Sunday, 30 October 2011

Catching Up

Can’t believe it’s been six days since I last blogged. Tuesday and Wednesday found me down at T-A working on the weatherboards. The doors are now complete but I have not managed to do the door frame surrounds to cover the gap between steelwork and woodwork on the off side. That may have to wait until we are moored up on that side, but both doors and frames have had an extra coat of varnish. I was wrong about the doors being only screwed and glued butt joints – there wasn’t any glue, but I think there may be recoverable wood to use in the wheelhouse framework.
If the idea was that the glass could be replaced by unscrewing the frame, then this failed because several of the screws had rusted and seized in. Makes me aware that I am doing the right thing by using stainless steel or brass.
Thursday was spent on the GCS work boat Centauri clearing rubbish, good fun but smelly work.
Down to T-A on Friday with Karen to sheet up for the winter as the wheelhouse cover stitching has split on the corners and has a tendency to lift. Very pleased to find little or no water in the wheelhouse after the rain, what water that was there looked as though it had dripped off the door when opened.
Back down on Saturday to measure up for the new woodwork but got carried away and also dismantled the control desk which came home with me. Nearly in trouble as I had forgotten we were out partying later.
Today has been spent on various designs and getting some of the bits ready. The old tachometer is now connected into the new panel and the radio connectors have been modified for use on the boat.

Monday, 24 October 2011

A Long Day

Had a full day on T-A today, now I’m looking like a boiled shrimp, after a real hot bath to sooth my aching knees. Spent all morning finishing off the battery wiring, so it was spent kneeling on the base plate. Thought about taking up religion – could have done with a hassock. Anyway enough of the sob story, the electrics are reconnected and the new battery bank is charging away, it’s been a while since we have had all the facilities on board. Still have to replace all the wiring from the distribution panel, but, yes you’ve guessed it we have a new one of those as well as a larger negative bus bar , but at least the engine hole is done.
Also got the new doors fitted but have not yet filed all the weather strips, plan to do that tomorrow if the rudder indicator delivery is early enough. High time Karen retired so she can be at home for these duties. (Only kidding dear)

Think I may apply a coat of a tinted varnish to the door frames to bring the colour up a bit but I haven’t ruled out replacing them as well.
Now the doors are fitted with 5 lever deadlocks to replace the originals. I had asked to be provided with any spare keys but Kelly said they had none, but strangely enough a few weeks before Ben boasted that he had a box with a set of keys for every boat he had built. Now who should we believe? That was the main reason for beefing up the security on the flimsy hatch cover.
If I have time tomorrow I plan to carry out a post mortem on the old doors to see if any of the wood can be reused.
Really must get round to more jobs round the house, Karen’s done all the work in the garden lately and I think another day on the GCS work boat is coming up shortly.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Short Visit

Only had time for a couple of hours on T-A today, so decided to make a start on running the main battery leads. I awoke early this morning and it’s strange how your mind turns things over, I had a feeling that there was something was not quite right with the battery leads I had been making up. Spent the morning checking things out and realised that the live feed for the trip switches was coming from the wrong side of the master switch. i.e. the battery was still connected with the switch out. So this afternoon it was down to the boat firstly to install the new troughing between the engine bearers and then the leads before starting to link up the batteries repositioning the trip panel feed as I did so.
You may remember this.
Well it now looks like this
There are still wires to be re run but they will be done when the wiring is replaced, then a lid will be fitted to make it safe to walk on. Got a few battery links on but was beaten by the loss of light as there are no electrics on the boat at the moment.
Took one of the tarnished vent trims out of the roof lining, to see if the new one would fit, and found one of the ceiling light wires wrapped in insulation tape. With the tape off it was apparent that the wire had been caught by the hole cutter and stripped. Perhaps this rewire is a blessing in disguise.
In the previous post I was wondering if I were being finicky but now I’d rather think of it as attention to detail which may save future problems.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Slow Progress

But progress none the less.
Lost a couple of days work this week because Gerry and Chris came to repair the workshop roof where the gable end gullies had been leaking. It certainly needed doing and I’m glad to have this fixed before the winter weather arrives.
As the new cabling had arrived I started making up the new battery cables, ready to connect in the new battery bank and the main feeds from the engine. The first question was how to strip cable this size without damaging the individual wires. Had the inspiration of using a small pipe cutter and it worked a treat – not a single strand was harmed during the making of these leads. Just work it round as you would do on a copper pipe and when nearly through back off a turn and pull.
To fix the cable terminals I opted for a beast of a crimping tool but it makes a good solid job and is heavy enough to sit on the work top to enable it to be used one handed while you line up the work with the other.
Old and new. The original domestic battery feed from the engine case alongside its replacement. The terminals on the engine are 8mm as are the battery terminals the only 10mm terminals are on the battery isolation switches. Finicky I know but I like to know things are right, after all it’s easier to do right in the first place than try and sort it out later.
Out of interest I took the insulation tape off the original to compare the crimp, not having used this tool before.
Oops. Professional over amateur.

