Monday, April 30, 2012

Monkeys on your back and I’m in the Black!

Everyone has at least one monkey on their back which you have to feed and look after.  Many of us have far more than one!  Too many monkeys can result in overload, ineffectiveness and, eventually, total collapse. You frequently acquire monkeys by inadvertently or subconsciously allowing other people to brush against you and some of their monkeys jump across.

I saw an example of that today when a woman entered the chandlery and asked the manager if it was alright for her to moor on the local BW facilities for a few days.  These moorings are nothing to do with the boatyard.  She knew it; but just wanted to get rid of a few of her monkeys.  To my surprise; they were accepted by the manager who told her it should be OK.  She was asking for approval from someone she knew wasn’t responsible or accountable.  He gave permission for something for which he isn’t responsible.

If she subsequently gets a warning from BW I’ve no doubt she will tell them the boatyard gave her permission.  A few monkeys moved home!
Today was “two-pack blacking day”.  The interior of the second water tank was blacked, along with the base of the gas locker and the bow thruster tube.  My old body got twisted and contorted as I struggled to reach the corners and crevasses in the tank.  Oh to be 16 once again!  Only one boring photo to show for the days efforts.
You might be able to see the two beads of silicone around the edge of the opening.  I discovered the threads on the bolt holes had filled with primer, dirt and rust.  So I cleaned the threads using a ‘sacrificial bolt’ which then was discarded into the rubbish bin.  It would have been considerably easier with an 8mm tap, however we couldn’t find one in the boatyard.  Once all the hole threads were clean I then cleaned the surfaces of the overlapping joint and applied the twin lines of silicone.  There is a third line of silicon on the under edge of the lid.  I’m allowing the silicone to slightly cure and will then bolt the lid to the tank with stainless steel machine screws. 

This seal needs to be of a high quality.  It’s not just a case of preventing any water and dirt leaking into the tank through the hatch.  This tank is lower than the one in the bow and as a consequence the tank will be under hydraulic pressure.  Water could get pushed out of the tank if the seal isn’t sufficiently strong.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Getting Motivated

Jan said to me….”If you are going for a walk this weekend then you’d better go today because the forecast for tomorrow is worse!”  Eventually I motivated myself to get into some wet weather clothing along with boots and gaiters, before setting out to walk some of the hills to the south-east.  Last week I took the heavy and expensive camera; but also decided to save some weight by leaving the camera memory card behind.  Crying face

This time I left the camera behind rather than risk it getting wet.  700 metres later and I’d just crossed the River Kennet by the Salmon Farm when I turned a corner in the track to see this. 

Yes a grey wet and overcast photo of English countryside in the spring.  But did you see it?  OK, I’ll cheat slightly and manipulate the photo.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  There I was without the camera and for the first time a damned pheasant was prepared to pose for me.  Then I remembered the gps has a very poor quality 3mp camera in the back.  Hence the photo.

You can see the resolution is very poor.  As I walked towards the bird it just scurried along in front of me.  Murphy’s Law!

After all the recent rain the ground on the surrounding hills is starting to get very waterlogged.  This had me slipping and sliding whilst trying to retain some traction.  Eventually I diverted into one of the local pine plantations where the ground was firmer.  As I turned a bend I got my second surprise and immediately stopped taking out the gps for another photo.

The lens on the camera probably doesn’t have the necessary resolution for you to see what is at the end of the track.

Very blurred………  Two small deer had wandered out into the open and stopped to look at me from a distance.  So on the day the good camera is left behind I get to see some local wildlife at a reasonably close distance <grrrrr>  Oh well…. Next time perhaps!

Made it back to Molly before dusk and peeled off all the wet clothing in the cratch just to make sure Jan has some washing for tomorrow.  (I wouldn’t want to deprive her of the “highlight of the week”).  Meanwhile she had made a steaming hot YMCA pie for our dinner.  Delicious!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Media Tank Solution

Have you ever noticed how the incorrect spelling or grammar is so apparent in other blogs. But you never see them in your own!

