Sunday, September 30, 2012

PayPal - I communicated with a human!

Well eventually I found a way of communicating with a human at Paypal and they very quickly answered my query. 

Jayne… This is how it was done!

  1. Login to your Paypal account
  2. Select the Help option at the far right on the menu bar
  3. Ignore all the options and type in a query in the search window
  4. Ignore all the options and look at the bottom left of the screen (you may have to scroll down).  Right at the bottom is an option to  ‘Contact Us by phone or email’
  5. Click on Contact Us to bring up and email window.
  6. Type your query into the window and send it.
  7. You will get an automatic computer generated email offering a number of potential answers to your query
  8. Ignore all the potential answers and down the bottom will be an option to reply if none of the above answers your query.
  9. Select that option and resubmit your question.
  10. Your email will now go to a human

I receive an answer from Juan in less than 24 hours. Smile

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tired but not sure why?

For some reason I feel particularly tired after spending the day working on Waiouru.  But looking around I don’t seem to have achieved much! 

Darren is away attending training on how to paint a boat.  Don’t ask……… I don’t know why he’s attending boat painting training just as he finishes Waiouru!  Nick attended a call-out to one of the hire boats so it was all down to me today.

The strip LED above the front door is now installed and working.

This morning all the rubber grommets were fitted onto the holes in the steel post that will hold the cameras, headlamp and horn.  Then the camera were fitted to the post.  Their installation hasn’t been finalised as I’m not sure if the right camera is at the top of the post.  Then it was time to go to the cockpit and fit the wires for the monitor.

The labelling for the plug is so small it has defeated my eyesight so the installation of the pins into the socket will have to be done by younger eyes.  However the Lewmar bow thruster control was fitted along with the Beta engine control panel.

I’m not too happy with the security of the control panel.  It could do with another four machine screws to hold it firmly against the bulkhead.  Probably a job for tomorrow!

Just prior to lunch the retractable hot water hose was fitted to the stern bulkhead.

Much of the afternoon has been spent fitting the modular power sockets down the starboard side of Waiouru.  The first step was to use the oscillating electric saw to cut through the plywood wall lining.  Then the depth of the cavity needed to be increased so there was sufficient room for the sockets.  I know…. more spray foam to be removed!  The 12v sockets haven’t arrived, however it was possible to start fitting the 240v sockets and switches.

The chrome surrounds won’t be fitted to the sockets until after the varnishing has been completed. 

I’d better go and plan the route for Sunday’s walk.

Bl**dy Paypal

Yesterday our bank account shows a direct debit to PayPal for £7.64.  However there is no transaction in our Paypal account for the same amount.  So I try emailing Paypal to ask why they have deducted the amount from our bank.  However there is no email address on the Paypal website; just a computer help system with none of the options relevant to my query.  So I leave a query under the “other” option.

Today we received a computer generated response.

We have completed our investigation of your case and, as there is insufficient evidence in support of your claim, we have refused your Unauthorised Account Use Claim.

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response.

I bl**dy HATE corresponding with a computer!!!!!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Testing the Houdini surrounds

Yesterday’s post included a description of fitting the plasma cut Houdini hatch surrounds to the roof.  Today there was an opportunity to test the steel surround in the forward hole. 

The plan is to seal and screw down the surround onto the existing hatch.  Then fill and sand off the screw heads before fitting the Houdini hatch.  Today’s test confirmed the Houdini is a snug fit in the new surround.

Meanwhile Darren continued painting.  But first he removed the masking tape from around the recessed rear panels.  This afternoon Andy informed me he would be contacting the sign writer to arrange a mutually suitable time to discuss the graphics.

After he had sanded the bow and stern Darren gave the cockpit its second coat of gloss.

There will probably be an opportunity to fit the majority of the controls into the column tomorrow.

Then he painted the second coat of black gloss onto the bow along with the final coat of graphite onto the bow hatch and post.

