Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Here is a quick clip showing LJ on her way down the slip, and back into the drink.

No sudden dramatic drop or anything.

That's John you can see pacing up and down, itching to get at the controls.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

End of

Lady Jane is now sold, for scrap. The deal was done yesterday.

Lady Jane

On the plus side, the combination of the sheer size of her and the current high price of scrap steel means I do at least walk away with some cash, less that I'd have liked but not a complete loss.

I've spent a busy week stripping out everything of value, including my tools and equipment, and stashing it in the container I'm renting at Hythe Marine Park.

The house is also bulging with all kinds of stuff from the galley and accommodation spaces.

The next stage will be to sort through all the stuff I've rescued, and separate it out into things I want to keep, things I will sell on eBay and things to bin.

The container is pretty full, so it's going to take a while...

Friday, July 29, 2011


A heartfelt thanks to everyone for their kind and supportive comments.

I'm sorry for not replying to you all as I normally do, but I've been busy getting all my tools and equipment off of Lady Jane.

It's amazing just how much I've amassed over the years.

By the time Lady Jane is sold, all my stuff will have been stripped out and the boats systems left pretty much like she was when I bought her.

She will go for scrap, as I see no end in sight to the spending, even after the hull repair is paid for. I just don't have that kind of money.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The end of Lady Jane

No, it's not a prank.

With Lady Jane now out of the water, and her hull properly cleaned off, it's obvious the hull is severely corroded. The jetwash alone blew a few holes in the hull!

It's a fact that the hull is too far gone for me to be able to afford a proper repair.

She is to be patched up, the good stuff stripped out, dumped back in the water and sold for scrap.

Obviously there is a lot to deal with here, which will take time.

It's a very sad moment, both for me and for all who have worked so hard on her, but the fact is one private person, with limited funds, cannot really stay on top of such a huge undertaking.

I have no real regrets, and consider I've had a huge amount of fun and learning over the last seven years. Plus, of course, I've made some valuable friends.

This is not the end of the dream, just the realisation that Lady Jane is not the vessel to deliver on the dream.

I'm already thinking of my next boat....

Friday, July 22, 2011


Inside insideI can hardly believe it myself, to see Lady Jane actually inside a shed!

Hythe marine park makes the old girl look quite small really.

There had been some discussion about possibly cutting the mast off, or at least trimming it, but in the end she fitted right under with no problem at all.

Only just though.

I'd say that if you have a boat in the Southampton or Solent area, and are looking to get her lifted out the water, speak to the guys here. If you mention that Tim from Lady Jane sent you, you are sure to get a good deal.

These guys are more than happy to assist with some of the work that I need doing, and are equally happy if I do stuff for myself.

The hull and engine room fittings work I'm leaving to the experts, in the long run it will be cheaper for me. The rest I'll do myself.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Early morning

Early morningHere is Southampton Water, first thing in the morning.

It is such fun having a different view from Lady Jane, for a change.

'Proper' work will commence shortly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2

Being at Hythe Marine Park provides an ideal opportunity for a bit of ship spotting.

Here you see the Queen Mary 2 nosing her way out of Southampton, bound for more northern climes.

I have spent a few pleasant evenings on my back deck in the late afternoon sun, with the marine radio on in the background, so I know which vessels are about, and a cool beer to hand, simply watching the world go by.

Friday, July 15, 2011


WorkHere's another view of Lady Jane, taken just after she was taken out of the water.

All that marine growth is now gone, built up over the years since I came round from Fareham over four years ago.

The people standing to the left there give some idea of the sheer size of the vessel.

I have quite a list of things that need doing.

Work, work, work. Fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Slipping and siding

Slipping and sidingWith Lady Jane now out of the water, the next step is to clean her bottom and assess what needs doing from there.

As soon as Lady Jane has been cleaned up, she will then be side-slipped, using the railway tracks you can see, into the big shed there.

Boats which don't have tall masts like mine go into a slightly less tall, but much larger, shed.

I'm very impressed by the apparent ease of the whole operation, and the folks at Solent Refit have done a sterling job so far.

