Tuesday, 6 November 2012


We woke this morning to a lovely warm boat expecting to see a heavy frost outside.  However the temperature was certainly above zero with a clear sky.  It stayed a warm day until the sun disappeared around 4:30pm when the temperature suddenly dropped.

When the workshop opened at 8:30am I immediately started lightly sanding the side hatch framing and doors with 400 grit paper.  It was then all wiped down with a tac cloth to remove the dust.  They are now ready for a second coat of gloss varnish.

Whilst sanding the side hatches I also gave the tiller handle another light sanding and a fourth coat of gloss varnish.

Only two more coats and it will be finished!

James spent the day working on the rear cabin bed extension.  He and Richard discussed and agreed the details on how the bed will be assembled so it’s now up to James to make all the components.

Jan has been trying out the new Spinflo oven.  Today we had freshly baked bread for lunch.  Nothing like a tomato sandwich made using bread that’s still warm <yum>!

Meanwhile I helped Richard with the scribing of the Houdini hatch trim.  We roughly fitted them last week and today it was time to scribe and make the trim which will make the frames a tight fit.

The quarter radius sections made on Friday were held in place whilst the Houdini surround was screwed to the ceiling.  Their positions were marked with masking tape and then the complete frame was taken to the workshop.  The radii were then glued and screwed into their respective corners using the line of the masking tape as a guide.  Once the corners were fitted the thinner trim was cut to length, scribed, and screwed in place.  Scribing the corners and the thinner trim will ensure the Houdini trim fits snuggly against the ceiling lining and the aluminium frame of the Houdini.

Two trims completed… One to go!

The oak surrounds won’t actually touch the Houdini hatch.  Instead there will be a mastic or silicon beading between the two surfaces which will act as a moisture barrier.  The irony of all this work is most of it will never be seen.  Almost all of it will be concealed behind the blackout and insect screens which have yet to be fitted to the ceiling,

This morning Jan and I had a conversation with fellow boater Graham who owns nb Mount Tamar which is moored at the boatyard.  Graham mentioned he had no 12v systems and didn’t know why.  There have been boaters who have helped us so it seemed the least I could do would be to attempt to solve his problem.  Mount Tamar is an old boat and after lifting the engine boards it was apparent the entire engine compartment was covered in a dirty oily film.  Nothing was labelled  and some of the wiring looked decidedly suspect.  The battery bank voltage was 12.8v and the master isolation switch was in and ON.  Tracing the wiring further I discovered a fuse board.  This consisted of old porcelain fuse holders and fuse wire.  After checking each of them with the multi-meter I found two ‘blown’ fuses.  Once the wire was replaced in these, Graham’s fridge and lights worked.  However the water pump was still inactive.  Unfortunately he didn’t know where the pump was located and by then I’d run out of time.  Before leaving I suggested the water pump was probably near his water tank in the bow and when he found he should let me know so we can continue the fault-finding.  I suspect it’s either turned off or faulty.

Last job for the day was to go through the list of outstanding joinery tasks with Richard and identify what might be done tomorrow after varnishing the side hatch frames and the Houdini hatch surrounds.  There is plenty left to be done!

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