It will be dry tomorrow so I should be able to fit the cameras.  The light grey requires another coat and the ‘T’ mooring post has yet to be painted red.

Back at the stern Darren painted a final coat of black and then graphite onto the tiller arm.

I needed to keep myself occupied so I fitted the shore line connector in the bow.

Then the TV antenna connector was fitted. 

The same style of connector was on nb Kelly-Louise and I rather liked it.  So Peter & Margaret, we’ve stolen the idea from you!

We also tried out the flue roof extension for the Lockgate diesel stove.

During today’s weekly meeting with Andy he advised that there was probably 10 days of engineering left and the painting should be finished in a few days.  Richard has also been through Waiouru and made a list of all the outstanding joinery.

The latter half of the afternoon was spent preparing the 240v cables for the new modular socket system.  That will be another task we start tomorrow.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Up Front

Darren was busy working on the bow and foredeck for much of the day.  He also gave the rear recessed panels a 6th coat of red gloss.
He has become rather innovative and fitted a small brush the the end of the vacuum cleaner hose.  This appears to be doing as good a job as the Tac cloths in cleaning the sanded surface.  Darren had already applied a second coat of light grey gloss to the bow and cratch and was preparing the bow for a second coat of gloss black,.
As you can see, he has also painted one coat of the gloss Graphite paint onto the steel headlamp and horn post along with the hatch cover to the water tank.  The cratch grab handles have been given their first coat of graphite paint.
As the front bulkhead wall has been given two topcoats I should be able to start fitting the TV antenna  and 240v shore power sockets.
TV antenna cable top left and shore power cable top right
The cratch LED strip light could be fitted above the door, however we will wait until the doors are fitted so it can all be varnished together.
Darren painted the first coat of gloss onto the bicycle rack.  When purchased it was covered in spray enamel black but we are changing that to graphite.
One of his last jobs for the day was to give the houdini hatch surrounds a coat of primer.  Andy had the hatch surrounds made locally and he collected them after lunch.
They have been plasma cut from 4mm mild steel plate and have come with the screw holes already countersunk.
You may recall I wrote back here about the problem with the houdini hatches and how there was a gap between the houdini frames and the opening in Waiouru’s roof.  These surrounds will be sealed and machine screwed on top of the existing roof opening.  The Houdini hatches will then snuggly fit inside the surround thereby eliminating the gap.
Nick and I spent much of the day attempting to fit the rear sliding hatch cover.  It needed cutting with a jigsaw and then grinding to get the hatch to fit on top of the brass slides that Nick had already machine screwed onto the steel runners.  However our efforts came unstuck when we realised the brass barrel fittings wouldn’t fit into the gap between the roof and the hatch.  I suggested we look at Tracy’s hatch as she has a Tyler-Wilson shell.  Her boat is less than 100 metres away from the yard.  After looking at Tracy’s hatch setup Nick realised her hatch was on roller bearings rather than a ‘brass on brass’ slide.  Actually Tracy’s hatch is exactly what we specified…. A hatch on roller bearings!  Andy is now going to order some bearings so Nick can finish installing Waiouru’s hatch.  This left us looking for something else to do so I suggested the diesel stove flue. 
The original flue cap on the ceiling had to be replaced because the fixing holes had been drilled in the wrong place.  Whilst we had been waiting for the replacement part the joiners carried on working and Richard had fitted oak trim around the ceiling.  Then we discovered the new cap wouldn’t fit because it was partially obstructed by the oak trim.  The agreed solution was to grind off part of the cap edge which would enable it to butt up against the oak trim.
Nick ground back the stainless steel with the angle grinder and we then fitted the cap to the ceiling. The flue could then be fitted and the stove screwed through the slate hearth to the timber underneath.
The stove is now installed
Of course we can’t light the stove to keep warm because we are inside the paint tent!  I had also mentioned how stiff the tiller arm was to Nick.  He went off and got a 10 tonne jack which he placed under the rudder.  By applying pressure he was able to force the rudder post out of the cup in the skeg (not sure if this is the correct term). The rudder slowly came out… along with a significant amount of rust!  He then cleaned it all up with a wire brush before reinserting the rudder into the cup.  The tiller now swings very freely!
Tomorrow is “change around day” with nine hire boats booked to go out so I don’t anticipate seeing any work being done on Waiouru by Nick.  My assumption is that in Nick’s absence Darren will be keen to paint the cockpit and rear deck.  Andy has given me the switches for the modular 240 & 12v sockets so I may attempt to start fitting them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where to fit them?

