but on the whole couldn't  wait to get started on the refurb!

Tiller Girl was built as a 2 berth live aboard in 2014 and I felt she would  perfectly fit the bill of my idea to have a couples' retreat, a luxury boat for time out and relaxation as well as family holidays.

Then came months of the steepest learning curve ever!  I thought my midwifery  studies were hard, but this was a different kettle of fish and with no guidance or  tutor but myself! Although we had had many river and canal holidays growing up as a family, and having a brother and nephew as marine engineers,  I still spent many an hour on the internet researching hire companies, insurers, Facebook narrow boat pages and the Canal and River Trust website to find out what I needed to run my own hire boat - as well as reading all the manuals and building specs of the boat. My brother Rob, now answers the phone to me  'Canal boat engineer support'! He says I only phone him when I need something...!

interior

And then we started on making the interior into what I felt would be expected of a luxury hire boat.

Every bit of the internal woodwork has been cleaned and sanded, waxed or painted,  a carpenter friend carried out a refit of some of the internal doors,  fitted new oak worktops and breakfast bar and righted all the wrongs or 'unsafes' that were highlighted on the survey. Ben helped me with loads of advice and support with painting some of the exterior.

Learning the ins and outs of how to service and look after a beta marine engine and how the electrics and batteries worked was difficult to say the least and so much to take on board that I must admit to feeling overwhelmed and having doubts whether I could ever manage the boat maintenances. But I pulled up my big girl knickers and faced it head on!

Applying for the commercial licence from The Canal and River Trust meant I had to write a hand over manual which was pretty comprehensive and descriptive and again other boat companies were a great resource (No plagiarizing though!) and having  a good understanding of writing health and safety with the NHS it was finally accepted and my license arrived! The Boat Safety Certificate had to be completed for commercial hire but very little needed to be done which was great news to my  bank account!

Julie Cutts, the manager at Sawley Marina where we decided to moor her,  was an absolute gem as are all the staff (and many of the boat neighbours) and have supported me all the way with great wealth of knowledge of hire boat companies, to mooring and giving us our own embarkation point at the marina and for all of this I pay a commercial mooring fee which is an extra 30%.

I'm sure every narrow boat owner has a dislike for the wind when trying to navigate a 57 foot boat of steel in any wind stronger that a whiff of breeze!  Marinas are so tight on space and with other boaters (experienced or not!) watching and commenting(!) makes it even worse getting out and on to the canal! Red faces and lots of apologies were often the order of the day when first starting to learn manoeuvres! So having the embarkation next to the canal was a god send in the beginning.

Great working relationships are the key, and luckily having experienced this in my job as a community midwife made it easier when dealing with companies, boaters and the general public.

Then COVID-19 reared it's nasty viral head and everything came to a sudden stop! I fully refunded everyone who had made a booking and by this time, funds were running low. I couldn't carry out the planned external painting and the Marina was flooded. So a worrying time all round.

The external painting didn't happen apart from little bits here and there to make her more presentable. Tiller Girl is Sapphire blue and orange and not the colour I had imagined my hire boat  to be, but we have had so many positive comments on the 'Floating Jaffa Cake' that she will remain as she is and I have built our image around it.

By the time I was free to go back on to Tiller Girl, I was eager to get started. Time was running short and I needed her ready for when I could get her out on the water and earn some money!

Enquiries for holidays started coming in as soon as the Facebook, Instagram and web pages were up and running. I had cards printed and sent them to all the marinas in the area, left them on shop notice boards and in chandleries and the marina office.

Bookings for spring and summer came in although a great many enquiries did not lead to bookings.

I wondered if it was to do with the cost/pricing. I had thoroughly researched costs of other hire boats and took an average although I was advised to put the prices slightly higher as it was felt to be 'an exceptional hire boat'.

I offered to donate money to a spaniel re homing group from any bookings on their website which worked well.

I maintained low season prices as I felt this may stimulate custom and it certainly seemed to work as I was fully booked until mid October! Dates had to be flexible due to COVID giving 72 hours between bookings, deep cleaning and my part time work Rota at Sherwood Forest Hospitals

As soon as we were given the all clear from the CRT and the government to begin hiring, I had many more bookings and enquires and our first guests arrived on the 27th July!

