Thursday, 4 December 2014

We're cooking on gas!!

We have been at Lime Farm Marina for a couple of weeks whilst Lois Jane had some alterations and the result is we are actually cooking on gas.

When we bought LJ back in January 2012 it was always a bit of a compromise her being a gas free boat but we loved everything else about her and we always knew there would be a compromise of some sort buying a used boat as opposed to having one built to our specification. Being gas free we relied on the engine running for the prop generator to power the electric hob and the new electric fan oven which we had fitted. We moved  permanently on board in April 2012 and all was well for a month or so until the prop generator decided to stop working and therefore we couldn't use the hob or oven unless on shore power. It was at this point we briefly looked into getting gas or changing to diesel cooking but we decided to go down the route of repairing what we had. James found a company in Atherstone to sort it setting us back £1800 and we stayed at Hinckley Marina for a couple of weeks.

Fast forward two years, virtually to the day and May 2014 the prop generator stopped working again. We both straight away said no way were we paying out £1800 again (probably more as James had managed to negotiate a huge discount last time) and with the inconvenience of having to run the engine every time we wanted to cook or even boil the kettle we decided to get gas installed. By then we were heading to Chester and Manchester then down the Macclesfield, the only boat yards we really knew about were in the Midlands, so we decided to wait until we were back down that way September time. In the meantime all cooking on LJ had been on our Cobb BBQ (outside), and we were able to power one ring on our hob with our petrol generator. Not ideal, but do-able.

A few before pictures

LJ hasn't got a gas locker at the front so we decided to have the bottles fitted at the back on our cruiser stern with a matching locker the other side to house our petrol generator. This meant our taffrail had to be adjusted so we could still get on and off the boat so therefore a bit of steel work and welding would be involved.

We know John's steel work and welding to be of a very good standard and as he could also carry out the electrical and gas work we went to Lime Farm Marina. The job took a little longer than we anticipated but that was also another reason why we waited until after the summer, we were in no hurry to get anywhere. (Actually we're never in a hurry to get anywhere, so I guess saying we had no plans would be better).

So we had a locker fitted each side of the rear doors, one housing two 13kg gas bottles and sunk down a few inches so it is a good height to double up as seating and the other side is a matching one for our petrol generator. Rather than have padlocks on the outside (and also for BSS the gas isolator should be accessible) John welded in steel loops for us to secure the contents inside. The gas pipe runs under the gunwale through our office area at the back, bedroom and bathroom to the galley. The rear navigation light and shore power hook up had to be moved, the taffrail had to be cut down and all the controls had to be moved back, we also have new deck drainage holes too. 

We managed to get the new Belling oven at the Midland Chandlers Freaky Friday event and at the last minute we decided to go for a black glass gas hob which we had seen previously in Ikea rather than the matching Belling stainless steel hob, it did cost a bit more but I preferred the look of it. The new hob fitted in perfectly but the gap for the oven needed a little adjustment.

Hob and oven being fitted
All that remains to be done is the painting to match in, which will probably wait until it starts getting warmer again, at the moment it is just protected with red oxide paint.

Now we're cooking on gas, well not always as of course the stove is now lit and its back to casseroles and soups cooked on the top, but we can have a cup of tea whenever we want and I can bake cakes and biscuits again, something I hadn't done since May.

The after pictures

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