Tuesday, July 31, 2012

St Olaf’s Way

We had a visitor late in the morning.  Almost 37 years ago Doug Fitzgerald and I (along with a large number of other recalcitrants) spent a year training at Portsea in Victoria.  He is a keen walker and had just completed 720km of St Olaf’s Way in Norway doing the entire walk in 32 days.  Doug informed us he is now 10kg lighter.

Doug and Tom in front of Waiouru. 

Of course neither of us has changed in the intervening 37 years! Smile All too soon it was time to walk him back to Aldermaston Railway Station.  How good of him to find the time and make the effort to visit!

Back at Waiouru Andy had been able to finally fit the bow thruster.  He has also fabricated a platform for the batteries and we discussed the locations for the isolation switch and fuse.

I changed my mind about the position of the batteries and opted to have them in the base of the locker, just off the baseplate.  Originally I intended to have them stacked one above the other at the port (left) end of the locker.  However this would have made the available locker space shorter and we may just need to store a few long items (such as our folding chairs).

Meanwhile, Richard has fitted the shelving to the electrical cabinet.

The top shelf is fixed in place and will be divided vertically.  The Empirbus node, relay, fuse, etc will be in the left section and the right will be for long term storage.  The second shelf is adjustable.  This shelf and the one below will be used to store items for boat maintenance.  The front of the cabinet will have two doors.  The top door will stop at the top shelf and will have all the gauges on its face.

There was just enough time before dinner for me to give the cabinet a final sanding and apply one coat of varnish.

James has been working on the two front wardrobes fitting each with three shelves (two are adjustable) and a clothes rail.

Tomorrow Richard will hang the two cupboard doors and we’ll then finished the work on the opposite side of the cabin by making the freezer drawer front along with the door on the storage cupboard above it.  Time permitting; we’ll also start on the rear steps.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Heating Up

Andy fitted 95% of the Lockgate Refleks diesel stove today.  He hasn’t finished screwing it to the base and the ceiling shroud hasn’t been fitted.  But it’s almost done.  Adam left a comment about the stove requiring a spill tray underneath and I asked Andy about this.  He informed me there was no requirement to fit one under a Refleks as the catchment tray was built into the base of the stove.

Richard and I spent the day scribing and cutting the plywood panels for the electrical cabinet above the bed in the rear cabin.

The trimmed carcase is now fixed in place, however we still have to fit the false wall panel inside to create the cable void.  I also want at least one shelf.  Over the weekend I had a change of heart about the layout of the instruments.  Originally they were going vertically down the left side of the cabinet.  I’ve decided more cabinet storage room can be achieved if the instrument layout goes across the top third of the cabinet.  Some searching on Google gave me the exterior dimensions of the planned instruments and I think I’ve produced a logical and compact layout.

Meanwhile Tesco phoned Jan in response to her email complaint about the missing sugar from her last order.  They were most apologetic and are refunding the cost of the sugar by crediting her card.  Thank you Tesco!

More shopping from Jan.  We have been existing for the last year with a very small quantity of crockery.  Today she decided that as she now has a crockery rack on Waiouru she might as well buy more.  To her surprise it was cheaper to purchase the plates directly from the retailer rather than through Amazon.  Well, actually she saved £1 on the postage.  But every £1 counts!  The crockery is Corelle which is thinner and lighter than your conventional china.  It’s actually a type of glassware.

This evening we are having YMCA (yesterday’s muck cooked again) for dinner.  All the cooked left over veg and mashed potato’s are being combined with two tins of sardines and Jan will make fish cakes in the frypan.  <yummm>  The rhubarb was cooked in the pot along with some sugar.  No added water.  All the juice was drained off and used to make rhubarb jelly.  The rest of the rhubarb was placed in the slow cooker with the crumble on top (rolled oats & brown sugar).  The rhubarb eventually rose through the crumble and combined.  I can envisage rhubarb crumble, jelly and ice cream for dessert. Open-mouthed smile

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Walk

An interesting circuit today, and rather long at that.  The plan took me from Aldermaston to Reading and then along the “Thames Path” to Pangborne, before turning south to Calcot where I did some essential food shopping (ice cream and chocolate) before heading back to Aldermaston.

Only the ground not previously walked is highlighted in the above screen dump.  The light purple line in the middle right of the map is the plotted route from the OS website.  However the actual Thames Path follows the light brown line which is the ground I walked. Pangbourne is in the top left and calcot at the bottom.

