I thought at first that I would have to replace it with a room sealed heater (i.e. one without a naked flame). These cost about three times as much and need a constant mains voltage electricity supply - a bit of a problem on a cruising narrowboat. However, enquiries revealed that as I don't live on my boat, as long as it was fitted by a "competent person" I could have a like-for-like replacement in the form of a Morco D61
Many boaters would now be posting an account of how easy they found the Morco to fit. Just take it out of the box and connect it up. Others would perhaps have a longer tale to tell about how they struggled against the odds and, without knowledge or experience, overcame many difficulties and were in the end successful! I know my place.
I also know that as the operation would involve gas fitting and plumbing skills this story would have been a toss up between a flooding disaster and an explosion - or possibly both. So, the heater was fitted by Norbury Wharf Ltd - not cheap but within their estimate and safely and neatly done - and Starcross now has hot running water again.
After my post Una Paloma Blanca I received comments from some readers to the effect that after reading it they couldn't get a certain 1970s pop tune out of their heads for days. If this post has the same effect - or if you are the captain of a certain "Granny Buttons" then follow this link!