I write it; re-write it; amend it; and then proof-read it (three times).   Subsequentially Jan or Bill point out all the obvious errors. I guess I’m just a “Big Picture” personality and sub-consciously can’t be bothered with the “little details”! And I had to re-write this paragraph twice.

Yesterday we took our Network Media Tank (NMT) out of storage and temporarily connected it between the aerial and the TV.  The NMT has two DVB-T (terrestrial) tuners.  In Australia we would use one tuner to record a program to the hard drive whilst watching another channel using the second.  The UK has a much larger choice of channels which means we will occasionally want to simultaneously record two channels.  Actually we could simultaneously record three channels as the TV also has the ability to record data to a usb thumbstick.

When we first purchased the NMT we were were recording and keeping raw data, but this starts to rapidly fill the hard drive.  To avoid this I started using Avidemux (freeware) to convert the captured programs from the broadcasted MPEG2 format to MPEG4.  By doing this the recorded data is compressed to approximately one sixth of it’s original size.  The NMT still recognises and plays the compressed AV data.  Avidemux also has the ability to cut out the advertisements.

Back in Australia Avidemux had no problem in converting the recorded data.  However there must be something different about some of the data being transmitted in the UK as occasionally Avidemux wouldn’t compress the sound.  It would just gets ignored and the end product was a silent movie!  My solution has been to first separate the captured video and sound tracks using StaxRip (more freeware).  Then recombine and compress the separate video and sound files using Avidemux.

The plan is to install the NMT in Waiouru.  In anticipation 12v and 230v power cables have already been run as well as two coaxial cables and an HDMI cable.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rust Removal

Most of the day was spent with a wire brush removing rust from the second water tank and the gas locker.  It was a hot and dirty task working with my head and shoulders in a confined area.  Waiouru has two connected fresh water tanks.  The primary tank is in the the bow, where many boats have their gas locker.  The second tank is under the foredeck in the cratch.  The main tank was given a coat of primer by Wilson-Tyler when they built the shell, however it still requires a coat of tank black.  The second tank was fabricated by Dennis after we arrived at Aldermaston Wharf.  The interior is still bare steel and over the past few months rust has formed on the surfaces.  It’s such a confined area I’d avoided doing anything in the hope one of the ‘younger’ members of the boatyard staff would prepare the surface and paint the inside.  Alas it hasn’t happened!

With little else to do today I set myself the target of removing all the rust and preparing the interior surface of the tank for painting.  Andy has told me to use Hempel two-pack black, however there is none in stock.  The chandlery is expecting a delivery very shortly as one of the boats on the hardstanding is due to have a second coat prior to it going back into the water next Tuesday.  Consequentially I shall probably paint the tank tomorrow or Monday. 
The blue tinge to the photo is from the tarpaulin covering the cratch. All it now requires is for the interior surfaces to be wiped clean with an old cloth.  Whilst I was in the mood to remove rust I had a go at the base of the gas locker.
The walls had already been primed and given two coats of white bilge & locker paint. Rain water has been pooling at the front of the locker and rusting the base.  Actually there is a drain in the floor in the rear corner of the locker but because Waiouru is level the water isn’t draining away.  My assumption is the pooling won’t occur when Waiouru is in the water because she will be lower at the stern.  I’ve decided to also paint the base of the locker with the two-pack blacking.  While I’m at it I might as well paint the bow thruster tube on the same day.  Hang on……. I keep thinking of more work!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Plumbing the Depths

It looks like the toilet on Molly might be fixed! Smile

There were three faults.  The first was that after a period of “nesting” the throne had settled onto both its tank mounting and new seal.  This had resulted in some “slack” in the four replacement mounting bolts.  I’d previously been reluctant to tighten them much more out of concern I might shear one.  However today I was able to tighten all four down by ¼”.  This eliminated the possibility of gas or fluid leaking between the base of the toilet and the tank. 

