43. Building Narrowboat Silver Fox – Ask the Boat Builders!

43. Building Narrowboat Silver Fox – Ask the Boat Builders!


Hello! Good afternoon!
We are at Bickerstaffe Boats again today. It is freezing so we’re going to try and
hurry this along. Silver Fox is now finished as you might
have seen and we’ve had some questions about the making of narrowboat Silver Fox
so Kev and Rob are gonna join us today and they’re going to answer some of your questions. First question then is from Andrew Riley from YouTube So we’re on a new empty boat and I
thought Rob would be the best person to answer this. Right, there’s a couple of ways of
answering it really. There’s rules of thumb in the industry but there is official water displacement calculations you can do, where obviously you take
the length of your hull, the width of your hull, and the size of your swim (Draft). You calculate
them up, get the volume and the square meterage. Work out how much water it’s going to displace, then roughly you should know the weight of your engine, the weight of your
fittings and fixtures, and you can calculate it all up to have a rough rule of what you should do. You’re generally between two and three tonnes
dependent on what vessel you’re having and what type of fit-out you’re having. You’d have to do it individually. There’s really good guidance on a site called The Fit-Out Pontoon. It’s a really informative website.
If you go on there they actually work you through a 57 foot narrowboat
calculations, so it would be a good place to start if you’re going to be a self-builder.
For us, we only do 57s and we have a pretty standardised layout so we
know roughly it’s about two and a half ton which we will leave certain bays within
the build, as you can see, certain ones will be left empty where the likes of the fire’s going or really heavy items which we allow that for in our standard builds.
So it’s not just throwing tons of barbecue bricks in then?
You can do, yeah. Just to the industry standard. (Laughing). No, There is different materials people use. Concrete paving flags or we use concrete commons. You want the most dense material you
can use, and obviously in the boat it wants moisture resistance as it will be
in the bilge of the boat. I always try and bitumen or felt before you lay your ballast. Don’t put it directly on the baseplate. Brilliant!
I hope that answers your question, Andrew. That’s pretty detailed isn’t it, that! I wasn’t expecting that much. Cheers Andrew! Right. I’ve got Kev with me. So, we have answered questions about the paintwork before but we’ve got some questions in about specifically why
it’s spray painted rather than hand painted. So Kev, let’s answer this one
again. Right, okay. Right, well the main reason, ultimately is that you cannot
hand paint a pearlescent colour and iridium silver which is a Mercedes stock
colour, the only way to achieve the finish that we’ve ultimately got is to
spray it. A lot more involved than hand painted, certainly facilities wise, you need
the right equipment and ultimately you need to be able to do it. That’s it! If
you go back to the paint job vlogs it’s actually two separate vlogs and the
links are up there. If you watch those you’ll just see how much work and time
went into painting Narrowboat Silver Fox and Kev’s right. I mean you just got to look
at the finish and I can’t wait till launch day. Blue skies and the sun on it. It’s
gonna look absolutely amazing and you just can’t get that pearlescent finish
by hand painting. Wait until you see it and then make your own minds up. Next question is from David Bramley of Twitter,
and he wants to know… Anything can
be overcome with enough discussion and planning before-hand. If you engage on-board early enough and discuss all the, not problems, but requirements for
the client and you can plan and adapt for it and engineer any of the solutions
in if they are physically possible. How much, like… because I know every now and
then we kind of say oh is it possible we can do this and is it possible to do
that. How much extra work was that for you? It’s not really because you know the
reality of it is the design of the hull and the the ultimate space you’ve got
inside was never designed to do what we’ve, what most boat
builders do with it. and whilst you know working to a
relatively strong budget you have to be realistic and the simple answer is you
know if it won’t work we will not build it! We’re back on board narrow
boat Silver Fox. It’s lovely and warm back here isn’t it – Toasty! – Next question came from
Twitter from Barry Davis he wants to know… Good question, Barry. Well we’ve just answered one of
the key points there. It’s nice and toasty! There’s only one way to truly
cure condensation and that is ventilation and heat. You can’t eradicate it.
You’re in a tin can. So we design and vent the boat as well as
