Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Blood sucking leeches

We haven't posted for a couple of days as we are away visiting family in Coffs Harbour, NSW. Our oldest son recently gave up executive life in Sydney and purchased a small farmlet (10 hectares) 12km inland from Coffs Harbour . It's very tranquil. We've woken in the morning to the sounds of the Kookaburra's. The only negative to date has been the leeches. It's interesting watching them rear up and try to attach themself to your bare leg as you walk through the long grass.  Salt or peppermint toothpaste usually encourages them to detach themselves.  I suspect they will not survive once the rain stops and the ground dries out.  However we can't complain about the rain as it has filled the four dams on the property, and it is rather warm rain..... unlike the snow in the UK!

Unfortunately I can't attach any photo's but will do this when we get back home at the end of the week.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

One Day

I have a long term plan to purchase a domain name and space on a server where I can establish a website for Waiouru.  I’ve read the book……. Creating a Wordpress Theme for Dummies which seemed quite complicated.  I guess this means I’m worse than a ‘dummy’, however I’m sure I’ll manage.  My idea is that I’ll then transfer the current blog from Blogger to Wordpress and host it on the website where I’ll have more control (and responsibility) over data integrity.

My initial research indicates it would be more cost effective to purchase (rent) a domain name in NZ or Australia along with the server space. However I’m not sure whether this would adversely affect connection speed so more research is required.

I know that developing and designing websites used to require some knowledge of html code, etc.  However our eldest son recently designed his own website using a mac so my assumption is the process has become easier.  Of course I have no flair for ‘design’.  That can be left to Jan or the youngest son.  My strengths are in concept and supervision. Smile

Friday, 26 November 2010

Blog Traffic

I am starting to become fascinated by the ‘hit’ counter widget and country counter ‘thingy’ on the blog.

Although the blog only started last month we’ve already reached 1569 hits.  I’m surprised anyone is interested in my ramblings…… But then more than half the hits are mine…….. as I check in what’s happening {LOL}.

Even more interesting are the originating countries.  How did they find out my blog existed?  I haven’t advertised it!  There aren’t even any photo’s of Waiouru’s construction.  Hopefully that point will be resolved in a couple of weeks and the posts will become more interesting.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Hazards of Bush Walking

OK……. I admit it!   In the last 10 years of bush walking I’ve only once seen a snake.  And that one was on the road at the entrance to the park.   By the time I had told a few friends about the encounter it was as large as this Australian speed hump!
speed bump
The lady at the end of our street had three of them in her yard during last summer’s drought.  I think the snakes were after water from her swimming pool!  She sold the house and moved out of the neighbourhood the same year.
Another lady spotted the following incident between a wallaby and a snake over her back fence.
snake 1
The snake was rather lethargic after such a large meal.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

What a difference six months can make

Earlier in the year I was using the internet to price boat components in the UK.  The TV’s, domestic battery bank, sat dome, camera system, etc.  Everything was more expensive when compared with purchasing locally in Oz.  After revisiting some of the original websites in the UK recently I’ve noticed the advertised prices have reduced significantly.  The situation has changed so significantly that it’s actually more cost effective to purchase in the UK.  One assumes the current GFC is forcing UK suppliers to cut their margins?

There is an additional benefit for us as the value of Australian dollar has significantly increased against the UK£ and the US$.  The exchange rate during our last visit was 33p to the A$.  Now it’s 62p.  Additionally, one A$ would buy 50cents US.  Now it’s at parity. 

So UK prices have reduced and the value of the A$ has doubled…….. Each day I go to work I know I’m now making double the money I was 12 months ago.     LOVE IT!!!!!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


The boat is now insured.  I’m not adverse to a little cheating so rather than do my own research I went back and read the insurance company reviews and recommendation by Bruce from nb ‘Living in Sanity’.  We’ve opted to go with the same company.  The icing on the cake was the location of their office “New Zealand House”.  It appealed to a 5th generation kiwi!