Only one trip down to the boat since the last blog entry but the cabin bilge is still dry. Took the new door bottoms with to line up the new hinges as I have decided 4” hinges would be better because the all the weight of the door is taken by the bottom half. New rebates cut and started removing some of the strip fitted to try and seal the door frame which I had lined up to the old warped doors. Made new battens for the door frame today, along with some bits of scrap to fill in the gaps with the wheelhouse sides until the new wheelhouse is made.
The tops of the new door tops are 1” narrower than the old so that they don’t catch the door frame when being opened in the down position. Once the doors are complete they will be the reference point to measure up for the rest of the wheelhouse wood work.
Rudder indicator ordered and should arrive next week, that will complete the instrumentation collection, so along with everything else I should be able to start constructing the new control panel over the winter months. Really must get round to repositioning the rudder hydraulics, building the skylight, lifting the saloon floor, adding more ballast, fix the horn, scrape the rust off the fuel tanks, sorting the mast, fitting the TV and video, plane down the interior cupboard/wardrobe/bathroom/bedroom doors to fit – I know, slacking again.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Nearly There

Still working away on the doors, but it’s taking a bit longer than expected. Only being able to varnish one side at a time is slowing the process down but I am determined not to cut corners. The doors are all assembled now and just need the final coat.

Spot the deliberate mistake.
The weather boards are mahogany. Didn’t realise until I applied the varnish and showed the grain up, too late now to worry about, they’ll probably out last the doors.
Note Sox lying with nose under the gate watching the world go by, wondering if there is any chance of a walk.
All the door furniture in place, tops up.
Tops down.
My nice wide elbow rest which has the added advantage of making the door top rigid when clamped down rather than flapping about.
And the inside, Perspex is held in by beading this time for ease of replacement, rubbed down ready for the last coat.
The ordered cable should arrive early this week along with a heavy duty crimping tool for the battery terminals. Also ordered  a job lot of red and black heat shrink tubing from RS components which should arrive on Monday.
The sheds are filling up with boxes and bags ready for start of work, I do believe Christmas has come early.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Vanishing and sanding

Not much been happening lately that justifies a blog entry in its own right. Down at the boat a couple of times in the past week and the cabin bilge is now dry as a bone even after the rain we have had. The Starboard door has been offered up and fits a treat. Both doors and tops have had all the recesses for locks catches and hinges cut out and are now in the process of being thoroughly varnished before all the door furniture is fitted.
Each item is having 3 coats of varnish before assembly and will then be a final coat just to seal everything in. (possibly 2 if the weather holds) I don’t want the wood turning grey where the varnish has been missed as at present.
Clearing up after a sanding session I had to wonder if I’d got enough sanders - not to mention the final rub down is by hand.

Also spent a couple of days down at Woolsthorpe depot tidying up ready for the GCS discovery day. Popped down on Sunday whilst waiting for the varnish to dry yet again and was surprised by the number of people there. The boat trips were fully booked and there were plenty of activities for both kids and adults. Had a quick coffee and bought a good wide chisel that will be useful when cutting hinge rebates.

Going through the BMEA code of practice if found the following:-
An a.c. circuit shall not be contained in the same wiring system as a d.c. circuit,
unless one of the following methods of separation is used.
a) For a multicore cable or cord, the cores of the a.c. circuit are separated from the cores of
the d.c. circuit by an earthed metal screen of equivalent current-carrying capacity to that
of the largest core of the a.c. circuit.
b) The cables are insulated for their system voltage and installed in a separate compartment
of a cable ducting or trunking system.
c) The cables are installed on a tray or ladder where physical separation is provided by a
d) A separate conduit, sheathing or trunking system is used.
e) The a.c. and d.c. conductors are fixed directly to a surface and separated by at
least 100 mm.

It could be argued that using ‘arctic blue’ which is basically a flex complies with part d) but I am inclined to think it falls foul of part a). Anyway me being me and not wanting to fall foul of any regulation and to know in my own mind that everything is as safe as it can be, I have purchased 30m of flexible conduit, junction boxes, mountings etc. to run the 240V cable alongside the 12V and not all in the same loom as it is now.
Spent a few evenings working out what cable sizes I need for each item in the rewiring rather than just get a job lot of 65/30 (4.5mm) and also decided to upgrade the battery leads to 50mm as opposed to 35mm, that was a pain in the pocket because apart from the engine there is the bow thruster and winch to replace but they have got to go because they are all blue and brown as well. All cables ordered in red and black, with orange white and purple being used for gauge sensors.