we can but it’s still got to be a habitable space but it’s got to be
managed you’ve got to be aware of condensation. Ventilate the spaces. Don’t do the obvious. Don’t have a boiling simmering kettle on your fire all day and wonder why you’ve got steam and condensation. Lines of washing is another one of concern. It’s about educating the customer
to their new boat, you know, if they’ve come from a house and not from a boating
background you’ve got to educate them to ventilate as much as they can.
You’ll never eradicate it truly unless you get an equilibrium between the outside
pressure and inside pressure. So the key is keep your windows open when you can.
Heat the space as much as you can and manage it as well as you can. Only use
the correct heating system that a good radiant double radiator to kick the heat
round, you know, I don’t believe thin rads have got a place on boats. You ‘re not
getting the flow. You’re not getting the airflow. You’ve got to change the air
pressure within the boat. You want to be looking to every hour opening your front
and back doors and get a good blow-through. These things will all help.
You can do other things, you know, there’s a school of thought you can put cat litter in tights. Put it in the cupboards I’m not using my tights for…. (Laughing) You can buy products
on the market now but I’d only buy a dry product that doesn’t retain the water,
you know, like an Ambi-Pur dehumidifier is only gonna reintroduce that water
unless you constantly changing it. So if you look for a product with crystals in that actually takes it out that can only help. So these, becasue I’ve seen these that
you can hang in your wardrobe that are like crystals but the water collects
in the bottom and they are right because it’s kind of sealed in or would you
want one that’s just kind of soaks it in and takes it out. I say the one the
biggest keys that will help you is a good stove, yeah, you know the stove helps
with regulating your airflow it draws the moisture, the cold dry
air in and sends hot dry air out. So keeping the stove going all day is gonna
draw that in? Yeah, you know you’re only talking through the bad times of year where you’re gonna have your stove on anyway. I mean it’s like a contradiction open your
windows and put your heating on but it’s the only way you can do it. I remember from our last boat, sat in November, a howling gale and we’ve got the stove going but we’ve got
the bow doors wide open. Exactly, that it’s about educated to it and managing
it as best as you can. Brilliant. Okay, I hope that answered your
question Barry, and and everybody else because I think a lot of people would love
to be able to just get rid of condensation, wouldn’t they? And it’s
common-sense stuff isn’t it really? It is. There’s no way of eradicating it, it’s
just managing it. Yeah, brilliant! Cheers Barry! Thanks Barry! Right. We’re sat at the dinette.
Ignore Kev and Shaun just sat at the back lounging about there.
Next question comes from Ken Mayfield. He messaged us on Facebook and he wants to
know about the MDF panels that we’ve got on narrowboat Silver Fox. It did raise some
questions, a few eyebrows when we first showed it in the vlog a few vlogs ago.
So Ken wants to know… Let’s hope so, eh?
(laughing) We’ll soon find out! Good question Ken, thanks for
the question. Right, medium density fiberboard is quite a stable product.
You’re talking about moisture. The problem is moisture not the product. If we talk
about the veneered panels, the wall boards, there a moisture resistant panel
so they’ve been designed to allow a certain tolerable percentage of
moisture. The backs of the products has actually been sealed with a PVA solution
before the top of the product has had a two coat system to seal them that way
there’s also behind them you’ve got the thermal performance of the foam, plus then a
20 mm air gap which I know was a question raised on a previous vlog about
why you did that. That’s why the foam doesn’t come right to the depth of the baton and
why we use a 45 mm baton rather than a 20 mm and then fill it completely.
So you’ve got an air gap, so yeah there isn’t a problem with using the product and
even if we did put a solid oak tongue-and-groove say on the walls if
that gets moisture in it that’ll go black the same as an MDF panel will.
The problem is moisture. Doesn’t matter whether you use a solid material or a
panelled or man-made material you’ve got to eradicate the source of moisture from
becoming because the moisture is the problem not the product you using. There you go! (Laughing)
Anybody else want to complain about MDF panel boards, I’m gonna give
you this guys telephone number. Just don’t use it externally or you will have a
problem That’s brilliant, thanks for your
question, Ken. Next question is from Linda Redwood of Facebook. Hello Linda! Hiya! Not really a difficult question to answer.