Hand over is intensive and  takes around 2 hours, with a tour of the internal features including fire safety, exits and cassette toilet. I encourage all hirers to read the manual and watch the videos on the website prior to coming on Tiller Girl and ask them to sign an agreement that holds them responsible for the boat.

All hand overs are  socially distanced with face masks and hand sanitizer. I have removed many of the luxury features such as books, games and soft furnishings  due to covid-19 and strictly follow the government guidance on deep cleaning.

We then leave the Marina and guide them through to first lock, discuss and demonstrate casting off and mooring up, good water etiquette  and boat manoeuvrability amongst every thing else.

It's a massive amount to take on board (Literally!) and when the guests feel happyish and me too, I leave them and make my way back to the Marina on foot or bicycle. I wish I could take a picture of their faces when I leave! There's such a mixture of panic,  realization and excitement that it's now all up to them!!

There have been a few hiccoughs along the way which I have managed to straighten out without too much hassle; Lack of battery power, inverter problems (due to lack of Battery power), water ingress from the mushroom vents in torrential rain and a leaking stern gland, all manageable thank goodness.

I have my phone next to me 24 hours a day so guests can ring me at any time, I must say they have been very respectful! Experienced HGV drivers and caravan owners seem  have a better understanding of manoeuvrability, the contribution of strong winds and battery power.

Safety is my main concern and I work hard to maintain good safety procedures and an extensive hand over to ensure that beginners are fully aware of the dangers of the water, especially around locks. My heart was in my mouth as I watched a not young, returning guest walk along the roof of Tiller Girl entering a lock!  We supply a range of sizes of buoyancy aids - even some for dogs as we are pet friendly.

I have had a very hard season running Tiller Girl, working as a healthcare professional through covid-19 which led to a much higher work load in the NHS and the strict deep cleaning on Tiller Girl.

There is still plenty to do to reach Tiller Girl's full potential but I am looking forward to another hopefully successful season with much still to learn and experience and many more wonderful guests to welcome aboard.

I have taken the plunge and will be retiring fully from the NHS in January 2021 to focus full time on Tiller Girl! Fingers crossed!

Melanie Franklin-Pryce is the owner of Luxury Narrowboat Hire 'Tiller Girl'.

Tiller Girl is based in Sawley Marina on the Trent and Mersey canal.

07739 709 242
ask@tillergirl.com
https://www.tillergirl.com

coalcage

coalcage

an ingenious idea which saves you time, effort and fuel!

Isn’t it funny how things go around sometimes?

Wayne & Rosie with coalcageLong ago I met my future wife after mooring up next to her. We spent the next few years being young ‘love-aboards’ and enjoying Narrowboat life.

We then did the ‘house thing’ and 30 years later, after ending up with the neighbours from hell, we decided to return to Narrowboat life.

We revelled in the freedom of it all again and, once we’d got used to the space, settled down to the usual daily routines of boaty life.

One of these was the stove. The good old glow in the corner.

It was while going through the usual faff of coming in and getting the stove going that I thought that there must be some way of improving this procedure.

You know what it’s like - bits of paper, firefighters, carefully stacked kindling and the precarious balancing act of the coals. Then watching it all fall apart and trying to jiggle things about and re-stack etc etc only for it to go out and start again.

It suddenly dawned on me that if it had a basket of some sorts I could just bung it all in and it would take the faff and balancing act out of the procedure.

I got the pliers out and made a rough prototype out of an old fire guard and, guess what, it worked a treat!

I couldn’t believe it! It worked and it was so simple.

All of a sudden I had a stack of glowing coal that looked good and all I had to do was top it up. In fact what I soon realised was that I could actually put an amount in that would last me all day with no constant topping up and no over-filling of the stove base. The pyramid of coal was no more!

I couldn’t wait to tell my wife when she came home.

All we could do was sit and look at it! It was better than telly!

coalcageSurely, I asked myself, there must be something available already? No - nothing. Nothing at all like it was available as a stove accessory for coal.

