Last winter we had water coming in. In the efforts to work out why, we have had a visit from the boat’s maker, sacrificed the hallway carpet and lifted floorboards.
It transpires that the water was wicking in from the other side of the boat, from the obvious culprit – the shower. Putting it right hasn’t been a simple job, although it looked initially like it was just a simple shower liner replacement. My attitude was to take it out and put in a bought, sealed unit. I was assured that this was unnecessary, a drastic action for the simple replacement of a shower liner. You, dear reader, already know where this is going, don’t you?
First up was the fact that we have evidently been taking our lives in our hands by showering aboard: we found live wires, which we nearly drilled into, right behind the shower. Hardier boaters have laughed at my concerns: “You never know what’s behind any wall on a boat,” laughs old hand Buster, an experienced boater who thinks little of attempting the tidal Thames on a boat smaller than ours.
But we thought we did! We have the plans. However, the people who owned the boat before us modified a lot of the boats original plans, and the shower, it seems, was one of those modifications.
When we first found water in the corridor, when we first moved aboard, we blamed the previous owners dog. Then we blamed leaky windows. And condensation. But we never blamed the shower because the water was nowhere near it.
But the shower it was. The water was seeping through the tiling grout, running under the shower and along whatebver channels it could find until it reached the place it could come out – the join between the walkway and the gunnels, where the carpet obligingly soaked it up.
You can see from the pictures that the small relining job became a complete refit. Everything’s been covered in layers of dust (more than usual – the dusting fairy’s been a bit slack around here) and we’ve had to take root in the marina whilst the work was completed just to get access to a warm shower. Initially I escaped to a hotel for the estimated two day’s repair time, but it soon became apparent this was a longer job. Anyone who was David Walliam’s epic trip up the Thames will know why we’re not bathing in it!
There have been various craftsmen in to help us out – from PJ Marine, who came to help us get the infrastructure right, to Simon the chippie who’s had to create a new panel for us as the new shower didn’t fit the same space as the old one.
We’ve obviously turned into absolute wusses. During last winter’s cold snap, we trudged willingly to the shower block. This year it feels like a chore and to my shame I even allowed the boys to shower-dodge on two separate occasions. Scummy mummy< I know, but these were dire straits.
Of course it’s still not yet complete – the old shower door wouldn’t fit after the shower and shower liner replacement. Cutting the new ‘glass’ is taking a week (and £93), I’ll post a picture once it’s done!
To my eyes, however, it now looks lovely. And warm, bubbling showers are soul food. I am, once again, glad to be aboard. But if you’d asked me this time last week I’d have said different.