Thursday, 1 November 2012

Technical and Owner’s Manuals

The day started cold and clear with a hint of sunshine before the rain set in and the temperature dropped.  Jan caught the Black 1 community bus to Calcot for some essential supplies at Sainsbury’s whilst I headed to the workshop.

The first task for the day was to assist Richard create the mortise joints for the side hatch frames and windows.  He did all the technical stuff whilst I applied my considerable body mass to hold down the pieces of timber.  After that I completed applying the first coat of varnish to the finrad boxing before going on to give the Houdini trim a second coat of Impreg. 

Suddenly it was 10.00am and Barrie Morse our surveyor arrived.  Barrie is assisting us with the build by managing the process of manoeuvring us through the technical requirements for Waiouru to obtain registration and a license.  If a new boat was being purchased from a reputable builder then he/she would normally do this work.  However we are the owner/builders with the boatyard being subcontractors.  At this stage of the build we want three things

  1. An Owner’s Manual.  This stays with the boat and describes how everything in the boat works.
  2. A Technical Manual.  This describes how the boat was built and must be retained by the builder for at least 10 years.
  3. We want independent advice the boat has been built to the relevant ISO (International) and BSS standards.  We are owner/builder but intent on ensuring the build is not self-certified!

If we had realised both manuals are a legal requirement I would have asked each builder on our short-list to show me the Technical Manuals for their last three boats.  I’m fairly certain that would have immediately eliminated Ben Harp Narrowboats from our list.  So if you are ever considering having a new boat built you may want to ask the potential builder to show you the Technical Manual of a previous build.  If they can’t provide one then I wouldn’t want them building my boat!

Barrie was very thorough and there are a number of minor issues needing attention.  Most of them relate to the labelling of switches and safety valves.  However we do have one physical problem with the shoreline sockets.  We have one each at the bow and stern.  The relevant standard requires they have either a fuse or double pole ELB within 500mm of the socket.  If the cable is fully enclosed in a cable duct the distance can be extended to 3 metres.  The rear socket is 1.5 metres from the consumer unit and ISN’T in ducting.  So we either run the wiring through some ducting or fit another ELB closer to the shore plug.  The bow socket is more of a problem.  Whilst it is in ducting it’s more than 3 metres from the consumer unit.  Moreover it will be difficult to retro-fit a double pole ELB into the circuit close to the bow as there’s no '”slack” in the cable.  Need to put the thinking cap on.

Nick was down in the engine compartment today fitting the Sterling PDAR.  He mentioned to me that we will have to regularly check the levels in the domestic batteries as the PDAR will charge much faster which will result in more heat and evaporation of the electrolyte.

In the afternoon Richard glazed and glued the side hatch windows together before fitting the thin strips of trim over the joints in the sheet of oak wall panelling.  There aren’t very many of them as Richard went to great length in his effort to conceal joints behind wall partitions.

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