Everything about this place is on such a vast scale, it's a little hard to believe. By their standards, Lady Jane is not that big!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The trip

New berth

I thought it might be fun to make a clip of our short jump across to Hythe last week.

This is really as a result of John's request to replay the journey.

It sort of worked from the webcam images...

The wobbly images are probably on account of the webcam being vibrated while the picture was being taken.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New berth

New berthHere is Lady Jane in her new, temporary, berth.

On Thursday we moved the old girl round from her mooring on the River Itchen and across Southampton Water to Hythe, where she is now alongside at Hythe Marine Park.

My special thanks to both John, skipper, and Duncan, first mate, who made it all look easy.

We were going to move Lady Jane on Friday, but the weather forecast was for much friskier winds than seemed sensible, so we jumped on Thursday instead.

The plan is to lift her out the water on the slip they have here later on this week, weather depending of course.

Hythe Marine Park is vast, and Lady Jane is completely dwarfed by her new surroundings.

I'm loving the new spot we are in.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The future

The futureI've seen the future, and it's an Arklow Future.

Looks quite green as well!

Monday, July 04, 2011

More primer

PaintedIt looks the same as the last picture, I know, but this is the deck after another coat of red primer.

The first coat was just single pack primer, painted simply to prevent the rust busting effort from going to waste with the rain looming.

This red is the proper Hempel two pack epoxy primer I usually use.

The eagle eyed webcam watchers amongst you have already noticed that this blog post is a little behind, and I've also now got a coat of grey down on the deck as well.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Mast off

No mast!I saw these guys going past the other weekend.

I can't help but wonder what happened there.

Whatever it was, it looks expensive!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deck paint

Deck paintI know I've done a lot of waffling on this blog recently, but work on the old girl has been plodding on.

Here you see the recently completed rust busting on the last bit of deck left exposed after the wood had been hacked off last year.

Just as the painting was finished, it started to rain. Good timing!

I've more paint on order, so can finish off this section properly sometime soon.

I'm thinking next I may break out the concrete on the edges by the scuppers, and then cut a notch lower in the scuppers, so I don't get those annoying puddles you see there.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fish out of water

LJ out of the waterI'm starting work on the 'fishing Lady Jane out of the water' project.

This is her last time she was properly taken out, by her previous owners.

First things first, I need to get my hands on some docking plans, as the yard need that for a safe haul out.

I've emailed the few people I've had contact with in Belgium, but no replies so far...

Any help I can get with this will be gratefully appreciated.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Crane off - again

Crane off againSo here is the crane that had been loaded onto that truck a few hours previously.

They had made it round a left hand bend then a right hander at the lights, where it fell off. Right by the bus stop and not far from where it had previously been moored all those years..

Thankfully nobody was hurt.

Oddly enough I had mentioned to a bystander earlier that they would have to be careful going round corners with that load on. It turns out it was the guy who had just sold the crane. He said it would be fine - Ha.

By the time I got there to take a picture, no less than three large lifting trucks, like you can see in the picture had descended on the scene, along with the police and a few council workers to assist.

I'm guessing that once all the bills from that lot are paid, what was a tidy earner for someone turned into an expensive nightmare.

As you can imagine, traffic in Southampton over the Northam bridge was a nightmare while they got the crane back on the bed of the truck again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Crane off

Crane offThe other weekend, on the Friday, I watched this crane being removed from it's barge.

It had been moored upriver from the Northam bridge for quite some time.

The crane, asides for it's tracks, is remarkably similar to the crane on the barge next to me. The barge by me is much smaller though.

It all looked like some operation, with the bulk of the work being performed with oxy-acetylene cutters and that big digger you see there.

The next morning, I watched it being loaded onto a big truck - using the big digger to nudge it up the ramp.

Apparently the crane is sold to someone in India, who will refurbish it and presumably use for the next fifty or so years.

The barge is destined for London, presumably pressed into service for some scheme relating to the Olympics there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

7 Years

This weekend marks the seventh year I've now had Lady Jane.

Obviously there have trials and tribulations along the way.

Overall though, it's been a lot of learning and a lot of fun.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More travel

I've been away travelling again.

Just back today.