The policy was emailed to me and I spent an evening reading through the pages of fine print making notes of my various queries.  One thing that particularly stuck out was only boats under 9 metres were insured for transport by road.  Our shell will be 18 metres so I queried whether it would be covered - It wasn’t!  I’ve had to arrange additional cover for the one time (we hope) that ‘Waiouru’ will be transported from Tyler Wilson to Great Haywood.

However Jan was pleased to read that we are covered should we want to water ski behind the boat.  Most useful!  Should you happen to be on the same stretch of canal watch out for us. 

Monday, 22 November 2010

Which Camera

I’m not much of a photographer and doubt there is an artistic bone in my body.  However it appears I will soon have the time to learn whilst cruising.  I suspect my excuse of “a poor camera” is going to quickly wear thin with our readers so I’ve decided to look for a good quality SLR camera.

As usual I’ve turned to the internet and been reading various reviews.  After a considerable amount of research I’ve selected the Canon EOS 550D DSLR.

Canon EOS-550D DSLR Camera

The camera can be purchased with or without a standard lens.  So more research was required.  I particularly wanted a general purpose lens.  One that would take wide angle as well as telephoto pictures.  I discovered Canon produce a “luxury” range of lenses which cost significantly more than their usual range.  Apparently this is because the actual lens in body is produced to a much higher quality.  I think the lens that will best fit our criteria is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM.


Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS USM

It looks like we will probably have a two or three days in Hong Kong on the journey from Australia and therefore we will take the opportunity to purchase both the camera and lens whilst there.

Somehow I suspect the research and purchase will be the easy part of the process.  Learning to be a proficient photographer will be the greater challenge.  Still, at least with a digital camera I won’t have to wait for the film to be developed to see how poor my photographs turn out!

Engel Fridge/Freezer

The decision to not send a packing case of unaccompanied personal effects means we can’t now take our 40 litre Engel Fridge/Freezer to use on the boat.  However the money saved by not sending the packing case can be put towards subsidising the cost of purchasing a new Engel in the UK.

After price shopping on the internet we have placed an order with MPS for a slightly smaller 32 litre capacity Engel. It has the same width and length as our current model but is 10cm lower in height. Hopefully the reduced height will mean it is easier to fit under the spare bed in the rear cabin.

Engel 32L Fridge-Freezer

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Getting the Aerial to the UK

You may recall in an earlier post I mentioned we would remove the external long-range mobile phone aerial off our 4x4 and take it with us to mount on the roof of the boat.


The idea is to use it to improve phone and data coverage.

The aerial was to go in the wooden packing case but the recent change to the plan means we need to look for another option.  It is too long to fit in our suitcase so I decided I’d need to either make, or purchase, a tube to carry it in.  More money to be wasted!  Then Jan remembered we already had a cardboard tube containing the house plans.  It’s just the right size!


I will tuck the tube under my arm; casually walk onto the aircraft and then place it into the overhead locker.  Hopefully it won’t create too much attention when it is X-Rayed at the security checkpoint.  I’ve just had another thought!  I can wrap socks around the aerial before inserting it in the tube.  They will prevent the aerial from rattling around inside the tube and it will also free up space and weight in the suitcase.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Don’t be a “Galah”

Local derogatory expression for an Australian who is loud, raucous and not very intelligent. Also the name of a variety of local bird. They have strong similarities!  They are quite prevalent and a flock of them can be extremely noisy (I mean the birds…… although it’s sometimes true of the former!)

GalahTwo Galahs

This variety is pink, grey and white. 

I actually find the lorikeets a more attractive bird.


This group regularly decides to feed in the gum tree outside our bedroom window early in the morning .

more lorikeets

A slightly different variety of these live in Western Australia where they are commonly known as “Twenty-eights”.  Why? Because their call sounds almost exactly like they are calling out the number twenty-eight.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Camera System

There were a few things I quickly discovered about steering when taking to the canal in a hire boat.

· The boat is damned long and you can’t see the bow.

· The bow arrives at the bend long before you can see around it

· You will invariably meet an oncoming boat on a blind bend, bridge corner, or other visually obstructed location.

· For a novice, the thought and actions taken to avoid a collision can be very stressful. And it wasn’t even my boat!