I wanted to tell my acquaintances in my boaty world but it dawned on me that I may have stumbled upon a potential future income that needed more thinking about.

The original prototype lasted a week!!! I didn’t realise that metal burned!

This meant getting into the qualities of materials. I learnt more about physics and metallurgy over the next few weeks than I had at school!

Stainless steel and sturdy construction was the way forward. Another prototype - and this was the answer.

Wherever we moored we would be off sneaking about in stove shops measuring grate sizes to get the most appropriate size for a mixture of stoves.

Next it was off to Birmingham to have a chat at Birmingham Library with the Intellectual Property team and access to a free interview with a Patent Lawyer.

All the while this process was going on it was the hardest thing to keep quiet! We we’re so excited with how it was working and improving our stove experience. Visitors to the boat were kept at a minimum whilst we tried surreptitiously to draw any attention away from our stove. We now couldn’t imagine life without it!

I was constantly trawling the internet and trade magazines in case I’d missed it somewhere but, no, it appeared that we had definitely stumbled onto something.

The big leap was taking out the Patent Application and the costs, plus trademarking the name and registering the design.

We went through the usual ‘think of a name’ scenarios and decided that ‘Coalcage’ was what it was, and what it did, so decided that this was it. This is what we’d called it from it’s inception anyway!

I wanted it to be a UK product so searched for a supplier and, after few brush offs, I found my saviour up north and a fabulous Victorian family business who could produce the quality the product needed.

Getting the first batch was so exciting as it suddenly became real. Boxes and labels agreed with a local printer and we were away.

It’s hard to believe that it’s taken two years to get this far!

The way things are going with the government's clean air policy we are being encouraged to use smokeless fuels and wood. Smokeless fuels are being better regulated all the time so using it in conjunction with a Coalcage can only benefit future emissions as it doesn’t encourage you to overload your stove and waste coal. It allows you to quickly establish a deep fire-bed that feeds itself with better control. As it’s open ended it also doesn’t impede any riddling mechanisms in the stoves grate. It could also prolong the stove's life by reducing ‘hot spots’ and stove fractures.

We’ll be out and about selling from the boat wherever we are throughout the year. Price is £20 plus £4 postage. They’re also available from Midland Chandlers & Venetian Marina.

Hopefully you’ll catch us at some point but we are also able to sell via the website www.coalcage.com

or EBay, or you can contact us at coalcageinfo@gmail.com for individual enquiries.

Rosie & Wayne Sharman live aboard their narrowboat James Arthur and if you are lucky enough to spot them on the cut, you can buy directly from their boat.

Alternatively you can order one direct from their website, by phoning Wayne or by emailing them.

Tel: 07776 217 125 Write:  coalcageinfo@gmail.com Visit: www.coalcage.com

Coalcage is also available from most chandleries, and on Ebay.

excel voted best fuel among boaters

excel - voted best fuel among boaters

Oxbow Coal Ltd were delighted to win Canals Online Magazine’s award for best fuel among boaters for our premium quality Excel briquettes. The fuel is hugely popular among the boating community up and down the country and we’re very proud that Excel has truly become the fuel of the houseboat over the last few years.

oxbowThe Excel briquettes are produced at our plant in County Durham in the North East of England.

Originally the plant had ovens and baked the briquettes but after a fire burned the facility down, they were forced to start again. With no money to replace the ovens then owner John Bartlett came up with a plan to produce the country’s first cold cure briquettes.

That vision blossomed over the years and Oxbow partnered with John’s business in the late 90’s before acquiring the business in 2014, by which time Excel and Oxbow’s other fuels Red, Newheat and Glow were all established as firm favourites in the home heating market.

OxbowSince then Oxbow have learned not to mess with the classics and the Excel remains consistently top quality with the recipe largely unchanged for many years.

While other manufacturers produce countless different fuels, Oxbow chose a different route as the ‘stove revolution’ began early in the 2010’s.

excel briquettes. OxbowInstead of bringing out a new fuel to compliment the open fire fuel Excel was considered to be, Oxbow, with minor adjustments, made the fuel versatile enough in its own right to be considered a multi-purpose fuel.

