Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Deckhead insulation continued

Deckhead insulationHere is the finished, insulated, product for this part of the deckhead.

I've still got to insulate the section of deckhead which lies beneath the galley, but this is waiting on the galley underfloor heating project.

What I've done is to cut and fit the Celotex boards, then I've filled in all the gaps and joints with two part polyurethane spray foam insulation.

In effect, getting the best of both worlds. I get the value of the insulating boards, which I think is less expensive per square metre than the spray foam, and the value of thorough insulation with any gaps well filled with the spray foam.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that spray insulation is so much quicker and easier than cutting and fitting all of those boards.

So far as the boat is concerned, I believe the combination of Celotex and the spray foam insulation will prevent any condensation issues, as all of the steel, so far as is practical, is now covered with insulating material and I'm confident that moisture simply will not be able to penetrate through to the underlying steel and cause rust issues.

I also have the benefit of being able to remove the insulation relatively easily, in the event I need to get to the steel behind it all.

Only time will tell if this all went according to plan.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New table

I've temporarily halted other projects in order to make a new table, which you can see in the top part of the picture.

New tableThe reason for the new table is evident in the wobbly legs you can see on the old table in the bottom right picture. The old table is perched on top of my workbench, which is in turn sat on the platform I have floating alongside Lady Jane.

The old table's legs have been getting increasingly unsteady over the last few months, making the whole thing a little precarious.

I blame the circular saw, as it's made a few unauthorised cuts in the table top when cutting wood for other projects, substantially reducing the table's overall integrity.

When I've been standing on my table, on top of everything else, to chip or paint at the top of the bow section, people have been taking pictures with their camera phones etc.

No doubt I'm on someone's blog somewhere, as yet another example of why women live longer.

There have also been a few comments from the folk at the marina across from me.

Anyhoo, I generally use a climbing harness and safety rope when working up there, especially after the legs have got so wobbly, so I don't consider the arrangement unsafe.

Recently though, even after a stern talking to, liberal application of wood glue and a general tightening up of all the screws in sight, the tables legs are showing an increasing tendency to point in all the wrong directions with no prior warning.

In the event the legs give in completely while I'm working up there, it's not so much the indignity, or discomfort, of a fall that concerns me, but the possibility of loosing power tools to the mud that has spurred me into action.

That new table takes me from one extreme to the other. It's made of 50*50*5mm (2*2 inch * quite thick) angle iron, which I bought in preparation for building a new ladder, and lengths of 50*100mm (2*4 inch) wooden slats.

Nuclear bomb proof springs to mind. Overkill I know, but those are the materials I had to hand.

Ha ha, it would be ironic if the platform sank because the new table is so heavy, and I lost my tools anyway.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Cheers Seb

Earlier last week Seb, from over at Wendy Ann 2, sent me a link to an eBay auction for a much needed anchor winch.

Cheers SebI had to nip over to Fred's place on Saturday afternoon, to get front row seats for the end of the auction. I favour last minute bidding, in the hopes of lulling any other bidders into a false sense of security. In the event, it needed some swift work on the keyboard to ensure I won it.

A little more pricey than I was expecting, I must say.

The picture shows my new winch, sitting on the trolley, just before lifting it onto Lady Jane.

Thanks to John, the seller, for all the help loading it into the truck (no easy task). Thanks are also due to Fred and Duncan who helped hoist it onto Lady Jane.

Mostly, though, thanks to Seb for bringing it to my attention in the first place.

Next, I'll need some chain - lots of it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Trawler

Another trawlerMine is not the only trawler in the creek!

I don't know why it should, but it comes as a bit of a surprise to see a boat trawling this far up Fareham creek.

It looks, or more accurately sounds, like they are after the shellfish which must lie in the channel.

I always thought the mud didn't have any mussels or anything like that in it, but they must be out there, where the water never leaves - even at low tide.

A lone fisherman over the other side of the creek was shouting and waving his fist at the trawler, presumably because they had broken his line. Why he didn't simply reel in beforehand is somewhat of a mystery to me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Goodbye Lady Jane

Goodbye Lady JaneWell goodbye to her name on the hull at least.

While chipping rust on this section, I got that Elton John song in my mind. You know the one.

Ok, I know it's Norma Jean, and not Lady Jane, but there's not that much to think about when chipping.

Anyway, that song stuck in my mind for quite some time, so I thought I'd pass it on.

