I drove up to the boat last night. It was one of those rare Summer evenings. Perfect for standing and staring, for sketching and chatting, and for planning the next stage of Eileen’s renovation.

I’d arranged to meet painter Jez Steadman at the boat. He did a superb job painting my previous boat ‘Onward’ around eight years ago. I’d seen ‘Onward’ just last Summer (click HERE) and with the paintwork still looking like new, I decided to seek Jez out and see if he’d be interested in re-painting Eileen too.

We talked through ideas I’d sketch out for lettering. And agreed that he’s begin work in September.

The series of posts on BCN Day Boat Decoration have helped to inform how the boat paint scheme will hopefully look.

I’ve described in a previous post (HERE) my thinking behind the colour scheme we’re going for. In brief, given that Eileen was an open iron day boat ie. a boat without a cabin, she wouldn’t really have had a colour scheme as such, so rather that try to create a facsimile of a company colour scheme that would never have been carried by Eileen we’ve decided to create our own based on, and as far as possible, respecting BCN practices.

The agreed colour scheme, as mentioned previously, will be Bright Red panels, Grass Green borders and Ivory lettering and lining. The lettering design will be based on the elongated, sans-serif Stewart & Lloyds lettering seen on Steve Bingham’s ‘Bittel’.

The cabin sides will carry three panels showing the boats BCN number, the Alfred Hickman fleet number, the name of the boat and our own ‘Canal Carrying’ lettering in the centre panel.

This is a page from my sketch book showing a number of ideas for lettering designs, some of which may get as far as the final design…
There have been all kinds of variations so far…
I’ve used tracing paper over a photo of the side of the boat, to help me to visualise what the paint scheme might look like…
Same design, other side of the boat. As you can see the sides aren’t symmetrical, one side having 2x portholes, the other 1x porthole.

It’s exciting to think that by the end of September ‘Eileen’ will be transformed.

I also met with boat builder and fitterJohn Coombes, and together we had a look at what might be possible to improve the boat’s controls, and looked at my designs for the kids bunks. Quotes are to follow. Again, if we could achieve these two projects the boat would be improved and advanced considerably. Fingers crossed that a reasonable quote comes back and the jobs can be done before the Summer holiday at the end of July.

Exciting times! It’s a good feeling to know that the renovation is under way again.


One thought on “Talking to Craftsmen…

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