Whether used on a closed appliance, a multi-fuel stove or on an open fire, the fuel remained the premium brand on the market at an affordable price.

It’s also a fully approved smokeless fuel, so when the legislation changes next year nothing will change and it’s also fully HETAS approved.

For those not aware of the difference Excel can make, like all of the Oxbow fuels it’s very low in ash compared to its competitors - meaning a lot less time spent cleaning out the ash pan. In addition it’s a high heat output fuel and gives a long lasting burning.

All in all the ideal fuel for the boating community. We’re proud to be your first choice fuel.

Oxbow coals logoOxbow Coal Ltd provides a diverse line of products, backed by expert technical support and knowledgeable customer service. Our philosophy is that the most effective way to earn a customer’s trust and loyalty is through the superior performance of our products as well as the energy and talent of our people.

01469 577 635
Immingham@oxbow.com
http://oxbowcoal.com/products-and-services/1

lockdown – here we go again!

lockdown - here we go again!

aqueduct marina learns to live with covid 19

Aqueduct Marina - first lockdownHere we go again. Locked down, so why does it feel different?

Back in March locked down for the first time felt like starting a new school. It was a combination of fear and excitement mixed with a determination to make the best of it.

This time round it is like the middle years of school, starting the Autumn term. The novelty has worn off, leaving school seems a long way off and there are some important exams ahead.

aqueduct marina perspex screensIt does feel vastly different, not only because schools and colleges are staying open, but we have now, as standard, Perspex screens at customer contact points, one way systems and people wearing masks. In short we have learned to live with Covid.

The other major difference from the spring lock down is that November is a time of year when we generally start to see less of our customers visiting their boats as the cruising season has finished and C&RT start to close locks and bridges for maintenance. Whereas in the spring the opposite applies, we were gearing up for the spring rush.

Where it has impacted us is the onsite café that normally remains open 12 months of the year. , Our cafe has had to close again as it was not worthwhile doing take-away. So, our four café staff are back on furlough for the time being. The decision to re-open the cafe after the lock down will very much depend on the restrictions (tier level) we are put into. Working with family groups and those in a ‘bubble’ only was proving unviable.

The Brokerage operation has also been curtailed because we cannot carryout viewings in person. Combined with getting boats in for sale which can be difficult over the winter anyway, Covid restrictions will make for an even more tricky winter period.

aqueduct marina boats for sale We are though still successfully completing sales already in the system, with buyers not pulling out.

Encouragingly we are also getting enquiries from new boat buyers who are generally buying to a specification rather than relying on a viewing.

Though the sooner we can get back to viewings in person by appointment the better.

The Chandlery is interesting, we found it actually worked quite satisfactorily during the first lockdown as a Click and collect outlet, with customers happily phoning/emailing ahead and collecting, then paying either over the phone or we emailed an invoice out for online payment. So, the Chandlery will revert to this C&C system only for the time being.

This system also works for the diesel and pump-out which have remained successfully DIY all summer.

aqueduct marina work going onMoorings with customers visiting their boats are normally quieter at this time of year, but this year combined with the lockdown is even more apparent. Though on the plus side the engineers are getting asked to do a few pieces of work on boats as the owners cannot get down.

The storage yard is similar to the moorings but does have a few more frustrated owners who had planned to do some out-of-water DIY maintenance and are unable to attend to their boat.

In summary, this second lockdown feels much less dramatic than April, with business as usual in most areas.

While typing, the American election has a winner, and a Covid vaccine appears a more realistic possibility next year. Just get Brexit Done and we may have a much more positive 2021-2022 than many predicted even a few weeks ago. Just need to knuckle down now and revise for those exams!

Aqueduct Marina LogoRobert Parton is the managing director and owner of Aqueduct Marina - a modern, award winning marina on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union near Nantwich.

Call: 01270 525 040  Visit: Website Link

very different personalised canal boat gift idea!

stoke art pottery

brings you a very different, personalised canal boat gift idea!

the beginnings of stoke art pottery

Established in 2006, Stoke Art Pottery was perhaps a bit of an accident. First of all, we are not a pottery or even "potters". But an online store, selling high quality pottery and ceramics.