The second fault was the water inlet pipe which is connected to the back of the toilet bowl.  It had a slow drip.  The seal wasn’t in good condition and unfortunately it’s not possible to purchase just the seal.  Instead the entire hose assembly must be purchased.  I wasn’t going to purchase the complete assembly for one small seal, so I smeared a small amount of silicone sealer on the seal and carefully reinserted the connection.  This has stopped the leak.

Unfortunately this didn’t totally eliminate fluid leaking from the toilet.  Eventually I realised there was a second slow leak from the seal between the upper and lower halves of the toilet.  Effectively some water was leaking out of the bowl very slowly.  This was rectified by tightening the large hose clamp that holds the two halve of the toilet together.

Finally, I checked the toilet “breather pipe” to ensure it wasn’t blocked.

Jan has now informed me the unwanted odour from the toilet is starting to diminish!

Meanwhile, I have been following up on comments from yesterday’s post about the recently installed sanitation hose in Waiouru.  Blog readers Robbo and Bottle have suggested the flexible hose be replaced with a solvent weld waste pipe. 

A search for technical information on Google suggests solvent weld pipe in a marine environment isn’t a good idea as it is prone to micro cracking.  However I suspect this comment is more likely to be directed at fibreglass vessels.  Apparently sanitation hose comes in two basic types, PVC or rubber.  The PVC can be further divided into flexible PVC and (for want of a better term) less flexible PVC.  Both will eventually allow unwanted odours to penetrate the hose lining but this will occur much more rapidly in the former.  Probably one of the reasons why it’s half the price of the latter.  The rubber hose has an even better lifespan and of course this is reflected in the price. 

Having looked at the hose on Waiouru, I have identified it as Leeflex from Lee Sanitation and it appears to be the better quality PVC hose. This morning I discussed sanitation hose with the two boatyard engineers.  Both informed me sanitation hose needs to be replaced every 5 years.  This is the same information provided by Robbo. 

I rather like the way Bottle describes their setup.  He has solvent weld pipe runs under the gunwale between the toilet and the tank with flexible hose connections at either end.  My only concern is the pipe will run through the saloon.  I can just imagine what Jan will say each time the content of the toilet goes gurgling past her ears whilst sitting in her swivel chair.

Smile

The more immediate decision is whether to ask for the current hose to be replaced.  There are three potential issues should I request this be done.

  1. It will delay the build and timing is already critical for us.
  2. There will be an increase in cost and money is already tight.
  3. It might adversely affect our relationship with the boat builder as I’ve previously informed him we will not be changing our minds about the specifications and there will be no “extras”.

After some consideration we have decided to continue with the existing hose and accept it may need to be replaced at some future date.  However I will ensure the joiners allow sufficient room and access to the pipe for me to be able to achieve this without too much difficulty. 

Hopefully this will be the last toilet related post.  Winking smile

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wet Wet Wet…..

This would probably be the longest period of rain we’ve experienced since ‘jumping the ditch’ to Oz 19 years ago.  Actually it’s very similar to NZ weather!  The conditions make for interesting boat building in the open yard with Andy racing between the workshop and Waiouru.

The major task for the day was to wrestle with the white Anaconda and secure her against the side of the boat.

I hope Andy isn’t reading the installation instructions Smile

I was going to assist Andy, however by the time I waited for a gap in the rain he had everything in place.  His technique was to apply some heat to the tail which caused the end of the snake to wilt.  Once the tail was secure Andy was able to work his way to the head securing the torso along the wall.

In the above photo you may have noticed the hose rises to the entry point on top of the tank At the toilet end there will be a “swan’s neck” integral to the Sanimarine toilet system.  So the length of hose along the wall will be the lowest point in the waste system.  As such, it’s always going to be full of effluent.  Fingers crossed that there is no failure in the pipe or connectors!