I know that with time we are almost certain to become proficient in manoeuvring the boat. However, between now and then, it’s possible I could place many “dents” in the canal banks.

I’m not adverse to using new technology provided it comes are a cost effective price. So I started considering fitting a bow camera to the boat with a monitor at the helm. A car reversing system was the obvious option. They are getting to be more common and consequentially the cost reduces. They are also 12v DC.

The initial idea was to purchase it in Australia and send it to the UK in the packing case I’d built. The boat would be finished and I therefore decided to opt for a wireless system. All the camera would need was a 12v power supply wire. Further research into reversing systems indicated a wireless system may not be a reliable option. I also discovered cameras are manufactured to a variety of standards. As the cameras were going to be mounted on the bow they would obviously be exposed to the elements. It is also possible they might be hit with water from leaking lock gates.

Cameras have a two digit International Protection (IP) rating. The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts and the second is protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water. <click here for wiki>

A code of IP66 would mean the camera was dust and waterproof. IP67 means it is dust proof and can be immersed down to 1 metre in water.

By using Google I found a supplier in Australia with the right types of cameras. Then we decided against the packing case option. No room for the camera system in our baggage!

Back to Google and I started looking for a UK based supplier. I was very please when I came across http://www.reversingcamerasuk.com. The website was informative and Chris promptly responded to all my queries. We have decided to purchase two cameras. A wide angle lens that will point down at the bow which will enable me to see where it is when mooring or winding the boat, etc.


The second camera will have a narrow angle lens and look forward to give us early warning (I hope) on those blind bends. They are both IP67 rated and will be mounted, along with the horn and headlamp, on a vertical box section post between the bow hatch and the cratch board..


We will have a colour LED/LCD 7” monitor at the stern.


I have yet to finalise how it will be mounted. However it will not be weatherproof so I will need to make it removable.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Free coffin to good home

Last week I became very energetic and build a timber packing case from left over plywood and ripped down pine.  It was built exactly the same width as our Engel 12v freezer with the intention it would be used to send all our unaccompanied baggage to the UK.

packing case 

Now it’s surplus to requirements and probably looking for a good home.  What went wrong?  Well two things happened that culminated in the decision to cancel the plan to use it.  The first was uncertainty over the cost of shipping.  An Australian freight forwarder phoned me and advised he could get the case as far as Birmingham as they only did “port to port”.  I would then have to arrange collection and pay for the clearance, duty, etc.  Consequentially the cost became an unknown factor.  The second thing that happened was Jan asking do we needed to take the Engel freezer.  “Why not leave it behind and buy another in the UK?”  It was a logical question and caused me to reconsider the plan.  The money saved by not shipping the case would offset the cost of the freezer.  We think it will be possible to squeeze all our essential possessions into our airline accompanied baggage allowance.

So one slightly short and high coffin is available to a local home.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

News on the Shell

Last night I telephoned the UK and had a very informative conversation with our shell builder Tim Tyler, and found him a most informative and pleasant fellow.  He had previously contacted Ben Harp, our boat builder, recommending we consider adding an additional foot to the foredeck.  The purpose of my call was to establish why this had arisen.  Tim was able to explain that because our foredeck as so low it would be very difficult to step up onto the side lockers and out of the boat.  He wanted to build a second, lower locker across the bow that would act as a step.  However by doing this there would be very little floor space in the foredeck area. Hence the request for the additional foot.

Bow section Updated

This is my updated impression of what the bow section might look like.  The red area is the locker above the bow thruster tube and the yellow is the diesel tank for the saloon stove.  The purple area is storage and the cyan is the new step which has been recommended by Tim Tyler to assist in exiting the boat.  If we add a foot to the bow then we will need to take it from somewhere else.  I have a feeling the saloon will be to compartment to suffer the loss.

