Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hull hole

Ok, I've been working on the items on my list.

Because the weather has been pretty foul, I've been working on cleaning up in the fish hold.

I was merrily rust busting away, and had just attacked a piece of rust I'd seen in a corner when suddenly I had water squirting in from a hole I'd punched through the hull below the waterline.


Hull holeI found some wood and jammed it in as best as I could, then phoned Robin. When Robin could finally understand what I was saying through my babble, he said "I'll be right down".

I calmed down a bit, found a better piece of wood and hammered it into the hole. The water coming in stopped completely, allowing me to regain my composure somewhat.

This happened in a place I was convinced the steel was all good, so it had me really worried.

Needless to say, the rest of the day was a bit of a write off as attention was diverted to the hole in the hull.

I spent some time thinking about it and carefully examined the rest of the hull, while waiting for the tide to go out so Robin could weld safely with Lady Jane settled into the mud.

I worked out that the hole was where wood was laid against the hull, which would have been wet against the hull for goodness knows how long. Ideal conditions for corrosion.

I looked at other, similar, spots and, unsurprisingly, found three other places where the steel was rusted right through. I suspect there are more, but Robin wanted to get away for his tea!

It is important to make clear that these patches, although serious, are very small and relatively easy to fix completely.

Once all the suspect patches have been cleaned out and repaired, the integrity of the hull will once again be as sound as was expected.

In a really bizarre coincidence, I'm 99% certain that I was rust busting on the exact same panel when the leak in the fuel tank happened.

It's amazing to me that Lady Jane has been afloat all this time, with holes effectively stopped with rust.

The really scary thing is that these patches could so easily have been missed in the rush to get Lady Jane ready for her voyage round to the Itchen.


  1. ouch! do you own your sonic thickness tester? if not it might be sensible to aquire one so that in slow time you can complete the checks. I borrowed one when welding on my old De Groot and found it invaluable. OK so the surveyor had checked every foot or so but there were other areas that needed attention. re the welding of tanks. a collegue of mine had a job recently to weld around the rivets on a large tug tank (3500+ of the B*ggers)as they were letting by. He did this with a full tank of fuel and had no problems. He does know what he`s doing though!

  2. you must know just about all the surface of the hull by now so you are on top of most of the problems I`m sure! anyway you have a bildge pump. Just think what the stuffing gland lets by in a day I`m sure no real problems will be encountered by a small leak. sleep sound in your bed until you hear your bilge pump running continuosly.Somebody will notice any list and phone you ? in an emergency,

  3. Hi Rob.

    I thought I knew the hull! Just shows you though.

    The stuffing gland is great - no water in the bilge to worry about on a daily basis.

    Finally, a few different folk keep an eye on her, so I'll get to hear of any issues if I'm not around.

    Still, a leak is quite shocking to me.

  4. Anonymous2:04 PM

    ---From Houseboat Builder---
    Ugh! You think you're making great progress and you find something like this :(

  5. Fred (WWR)2:12 AM

    Well Tim, I have found over my lifetime that one problem often points to another and generally it's the one pointed to that needs the most attention and saves a big mess in the future. Good thing you found this now :). Better now than after you had the area all finished off.

  6. Houseboat Builder - I'm discovering that's boats.

    If it's not one thing, it's another.

  7. Hi Fred

    At least I'll know the hull here is good once I'm finished.

  8. moshe pleshet4:13 AM

    Hi Tim Zim,

    I accidentally ran Into the past owner of your magnificent ship in Sydney Australia, a lady by the name of Sharlot who is the the sister of an old friend of mine. Anyway, she told me about Lady Jane and the fact that you have a blog on her so I did the search and bingo....

    I am an old seaman, a 1965 graduate of the School for Marine Officers, Acco, Israel. I had served for three years on the destroyer INS Yaffo(Jaffa in English) and saw the 1967 Six Day war on it. Our sister destroyer, INS EILAT, was sank during that war by a Russian Stick missile, the first one in contemporary naval history.

    I am very jealous of you for being the proud owner of Lady Jane, always wanted to do something like that and sail the world but for various reasons, main ones being able to raise the money and allocate time for it, never got around to it! So good luck to you and if you have a minute away from chipping and painting etc please drop me a line.

    cheers Moshe Pleshet

  9. Hi Tim,
    Have forgotten to leave my email address for your reply so here it is:

    hope to hear from you

    cheers moshe

  10. Hi Moshe

    Welcome aboard!