Thursday 30 December 2010

Bathroom Ceiling

Today was the first day in ages that I didn't have the heating on while working in the boat.  Sure it's cold and damp out but suddenly +5ÂșC seems positively warm after the weeks of freezing weather we've had.

Only having a few hours to work on it today I decided this would be just about right to put the ceiling up in the bathroom.

I needed to cut another hole in the roof for the extractor fan.  This was fun (not).  It meant plasma cutting through then roof and into the foam insulation.  To catch any ejector I wedged a bucket part filled with water under the cutting area.  I was told the foam was flame proof by being self extinguishing.  Plasma cutting steel attached to it would be a pretty good test of the claim.

There is a fair bit of smoke damage / staining where the bucket retained the ejector, but as you can see no mass fire.  This was exactly how it ended up with no extinguishing required.  I conclude that it is flame retardant and self extinguishing, but it still makes a shed (or boat) load of smoke.  I'm not sure if it's toxic to any degree but its pretty stinky.  I should point out that my wife served as fire watch officer as I cut the whole.  She can certainly confirm the smoke and smell. 

Once the hole was cut it was time to fit the drain pipe liner for the extractor.  More by luck than judgment it was a perfect interference fit as seen in the photo above.  All that was needed then was the ceiling its self.

This is a white UPVC board with a wood grain patten embossed into it.  It's the same one as I used in the motorhome I did.  Its a very nice quality board and has been commented on many times.  I like it and so chose to use it again in the boat bathroom.

I abraded the back of the board and used adhesive and hidden staples to attach to the wooden battens.  Once fixed,  the extractor was installed.

The extractor is 12v AC which means it needs a 240v transformer but needs to switch when the 12v DC lights are operated.  This will be done with a relay.  It has to be used with the transformer as this also has the over-run timer and control built in.

Finally today I connected the plumbing to the towel rail.  The CH system is now ready for a wet test.

Friday 24 December 2010

Seasons Greatings

                           to all my blog readers.

Thanks for taking the time to read and follow, and thanks for the comments.

Monday 20 December 2010

Bathroom Tiled

I tiled the floor a few days ago and got the shower tray fixed down and waste installed.  The floor tiles were fairly easy and I'm not the greatest tiler.

Knowing this and how bad tiling can look if its not done properly I got a local tiler in to do the walls.  With tiling its all about the setting out, thing is if its done right it never notices.

I am delighted with the job.  Thanks Marc.

 Still to be grouted

The colours haven't reproduced very well, but you get the idea.  140 tiles were estimated and we were left with only 1 tile with just a bit of cutting waste.  All the adhesive used is the flexible type and is vibration tolerant.

All the tiles and adhesive weighed 305kg the shower tray weighs 25kg, and the glass door is 34kg.  All of this will be added to the weight spreadsheet.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Been On A Bit Of A Drive Today

I got up at 4am to head off to Newark to pick up my calorifier. I made good time on the trip and with a hour to spare before they opened I indulged myself with a good ol' British fried breakfast in a proper workmans cafe.  Facebook Places Linky

Teddy one of my Airedales explains " This is a 120L calorifier 900mm x 450mm twin coil with 3bar rating pressure releif valve and a 1kw 90° C immersion heater with 50mm PU spray foam lagging."

Next stop was Birmingham to collect the domestic batteries. Linky  6 x 2 volt traction batteries providing 1000A/h at 12v.  Total weight 325kg.  Good job the car has air suspension!  After getting the tyres blown up a bit the added weight wasn't noticeable at all.

I also got the engine start battery and the bow thruster battery.

 2 x 620amp cranking power

Then it was off to Worcester to collect the oak internal window frames and liners from Linky

This is 1 of 8 + 2 port hole trims

Total trip was 498 miles and I was out for 11½ hours.  No traffic hold ups either!  Most unusual for the UK.

Finally I would like to share a picture with you.

This is our second lounge which we use when we have guests.  Well we did, until I turned it into a charndlerey store.  Someone in the house is not amused! and now until I fit the calorifier thats in the main lounge bay window.

