Thursday, December 28, 2006

Into the darkness

Into the darknessWork in the fish hold is progressing pretty well.

I've now got a first coat on the top section of the hold.

Boy is the place looking dark suddenly.

Thanks must go to Andy for all his help in the run up to Christmas.

I'm looking forward to when the hold is all painted white. At the moment though, that looks a long way off yet.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bilge piping

Bilge pipingI'm still pretty much in holiday mode, so not much to report.

Here you see a picture of my bilge line. This is the last bit between the filter box and the actual bilge pump.

The work that has gone into just that small section of pipe! It's almost a work of art.

It will look so much better once it's green.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Christmas

I write this while ensconced in the warmth and comfort of Lady Jane's wheelhouse, with a hot cuppa tea to hand.

I can just see the sun setting through the rear window, giving the sky a warm, pink, glow which belies the cold outside (0C/32F).

I suspect that blogging, like serious work on Lady Jane, will take a bit of a back seat until after Christmas.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you an extremely happy Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Metal Boat Society

Metal Boat SocietyI stumbled across the Metal Boat Society's website the other day, and promptly joined up in a fit of enthusiasm.

Well worth a look if you've not done so already.

I think that browsing through their forums is one of those delicious tasks, to be savoured in smallish doses. That is assuming, of course, that you like that kind of stuff.

Rather like working your way through a box of particularly good chocolate over the holiday season.

As well as plenty of info, their site also has links to all sorts of other interesting boat projects.

I must say though, that their boats and projects seem substantially more up market than the likes of dear old Lady Jane.

Ah well, one day she'll be up there with the best of them.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Black is back

I know I said I wasn't going to, but I've started painting what was the fish hold with that black bitumen paint.

Black is backHere you see Fred and Malcolm hard at work at opposite ends of the hold splashing it on.

I'd thought about it long and hard, and researched some other recommended paints (thanks Rob). The upshot is the advantages of the bitumen paint, price and effectiveness against rust, far outweigh the disadvantage of the place going so dark and dingy.

The black paint has the unique effect of making the whole place feel so much smaller than it really is. Malcolm reckons it's like working in between those moving walls you get in the movies.

I will eventually splash some white paint about, so as to brighten the place up, but wanted the solid undercoating of bitumen to prevent any rust getting through.

Oh yes, and that bitumen paint gets everywhere... Sorry for returning Fred all blacked up Jenny.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bilge filter box progress

Filter boxThe job of sorting out the bilge filter box is progressing quite nicely, though a bit slow due to the weather we've been having recently.

I'm going to make a start on painting the bilge line pipes next.

The box and pipes are painted green, to denote seawater.

When I bought the green paint, it looked a slightly more modest hue than it now appears.

I wonder how that blue paint I bought is going to turn out?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fish hold progress

Fish hold progressI'm making good progress in the fish hold.

To give you an idea of the scale of this space, I've left a broom against the bulkhead. You can see it just to the left of the ladder in the picture.

There is a bit more rust busting to do, some more scraping of old bitumen to do, some cutting of old steel left protruding overhead and, finally, a touch more welding. Probably some two to three days more work.

With all of this done, and a good cleanup, I'll finally be ready to start painting the place.

After all this time and effort, I'm so much looking forward to seeing this space painted out and looking good.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cleared out

Cleared outThose of you reading this who have been on Lady Jane at some point will understand just how significant this picture is.

For the first time in a long, long, time this particular deck is clear, and I can now get to both the wheelhouse and the engine room without having to step over boxes and tools etc. piled about.

More importantly, things will be so much safer for visitors.

I've not really had much choice, until now, as there has just not been the space available to keep everything handy.

Now the steering room shelving is serviceable, I can finally stash things in some semblance of order.

The way is now also clear for me to get going with cleaning and painting the top part of the engine room.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Steering room shelving

Steering room shelvingI've almost finished the shelving in the steering room.

All that remains is to fit the fiddles, which should be quick and easy to do, even though I've started to use the shelves already.

It doesn't look it in the picture, but that's a huge amount of storage space there. Oh, and the shelves really are level.

This will help the cleanup and painting the engine room project, as all the stuff which has been underfoot there for some time now should fit in there with room to spare.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Two years

Just thought I'd mention.

I've been blogging for two year now.

Two years, who would have thought it?

Console finished

Work on making a serviceable console has now been completed, so that's another thing off the list and hopefully a happy enough skipper as a result. John?

Lady Jane's new consoleI'm pleased with the results, though I still need to decide if I should paint it, varnish it, or just leave the wood as it is.

I like the wood effect, and will most likely just leave it.

I had intended to install seating in the wheelhouse, but there is not really much room so I think I'll abandon that idea.

As it is, sitting on the console, either side, is pretty comfy.

I've started work on the compass installation, and have gone so far as to actually buy one. The problem is, it just doesn't want to point north. It's because of all the steel around affecting it, and nothing to do with Johnny Depp.

To fit the compass properly I'll need to 'swing' it or, more likely, get someone in to swing it for me.

Either way, it's obvious that this is not going to get done with Lady Jane sitting alongside in Fareham.

Another task off the list, albeit abandoned.

More learning.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A blustery night

Saturday night was a pretty wet and windy night, all night, down on the boat in Fareham.

Christmas lightsNot the wild winds of biblical proportions you get elsewhere in the world, but a refined English wind of 60mph.

Severe enough to blow down a few trees and to leave twigs on the roads - as reported on Sunday morning by Ocean FM, the local radio station I normally listen to.

Anyway, the really great thing about being tucked up in bed on board a steel boat like Lady Jane is that the weather is not really a problem, asides of course for the sound of the wind in the mast's rigging and the banging of the exhaust flap.

Finally, at about 3.30am, I got up and taped the exhaust flap shut after putting up with the noise for a while, expecting the wind to die down. Which it did not.

Hurrah for duct tape.

My biggest worry was for the Christmas lights the wind spent the night trying to tear down, as I'd only just put them up that evening.

No problem really, they were still twinkling away merrily the next morning.