Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Apologies to one and all for my recent silence.

It's just that I've been away on holiday in Greece with Patch this last week.

Pictures are on their way soonest.

We arrived home yesterday to find the LED still lowing brightly - That's more than two months solid it's been on now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rust busting

Rust bustingWith the wood gone, attention now turns to the real job - rust busting the deck.

Here you see the first section cleared back using my trusty Hilti TE104.

This needs cleaning off with a wire brush and then priming so the rust cant get back on.

So far, the rust has come off relatively easily and the underlying steel seems in surprisingly good shape.

A long way to go though...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wood off

Wood offThings have turned out pretty well in terms of getting rid of the wood that was on my deck.

As it turns out, Graham, the owner of the barge, said he would take the lot as he needs ballast.

Because the barge is right there, it did not take nearly as long to get rid of the wood as I had initially feared.

What I opted to do in the end was stack the wood into an upturned table, without the legs, so that if some numpty came speeding by, the wash would not cause me to lose a stack of wood into the water.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The LED is still going strong.

Maybe snowbiker will be right with his 5000 hours guess?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


BargeI have a new neighbour.

Graham, the guy who owns Lilagina, also owns this and had it brought round last week.

The plan is this barge will hold his other boat, not Lilagina, so he can work on it.

It doesn't look much, but it has potential.

One big boat project is normally enough for most people!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bits and bobs

Bits and bobsI'm still working away on the electronics front as well, I've just not blogged about it much.

The image shows a chart comparing the last 12 hours of temperatures in the wheelhouse with those 24 hours previously.

The chart you see is from a website I've created, which is sent data regularly directly from Lady Jane.

There is not much going on with the rest of the website, which was actually originally setup for something I'm looking at for work,

If you are curious, the temperatures as at 5.30 yesterday are here: and the voltages here: (note that if you are reading this some time after the date of this post, things may well have moved on a bit).

This, in effect, opens up the way for any of Lady Jane's vital statistics to be made available real-time on the internet.

The possibilities here are endless.....

Work on this is on hold at the moment, hence the frozen time on the website, as I've been distracted with something else.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hydrogen fuel cell

Hydrogen fuel cellsSo yesterday was my chance to visit the Southampton Boat Show.

My main interest was to start looking into the various options for Radar on board Lady Jane.

I know it's a while before I really need it, but I figure if I start research now, by the time I actually buy we will be in good shape to travel anyway.

The one thing that caught my attention was an operating display of a hydrogen fuel cell generator by Toomer and Hayter who, curiously, promote themselves as quality marine upholsterers.

I've seen and heard snippets of hydrogen fuel cells, but have never actually seen one in the flesh.

I must say, the idea of a generator which has water and heat as it's only emissions, coupled with the fact that it's virtually silent, is certainly very interesting to me.

Looking on the BOC website, they say that this technology is scalable, so presumably any amount of power can be produced with sufficient supplies of hydrogen.

So couple the concept of a hydrogen fuel cell generator with a hydrogen generator on board.

This idea sounds expensive, but an interesting and very eco friendly possibility - effectively free power from water!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


No time for a proper blog entry today.

I'm at the Southampton Boat Show.

A full update tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

LED is still on

This is getting a little repetitive, I know.

Thing is if I don't mention it, people will think it's dead.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TLC for the rib

TLC for the ribIt's time to give the RIB a little care and attention.

This time it's the electrics that need attention again.

Intermittent problems with both the pump and the nav lights have now been traced to the switches and connectors on the dashboard.

Handily, a visit to the Southampton Boat Show later this week should save me a trip to the chandlers for shiny new switches.

If I get the chance, I'll also see about getting a new waterproof junction box.

With new switches fitted, and good connections, this should mean the end of a long standing problem with the RIB lights, and me set for the darker months ahead.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dawn on Lady Jane

Dawn on Lady Jane

Another day breaks over the River Itchen.

