The underside of the low timber shelves, which is the old deck level, were cleaned and sprayed with treatment solution. This was repeated in the messy bilges. Some of the decayed floor bearers and other trim were also renewed. Most of the woodwork from the deck level shelf down was then sanded and stained with two coats of extra durable wood stain. In Norwich, we obtained a roll of deep red PVC oil cloth. The crimson colour closely matches fragments of paint daubed on the top previously. In an afternoon, the cloth was cut and fit onto the awkward shaped deck~shelf.
New and enlarged oak effect laminate worktops, fashioned by Royall's, make the focsle look quite civilised. These replace the tired and warped surfaces. On the Starboard side, a compact stainless steel sink and drainer, complete with a vintage chromed plunger hand pump for water was fitted by Paul. The pump looks likes an ordinary tap and was made by the once renowned Simpson~Lawrence marine equipment manufacturers of Glasgow. Fresh water is fed from plastic water containers, below. The customary naval word for containers kept on ships is barricoe, thought to derive from Spanish. Surprisingly, water was originally drawn direct from the river into the houseboat, as was vogue at the time. The blanked off metal skin fitting can still be seen in the bilges, poking out of the corner of the floor.
Debbie from local soft furnishings company, Interior Accents made two neat curtains for each window. Chrome cranked rod end brackets and tube were fitted to replace the cranky hooks holding wood dowel rods, which had a habit of dropping off.
As with most boat renovations, the works took longer than anticipated. For most of the summer season, the cabin was used as a workshop and looked as if half a dozen wildcats had turned it upside down. Finally, the Fo'c'sle can be put back together. Cooking things, foodstuffs, bottles, cleaning and other sundry items can again find a home, on the shelves and racks. Previously, paraffin, gas and mains electrical cookers have been used. We settled on a stainless steel two hob stove made by Origo, running on methylated spirits. As there is no oven at present, cooking proper roast dinners on occasions like Christmas can be problematic.
Captain Flint ~ aka Uncle Jim Turner's fine Lakeland houseboat, comes alive from the pages of Arthur Ransome's intricately worked Swallows and Amazons stories. The fo'c'sle on board was equipped with things such as 'hissing' brass Primus stoves, tinned foods and china. It was also a place where oil skin coats were hung to dry off.