I spent the first night on board yesterday. Zulu has a fairly new Morso Squirrel solid fuel stove, which blew back a room full of smoke as soon as I lit some test kindling. My new smoke detector works! Even with the door closed smoke oozed out around the edge – time for a new rope seal I thought, so today its all smoke and no fire I’m afraid. The door glass is horribly blackened and although the flue appears quite clear, it could obviously do with a chimney brush running through it. So I set to, scrubbing the glass clean, removing the firebricks and throat plate, sweeping the flue and emptying the ash can several times. A quick trip to the chandlers for some heat resistant rope to seal the door and a pot of special glue to fix it with and then put it all back together again.
An hour later my hands are black, the stove is clean and blacked, the new door seal is in place and the fire is roaring in the grate with a smoke free cabin. How very satisfying to bring a neglected item back to life in such a short time – I can only hope that the rest of the boat is this easy!
Venturing outside with a Cillit Bang spray (where on earth did they get this name?), a bucket of water and various cloths, sponges and scourers I made an effort to cut through the green coating which seems to form on all waterside fixtures after a year or three. Under the years of grime and algae there was indeed paint; green paint – and within an hour a much more respectable looking boat was beginning to appear. Same on the front cratch cover – a little test revealed a fully serviceable green cratch cover beneath the algae, which will be cleaned this weekend. Quite unusual for a Harborough boat to have a covered cratch too – and a Wilsons one to boot!
So from under the green grime my green boat is emerging. I may even need to get the polish out to make her look even smarter, but theres a long way to go before we cease to be grungy. I do intend to paint her within the next few weeks, but for now, she will have to remain anonymous green. Right now I too am grungy and green – so its off to the shower (I hope!).