Boat Maintenance help needed

In November 2015 "Forget me Not" went on dock at Ashton Packet Boat Co to have her skeg re-fitted, bottom caulked, shoeing and ice plating renewed and propeller rfurbished ready for lots more Hazel Rejuvenated towing and recycling trips in coming years.

In November 2015 “Forget me Not” went on dock at Ashton Packet Boat Co to have her skeg re-fitted, bottom caulked, shoeing and ice plating renewed and propeller rfurbished ready for lots more Hazel Rejuvenated towing and recycling trips in coming years.

Boat fans in the Northwest, here’s a rare opportunity to practise wooden boat maintenance skills on a genuine 1930s narrowboat!

Chris Leah of the Wooden Canal Boat Society is busy doing repairs to Forget-me-not while she’s out of the water at Guide bridge (near Ashton-u-Lyne). He could do with hands to help with caulking and putting the skeg back on over the next few days, and weather permitting, tarring the sides and replacing shoeing and ice-plating next week.

All of these jobs are fairly simple to pick up, amply assisted with cuppas, and I can personally reccomend the therapeutic effects of smacking things with hammers and glooping liquid tar around. Chris requires only that you let him know in advance if you intend to come and volunteer, by calling him on 07931 952 037 at least the day before.

4 more planks

The last couple of days have been great. We steamed two planks yesterday and 2 planks today. There was a great turnout of volunteers and the weather was brilliant. Today we dug our way into the wood store and extracted some oak boards, left over from work on “Lilith” and “Southam”. Despite being bone dry, they’re still pretty heavy. We’ll use them for straight side planks on “Hazel”. Crossing fingers now that we’re going to be able to get the top bends out of the logs that we got from Cumbria. If not its going to be an expensive trip to Grimsby to buy another log.

A good day

After a bit of a slow down through the winter, work on “Hazel” is picking up speed. We’re now 3 planks up, that’s halfway up, though we’re past halfway at the ends as there’s an extra half a plank at each end. We’ve steamed 16 planks, 12 more to go. Today was mostly about bolting the planks to the wrought iron Knees, though Pete Nicholson busied himself with fitting the straight middle plank on the starboard side. Steve the Viking and his partner Liz moved and restacked some of the shearing ready to be run through the planer to have its edges straightened ready for fitting. In the afternoon a hailstorm briefly halted proceedings.

Introducing Stuart Hughes


My name is Stuart

I recently joined the WCBS as a member of the team working on Hazel. I  started working on her as soon as she was pulled out in June 2011. Between Chris and Myself, as the 2 full time boat builders, we have the next year to get hazel ready for the next chapter in her life.

previous to the hazel project I lived in America,in the land locked state of Colorado. and previous to that i spent 10 years of my life serving David Moss as his apprentice in traditional wooden boat building.

keep an eye on this spot for regular updates for progress on hazels rebuild.