Whilst we source the absolute best products that we can, every one of our
suppliers whether they be the timber suppliers, the people who build the
windows, Caldwell’s Amtrim, Dave, we’ve sort of gone
away and outside the box to what other boat builders do. The simple answer is
they put as much passion into their products as we put into ours.
They think we’re mad really, don’t they? Yeah. They think we’re a
bit mad because we don’t really do the norm, so when it comes to the covers we
sat down with the lads from Amtrim and we came up with this bizarre design
shape etc which we’re all a little bit unsure about to be honest but no the
results are fantastic absolutely fantastic and hats off to all the
suppliers they do a cracking job and they have become part of our extended part of our team. Yeah. Thank you, Linda! Thanks LInda! Right, that is it. We’ve asked all the questions that we’re
gonna ask. There’s one more and to make sure we can honest response me and Shaun
are gonna disappear – we’re gonna scarper and leave Kev and Rob to answer it on
their own. (laughing) Are you ready? And disappearing’s making a huge difference.
It’s not like they’re ever gonna hear it. Can you leave us with the question so we can read the question out? Prepare for this to be heavily edited! It’s question number eight and we’re off. See you later! Gregor Tomasz. A Patreon! Good lad! We need
more of them so we can put the price of the boat up! Yeah, okay, thanks Gregor for your question. *Beep beep beep beep beep* (Laughing) Errr… We’ve actually become really close and absolutely 100% we are friends.
I mean you see us interacting on Twitter. We won’t say what goes on on
WhatsApp. Yeah, ours is not for a public forum. That’s off the scale that one but we have a
WhatsApp group with the team here. I’m selling joining fees that WhatsApp group!
Yeah yeah and if ever somebody wanted to make a movie, oh my God have I
got the script! So the simple answer is it’s well certainly from my point of
view, I know you’re the same. We have had the best time, we really really
have. From the very first time I met the guys I genuinely believed in what they
were doing and what they were wanting to So yeah, fantastic it’s as simple as that. Yeah,
it’s like yeah it’s like everyone you know I think they said it on an
early vlog when people said how do you pick where to buy a boat from? You’ve got
a have a gel between the customer and the boat builder – You know, they
loved our product, and we like them. And to have the Foxes along for
the journey from the very very start I mean you know we watch the vlogs we’ve
purposely tried to stay in the background of the vlogs because it’s not
about us, it’s about Colin and Shaun and Yeah
You know, we all get shivers up our spine when we watch the vlogs of ultimately
what we’ve built. The simple answer and you can ask anyone here and they will
tell you the same, they’ve been absolutely brilliant. An
absolute pain in the arse. Yeah, it’s had its challenges but they’ve all been rewarding challenges. We all know where we’re coming from and it’s been an absolute pleasure. Honesty from the outset, definitely, without a shadow of a doubt. So there you go questions and
answers from Rob and Kev. I hope that gave you some more information. Not long
to launch day now, a couple of weeks away. If you want to stay up to date and want
to be notified about all the videos, vlogs and information then just tick the
notifications icon and subscribe and YouTube will do the rest and it’s free
it’s all free! Shaun loves that word. Please click like if you liked the video
and click like if you didn’t like the video. There you go, that’s what
works best. If you’ve got any questions leave them down in the comments below
and we will answer them for you. And we will see you next time.
See you later. Bye bye! Move in… Yoo hoo! So cold! It’s freezing! Trying to baggy my top out. Rob, show your ankles! Do you recognise us off Crimewatch? Kev, you look dead miserable. (Laughing) Hat on or hat off?
It’s up to you. I look like a robber! I’ll just get my wig right. It’s mad when you look at yourself on a
camera ‘innit? Can we start again because I’ve lost me thread.
Are you educating me about paint now? Should turn the camera around to the
crew. My nose doesn’t wanna go on camera side on My belly doesn’t! So that was a long-winded no Dave. Bazingaboom!
Shaun…! Just shush for a sec. We’ve been stood here for about 15 minutes trying to get Shaun to ask this next question.
So he’s gonna ask it from a piece of paper because he can’t
remember one line of text. So if you think… This is Kev. If you use head because this
is true if you think he’s looking down Kev’s back he’s not. He’s actually looking at the question which is written on Kev’s back. Over to you Shaun, again. When you’re ready like. you know we do oh
I’m just stood here listening yeah