Not much more to say really.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Welding stuff

Welding stuffI've finally got my act together and sorted out my power issues, so I can at last weld on board.

There is quite a bit of history to this:

Originally, in December 2004, Lady Jane was moved to Fareham so Robin could use shore power to do some desperately needed welding jobs, as Lady Jane could not produce the power for herself.

In March 2005, I fitted a 16Kva alternator to the donkey engine. For some reason the alternator was not capable of producing enough power to weld, though it would power pretty much anything else I needed. It is true that the donkey engine is in need of an overhaul, but still that was a pretty disappointing experience.

In May 2006 I then tried buying a new 7Kva generator - this was a complete debacle, as it turned out that I ended up with a cheap Chinese made generator, an imitation of the genuine item, which was made from inferior materials and did not last. The crank case itself cracked, the last in a long list of issues I'd had with it. Fortunately Ecotrax, the company who sold me the generator, kindly refunded my money.

Last week, I got around to having another look at the alternator on the donkey, as part of a renewed effort to weld using the boat's own power, because shore power is not an option available to me.

Initially I tried using some proper 6mm electric cable between the alternator and a newly fitted 13amp socket. I had previously used an extension lead that was lying around, so the suspicion was this was insufficient for the current the welder was drawing. Anyway that didn't work.

Ok, I know I really need a distribution board, properly fitted instead of the 13amp socket, but I'm waiting for my dad to help me with that!

Next, I replaced the drive belt with a different type, and this time used two belts. Ta da... I could weld using the donkey and alternator at last.

I'm not sure how to go about getting the most out of my 16Kva 3 phase alternator, or even how to test that it's capable of producing the power it's supposed to, but for now I'm happy that it's now producing the power I need to weld.

The picture shows the first welding job I've done on board, my previous welding jobs were done at home, with an inset showing the new alternator drive belts.

I still need a modern, silent, diesel generator though. That donkey is pretty noisy when you are inside.

Monday, September 18, 2006


HurrahA relatively small amount of work, but a big milestone achieved.

A corner turned you could say.

As you can see, I've had a bit of a blitz on the remainder of the rust on the starboard side, down at the waterline and at the remainder of the bow section.

Yuk, that mud - some of which you can see spattered up the hull in the picture.

How long ago did I say I didn't have much left to do?

Now, asides for a tiny section which I could not get back to with the wire brush because of the weather and tides, all that you can see of the hull is a rust free zone - right down to the waterline.

I know I also have a stretch of rust busting to do at the waterline towards the stern, hopefully only a day or so's work. With that done, finally, all the rust will be completely gone from the hull on Lady Jane's starboard side - for now at least.

It's now a case of getting that primer on as quickly as possible, then finishing that first coat of blue paint.

A second coat of blue paint over the whole lot will then complete the job, and I'll be ready to turn Lady Jane around to make a start on her port side.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Big tide

Big tideWe've just had the biggest tides of the year, at slightly over five metres.

Lady Jane looks most impressive, towering over the quay on such a big tide. Obvious really, but there you go.

Seeing Lady Jane like this reminds me, again, that I've got to get over the side and finish rust busting on the starboard side while the weather and tides are good.

Once that's done, I can then finish with the blue paint on that side. It would be good to have that all finished, with winter not far off.

Too much to do, and not enough time to do it all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Deckhead insulation

Deckhead insulationI've made a start insulating the deckhead (ceiling) of the stern accommodation.

I'm using Celotex boards in the overhead space, rather than the spray foam I've used elsewhere, because it's very likely that I'll need to access this steel again - as part of the galley refurbishment project which is on the horizon.

The spray foam is a pretty permanent solution, as it will not come off too easily, so Celotex seems the best option here.

Cutting and fitting the Celotex has proved to be a tedious task, as each section has to be measured, the board cut on deck then brought down below, because the uncut Celotex boards are too big to fit through the hatchway.

What I'll do is spray any gaps between the steel and the Celotex with spray foam insulation, so as to fill the voids which would otherwise be impractical to fill. This will ensure that all the steelwork is adequately insulated.

Spraying that foam insulation is, unquestionably, so much faster and easier.

Friday, September 08, 2006


LadderIt's time for me to make a proper ladder to access to the fish hold, as I'm going in and out of there more and more.

In the right of the picture, you can see the folding aluminium ladder I have been using. This was on the boat when I bought it and has simply been used like that ever since. It also gets used to climb down the outside of Lady Jane, onto the platform, from time to time.

