Sunday, 4 December 2016

She floats! (they always do for the first few minutes!)

It was a very busy day at Blackthorn Lake Marina, first Clive put the cruiser Carina back into the water, then a crane and a low-loader arrived and lifted out a narrowboat that Nene Boat Painters had just re-painted, then we were re-floated. A new widebeam arrived on another low-loader and was craned in and finally narrowboat Hudson was hauled out on the trailer that we had used.
Listen for our neighbour Ted's comment when Glenda says "She's floating!"

The final push before we re-float.

The blacking is finished, I've repainted the matt black along the gunwhale sides, then re-lengthened the tunnel bands (we blacked over the rear yellow roundel when we first bought them)

The stern over-plating is finished, the new rubbing strake has been curved around the stern and welded into place. I then re-instated the red tunnel band that we had blacked over when we first bought the boats. I then painted the top rubbing strake matt black and painted a matching matt black stripe above the white tunnel band. And joy of joys everything looked much better and the two tunnel bands ended up the same size. Happy days!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

On the home straight.

We have finally moved to overplating the stern and so hope to be back in the water soon now.
After another session of head-scratching, I made some plywood templates of the uxter plate. I designed it in four pieces to minimise the amount of overhead welding. We were going to get the uxter plates cut out using a waterjet cutter. But, unfortunately, the waterjet broke down. So, plan B it is! Here, Bruce cuts out the forward section of one of the uxter plates.

The two rear sections of the uxter plate with cutouts for the weedhatch and the steering shaft.

Offering up the second forward section.
Two, of the four sections, welded into place.
There is still a narrow strip to weld around the counterplate, then the rubbing strake welded above that. Otherwise, there are four more sacrificial anodes and a swim rubbing strake to weld on, then I'll be able to finish the blacking and paint the tunnel bands.
We'll then wait a few days for the blacking to harden before she goes back in the water. HooRah!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Finally got some blacking onto Freyja

The bow had been replated and the rubbing strakes re-attached, all the welds dressed, let's try and get some black on her before it pours, this is before.
And this is with the sacrificial anodes attached and the first coat black.
And after a lick of bitumen.

Not a five minute job!

It takes a lot of time, steel, cutting, bending, welding, grinding and money to overplate a boat.
First, we had to weld a new protruding strip onto the edge of the base plate.
The new plate then sits on the new strip, leaving enough protruding to act as a rubbing strip.
Bending the steel plate in three directions is a challenge when you have no access to rollers, heat etc. Bruce used dogs welded on and then metal wedges to force the steel into shape.
When the clocks changed we had to get creative and some of the welding needed to be done by floodlight.
Glenda dug out her overalls and pitched in to rub the mill scale down a bit.
"Put that phone down and grab a brush!"

The plate was bent around the swim by welding an eye onto an adjacent container, then attaching a block and tackle to it and then to the dog that's been welded to the swim panel.

A shiny new propeller

The Sabb 2JGR uses a lefthand propeller, the propeller on Freyja was a righthand one.
We calculated that we only had room to fit an 18 inch prop, the manufacturers recommendation is a 20 inch by 16 pitch. So we decided to get an 18 inch by 17 pitch propeller cast.
Once the boat was out of the water, we realised that it would have taken a 19 inch one! Drat!
Our shiny new prop, fresh from the casters.
The new propeller fitted.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Making the boat fit the engine.

The solution to our engine problem was to extend the bulkhead into the cabin in such a way that it would clear the rear of the cabin steps. It would also incorporate a large access hatch.
First cut a big hole...
Next check the bit I cut out against the Sabb.
I then made a cardboard template

I designed it to follow the line of the cabin steps.
Bruce then made it in steel.
Welded into place.
A drop of paint makes all the difference.
Good access is now possible from the cabin.
The extension makes it easy to change the alternator belts.
Such a tight fit that the coupling is almost touching the stern gland!
Home, sweet home! ;o)

Monday, 7 November 2016

As long as the boat is out of the water, we might as well overplate and black her.

We'd booked a slot to take Freyja out so that we could fit the Sabb.
It costs £250 each time we take a boat out. I decided we could make the most of it and overplate and black her at the same time, Glenda agreed. 
We have never trusted any details of the pre-purchase survey by Small Boat Surveys, he either missed or ignored several life-threatening faults which have cost us a fortune to fix. So could we trust his hull survey?
On top of that, our insurers have stipulated that we'd need a hull survey on Freyja in 2018.
Bruce ground off all the sacrificial anodes and any rubbing strakes that were below the waterline.
Some deeper pitting and not much of the baseplate protruding, we will first weld a strip that the overplate can sit on and be welded to. Enough of this strip will protrude to satisfy the surveyor, as they expect a protrusion which protects the weld from being rubbed away.
We'll overplate to 600mm (2ft.) just above the waterline
I found that using my vibrating multi-tool was a great way to remove the old blacking, especially when I turned the blade around 45 degrees and then used the side of the blade.

The downsides of this method is the vibrations numb your fingers, it sounds like a hornet on steroids and it's dirty!
The new strip has been welded along the bottom, the first sheet offered up, then dogs have been welded so that wedges can be used to force the plate against the hull.

We lift our engine in, but...

Paul Redshaw brought our engine and some new mounts that he'd made. This would be the first time that we'd tried it in place.
Hello Freyja, I'm your new engine!
Up she goes!
It's a tight fit.
It seems to be getting tighter!

Not much room for the engine and Paul.

Houston! We have a problem! "It's too long and it doesn't fit!" My reply was "If the engine won't fit the boat then I'll make the boat fit the engine!"

Sunday, 6 November 2016

A new mooring for the river Nene.

The Friends of the river Nene recently secured their fifth mooring on the river Nene. It's a practical and very useful mooring at Great Doddington twixt Wellingborough and Earls Barton.

Alan and Nicky Buckle moored prior to our clearing the bank.
Clearing underway, we cut down and shifted a tangle of undergrowth.
There is ample mooring space for several boats.
A hive of activity, as the members pitch in.
Erecting one of two signs which mark the limit of allowed mooring.
Getting there.
Dark clouds started to appear.
It started to pour down, but not before we'd almost finished transforming this lovely stretch of bank which is in walking distance from Great Doddington and it's pub, shop etc.