Waiouru has three diesel tanks and two diesel gauges.  The gauges are for the two tanks in the stern.  One tank is for propulsion and the other for the Hurricane heater.   The gauges are from MSC and are digital.  They work on air pressure and this requires a copper pipe be run from the sender unit to the amplifier.  From there the connection is electrical to the gauge in the back cabin.
Nick was in a slight quandary about where to fit the sender units into each tank.  His first task was to establish where the partition was between the two tanks.  His investigation resulted in him confirming my advice that the Hurricane tank is about a third of the size of the engine tank.  Eventually Nick decided to fit the sender units into each tank via the weed hatch.  Tyler-Wilson shells have a non-flooding weed hatch accessible from the rear deck.
View into the weed hatch from the cockpit. 
The engine sender is in the top left of the photo and the Hurricane sender in the top right.  Each sender turns 90° so the pipe will go vertically to the bottom of the tank.  The pipes exit the weed hatch via a waterproof gland in the bottom right of the photo.
A better view of the Hurricane sender and the exit gland. 
Nick has covered the copper pipes with a thick rubber sleeve to give them some protection.
The pipes enter the engine compartment to the right of the domestic battery bank and then go up into the control column where they connect into an amplifier.

Nick feeds the pipes up into the control column

Nick connects the pipes to the amplifiers.
The expensive part of the task has yet to occur…… The calibration!  The gauges work on air pressure which requires an air bubble in the sender.  This is achieved by ‘pumping up’ the gauge with a bicycle pump.  However the calibration can’t be done unless the tanks are FULL!  So we face the expensive exercise of filling all our diesel tanks for the first time <ouch!>
Mid-morning the Royal Mail van arrived with the satellite coaxial cables I had ordered from ATV.  They have been custom made to length with ‘F’ connectors on each end.  One cable is 2.5m long and the other 4 metres.  The short of the two runs from the satellite dome position on the roof to the media centre beside the diesel stove.  When Waiouru was a shell I purchased some flexible conduit from Screwfix and installed it in the ceiling.  Then I ran draw wires through the conduit so the coaxial (and other cables) could be installed after Waiouru’s ceiling had been fitted.  Getting the 2.5m coaxial through the conduit between the position of the dome and the media centre wasn’t too difficult.
As you can see in the above photo the coaxial exits the roof in the centre of the dome mountings.  A small block of wood has been taped to it to prevent the cable accidentally being pulled back into the conduit.  Eventually it will have a terminal cap over the hole in the roof.  However this will not be done until I’ve confirmed there is sufficient cable for the connection to the dome (the dome is currently on our ‘wish list’… and not at the top!).
The connection at the other end is in the media centre.
This is the top compartment which has a small door to conceal the contents.  The purpose of the compartment is to hold 240v & 12v power connections and power transformers. The satellite dome receiver will go in the compartment underneath along with the Network Media Tank. 
I had a problem with the second coaxial cable.  It runs from the media centre through a conduit in the ceiling cavity to the edge of the roof and then drops down through a void in the wall of the display cabinet to the TV.  The problem was the coaxial couldn’t be pulled though the conduit using the draw wire.  The hole in the ceiling lining wasn’t directly below the mouth of the conduit and I couldn’t get my finger far enough into the hole to discover what was obstructing the cable.  In the end I used Richard’s oscillating saw and cut a groove in the ceiling lining (photo above).  This isn’t a problem as the compartment will usually be closed.  However I can always fit a new section of ceiling ply over the groove if it concerns me!  Cutting the groove enabled me to identify the problem as a second cable in the conduit.  Actually there was sufficient room in the conduit for both the coaxial and the other cable except the coaxial had an ‘F’ connector on the end.  The solution was to remove the second cable (a 12v feed to the satellite receiver) and tape a second draw wire to the coaxial.  I could then pull the coaxial through the conduit to the display cabinet and use the draw wire to pull the 12v power cable back (plus another draw wire in case it is needed at some future date). 