The owner of Stoke Art Pottery, Malcolm Dean, realised that the potteries landscape in Stoke on Trent was changing dramatically. Instead of the area being dominated by very large factories, there were now a large number of small potters and ceramic artists working independently, setting up their own studios or working from home. Malcolm thought there was an opportunity here: he could work with these people to develop their businesses, and Stoke Art Pottery was born.

Being based in Stoke on Trent was quite an advantage. It enabled Malcolm to work very closely with the Ceramic Artists, enabling him to offer Studio Trials and One Offs that were totally exclusive to Stoke Art Pottery.

who are these ceramic artists?

The first ceramic artist to come on board was Anita Harris. Formerly the Lead Designer at Poole Pottery, Anita was also a senior designer at Moorcroft.  Alan Clarke (another well known designer for Poole Pottery) and Deborah Wood (hand painter of Brian Wood Designs) soon followed.

grotesque birds - stoke art pottery

It was not long before Stoke Art Pottery were also stockists for Lorna Bailey Artware, Burslem Pottery (famous for their Grotesque Birds inspired by the Martins Brothers),  Emma Bailey Ceramics, and Marie Graves (a well established designer for Carlton Ware). In addition to several other ceramic artists.

the potteries' best kept secret

The close working relationship that Malcolm had with each potter and artist worked extremely well with Anthony (Tony) Cartlidge.

Tony has been a free-lance ceramic modeller and artist for some considerable time, and  is often described as one of the best kept secrets of the Potteries.

Normally working with many of the large pottery manufacturers based in Stoke on Trent, Tony's career has included designing and modelling two-sided character teapots for Royal Doulton.  These were produced in 2002, each one in a world-wide Limited Edition of 1500.

stoke art pottery character teapots

royal doulton character teapots

However, probably one his most exciting projects was being involved in designing and modelling “The World’s Largest Toby Jug".

the largest toby jug in the world

Standing over three feet tall, this Toby Jug was commissioned by the American Toby Jug Museum, based near to Chicago in the USA.

Tony modelled it, building up the three-foot Toby Jug around a barrel and a bucket.

Tony says it was probably one of the most complex projects that he had ever worked on, due to the extreme size of the jug, and having to ensure that it did not collapse around him!

It was then hand painted.

The first giant Toby Jug was delivered to the museum in 1999, with others available by special order (limited edition of 50).

 

stoke art pottery - exclusive designs.

hand painted vase by tony CartlidgeMore recently, Tony has been hand painting vases with his own designs for Stoke Art Pottery, each design being totally exclusive.

It was through the close working relationship that Malcolm had with Tony that the idea for the Personalized Canal Boat Gifts was conceived.

Tony had designed and painted vases with canal scenes, and during various discussions someone said, (and no one can remember who, exactly) "How about personalising these designs with individual canal boat owners own boats?"

hand painted vase by tony cartlidgeThe idea was hatched - so after some heart searching it was decided we should go ahead and offer the facility of hand painting owners own canal boats onto the scenes already developed.

These hand crafted vases would be totally hand painted with one off designs, Totally different and unique!

fantastic souvenir and a great gift idea!

Just picture your own boat on one of our hand painted ceramic vases, with a choice of different locations (currently Trent & Mersey and the Macclesfield Canals).  A totally unique piece of pottery. Hand painted by one of the Leading Ceramic Artists, Tony Cartlidge. Each one will be signed by the artist and designer. And will come with a signed Certificate of Authentication.

the craftsman at work

stoke art potteries - hand drawing on vase

Tony Cartlidge hand painting design on vase

Anthony Cartlidge with one of his creationsThe hand drawing and hand painting of each vase will take three to four days to complete. The delivery time for each order is 28 days, and as already stated, each will come with its own certificate of authentication.

stoke art pottery

Stoke Art Pottery is an on-line business, but we endeavour to give a personal service online. We are a small family business, not a faceless large business. Your custom matters to us. If there is a problem it gets sorted quickly and professionally. Regretfully on occasions something does go wrong. Or mistakes are made. That is Life! Thankfully these instances are very rare.

