Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Grey and Wet

Not the weather…the bilge!

Geoff (nb Seyella) left a comment on yesterday’s post regarding Waiouru’s draft.  At 36 inches we would likely collect rubbish around the propeller at bridge holes and might have difficulty finding a mooring.  I’d already been doing some on-line research regarding the best draft for a modern narrowboat and Geoff’s comments confirmed what I’d read.

First thing this morning I asked Richard if he would use his oscillating electric blade saw to cut out the floor isle in the galley.  We then removed the underfloor Kingspan insulation panels to reveal the bilge.    From the stern (rear) of Waiouru we have the diesel tanks, then the engine compartment, followed by the back cabin with the blackwater tank under the cabin floor.  Next is the galley which is the nearest accessible area in the bilge to install ballast.  Prior to installing the floor three rows concrete slabs were laid under the galley.  Each row consists of three 2’x2’ slabs.  In order to lighten Waiouru’s stern all, or some of these would need to be removed.

The three central slabs were relatively easy to break up with a club (lump) hammer and remove.  However in doing this I discovered the bilge had about 1½” of water washing around.  This is probably water from the time when the water pump hoses weren’t connected whilst the tank was being filled.  After removing the three slabs the stern rose slightly which was encouraging.  The majority of the water in the bilge was then removed with a wet vacuum cleaner before making a start on removing the other slabs.  Removing the water wasn’t essential but it splashed everywhere when I hit the slabs with the hammer.

The remaining slabs were more difficult to remove as access was very restricted.  The method I adopted was to lift the leading edge of the slab with a pinch bar  and then slide a length of 15x40mm piece of oak partially under it.  This broke the friction seal between the base of the slab and the felt in the baseplate.  It was then possible to carefully pull the slab towards the centre of the boat and break it up with the hammer.

All nine slabs were removed which has raised Waiouru’s stern by 6-7 inches.  The draft is now 28-29 inches rather than 35.  The tip of the top of the rudder is now also above the surface of the canal.  One other positive consequence from the removal of the slabs is the rear hatch no longer attempts the decapitate you when exiting the back cabin.

Meanwhile Richard had been making the Houdini surrounds from oak and also made a start on the trim for the finrads in the saloon.  There was just enough time for me to assist him give everything a coat of Impreg before the workshop closed for the day.

Tomorrow I’ll give the Houdini surrounds their first coat of varnish and then assist Richard to fit the finrad boxing.  Hopefully Nick will be in the engine compartment installing the Sterling PDAR.


Toni and Ray said...

You could make a lovely wine cellar and extra storage under the floor there if you put a hinge on the flooring when you replace it Diane NB Ferndale

Toni and Ray said...

You could make a lovely wine cellar and extra storage there if you put a hinge on the floor when you replace it : ) NB Ferndale

Peter and Margaret said...

Kelly Louise has a draught of 1 foot 9 inches, and we have never experienced any bottoming issues. In my experience I would consider 2 foot 6 inches as being the maximum draught for the current general state of canals. At that you may still experience bottoming in certain areas such as on the Montgomery and in certain lock pounds where you may end up having to flush the boat through.

Tom and Jan said...

The swim is 24 inches high!


We;re thinking of converting it to a swimming pool! :-)