Whilst walking the Thames Path just west of Reading I came upon Derwent 6, Rock-n-Roll, Seyella and Moore2Life.  I noticed George was on Rock-n-Roll so I introduced myself.  He was then joined by Carol and we had a very interesting conversation about narrowboats and living aboard.  Then Anne from Moore2Life arrived so I’ve finally managed to meet three more boating bloggers after several years of reading their blogs.

George, Carol and Anne

We had to part as they were heading for Tesco whilst I needed to continue with my walk towards Pangbourne.  The Thames Path detours away from the river at Tilehurst and then returns at Mapledurham Lock.  The lock was quite busy with boats waiting to go up and down.

Mapledurham Lock

The name of the big tupperware boat entering the lock caught my eye.

Kaikoura - a NZ Maori name.

Kaikouru is located on the north-east corner of the South Island.  It’s particularly well known for whale watching.  I wonder if the owners know the English translation of their boat’s name.  “Kai” is food or meal and “koura” is crayfish.  So their boat is named “eating crayfish”! Winking smile

“No Mooring” signs were present all along the Thames until just before Pangbourne where I came upon the following plaque.

Suddenly the riverbank was wall to wall in tupperware boat stretching all the way to the bridge at Pangbourne. 

I had been keeping my eye (only got one!) on the sky and it was starting to look very dark and ominous.  I could see bands of rain passing across in front of me and hoped I’d get lucky.  Not my day as the liquid sunshine started to fall whilst crossing the meadow.  I just had time to take a photo of the toll bridge at Pangbourne before scurrying for shelter.

It’s actually the Whitchurch Bridge.  The original toll bridge was opened in 1792.  The current bridge was opened in 1902.  The collected toll is used to maintain the bridge.

Meanwhile I was hiding whilst the rain came down like cats & dogs.  The actual expression originates from medieval times where birds and vermin (eg, rats and mice) would nest/hide in the heavily thatched roofs.  The owners would keeps their cats and dogs in the roof cavity in an effort to reduce the vermin problem.  However in high wind and rain the cats and dogs might get blown out of the thatch.  Hence the expression “raining cats & dogs”  And if you believe that explanation you’ll just about believe anything I write here!

The rain ceased after 20 minutes which enabled me to turn south and head for Calcot.  The footpath through the countryside eventually brought me to an attractive village.  Of interest was the five sided building with the front door adjacent to the road.

Perhaps its original purpose was as a toll house?

The row of cottages opposite also looked attractive with the moss growing over their front porch roofs.

At the junction was the most important building in the village.  I love the way the rear half of the thatched roof goes all the way to the ground.

After bashing my way through a footpath overgrown with stinging nettles I found myself on a wide bridlepath that took me directly to the Sainsbury’s at Calcot.  Along the way this tower was standing in a field to the east.

I really couldn’t make up my mind about its original purpose.  From a distance it looked like the steeple of a Norman church, but as I got closer it looked to be circular in shape.

It has four arched doorways in the base and arched windows which have subsequently been filled with bricks.  This seemed to preclude it being an old water tower.  Perhaps it’s a folly?  But it doesn’t look sufficiently ornate!  Well it’s a mystery to me.

Back to boat building tomorrow!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Slate and in a jam

The slate surround for the Lockage diesel stove was installed today.  The first task was to confirm it actually fitted.  The templates Richard made were accurate and the slate pieces are exactly the right size.  I then carried them back to the workshop (they are heavy) where the screw holes were drilled and countersunk.  Andy wanted to use stainless steel screws which I readily agreed to as there would be no subsequent rust or tarnished brass. Then I carried them back to Waiouru…… did I mention they are heavy!

All the visible slate surfaces have been polished.  It cost more but gives a nicer finish.  I’ve decided I’m not going to be the person who fits the diesel stove.  However I’ll probably place it on the hearth tomorrow in preparation for it to be secured next week.

After installing the slate I drilled a pilot hole through the shower ceiling for the mushroom vent.  I’m going to install a combination extractor fan and light fitting immediately underneath the vent.  After “stuffing up” the hole through the steel roof for the diesel stove so I’ve decided the mushroom vent hole can be cut by either Andy or Nick!  There are 12v cables in the ceiling and I don’t want the responsibility for shredding them with a hole saw.  I know……… Lack of intestinal fortitude!   I’m going to “wimp out”.  The last job for the day was to get the capping on the plastic box section cable duct under the gunwale in the rear cable.  It was a “real mongrel” of a job.  There were so many cables to squeeze into the duct that I didn’t think I’d manage it.  Well it’s done now and I won’t be the one attempting to install any additional cables.

