Friday, 12 December 2014

New Year comes early on Wand'ring Bark

New fire project takes a big leap forward
December 2014

Well, they do say the New Year is all about "Out with the old and in with the new".

Following the removal of the old stove a couple of weeks ago I paid WB a visit and reconfigured the hearth support to accommodate the slightly larger footprint of the new stove which used to grace the saloon of Yarwood.

The hearth was widened by a couple of inches and the front was turned into a more pleasing curve, but the big event had to be postponed. By the big event I am referring to  actually getting the new stove into place and making sure it all fits as expected.

WB's new stove in situ

The old stove was a bit flimsy and perhaps the mark of the difference in quality is apparent in the fact that I carried the old stove to the car hanging it on one hand, whereas the new one is too heavy for me to lift alone, let alone get it out of Montgomery's hold. For this manouver I needed extra muscle in the shape of Mr Whateley, founder member of our recovery crew. 

For the time being both boats are lying side by side in our marina, my neighbour having left last week. With the slot empty agreement was obtained to leave the butty alongside to facilitate construction work on the strict understanding that I will vacate immediately if called upon to do so. With about 10 of the short slots vacant on our side I am hoping this request will be later rather than sooner. 

Anyhow, back to the task. I spent the morning constructing a floor in the front locker of Montgomery, covering the slab ballast and reusing the Hexagrip board which used to be the engine cover till the edges rotted away. I cut off the soft outside two inches and the rest of the board was as good as new.Just as I finished this task in a bracing three degrees along came Martin and between us we hauled the stove over the gunnels and into Wand'ring Bark.

It was with some trepidation that we sat it onto the plinth.It all seemed to fit ok but the real moment of truth was when we dropped the pipe down through the roof collar. Would it fit or would I have to endure the delay and expense of having the pipe cranked? As it happened the pipe slid down and strait into the collar waiting below.Spot on.

Nor the project will enter another hiatus. The fire surround has to be tiled and the necessary bits and bobs are all on order, but deliver wont be before Christmas. 

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