If we had opted for a vacuum system the hose would be empty.  Well not totally empty, as there’d always be a coating of residue on the inside!  I was concerned the “remains” would start to dry on the inside surface of the waste hose.  Over time there might have been a gradual reduction in the diameter.  This was one of the reasons why we decided against a vacuum system.  The others being price and mechanism complexity!

The next step is the shower and plumbing for the waste discharge pipe.

Accordingly to Andy, the tray is a new “low profile” type which will increase the headroom in the shower cubicle. 

The plan is to have the engineering services in the cabin area installed by Monday in time for the joiners to start the partitions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A few deliveries

Well there appeared to be a significant increase in the number of delivery vans arriving at the boatyard today.  We now have a bow thruster, Hurricane heater and Candy washer/dryer.  Andy looked at the Hurricane and whilst sucked air through his teeth muttered “£2500”.  It would have been considerably cheaper to fit an Eberspacher or Webasto, but they are not designed to operate 24/7.

The van delivering our washer/dryer from Comet was only on site for a very brief period.  They must have been at the yard for less than three minutes before heading to their next delivery.  We ordered and paid for the machine back in March, so I guess it’s been a long trip from the factory in Mongolia.
Smile
After removing the plastic wrapping I now realise the control panel is more complex than the one on Starship Enterprise.  Fortunately I won’t need to learn how to use it!
Andy has made a start on the connections for the diesel stove, gas line and water pipes.  Meanwhile I unsucessfully wrestled with the toilet waste pipe.  It’s 1½” diameter flexible hose which has been coiled in the cold storeroom.  As a consequence it doesn’t want to uncoil and I find myself wrestling with an aggressive 40ft python.  Some warmth and sunlight would assist in making it more flexible!
Hot and cold pipes are now installed for the shower and toilet on one side.  The cold pipe for the vanity and galley hand basin is fitted on the other side.  Andy has also run the copper pipe for the diesel stove in the saloon.
The diesel and water supply connections are behind the front bulkhead on the port side.  Top left is the isolation valve and copper feed to the Refleks diesel stove in the saloon. Top right is the diesel tank drain valve which has a brass bung in the outlet to prevent a spill should the valve be accidentally opened. Below it is the water tank outlet valve which will go to the water pump.
Yesterday’s blog post resulted in a few unforseen omissions.  Not all the data transferred across from Google Reader and then I misspelt Sheila’s name (fingers going faster than the brain).  Ian subsequently sent me an email with some advice on how to get the “&” to appear in the blog roll.  For those who don’t already know use “&amp” (no quotation marks) and “&” will appear in the name.  Thanks Ian.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Worked around the Blogger “Bug”!

Ultimately all this computer code is down to + and – pulses of electricity.  So no Blogger “bug” is going to deter me from achieving my objective.  I have found a way around the problem of not being able to rename blogs in our Blog List.  If you are viewing our actual blog rather than using a Reader you will see the names have been altered.

The “work-around” involved the use of Google Reader.  The first step was to ensure I had subscribed in Reader to all the blogs on our Blog List.  The next step was to rename the blogs in Reader.  The third step was to go to our blog and delete all the names in the Blog List.  Finally, all the blogs were imported into the Blog List using the “Blogs I am following” option in the Blogger Template by ticking all the blog names to be imported. 

image

Note:  They had already been imported when the above screen dump was taken.

Google Reader then transferred them to our Blog List.   A point worth noting for those using Blogger is the program didn’t like me using the ampersand symbol (&) instead of “and”.  If the symbol is used then the name is displayed as text amp&text instead of text & test.  To rectify this I went back to Reader and replace all the “&” with “and” and re-imported the blogs.

If you are regularly reading our blog and have one of your own which isn’t on our Blog List; then please let me know (along with the hyperlink) and it will be included.  If your name is misspelt or missing then please let me know and I’ll amend the list.

Damned Blogger

<Grrrrrr> Damned Blogger program.  I want to rename the blogs in our Blog List.  There is an option in Blogger to allow this, but it doesn’t work!  What’s particularly annoying is the function USED TO WORK.  The following is an example”

image

I’ve added the names of the owners using the “rename” option.  But the “Save” button doesn’t work. 

