Friday, August 31, 2007

Putting it all together

So the job of installing the boiler, pressure unit and hotwater tank is done.

Putting it togetherAs you can see in the picture, the system is pressurised so things all appear to be ok there.

I know the Speedfit plastic pipes look a little squiffy. With 10/10ths hindsight, I should have bought some straight lengths of pipe so everything looked smart. No matter, it all works just fine.

The next tasks are to plumb in the radiators and wire up the various controls to the boiler. After that will be the diesel feed and the exhaust to fit and the job should be done.

In the meantime, I've had a hot shower from the new hot water tank using the immersion heater I've wired up.

So far so good.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A delivery

My new central heating system arrived in a huge box, much to the disgust of the TNT delivery guy who had to get it off his truck and to the front door.

A deliveryAfter a flurry of unpacking, here's what I got from the nice folks at Harworth Heating.

The core of the system is the 17.5KW diesel fired boiler you can see in the front there. This should be more than enough to keep Lady Jane cosy and warm this winter, with plenty of hot water for showers.

To that pile needs to be added piping, connectors, valves, wiring etc. etc. to make the whole thing work.

I've never done anything like this before, so anything could happen.

Oh yes, and I'll need a flue for the exhaust gas.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cormorant fishing

So I stumbled out onto deck first thing in the morning, with a cup of tea, to be greeted with the sight of a cormorant (or great cormorant to Cormorant fishingbe more precise) wrestling with a rather large fish.

That poor fish was putting up a big struggle, time enough for me to dash in and get my camera.

It took a while for the cormorant to subdue the poor fish then, in one gulp, the fish was gone down the cormorant's neck.

When it got around to it, that bird had to take a good run up on the Itchen's surface to get itself up into the air again, off to dry it's wings on a nearby buoy.

A pretty amazing sight.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


PlinthHere is the plinth that the central heating system will sit on.

This picture was taken after I'd finished welding it in place, but before cleaning it up and giving it a touch of primer to protect the steel.

I'm quite proud of how this turned out, as I think fabricating this up is an achievement for me in it's own right.

This will provide a solid base for the central heating boiler and the hot water tank to sit on.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Engine work

While Andy was working away on the wiring, assisted by Patch, I got stuck into the air start problem on the main engine.

Engine workAs ever, things are never as straightforward as they first seem.

In this case I had to take the diesel injector off before I could get to the air start mechanism, then I had to take off the instrument panel so as to get to one of the nuts right at the bottom there.

Anyway, the air start valve is free, but looks like it could do with some adjustment. I'm not sure what happened to the underlying spring there.

I'll also need to get some valve grinding paste, to make sure that valve is seated properly in the future.

I'm learning lots as I go.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Watch this space

So the central heating plan is starting to take shape.

Watch this spaceHere Patch worked hard at cleaning up the space where the new boiler and hot water tank will eventually go.

In the meantime, I removed what was an old belt driven welding machine which had been lying there for quite some time with it's insides hanging out.

I have no idea if the welder ever did work, but it's on eBay now so I'll see what happens.

Anyway, it's a good sized space that I can use for the heating system there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wired Andy

The spell of awful weather continues to dog progress outside.

AndyStill it's a chance to get some of those inside projects rolling.

Andy, who you can see lolling about on the wheelhouse floor, spent the day tracing the wiring from the stern and galley through to the switches in the wheelhouse.

You could do worse things than idling away some time looking at the collection of Andy's pictures over on his website.

This patient work is going to pay dividends, as much of the wiring has been summarily cut back without so much as a note to say what it used to feed.

One of the first advantages of knowing where everything goes will be a light in the head (toilet). Now we know where the wire terminates, the job to get it connected up to the 24v system should be fairly straightforward.

In the not too distant future, I see outside lights and all sorts being connected up....

For those of you who are really interested, I've put pictures of the electrical wiring and switches etc. here in Flickr. The pictures were posted mostly for Andy's reference for when he starts to draw up that all important wiring diagram from the copious notes he took.

I haven't told Andy about the wiring in the engine room yet!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hot water

Solving the freshwater water supply problem has had an interesting side effect....

Immediately before leaving Fareham, my gas fired water heater had finally gave up the ghost. Asides for the timing, it was not something I was terribly unhappy with as it struggled to heat water sufficiently for a decent shower anyway. Especially in winter.

Hot waterTo get around the immediate problem of the dead heater, with Malcolm's help, I installed a hot water cylinder which could be heated with an immersion heater or a central heating boiler.

The 2.3KW immersion heater obviously sucks a lot of power.

As part of conserving water on board we have been showering ashore at the marina where the rib is kept, so water heating has not really been an issue.

Now showering on board is possible, and preferred, I need to run the big generator to heat the water. This is not a problem if I need to use a generator anyway, but otherwise seems noisy and a hassle for everyone, especially on what would otherwise be quiet and peaceful evenings.

Thinking forwards to winter, now seems the perfect time to get my diesel fired heating system installed. This should mean no more noisy generator running before shower time, assuming the central heating system pump etc. will be able to run off of my battery bank, and a warm, dry boat for the winter.

Co-incidentally, it has been almost exactly a year since I was last at this juncture.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Big push

As you know, I have been plodding away at rust busting on the port side.