I then asked Tim what was the status of the shell.  He was able to inform me there had been a slight delay waiting for the 20mm baseplate steel but now all the steel had been cut out and actual fabrication would commence very soon.  Tim estimates it will take three weeks to complete the shell.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Clicking of Needles

It has been quite a few years since Jan did any knitting.  Who needs woollen clothes in Australia’s warm climate!  Well she has found her knitting needles and is now spending her free time knitting useful UK winter accessories.  She has already decided there will be no woollen jumpers on the boat as she believes they will be too hard to dry.  From our time in colder climates we both recall mittens are warmer than gloves, and so Jan has been knitting mittens.  Two pair each to begin with.  They will probably be ‘under-mitts’.  We will purchase water resistant outer mittens at the start of our first winter in the UK.


She also has a reasonable quantity of surplus wool from the various garments she has knitted in the past.  I noticed during a visit to my mother in Perth earlier in the year that she had a way of knitting woollen squares which didn’t require them to be sewn together.  This speeds up the process and makes it easier to produce an end product.  I mentioned this to Jan who asked for some instructions.  She has been experimenting and worked out how to use the technique.  This is the beginning of her first knee blanket.

knee blanket

None of the squares are sewn together.

I think her plan is to produce a few blankets for use on the boat during cold evenings.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Limping Home

Fortunately the title has nothing to do with the boat.  I went out for my weekly long walk on Thursday.  Yes a day late! But unfortunately I had a business appointment in the city on Wednesday.  There wasn’t much sun but the humidity level was high.  Perspiration was pouring off me and I was grateful I’d taken two water bottles.  The flies were out en-mass and looking for a drink.  Mostly off me; or so it seemed!
This is the view from the top of Black Hill looking towards Morialta Conservation Park.  At this point I had completed about a third of the circuit.  I just need to drop down into the gorge and climb up the trail on the far side
top of Black Hill Trail up Morialta
Photo on the right is a ‘close up’ of the one on the left.
Unfortunately the trail down to the gorge is getting rather overgrown.  The late spring rain has resulted in a spurt of growth from the native vegetation.  I don’t mind pushing through the waist high native grass; it’s the though of snakes that’s making me cautious. 
The second gorge has some spectacular rock formations.  I rather like the ancient look of Australian cliffs.
Deep Creek Lookout looking up at the lookout
It wasn’t until I reached the bottom of the second gorge that I noticed this small, and increasingly rare bird with the bright blue plumage.  It flitted around preventing me from taking a good photo with my cheap digital camera.
blue birdbluebird1
I know…….. out of focus!  However you can get an idea of it’s plumage!
Just before I left the park there was a female koala and cub resting in the fork of a gum tree.  Koala’s do a considerable amount of ”resting!”  I’m sure I could learn something from them.  I’ve been told the gumtree leaves they eat have very little nutrition and as a consequence the koala’s don’t have much energy.  I suspect this is correct and I’ve never seen one moving fast. 
koalas in tree koalas in tree close up
Mum looks asleep, however the cub was curious and looking around.
Then there were some pretty bright green parrots high in a gum tree and just out of range of my compact digital camera, hence the slightly blurred photo.
parrots copy
I need to find some lower to the ground to get them in range!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Preparing for the Move

I know, it’s rather early to be considering the move however some of the items we have previously purchased will be required during the fit out of Waiouru.  18 months ago we purchased the small Engel 12v fridge/freezer when it was available at a special price from a recently opened camping, boating and fishing shop.  Our big 240v chest freezer had failed and we took the decision to buy the Engel.  We’ve been using it as our home freezer ever since.  The other item we have is the mobile phone aerial which used to be on the 4x4.

There were a couple of spare sheets of 9mm plywood in the shed and some left over timber beams under the porch.  I’ve ripped down the beams and run them through the thicknesser to make packing case framing and there was just enough plywood to line the frame.  The dimensions of the box were dictated by the width and height of the Engel and the length on the aerial.  This actually give spare capacity which will be filled with winter clothing and manchester.

Now I’m emailing shipping companies in an effort to obtain an acceptable quotation to consign the case by sea.

My next action will be to produce a movement project plan (critical path) which must identify all the activities we need to complete prior to leaving Australia.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Selecting a TV

More research on TV’s.

We have decided on a 32” flat screen TV and at that size LCD provides a good picture.  Actually the new LCD/LED backlight TV’s are even better.  The choice is down to two.  The Sony Bravia KDL-32EX703 or the Panasonic TX-L3228. 