Why rename the blogs on our Blog List?  Well some of us get forgetful as we age and I thought it would be a good way of constantly reminding myself of fellow narrowboat bloggers names.  There is this nagging thought that one day I will pass a boat whose name I recognise and when the owners call out a greeting I’m going to embarrass myself by not remembering their names.   

Meanwhile, recently one swan has taken to appearing at the galley window every morning.  Apparently one of us has been feeding him.  It started with the stale bread before progressing to fresh.  Yesterday there was a dramatic change when he was fed some of MY custard cream biscuits.  Damned swan is happy to talk to Jan however I get hissed at!  Someone should tell him he’s paddling in dangerous waters as I have an acquired taste for swan.  That way I’d know I am getting back MY custard creams!

<later>……   (tap tap tap at the window

He’s back!   That greedy swan has returned in the afternoon for more of my custard cream biscuits.  IT’S NOT MORNING YOU LONG NECKED POTENTIAL SUNDAY ROAST!

7am…… woken by…… tap  tap tap.  Who started feeding this bl**dy bird!!!!!  At least I managed to eat the last of the custard creams last night!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some thoughts…….

Back here Maffi wrote about a letter published in the May 2012 Canal Boat magazine suggesting Continuous Cruisers pay a higher annual license fee.  His comments resulted in a rebuttal from Heth <here>.

Having read both blog entries I suspect Heth has misinterpreted Maffi’s post.  Maffi constantly refers to “You” (the whinging moorers).  At the start of paragraph 7 Maffi writes “Why do all you whinging little <expletive deleted> who buy a boat, you cannot get good use out of……………..”.  So he is still directing his comments at the whingers.  From paragraph 8 onwards the word “whingers” is missing.  However I think we might assume he is still directing his comments at those who complain about continuous cruisers.  Heth has interpreted his comments to mean all boaters with a legal home mooring are complaining about continuous cruisers; hence her response. 

I also find the original letter to the editor of Canal Boat magazine interesting.

The writer starts by claiming support from the majority of boaters with a paid home mooring. “Resentment is felt amongst the majority of boaters who pay for a licence and pay for their mooring on top….”  Really?  I’m unaware of any formal survey that has established this fact!  Indeed; as a moorer Heth refutes it!  Frankly I think it’s an ambit claim to seize the “high moral ground”.

The writer suggests the continuous cruiser licence be increased.  As an offset the continuous cruiser will be eligible for a winter mooring.  He alleges this is a more equitable arrangement as the winter moorings are often used without the requisite permit and these boaters are not always moved on by patrols.  So what he is really suggesting is continuous cruisers don’t comply with their license requirements; don’t pay for a winter mooring and BW are ignoring the situation.

But what is the REAL issue?  Looking at the current BW licensing requirements indicates the following.

Every boat must have a current and valid license.  According to BW “The Licence allows you to use the Boat in any Waterway including mooring for short periods while cruising. 'Short period' means up to 14 days or less where a local restriction applies. The Licence does not permit mooring for any longer period.”

BW further states all boats must have a “Home Mooring”.  By inference, there is a further cost to the boater in obtaining this mooring.  Any boat that does NOT have a home mooring is classified as a continuous cruiser.  There are additional requirements for continuous cruisers.  For example; they may be required to provide evidence they are genuinely continuously cruising around the network.  I suggest by definition, a boater can’t be a continuous cruiser if they go onto a winter mooring as stated by the writer to Canal Boat.

It appears to me in practice there are actually four categories of private boaters, rather than the two recognised by BW.  There are boaters:

  1. with a paid and recognised home mooring; or
  2. who continuously cruising; or
  3. cruise most of the year and only want a paid winter mooring; or
  4. who don’t want to pay for a mooring (or can’t obtain one) and don’t want to continuously cruise.

