Mr Brightside, our 65ft Springer Project Narrowboat is free of the strange steel wheelhouse! Now the fun begins... 

houseboat liveaboard narrow boat canal project restoration

The strange steel 'Wheelhouse' is no more!! If you have been reading about our #PROJECTLIVEABOARD story so far, you'll know just how momentous an occasion this is for this beautiful old Springer narrowboat!

Welded on by the previous owner in a bid to save his steel from being stolen... so we are told... it really was a heinous crime against the beauty of our late 1970's Springer. 

Last week I shared our fun and games removing the 'lean-to' structure that had also been welded on in Angle Grinding for Dummies... we had so much fun and learned so much! 

narrowboat restoration project
Read about our fun and games using an angle grinder for the first time here.

And now the rest of the steel is gone too! Yay!! 

What an amazing difference it makes already... it also means we can fully assess the amount of steelwork needed to the sides and hull.... 

The misadventures of the previous welder means there is a small amount of fire damage to the outside where the 'lean-to' was... but nothing more than superficial. And we also now know for sure that instead of putting piping in for the bathroom, as suspected, they simply drilled holes right through the steel. Again, not a problem for us as we already knew we would be having intensive steelworks done.  

narrow boat project restoration canal houseboat

But just look at the potential of that gorgeous semi-trad stern!! The semi-trad stern has always been our favourite since we made the decision to become boat owners, but the way we were looking at it when we were searching for our forever home was that the style of the stern wasn't an essential... so when we saw it sat underneath all that old steel it was like the cherry on the cake!

As our narrowboat will be a family home, that semi-trad stern gives that extra little bit of security and peace of mind for the future and is also a really lovely feature when cruising with friends or family who are not so canal boat comfy. When you are cruising you are right on the water so for nervous passengers, having a closed off area is a win!  

There are 3 types of stern for a narrowboat - the stern is the back of the boat and houses the engine and the tiller. It's where you steer and power your boat.

  1. Traditional: this is the smallest and gives you less space outside and more space inside. You literally go out the doors and you are at the tiller and on the water.
  2. Cruiser: this is the largest type of stern gives you a larger space outside the boat, perfect for cruising but less internal space.
  3. Semi-Traditional: this is like you can see above on Mr Brightside, it's a mix between the two and perfect for the way we want out space to work for us on a permanent liveaboard. 

So now it's time for the fun to begin!!

Next on our journey of restoring this beautiful old boat to it's so-deserved glory, is removing any final bits of rubbish and non-essentials... like that awful old cassette toilet!! Eew!! And then it's time to arrange transporting him to a dry-dock closer to home ready for sandblasting and a full professional assessment and quote of the steelwork to be done. 

project boat restoration springer house boat

You can follow our journey on Instagram @mrbrightsidenarrowboat where we'll be sharing progress and also some wishlist items for when the interior refit begins!! 


If you are looking to buy a narrowboat to live on the water, check out my top 10 tips for newbies from way back in Feb '16 here