In the early afternoon Jan and I went for a walk through the adjacent wetlands.  Very quiet and tranquil!

This tree appears to have been smothered by the creeper.  I guess the tree will eventually be strangled and die.

Another larger tree covered in vines.

It wasn’t just an aimless stroll.  We were foraging for potential blackberry sites and then diverted to a nearby canal side location (will remain unidentified for obvious reasons) where we discovered two different types of plum trees.  A return trip on a quiet evening complete with bucket is now in the planning stage! Smile 

Last task for the day was to take delivery of the Tesco order.  He eventually arrived (75 minutes late) and we frantically carried everything to Waiouru whilst the driver watched.  After he had left Jan realised the 2kg of sugar she had ordered was missing. Crying face

I looked on the Tesco website and the link to the form for reporting missing items wasn’t working……. <grrrrr>.  That’s three strikes in one day Mr Tesco!

Try not to end on a negative note…… It’s early evening and Jan looks like she is preparing to cook the rhubarb to make some jam…… woo hoo!  

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Difficult Bed

Much of today was spent working in the back cabin on the 3 inch duct at the foot of the bed.  The biggest problem occurred attempting to fit the panel against the plywood lining on the side of the boat.  None of the dimensions were level or square!  After copious scribing and re-cutting Richard managed to get the panel to fit (B in the photo below).

If you’re going to fit out a boat it makes sense to be able to reach all the services after the boat has been completed.  Who wants to ripping out partitions and built-in furniture to find a leak, or fix a wiring fault.

The back cabin is 6’6” long and the bed 6’3”.  This gives a 3” void at the foot of the bed in which cables, gas and pipes can be run.  The void has an access panel (arrow B).  Immediately above the void will be a high locker containing the node and instrument panel.  It will also incorporate a storage locker.  I had to move all the cables on the wall leading to the canbus node after Andy informed me he intended to locate the solar controller and the Hurricane control box under the bed with the inverter.  As a result of this I’ve been able to significantly reduce the planned size of the instrument and canbus compartment. 

Richard and I spent the latter part of the afternoon prefabricating the high locker.  Hopefully we will install it on Monday.

The inverter cabinet is under the foot of the bed (C in the above photo).  Where the tip of the red arrow points I intend to fit a ventilation plate with a super silent 12v fan behind it.  Actually I’ve been looking at this particular one for some time.

Akasa 120mm Apache PWM super silent fan

Coincidentally, Bill walked a kilometre from his home to Waiouru just to suggest we might want to consider fitting a computer fan in the compartment.  Great minds think alike! Winking smile

Then, today Bruce (nb Sanity) left a comment on yesterday’s post suggesting I might like to consider fitting a smoke detector in the inverter compartment as there have been instances of inverters catching fire.  Now this is something I hadn’t thought of and is well worth pursuing!  Must be an even greater mind!

You may have noticed I’ve drilled a series of holes in the top of the bed base.  This has been done in an effort to stop the mattress “sweating”.  Some of the heat generated by the inverter may also migrate into the area under the bed and assist in keeping it warm and dry.

Richard and I have had another discussion about the design of the rear steps.  There will only be four of them as there is already one step up into the back cabin from the galley.  The first two rear steps will be fixed.  The second will be at the same height as the bed base.  Actually it will form part of the bed extension when converting it from a single to a double.  The third step will be removable so it doesn’t “foul” the bed when it’s extended.  The fourth step is the hatch cover over the engine bay.  When the bed is converted to a double the third step will fit on the floor between the galley and the rear cabin and assist the cabin occupants getting into and out of the bed.

Tomorrow’s plan is to lightly sand down all the cabin walls above gunwale height in preparation for giving them a second coat of varnish.  Our strategy is to gradually varnish all the timber so we don’t have a major varnishing job at then end of the build!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Start on the Bed

The frame of the bed in the back cabin is 90% complete.

The initial plan was to create three separate compartments under the bed with dividing walls between.  A change of heart then occurred and we decided to have one large storage compartment with a smaller compartment at the end for the inverter and consumer unit.  The inverter is going to generate heat which must be dissipated otherwise it will start to overheat and become less efficient.  We have therefore constructed quite a large compartment and you will be able to see the ventilation holes in the partition.  I’m going to drill similar sized holes in the floor of the compartment which should allow air from the bilge to rise up and cool the inverter (I hope!).  A ventilation panel will also be installed in the inverter compartment sidewall. 

