Friday, 26 September 2008

clearing the decks

All this work, particularly on the roof, has generated a spectacular amount of rubbish on deck,

and eventually the time came to take it all to the recycling centre. Lorna was undaunted by the mammoth task,

and loaded up the car while i concentrated on the important job of generating more rubbish by continuing to rip up the roof.

A couple of trips to the tip and the decks are looking a lot more like a boat and less like a council tip.

Glorious (galvanic) isolation

Inspired by the good folks on Hendrik we have bought a Galvanic Isolator which prevents galvanic corrosion due to the tiny electrical charge in the hull from the electrical systems on board. We haven't actually installed it yet, not wanting to die by touching the wrong wire, but it will soon be up and running and there'll be one less reason for me to lie awake at night imagining the hull just fizzing away like a giant soluble aspirin.

Once you've eliminated the impossible...

...whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

No, we dont have a squid living under the boat, this is the result of two of the finest minds on the boat (vortex sat this one out) trying to work out where the outlet was for the sink in the captain's cabin. We would drain the sink, but despite there being a likely outlet on the outside of the hull no water ever came out, and it wasn't pouring out inside the boat either. By the careful application of black ink, we discovered that there is indeed an outlet just under the water line, and this is the evidence.

Case solved, the company put on it's hats and went out.

slapping it on

One of the things that Lorna has been doing to relax after all the wanton destruction of ripping the roof apart and messing around with fibreglass is to keep gradually working on the anchor winch. The other day she painted the rims of the big handles black, which looks great.

While she had the black hammerite out she painted the front bollards too, as bitumen paint just rubs off stright away.

I've been doing a bit of painting too. One of the things we really wanted to do before we moved was to get the mast/crane mended and up. Unfortunately, due to the welder being on holiday until just after we move, that isn't going to happen, but i've made a start by beginning to prepare the big horizontal spar which had been languishing down the side of the roof and which was in dire need of some tlc.

This was a great chance for me to have a good go with my new favourite toy, the grinding disc on the nagle grinder, so i set to work and started getting it nice and shiny.

before giving it a good coat of white.

We've also been doing some painting inside, getting the hull wall of the end bedroom nicely rust busted and covered with a good coat of hammerite so that we can stick a load of insulation in there, seal it up, and not think about it for several years.

We've also been doing some thinking and experimenting to determine the feasibility of building a built in cupboard into the underhang of the hull wall...


Before we set off on our voyage and actually USED the engine, we needed to fix a leak in the fuel line from the tank in the deck locker to the engine. Ever since we filled up, and created more pressure in the tank from the weight of the extra fuel, the tap in the locker, and the connection in the pipe down in the engine room, have been leaking slightly. This is not only a waste of money, literally pouring money into the bilges, but it makes the engine room and office smell of diesel.

First step was to clear out all the 'cat litter' stuff we used to soak up the diesel that had leaked into the locker

before removing the old tap (we had drained the tank previously!) and replacing it with a shiny new one, and using Red Hemetite in the joints rather than the PTFE tape that had been used before, and which dissolves in fuel.

We've put a baking tray underneathso that we can see if it leaks, and so far it's all looking good...

Next step was to move down the line to the pipe that comes through the roof of the engine room and down to the draining tap. Again, we took it off,

replaced the fitting and joints, and popped it back on, and again so far it's looking good for leaks.

Catchup with that?

In amongst organising the move, we have been busy over the last couple of weeks. We FINALLY finished stripping the gloss paint off the roof and repainting it with proper wood paint

and have been making more mess on the roof

in order to strip off the rest of the flashing in preparation for fibreglassing.

Speaking of which...
In order to make all our initial mistakes (and we did) out of sight we decided to fibreglass the wheelhouse roof before we re-attempted the main roof. We cut the glass matting to size

and prepared the resin

(don't forget you can make small modern art installations with the resin when i sets in the bucket)

before laying the fibreglass and applying the resin

going off the edges of the roofso that the water will run off (and to create an attractive icicle effect)

before trimming off the icicles and edging it with plastic edging strip.

Now we just need some little corner pieces and to gel coat the top, and it'll be done.

Monday, 22 September 2008

And fate, thus tempted, said "No!"

Obviously telling people was too much of a provocation, our move date has now been put back to the END of next week. (It's a tidal thing). This will actually be better, as it gives us a little bit of breathing space before we go, and the chance to sort out a couple of things that would otherwise have been a bit of a mad rush. We're still going though!

cast off

We are moving!

Ever since we bought the boat we have waiting on a tentative promise of a probable mooring in central London around September 2008, and it has come to pass! We will be casting off our ropes at the weekend and sailing down the Thames, and should be safely installed at our new, tidal, slightly bouncier berth in the heart of Swinging London by the beginning of next week.

And the best bit?

No boxes to pack.

No van to book.

No horrific day of heaving massive boxes of books into a van, double parked in a busy street.

No furniture to disassemble and reassemble.

Moving your house beats moving house in every way...