Monday 13 December 2010

Under Pressure

Today I cleaned out the starboard fuel tank fitted the filler cap and bunged up all the holes.  I have 2 flow, 1 return and one drain off hole in each tank and a breather on the rope bollards.

The fuel tanks have to be pressure tested at 3psi (20kPa) for 1.5 seconds per liter capacity for the RDC.  I know from metering previously that this tank is 280L.  So it needed to hold pressure for at least 7 minutes.  I'm please to say it held it for well over an hour when I disconnected the guage to test the C/H plumbing.

I actually tested at 4psi just to be sure

Then it was on the the C/H plumbing test.  A much higher test pressure is used here.

Testing at 3 bar

Currently this is losing a small amount of pressure an hour but the technical advise line at Speedfit said that an air only test is not really the right test on their products so was not surprised at the small drop in pressure.   I think I will fill it with water and re-test it.  I'll report back.

Friday 10 December 2010

Bit More Done

I have been having a debate about portable gas fires on boats on another blog.  I concede they are not the very best solution, but I can't find any evidence for tragedies where a portable gas heater was cited .  However there are plenty to be found involving solid fuel fires.  So with that in mind I though I'd share the heater that I am using to warm the boat at the moment.  This should raise the game and comments :-)

Its running on low here at a mere 58kw and pumping out 1600 cu/m an hour. About 10 minutes is plenty every 3-4 hours.  In fact I left it on for 20 minutes this morning  while I took a phone call outside.  I needed to strip the the waist to work in there. I had to give up on the electric heaters. They're way too slow.

On the gas theme I have fitted the auto changeover and put the first part of the gas main in to the boat.

I have been working on the central heating as well. I have connected the port and starboard flow and returns together, and put the tails out to the engine bay where the heater is and I have started to connect the radiators in preparation for a pressure test.  I should pick up my calorifier next week so I can finish the heating system.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Plasma Cutter To The Rescue Again

After cutting out the old step with the plasma cutter I got the replacement pressed and fitted now. 

The next part of the steps will be made from wood and will be on the inside of the wall.  The outside (cavity side) of the wall will attach to the face of the lower section of the steps. 

Today the show tray finally came . I got the "key hole" cut out for the shower waste trap but there was part of the central beam of the boat in the way.  How else could this be cut out in a few minutes without setting fire to the wood floor?

I love my plasma cutter :-)

Thursday 2 December 2010

Snow Stopped Play

OK I could have done some work inside, but to be honest, my wife had a snow day because her work was shut and I thought Na!  

I had a meeting with the kitchen manufacturer though, and they will make the carcases to fit the profile of the boat if I provide them a template.
Also I think I have sorted out the batteries and calorifier and the waste tank and diesel tank senders are on order.  Finally the correct inverter charger arrived. 
Victron Phoenix Multiplus 12/3000/120-50

So not a wasted day, and I finally got to watch Avatar as well.

Tuesday 30 November 2010


Since changing the design of my steps due to the toilet tank not fitting I have had to rethink the stairs from the stern deck.

Having never made a stair case before I decided to google it.  Within a few listed results I came a cross a staircase calculator.

I put in the required dimensions and after a bit of fiddling with the settings I got a plan to make the stringer.  I had to fiddle with the settings as the calculator is designed for a building and as we all know boat stairs tend to be steeper.

  I marked it out on a off cut of ply

 I cut it out
 Low and behold it worked!

I had to cut a slot in it to go over the bulkhead.  This will now serve as the final template for the staircase.  The first 2 steps down will be folded steel.  This  will finish behind the ply lining, the lower 3 will be made from wood and will join on in front of the ply lining.  All the runners and risers will look the same when finished.  I plan on putting the consumer units under the stairs and making one of them removable for easy access.

Monday 29 November 2010

Insulation Works

I thought I'd share this picture with you.  I have  a 2.5kw electric heater in the boat.  By mid afternoon the roof looked like this.  The heater is sufficient to keep it warm enough to comfortably work inside.

You can clearly see where the roof bearers transmit the heat into the roof.  Just goes to show how well the insulation is working.  I am puzzled as to why there is no snow on the outside of the handrails as there is exactly the same good insulation under all that area.