Tomorrow we need to batten the far side of the bed and then cut and fit the timber panels for the top.  There will be a large removable access panel above the inverter.  We’ve decide on side swinging cupboard drawers under the bed.  They will open towards the galley and are quite large being slightly shorter than the width of the corridor.  I decided against being able to access the storage compartment from the top as we will have two mattress sections stored on top and gaining access to the compartments might prove to be problematic.  The bed can be used as a 2ft single or extended to a 4ft double.  The double compartment underneath will give us room to store any long items such as Jan’s shopping trolley.  We’ve both noticed the area is starting to look less “open”.

Mid afternoon Richard headed off to the dentist for an extraction so I carried on with the bilge pump for the engine compartment.  It’s the same model pump as the cratch.  A Johnson L450 UC – 500 GPH. 

Andy informed me he preferred to use this make/model pump as the motor can be removed and replaced rather than having to replace the entire unit.  It’s mounted on the steel plate I fabricated yesterday and which has now been given two coats of bilge paint.  I’m not able to fit is until the boatyard gets some ¾” braided flexible hose pipe and hose clips.  However I can start installing the wiring between the pump and the stern Empirbus node.

Meanwhile Jan has been given some rhubarb by one of the local ladies.  She hasn’t seen rhubarb this size since we lived in New Zealand 20 years ago.

A decision must now be made.  Does she stew it to go with a pudding or breakfast cereal.  Or does she make a rhubarb and ginger jam?  It doesn’t worry me…….. I’m quite prepared to eat the selected option!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Active Filter

This post has nothing to do with internet content.  Winking smile

Richard’s plan for the day was to construct the wet locker and I realised during the night that if he did this it would make the installation of the toilet tank micro filter rather difficult.  So my first job for the day was to fit the filter before he completed prefabricating the locker.

The sanitation hose was trimmed to length and a piece of the off-cut used to connect the back of the filter to the brass skin fitting.  Hose clips were then used on the ends of the hoses.  The active carbon filter is supposed to prevent the “pong” from the boat being smelt outside.  The carbon filter will collapse into a “soggy” lump if it gets wet.  In an effort to avoid this the skin fitting has been fitted just under the gunwale.  I would have liked to have fitted a “swans neck” into the sanitation hose but there is insufficient flexibility in the sanitation hose and the actual filter design doesn’t lend itself to this!

It was obvious the day was going to be hot.  Rather than wear an old polo shirt and jeans, I elected to wear my “battered” overalls purchased whilst we were living in Plymouth this time last year.  There was a brief moment of indecision whether (or not) to go “commando”.  In the end I decided not to outrage anyone’s sense of modest and wore my jockey supporters underneath.  I suspect my selection of attire was cooler than the clothing worn by the marina staff.  However I’m also probably slightly more acclimatized to hot weather.

After Richard and I had trimmed and hung the cupboard door we fitted the locker to the back cabin.

The bottom of the door is slightly higher than the planned rear top step out of Waiouru.  It will have a top shelf with a clothes rail on the underside for jackets and wet weather gear.  There will be a lift-up base to the locker so the bottom can be used for long-term storage.  I forgot to borrow a paintbrush before the workshop closed which will delay me varnishing the locker by a day, but that’s not an issue.

After scrounging around the workshop I found an irregular shaped piece of 5mm steel plate which I’ve cut into a 150x150mm square.  After rounding all the edges and cleaning both faces I gave it a coat of primer.  Tomorrow I’ll drill and tap it with 5mm threaded holes so the stern bilge pump can be screwed to it.  Once I’ve given it a couple of coats of bilge paint it will be installed under the stern gear and the pump outlet plumbed to the skin fitting.

Meanwhile Jan caught the bus to Newbury for a fruit and veg shop.  Apparently the first bus went straight past her ignoring the fact she had her hand out to flag it down.  I don’t think she appreciated having to stand out in the sun for an additional 30 minutes waiting for the next bus!  Despite this we have now been restocked with perishables.  She has also made some homemade ice cream using her own recipe. Something was mentioned about another major online order for dry goods whilst she had a valid “free delivery” voucher.  There is only so much she can carry back to Waiouru in my daypack.

Tomorrow we start on the spare bed and I’ll also have to find the time to install the bilge pump.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Todd River

A sign has been tied to the bow of Waiouru.

