Whats Happening ?

Cladding the other side.

Adrian decides to fix the first board on the other side of the trailing tub-boat started yesterday.  Following exactly the same process as before the board is cut to length, joining surfaces spread with bitumen and the board nailed and screwed in place.  It takes rather longer than the first since managing on his own such a large piece of wood is not easy.

Cladding goes up.

Norman arrives to view the progress made on the tub-boat construction project.  He and Adrian can’t resist adding to it so they decide to offer up one of the long boards set aside for cladding the sides.  They mark out the board and cut it to length .  Next they apply a layer of trowelling bitumastic to the rebate on the chine where the board is going to sit and up the the ribs and corner posts to the height of the board.  Once again the board is offered up but this time it is clamped in place.

Holes are pre-drilled through the board and into the ribs into which 6 inch square galvanized nails are driven in.  The board is fixed to the corner posts by countersunk coach screws.   A coat of preservative is the applied to the new wood.  The first cladding board is permanently fixed in place.

The last post?

Just before Trevor and Adrian arrive  to resume working on the tub-boat Mike Chambers brings his yacht, which is to be over-wintered on the wharf-side, into the lock chamber.  They spend a while mooring it before Trevor and Adrian continue fixing the tub-boat ribs into  place.

The  remaining  mortise sockets require cleaning out and squaring up which takes a considerable amount of time.  While they are doing this Barry appears in the lock chamber with his rowing boat which he wants to over-winter on the wharf as well.

Following minor altercation about which is the right or left side of the boat and then the port or starboard side,  Barry sets to chiseling out the last mortises and within a short while all the remaining  ribs  and the last corner post are inserted waiting for the cladding to be applied.  Failing light brings a close to the day’s proceedings.

Inserting ribs

Barry has completed the wooden templates for the tub-boat wheels and delivers them to Adrian’s house where Trevor has also just arrived.

Down at Sea Lock, Barry and Trevor attach strops to the  front bucket of the Kubota tractor and the lead-boat chines which are sitting on  top of the completed base of the following tub-boat.  Adrian operates the tractor to lift, move  and stack them to one side, ready to be worked on another day.

They then continue working on the base.  Barry deepens the mortises into which the corner and rib posts will be inserted while Trevor and Adrian cut the rib tenons to the correct length.

After considerable planing and chiseling the first corner post is ready to be fitted,  A liberal amount of bitumastis is smeared into the mortise, Barry locates the rib and Trevor hammers it home. This is quickly followed by the first rib.

Within a short time several ribs have been fixed into place as well as two corner posts.  Adrian then gives them a coating of  preservative.  Work stops as the light is fading and the temperature is dropping fast

Later starter

Strolling along the side of the canal, going to the Sea Lock site, Adrian is somewhat startled by at first hearing and then seeing a very young duckling, on the water,  frantically searching for its mother.

The Mallard chick approaches several adult females only to be rebuffed.  The duckling then starts searching in the opposite direction and is quickly lost from sight.  The following day Adrian spots a female with a clutch of 7 ducklings, which are probably no more than two or three days old, in tow.

Sadly the mortality rate of ducklings is very high at the best of times so the survival of any of a brood hatched so late in the season is extremely unlikely.