Thursday, June 30, 2005

Painting stopped

I made a start on giving the inside of the port side bulwarks their first coat of paint, using up the last of the paint from touching up in the shower room earlier in the day.

The wind was getting up, and I've already discovered that it's not a good idea to paint when it's windy, so I opted to continue work on rust busting on the rear deck.

I had been quite focused on the task, and had simply not made the Painting stoppedconnection between the wet paint below and the flakes of paint and rust being blown around until it was time to stop.

The picture shows the mess the debris made on my paintwork from above. Click on the picture for a larger view if you want.

At least no real harm was done and it's another lesson learnt: Wet paint is sticky for quite some time, so no messy work should be done anywhere nearby, especially if it's windy.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Fleet Review

Fleet review

Kate and I took the rib out to help the Queen review the fleet. This is part of the celebration that is Trafalgar200, marking 200 years since the British won against the superior French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar.

The warships you can see ranged in the Eastern Solent were just a small part of what was a truly amazing spectacle, other writers, far more knowledgeable about this stuff than me, are best left to describe the proceedings. All I can say is that it's such a thrill to actually be there, seeing boring old school history lessons come so alive.

Anyway, we learned some more valuable lessons on the rib, including the need to be thinking ahead all the time. For example, when coming in to moor up, or to anchor, to have all the ropes prepared in advance. When we are not using ropes, they should be safely stowed, how do they find that prop? Also, we both need to have all our waterproofs on board whenever we go to sea.

We finished the day tired, very wet and cold, but extremely happy

More pictures on Flickr here and here

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Monday, June 27, 2005

LJ Anniversary

I've now owned Lady Jane for one year. One year already! The time has just flown by so fast it's unbelievable. Looking at her, 106 LJ Anniversaryit looks like things have not really changed. Things have changed though, and I've learned so much over this last year.

I was reading back through my blog, to remind myself of all that has happened, and find myself thinking of all the good times both Kate and I have had together over this last year.

Getting engaged to Kate has, by far and away, been the best thing I've done recently, and in that respect Lady Jane as 'the other woman' has maybe detracted from the time we get to spend together.

Other particularly memorable, Lady Jane, related moments for me include, but are not limited to:

Barbecuing on deck last summer, when Lady Jane was moored in the middle of the river itchen.

Our first voyage on Lady Jane, round to Fareham.

The exhilaration of skimming over the Solent in our rib for the first time.

Getting the wind powered generator up and working

Finally getting the lifting boom rigged (sorry Karen but it had to be said - it's made my life so much easier)

This blog, and all the positive feedback I've received. Thanks everyone.

It's fair to say that, knowing all I know now, I would probably have never bought Lady Jane in the first place, however having done it, I don't regret it at all. Does that make sense to you? It does to me.

I am very confident of plenty more good times with Lady Jane in the future.

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Friday, June 24, 2005


I took the rib out for a spin the other day, because I could. I know, I know, I need to be dealing with that rust, but the temptation was just too great.

Anyway, things were all going perfectly fine until I started hauling the rib back in. I had mis-judged the height of the chain block and had to lower the rib down, re-arrange things then haul the rib back in. At some stage I had managed to get the rope jammed in the pulley on the top of the mast. I went up and freed it, but noticed the casing of the pulley was cracked. No other damage, such as bent shackles, was evident.

Immediately after starting to lift the rib for the second time, the pulley at the top of the mast failed, and the whole Oopslot came down with a huge crash. I know I was lifting well within the safe working loads of all the equipment, so can only assume it was the rope dropping between the casing and the pulley while under load which introduced a shock load to the system, causing the pulley to break.

I was standing safely, as I've been very concious of the weights and forces involved, so I was fine. The rib also appears to be ok, as it dropped back into the soft mud.

In retrospect, I should have stopped trying to lift the rib immediately I noticed that the top pulley had a defect. This whole experience has shown just how fast things can go wrong, and the need for extreme care when lifting anything on the boat.

Needless to say, the rib will stay beside Lady Jane until I can replace the entire set of pulleys and ropes. As I've seen firsthand, this is not equipment to be taking any chances with.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Rib on deck

The rib is going to stay on Lady Jane in future.

My thinking is that now it's summer, and with the glorious weather we are having, it would be good to have the rib right Rib on deckthere by the sea, so we can go play anytime we want without the hassle of towing, launching and recovery.

For now, until the cradle and hoist have been installed on Lady Jane's back deck, I'll keep the rib on the front deck, out of the water.