If you are an Australian reader then you’re likely to immediately recognise the joke!  The Todd River runs through the centre of the town of Alice Springs which is in the centre of Australia.  It’s the third largest town in the Northern Territory.  The Todd River an ephemeral river (ie, lasts only one day) and decades can pass before there is water in it.  However when infrequent heavy rains fall north of Alice Springs the water can rapidly fill the dry riverbed.  People in the Northern Territory will tell you you’re not a true “Territorian” until you’ve seen the Todd in flood!

In August each year Alice Springs conducts the Henley on Todd Regatta.  The boats have no bottoms and the contestant run down the dry riverbed carrying their boats.  The regatta actually carries insurance in case it of rain and the Todd River started to flow.

Well Waiouru is also on dry land but I certainly don’t feel like carrying her anywhere!  Winking smile

This afternoon nb Nuneaton and the butty Brighton passed through Aldermaston Wharf heading towards Reading.  Jan was able to take a couple of photos as they approached Padworth Lock,

Meanwhile, I have been busy fitting the cratch bilge pump.  The foredeck is below water level so we need the bilge pump should any water accumulate in the cratch.

It’s a very small bilge in the bottom of the starboard locker.  Only just large enough for the pump.  The pump has an automatic float switch and a manual over-ride switch which is located in the bedroom.

Tomorrow Richard and I should finish the starboard side of the back cabin and then make a start on the guests bed.  We had a very fruitful discussion regarding the design of the cabin rear steps and think we’ve developed a good solution.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Handling a Hurricane

The Hurricane heater has been bolted into place by Nick.  He explained how to lag the exhaust with fibreglass tape and left me to it.  Apart from one false start where I omitted to leave one inch free of lagging at either end of the muffler, I think I did a reasonable job (for a first attempt).

The exhaust is comprised of three sections; two lengths of flexible stainless steel pipe and the muffler.  Each was separately lagged with the lagging being held in place by bands of 16 gauge wire.  The exhaust system has deliberately been installed with the muffler positioned higher than the ends of the flexible pipe to prevent reduce the possibility of water entering the exhaust and getting into the heater.  There is a metal rod underneath the exhaust which will be the support bracket for the diesel fuel line.

The Hurricane has an hour meter on the main burner unit and a separate control unit, which I’m going to install in the back cabin.  It also has a wired remote control on a 7 metre data cable which we will install in the saloon.

The black plastic air intake hose has been secured away from the exhaust pipe and again has the “highest point” above the height of the skin fitting.  You may have noticed the wiring and plumbing connections have yet to be made.

I’ve been looking at how we might control the heater using the Empirbus system.  The Hurricane manual specifically states NOT to cut the power supply to the heater by installing a 3rd party switch into the system.  It must be turned off/on using the switch on the remote control, which we will have in the saloon.  The Hurricane has a timer controlled thermostat built into the remote control unit.  This provides the ability to programme the heater so it starts at a set time if the temperature is lower than a set level.  I’ve looked at the back of the printed circuit board on the remote unit and can see the soldered connections for the on/off switch.  It should be possible to connect a wire across these two soldered connection back to the midships Empirbus node.  We have a spare switch beside the bed that I’ve already wired to the Empirbus bow node.  My idea is to program the Empirbus system so that when the switch beside our bed is pressed it activates the wire connecting the midships node to the Hurricane remote control on/off switch.  Actually, taking this idea further; it should be possible to program the Empirbus system to activate the cable between the midships node and the remote switch by using the GSM module.  That is; we should be able to send a text message from our phone to Waiouru telling the Empirbus system to start (or stop) the Hurricane.  It also means the Hurricane can be controlled by the Empirbus master isolation switch.  On leaving Waiouru all we have to do is press the one master isolation switch and know we have cut the power to everything (except for programmed exclusions such as bilge pumps, fridge, etc).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Butt Inn

The plan was to catch the local community bus to Newbury and visit the waterways festival beside the canal.  However Jan woke with a touch of vertigo so that plan was cancelled.  Instead, I managed a 25km walk on the north side of the canal doing a circuit through Woohampton, Midgham, Bucklebury, Stanford Dingley, Tutts Clump and Beenham.  It’s been a lovely warm and sunny summers day.  Unfortunately the previous days of rain have made many of the local footpaths very muddy.  Compounding the problem, the stinging nettles are waist high in many places.  However I did remember to carry the small camera and this time I even stopped to take a few photos.

Nice farm cottage near Midgham

Looking north around Bucklebury. 

Apparently the Middleton family (ie, Catherine Middleton Duchess of Cambridge) live in the area.  Never saw them!