Right now the ladder is simply propped there, with no support or fixings of any kind to keep it in place, obviously not too safe a state of affairs.

While I'm fine with using the ladder for myself, I'm very concious of the safety of other people using it, and I'm also aware of the potential for an accident when I'm tired, or not concentrating.

The bottom of the hold is about three metres (9 ft) below the deck, so any fall is likely to be troublesome, especially if I'm on the boat alone.

I think some lengths of angle iron, with angle iron steps should do it. I can then weld the top of the ladder to the hatch entrance, and pin the bottom to the concrete in the hold using Hilti nails.

While I'm on the subject, it had occurred to me that the open hatchway is a big space just above deck level, and one which can be fallen through very easily.

I should also make up some kind of safety grill to go into the hatchway. One that people could climb through easily enough, so it could always stay in place unless anything bulky needed lifting or lowering.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rust busting

Rust bustingAnother rust busting entry!

Here's the routine with the Hilti TE104, the best tool I've found for rust busting so far, though I prefer using a chisel point, rather than the needle gun attachment for this type of work.

With two floodlights trained on the space I'm working on, one from the left and one from the right, so I can see the rust clearly in all it's glory:

  • Put on ear defenders, goggles and gloves (the hat was for artistic effect).

  • Work at the rust until I can't see anything through the misted up goggles.

  • Escape from the ear defenders, goggles and gloves

  • Clear out the flakes of rust.

  • Put on ear defenders, goggles and gloves.

  • Work at the rust until I can't see anything through the misted up goggles.

  • Escape from the ear defenders, goggles and gloves

  • Clear out the flakes of rust.

  • Put on ear defenders, goggles and gloves.

  • Escape from the ear defenders, goggles and gloves

  • Work at the rust until I can't see anything through the misted up goggles.

  • Clear out the flakes of rust. When the tin is full I get a break.

  • .

  • .

  • .

  • Vacuum the place I've been working on to make sure I've got everything. The filter on the vacuum is hopeless with the fine dust, so I have a vent pipe to the outside attached. This helps keep the rust dust down to levels such that a mask is not really needed.

  • Put on ear defenders, goggles and gloves.

  • Work at the rust until I can't see anything through the misted up goggles.

  • Escape from the ear defenders, goggles and gloves

  • Clear out the flakes of rust.

  • Vacuum again

The right hand panel is pretty much done, as you can see. An hour later, the panel on the left was looking pretty much the same as the one on the right.

Physically demanding work, and needless to say - very noisy, but it's got to be done.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Drawers - Version 1

Drawers - version 1Sometimes my mouth is bigger than my brain!

In a fit of enthusiasm, I said it would only take me a few minutes to knock something together, rather than endure a visit to a certain well known Swedish furniture store.

Here you see the first drawers I've ever made in my life - the first of eight, and part of a bigger creation which is intended as cheap, temporary storage.

Needless to say, it's harder than it looks to make furniture - especially drawers!

At least I got to play with a new tool, a router, to cut the slots for the bottoms to go into. Though I feel I've yet to realise the router's full potential.

My justification for all this effort is that I need to work out how to do this sort of thing anyway, as I've my eye on the steps after the insulation, the underfloor heating, the plywood skin, the new boiler and associated systems etc.

Anyway, I've an idea on how not to do the bunks, and a better idea on how I'll do my next set of drawers. I'll also need to work on mastering those tricky blind dovetail joints (need to get my head around creating a jig of some sorts).

Maybe I'll just buy the tough things like drawers from that place and cut them to fit Lady Jane instead.

Monday, September 04, 2006

More insulation

More insulationI've finally got the rest of the battens in, and have almost got a complete layer of spray foam insulation in.

By almost, I mean I have a small patch a few metres square under the thin plywood decking not insulated - hardly important I know.

The inset in the picture gives a snapshot of the place just before I finished the last of the battens, and before starting to spray with foam insulation.

Despite being effectively finished, I've decided to order some more spray foam insulation from Chantel.

This will mean I get to finish insulating below the floor, and put another layer in throughout.

My thinking is that it was so quick and easy to spray the insulation, so while everything is still accessible, I may as well reap the added benefit of a few more hours of spraying and get an additional layer of insulation in.

The more the insulation the less the longer term fuel costs, so I have no doubt it will pay for itself pretty fast.

I'll also know that it's been a job well done.