Big pushHere you can see where I've been making progress towards the stern, with the help of Willcarry 1.

The plan right now is for a big push, to rust all the way to the painted blue patch you can see right at the stern.

What I'm thinking is to join up the top section, the easy bit, then work my way forwards down by the waterline later in the day.

It's usually calmer later in the day, with little or no boat traffic, so hopefully working at the waterline should mean I remain relatively dry.

It doesn't look like much to do, but experience has shown there is a deceptive amount to cover there.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


WorkbenchMy poor, long suffering, workbench has been resuscitated.

It took some friendly persuading with a lump hammer and a quick bzzt or so with the welder.

All is now well again, as you can see in the picture.

The plan is I'll need this workbench to put all my tools and things on whenever I'm working standing on the platform.

The reason being that the boats that whizz by often make a big wash, which can slop over the top of the platform. Not good when I'm using power tools, obviously.

The workbench will also be useful for shipping stuff across by platform where the stuff should not get wet.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rib fun

Rib funWe have been having such miserable weather this summer, so days when the weather is great I should be painting and rust busting and things.

Here Patch and I take some time off and go for a spin in the rib (HBI).

The picture you see shows us returning up Southampton water, big smiles on our faces.

The trouble is, there have been so few really nice days that I don't want to waste them all working away on Lady Jane.

The justification for taking the rib out for a spin was that 'it needed a run'.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Coming together

Coming togetherI love it when a plan comes together!

The big black and silver thing you can see is a water tank, bought on eBay and transported somewhat precariously on top of the truck through the streets of Southampton in the dead of night.

That water tank can take 1000 litres (264 US gallons) of water in one shot, so three loads should have Lady Jane's fresh water tank topped off from empty (Thanks for the idea Nigel).

Willcarry 1 has proved itself more than capable of carrying a tonne of water, albeit with the dec awash when sifting it 'on the hip' with the rib through lumpy waters, thus confirming I can transport big stuff to/from Lady Jane in the future without too much of a problem.

Note the finished cleats on the outside edges by the way.

I'm finding it difficult to steer the rib/platform combination, but can at least make it go in a straight(ish) line. Something to perfect with practice I suppose.

Fresh water supplies on the boat have been somewhat of a problem but from here on in I can use the jetwash, shower and generally not worry too much about fresh water anymore.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cowes fireworks

Cowes fireworksThis Friday night just gone was the end of Cowes week. It's tradition for this to be marked with a massive fireworks display, this year being no exception.

Apparently some two tonnes of fireworks were blown off in just twenty minutes!

I went across with new friends from the marina where I keep my rib. A group of some 12 of us went across in one of their boats - a 40 foot gin palace.

There were literally thousands of boats everywhere around Cowes. A truly amazing sight to see, almost more spectacular than the fireworks display itself.

I would not liked to have been on duty that night John.

I'm amazed to see that the pictures I took came out like they did, as it's not easy taking pictures of fireworks on land let alone rocking about at sea in a small boat.

For my money the best firework was the one which, when set off a few hundred feet up looked like a smiley face.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Heavenly colours

Heavenly coloursNature is full of surprises.

John noticed this rainbow overhead when visiting alongside Lady Jane recently.

There was a full rainbow, but my wide angle lens was just not quite wide enough.

The inspiration for actually doing this post was unashamedly stolen from 1000 days at sea, an adventure by Reid & Sonya which I read when I have the time.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Turbo run

Turbo runI finally got round to getting the right oil for the turbo.

It took some fiddling around to get the oil into both sides of the turbo, and at the right level.

With the oil in, and all the other pre-checks done, with bated breath I started the main engine.

What was immediately obvious was that the air start valve is still stuck. No surprise there.

What was also fairly readily apparent was that the turbo was still not producing any pressure. No real surprises there.

The turbo engineer had said that he thought my problem was most likely the intercooler once he had my turbo in bits and saw it was all looking fine.

So, dismantling and cleaning the intercooler is next, after sorting out that pesky stuck air start valve.

The intercooler is that big blue thing above the turbo. It works by cooling the compressed air which comes out of the turbo, using seawater, so making the air into the main engine more dense and therefore raising the compression ratio and making the engine more efficient.

My suspicion is that the air passages between the cooling pipes which run through the intercooler are all gummed up, so air cannot pass through it as easily as it's supposed to.

We shall see.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Back to work

Ok, so now it's back to work.

Back to workThe dark piece you can see is the result of the day's efforts.

Mentally, after a fun break and with such fine weather over the weekend, it's a hard pull to get going again.

Still, some progress has been made, though it looks like I've achieved relatively little in this latest bout of rust busting.

This picture also gives a good impression of how much is left to do at the bow section. I have a sense of déjà vu here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Did I mention the Icebergs yet?

IcebergsAnother first for me, seeing Icebergs for real.

Here you see your's truly with an iceberg in the background, not the only one we saw I hasten to add.

The iceberg was quite a way away, as we were on a mission to get to St Anthony and keen to avoid any dalliance with icebergs. Especially at night.

I hope that next trip I'll get to see an iceberg close up and personal, not to personal mind.