Now this building near Stanford Dingley really interested me.  It looked quite squat but with a huge extension on the rear.

Jan had made a partial recovery by lunch time so we decided to treat ourselves to Sunday lunch at the local pub. 

The Butt Inn

It has only recently been renovated and re-opened after suffering serious flood damage a couple of years ago.  The meal was very nice.  I had the roast lamb and Jan had the roast beef.  Actually the beef was better than the lamb!  For dessert we had the crushed meringue with black cherries, raspberries, strawberries and cream <yummm>.  After that we staggered back to Waiouru where I completed a few minor wiring jobs.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gradual Progress

Sometimes I think this narrowboat building is just like eating an elephant…. How?  One mouthful at a time!

The stern gear is now installed after Andy spent a few hours struggling with the Vetus dripless bearing and the Python Drive.  You may have noticed the drive shaft has now been cut to length!

The hose from the dripless bearing has been routed up behind the domestic battery bank and into the top of the weed hatch on the starboard side.  Andy is going to fit a skin fitting into the top of the removable weed hatch so the end of the hose is below water level.  I understand the purpose of the hose is to vent surplus air/water from the Vetus dripless bearing.  However Andy indicated it was also used to draw water into the bearing to cool it. 

The hole and skin fitting haven’t yet been inserted into the top of the weed hatch plate

The only issue I can see is a potential obstacle with the hose when trying to go down the weed hatch to clear a fouled propeller.  If that occurs I may cut the hose and insert a couple of snap garden hose female fittings and a male-to-male coupler into it.

The domestic battery bank as also been fitted and the individual batteries wired together.

They just need to be secured by a strap

The cables connecting them in series/parallel are 120mm2, which is fairly substantial. In order for me to check the level of electrolyte I’m going to have to start looking for a small dentist’s mirror.  I had sent a couple of queries off via email regarding the cost of automatic battery watering top-up systems but the cost was prohibitive!  The four 450VA Rolls deep cycle lead acid traction batteries give us 900VA but only 50% (450VA) is usable as lead acid batteries can have their life significantly shortened if discharged lower than 50% of their maximum capacity.

The bilge pumps have arrived.  Andy is going to fit the one in the engine compartment whilst I will probably wire the one for the bilge in the bow tomorrow afternoon.  I’ve also been given another Empirbus document to read.  This one covers the GSM/GPS configuration.  It looks rather complicated, however I guess I’ll eventually work it all out!

Nick, the engineer, is working tomorrow and Andy has advised me today he will be tasking Nick to fit the Hurricane heater and the hospital silencer into the engine compartment. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Paul’s three small jobs

I’m rather relieved that Paul (the welder) has done three small welding jobs I’d been anxious to see completed.

Together we made a simple mounting bracket which he then welded to Waiouru’s roof just forward of the stern hatch.  After cleaning the bracket with a wire brush it received a coat of primer and the outback mobile phone aerial we’d brought with us from Australia was then fitted.  The aerial has at last reached it’s final destination.  It was one of the early blog posts back in October 2010 that I first wrote about the aerial and our intention to bring it to the UK.

The aerial on the bullbar of our 4x4

Now the aerial resides on top of Waiouru

The mounting can pivot fore and aft to lower the aerial should that be necessary.  I’ve already run a test to see the results of connecting the mobile phone to the aerial.  Inside Waiouru there is no internet signal.  Place the phone in a porthole and the strength meter shows one bar. Plug the phone into the aerial and the meter jumps to maximum strength.Open-mouthed smile

Andy went off and purchased a heavy duty bicycle rack which Paul slightly modified before welding it to Waiouru’s stern.

It’s an idea stolen copied from Sue & Kevin on nb Meander.  We don’t have any current plans to purchase bicycles; rather the top “arms” can be removed and a small circular clothesline fitted into the top of the tube.  Meander also had a couple of lower brackets welded on where Kevin carried his anchor and surplus fenders, go-kart tyres, etc.

The last task was to weld a 1200mm rectangular box section post immediately behind the gas locker water tank hatch.

The photo has a blue tint because the post is under the temporary blue tarpaulin over the cratch.  I’ve drilled the holes and run the wiring through the bow thruster locker to the post.  The top two cables are for the cameras (short range camera points at the bow and long range below pointing at all those blind bridge holes).  Below the cameras will be the headlamp and the horn.  I now need to start thinking about sealing the cable holes as all the equipment is shortly going to be exposed to the elements.

Back to more joinery tomorrow!