Do Jonathan and Tim still build the boats?
Yes, both Jonathan and Tim remain completely hands on; they are actively involved in the planning, designing and building of every single boat. They work alongside a highly skilled team of boatbuilders who also have many years of experience.
Do you take stage payments?
No, we do not on steel shells. A small deposit of £1,000 secures your build slot and agreed price of your boat. The balance is due on completion before the boat leaves our premises. This ensures that your hard earned money is never at risk and you can have the confidence that we are a business with sufficient finance liquidity to build your boat at our own cost.
Do you have moorings available?
Yes, we do; Victoria Boatyard. Both these moorings alongside our extensive connections with other marinas mean that we can always find a mooring to suit your needs.
Can you recommend a boat fitter?
Most certainly. Over the years we've had the pleasure of working with many of the country's leading boat fitters who offer a wide range of styles to suit every taste and budget. If you let us know what you're looking for, we'll recommend the one most suited to your needs.
What engines do you recommend and fit?
We are more than happy to recommend and fit any quality engine including Beta, Barrus and Vetus. alongside more traditional engines such as Gardners, Listers, Russel Newbury etc. We use the most qualified engineers and insist all our engines have at least two years warranty.
What paint and preparation systems do you use to protect the steelwork?
With regard to paint, its application and maintenance.
Some of our customers have enquired about the costs/potential benefits of blasting over mechanical grinding, sanding, etc.
We did for a time invest in the necessary equipment and offer a blasting facility at our yard in Sheffield. It is true that blasting with appropriate abrasives certainly does have some benefits. It can facilitate the complete removal of any rust and mill scale and it creates a textured surface with peaks and troughs that creates a greater surface area for any paint to adhere to.
Against those benefits however it is important to weigh up the following considerations;
· Firstly, the cost involved – blasting preparation is inherently expensive if it is to be done properly. The last time we blasted a boat the costs alone, i.e. haulage and cranage costs, blast abrasive, fuel for compressors, subsequent clean up of work shop and blast operatives wages, totalled more than £4000 and that was more than 8 years ago!
· Second, the health and safety implications – these are considerable, both the operator and those in the vicinity require substantial protection.
· Blasting also has a considerable environmental impact both in terms of its high energy use and in its production of potentially hazardous waste.
· It should also be noted that THOROUGH blast cleaning to Grade Sa2-Sa3 will remove all mill scale back to pure metal but will also have the effect of softening the steel and potentially distorting the steel due to high energy being applied to its surface.
Taking into account the above, a number of years ago we sought considerable advice from both marine surveyors, paint specialists etc and came up with a paint preparation and application system that we believe gives the best possible protection at a cost that does not prove prohibitively expensive.
So all our boats are mechanically prepared using various processes including grinding, sanding and deburring, this even includes the mechanical preparation of the underside of each boats baseplate and uxter plate. All external surfaces are cleaned and degreased before application, using airless sprayers, of Jotamastic 87 – a 2 pack epoxy primer.
This is a surface tolerant, high solid, high build product specifically designed for areas where optimum surface preparation (i.e. through blasting to Sa2-Sa3 grade) is either not possible or desirable. It provides a long-lasting protection in environments with high corrosivity, it can be applied at sub-zero surface temperature if necessary! It can be applied to carbon steel and to properly prepared, previously painted surfaces.
It is, we think, the best coating available that is not prohibitively expensive. Of course, like all coatings, its effectiveness will be dependant not just on the preparation but also on the conditions it is subjected to, so the amount of wear and tear it receives, the quality of the water its moored in and the boats exposure to electrolysis will all have an effect, thus our recommendation that the boat be inspected on a regular basis.
Should the boat require re-coating we would recommend using Jotamastic 87 again over a properly prepared surface (some marinas offer a blasting facility prior to blacking and some owners have chosen to avail themselves of this facility; see considerations above).
Hopefully from the forgoing you will appreciate that much thought and consideration has been put into developing a paint preparation and application system that offers effectiveness and affordability. Of course, new developments are constantly being made in this area and if we can make further improvements we will endeavour to do so.
All the best from the team at Tyler Wilson.
What steel do you use?
BSEN 10025. Over the years, we have built up a special relationship with a handful of steel stockholders and steel mills who understand our insistence on quality material. All material supplied comes complete with certification to ensure traceability and confirmation of high standards.
Why do you build on Birmingham square?
We have our base plates specially produced by one of Britain's largest steel mills at a slightly increased width than the industry standard of two metres. This gives approximately two and a half to three inches greater internal width at base plate level - significantly increasing the sense of space inside your narrowboat.