Sunday, 13 November 2011

no rest for the wicked skills

When we got back from dry dock we should have been able to sit back, relax, and take some time off happy in the knowledge that although we'd had to work insanely hard for two months, non stop, and had almost worn ourselves out completely, we'd achieved what we needed to and were safe and seaworthy.

However, the reason i still haven't had a single day off since the start of dry dock, at the beginning of August, is that there were 2 big jobs that we hadn't finished when we got back, moving the bathroom, and installing central heating.

One of the things we decided we needed to do during dry dock was sort out the inside of the hull underneath the bathroom which was damp and rusting. This led to us ripping out most of the bathroom, including the built in tiled shower, in order to get at the pipes

and once we'd ripped out the bathroom, it seemed silly to put it back in the same room, as our plan for a long time had been to ultimately swap the bathroom with our bedroom.

Of course this meant ripping out our bedroom too.

before building it back up, starting with the floor

then adding floor and building stud walls to divide the space into a separate toilet and bathroom.

as well as, of course, painting, insulating with celotex, double insulating with rockwool, and panelling over the hull wall.

THEN we had to build enclosures for the 2 tanks (fresh water and black water, or poo) which would form 2 walls of the bathroom, and keep almost all the pipework in the boat, other than hot and cold feeds to the kitchen taps, within one room. Having had a previous layout with water tanks in the fo'c'sle, bathroom and boiler in the front room in the hold, and kitchen at the back of the hold, we wanted to really rationalise this and keep everything as close, and pipe runs as short, as possible.

once the tanks were in

we could put in temporary plumbing (it doesn't look pretty but it works, and once we sort out the walls a bit more we can then reroute the pipes in a less Terry Gilliam style)

and run the gas line in order to fit our new boiler (our old boiler, which was situated in the bathroom, had a sticker on it saying 'do not install this boiler in a bathroom'). The gas installation took 2 days, since like everything else on the boat it meant drilling through ceilings and bulkheads to run pipes, and actually fabricating a whole new section of deck to house the end of the gas line and the bubble tester. We were pretty delighted when, having finished the gas line, we tried the bubble tester to find not a single leak.

At the same time, we had to install the new toilet, cistern and cistern enclosure and move the macerator to the new toilet, which was a whole 'nother load of plumbing and learning.

Then it was just a case of putting the lino floor in, quickly building a temporary stand for the sink, placing the bath in the room, and we had a newly functioning bathroom with hot and cold running water

which the cats certainly appreciated.

The emphasis was definitely on 'functioning' rather than 'finished', as there were more ongoing jobs like installing a new window frame that would incorporate the flue pipe for the boiler, rather than the bit of plywood with a hole cut in it, that we were making do with in the meantime.

and installing the rather nifty tank level indicators for the two tanks

Essentially EVERYTHING that we do on the boat is intricately tied in to 10 other jobs, meaning that to do anything you first have to do another 5 things to enable the initial job, and then the main job will require at least 5 different skills (welding, plumbing, electrics, carpentry, glazing, etc) which means that things take a LONG time to finish.

BUT, we were back from dry dock, had been back a week or so, and had hot and cold running water which made our lodgers happy at least. We just needed to make our new bedroom habitable, and install the new central heating system before the cold winter weather set in, and we could have a couple of days off. Easy!

Of course it's now mid november and we still haven't QUITE finished the central heating, but we're SO close, and we do at least have our bed in the bedroom, even if the room is a little heavy on celotex and low on chic design.

The central heating has been the most epic task i've ever attempted, and has taken WAAAY longer than i expected, but we're almost there with it, and it deserves a whole post of it's own...

1 comment:

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