Saturday, 30 May 2009

We are afloat

Well this is it folks on the water already. No photo's of the boat being craned in as we were both at work on the day but Ben has a pile of pics of the event and will forward them to us. I'll post a few for posterity when they arrive. Here she is already got the foam insulation and battening fitted and preparations being made for first fix wiring. Ben is certainly cracking on. Glitches found to date is the 4 blade prop came with a different taper to the shaft but this should be rectified in a week or two and the most confusing one is there doesn't appear to be a filler opening on the fuel tank. Ah well life would be too quiet without a few hiccups along the way.
She looks good on the water where she belongs, but still lots of work to do. Apparently there is hardly any ballast on board but with the 15mm base plate she nearly draws 24" already, which is good as I'm looking to reduce the air draught to 5'10" if possible.
Popped down to the moorings at Pillings Lock Marina and see that the power hookups have now been completed to the pontoons at our end and everything is looking good. Stopped for a quick cuppa and cake in the cafe.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Busy week-end

Down at Bluewater again on Friday for one last look at the hull before it leaves Bluewater. Couldn't see much as it's in the process of being shot blasted prior to being primed and having 2 pack black on lower half.
Managed to get up and take a few measurements for the wheelhouse hinges but rushed it and still need more, but the next time we see this beastie it will be down with Ben at Great Haywood. Thanks again to all the people at Bluewater for time and patience in dealing with this novice and providing such a shapely hull.

Following day, Saturday down at Crick for the show, trying to keep spending urges in check. (some hope). Met up with Ben and Kelly on their stand and admiring the display units and wondering how best to fit them into our build. Lots to see and do, got plenty of rope,( Can't ever have enough of that) mooring spikes with covers and all manner of sundry items. Most important of all were a pair of lifejackets for the dogs. I doubt if they'll be used very often but it will be peace of mind for us if we venture out onto some of the larger rivers or tidal reaches. Not too sure at first but the pups soon go used to them.

Back to work on Sunday and the rest of the bank holiday -- such is life, but pays the bills, roll on retirement!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Quick visit

Back down to Bluewater again yesterday to meet up with David and Ben as there seemed to be a problem developing over delivery dates and work to be done, but on arrival I find all problems have been sorted and delivery date has been moved back to next Tuesday after the bank holiday. My fault I suppose wanting this big fancy wheelhouse has made a lot more work than expected. Ben appreciates the extra work and has ageed the later delivery date. David is putting as many people on the job as he can fit round the wheelhouse, and I'm still going to get a cracking boat that hasn't been spoilt by rushing it. Thanks chaps!

Work on the forward hatch.
Work on the wheelhouse seats

Two views of the extra large gas locker which will take a dustbin as well as two bottles and collapsable bottle cart. Side hatch on the bottom shot looks complete. There certainly has been some work going on since last Friday.

Rogues gallery - Ben and David all smiles after problems sorted. Perfectionists hard at work!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Coming On

Bluewater again yesterday, and there has been more progress. The last photo's taken are on Ben's website from last Friday show main cabin on, but now the wheelhouse is up and the windows and hatches have been cut out. My worries about the wheelhouse sides to take the handrail cum hinge that I have designed are just perfect but no mounting lugs fitted yet so I cant take measurements for the final drawing. Once again I think I've been lucky finding the right man (or should that be person these days) in contacting Mick at TR fabrications in Nottingham who can make the hinges, which will be 5ft long and leave an exposed handrail with either the wheelhouse up or down, in stainless steel.
Still plenty of work to do though, and David at Bluewater thinks he will have to send the handrail mounts away for drilling to 27mm to accept the handrail. Offered to do it at my workshop at home as I have facilities here if he could provide the steel, but he reckoned he'd got it covered. Even so looking at the work still to be done considering it was Friday afternoon and there was still plenty of seam welding to be done, dog box to cut out, bollards and gas locker to make plus the hatch frames and rudder to fit before it can be shot blasted and painted. I think the delivery date of next Wednesday is highly optimistic, but at the end of the day I'm not complaining as the care and attention to detail is second to none.
Tried to take a few photo's while we were there but the camera started acting up. B***er.
Karen took some shots on her phone but I cant get them to upload to the computer. Double B***er.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Back down to Bluewater a couple of times over the past few days, mainly to explain what I want doing in the wheelhouse to try and gain a few extra inches of leg room. Unfortunately the idea of being able to turn the wheelhouse dinette into a put me up bed have been knocked on th head owing to the fact that I hadn't taken into account the fact that this nice shapely hull turns in much earlier than the normal narrowboat rear. David at Bluewater is going to taper the wheelhouse to follow the gunnels and then step in for the wheelhouse upperworks. I'm sure he thinks my idea will spoil the lines of this curvy hull. On my own head be it.

Anyway time will tell on that one, back to the build at present, the work continues to move forwards and with the longer wheelhouse the engine bay is going to be huge - perhaps we should take up smuggling! Got a better look at the inside this time and you can see the fuel tanks with weed hatch in between.

The hawse hole has been added to the bow and chain locker installed. Looking from ths angle the bow looks like it was taken from something that fought in the battle of Jutland.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this blogging lark but still plenty to learn. Thanks for the tip Bill.