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All you need to know about living on a narrowboat
Living On A Narrowboat News
29th April 2012

Here's more news and information for you from Living On A Narrowboat. If you're wondering why you are receiving this newsletter it's because you subscribed to my site (Living On A Narrowboat). I hope that the information I send you from time to time is useful. After all, the site is all about narrowboats and you probably found the site from doing a narrowboat related search through a search engine. However, I don't want you to receive emails that you really have no interest in. I know from personal experience how annoying they can be. If you really don't want to receive information about living on a narrowboat and updates on the on-line, offline and marina moorings in England and Wales you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this email. I hope you stay. I sincerely hope you find the information useful. 

Do you realise how very lonnnng a narrowboat is? I do. I've spent the last two weeks slowly - ever so slowly - moving down one side of my boat and then moving back up the other side. And do you know what I do when I've finished a full circuit? I start all over again. And again... and again.

I'm not cut out for this narrowboat painting lark. It requires patience and skill in equal measures. I'm struggling with the patience, but I seem to be coming on ever so slowly with the skill. I'm on my third coat now. It's the boat's fifth coat but the first coat, the primer, was put on by the company that over plated my cabin last November. The second undercoat was kindly painted on by the staff at Calcutt Boats when James was delivered back to the marina while I was still on holiday. That coat kept the rust at bay over the winter. Two weeks ago I took James out of the water to black the hull, then moved straight into one of our covered docks to finish off the painting.

The first coat I put on was a disaster. Paint, it appears, has a mind of its own. It's sneaky and malicious. It like to wait until your back is turned before leaping out from the underside of the windows and racing down the side of the boat in foot wide runs. Of course I didn't notice until I had nearly completed one side. That's five windows and a porthole. The porthole behaved itself. The windows didn't. I also didn't realise that unless the paint is applied in a coat almost thin enough to see through, it sags unattractively like a waxwork dummy left too close to a fire. Ah well, one learns from one's mistakes.

Sanding narrowboat JamesThe first coat on the second side was much better. I learned to apply the paint sparingly and to keep an eye out for runs. I find it very frustrating though to carefully paint the side in two different colours, wait for it to dry, then sand it down again. I've had to do that twice, but the end is in sight now. I've finished the main colour on the roof (biscuit, mixed for Calcutt Boats for their hire fleet. It's a very rich cream) and I've finished the Mauritius Blue on the sides. I have one more coat of biscuit to apply to either side and then I'll have the pleasure of applying the finishing touches.

You can get an idea of the colours in the photo. It was taken over a week ago though when I was sanding back the first coat. The colours look richer now but I still have to add the coach lines (red) between the cream and the blue, paint the rails red at the front and pick out the roof vents and pole and plank rack in red too.

In the next newsletter, I'm going to break down the cost of painting James and list all of the equipment and materials used. Painting my own boat is very much cheaper than having it done professionally but after having a go myself, although I'm pleased with the results and I'm sure that the paint will stay in place for a good few years, I recognise that the narrowboat painters who charge £6,000 plus to paint a boat really do earn their money.

So that's it for this issue. I haven't had a spare minute to add any content to the site. In fact, I haven't had the time to add any of the content sent to me by site subscribers (sorry Allan. I've not forgotten you. Your articles will be added to the site shortly). I'm going to do a little more sanding now before dusk and watch the rain lashing the marina and wonder whether this really is the wettest drought ever.

Would You Like To Contribute?

Maybe you've written an article already that you think would be useful to site visitors. Maybe you think something is missing, and you just happen to know a lot about it. Either way, I would love to hear from you. All I ask is that the article is well written and relevant to the site's existing content. Just let me know.

OK. That's it. I'm worn out. I'm going to sit in front of the fire with my Kindle and pretend to read for a while. Hopefully there will be a wealth of new information for you in the next issue. Maybe written by you!

Useful Links

Find out what parts of the canal are closed and for how long. Essential cruising information for you.
Are you interested in living on a narrowboat full time but worried about the costs. Here's exactly what it's cost me since the beginning of April 2010
Updated 18th March 2012
Do you need to find a home for your boat? Here's a comprehensive list of the narrowboat friendly marinas in the UK
Do you want to see where these marinas are on a map? Here it is.
Here's a map of all the canals on the system to help you plan your route.

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