Sunday, 29 April 2012

Damp Week

Well this past week I’m sorry to say has not been the best for weather. Forecast for yesterday was overcast so had planned a day with the GCS tidying up Woolsthorpe depot yard. Well we gave up after one and a half hours of continuous rain – it was clear there would be no mowing or tidying done that day. That’s the first time the weather has got the better of us.
The days of the rest of the week have just merged together with a trip to the vets to get Sox’s booster jabs being the only outstanding occurrence. We have now had him a year and the tine has just flown by.
The rest of the week has been on the computer designing the new wheelhouse and skylight, as well as drawing up a cutting list to see if I have enough sapele. Looks like I will if I can recover some of the  wood from the old doors and skylight.
These are the plans for the new wheelhouse and this is a bit of an experiment as they may turn out too fine to see as the originals are quite a bit larger.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Funny old week this past few days. Started out being  too wet to do much, even resorted to doing some housework L to stop the boredom.
On Thursday preparations started at Woolsthorpe for the new lock gates and took the opportunity to drop off the tools and spares that I still had from the pontoon and weir jobs.
The scaffolding arrived and was assembled around lock 18 on Friday, and we had a late wet finish erecting the safety fencing around the lock ready for start of work on Monday.
There is only one problem. It has rained so much since the drought was declared, the field where the crane was to be positioned is now too boggy to take the weight so it looks like the work will be postponed again. It could only happen in Britain couldn’t it!
On Saturday we took a party out on Three Shires to Denton and back – the difference in handling due to the extra three inches of water after the weir work last Sunday was incredible.
Good result there anyway.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Testing and Weiring

On T-A Saturday removing more of the boarding under the gunwales to access the wiring, seems to be a mixed bag of scrap pieces of  varying  length and thickness. The saving grace is that it will burn.
Also removed more of the smaller furniture to make room for a workmate or similar for when the work starts in earnest. To that end it was time to see if the boat was movable  as the black water tank needs to be emptied before slipping so it can be worked on. Although the sensors are not fitted for the new control panel the main wiring is back in place. 10 seconds of heater and the trusty Beta sprang into life despite not being started since last summer, plenty of alarms but that was to be expected without the sensors for oil and temperature. I’ll worry more if there are alarms after fitting. At least the voltmeter was showing a healthy 14V.
Morse control tested at the same time and forward and reverse engaging cleanly. Hydraulic steering swung several times and responds well with no signs of leaks.
A good day all round.
Out with the GCS today to raise the lip on the weir at Denton as part of the preparatory works for the new lock gates at Woolsthorpe No18.
Much to the amusement of passing walkers.
Four seasons in one day rain, wind, hail and sunshine, but none the less another good day.

Friday, 13 April 2012

More Doors

Well another busy week. Starting mainly around the house and garden with a bit more varnishing of cupboard doors thrown in for good measure. Yesterday (Thursday) was spent at Grantham with a GCS work party repairing the pontoon after some scrotes had tried to thieve the aluminium side panels. Remaining aluminium panels removed and replaced with non slip GRP and a damaged deck panel replaced.
Looks nice and smart again. Hopefully it will stay that way as there isn’t much scrap value in fibreglass. Even so the parts cost the society over a thousand pounds. ( begging bowl coming round)
Today was taken up by removing the last of the cupboard doors on Trudy-Ann for remaking and trimming. While down at the marina I booked T-A to come out of the water for two weeks in late June. This should make life easier and give us plenty of time to demount the winch for rewiring(it also needs to be repositioned), cut vents for the battery compartment. I am also hoping that I will have the woodwork complete for the skylight and wheelhouse, plus several jobs that need doing on the outside.
Today’s test.
These are the cupboard doors at the head of the bed.
Spot the deliberate mistake.
If you said “How do you open the doors when the mattress is in place” award yourself a large whisky. These doors will be shortened and a removable panel fitted across the bottom for when we need to paint the water tank.
Trimming these curved doors up is going to be fun as the curved frame sections are not solid ash but made up of laminated ply covered with a veneer. I can soon make some new strips of veneer but I have a feeling that it will end up with new sections being cut from sold ash on the band saw
A common theme seems to be that all these parts were originally cut to size with a blunt saw. No effort has been made to remove the burn marks. Another little job to add to the list.
All the doors brought home and door furniture removed.
And because it was such a lovely evening the lawns got mowed for good measure.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Tinkering and Sailoring

Not a lot happening this past week as far as T-A is concerned. Just went down to check if she was O.K. on blustery Wednesday. For the rest of the time it has been remaking cupboards doors and varnishing.
Spent three mornings down on Three Shires the GCS trip boat, with Ralph trying to sort out why the domestic 12V supply had failed. Took turns in the engine ‘ole grunting and groaning, by Friday we seem to have sorted it between us – fingers crossed. Party booking on Sunday.
Sunday dawned and went to Three Shires earlier than needed only to find that everything was still fine and no need to get the charger out. That makes life easier as the passengers can use the toilet. A cheerful cruise up to the A1 with the punters disappearing into the pub while we winded – good job the toilet was working on the way back.
On the garden front – Karen’s got all the onions and shallots in and prepared the tomato bed in the greenhouse. Lots of seedlings ready to be hardened off and I managed to pop in another row of potatoes between showers.
Same old, same old really – but still having fun.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

More Boating

Been out on the Grantham Canal again for the past two days. Friday was a trip out on Three Shires with a party of nine for a birthday treat. I’d been a bit bothered about this as yawping kids drive me up the wall, but as it turned out it was thee adults and only six children who kept themselves amused with colouring books and word searches, so it turned out to be a very pleasant trip.
Yesterday we were out with Centauri collecting rubbish again and it was my turn to get dirty down in the hold.
Time for a bit of a rant because we were disgusted at the amount of dog crap in plastic bags dumped in the cut. If they’re going to the trouble of bagging it why dump it in the cut, once bagged it will take ages to rot away. It would be better for all concerned if they just got a stick and flicked it in raw but better still if they took it home. Biggest man made item today was a mattress that weighed a ton when full of water.
Anyway this was what we had at lunch time at Harlaxton, didn’t manage to get a picture of the full load as I was trapped in and had to empty the contents to get out. Wet, filthy, smelly and knackered but still having a laugh – can’t be bad.
Today is a quiet day sorting cupboard doors and more varnishing, and maybe mow the lawns later. Or maybe I'll just put he kettle on again.