Sony KDL32EX703Panasonic TX-L32D28

                        Sony                                                                            Panasonic


The Panasonic comes with a built in FreeSat receiver which means it could connect directly to the satellite dome receiver.  Consequentially there would be no requirement for a FreeSat set top box.  However the Panasonic is more expensive than the Sony.

The Sony doesn’t have built in FreeSat and we would therefore need to purchase a set top box.  If we select the Sony then I’m considering this model of Humax.

Humax HD Set top box recorder 

It is high definition and has the ability to record broadcast programs.  The combined cost of the Humax and Sony is slightly more than the Panasonic.  An additional factor is that Sony currently have a special offer where they will rebate back the VAT on the TV.  This means both options are on a par when it comes to price.  However the Sony/Humax option would provide the ability to record programs. 

There is a second ceiling mounted ‘automotive’ flip down TV in the bedroom.  We need to get the satellite signal to it.  The connection options are coaxial antenna cable or composite (red, white, yellow).  Because the Humax has it’s own 320GB hard drive there is no requirement to connect it to the Network Media Tank (NMT).  Both the Sony and Panasonic TV’s have 4 x HDMI input sockets so that’s not an issue.  The Humax has one HDMI output socket which can be used to connect to the main TV. It also has component, composite and SCART outputs.  This means the Humax should be able to connect to both TV’s.  Something the Panasonic option doesn’t provide.

I think we are likely to select the Sony/Humax option.  The satellite dome receiver would connect to the Humax set top box.  The Humax would have a HDMI output to the Sony TV and a composite output to the small TV in the bedroom.  The NMT can connect two one of the other HDMI sockets on the TV.

Friday, 12 November 2010

What to Watch?

I mention in an earlier post that we would have a Network Media Tank (NMT) linked to our TV and would be able to ‘stream’ audio and video recordings from the NMT to the TV.  We have converted our DVD library to digital files on the NMT internal hard drive.  Rather than just transferring them to the NMT I have converted them from DVD format to AVI.  Essentially this process compresses the DVD’s to approximately on sixth of their original size.  To do this I used a program named Avidemux

However this isn’t our only source of video date.  We have also been capturing and recording broadcast TV programs.  I used a home theatre personal computer (HTPC).  The pc used the Linux operating system (Ubuntu) and a program named MythTV.  Our HTPC has six TV tuner cards when gives the capability to capture up to six different TV channels simultaneously.

MythTV will accept data from an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and the user (me) can selected programs or series that I want to record.  MythTV is ‘smart’ enough to remember what I want to record and what I’ve previously recorded.  It will then automatically record those programs I’ve indicated I like and ignore any previously recorded programs. 

Another advantage of MythTV is it can automatically identify and cut out commercial breaks from a recording.  Finally, I have it linked to a post-processing program which converts the recorded date to AVI format. At the end of this process the file is transferred to the NMT.  After capturing and converting programs for the last five years I don’t think we will lack viewing material on those nights where there is no satellite signal.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

An encounter in the mist

I went out on my early morning weekly walk through the local conservation park.  Usually I find myself walking in bright sunlight, but not this day.  The cloud level was hovering around 600 metres and as I gained altitude I found myself walking in an eerie misty environment.

Mt Lofty Trail in the clouds 

Interestingly, the camera picks up more detail and gives a clearer impression than my own eyes did at the time.

At one point I was walking up one of the lesser used trails when out of the mist I could see a kangaroo in front of me

Female Kangaroo

I took this photo and then walked a few steps closer to take another.  That’s when I realised she had a ‘Joey’ in her pouch.

Mother and Child

I was about to take another couple of step for a third photo when with a crash, father kangaroo bound from the bushes and placed himself on the track between me and his mate.  And he was considerably bigger!  I wasn’t looking for a fight, so I waited until they both bound into the bushes at the left of the trail.  Mum was obviously curious about me because she didn’t go too far before stopping to look back.  Her colour, texture and markings make it hard to see her unless you know where to look.

hiding in rhe bush 

Can you see her?

hiding in rhe bush2

If the native animals remain still in the bush most of the time you will not see them.  Ten minutes later I was back on the main trail being used by numerous weekend walkers and never saw another wild mammal during the remainder of my walk.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Back Cabin

Well this is the last compartment in the boat.  Actually it is the compartment nearest to the stern and the last one I’ve drawn using SketchUp.

