Nicholas's blog

Starting "Wild English" (3) Making the boat safe and comfortable

New deck structure and flotation for gig

Adding a temporary deck and cabin

An open boat is very romantic, but it's not very warm, dry or relaxing. Scotland can be cool and wet, and I wanted to watch wildlife for long periods. I made a new deck for the boat, and a comfortable area to sit. For safety, I also needed to add some flotation or buoyancy.

If you are a lover of classic boats, you will be happy to hear that the gig can be returned to her original condition by simply removing 50 bolts and lifting off the temporary deck.

New doghouse for gig

There is 1.5 cubic metres of closed-cell foam on the deck. This gives 100mm of thermal insulation and 1.5 tonnes of flotation. There is also inflatable flotation (2.5 tonnes). The yellow inflatable flotation is just for emergencies. It doesn't leave much room inside the boat when it's inflated, but it's nice to know it's there. In an emergency, the yellow inflatable on its own can float the weight of the boat and everything in it (people, equipment, anchors, chains, batteries, etc).

Inflatable emergency flotation

And here we are in August 2017, almost finished.

New deck and cabin for the gig

I also did a lot of work to the trailer (two new axles, five new wheels, four new bunks, new tow hitch, four new cross-members, two new longitudinals, all external rust removed, two coats of Corroless 'S' and two coats of Arc-Rite tractor paint). However, that's another story!

Repainting rusty trailer