Getting Ready for Winter
Out in East Anglia, the weather is still warmer than normal and for the last few months we have had very little rain. However Winter feels like it’s not far away. This morning for the first time, I needed my torch to get from the boat to the car.
Earlier this year we lost our stove chimney and flue. Having swept the chimney, I though that I had put it back on securely but during strong winds one night it blew off, never to be seen again. We have now got a replacement from Smokie Joe’s. They are quite expensive but are made from much thicker metal than the usual ones. They can also be powder coated in either black, green, red or blue. The cowls even come with their own names, ours is called Arnold. One thing that we liked was they have separate inner skins. When it wears out you can just replace the skin, rather than the entire chimney.
Having seen so many boats with paintwork ruined by tar, we would always have a double skinned chimney. As they state on their website :
Tar and soot deposits that travel up your flue and into your chimney condense out onto the inside surface of your chimney. These deposits run down the inside wall of your chimney and leak out onto the roof of your cabin. By fitting a skin inside the chimney, the deposits condense onto the skin, and then run down the skin and back into the burner, helping to keep your cabin roof clean.
The stove isn’t going 24 hours a day yet but it’s certainly needed in the evening and overnight. With all off-cuts from cladding the walls, we have plenty of kindling to keep us going. It won’t be long though before kindling becomes unnecessary, as you never let the fire go out.
The marina has purchased a bulk supply of solid fuel for the Winter. It’s one we haven’t used before, called Newburn.
We decided to try a bag and the results are good. It is easy to light and easy to get going again when it is topped up. We have left it for between 8 and 9 hours overnight and there was still plenty of glow in the morning. A good sign was that the stove fan was still spinning quite fast. Having used Taybrite all last winter, we think Newburn compares quite favourably. As the marina is quoting a good price if we buy 30 bags or more in advance, we are happy to change to it.
We were torn at the weekend. The weather was forecast to be good but we wanted to get as much of the painting done as possible. In the end, we compromised and sailed for about 90 minutes to the EA ’Diamond 44’ moorings on the Great Ouse and did the painting there. This also gave us the chance to touch up the paintwork on the windows that are normally on the river side.
Thankfully the weather didn’t let us down and we were also treated to a good sunrise. Well,those of us who were out of bed!
One more day should see the paintwork completed in the living area. It’s then on to the boatman’s cabin.