I suspect the majority of boaters in category 1 don’t particularly object to the boaters in categories 2 & 3. <they may even envy them!>.  However the category 1 boater resent the category 4 boaters and “lump them in” with the category 2 & 3 boaters because there is currently no other category for them.  The category 2 & 3 boaters also resent the category 4 boaters because they are licensing themselves as continuous cruisers but not genuinely complying with the license requirements.  Currently category 4 boaters have no option other than to declare themselves as continuous cruisers.

What to do?  Well, as the writer of the letter to Canal Boat implies it’s a question of having the right mix of licenses and enforcement.  Why can’t there be four categories of license as stated above? Licensing requirements already exist for Categories 1 – 3 boaters.  Why not create a license for category 4.  They could pay for a local area license.  The license would have certain restrictions but enable them to moor for periods longer than 14 days, provided they moored outside areas with a duration restriction (ie; popular areas and facilities). 

Boaters would be able to apply for the license that most suits their needs.  Home moorers need to provide evidence they have a paid mooring.  After the first year, continuous cruisers (including winter moorers) may be required to provide evidence they complied with their special license requirements.  By default; everyone else pays for a local license.

As for enforcement.  In my experience those who are inclined to transgress the rules respond to whatever minimum enforcement is in place.  “Hot spots” need to be regularly policed and penalties (probably monetary) imposed.  Once people realise the rules will be enforced without fear or favour the transgressors comply and the rest stop complaining. 

But then what do I know…….. I’m still waiting to be a private boater! Smile

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Burghfield and Mortimer

Wow… I managed to take some really interesting photos on today’s walk.  Pity I forgot to insert the memory card into the BIG AND HEAVY camera before leaving!  Another circular route.  This time it was 29.3km.  It would have been slightly shorter except I discovered there was no public access via the road through the Police Training College.  This had me backtrack three times before eventually finding a suitable alternate footpath.

I hadn’t previously walked much of this part of the local countryside. On one part of the walk I crossed from Berkshire into Hampshire.  There were two young lads in their very early teens dressed in gilly suits hiding in the hedgerow near the Police Training College.  Then I noticed an adult male pegging out decoy birds in the adjacent meadow and trees.  My initial thought was they were planning to catch a bird of prey in a net.  Then one of the boys pulled out a shotgun before the man unleashed a spaniel.  Obviously it wasn’t a good time to be flying in the vicinity.

The route passed through the villages of Burghfield and Mortimer.  Both had pubs, but I resisted the temptation.  This also applied to the local shops selling chocolate and ice cream.  The later was a mistake because my energy level was seriously depleted towards the end of the walk.

One thing which is quite noticeable in West Berkshire are the large number of horses.  There are no carts, so I assume they are either expensive lawnmowers or end up in meat pies or the famous British sausage!  Not that it worries me….. I’ve already eaten horse meat (Italy); along with guinea pig (Peru), Carpathian bear (Romania), beaver (Lithuania) and mountain oysters (NZ)! Smile

Accordingly to Andy, work on Waiouru is scheduled to recommence on Tuesday.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Interesting Boat

An interesting looking boat recently arrived at the wharf.  Jan had a discussion with to the young couple on board (almost everyone looks young these days) and was told by the owner, Tom (fine sounding name – did I mention it means courageous and handsome) they had only recently purchased her.

Tom (great name…..) told Jan that the boat was Dutch.  However the shape of the bow makes me think of a Chinese junk.

But the stern doesn’t look Chinese. Smile

Apparently the steering system on the boat had developed a fault just below Padworth Lock and this had forced them to stop for repairs.  The couple informed Jan they already owned a large Dutch barge and this boat is going to be fitted out as their workshop.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

First Trip in Waiouru

Today we experienced Melbourne weather.  Sunny, overcast, rain, hail, rain, overcast, sunny!  It was also my first trip in Waiouru.  Not at the tiller and we didn’t leave the yard.

Yesterday Waiouru looked like this…….

