I last posted something on here in December, with a comment about doing a bit of wood work. What I was actually doing was making new side windows for Seren’s cockpit. But then we were banned from visiting boatyards and the weather turned cold and wet so nothing much happened for months. So before I report on the latest work, lets catch up with last year!
Seren is designed to go under low bridges and tunnels on the canal system but unlike a narrowboat with an exposed stern deck for steering from she has a front cockpit with a sliding roof and PVC side screens. The roof is very heavy, thick GRP with aluminium channels fitted to the underside that slide on aluminium bar on the side of the cabin roof handrails. Just to the left of the shadow you’ll see a crack in the side of the roof. There are more and worse round the back where it fits over the rails. You can also see how the windscreen is lower than the cabin so the cockpit roof slopes down to the front when closed, but it has to be parallel to the cabin roof to slide. This puts strain on the runners under the roof, which are bent. As a result it’s very hard to open single handed and impossible to shut quickly.
Even though it is possible to steer with the roof shut, in practice I generally don’t because it’s hard to get out to deal with locks. So on rainy days the cockpit gets very wet. What’s needed is a much easier to open roof, and while we’re at it, better side screens.