Call: 07872 435 590 Write: info@stokeartpottery.co.uk Visit: website

painting tips for canal boats

painting tips for canal boats

expert advice from rylard paints

COLOUR CHOICE 

When choosing colours, ensure that comparisons are undertaken in daylight. It is always advisable to compare colours with a painted boat as it is difficult to appreciate the colour in large areas. Our printed colour charts have accurate colour rendition but the enamel will appear to be lighter when applied to large areas, especially when adjoining complementary colours.

Where possible, ensure that you have the same batch number for the finish coats.

CONDITIONS
rylard paints for canal boatsWeather conditions play an important part when painting outside. Avoid if possible painting in direct sunlight or when the boat is obviously warm to the touch. The ideal temperature for painting is between 12oC and 20oC. Higher temperatures could result in poor flow, rapid drying and loss of gloss. Windy conditions will lead to dirt pick-up and faster drying. Do not apply in damp conditions and aim at finishing painting by mid-afternoon, as overnight condensation may affect the finish.

Drying times will vary considerably depending on conditions, but at 20oC in still air, light touch-dry for both undercoats and topcoats will be 1 to 3 hours, and through-drying will be 12 to 24 hours. If possible, longer drying times should be allowed before overcoating as this will make rubbing down easier. Where low temperatures are experienced and there is little air movement, drying times can be as much as doubled, so take this into account when judging when to apply the next coat.

A dust-free environment is essential to obtain a really good gloss finish. The removal of dust prior to painting is essential, and dust and debris must be removed between the sanding of each coat and the application of the next.

Rylard Plus Enamel has a high pigment level and therefore thorough stirring is necessary. Best results are achieved with a wide flat-ended blade or a piece of clean, flat-ended wood. Screwdrivers are not efficient for stirring! It is advisable not to wear loose or woollen clothing when painting as this can contaminate the freshly painted surfaces.

PREPARATION OF SURFACE

Rylard paints bare metalBARE STEEL

Preparation: For best results, steel should be blast cleaned. This is not always possible, so alternatively mechanical cleaning by sanding and wire brushing can be undertaken to remove any rust.

Cleaning: The surface should then be thoroughly degreased using a water based or water dispersible degreaser, which must then be thoroughly washed off. Solvent cleaning is only efficient if clean wiping cloths are frequently replaced, otherwise the solvent just spreads the grease or oil around without removing it. Any remnants of grease or oil will affect paint adhesion and can cause slow drying and tackiness of the paint. Do not use diesel, paraffin or turps substitute for cleaning as they promote rust – white spirit is preferred.

Priming: The hull above the water line should then be coated with 2 coats of Rylard Zinc Phosphate Primer. If it is to be left outside for any length of time before applying finishing coats, 2 coats of Rylard Holding Coat are essential to prevent rust spotting.

narrowboats brightly paintedPREVIOUSLY PAINTED SURFACES
Rusted areas should be abraded down to clean steel and existing paint edges feathered to prevent ridging showing through. All clean metal areas should be patch-primed with 2 coats of Rylard Zinc Phosphate Primer.

Should rusting be extensive, consider having the boat blast cleaned and professionally repainted for long-term protection.

Where there have been feature lines, names, etc., ensure that these are completely removed to prevent shadowing-through.

If there is general unevenness and poor feathering, several coats of Rylard Primer/Filler should be used, abrading between coats to give an even surface. Rylard Primer/Filler can be used directly onto small patch areas.

Rub down the surface overall to an even matt finish using 320 grit wet and dry paper. If a colour change is to be undertaken, the relevant undercoat colour should be used.

PAINT APPLICATION

Rylard Paints side of narrowboatApply the paint using a good quality 2½” to 3” brush. Gloss rollers and pads can also be used. To ensure even application, apply by crossing brush strokes before laying-off. On boat sides, always lay-off with vertical strokes. With large areas such as cabin tops, best results can be obtained by two people applying to prevent loss of wet edge – one person applying, the other laying-off. When brushing, it is recommended that the brush is held at 45 degrees to minimise brush marking. Where masking tape is being used, it is recommended that this is removed before the paint has reached a light touch-dry state, as this will ensure a smoother edge.

