Of course buying second hand means that there are aspects of the boat that we wouldn't necessarily have chosen. But now we have the freedom to change them.
So a number of projects have emerged, which we hope to carry out over the next few months -- assuming that we can resist the urge to go out boating. Some are things picked up in the survey, others are purely our own wishes. So, in no particular order, here are some of the things we plan to do:
- Find new fittings for the side fenders. Briar Rose has fender eyes on the gunwales, and the fenders hang on shackles most of which are rusted solid. We're not fans of having fenders down while under way, so we intend to get carbine hooks that can be taken on and off.
- Re-wiring the macerator loo. Our surveyor noticed that the macerator doesn't have much oomph, and pointed out that the wiring looked very weedy which could be causing voltage drop. The Vetus manual on board suggests using cables of 6mm minimum -- ours are nearer 1mm. Having done some investigations, I'm confident of being able to run through some bigger cables, although whether I'll know what to do with them once I reach the fuse panel is more questionable!
- Change the gas pigtails. The survey pointed out that these date from the build in 2004, and should be replaced. This is a job for a properly registered Gas Safe engineer.
- Fit a radio. Remarkably, there wasn't one on board, and this is not a situation that can continue: I'm afraid I need the Today programme in the morning, and the Radio 4 1800 in the evening. There's already an ariel on the roof and a 12v power supply in the cupboard under the TV, so we've bought a car radio to install. We've also bought speakers to go on the shelves.
- Change the bathroom flooring. It just needs updating. Research suggests that the quickest and easiet thing will be vinyl floor tiles, laid directly onto the vinyl that's already there.
- Painting the roof and the handrails. This is perhaps the biggest job of them all. The roof has some areas of rust which need treating and the handrails, which are red, have faded badly. The roof is currently blue, which doesn't really go with the green and red colour sheme, so I'm favouring a change to Raddle Red. The handrails we'll do in bright red. It'll be quite a lot of work, what with all the preparation and the masking needed, but it should give the whole boat a lift. While we're at it, we'll probably also do the gunwale tops, as they're also blue and would look better in black; the cratch board could also do with a coat of green.
- Re-lining the rear hatch. The wood is de-laminating and mouldy, so needs replacing. It'll be an easier job if we can get the hatch off, but that might not be easy.
- LED lighting. Briar Rose currently has lots of 10 watt halogen lights, which use quite a lot of power. That's fine while attached to the mains via a shore line, but not so good out cruising. We bought some replacement LEDs as a trial last weekend, and we'll have a good look at Crick before deciding what to do.