Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bilge filter box

Essential work in the engine room is progressing steadily, and I'm pleased to say it's not all bad news.

Bilge filter boxWhile we are on the subject of filter boxes, here is the bilge filter box. Ready for a first coat of paint.

This box is in fairly good condition, despite the grim look which is the result of a coating of Rustroy rust converter.

I suspect the reason for the marked difference between this and the port inlet filter box is that this box still had some annode left, bolted to the inside of the top lid, which must have afforded some level of protection from the salty water in the system.

It is possible, that both this and the starboard filter box, which is also in pretty good shape, have been replaced at some point.

A few coats of green paint on this filter box, and on the newly installed bilge pipes, will mark the start of the engine room cleanup operation, I'm starting here simply because it's an easy place to start.

I've been having a hard time getting started with the engine room cleanup project, as I know it's going to be a long, filthy, job during which more pressing issues will no doubt reveal themselves to me.

It's got to be done and I'm sure the end result, a clean and freshly painted engine room, will be well worth it.

I doubt I'll ever be able to eat my dinner off the engine room floor though, unlike some engine rooms I've seen.

Monday, November 27, 2006


It's all been going a bit too well...

One of the items on my projects list is to repair a badly rusted seawater inlet filter box, and it's associated pipes.

To explain, I have four separate seawater inlets into the engine room on Lady Jane:

One each on the port and starboard side serve as inlets for seawater to cool the main engine.

The other two inlets are for the, missing, freshwater maker and for seawater to use as a fire hose or deck wash via the bilge pump.

Obviously each of these inlets has it's own valve (tap), which remains closed unless it's being used at the time.

Both the main engine seawater inlets each have their own filter box, which filter out anything which may otherwise block the cooling system. These two systems are interconnected, so either one will do the job of providing seawater to cool the engine.

The starboard inlet filter box, the one I normally use, is fine.

Rusty filter boxThe port filter box is a different story though.

The reason I knew there was a problem was that I noticed the now familiar telltale sign of white crystals in amongst the rust, evidence of seeping seawater which has dried out, while cleaning down below.

Anyhoo, Robin finally got around to extracting the troublesome box, in preparation to sorting it out, only to discover just how close I've been to a major flood in the engine room each time I've run the main engine.

The ends of the pipes have been blanked off, but finishing this particular job properly will have to wait until I've got Lady Jane out of the water.

Scary enough for you?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nav lights sorted

Nav lights sortedFinally, thanks to Rob, I've now got the stern navigation lamp installed, and working correctly.

This marks the completion of the back deck project, or will do when I buy the right bolts to secure it properly, and bolt it down a little better than at present.

I know this bit has taken literally months to get around to doing, but it's been one of those small, but time consuming, jobs that I've just not done as there has always been other, higher priority, jobs to be getting on with.

Obviously, now I need to get dear old Lady Jane ready for sea, this suddenly became a much higher priority job.

I'm pleased to report that now all the navigation lights work just fine.

Another key task off the list, and another step closer to going.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ship's radio installed

Just how many people does it take to install an ariel?

It turns out that the ariel, was as well as the radio, that was on Lady Jane when I bought her was defective.

Radio installedHere you see some of my climbing mates, Andy, Steve, Lee and Rob, all contributing to the process of installing the new ariel, which Andy is holding.

I'm very grateful to Andy, who you can see basking in that afterglow of a job well done in the inset, for his dillegent work in testing, installing and setting up my new radio and ariel.

Thanks must also go to Rob, who connected the on-board GPS to the radio. This enables the radio to give automatic positioning information, using Digital Selective Calling (DSC), in the event of a distress call.

This crucial job has been done properly by Andy, who knows what he is doing and has the testing meters, tools and an impressive box full of odd wires and connectors to prove it.

If it were me, I would simply have connected bits of wire and things until something worked - or the whole lot blew up.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fareham sunset

Fareham sunsetThe end of another day in Fareham, marked by a brilliant sunset.

I will miss Fareham once I've gone.

I am, however, looking forward to being back on the River Itchen.

The Itchen will mean such a big change as I'll once again be moored in the middle of a big river, and reliant on the rib (hbi), or baby Jane, to get to and from Lady Jane.

