Monday, 19 May 2014

Another quick job that wasn't so quick........

After I painted our engine I wanted to get the rest of the engine 'ole cleaned, de-rusted and painted. While stripping the flakey bits of rust off I found a few things that needed attention, first, I noticed that a little water was seeping out from around the deck-drain (where it was welded to the swim)
A combination of the water trapped in the rust flakes, blocked deck-drains and bad design caused this annoying seepage, we're chopping them both off, plating them over and making new deck drains that will exit through skin fittings ;o)
Secondly, I found that the brackets that hold the weed-hatch lid down had almost rusted away, this should have been picked up on the pre-purchase survey, Grrrr!
Very glad I decided to go the whole hog and clean everything back to clean metal or I wouldn't have found these problems before they became a bigger problem.
The third problem was a diesel seepage from behind the weedhatch, but I couldn't see exactly where it was coming from.
Tiny pinholes hidden behind the remnants of the weedhatch flange. once again a moisture trap had been created causing this to rust through.
After cutting off the top edge of the weedhatch a length of angle-iron was welded on.
Mark from Nene Marine busy with the welder.
A nice new shiny weedhatch flange, the bottom edge of the fuel tank has been re-enforced and the deck-drain has been chopped back and will be removed and plated.
After chopping off the weedhatch brackets we cut the rusty bit off and welded new bottoms onto them
Once the welds are ground back and the metal treated with rust-converter, I'll prime it all and then give a good few coats of light grey garage floor paint.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Nature comes to us

Today, as I walked along the pontoon, I spotted this heron, obviously spellbound by our Welsh flag, or maybe he was taking a fancy to Glenda's herbs on Christina's stern.
This pretty little pansy found a place to grow on Christina's roof.     (I must get around to changing the 'S. & G. Trading' to 'C. & G. Trading', as I have on the the other side of both boats)

Sunday, 11 May 2014

How green was my engine.

How I got a B.R.G.  B.M.C. by A.M.C.!
To the shock, horror and consternation of some of our neighbours, I'm 'pimping our bilge'!
I've de-cluttered, de-greased and have started de-rusting our bilge, in preparation for painting it with light grey garage floor paint, I've also de-greased the B.M.C. engine (marinised by A.M.C.) so I decided to give it a lick of paint B.R.G. (British Racing Green)

The newly painted engine with it's nice new exhaust pipe ;o)
Now I need to finish de-rusting in the bilge, I'll treat it with Fertan rust converter and then paint it light grey.
The bit that has the traditionalists up in arms is the fact that I'm going to fit what's left of my self-adhesive LED strip under the deck so that I can see what I'm doing when I'm in the engine 'ole.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

It's a good job that S.W.S.B.O. isn't about!

Glenda had to go back to Suffolk after the Easter break, leaving me to carry on work on our boats.With the chaotic mess that ensued it's a good job she wasn't around!
If you've managed to stay awake and keep up with my antics you'll know that I am a convert to the Whale pump, it started with a Whale-Gulper (waste-water pump) in Freyja, followed by a Whale-Master (fresh water pump), next came a Whale-Gulper for Christina and this week I finally got around to fitting the Whale-Master on Christina. A quick and simple job..........................Yay!-ish.
In the foreground is the old leaky pump, the Whale-master is behind it. (we used a 2 bar model for two outlets, Freyja has a 3 bar for 3 outlets)
So I turned on the water, re-set the trip for the pump and test drove it by washing out the bath which can get a bit dusty from my workshop. Nice and clean so switched on the Whale-Gulper but was puzzled that I couldn't hear the characteristic 'splash-splash' of the water into the lake. I turned around to see that it was running down the middle of the cabin, EEEEK! It was coming from under the bath, OK, undo the bath panel, Ah? It's sort of built in, OK, lift a section of the floor so that I could get it out. Drain pipe had pulled off the bottom of the bath.
Right, while I've got the floor up, might as well try to move one of the two sinks that are in Freyja's bathroom to Christina as she doesn't have one at all. But we wanted to move the small basin from the small unit on the end of Freyja's bath to Christina, and the larger basin under the side hatch to the end of Freyja's bath.
Suddenly a 20 minute job turns into a four day job. HoHum!