Updates soon..

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Ex MFV StrenuousHere is the Strenuous.

She came by on Saturday, on her way to the public slip just opposite me.

I must say, although she looks somewhat of a project, her engine sounded fine. More than I can say for poor Lilagina next to me, who's engine no longer runs due to the ravages of time and the odd flooding down below.

The skipper of Strenuous, by himself, with some dextrous manoeuvring put her onto the public slip with no fuss.

As soon as the tide started going out, he was over the side giving her bottom a scrub down.

By Sunday she was back on her way up the river again.

Friday, May 27, 2011


ValiantHere is the Valiant.

She is just getting ready to go - now, live this Friday afternoon.

Not much else is happening on the river at the moment, though that will likely change as it's the start of a long weekend.

Hopefully the weather will improve somewhat.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shuttle plume

This is nothing to do with Lady Jane, or anything even remotely related, but looked so good I thought I'd have to post it.

Space Shuttle

It's the plume from the space shuttle Endeavour just after it's final mission launch.

The reverse of the above picture, from below, is here:

Space Shuttle

How good is that?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In the river...

In the riverI don't know what it was about that weekend, but a few boat crews ended up in the drink.

A little earlier Andy, Lee and myself fished a couple of blokes out of the river, and towed their boat back to their clubhouse. They had had enough for the day.

Unlike these ladies, who promptly got back into their rowing boat and carried on going as if nothing had happened.

Monday, May 23, 2011


RIBIt's not all work all the time on Lady Jane - especially at the moment when I'm so busy at work & just don't feel like doing much on the weekend when I'm on board.

This picture, taken the other weekend, shows Andy And Steve returning from a trip to get essential supplies for the BBQ that evening.

It's seems odd to me to see my RIB being driven by someone else.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I'm back from my travels, but busy with the inevitable catch-up.

Normal blogging will resume shortly....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I'm away travelling for my proper job, and very busy, at the moment, hence the silence.

Back soon...

Thursday, April 28, 2011


PaintedSo here it is.

The next section of deck rust busted, and a first coat of primer on.

A long day for all, but well worth it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


ProductionIt was a busy boat this last weekend.

We had a four day weekend last weekend, coupled with glorious sunshine.

With friends down to help, this was the perfect setup for loads to be achieved.

Here you see Steve, in the foreground, and Lee rust busting the port side of the deck.

I had gone over this section last year, but rust never takes time off.

Now it all has to be done properly again.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


WebcamThe eagle eyed amongst you would most likely have spotted the webcam image to the right of my blog page is now updating.

Yup, I've finally got my webcam up and running, and just today upgraded the camera to a slightly better model.

To see it in all it's glory, go to my webcam page here. It should now stay up more or less permanently, unless there is some kind of communication problem of course.

What I've done, is implemented the webcam on a Phidgets SBC (Mine is a slightly older model), the same SBC I use for reporting voltages, temperatures and pressures.

The reason for using an SBC is it hardly draws any power at all, yet does a respectable job as a Linux computer in it's own right.

It's all still a bit of a work in progress, of course. The story of my life I guess.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


RegattaWhat with one thing and another, it was a busy weekend on the River Itchen this last weekend.

Sunday they had a rowing regatta on, so the river was littered with all kinds of crews battling it out between them.

I could not really tell who was winning or not, but there was plenty of grunting and shouting going on.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Finally, LED practically dead

This is, most likely, the last post I'll make on the LED's progress.

The LED has been reduced to a tiny pinprick of light, even after bypassing the resistor.

So that's the end of that particular experiment.

Who would have thought that that light would have shone continuously for nearly nine months?

Some proper posts on their way shortly, promise.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


GullsComing back down the River Itchen the other evening, suddenly there were gulls everywhere.

There was nobody else around, and no reason that I could see that brought the gulls down.

Could be there was a school of fish, or something else interesting in the water I could not see.

Makes for a pretty good picture though:)

Monday, April 04, 2011


FireThere is always something interesting going on around me.

Here you see a huge fire in the yard near me.

As best as I can tell, without going there for a visit, I believe the yard is some kind of topsoil recycling place.

