FIT-OUT AND LAYOUT
Jim Birch has built up a reputation for fitting-out boats with reclaimed timber and this boat is no exception, with wood from both a pub and a church.
The character exuding from this old timber is exceptional. The other thing you notice immediately is the range of different woods and colours on show; the fashion for uniformity is firmly rejected, showing that you can achieve harmony without having everything the same.
Reclaimed timber often arrives in a bit of a state and takes a significant amount of time to restore. It’s pressure washed before being lightly sanded and then either waxed or varnished, depending on where it will be used.
The boat itself has a standard layout, with the saloon at the bow under the glass. The galley is open plan to the saloon, then a corridor takes you past a shower and a separate loo. Next comes the engine room, followed by a back cabin. deck is a continuation of the cloths that cover the ‘hold’ windows, and partly because this really is like another room.
There are substantial lockers each side of the deck, made from the wooden floor of a pub in Rugby. You get the impression the wood could tell more than a few tales. The water tank is under this part of the deck, which explains why there’s a step up. Between the lockers a door provides access to what would normally be the gas locker; this is a gas-free boat though, and the locker is where the washing machine is hidden.
There’s a choice of tables to go between the lockers, making this a great al fresco eating area. And the whole thing converts into a guest bed, providing the boat’s extra berths.