The photo shows my dad helping me to lift the rib onto Lady Jane. Mom watches from a safe distance, standing in the shade where it's much cooler.

Thanks for the picture Kate.

Reading the title of this blog puts me in mind to barbecue ribs on deck next time we are down there, it seems really fitting somehow. We'll put the rib in the water, well out of the way of course.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

There are three cygnets

I was wrong about the number of cygnets. There were three all along.

There are 3 cygnets Mildred had been carrying one of them under her wing, so I didn't know it was there until the other day.

I think I'll call them Dib, Dab and Dob, that gives me room for expansion if a few more happen to be hiding somewhere.

I know you can only see one of them in this picture, but I always thought swans were very protective of their young, and would not let humans near. Shows you how wrong I was.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Upper back deck

I've started work preparing the back deck, so the rib cradle can be welded on without any problems. Upper back deckUnfortunately it's in a worse state than I had first thought.

Prior to this picture being taken, I had spent an hour or two chipping away at huge flakes of rust which lay beneath a layer of paint which somehow made the deck seem ok. It looks like I'll have to get the power tools out for this one.

The annoying thing about this is, each time I beat on the deck I also get a shower of rust inside the boat - into the galley which I've just cleaned. At least I could temporarily replace the panels covering the wiring on the roof, helping to keep the rust out of the galley until I've finished on the deck.

This means the ceiling panels in the galley will now need to come off, so I can get to the metal plate beyond to stop the rust from the inside.

While I'm very tempted to hide the problem away, I know only too well that doing nothing will only make matters worse.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My 100'th blog entry

By my count, this is my 100'th proper blog entry, so I would like to do something a little different today. Sorry, but it ended up a little longer than planned.

I keep track of the number of visitors to my blog which, at present, stands at an average of 47 visitors per day, or 7,765 visits this year. As a by-product of this informationThumbs up for blogging I also get an idea of the regular visitors, thanks for stopping by and for the comments. I also get to see the links people have followed to get to my site.

This blog was started as a means of keeping friends, and family, all over the world updated on mine and Lady Jane's progress. It seems that along the way I have attracted the attention of other people who, for one reason or another, have linked to my blog either as part of their commentary, or as a permanent link.

Today, I'll link back to those sites which have been generating traffic to my site. If, by mistake, I have missed anyone, please just let me know and I'll include you. I make no apology for other people's content. The links are posted in no particular order.

The most memorable site has to be the J-Walk blog, which I read regularly, which caused a wave of over 1200 visitors in three days. This is an exceptional site for commentary and links to on all sorts of topics across the Internet.

I occasionally get visitors from The lost legionary who maintains an interesting blog and has linked to my site.

The Cynical-C blog describes my blog as follows: "Tim Zim bought a boat on a whim and is blogging about his restoration project. This is one of the more interesting blogs I have seen. There is something about his enthusiasm in this project that is infectious.", which I thought was nice.

The Galoot blog - Terrible, terrible things describes my blog as "This is a fascinating blog. Utterly insane, but fascinating.", I'm sort of pleased about the utterly insane bit, you know, not publicly though.

The Complimenting Commenter dropped in to compliment me, which I thought was an unusual, but very pleasant, approach to things. A refreshing change to some of the jaded, stereotypical blog sites which seem to abound.

Heylucy has me down as one of her April inspirations. I'm pleased to be inspirational to people, but find it strange a tough old trawler blog would make it onto a needlework site. I'm struggling to think of anything I'd want knitted for Lady Jane in the immediate future. Maybe a big jumper for winter?

I've made it onto Alisa's blogroll, though I'm not sure why. Alisa lives in Arizona, United States. She plays the piano, guitar, and the kazoo. She is active in competitive swimming, and is training to be a lifeguard. Her Boston Terrier, Annie, is paranoid, old, fat, and loves food. Alisa's favorite food is Italian.

One of my favorite links has to be Random thoughts who writes " have been following a blog by Tim Zim from the UK who bought a boat, a huge ocean-going fishing boat, that he has been refitting to eventually take to sea. Being land locked in the middle of the frozen corn fields as I am, he has tappped into one of my fantasys that I can now live vicariously through Tim." Robert does not post too often, so I feel kind of privileged here.

We cannot forget The wetass chronicles, another blog that I read regularly. Tim Zimmerman provides some amusing commentary on current seagoing, and other action, activities.

Oddly enough I get visits from the Nordic countries through Eclectic Energy's newsletter, which features my install of one of their wind powered generators.