They seem to feed soil through a large drum shaped sieve, separating the rubbish from the soil.

I suppose they had not disposed of their rubbish in a while..

It took the fire brigade about three hours, or so, to finally put it out.

Friday, March 11, 2011


SurfingI've seen this guy 'surfing' down the River Itchen a couple of times now.

I'll bet it's not as easy to do as he makes it look.

I suspect I'd end up in the drink the first boat that goes past me.

This does look fun though.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


SpitfireSaturday brought more aircraft related diversions, in the form of a Spitfire this time.

This flight was in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the first Spitfire flight. Southampton was where it all originally started.

There were a good crown of people braving the cold up on the Itchen bridge, and probably far more at Mayflower park in Southampton itself, for what was a very quick fly-by.

Not much of a picture, but the plane was over me and gone so very fast. I had spent some time fiddling with the camera settings for that perfect shot, but inadvertently used the wrong metering mode so only ended up with a silhouette.

Ah well, next time.....

Monday, March 07, 2011

Coastguard helicopter

Coastguard helicopterFriday night's peace and quiet was somewhat disrupted with this Coastguard helicopter overhead, up and down the river, while it was searching.

From time to time people end up in the river at night, for whatever reason, and search and rescue, including the Coastguard helicopter, get called out to search the Itchen.

Where it's obvious they are searching my stretch of the river I feel an obligation to keep a lookout myself, thinking that if I had fallen in and got swept away I'd like to believe that others were keeping an eye out for me.

Fortunately, for all concerned, this occurrence is relatively rare. It also serves as a reminder to me that extra care must be taken at night, especially when the water is so cold.

In the event, it turns out that this call was a hoax and to add insult to injury someone also saw fit to point a laser at the helicopter cockpit.

Shame on them.

Friday, March 04, 2011


BargeHere's a picture of the barge which is moored just in front of me.

You can see the wood cut from my deck neatly stacked down below there, serving as ballast for the thing.

If you look at the end furthest away, you can see a notch cut into the deck. This is to accommodate the yacht the owner is planning on balancing on the barge.

The plan is the barge acts as a floating workshop.

It will be interesting to see what progress is made there as time marches relentlessly on.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Christoph M again

Christoph MA little bit more on the Christoph M.

Often when these boats tie up and the tide goes out, they end up listing somewhat as they come to rest on the bottom.

This is certainly the case with the Christoph M, but she also appears to have slid out sideways to deeper water on the muddy bottom.

If you look closely at the gangplank, you will see it's somewhat shorter than the gap there.

This used to happen to my platform in Fareham. The tension on my ropes worried me in the beginning, so the crew had to have been somewhat concerned for their mooring lines, and the possible consequences of them parting.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


RibsNow we are coming up to warmer weather, thoughts are turning to exploring more in the rib.

Obviously mine is not as posh as these.

Whizzing around the Solent in the wet and freezing cold can hardly be described as fun.

A little sunshine appears however.....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christoph M

Christoph MOn Sunday the Christoph M arrived, performing what must be the most unusual manoeuvre I think I've ever seen.

About 100 yards from her destination, with a huge clattering she let go her anchor, and continued to drag it all the way to her berth.

Needless to say, coming alongside took far longer than is usual for these big vessels.

The only reason I can think they would dump their anchor like that is if the vessel had no reverse gear.

No sign of her using a bow thruster either.

Monday, February 21, 2011



A cold, damp, misty but very calm day on the river.

It's very rare for the Itchen to be so completely calm.

Not even any birds fishing to disturb the river's mirror smooth surface.

Friday, February 18, 2011

24V Lighting

24V LightingI was going to post something different, but have already had a few questions and emails on lights.

Anyway, you can see the first pair of bunk lights there at the top left of the image. The wood coving also neatly covers the metal gussets (Rob). Oh, and these are only initial templates, not the finished article.

The lights I opted for were Dioder lights from Ikea, really only because they caught my eye when I was last there. The lights are a group of LED's arranged in a very neat, thin, housing.

To give you an idea of how thin the housing is, if you look at the far end of the bunk you will see the next strip ready to be mounted at the head of the bunk. The shiny silver bits are the lights.

