Friday, 30 August 2013

On the move again, at last ;o)

We drove from Wales last night, and it took ages, with just about every road closed and diversions everywhere. Grrrr! We arrived at the marina just before midnight, and as we didn't know where Clive had moored Freyja, we slept on Christina.
This morning, we found Freyja, moored just outside the drydock :-

The floating drydock, ready for the next customer, with Freyja moored just outside. I took the photo from the garden of The Mill Tearooms
We found that the new rubber endcaps had not arrived, so I re-fitted the old, cracked ones and primed the raw water system, then cleaned out the calorifier, she started easily and, after a slow reverse down between the moored boats that can be seen in the photo, we steered her back to Blackthorn Lake.
We survived our first guillotine lock and, once in the marina, as usual, my crap reversing skills provided entertainment for our neighbours. With a little help, we got her moored and were very happy to have our boats re-united ;o) 
I had to flush the calorifier before we could get any hot water, but after flushing and priming the system, there was more than enough to give Glenda and I a nice shower, and one that didn't get pumped into our cabin bilge! (we've fitted a Whale gulper that pumps it straight out)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Never ask Clive to photograph your wedding!

As we had to come back to work before our new rudder was completed, I asked marina owner Clive to take some pics before Freyja went back in the water. They were taken on his i-phone, reminds me why I got rid of my i-phone in favour of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus LOL!

Apologies for the lousy quality of these photos of our new larger rudder, which features an angle-iron safety step / strengthener on the top.
Freyja is back in the water today, hopefully the new end caps for the gearbox oil cooler should arrive soon, then Clive can steer her back around to her mooring ;o)

Monday, 19 August 2013

We had to come home, leaving poor Freyja in drydock ;o(

We battled to do as much as we could on Sunday, I got up about 07.00 and set about connecting the Whale Gulper to a nearby sink drain, (a nice quiet job which wouldn't disturb the holiday let people) so now, we should be able to have a shower, without flooding the cabin bilge ;o)
I then started to re-connect the raw water, this was when I discovered that both the gearbox oil-cooler end caps were cracked, then discovered that you can't buy replacements on Sundays. Even in Oundle!
So off I went again, attacking the sides with a borrowed angle grinder and a wire wheel, Glenda recommended that I get the bows done as they would be more difficult to reach once she's back in the water.

There were all the colours of the rainbow under the layer of blacking, we decided to take it all back to the metal, Glenda spent 2 days labouriously scraping the bitumin off (as power tools heat it up, melting and smearing it) I finished the job I was doing and started to scrape using a second tungsten scraper, I realised that if I put pressure on the back of the scraper and dragged it backwards, it would take off an eighteen inch strip at a time! Glenda was a bit pissed off that I hadn't shown her this technique 2 days ago! So a few hours later we went from less than two metres of boat scraped to all thirty metres done and dusted.
Unfortunately, there was a side effect, the scraper screeched, like fingernails on a blackboard, amplified through a P.A system!
I was not a popular person that day!

We will repaint with matt black between the rubbing strake and up to the gunnels, on the gunnels will be red paint mixed with petshop grit for extra grip.                                 

The wire wheel went all 'Kojak' on me! Determining when I should finally pack it in! (much to the relief of the holiday cottage hirers!)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Making progress, but running out of time ;o(

The parts finally arrived, but needed modifying, but we now have a new cutlass bearing / stern-gland, propshaft, steering stem with sealed bearing.

The new cutlass bearing, stern-gland and propshaft in our newly cleaned and re-painted bilge

We made new deck boards out of marine ply because the standard ones were delaminating.
I will be cleaning, rustproofing and painting the rest of the bilge and engine hole, when I get a chance.

The brass plate on the raw-water pump was badly scored so I turned it inside out, so that it will, hopefully, make a better seal against the impeller.I found it much easier to remove the raw-water pump through my new inspection hatch.

The new steering stem, which will need to be shortened, the  new bearing holder has been tacked in place.
The rudder was too far gone so a new one is being welded on, a bit at a time.

The new larger rudder, under construction, it still needs the bit with the hole in it welded on top and there will be two pieces of angle iron welded along the top to form an emergency step.
We have also stripped a lot of the  paint and rust off the sides (above the rubbing strake) this will be painted matt black, making any scratches easy to touch up. But we ran out of Fertan and though we ordered another 5 litres, it hasn't arrived yet.
We'll have to leave Freyja in dry dock tomorrow, as Glenda and I both have to go back to work ;o(

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

More tales from the drydock

We're making very slow progress so far because all the parts have not shown up yet. Hopefully, tomorrow the new rudder shaft and it's bearings, stern tube, cutlass bearing etc. will arrive and the bent rudder will be cut off the old shaft so it can be straightened and welded back onto the new shaft.
We've done a test section of about one foot of gunnel with red oxide, then matt black, then petshop grit (harmful stuff removed) then another coat of matt black. It looks like that is what we will be doing on the rest of the gunnels.
I cut out my engine inspection hatch and we'll weld some studs around it so we can bolt a cover on (with it's rubber gasket) 