The first drawing is of the starboard side looking towards the rear.  There is a small workstation with a folding desktop and shelving underneath.  Above the workstation are some cupboards. To the right of this is a full length cupboard.  The idea is the top half will be a cupboard to hold raincoats, hats, gloves, etc.  Beneath it will be the calorifier (hot water cylinder).  Any heat radiating from the calorfier will be directed into the wet locker.  The top half of the last locker contains the electrical equipment, including the battery charger and 12/230v inverter.  It will also contain the switchboard and instruments.  I’m hoping there is room in the lower half for the calorfier which would enable me to relocate it from the bottom of the cupboard to the left which would give us room for an additional storage area for mooring pins, ropes, footwear, etc.  However there may not be sufficient room for the calorfier this close to the stern as the hull of the boat (the ‘swim’) will start tapering from this area leading to a point under the stern where the propeller shaft will exit the boat.

Rear Cabin (Left Side)

The other side of the compartment has an extending bed.  It will extend out into the walkway to make a 4ft wide second double bed.  When the bed is extended it will block walking access through the rear of the boat.  However this will not be a problem as there should be no need to exit via the rear when someone is occupying the bed.  In an emergency it will be possible to climb over the bed or exit via the bow doors, or even the side hatches.

Beneath the bed is room for the small 12v Engel chest freezer and storage cupboards.  Above the bed at the rear is another storage cupboard.  The steps out of the boat will have lifting tops to provide further storage and the face of each step contains a LED light to illuminate the steps when exiting or entering the boat at night.

Rear Cabin (right side)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Problem with the Bedroom

Oh No!   I’ve made an error with the location of the portholes.  The bedroom is 9ft long and I placed the portholes on both sides of the boat in the middle at 4’6”.  However I forgot there is a 2ft deep wardrobe either side of the forward doors into the cabin.  This makes the portholes look ‘off centre’ as shown below.

Bedroom Port Side 3


See how the porthole is not in the middle of the bed!  I’ve written to Kelly and Ben advising them of my mistake and requesting they move the portholes to towards the rear by 1ft. 

Bedroom Port Side

You can see in the drawing above the lockers above the bed.  There are small 1ft wide lowboys either side of the bed with two drawers.  At the end of the bed there are four large drawers and a storage cupboard. The half of the bed nearest the side of the boat can’t be easily accessed.  We will probably have to lift the base of the bed to get to the area which may get used for seasonal clothing.  To the right of the bed is a full height wardrobe with drawers on the lower half and a coat hanging cupboard in the top half.

As you can see in this next drawing the same problem exists with the planned location of the porthole.

Bedroom Starboard Side

I’m very pleased I produced these rough drawings otherwise I may not have identified the porthole problem.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Bathroom Design

The bathroom is only 6 feet long and of ‘through’ design.  On the port side is the toilet and then the shower, whilst on the other side of the compartment there is a narrow vanity top, heater towel rail and hand basin.

Bathroom port side

As you can see the toilet door is bi-folding to avoid clashing with the saloon door which will be to the left.  You will also note that I still haven’t yet learned how to produce an oval shape in SketchUp, hence the round toilet pan.  We can probably manage with a slightly narrower toilet closet.  The 3ft is rather generous and 2’6” would also be acceptable.  The shower is 3ft square and I'm showing the mixing valve on the the wall under the gunwale opposite the glass swivel screen door.  All the walls will be clad in a waterproof formica laminate board.  There will be no tiles.  It’s just so hard to clean the grout and tiles can crack should the boat flex. We initially wanted a chrome towel rail on the ceiling of the shower so we had something which we could use to hang wet clothing.  However Kelly believes Ben can produce a better solution.

