One of the ideas I had for the floor was based on something I found while looking for my first narrowboat (not IRIS, this was another one that I didn't end up buying as it leaked when it was craned back in after the survey - I didn't want a 'project boat' - oh, the irony).

While searching the internet for ideas, I came across this article about creating faux plank floors. I really was looking for flooring ideas, rather than searching for girls with tools, which is another experience altogether.

I'd explained this idea to Mary before and she was skeptical, but we're on a budget and this project has become much more involved than we thought, so needs must and all that.

We managed to find a floor paint colour that we agreed on, and after traipsing round three B&Q DIY stores, managed to find the one we wanted. We painted a small piece of flooring and one side was left plain, with the other having some grooves cut in using a hand saw. The results looked good, and a quick poll of the people working on the boat voted for the 'faux' look.

In her article Mag mentions using leveling compounds - I thought this looked like a redundant step, so left it out. Two minutes playing around with a dremel type tool (as she uses) showed that this would take forever.

After a word with Alan, the boatbuilder, we borrowed a router, and after a bit of experimentation, set to work.

By using a long batten as a guide, Mary was able to carve some shallow groves (only about 1-2mm deep) in the plywood flooring.

With the help of Steve the joiners son, Jede, the first coat of chocolate brown was applied.

This was followed over the next day or so by a second coat and three coats of varnish.

The finished results look better than even I had expected.

It'll do for a few years while we sort the rest of the boat out, then maybe we'll look at reclaimed flooring.