Sewage Pipe Installled

Today was the given over to fitting the sewage pipe.  With macerator toilet runs its better to have the rise near the toilet not near the end.  My pipe run therefore needed to be as high up under the gunwale as possible.  I had planed this when I was battening up.  Heres how I fixed it in place.

First I needed to make some clamps to hold the tube in place.

Using a hole saw I drilled pairs of 2x1 batton to make the support and fixing brackets below.

Here they are clamping the tube in place

Friday 26 November 2010


Has been the general theme this week.

First it was the central heating plumbing.  Then the space I had planned for the toilet tank proved to small by about 40mm.  It would have fitted if it was offered in form the inside out, but there is a bulkhead in the way.  It wouldn't fit from the engine bay because of the geometry of the swim which I must admit I hadn't considered. There was 3 optins to fix this.   Get another tank made, get the current tank altered or remove the step I put in the porch I made a while back.  All of these options had appeal and otherwise, but eventually it was clinched when it became apparent I could get a bigger calorifier in if I removed the step.  That and it was the quickest and cheapest option.  It will mean a different design of internal staircase, but thats not a problem at all.  So armed with trusty plasma cutter, out it came in about 1/2 hour.  All I have to do now is remember its not there and that forgetting this will result in a painful reminder.

While the plasma cutter was out I cut the hole out for the stern tube.

Today was so cold the frost on the boat didn't thaw all day.  Its been so cold that the water I had in the fuel tanks form a while back was frezzing up so I decided to drain it out of each tank.

You can just see it coming from the drain points each side

With the plasma cutter still out I enlarged the holes for the diesel filler caps I have chosen. Finally I have mounted the Mikuni heater so I can finish the C/H plumbing.  

The SS mounting bracket was spot welded in 4 places and to me these seemed to keep it together so I took it to a friend with SS welding set up and got him to fully weld the joints .

My plan was to run this up to test it then take it out again, but I think it might be pressed into service  with a temporary tank to keep me warm inside the boat while I work on it as the winter is defiantly settling in.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Groundhog Day

I have re-plumbed the central heating with 22mm flow and return.  My knees, well the left one, hurts again now.

Monday 22 November 2010

Waste Of Bloody Time That Was

Having spent a fair bit of time last week fitting the plumbing for the radiators its now all got to come out.   WHY? I hear you say.

Well simple.  The Mikuni heater arrived on Friday with its fitting instructions clearly stating the flow and return must be 22mm.  This was even mentioned independently when I posted on CWF.  On previous advice I was told on such short runs 15mm flow and return would be ample.

So this morning I rang Mikuni technical, and was told that 22mm was the spec.  They did say 15mm would probably be OK but if I experienced problems with the unit short cycling (this buggers them up) they would not be interested if its not done to spec.  So faced with the option of it possibly working, or once the boat is up and running it not working I decided on ballance it was better to rip it out now and start again.  Ho Hum!

On the plus side the starboard side panels were not glued on but the port ones were and with Sickaflex.  That was a fun 2 hours removing them.  Fortunately, with care I managed to remove them without damage.  If you know how well Sickaflex bonds you will understand this. 

On the plus side its simply a case of running it in 22mm.  All the holes are still in the right position as are the pipe supports.  On the down side its another £175 of plumbing bits and I now have best part of 50m of 15mm speedfit pipe in various lengths looking for a home and largish bag of 15mm speedfit fittings.  Ho Hum!

Friday 19 November 2010

Its Been A Expensive Week

I am determined to buy as much as possible before the VAT rate rises in January.  

This week I had to pay my engine and bowthruster and all other parts for the movement & steering of the boat.  That was the big one!  I have also ordered the Victron Multiplus inverter charger, the bathroom, including the shower, toilet and tanks, cabinets and big heated towel rail.  The Mikuni was also paid for this week and was delivered today.

We have decided on the kitchen and just waiting for the quote for that.  Screwfix have done well this week as also.  75m of 15mm speedfit pipe 25m of 22mm pipe and a big bag of fittings.

I have also order a fair bit of "extras" from the Vetus catalogue.  And finally I have been told the oak window frames are ready and need to be paid for.

