Friday, April 24, 2009

Lifeboat drills

Lifeboat drillsHere the crew of the Sand Weaver practice their lifeboat drills.

A serious exercise I know, but I just can't help thinking the crew, with their helmets and high viz gear, look like cartoon characters puttering around in their lifeboat there.

It all looks such a precarious operation, being lowered down in the lifeboat like that.

I'm sure this is something nobody wants to experience for real.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tidy up

Tidy upRegular visitors to Lady Jane (Except John and Nigel who, with a recent visit, have got themselves ahead of this blog) will immediately appreciate the significance of this picture.

The thing is, the place is suddenly massively tidier than it's been for ages.

Can't promise how long that will last though.

After giving that deck a good clean, it will finally be painted all the same colour.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saltwater pressure sensor

Saltwater pressureThe next pressure sensor to go in will be to measure the saltwater cooling pressure.

The main reason for choosing to implement the raw water pressure sender is that Lady Jane currently has no gauges showing this pressure, so I think it's a good choice.

For reference, this piping is located towards the port side rear of the engine, just behind and below the intercooler.

You can see the piping has had a coating of primer, done some time ago, but the painting in the engine room got somewhat delayed by other projects. Part of the delay was caused by the winter and an engine room that was just a little too chilly to be working in.

Anyway, I have everything I need, so it should just be a case of undoing the plug you can see and screwing in the new fittings.

Experience has shown that this is not likely to go according to plan and, because the plug is below the waterline, I should do this when I have plenty of time and will be around for a while afterwards to ensure all is well.

At some point in the future, I'll also T into the system and re-instate the saltwater pressure gauge in the engine room. Makes sense, obviously.

Monday, April 20, 2009


GovernorI've been working on the engine again this weekend.

Up to my elbows in dirty black oil.

Here you see the inside of engine speed control and the governor tension spring.

When running the main engine, the governor was not responding as fast as it should/used to. The main issue being when putting Lady Jane into gear, the engine almost stalls with the drop in revs.

The actual governor mechanism is on a flywheel, to the right of the picture, inside another casing.

I'm expecting that this strip down and clean-up will fix the issue. I'll only know when I next run the main engine up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Great boat

Great boatThere are very few boats that I see that I would rather have than dear old Lady Jane.

This one is one of the exceptions.

It looks even more stunning when travelling at speed in the Solent.

Maybe the fact that the owners always give me a cheery wave when they go by colours my view.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Onyx Mariner

Onyx MarinerThere goes the Onyx Mariner, replacement for the Humber Star which was recently raised from the depths.

I presume this is a temporary duty, while the Humber Star is being repaired.

The Onyx Mariner is much smaller than the Humber Star, so must do more trips up and down the river.

Not that I care about any of this really, but posts about slow progress on the woodwork are getting a bit repetitive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Engine telemetry

Engine monitor

Here you see the PIC16F88 microchip based engine telemetry package I've been working on for a while, up and running.

It now has both the engine rev counter and one pressure sensor implemented. Those numbers you see are for real.

The only issue is that the revs are showing at exactly half of what they should be, as I mounted the rev counter sensor on the cam shaft which runs at half the speed of the main shaft. This is easily fixed though.

The green blobs, part of the digital readout on the left, show the status of the various sensors, where green is working ok, blue indicates a sensor fault and red shows an alarm state (the alarms are still to be implemented).

I've also posted pictures on flickr of the other screen shots I took, showing the full cycle from startup to shutdown and the console view which hides the detail.

There are additional pressure sensors to be fitted to the system, the most difficult part of this being the physical connection of these to the engine. Everything else is taken care of.

I opted to show separate charts for pressures and temperatures, and to super-impose the revs onto both charts to make them easier to read.

As it happens, the gauges in the boat's engine room compare closely with my rev counter and the electronic oil pressure transmitter, but the rev counter and oil pressure gauges in the wheelhouse are a little off.

There is no doubt in my mind that the data now available from every subsequent engine run will prove invaluable in the future. For example, comparisons before and after an oil change, and determining if things are ok after working on the boat's systems.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


TemplatingThe woodworking on Lady Jane continues.

Here Fred's perfect template in a tricky spot seems to have gone to his head somewhat!

It's a slow process getting all that plywood cut and fitted, but very rewarding when it all goes well.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Leviathan crane

Leviathan craneI've been meaning to get pictures of this crane for a while now.

As it was used to help raise the Humber Star from the deep, it seemed like an opportunity too good to miss.

For an idea of the sheer scale of this puppy, the tiny orange blobs you see in front of the crane's legs there are people.

Think your journey to work is tough? Look up the forward legs to the crane cab about halfway up, then imagine what it would be like to climb up to work in that of a morning.

Working on that gantry at the very top would be 'interesting'.