I can finally get at the front of my engine, allowing me to take the rubber cover off the heat exchanger matrix and access to the raw water pump, so I rodded the holes through the heat exchanger and gearbox cooler matrixs.
Replaced a lot of the hoses & clips and improved the flow of raw water by using copper tubing with obtuse bends in place of the rubber hose with 90 degree bends.
Also removed the Jabsco raw water pump, cleaned it, and turned the inspection cover inside out, as the inside of it was quite badly worn. Then replaced it and moved the belt to the right pulley.
I de-greased, cleaned, scraped and red oxide painted the stern section of the bilge, followed by a few coats of grey garage floor paint.

It's amazing what you find in the weedhatch of a narrowboat! I climbed up inside so that I could reach the stern bilge section to clean, scrape and paint it

Glenda finished off the blacking, all that's left is the rudder which we'll do after it's straightened and the weed hatch, which needs de-rusting, and treating with Fertan before we re-black it.
I'll also use Fertan in the rudder tube, then coat the inside and the rudder shaft with Waxoil.

Monday, 12 August 2013

We are making slow but sure progress

Once in drydock we enlisted the help of my old friend Sinc and set about stripping the flaky and rusty bits of the hull so that Glenda could treat it all with Fertan rust convertor.
Clive and Nene Marine's Mark set to stripping and removing the bits we wanted to repair or replace.
Sinc takes a break to catch and release a small fish from the caisson

Glenda applying Fertan, which is a great rust convertor

We also fitted a new Whale Gulper waste pump to the shower.
And I've stripped and started to clean the whole raw water system, we're stripping the many colours of paint and sand from the gunnels so we can re-paint and re-sand.

Woo Hoo! We got to move our motor (boat) again!

On our eventful trip from Cheshire to Northamptonshire we had an incident where a 'helpful' boater opened the lock paddles as I went to climb up the lock ladder, the boat shot backwards and crashed into the lock gates , bending the rudder.

So we claimed on our insurance and they agreed to pay for dry-docking and straightening the rudder.
Yesterday evening we breasted up to Clive the marina owner's boat and, once through the lock, we started our engine and moved to the dry-dock under our own steam (we have had a problem with our raw water cooling which is causing the engine to overheat after a while) but she managed to get us into the floating dry-dock without a problem.


We have pressure-washed the hull using Clive's monstrous Lister 4 pot jetwash! Not for the faint-hearted, next we power wirebrushed the loose stuff off and treated the hullsides with Fertan rust converter before we re-blacked. We did black her last September, but it was our first time and we didn't spend a lot of time on preparation.

Clive's 'Beast' a Lister 4 pot powered jet wash!

A strange sensation, being 'moored' but the floating drydock is constantly moving!

Freyja tucked up in the boat hospital

While the rudder is out for repair we will fit a new sealed steering stem bearing.
We will also fit a new cutlass bearing and stern gland (on the drive shaft)
Fit a new propshaft flexi-coupling
Get the engine re-aligned ( it is out of line at the moment, causing uneven wear on the drive shaft bearings)
 Cut the top off the diesel tank and clean all of the crap, water and diesel bug out (after having paid £190 to polish 50-70 litres!!!! Grrr!)
Cut an inspection panel in front of the engine bulkhead, so that we can get better access to the engine , which is very tight to the bulkhead, making it almost impossible to work on some parts of our engine.
Either fix our raw water cooling or re-connect the engine to the skin tanks (that are not being used at the moment). We think that raw water cooling is fine for rivers but prone to getting blocked by plastic bags etc. on canals.
We will also fit our new galvanic isolator and a 'Whale Gulper 220' waste water pump to the shower.
Phew, I'm tired just writing about it all!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Giving our old G.W.R. oil lamps a polish and converting them to LED

Glenda got the Brasso out and started cleaning one of our old brass G.W.R. lamps, I advised her to soak them in cola to take the worst off (neither of us like drinking the stuff!) then she buffed them up nicely with the Brasso.

So I decided to fit a new glass bulb style LED while the bits soaked, the old 12v fitting was a bit of a bodge, so I re-wired it and drilled the top out, then filed the pins off the sides of the bulb, soldered the wires to the double contacts, this means we can paint one side of the bulb orange for mood lighting then rotate the bulb 180° to have the original brightness.

Nearly finished, just need to straighten the loose-fitting top & bottom sections. Gives a nice bright but soft light. I'll tidy up the wiring too and think I'll fit a pull-push switch with a brass knob on the bottom.