When we were looking to buy a narrowboat my only real stipulation was that she was to have an old engine, a proper chug chug, not a silent whine. I was not too bothered about how shiny she would look as I like fiddling with things, I just wanted a cosy home away from home that sounded cool and was structurally sound. Hannah the Narrowboat fitted the criteria perfectly.
Hannah was born in 1975 built by Rugby Boats and is propelled by an awesome 1956 Lister SR3 diesel engine which, whilst not being the most environmentally friendly engine, makes a lovely chug chug noise! Yes, she smokes a bit and yes she won't win any prizes at a boat show. However, Hannah the Narrowboat is our 45ft home from home, and hopefully, in the future, our only home.
Whilst Hannah has a few battle scars we have done quite a lot to the interior to make her feel a bit more comfortable, cosy and homely. In fact, Hannah is now pretty well appointed with modern features such as wifi with broadband connection, an eco-toilet, inverter, solar panels, new bow floor, a new external paint job in 2015 which we did ourselves and much more. She truly is a home now but there are always new things we want to do such as a complete redesign of the sofa/second bed area. We also have a top box that I built but by far the biggest project we have undertaken is the addition of a cratch area.
When we bought Hannah she had an open front end where we could sit outside at the pointy end in nice weather but the area was rendered pretty useless in the rain. We decided that it would be a great idea to get a cratch board and cratch cover made, then I thought why not have a go at building it ourselves from real oak! Although I have very little experience in carpentry I learned lots from the internet and gave it a go. Whilst I was responsible for the woodwork and structural issues, the lady of the boat, Lee, was responsible for making the covers.
When we look at it now we can be bloody proud of what we achieved as it is fantastic and a wonderful area of the boat, no matter what the weather, to enjoy a bacon butty whilst watching the world go by!
We kept a light-hearted video diary of the build which can be seen below, we really enjoyed building it even though it induced many episodes of unadulterated swearing!.