Then a second draw wire was used to pull the coaxial down to the TV bracket.
  The right angle ‘F’ connector.
We now have all the wiring for the media system installed.  The Sat-dome cable runs to the receiver and then to the main TV which has a built-in FreeSat tuner.  The Terrestrial aerial runs from the forward bulkhead fitting into the wardrobe where it connects to a 12v amplifier.  From there it goes to the TV cabinet and a three way splitter.  One cables goes back to the small TV in the bedroom; another to the Network Media Tank (NMT); and the third goes to the main TV.  There is a HDMI cable from the NMT to a splitter in the display cabinet.  From there one HDMI cable goes to the small TV in the bedroom and a second to the main TV.
After lunch a courier arrived at the yard with the mobile phone holder we ordered from eBay.  We had become concerned about the number of times the smartphone had fallen on the floor.  As the phone is our principle means of communication (voice and date) we needed to secure it; but also make it readily accessible.  Hence the decision to purchase the holder.  It was rather cheap, (less than £5) and is designed to fit on the windscreen of a vehicle.
Obviously the plastic suction cap on the base wouldn’t work on the varnished timber but that was easily solved with the drill and a couple of screws.  All we now need is a couple of clothes hooks which I’ll fit under the shelf (red arrow) at either end.  We will then be able to secure the surplus exterior aerial cable around the hooks.  The cable can’t be shortened as we sometimes need to hold the phone to make voice calls from inside Waiouru.
The last task for the day was to sand down and clean the timber in the back cabin ready for a second coat of varnish.  Jan and I plan to work our way through Waiouru compartment by compartment giving all the timber a second coat.  So tomorrow may see us sanding the galley and varnishing the back cabin.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Purple Fingers

Yes, Jan and I have again been out along the towpath picking blackberries.  But they didn’t give up without a flight.  Hiding among the stinging nettles and covered in thorns.  But it will take more than that to deter us!  We couldn’t find the elusive local crab apple and pear trees but have sufficient blackberries for another crumble.  Before writing about today’s progress on Waiouru I must mention Bill.  Two days ago he congratulated me on the post from the previous day.  He couldn’t find one grammar or spelling error.  That’s an error in itself!

Richard; being a glutton for punishment; cleaned off all the heads on the oak plugs in the back cabin.  All that is left is the galley.  We suspect he will be pleased when they are all done!

Darren painted the 4th coat of red onto the rear panels.  They now have a deep lustre and Jan seems quite pleased with the result.

The masking tape was also removed from the red handrails.

All four colours

The red ‘Boatman’s Beam’ on a very dirty roof

Darren has given the foredeck and cockpit their first coat of grey topcoat.

Whilst the red tunnel band received a second topcoat.

His last job for the day was to give all the ‘odds and sods’ (rear hatch cover, inspection plate, bike rack, etc) their first undercoat.  It’s Darren’s day off tomorrow which will give us a chance to do some interior sanding and perhaps a coat of varnish.

Apart from some fetching and carrying my major task was to cut rectangular ventilation holes in the sidewalls of the beds.  I still have to cut the high ventilation hole in the wet locker door.  A task for tomorrow!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fore & Aft

Darren gave the red panels their 3rd coat of gloss and it looks like they will require a 4th.  He told me red is a particularly difficult colour to paint; even more so since lead in paint was banned.  However the panels are now starting to look very nice.

He then went on to inspect my sanding of the foredeck and bow before giving the area the first of two undercoats.

