We’ve had to build a box….

The beautiful new boats that we’re building are finished with many coats of a sophisticated 2-pack varnish system which needs to be applied under quite strict temperature conditions.  Those of you who have visited us at Hickling will know that our main workshop, in common with a lot of small boat yards is rather well, shall we say, ‘ventilated’.  IE it’s a bit drafty, a bit leaky, and at this time of year really quite cold.  Because of this we decided that the only way ahead was to build a shed within a shed, and as Joe is mostly responsible for building the new boats, it has become known as ‘Joe’s Box’.

The first job was a massive clean up of ‘stuff’ that had been stored in a part of the workshop which we haven’t used for a few years.  This mostly consisted of throwing stuff in the skip, although we did find some interesting historical stuff in an old filing cabinet which I may post about on here in the future.  Just for an idea of the sort of thing we found though, on the left is what looks like the first lease/agreement that my Grandfather and his Business Partner Frank Chettleburgh took out with our landlords back in 1962.  Note the rent back then £10 per annum!


Next, we laid a membrane down to stop the damp coming up, and then a polystyrene sheet insulation layer.  On top went some boards to form the floor of the box and stop the cold coming up from the concrete floor.  Over the next few days, step by step the area was boxed in from floor to ceiling.  The design of the box means that we can remove panels from the side to get bigger boats in pretty easily.

The panels kept being added until the whole thing was boxed in.  at which point we suddenly realized we might need a door….

So off we went to Jewsons, and returned with a door which was fitted by Joe, and finally he could both enter and leave his box!

Over the next couple of days we insulated the gaps, and worked out how to heat the place.  We can now keep a nice steady 18 degrees C even when the workshop outside is in the low single digits.  Not only will this be useful for our new boat building, we’ll be able to use it for painting and varnishing other smaller boats too, no matter the weather and without dealing with dust clouds kicked up by the wind in the main workshop.