Wednesday, December 29, 2004


I think back to when I first bought Lady Jane and remember she didn't have running water and that I only had vague instructions on how to start the engine. Sometimes I need these memories when, on a particular day, things don't go well and it feels like I've not achieved anything.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, I'm trying to concentrate on the living spaces first, making it more comfortable to be on Lady Jane in the longer term. After getting hot and cold running water sorted out, my first real task on Lady Jane was to give the shower room a much needed coat of paint. An easy job you would think - not so.

The shower room was basically a rusty steel box with a rusty door, a rusted through vent on the roof, some rusty pipes leading to the shower and a slightly worse for wear hand basin. The first job involved rubbing down, in preparation for painting. Rubbing down, I quickly learnt, needs power tools - an angle grinder in fact. Power tools need power.

I tried using an inverter to run the angle grider, but constantly worried about the batteries, so had to go out and buy a generator. A nice small quiet one would be good for the job I thought. After speaking with people it became apparent I needed to get rid of the rust using a needle gun. Needle guns need compressed air.

Now the generator I bought was not powerful enough to drive any compressor I might buy, or hire, so I had to get stuck in in the engine room and sort out the compressor and compressed air system on board. The compressor needed replacement drive belts and one of the compressed air bottles needed a regulator and air hoses fitted. Now with the donkey engine driving the 110v dc generator I have compressed air and a working needle gun. The setup is not ideal, but works.

Months later, after lots of trips backwards and forwards in Baby Jane and plenty of new bits and pieces, the shower room is rubbed down, primed and painted. Sadly though, that's not yet the end of the story.

I need to weld sections of the shower room that have rusted through to the engine room and galley, to do this I need to remove the existing pipework so I can get in there. Still, at least I can get a nice shower at the moment. Oh and I still need to replace that rusty vent.

I'll probably replace the basin with a nice one which has the taps built in and put in some kind of cupboard, or shelves, and finish the job with a shiny new mirror which I already have on board.

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