And now she looks like this…….

The rain meant we couldn’t open the hatches and as a consequence the fumes from the polyurethane were almost overpowering. 

Man… Far Out…..  Weez….. I really dig that stuff…..!  We all took a little trip! Winking smile

Late yesterday I carefully vacuumed out the boat and this morning Richard and I wiped down all the walls with some special cloths he provided.  The cloths collected all the fine sawdust on the plywood leaving a smooth surface.  The three of us then applied one coat of polyurethane to all the oak lining.

The polyurethane has really brought out the grain and the special care Richard took to match the sheets is now very evident.

He has also cut and positioned the sheets to maximise the number of joins that will be concealed behind partitions or cabinets.

We are now waiting on the engineer to undertake the first fit for the plumbing, gas and electrics.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lining out is complete

James and Richard completed the lining out today when the last of the ceiling panels was installed.

James & Richard.  Taken with our Box Brownie (for those of you old enough to remember the camera!)

The rain deterred me from taking the expensive Canon camera to Waiouru.

We have opted for a large open plan saloon and galley. The saloon starts at the point where the two black cables protrude from the wall at the bottom right of the photo.  The galley ends at the step up to the back cabin.  This gives us a length of approximately 21ft; almost half the total available cabin space.

Just before lunch a lorry (got it right this time) arrived with the Latvian Birch veneered plywood for the partitions (1” thick) and the built in furniture (¾” thick).

Nick, the engineer, pointed out the calorfier in the boatyard storage room.  We had specified a large unit with two coils  (engine & Hurricane heater) plus an element for a 230v immersion heater should we ever be on shore power.  Andy and I had a brief discussion regarding the batteries for the starter motor and bow thruster.  At the end of the discussion Andy decided he would use three of the black batteries in the following photo.

The large red batteries are our domestic bank.

Tomorrow Richard, James and I will wipe down all the plywood interior of Waiouru and then give it one coat of polyurethane.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Up with the ceiling

But first the missing photos from yesterday.  Richard has carefully cut sections of ply the clad the centre sections of the front and rear bulkheads.

Because the foredeck is so low we only have one step from the bedroom to the cratch.  Richard has made a small hatch behind which will be located the water pump and the diesel tank connections for the Lockgate Reflek stove.

At the other end of the cabin the last section of unclad bulkhead is now lined with ply

It looks rather high from the floor to the doors, however there will be three steps to assist entering and exiting Waiouru.  We won’t have a set of ladder type steps.  Instead, they will be boxed in and used for storage.  The stairs will be removable as the single bed in the back cabin will extend to make a double bed.  They would be an obstacle if the stairs weren’t removable.  When the bed is extended the stairs will fit in the corridor between the galley and the end cabin.  This will provide access from the galley to the back cabin when the bed is in the extended position.

The major task for the day was installing the ceiling.  It’s approximately 70% complete.  Richard and James used the method I described yesterday and I’m pleased they did because the original ceiling battens were not installed at 90° to the sides of the cabin.  If they had attempted to install the ceiling ply to the line of the battens the ceiling would have been all over the place.  I was also pleased there was very little cutting back of spray foam.

The photo doesn’t provide a good idea of the colour of the laminated ceiling panels.  It has been an overcast day with some heavy showers so there has been poor light.  Plus a poor photographer!

Tomorrow should see the ceiling finished and a start made on the plugging of the screw holes. 

The formica arrived today which should enable Richard and James to make a start on the shower and toilet lining.  We are also waiting on the 1” thick ply for the bulkheads/partitions.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Just my slant on the latest hot topic.

My neighbour has a well maintained car which he keeps in his secure garage.  He works in the city and as a result has little free time to have the pleasure of driving it.

We have the same make and model car.  Because of age and a lifestyle decision, we get to drive it every day.  Unlike him, we don't bother to lock it in a garage.  Instead, at the end of every day we find a vacant free parking space.

Of course both of us pay our annual vehicle tax, insure our vehicles and obey the road rules.