Bathroom starboard side

Yes,  the funny grey shape at the bottom right is my attempt at drawing a heater towel rail.  My excuse is I didn’t have much time.  In reality I just got lazy.  However the hand basin is a genuine attempt.  The cabinet is only 1ft deep.  So we have a shower at 3ft, walkway at 2ft and a vanity at 1ft to give us a 6ft wide bathroom.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Saloon

I’ve found the saloon slightly easier to draw.  Probably because it’s mostly an open area.  It’s 15ft long and doesn’t have much in the way of cabinets.  At 15ft it’s the largest compartment in the boat and was deliberately designed that way.  This is where we will spend the majority of our conscious hours inside the boat so we wanted it to be as large as practical.  Even if this meant reducing the size of other compartments.

Saloon port side

On the port side (your remember from my last post that this is the left side of the boat!) there is a side hatch with two internal timber framed glass doors and two 15” double glazed portholes that can be opened.  The side hatch also has weatherproof steel exterior doors. In the far left corner is the Lockgate Refleks diesel stove that will provide heating.  I haven’t drawn the chimney because I haven’t yet learned how to draw a pipe on an angle.   For obvious reasons the area around the stove is clad in a fire resistant material.

Beside the stove is a display cabinet.  The top portion has adjustable shelves and two glass doors.  This is where the receiver for the satellite dome on the roof will fit along with the set top box and the network media tank.  There is some more open shelving and the two drawers.  The lower portion of the cabinet has been left blanked off and vacant because I think Ben may need the area for a pump or other device that needs to be concealed.

To the right of the cabinet is the door to the bathroom.

Saloon starboard side

On the opposite side is a similar set of side hatches and portholes.  At the far end is a wall cabinet with a 32” flat screen TV occupying the lower/middle area.  For best viewing the centre of a TV screen needs to be at eye level when seated.  The size of a screen is dictated by the distance from the person viewing.  If we were to mount the screen on the wall then we would have to sit opposite it.  This would mean we would be approximately 3ft from the screen and a 32” TV would be too big to comfortably look at.  However if you look at a small screen you see a small picture and miss out on detail.  Our TV is mounted on a swivel wall bracket and will swing out from the cabinet when we want to watch TV.  We will be looking at it down the length of the boat and can therefore be further away.  There is one disadvantage to this setup.  The TV may partially obstruct the doorway to the bathroom.  However this is a compromise we have decided to live with.

Above and below the TV are shelves.  The top two shelves have glass doors.

Beneath the hatch and portholes is a full length bookcase.  It’s not very deep and we won’t have many books as we will mostly be using eReaders.  The top shelf has a small vertical ‘lip’ to prevent things falling off during our anticipated crashing and banging!  Beneath the bookcase are full length dual finrad heaters.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Galley

I continue to play with SketchUp and have now started producing conceptual drawings of the various boat compartments so that Ben gets an indication of our ideas regarding the layout.  These two are of the port (left) and starboard (right) sides of the 6ft through galley.

Galley Port Side
At the far end is a 1ft wide pantry.  Jan wants drawers in the bottom half and a cupboard door with adjustable shelves in the top half.  The bench top is granite with a rectangular stainless steel sink.  Drainage grooves will be cut into the granite top.  The wall behind the bench top has a glass splashback rather than tiles.  Under the bench there are two cupboards with shelves.  Originally there were three cupboards and then I realised the washing machine wouldn’t fit under the bed in the back cabin so it has been moved to under the bench.
Galley Starboard Side
This is a view of the starboard side.  The granite bench top has a four ring gas hob and the glass splashback.  Underneath the hob are three drawers.  Two are deep pot drawers and the 3rd is shallow because of the gas hob.  It will be the cutlery drawer. Beside the drawers is a cupboard with shelves.  Above the bench top is a set of glass fronted cupboards. At the right end is the 12v Shoreline fridge, wall oven and microwave oven. The ‘kickboards’ in the galley have shallow pull out drawers.  All the drawers have ‘soft close’ and retain mechanisms.
No!  I didn’t draw Jan in the sketch.  The lady came with the program and I left her in the drawing to give Jan idea of the scale.