Thursday, 29 November 2012

The tide is high but I'm holding on....

I went to work on our pair on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was, sort of, expecting a lot of water, I was amazed at how much of the stuff there was! I had to walk the plank to get to the pontoons.

Had to 'walk the plank' to get to the pontoon, not a good idea to drink too much before returning in the dark!

Note how high the post is at the end of the pontoon (taken before the flood)

On Tuesday the pontoons almost floated off the posts!

A panoramic photo of the flooded Blackthorn marina on the river Nene

Sunday, 18 November 2012

This lot should keep us busy!

I managed to catch a train from Birmingham (where I was parked with crew from the Radio 1Xtra Live show) to Wellingborough, then cycled to Ringstead.
When I got there I found that Freyja was not landlined and the bilge pump was switched off, luckily the stern gland had been behaving itself for a change.
I measured up all of the canvas covers so that we could replace them, 12 sheets in all, we need to make them as weatherproof as possible before winter.
I didn't have time to fit the galvanic isolator or the bilge pump illuminated rocker switches (that won't get accidentally knocked off every time someone moves in cockpit)
We have a mountain of work to do. It would be quicker and easier to tell you what doesn't need fixing or replacing!
We need to :-

Fit new tarpaulins to try to make them a little more water tight
Overhaul or replace the engine
Check and repair or replace the engine header
De-grease and paint the engine bay (unless we find a cheap replacement engine, in which case we'll try to move it to it's own engine room)
If we keep the AMC 1800 engine I'll cut a sealable inspection panel, so we can get to the front and lower bits of the engine
Replace the cutlass bearing
Renew the stern gland packing
Re-fit the engine stop button
Fit the galvanic isolator
Replace the bilge switches with 3-way LED lit rockers
Fit another bilge pump under the floor in Christina
Fit rubber seals around the pidgeon box
Make a new control panel and replace any gauges, switches and lights that aren't working
A lot of the plywood and wood is rotten and needs replacing, I've already made new stern boards
Make a new Elum (butty rudder) to replace the rotten one
Make a new Tiller
Straighten the rudder on Freyja (got badly bent in a lock when a 'helpful' holiday boater opened the paddles fully with no warning!)
Fit PTFE bushes to rudder 
Find fresh water leak in Freyja that keeps flooding the cabin
Fix blocked bath pump
Lift the floors, remove the pea shale ballast, de-rust and paint then replace with engineering bricks
Remove some of the rails and then replace the floor in Christina's store room
Take the interior doors off and make them fit properly
Re-fit the tunnel light and hand rails that parted company with the rotten plywood panels (and replace the panels)
Clean the diesel tank, lift pump and change the filter (again!!!!!), as we still seem to have problems even after polishing the diesel.
Sort out the electrics on Freyja and improve the wiring (get rid of choccie blocks etc.)
Free off the cratch hinges on Freyja and alter the steel cratch frame so that the cratch can be lowered for tunnels, and so Glenda can sit on the tug-deck
Renew the rotten greenhouse
Fix the leaky cabin doors
Fix the side hatch
Remove the sink from below the side hatch
Renew the leaky tug deck
Fix the heat exchanger on the range
Re-design the rear cabin in Freyja, fit a table and seating that will convert to another bed ( it is a bit of a mish mash, boatman's cabin that isn't a boatman's cabin.)
Fit a mains trickle charger and a new solar panel to Christina
Fit a new horn
Peg the top-boards to stop them moving
Properly attach centre ropes to Christina (not to the movable top planks or the rotten wood panels)
Make new centre rope cradles for Christina's top plank, incorporating rope 'handrails' (might stop me falling into another lock!)
Find a river anchor
Find another porta potti for Christina
Clean out the flues on the ranges and wood burner
Replace the rusty chimneys
Make and paint 2 boat hooks
Make and paint 2 poles
Make some new cross-straps

That's some of it, I can't remember everything we've found! HoHum!

As I said to some boaters on the way down
"Excuse me mate, is there a scrappy around here?"
"Why? What do you need?"
"Somewhere to put these! LOL!"

Seriously, we bought this pair knowing that we'd have our work cut out, it'll be worth it once they are sorted