Friday, 25 November 2011

Seeing The Light

Been down at Woolsthorpe with the Grantham Canal Society lads for the last couple of days getting ready for the new gates at lock 18, but the news is not good. It would seem that BW have decided the paperwork submitted is not in keeping with their internal system so the work cannot go ahead. BU***R. It’s a pity the society weren’t advised when it was submitted so it could be changed. Looks like the work will take place next year now. On the plus side it kept me out the way while Karen painted the kitchen, Sox being the only casualty, ending up half off white after leaning against the wall.
The work on T-A continues slowly in the workshop with the framework for the control desk although it looks like I’ll have a few extra days at the marina next week. 
With the shortening days affecting the work I can do I’ve invested in some auxiliary lighting which will help the situation. They are both 240V so can be run from the shore supply if batteries and inverter are disconnected.
Hopefully these will help extend my work periods, just hope it doesn’t get too cold while the heating is disconnected, I’m guessing a patio heater in the wheelhouse would look silly.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Poor Light Stops Play

Fairly early start down at the boat today fitting the new bits and pieces. Did a bit of thinking and planning but the main event was remounting the steering pump and installing the new trip box.
Showing the new lower position for the wheel, and of course the trip switches will be a lot handier when the wiring is complete.
This is as it used to be after I had tidied up the original cats cradle.
I had hoped to be able to connect the panel to the battery bank but the light was getting too bad to work in the engine ‘ole, but at least we have steering now.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Time Flies

Must be the short days! Never mind in 30 days we will pass the shortest day and will start to look forward to spring again.
Anyway what’s been happening in this past week, well the isolation transformer arrived, nearly giving the delivery driver a hernia – I did offer to bring it in with the sack barrow but no he insisted it could be carried.
It will fit between the engine bearers when I reposition the Hurricane heater to a location where it can be accessed for servicing, to that end I have cut a piece of 6mm steel sheet to bolt on to the top of the engine bearer. To make life easier during the rewire I am thinking of draining down all the systems for winter and removing the boiler altogether.
The new bracket to bolt the steering pump onto the bulkhead is made (no more glue) as well as the new trip switch box.
For ease of access the front hinges down to get at the wiring being held closed by two allen bolts.

It is to be mounted on the cabin bulkhead below the wheel and form part of the control panel but will be recessed to avoid accidental operation, once that’s done then the rewiring can start in earnest. The bilge pump will be wired independently – not though the panel as it is now.
The frame work for the control panel is coming along and I am now starting to replace the cheap shuttering pattern with exterior grade ply. Tending to waste time running between home and boat measuring up and testing the fit, what I need is an articulated lorry with the workshop in the back.
Been into Nottingham for some ash faced ply and some ash planking that can be used to make good the removed panelling in the main cabin and wheelhouse
Fruit trees have been pruned and some right royal bonfires have been had, other than that not a lot happening. 

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Quiet Week

Not much to say about this past week. Been down to T-A a couple of times to measure up the control panel templates, it’s times like this when you wish you had the boat parked on the drive, but things are slowly taking shape. The control desk will be substantially altered when finished so at the moment the framework is being run up in cheap shuttering to make sure everything fits. The trip switch box I mentioned last time had been completed but I wasn’t satisfied with the result so it’s back to being just an open box at present – can’t win them all.
Reading the Waiouru blog, Tom mentioned the flush fitting mains shoreline sockets on Ufton – what a good idea – so now I am the proud owner of two in beige which will hopefully blend with the cream paintwork either side of the wheelhouse. While on the Aquafax website I also ordered a galvanic isolator which set me to thinking (dangerous and expensive) and in the end I have ordered an isolation transformer from Airlink. Talk about over-kill but then if I’m rewiring the boat I may as well make a proper job of it, eh.
In the main this week has been in the garden pruning fruit trees and clearing leaves. The leaves are being composted and the fruit tree cuttings along with the bean vines are satisfying my latent urge for pyromania. Still plenty of apples and pears on the trees which are still nice and firm – it sure has been a good year for fruit. The mice have moved into their winter moorings in the middle shed so now several sacks of potatoes are hanging precariously from the rafters, just hope the don’t chew the freezer wiring out of spite.
It is going to be a busy couple of weeks down on the Grantham canal as the new gates for Woolsthorpe Top Lock are being installed towards the end of the month so it is all hands to the pumps to get the site ready for the contractors and muggings has agreed to be available for a few days, hope I can get some shots of the gates going in.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Back to Basics

Well I said in my last blog that something would turn up – and it did, almost literally.
I decided to make a boss to cover the hydraulic steering pump as the new wheel is flat rather than dished and will have to be moved out to clear the desk. Took more time to clear stuff away from the lathe than it did to turn down a bit of sapele, the hole is for the oil filler cap. Also finished off the box which will take the trip panel – nothing fancy just dowelled joints and access holes rounded with a router.
 Saturday was a day off for a bit of retail therapy being Karen’s birthday, but we still remember the birthday two years ago when we made a failed attempt to get home in T-A. She boiled up even before we got to the water point at Great Haywood (T-A not Karen) because the cooling system had been connected back to front.
Today was spent clearing the panelling from the cabin bulkhead to get at the wiring and the last bits of detritus from the control desk. No shortage of firewood this year J
Thinking of repositioning the microwave against the outside wall as most seem to open from the right and where it was meant working round the door. (See pic in previous blog entry)
The steelwork was rubbed down and given a coat of paint before departure as I’d scraped off a fair bit of paint removing all the glue that held the battens and steering in place. Just leaves it to remove the panelling from under the gunnels to get at the wiring, at least the major part of destructive work is over on this part of the project The next destructive task will be to lift the warped flooring but that can wait for now.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Helpful People

One of the minor items spotted in the survey was that there was no cover over the screws on the morse control – it just never got fitted, so while the control panel is under reconstruction I thought I would try and get one.
After looking on the Uniflex web site I was starting to think I may have to buy a whole new unit. I had the part number but no listed dealers. On the off chance I rang Aquafax on Monday. Yes we stock them says they and a jiffy bag dropped on the mat first thing this morning with the appropriate part. Certainly a lot cheaper than buying the whole item.
Thinking about it, every person or firm I have had dealings with in the boating world (Bar one of course) have been civil, efficient, prompt as well as ready to proffer advice and support. So to all those people a big thank you.
Back to today and down at T-A with some square drive bits to remove the few Kreg screws holding the last remnants of control panel in place. Also started to remove some of the rotted panelling around the doors – we still seem to be dry so keeping fingers crossed. Emptied out the cupboards and removed the microwave ready to remove the panelling to get at the wiring. Looking to enlarge the shelves when it goes back up.
Old picture taken during the build.
Yesterday found me down at my favourite local wood yard picking up some cheap ply to make the templates for the new control desk, took them down today but no serious work done before light stopped play.
Back in the workshop and started making the case to mount the trip switch panel using some of the wood from the skylight – waste not want not.
Nothing planned for tomorrow but something will turn up - it always does. Bored? - Not me!