52 thoughts on “43. Building Narrowboat Silver Fox – Ask the Boat Builders!

  1. Yep! Hats off to all the tradesmen. They do an amazing job to complement an already amazing boatbuilders. 👍

  2. From what I've seen thus far, Silver Fox looks absolutely beautiful, quite simply magnificent, inside and out. Very tastefully fitted out, and the exterior…a perfect example of 'less is more', classy in the extreme. Congratulations. May the Gods help the first person who bumps you on the Cut.

  3. Hi guys
    Fantastic vlog guys great responses from ?s you 4 guys would make a great comedy set up
    Looking forward to next vlog

  4. You chaps make my day. 😁Poshest tin can I’ve ever seen. Mine has Baked Beans in it. 🙄 What lovely tradesmen and so kind about you both. 😉🤣 Which celebrity have you got coming for launch day?

  5. I have a question guys….I noticed that you bolted your Anodes on to Silver Fox instead of Welding them on. Wouldn't that create a possible leaking point in the hull? I love the boat and your Channel….Thank You! Mark from Florida

  6. Great video, I love to see men who are confident in their skills and proud of their achievements. The boat looks beautiful, can’t wait to see it out and about. Regards AJ

  7. Oh yes interesting but I was REALLY hoping you’d be ON THE WATER!!??
    We’ll be heading out soon before the family take ‘ St Christopher ‘ out over Easter maybe we’ll see you around 👍
    I’m Joan Graham’s Mrs. I’m the one enjoying following your story. SO impressed by how you getting the information out.

  8. Here is a question, lol cant beat a good question….Erm I was wondering if Air con might work. In fact is it even possible.
    Cars do with 12V system and engine…so…
    What do recon…thanks
    Allan on the Benjamin Allan.

  9. Hey guys. Good vlog interesting to hear from the builders . Also about how they feel like you have become friends as apposed to just clients. That's a good thing however I don't dout that that is the case ,you two come across as very easy going people. The condensation problem is one that has come up with just about all the utube channels​. I do however have a question please. The bilge not at the stern gland or the bow thruster, I know that they have dedicated pumps . My question is the rest of the boat. Have you had removable panels for each of the sections or are several connected with a panel for each. Also I made a sudgestion to one of the other utube channel when they got caught in a pound that was draining and the boat was leaning over to such an extent that they were worried about water coming back in through overboard discharge pipes. My sudgestion was next time the boat was out of the water , the overboard discharge pipes be removed and quick shut valves put in then the pipes replaced​ there by if that situation should come up again, and reading these vlogs it's very possible, all you have to do is reach out to them shut them problem solved. just a thought. . Anyway thanks for the video look forward to your next.Be safe

  10. My hat's off to the those tradesman and craftsman.

    I use to work in the marine trades building boats. Some customers can be real bastards and pains in the A$$, they try to tell you how to do the work, they have to micro-manage the build so it's their way. They get mad at you when their way doesn't work and it costs them big money.

    A great customer is someone that brings you their ideas and let you make it happen. From the sounds of it you guys are the latter. I understand why they enjoyed working with you guys.