Finally in the links section, I regularly get visitors from grow-a-brain. It is an excellent boating resource with links to some amusing and interesting stories. Check out Bumfuzzle for example, a story I can really identify with.

Some other sites worthy of mention, which are not linked are listed below:

I occasionally drop into Whole Wheat Radio to listen and chat with the regulars there.

No listing of sites by me would be complete without including Tonia's website. Tonia, a friend through WWR, painted me an excellent picture for Kate's birthday earlier in the year.

I'm including a link to The Wanderbird as this gives you an idea of how good Lady Jane could be. I'll probably not go down the sails route though.

Finally, a link to Wayne Webber's site broke boats. Wayne has sent a few e-mails offering much welcome help and advice for my inflatable and rib. His website contains a wealth of helpful information.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Work preparations

It's the getting started on a job that's often a problem for me. If I can get over the mental hurdle of what's needed to get a job done, and actually start doing it, then I'm usually fine.

Sometimes it's not the job itself that's the problem, but the preparation and subsequent clearing away that's the real task, especially when there is more setting up, or clearing away, than the actual job to be done.
Work preparations
Here you can see the stuff needed to plumb in my new shower unit all laid out, ready to go. I spent far more time getting everything sorted out, ready for the actual plumbing in of the shower unit, than I did on the plumbing itself.

I also got around to raising the water pressure so, during a shower, the water heater no longer cuts out for the time the pressure is too low for the water heater to work and the pump kicks in, raising the pressure again. That period, although brief, felt like forever. Good for the lungs though!

The shower unit works perfectly fine now. The plumbing is temporary though, as the shower room is in dire need of some welding where it has rusted through to the engine room and galley.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Rib (HBI) stowage

Plans are afoot to stow the rib (Also known as a HBI (Hard bottomed Inflatable) in the US) on Lady Jane's back deck. We will, of course, have to measure everything to make sure it's going to fit before doing too much.

Rib stowageRight now, the plan is to build a gantry on Lady Jane's stern, with a lifting boom and winch attached to that. This will allow the rib to be launched and recovered to either side of the boat. Admittedly, because it will be raised and lowered right at the back of Lady Jane, it may be a little hard to get on and off the rib, but it's the best plan I've been able to come up with so far.

We will build a cradle to stow the rib lengthwise on the back deck, where you see that rope laid out, with the engine pointing towards the front. That way I can easily get to the engine if I need to work on it, and should still have room to get round to the stern to operate the lifting boom.

It will be a pleasure to have the rib out of the driveway and to finally have all the boats, and boat stuff, in the same place.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Port side priming

I've finally started priming on the port side. A large proportion of the day was spentPort side priming clearing up the debris of flakes of paint and rust, the result of rubbing down on previous visits.

I had expected work on the port side to progress a little faster than the starboard side, given the practice I've had. I'm not so sure it is though.

I've always thought that the port side is generally in much better condition than the starboard side, presumably because the starboard side suffered more from the prevailing weather at one point in her life.

The picture does not look like much, but I'm expecting that the difference once it is painted white will be amazing.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Two survive

Two tiny swan chicksSadly it seems that only two of the baby swans have survived.

The picture shows the two tiny chicks swimming furiously along, trying to keep up with Mildred who is not even trying.

Given there were originally eight eggs, I'm a little surprised at how low the survival rate was.

Hopefully though, George and Mildred can focus all of their attentions on these remaining two and they will make it to adulthood.

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Friday, June 03, 2005

The eggs hatch

The Eggs HatchIt looks like two of the muddy swans eggs have hatched, going by the used eggs you can see lying to either side of the swan.

Mildred did not move off the nest the whole time I was there, so I didn't get a peek at the baby swans she must of had tucked under her wings.

Next time I'm there I'm sure they will be out and about and I'll get a better picture.

In news elsewhere on the web, THE HORSE GAVE THE PRESENTS TO THE BIRD. I just thought you should know.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005


ElectricsWe've had a spell of miserable weather, so I get to continue on indoor projects.

I'm trying to finish off work in the heads (toilet), which includes getting the light working. This in turn means getting started on the boat's electrics, a task so far studiously avoided.

It seems I need to replace a switch which has it's insides missing and convert the toilet light system from 110 volts to 24 volts.

24 volts is preferable as it's safer and always available from the batteries, whereas the 110 volt system only works when either the main or donkey engine is running.

Hmm, all I need to do is work out which wires go where, then switch the 110 volt wires onto a spare 24 volt switch and find a 24 volt bulb that will fit. It should be straightforward, right?

The wiring is like spaghetti in there, not that I'd want to eat it though.

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