Sunday, 18 October 2009

A bit closer

Had a phone call from Dave from Bluewater on Thursday to say that he was not happy with my last blog entry but none the less he would come down and sort out the weed hatch. Unfortunately on Friday I learned that Ben was not prepared to allow any Bluewater staff onto his worksite.
Hey ho, the fabled ouzlum bird and ever decreasing circles comes to mind.
I haven't spent the last 30 years sorting out all sorts of problems and mishaps to let a minor hiccough like this put me off my stride. So down to the boat on Saturday armed with plenty of files. Got the weed hatch open and wedged it half way up, and spent the next hour and a half working away at the opening on each side working round the hatch best I could. In all, I probably only removed about 1mm of metal but it was enough to persuade the baffle plate through and another 5 minutes with a large flat file just to clean things up had the hatch dropping through cleanly. A layer of paint where I'd been working and some nice new sealing tape to replace the temporary gasket from the last time. Sorted, but working at some funny angles was I glad of a good hot bath when we got home.
Karen and mum Kath were busy cleaning and polishing and generally looking in all the nooks and crannies for the last vestiges of sawdust. Kath has decided the boat is the wrong colour - cos it'll show all the muck - bit late now!
Tried to run the engine to charge the batteries but faced with constant alarm. Ben disapeared into the engine bay to check the electrics and stated domestic batteries not charging, probably belt off. Engine covers opened but belt in place and eveything rotating as it should. Looks like the alternator has failed. Ben will check it out thoroughly and if necessary get Beta to come out next week. He, Mike and a couple of other lads were busy lining out Humdinger while we were there trying to make up for lost time. It looks absolutely huge inside.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Visitors and Problems

Down to the boat again on Friday and Saturday just moving bits in and tidying up - you know, all those little bits that make a place feel like home. Even had our first visitors come calling who invited themseves round for tea. Poor photo but they wouldn't stay still.
At last a picture of the sign writing, we have a name at last. Didn't have a chance to talk to Andy as he was painting this, other than say hello. He was perched on a plank between boat and jetty working away and it seemed prudent not to disturb him.
Ben has sorted the stiff steering found last Sunday and the wheel is much more comfortable.
Karen busied herself cleaning the roof down muttering about the amount of leaves from the trees. Thought better of mentioning that it happens quite a bit this time of year.
But she's also been busy in side and things are starting to look very homely and I think this is going to be a very cosy home from home.
As for me - I tested the chairs
Now we come to the problem. Ben spotted water apparently coming from the rudder bearing when the boat was being moved under its own power but on closer inspection this it was probably coming from the weed hatch as there was no seal and running past the rudder to disapear into a void at the stern. That in itself can soon be remedied but this has brought further problems to light.
Firstly there is no easy access to the void where the water was running. Ben has removed what he can by usung a wet/dry vacuum hose pushed into the hole but owing to the shape of the stern the water probably runs forward collects behind the weed hatch.
Secondly the weed hatch will not come out. The baffle plate is wider than the access hole lip. Presumably the weed hatch was constructed so that the baffle plate had to be presented with a sideways angle to the hole to pass through but now that there is a fuel tank either side of the catch this cannot be done and rotating forwards or backwards makes no diference.
A few e-mails to Sharon at Bluewater where the hull was built has just returned some ineffective advice and silence. The impression I am getting is almost like dealing with one of those firms that get reported on BBC's Watchdog - I most certainly hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Open day

Been down to the boat a few times recently but not done any blogging so I'd better put that right. The builds coming along nicely and all those little finishing touches are coming into place but either forgot to take photo's or forgot to take the camera.

Last visit was on Sunday to see Ben's open day and by all accounts it has been a success with people coming from all over, and while we were there it was an almost continual stream of visitors. Met up with Kev and Ann off 4Evermoore and their staffie, feels like we've known them for ages. Kelly was there with her folks and loads of other boat minded people and we had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Best was yet to come. At the end of the show Ben asked us to take her back to the mooring - What just us? That was it, drop the top and let's go.

The maiden voyage - up to Haywood Junction - wind and back to the mooring, at least a quarter of a mile. Think I need power steering as I found the wheel very heavy to turn so that's a job for the snagging list. Even so I can't blame it for my rubbish driving, if we had left a wake it would have resembled a snake track! Kelly was up on the road bridge by the junction taking plenty of photographs- there was plenty of opportunity with my five point turn and everywhere at tickover.

Stayed behind to get the chairs on board, the mattress is already in, brought it over on Friday lashed to the top of the motor. Everythings easy, just remove the skylight and drop it through no hastle whatsoever.

Think I should have left the dust cover off for the pic.

One last cuppa at the end of the day.

A few problems and we have put back the trip to Pillings to November now to allow for some bits to be sorted, not all of Bens I hasten to add.

I see we now have a fifth follower - Welcome.