There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of a still, calm, dawn. Especially while on board Lady Jane.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Waverley engine

On my last post on the Waverley, I fear I did not do the old girl full justice with that little video clip from the engine room. I liked it as it showed the engine going in both directions, in response to the telegraphed commands to the engineer from the bridge.

This is a better clip, taken from the other side, showing the Waverley's engine in action while she is properly under way. You can also see the three engineers in attendance.

We were apparently doing about 14 knots when this was taken.

If you stood this close to Lady Jane's engine at 14 knots, you would not be able to hear yourself think!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

LED (again)

Yup, the LED is still going strong.

It's been well over 1000 hours on the same set of batteries.

I really did not expect it to still be going after all this time.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Waverley engine

Gleaming engine roomSo this is a shining example of how I'd like Lady Jane's engine room to look.

In my dreams!

If you look carefully at the picture, you will see that absolutely everything has been polished up. Even the various funnels and containers they are using.

The Waverley has a handy gallery from which you can view the engine running, so tourists like me can hang over the rails and gawp at the engine running.

The video clip shows the engine going both astern and forwards, in response to telegraphed signals, as the skipper manoeuvers alongside at Yarmouth pier.

FYI - the whoooo noise you hear in the video clip is apparently the used steam return pump operating and is completely normal.

The engineers and crew can be justifiably proud of how spick and span that engine room looks.

Monday, September 06, 2010


PS Waverley

By way of a complete change, Patch and I took a spin on the Waverley this weekend.

We had been invited down by friends who travel over to Yarmouth for Lunch on the Waverley every year. They've been doing it for the last ten years now.

Travelling on the worlds last seagoing paddle steamer is quite something, and an excursion I can highly recommend to anyone.

As it turned out, the former owner of the Waverley, and the man who made it all happen, was on board and is good friends with John, who had organised our trip, so it was very interesting to chat to him.

Being in Yarmouth with a group of friends for a good feed and plenty of drinks only added to the experience.

Thanks for the invite John, from both of us.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Cutting and grinding

Cutting and grindingWith all the studs cut off the deck, I've now made a start on the cutting off of some of the footings which were on the deck.

The concrete footing you see in the foreground will also go sometime soon.

The silvery bits in an otherwise bleak picture shows where I've been cutting and grinding what were steel posts which stood slightly proud of the wooden deck.

I'd cut four of them off, and ground flush two and three quarters of them, while feeling all my energy draining away from me between grinds.

You know the feeling, when trying to finish something physically hard. The rest breaks between goes gets longer and longer...

Anyway, at one point I turned round and suddenly remembered, to my disappointment, that I had another two of these posts to cut and grind at the top end of the deck.

At that point I gave up, packed up and went home!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

LED update

Led updateTime for an update on the LED, which is still shining as bright as ever some 900 hours later.

The picture shows three of the LED's from the bottom, side and top respectively.

I put a few, normal sized, pins in the picture to give you an idea of just how tiny these lights are, and hence why I keep banging on about them.

Now bear in mind that there are actually two lights in there - a green one and a red one - amazing.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


StudsWith the wood off, I can now get going with the work on the steel deck.

The first job, after cleaning up, is to cut back all the remaining studs.

Some of the rusty studs had been 'popped' off when the wood was ripped off, some were rusted away to sharp points on the deck, while the remainder were in pretty good shape.

All the studs needed cutting off before doing anything else, as they had a nasty habit of catching the unwary out underfoot. Especially the sharp ones!

Cutting the damn things took ages, with me finding the odd one long after I thought I'd got the lot.

A curious by-product of the cutting process was smouldering piles of sawdust in several unexpected places on deck, started by the sparks from the angle grinder (it's almost impossible to sweep sawdust up effectively in a strong breeze).

Maybe Ray Mears would be pleased to hear of one more method of making fire without matches? That may well come in handy - up in the Arctic tundra for example.

Not so good on deck, obviously.