    I look forward to the launching video.
    Blessings

  11. hi lads yet again good video and its nice that the men that build it have been honest. may I ask also the materials or fabric for your seats can you tell me what it is please. the name of the pattern. well done again.xx

  12. If only I could have my own narrow boat, I would love to have one built to my spec. If I ever do I would definitely ask Bickerstaffe to build it for me. I did't think once they were talking with self promotion in mind, they come across as people passionate about their work. Hats off 👏

  13. Hi chaps, nice to include the builders (outakes aswell). One question i have to do with the condensation issue, would double glazed units help on a narrowboat, at the very least regarding condensation on the windows (in the morning perhaps) ? Really nice that you were able to put a more personal touch this time as regards Bickerstaffe ! Love the bright modern scheme on such a limited space.

  14. Awwww Kev and Rob are lovely and you can see you have a genuine friendship. Thank you for another brilliant vlog x

  15. This is flipping marvellous including the stars of the show is a winner. What you see is what you get with. Top quality and bloody nice people. Subtitles were definitely needed….couldn’t understand a bloody word Kev and rob said 😂😂

  16. Another great post, thank you, boys … can't wait till you launch and see how Silver Fox performs on the water.

  17. Cat litter in tights. Who’d have thought it? Defo gonna give that a go 😊 Another really fab-you-luss video guys xx

  18. It’s so lovely to see how you all get on. I think the team will miss you when you launch. Can’t wait to see Narrowboat Silverfox on the water! xx

  19. The guy's have done an amazing job Silver Fox looks fantastic.Can't wait to see you both cruising around.The dream is about to get real good luck to you both.I'm sure you're going to have a fantastic adventure.

  20. They were great fun, really entertaining. I loved the end, you were all so funny. Nearly launch day, how exciting is that? Thanks as always for a great video. BTW I love Robin Wagg’s sign writing and think he would be a great choice for you. I used Dave Moore who’s fantastic but specialises in traditional writing and roses and castles which I don’t think is appropriate for you. Have you made a decision, or is it another case of the sign writing is already done? I can’t wait to see the end result.

  21. Colin and Shaun wish you both all the best was nice meeting you both at Stanley ferry , we will be back down there in another new boat in a couple of years , your boat is superb hats to you both and your builders .

  22. The question that’s been niggling at me since I started watching all your stuff last week(!) is: Why are the cabinet openings all so much smaller than the cabinet doors? My kitchen cabinet doors overlap the cabinets themselves by about… 1/2” on all sides. You have what looks like 1-2” overlaps top/bottom/sides and the honking great rounded ‘corners’, shrinking the openings to notably smaller than the doors. What’s up with that?

  23. I absolutely LOVE videos that involve the builders of a great thing… and this was a super video. Amazing. Well done lads at Bickerstaffe, and to you too!!! Great lads, this will be a good ad for them for years to come.

  24. To the builders and owners I have noticed two sounds from an engine on a narrow boat 1. Pop, pop, pop kind of like a two cylinder engine and 2. silver fox Episode 52 motor noise. Question why cannot or can it a narrow boat be almost silent like a car engine when pushing a narrow boat. Since you really aren’t going faster then 5 mph? Thank you. Bob

  25. On condensation: I live in Florida (2 miles (alright 3 km) from the Gulf) with 80% humidity almost year round. I installed a plastic wall shed in the backyard and within days the interior was dripping water from the ceiling, drops of water on the walls and every item in it. I put a little 6 inch (15cm) fan on the floor (I'd like to take credit for this idea but I think I read it somewhere) and that was the end of the condensation problem. I wonder if the same principle can be applied to narrowboats, especially at times when the boats are unoccupied and no heat source is active.

  26. Are you worried about MDF off-gassing of volatile, potentially cancerous chemicals like formaldehyde in a confined space?

  27. So you're saying even with double pane windows, for example, (ambient) condensation is still a concern that needs to be managed?

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