The deck and top of the diesel tank haven’t been painted as it’s the main access onto Waiouru.

After inspecting my sanding Darren then painted the cockpit and half the stern deck.

He had to disconnect the shore power to do the painting so we are currently running on the domestic battery bank. 

Darren will be sanding the area back tomorrow and giving everything another coat of paint.

Meanwhile Richard decided to remove the heads of the oak plugs in the screw holes.  We must have used over 1500 plugs so he has his work cut out!  By the end of the day he must have completed 65% of the boat. 

Every plug cut back and smoothed by hand with his expensive Japanese chisel.

A large number of the plugs are located above shoulder height and as a consequence Richard had sore shoulders by the end of the day.  He is going to mask all the laminated ceiling panel whilst Jan and I have agreed we will sand all the interior oak and give it a second coat of varnish.  The plan is to do this room by room as were are living aboard.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Mixed Day

It was cold again last night.  Much of this is due to Waiouru not having front doors or a rear hatch.  Moreover we can’t start the Refleks diesel stove as we are inside the paint tent.  In an effort to stop Waiouru being a wind tunnel I’ve taped a sheet of brown paper over the back hatch.  We’ve also started wearing another layer of clothes.

Whilst on the subject of Waiouru, we have a problem with the Houdini hatches.  They don’t fit!  The problem is the opening in the Wilson-Tyler shell have tighter radius curves than the actual hatches which has resulted in a gap at each corner.

Air gap in the corner

The gap is too large to fill and the solution is to have a steel ‘collar’ plasma cut from 4mm steel.  This will be screwed and glued over the existing opening with the internal dimensions of the collar the same as the Houdini hatch.

The forecast was rain but despite this I went for a walk along the towpath to Burghfield Lock and then through the adjacent linear park to the Sainsburys supermarket at Calcot.  Jan gave me the shopping list but other items also caught my eye (of course) whilst browsing for custard powder. Smile

The walk took me beyond Theale as I wanted another look at Garston Lock which is just east of the M4 motorway.  The reason for this is Garston Lock is turf sided.

Last week I walked to Newbury and passed Monkey Marsh Lock which is also turf sided.  When first built, all the locks on the canal were turf sided.  Garston and Monkey Marsh are all that remains.

Garston Lock

Originally the turf locks were lined on the sides with timber below the low water level.  Above low water the sides slope back at 45° and lined with turf.  This disadvantages with this design are the lock uses twice the normal volume of water and it’s more difficult to get on or off the boat when it’s in the lock. 

Bill (that’s local Bill who gleefully informs me of my spelling and grammar errors Smile) informs me these two locks were retained as part of the canal preservation and funding arrangements.

To the south of Garston Lock is a reasonable size lake (see map photo above) and there were a number of small sailboats on it despite the rain!

Nick isn’t going to be doing any work on Waiouru today!  He was called out to fix a broken gearbox on one of the hireboats early today.  Now there is a stoppage at Ham Lock just east of Newbury which is preventing a number of the hireboats returning to Aldermaston Wharf.  It’s ‘changeover’ day tomorrow so things are getting hectic!

On a more smelly note I checked the toilet tank gauge this morning and it had changed to Red (full).  Actually there is room for more effluent in the tank but as the boatyard was quiet we decided to do a pump out.  It was also an opportunity to check the hose would reach and fit into the outlet connection on the roof of Waiouru.  However before commencing the pump out the toilet was filled to the top and flushed consecutively five times in an effort to flush the pipe to the tank.  It was interesting to watch the tank gauge and see how quickly the pump emptied the tank.  There is a slight problem with the rinse connection.  The hose will not fit down the narrow bore inside the fitting.  The diameter of the hole at the cap is fine.  However the diameter rapidly narrows thereafter.  It may be possible to ‘open’ out the diameter of the hole by drilling it with a slightly larger bit or even cutting the narrow end off the fitting.  Fortunately I haven’t yet glued and screwed it to the roof.