New Doors (3)

Due to various boring health issues and general decrepitude progress has been slow. On a positive note I’ve recruited a helper, G, who’s half my age but has much more serious health issues. On a good day he’s fitter and stronger than me and has a lot of experience working on boats. He’s done a lot of jobs I’ve been putting off; pressure washing the cabin, sanding the cockpit side widows and helping me lift the new topbox/hatch into place. So I get free labour and he gets out of the house and a bit of occupational therapy which suits us both.

The topbox is nothing special, just a box made mostly from recycled stuff from my shed. Because it’ll be heavy when full I don’t want to rely on greased slides like a normal hatch so this combined box/hatch cover runs on skateboard wheels. The pic shows one being fitted before the sides went on.

Here’s the box dropped into place. Because the roof slopes down at the stern the rear wheels leave the roof as the box is pulled back. Since taking that photo I’ve planed the sides of the hatch down a little so it’s OK now.

Here with the doors back on, but still no beading round the edge, I’m working on that. The bright patch on the underside of the box/hatch reveals the gap between the underside of the box and the top of the doors. I *DO* have a plan for that.

Not very visible about half way along each side of the hatch are cabin hooks that hook into the underside of the box to hold it shut and hold it down. I’ll try to do a close-up in future.

And this is the outside view. The bulkhead still needs painting either side of the door. In fact the whole cabin needs painting. And I intend to make a second locker on the starboard side to hold a spare gas bottle, and also function as a step. On canals it’s no problem as the rear deck is about towpath height but as you see here on rivers it can be quite big step up for aged legs.

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