The Ikea Dioder lights come with a 12V transformer, so connecting a pair of these lights, in series, into an array very neatly gives me 24V lights in the bunk with no need for the transformer.

What I've done is setup two 24V arrays, independently switched, one at the head of the bunk for reading in bed and one at the side of the bunk for lounging about against the hull reading during the day.

Overall, I'd say that the lights are fine for the bunk area, and for reading, but I had hoped that they would be bright enough to also use as the main lights in the accommodation space.

Testing, with a second pair of arrays in the deckhead, has shown the lights are just not quite bright enough. No matter, I saw some bigger LED lights at Ikea, so will look more closely at those (voltages for a start).

If that fails, I will go to Portsmouth, to Furneaux Riddall, to see what their 24V lights look like in the flesh.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wires everywhere

Wires everywhereAndy has been down for another visit.

An inevitable consequence of Andy's presence is wires hanging out all over the place. At least while he is there that is.

The plan I have is to use 24V lighting everywhere I possibly can on board, and low energy lighting at that.

The thinking being there is no point transforming the voltage from 24 to 240 for lights that are likely to be on for some time when I can use 24V for little or no extra effort.

Things look somewhat dire in this picture, but all the wiring was back together by the end of the weekend.

Things finished a little late, so I have loads of tidying up to do when I'm next on board.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


DestinationI thought it would be an idea to get a glimpse of the final product I'm working towards.

Here you see how the bunk can look with a mattress and quilt all in place.

You can also see I've been experimenting with lighting, though that's not by any means a final decision.

I can report that it's extremely comfortable to lie across the bunk, up against the curve of the hull, reading.

Further testing reveals the need for bedside shelving, to store essentials such as cups of tea and phones/music players.

Oh yes, and some kind of storage close to hand, for current clothes and suchlike, would also make life so much easier.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bunks painted

Bunk paintedThe inevitable coat of white paint.

It already looks so much better after a first coat of paint.

Not much more to say about this, other than "watch this space".

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

NASA Green Building

I see this: NASA Green Building and think this is kind of like having a solar powered oil rig!

I'm thinking just lighting the fuse on one of the rockets they refuel must pretty well cancel out all of their green effort entirely.

For the purists out there, I mean with the amount of energy it takes to make the fuel they ultimately use.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Battery state

Battery stateStrong winds = free power for me.

We have been somewhat battered by winds these past few days, though it's all died down again now.

Plenty of wind translates into plenty of power for me.

I've not had to run a generator at all this last weekend, and for most of the time the battery voltage stayed above the magical 25.8V figure I need for the battery refreshers to work.

It's been years that I've had the battery refreshers, but even now the charge the battery holds seems to be ever so slowly improving.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Bunk primed

Bunk primedI'm back!

This winter has been longer and colder than I'd like. In turn this, along with being desperately busy at work, has impacted how much I've wanted to do when down on the boat on the weekends.

It's easy to find reasons to stay snuggled up in the wheelhouse bunk reading when the temperature outside is below zero and the heating system on the boat has to run virtually full time in a vain attempt to keep the cold out.

Anyway, work on board has not halted completely. Here you see evidence of the bunks being primed, in preparation for painting.

The idea here is the bunks are painted and sealed, helping prevent any spills, or whatever, from getting to anything which may be stored below the bunks.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


KindleFather Christmas was good to me this year - Here you see my new Kindle.

After my recent travels, and lots of questions, it seemed obvious I should get a Kindle (Thanks Dick). So far I've not been disappointed.

Amazon say of the Kindle that they want the technology to disappear, and the reading experience to remain. Recently, while reading a book on my Kindle I found myself trying to turn the page like I would on a book, so I can say that they have probably achieved that with me.

I like the fact that it just works, including downloading books wherever I am.

I don't like what seems to be extraordinary high prices for the e-books you do buy.

What is interesting to me is the range of free books available. The section you see in the picture is from Einstein's theory of relativity.

I see that, asides for when I'm travelling, the Kindle will be great for reading all the books in a series. This is something that has long been an issue for me with library books.