A follower of this blog and UK canal boat enthusiast came to visit yesterday.
Peter, a retired Dutch tanker bargemaster came from all the way from France (en route to IWA rally) to see the boat and the yard which is like a working museum .
Fortunately there were plenty of interesting boats (old and new), engines and goings on to make his visit enjoyable if brief.
Also visiting the yard to see progress on his boat in John Sanderson's paint dock were Neil E (nb Lodestar) and his accomplice Mick Edge (nb Bass).
They were in good form but my back is waterproof.
Anyway what's wrong with red overalls and a pink camera.............
I've got a couple of plum trees in my garden which are groaning under the wieght of fruit.
I'm sick of eating them with every meal, so are my neighbours and the dog won't eat them.
I've copiously dished out plums around the yard so everyone will be regular for a while.
To avoid the Birmingham rush hour I've recently stayed later at the yard had a sandwich and drink and relaxed for a bit in a folding chair.
It's nice to sit in the sun and soak up the atmosphere of the yard when it goes quieter.
Only Ian Kemp was still working, fitting out a traditional back cabin..
Once more he gave me some interesting observations on the job.
I'll put some pictures of his work on in a future post. It's worth seeing......
Here's under the tug deck in primer applied a week ago.
And here it is now with a coat of gloss added.
The hull sides will be left in primer as they will be covered in spayed PU foam insulation.
The bilges and beneath the floor will not be seen after the floor has gone down so really any colour would do and it would not matter if several colours were used but I couldn't bring myself to compromise and decided to do it all one colour.
I wasn't too fussy about the colour so long as the paint was good quality. This is Johnstones Professional Gloss from my local paint centre obtained for about 20% of the list price as it had been mis mixed to slightly the wrong shade. It was cream but I put some green and blue in it and this is the result.
Very tasteful to lay ballast on.
Yesterday I also primered the hull sides from the cabin front position back to the engine room.
The top 3" have been left as Dave will be welding the cabin sides on and the paint would burn off there and the baseplate has been left for now as it will be getting a lot or wear and walking on.
In reponse to the failed camera flash and blurred photos on the previous entry I have bought a new camera as the old one was beyond economic repair. I'm not really into photgraphy so all I wanted was decent pictures at minumum cost.
There must be 1000 different compact digital cameras on the market and the prices of particular models hardly vary between retailers. However I did notice in my 10 minutes of market research that a Nikon Coolpix was significantly cheaper at Tesco............
provided I had a pink one.
A proper Barbie pink one as used by teenage girls everywhere -- if the reviews are to be believed.
Well, being a frugal Yorkshireman that's what I've got.
It takes pictures just the same as the macho gumetal and black ones and I've got more money to spend at the pub, or more likely nowadays, Midland Chandlers.
Before he starts building the cabin Dave wanted to run through and confirm the measurements.
Although the layout and measurements have not been changed for some time this is worth doing before steel is cut and erected just to flush out any glitches which may have been overlooked.
It is also much easier when you can work full size on the actual boat rather than a plan.
Although the internal bulkhead positions are the main consideration there are may other items impacting on this process.eg
Steel sheet lengths for roof and sides which affects where joins are.
Position and style of doors and hatches, portholes, ventilators, roof features, boxes, collars etc.
Position of stiffeners and other steel components.
Lengths of line out sheeting and features.
A minor mistake spotted at this stage could save some serious head scratching or compromises later.
We measured and marked up the boat with Dave including all the variables above at a speed I could barely follow. All I could do at this stage was hold the tape, agree measurements and try to keep up.
This was repeated from either end of the cabin and all the marks made on the gunnels matched exactly ie to the millimetre.
Yesterday was also a significant day for Steve Goddard and Keith Ward as their boats Siskin (a Cowburn remake) and Hasty (a steam powered tunnel tug) were craned into the water at Brinklow.
Yesterday was the first time I did any work on the boat as opposed to poncing about taking photos and discussing the design.
My mission was to clean out the dust and debris under the front deck and get a coat of primer on.
As usual when working in a confined space with a roller I also got myself well painted.
I did this whilst Dave was still welding guards on outside so it was a bit hot, smelly and noisy in there.
This is now the view forward showing the gas locker. The grey primer looks very nice doesn't it.
I hope it sticks as well to the steel as it did to my head.
The base plate will be glossed and the hull sides will be covered in spray foam.
The object of yesterday's visit was mainly to get some paint on under the newly constructed front decks and gas locker and review the internal layout prior to construction of the cabin.
The flash on my camera failed so I have only a few photos taken in difficult (dark) conditions without the flash, the result of this being that they are a bit blurred and don't do justice to the subject.
Here's the completed fore deck, with gas locker below, deck beam and tug deck with 25 x 30 inch hatch.
The shape of the hull and deck length now shows more clearly.
This shows the hatch in the tug deck with the cut outs for the prisms closely alongside. This position should allow good light below whilst being less likely be walked on.
The deck is grooved to similate planked construction.
A closer view of the deck and cant ends.
Foredeck and deck beam detail.
Cants and guards are still to be added to the foredeck.
I'm having a bit of trouble with my naughty computer and internet connection recently so please excuse the lack of narrative for the previous few posts. I've tried to edit it in but it just goes off into cyberspace.
For those who are wondering where a month went without the shape of the boat changing much Dave has put on 150m of guards welded both side which is about 1000 feet of welding on guards alone.
Add to this the insides of hull seams, gunnels etc plus all the dressing off and you can soon see where all the time went.
I forgot to take a photo of the very nice stainless steel water tank supplied by Roy Willoughby actually delivered the day before he was due to start making it. (how often does that happen!!?)
On this visit I finally met Mike and Jan Friend preparing to take their boat away for blasting. They are the proud and lucky owners of the Northwich replica shown on some of the previous posts.
Last but not least:
A warm welcome to our readers from Brinklow.
I hope you enjoy this blog as much as we do looking at your creations.
This is a sketch of how the front deck will look showing the position of the gas locker hatch, 25x30 inch access hatch and 2 prism lights either side. The prisms should be out of the way in this location whilst still giving good light under the deck.