Friday, 7 December 2012

Our first brief cruise whilst in control of the tiller

The carpet layers were a “no show” which was somewhat of a disappointment given we had moved everything and cleaned the plywood floor in anticipation of their arrival.  Andy then requested we wind (turn) Waiouru so the welder could fix the pin hole in the bow diesel tank filler.  It will involve cutting a 4” square hole out of the side of the hull to access the obscured portion of the filler pipe.  Winding the boat would also enable Darren to continue with the touch-up painting.
Windrush was breasted up (tied) against us on the outside so Darren kindly moved her whilst Jan and I prepared to get Waiouru underway.  Jan almost forgot to take the camera….. and we did forget the walkie-talkies!
As we would need to go under the lift bridge to wind in the pound Jan remained on terra firma, whilst I nervously moved Waiouru.  I was rather relieved to find out the tiller arm wasn’t fouled by the new pram cover.  It had been a concern!  After casting off we just let Waiouru sit in the water and allowed the bow to drift out.  Eventually I engaged the gearbox and she (the boat) quietly moved off.
Considerably more nervous than I look!
Waiouru was only just in gear and appeared (to me) to be drifting nicely through the water.  However I was subsequently informed she was moving too past passed the moored boats.  If this is correct then there may be a problem as I don’t see how she can made to go slower?
The bridge was down when I arrived.  (Jan was taking photo’s for the canonists using their camera!!!)  However I was impressed with the way Waiouru just sat in the canal in neutral without drifting.  It’s something I never managed to achieve in a hire boat.  Is it me… or the Tim Tyler shell?
Jan lowered the bridge to allow the queue of traffic to clear whilst I winded Waiouru in the pound.  There was a heart stopping moment when I though the bow of Waiouru would collide with “The Blue” which was moored just short of the facilities block.  However the Axiom propeller seemed to stop Waiouru very quickly so nothing was damaged.
It then seemed to be a very long wait until Jan activated the bridge.  Actually there is a minimum 10 minute delay between bridge movements.  This left me in the middle of the pound playing with the controls attempting to keep Waiouru pointing at the bridge.
After passing under the bridge I knocked the engine control into neutral and Waiouru slowly drifted back towards her mooring. 
Jan subsequently informed me I was doing the right speed to pass moored boats.  It’s going to be interesting if we have to cruise in neutral!  A couple of boat lengths short of the mooring I re-engaged the prop to get some steerage.  The bow was pointing directly at Windrush and Jan though Waiouru was going so fast there would be a collision.  However I engaged reverse and the Axiom propeller seemed to stop Waiouru quite quickly. 
Andy has asked that we continue to test the systems on Waiouru .  We’ve already been using the heating systems but today I started a formal process of testing both the Hurricane central heater and the Lockgate Refleks diesel stove.  The former was tested to see if it was generating heat from all the radiators, finrads, and pipes.  The heaters on the port side weren’t as hot as the starboard so I bled the furthest pipe radiator in the port circuit.  This is the second time the system has been bled.  Nick also bled it during the initial commissioning process.  My efforts appeared to solve the problem.  Then we started the Lockgate Refleks diesel stove.  In the past I’ve used a third of one firelighter.  This time the heater went out twice and I was getting frustrated.  Eventually I realised there was no diesel entering the heater.  That’s when I realised it was likely/possible the diesel tank isolation valve may have been turned off since we last used the heater.  The assumption proved to be correct and after turning the valve back on the heater was able to be lit.  We’ve even been able to eliminate all the yellow flames.  After getting it going we’ve now turned it down to the lowest settle (1).  Despite the low setting the Refleks and eco-fan are producing plenty of heat.  So much, that the temperature in the boat is higher than the minimum setting on the Hurricane thermostat in the saloon.  Consequentially, whilst the Hurricane is switch on it’s currently in hibernation waiting for the temperature in Waiouru to drop below 23ÂșC.  We are down to our T-shirts and “toastie warm”.  More testing of the heating systems tomorrow I think!


Bruce in Sanity said...

Tom: when you get to do a proper cruise, stick the GPSr on the slide in front of you with speed over the ground showing, and you can check if you're going too fast. You can't be expected to do less than 2 mph.

If you can't get her down that slow you'll have to change the prop for a proper one like a Crowther ;-}}



Tom and Jan said...

Hi Bruce

The gps is a good idea. Not sure about your idea of replacing the Axiom with a more inefficient type of propeller :-)