Boat DIY

Yep, we’ve been at it again, this time fixing a broken door catch.

boat-diyHubby is good at fixing things. In fact, he fixed the catch last year by making a new spring out of a peg and it has lasted until now.
Anyone who has owned a boat or caravan will know that things do not come ‘as standard’. And as such, retailers feel they can add a ‘1’ at the front or a ‘0’ on the end of their prices and no-one will care.
Well, sorry mateys, your prices are way off base for the likes of us.

The thing about doing DIY in a house is you can shut the door on the room and continue the following day where you left off.
diyNot so on a boat, especially if you are living on it.
Hubby tried the peg thing again, but although it did the job, the catch kept jamming, and the last thing you want is to get stuck inside a bathroom that is less than three feet six inches square with a small porthole that even Maggie couldn’t get out of.
Our door lock for the past two days has been the dustpan and brush or elephant’s bog roll as you have to close the door to use the loo.

Two days ago we set off to purchase a replacement door lock.
It’s a very ‘shallow’ door (only 20mm, so not very deep) and of course nothing off the shelf would fit.
We ended up buying a roller catch and two doorknobs, and Hubby has spent the majority of this afternoon modifying the door lock channel, frame and door itself to get them to fit.
With the original door furniture totally useless for the job in hand, we had a small problem of hiding the holes for the handles.

Plan A (here we go again) was to purchase a couple of panel protectors with a pretty design on them and attach the doorknobs to those.
Not at seventeen pounds each we wouldn’t, and even those weren’t what we had in mind!
plan aExploring the aisles of a large DIY store for ideas, we came across some self adhesive felt pads, and thinking outside the box (as we do), thought about using those to cover the holes then feed through a single bolt with a knob on each end.
Trotting along to the knob section (door knobs!!), we found some of the same size we’d already purchased and set about looking for a single bolt to fit.

As is typical, if you want ONE of something specific, especially bolts, you have to buy a ten pack for something like £6 to £8.
So, our box processes were set in motion again and we settled for a metre length of threaded rod for the enormous sum of……….. £1.55. Crazy.
Already being the proud owners of a magnificent pair of bolt cutters, we had it sussed.

Back aboard, Hubby set to work whilst I got dinner.
Something else about DIY on a boat, the timeframe.
Due to limited space to work, manoeuver, or set out any tools, you can triple if not quadruple the amount of time it takes to do anything. This is a fact of boatlife, not bad planning.
Anyway, a dogwalk to provide some swearing time later, the door is off its hinges and Hubby is hoovering away the evidence of sawdust by the time I return.
For a shallow door, that thing is damn heavy and it was a struggle for pair of us to get it back in position. Remember, space is limited, and now you have two people trying to move a door in a hallway measuring nineteen inches across.

Fast forward a couple of hours, the roller is in the door and the catch in the frame. The threaded rod has been cut to size, the felt applied and knobs in place awaiting varnishing.
Just a little issue of a gap in the door where the old lock mechanism was which is not covered by the roller catch (it had to be trimmed by 2 millimetres to fit by the way).
With plenty of felt left, we decided to use that, and cut two pieces to size.
The ends had to be rounded, and inspiration struck by means of a teaspoon handle as a template.
Kitchenituspilferous nearly always comes up trumps one way or another (I’ve lost count of the number of knives used as screwdrivers or mini saws) and it was perfect.

Hurrah! We can now close the door at the push of a finger, and it stays shut.
What a relief!


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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4 Responses to Boat DIY

  1. At least if it takes longer on the boat, you have a lot less of things to deal with than you would in a house!

  2. lbeth1950 says:

    We are always improvising in our camper.

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