Clean brushes regularly (about every 20 minutes), to prevent thick build-up of paint in the brush. Stir the paint regularly during application.

Except for the primer, rub down with 320 or 360 grit wet and dry paper between coats, to ensure a completely smooth, even finish. When using wet and dry paper, always use it wet, and occasionally apply domestic soap to the paper, as this will prevent blocking and aid abrading. (‘Blocking’ is build-up of paint debris on the paper, which may cause scratching of the paint film).

Rylard PaintsWipe over thoroughly after abrading, as dust and debris will affect the final appearance. The smoothness of the finish is ultimately dependent on the preparation, especially for Undercoats and Primer/Filler. Where coarse profile steel has been used, or where underlying imperfections in the surface exist, extra coats of Primer/Filler and Undercoats should be used.

Under normal circumstances thinning of the paint is not necessary, but where application is undertaken at low temperatures, or previously used paint has bodied in the can due to evaporation, small quantities of recommended thinners can be used.

SPRAY APPLICATION
Rylard primers, undercoats and topcoats can be applied by air assisted or standard airless spray. Thinning may be necessary dependent on the spray equipment used, please consult the relevant Product Data Sheet.

TRADITIONAL and POLYURETHANE VARNISHES

red narrow boat Rylard PaintsNEW WOOD
Bare new wood should be sanded using either sandpaper or wet & dry paper, finishing with a 180 grit paper prior to applying the varnish. Ensure that all sanding dust is removed by either brushing or vacuuming before applying any varnish coats. The use of a tack cloth to remove any residual dust may also be used.

It is essential that any new oily wood, such as teak, is degreased using white spirit or cellulose thinners in order to improve penetration and adhesion. However, it should be noted that Polyurethane Varnish is NOT recommended for use on oily woods such as teak. The first coat of varnish should be thinned – 1 part varnish to 1 part of white spirit – and thoroughly stirred. Brush this coat well into the pores of the wood to ensure full sealing. After drying, sand smooth to remove the timber ‘nibs’ using a 320 or 360 grit wet & dry paper.

EXISTING VARNISHED SURFACES
If the existing varnished surface is in poor condition and is showing flaking or other imperfections, it is recommended that it is removed back to bare wood (using either a proprietary paint stripper or sanding) and the timber treated as for New Wood. If the existing varnish is in sound condition, rub down with a 320 or 360 grit wet and dry paper and clean with white spirit.

To obtain a good depth of gloss on both new wood and existing varnished surfaces, a multiple-coat treatment is recommended, with a minimum of 3 coats, with light rubbing down between coats using either a 320 or 360 grit wet and dry paper. Note: Rylard eggshell varnishes are not suitable for exterior surfaces.

SLIP RESISTANT DECK PAINT KIT
non slip tread paint on narrowboat roofRylard Slip Resistant additive can be used with all Rylard topcoats.

Thorough mixing must be ensured to obtain an even dispersion of the fine aggregate.

Care must be taken to ensure brush marks are not apparent.

All Rylard topcoats are suitable for sand-blinding, but care must be taken to ensure the sand is thoroughly dry.

SUMMARY

painting tips for canal boats table 1

QUANTITY GUIDELINE

painting tips for canal boats by Rylard

  1. To obtain the cabin length deduct the length of the bow and the stern from the overall length of the boat
  2. Deck area should be approximate to window area and has been allowed for in the above calculations
  3. On bare steel 2 coats of Rylard Zinc Phosphate Primer should be used at a similar coverage rate to the topcoat
  4. All figures are approximate and given for guidance only

rylard paintsRylard Paints is a well-respected name in the supply of paints for canal boats, narrow boats, dutch barges and leisure craft. Through its Research and Development program Rylard continues to provide state-of-the-art products, manufactured in the UK to the highest Quality standards. We provide a range of coatings for canal boats, from blacking to topsides, anti-slip for decks and roofs, to brass lacquer to keep metal fitments glowing.

01623 510 585
sales-huthwaite@axalta.com
http://rylardpaints.co.uk/