Recently my neighbour started complaining, saying because we don't keep our car in a garage we should pay more vehicle tax than him.

I don’t understand his logic!

Wall Lining is Complete

Bill (local blog reader) stopped and spoke to me today.  He just wanted to inform me the grammar in yesterday’s post was my worst effort to date.  After going back and reading it I have to agree. It’s well deserved criticism!  I was very tired after the long walk and wasn’t concentrating.  Moreover I got lazy; omitted to proof read the post, and just hit the publish button.   I can only hope FMIL (Favourite Mother-in-Law) is still with us as I’m somewhat surprised there wasn’t an email waiting for me this morning!  Smile

Back to the boat.  After today’s effort all the wall lining has been installed.  It was interesting to observe Richard’s technique.  Using plywood off-cuts he made templates for either side of the bow and stern bulkheads.

The templates were used to mark out the bulkhead section on the plywood sheets.  Final adjustments and scribing was completed with the actual piece. 

There are full height cupboards and wardrobes at the front and rear of the boat so none of these joins will be seen.  Despite this, Richard insisted on cutting (and re-cutting) the lining to make perfect joins.

I helped got in the way!

The lining has been completed on both bulkheads. However the camera battery went flat and consequentially there are no final photos.

The last task for the day was to prepare for the installation of the ceiling.  All the sheets of laminated plywood have been cut to length and sacked in the boat ready for tomorrow.  The final task was to mark the centreline of the ceiling on the edge of each plywood ceiling panel and then run a chalk line down the centre of the roof of the boat.  This will enable us to align the individual ceiling panels to the centreline of the boat.  The outer edges of the ceiling panels will be concealed by oak trim running down the length of the boat. 

The weather forecast for the remainder of the week is rain.  By cutting the sheets today it will limit the number of times we will need to carry the ceiling lining in the rain.  Well that’s the plan!

Once the ceiling is installed we will plug all the screw holes and then give the timber a light sanding before applying one coat of diluted polyurethane.  The latter will reduce the potential for scuffs and finger marks.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Found it!

Well, actually it wasn’t lost!  After viewing a map of the local area onOrdnance Survey Leisure website I noticed a bridge across the M4 motorway north of our location.  The bridge appeared to be in the middle of nowhere.  I found this rather interesting.  So today I decided to walk to the bridge.
This is a screen dump of the planned and actual routes.  The purple line is the planned route and the green the actual.
I had previously covered the ground in the lower half of the map so there was nothing new in this area.  Towards Bradfield I came upon a golf course and then Bradfield College.  It appears to be a well establish institution.
To the right was the school cricket pavilion
The footpath around the school takes walkers through a small cluster of dwellings.
Interesting upper storey and roof line.
How would you like your own footbridge to the front door, like these three homes?
You may have noticed the planned and actual routes diverge at the top of the map.  I was looking for the footpath that would take me to the bridge and ended up going cross country.  It was forest, but reasonably open under the canopy.  At this time of year the brambles and stinging nettles aren’t high enough to cause any major issues.  However I couldn’t find the bridge!
Eventually I came upon a coil of discarded steel rope and thought it might be the remains of a suspension bridge.  This would explain my inability to find the bridge shown on the map.
After looking at the gps unit I decided to press on, trusting its accuracy.  Five minutes later I stepped from the undergrowth onto a well defined trail.  And immediately to my right was……
It appears to be a farm bridge and primarily used to move livestock across the M4.  Oh…..  just to prove it was the M4.
By the time I returned to Molly it was 12:30 and I was feeling rather dehydrated. Next week I must remember to take water with me.  The length of the walk was just under 24km. 
Jan had been making homemade pizza in my absence….. Delicious! Smile
We have deliberately run Molly’s water tank dry to get an idea of capacity.  It ran dry after 8 days of use with us making no attempt to conserve water.  We will need to do the same on Waiouru once we’re living aboard. 
Back to boat building tomorrow