So, yesterday I collected my new student accommodation from Itchen Marina. Well, I say ‘I’. In practice, I sat onboard keeping Millie company while three very capable men tied it to the side of a small launch and took it up the river. Obviously, I haven’t got any photos of that but my gentleman friend has and I’ll get them from him just as soon as I can.
Once we got there, which didn’t take long, the man from whom I am renting the mooring – Mike – did lots of clever things with ropes and tyres and weights and there she was, all safe and secure. We had to move all the weight on board to the side nearest the quay wall (and Mike added a piece of chain for good measure) so that she would settle properly when the tide went out. Even so, I’m probably going to have to add a support to the side furthest away from the quay wall to make sure there’s no chance of her listing the wrong way.
All this stuff – who knew?
Now the real hard work begins. I intend to install a waterless toilet, and I have yet to make a final decision regarding heating and hot water. I was thinking of a wood-burner that includes an oven and a back-boiler, coupled up to a small hot water tank. A diesel-fuelled stove that would heat water in a similar way has also been suggested. It’s as much a question of balance and weight as anything else, plus I need to be able to get to the space under the floor.
I foresee some showering in a bucket to begin with.
I’ll be able to connect to mains electricity, but in the long term I’d like to be able to generate and store my own power via solar panels and batteries, which would also be handy to heat water in the summer.
The most important thing, though, is the creation of a platform across the back so that Millie and I can get on and off safely. It’s not like a narrowboat – you can’t walk around the outside, and being a lifeboat it was designed for entry through one of the two side doors. This’ll be made of stainless steel, with non-slip surface added to the top, and will go from door to door, and square off the shape of the back. You can see where in the picture below.
The bed area is at the pointy end. I’ll have to get a mattress made to fit but frankly that’s the least of my issues!
I’ll put some more pictures on another post, so that you can get a better idea of how much space there is inside, and how much work I have to do. The really good news is that Southampton boasts a huge John Lewis AND an Ikea, so I’m not taking very much stuff with me – I shall go shopping instead!