There is so much more going on in the Itchen all the time though.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Loading ballast

I've now got an extra four tonnes of ballast on board Lady Jane, not that much difference to the trim I'm afraid.

Loading ballastThe photo montage gives you some idea of the effort that went into loading this stuff on board.

Round the quay at low tide on my trolley, then shifting the lot on board once the tide was in, making loading a little easier.

A difficult task made so much easier with the cheerful help of both Malcolm and Fred.

I'm looking particularly dirty on account of I got to pack those cast iron lumps in down below decks.

Apparently those, cast iron, bits of old railway you can see are called chairs, something I didn't know.

You can imagine the confusion when I got a phone call from someone, who's name and company name I did not catch, announcing the imminent delivery of the chairs I'd ordered!

The guy from emc in Southampton must have thought I was a bit retarded. We argued for a bit about whether I'd ordered any chairs or not and it was only when he mentioned they were to be delivered to Fareham that I finally twigged.

All four tonnes is now on board, and most of it is stowed down below.

After a full day and a half of it, I simply ran out of steam, Kit Kats can only keep me going for so long!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gazebo upgrade

That gazebo was a good idea.

The trouble was it did not stand up to mother nature very well, despite the promises made by the guy on eBay.

Gazebo upgradeThe first good wind did the sides in something horrible, to the extent that the side panels were unusuable on account of the big holes ripped in them.

Over the last couple of months, the gazebo has slowly been deteriorating until it had reached the point where it was no use at all, and simply flapped in the wind like a load of abandoned washing.

I've now had it re-covered by the guys from Solent Shrinkwrap (07917 408776), who did an extremely good job.

This should last a good while I expect.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New bilge pipes

The job of installing the new bilge pipes has now been completed.

This is really part of the fish hold bulkhead project.

New bilge pipesThe picture shows the new (red) bilge lines to the forward hold and the the fish hold in the background, with a hole cut and a new length of pipe for the standby fish hold bilge pump in the foreground.

I've ended up replacing more piping than expected, but the old bilge pipes were quite severely wasted away by rust.

That two inch piping is more expensive than I was expecting it to be.

Although the bilge pipes have now been replaced, the bilge filter box needs cleaning up, and the piping still needs to be re-attached.

Testing this stuff is going to be interesting....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Console progress

I'm very pleased with the progress of the wheelhouse console so far.

Console progressOnce the other side has been done, I can then start re-fitting such instrumentation, switches and lighting as I have - essential for the voyage round to the River Itchen.

Fred has excelled himself with the templating of the actual work surfaces.

Meanwhile, I've been quietly impressed by just how well the fiddles have turned out (the rails around the edges of the shelves for you land lubbers), the result of some measure of shaping using a router.

I can well imagine just how effective a router would be in the hands of someone who really knew what they were doing.

For now, I'm happy with a nice smooth curve on the tops of the fiddles, and a neatly cut step on the bottom, so they sit onto the actual work surface, making an overlapped joint.

I know this is all temporary, kind of long term temporary probably, but it is so satisfying doing a job well.

The best bit is that the console is a comfortable place to sit, with views out in all directions through the wheelhouse windows.

With the heating on, cradling a big cuppa tea, it's perfect as a respite from working out in the bitter cold.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Blue bow

Finally, we've got that first coat of blue on all the way round the bow section of Lady Jane, almost completing the first coat of blue on the starboard side.

Blue bowHere you see Fred, perched high above the water, putting the finishing touches to the bit he was working on.

There is still a short section, at the stern, close to the waterline to be rust busted, primed and painted blue. Before I can do that I really desperately need to get a load of ballast in forward, so the boat is trimmed up more or less properly.

I've found some ballast, so it's just a case of paying for it and having it delivered. It's going to be expensive though, at £188.00 (US$ 370) per tonne delivered, cash. Unfortunately that price includes VAT, which is unavoidable.

I'm planning on putting in five tonnes of the stuff, then trimming the rest of the way with water, probably another five tonnes worth. Right now it's just too expensive for me to use only cast iron ballast, which would be my preference.