For some weird reason there are two sinks with taps, right opposite each other on Freyja, this one replaces the side locker steps!
Here is the smaller sink on the other side (apologies for the fuzzy picture), with the doors from the starboard side unit propped against it (to see if it would fit in a way that left enough room to get to the loo)
Cutting the top to a shape that would fit the proposed unit, allowing the bowl to fit without fouling the frame was a brain teaser.
The taps are fitted but I've only taped the doors on until Glenda gives me her approval. Then I'll make the frame, rear skin and shelves.
This is the unit, in Christina, that I'll add the small bowl to.

        The stupidly positioned vanity unit is no more! ;o)            Now I'll move the bulkheads two inches to make enough room to fit our captain's chest in, so I'll need to shorten the shelves, wardrobe rail etc. 
Looking from outside the side hatch at the, as yet un-restored, captain's chest, which will have a step that folds down on top of it and a cushion so that it can be used as a seat
The unfinished new (upcycled) vanity unit as seen though the side hatch.

Monday, 5 May 2014

We made it back to Ringstead

Jay from 'Raging Speedhorn' (one of the bands I used to take out on tour in my sleeperbus) arrived with Kath's sister and their four and a half month old baby. It was great to see him again and to hear that they have reformed the band. Also Kath's Mum came to travel with them all back to Ringstead.
The wind whipped up and made winding the three boats a challenge, we lagged behind and wrestled with the wind as our tarpaulins make very effective sails! We had our work cut out to exit Ringstead lock and to battle across to the lock landing so I wasn't looking forward to trying to reverse onto our pontoon with everyone watching. Lots of people came to try to help us but I amazed everyone (including myself) by reversing dead straight in with no problems! WooHoo! That was the icing on the cake, the perfect end to a perfect weekend.
A big thanks to Mark, Kath, Steve and Louise for helping to make it such a great little trip. ;o)

A lovely weekend cruise down the Nene

After sorting the exhaust I re-connected the bilge pump (once we were satisfied that the bilge was dry and free of any diesel).
We took the generator and our battery jump pack, just in case and we set off towards Denford on a beautiful sunny day.
It had been a long time since we last moved her and I was a tad rusty, as we reached Ringstead lock I missed getting Freyja into reverse and we crashed unceremoniously into the lock landing! Oops! We stopped to buy a new centre rope as ours had seen better days. Two other boats appeared and we rushed back, it was Mark and Kath on NB Kia-Ora and Steve and Louise on NB Hedgehog (both boats are from our marina), they were heading for Denford as well. We let them go ahead of us and then shared the lock with another boat.
Glenda steering towards Woodford, the weather was great, the countryside and wildlife were fantastic ;o)

Woodford in the distance
Brett on NB Aqualina shared Woodford lock with us, we let him go first as we were taking our time. He'd already gone a fair way in front of us.

We breasted up to Mark and Kath on NB Kia-Ora, Brett on NB Aqualina is in front of us and Steve and Louise on NB Hedgehog are behind us. We got the barbeques out and Glenda and I enjoyed some of Lidl's finest kangaroo steaks. A hot air balloon appeared to add even more interest to the scene.
After we'd eaten we used our notebook barbeque as a pit fire and sat around enjoying the flames, our solar fairylights switched on and Brett decided it was too quiet for him and headed back toward Ringstead. Glenda and I wandered up to The Cock in Denford and had a great night as usual.
Steve and Louise's puppy Sam decided to live dangerously and wandered about on the barbeques, nibbling of the charcoal and bits of the grills. Steve is amused, Pippa their other dog isn't impressed.
Cheeky little pup Sam has Glenda, Steve and mark in fits, Pippa doesn't think it's funny!
We almost got invaded by this herd of young cows it was great seeing them frolicking on the meadow, Pippa was impressed too!

New stainless steel flexi fitted

I have now fitted the new stainless steel flexi (very sexy, slinky and shiny!) it cost £40 including collars welded each end, clamps and postage.
Freyja is almost ready to 'fly the nest'