Phew.  I was going out for a drink, but can't afford it now ;-)

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Its Been A Year Now

Well folks, its been a week over a year now since the hull arrived home.  It would have been nice to have done this post on the day but I only just thought today it must be about a year.

If you haven't read to the start of the blog, this is what it looked like then.

I am very pleased with progress so far.  I initially planned it would be a 2 year project.  Without wishing to jinx anything I would hope for it to be ready to float by late spring or early summer 2011. 

I have nearly everything I need to finish the boat either on order or in stock.  Its my intention to have as much as possible paid for before the VAT rate goes up.  Our second lounge looks like a chandlers shop.

Friday 12 November 2010

Back On Track Again

Following the radiator debacle I am now back on track.  I have all the radiators hung and the plumbing on the port side in.  I have used Speedfit for the plumbing.  Both lines tested and they held 2 bar for 30 minutes each. So, happy with that I have now started fixing the side panels permanently.

The mess on the floor is insulation cut away for the pipes

I have also wired up the port side mains and put in the bow thruster control wire and a heavy duty 7 core cable for the tunnel lights and horn and a few spares.

 Used cable ties stapled to the baton to secure the wires

Sockets are temporary

The wiring will be zoned and fused to 16amps each.  There'll be bedroom, lounge, kitchen sockets, individual kitchen appliances, washing machine which will be acced forn the bathroom and an external  MCB RCD unit for the rear deck.
I have decided to use 12v lighting throughout so these and the other 12v appliances will be on their own consumer unit.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Yesterday Was A Bad Day

Yesterday was wasted day as a result of the radiator company suppling 2 different pattens of radiator. 

I can't tell you how pissed I was about this, especially as I didn't find out until I had already hung the first 3 and then they couldn't confirm if they could match the wrong ones.  Turns out they can't, so this morning I spent 2 hours searching down the right ones elsewhere.  Also the boat had stared leaking from the roof. 

I thought the boat was fairly well sealed up.  I had waterproof tape (supposedly) sealing the mushroom vent holes in the roof.  Although I hadn't finished the hatch, it too up until a couple of days ago was keeping the weather out.

Then we got a shed load of rain, strong N.E'ly winds and this pushed water under the tape and in the gaps around the hatch.

So today I have silliconed plastic sheet over the holes and finished building the hatch.  I suppose I should have finished it before now but there was no pressing need.  So while waiting for the replacement rads it seemed the obvious job to do.

I feel a bit happier this evening.

Edit to add.......  Looking out of the window this morning I think I'm going to be glad I did what I did yesterday.  Its howling and raining big time.  Probably was a good thing after all that the rads didn't come otherwise I still wouldn't have finished the hatch.

Friday 5 November 2010

Diesel Heater Ordered

After a lot of reading and deliberation I have decided that this is the heater for me.
It's basically a small central heating boiler that runs off the boats normal diesel fuel.  There are several makes out there, indeed I even have one in my car and it seems all have their fans and foes.  Seems this one has more of the former from the feedback I've had.

Lets hope I have made the right choice.

Now the science bit:-


  • Output:7kw (Hi) 2.4kw (Lo)
  • Voltage: 12V or 24V DC.
  • Power consumption(L/H): (W) 56 (Hi) 49 (Lo)
  • Fuel Consupmtion (L/H): 0.86 (Hi) 0.43 (Lo)
  • Control Temperature: 78 - 80 C
  • Weight: 7.5kg
  • Dimensions: 384L x 178W x 200H (mm)

    1. Description.

    The Mikuni MX60 is a 7kw diesel fired water heater which is suitable for providing hot water for heating purposes via radiators or matrix heaters and also domestic hot water via a calorifier. The Mikuni MX60 is fully automatic in operation featuring glow plug ignition and microprocessor control for full temperature regulation. The heater will cycle automatically between 7kw and 3.5kw depending upon demand, this ensures that the MX60 is very economical in operation. Suitable for boats from 40ft to 50ft.

    2. Marine Applications.

    The Mikuni MX60 is supplied pre-wired with anti – vibration mounts to prevent any resonance through the boat. The kit is complete with full wiring loom and thermostat, exhaust system c/w silencer, lagging and brass through hull fitting, fuel system with copper fuel line, shut off cock and tank standpipe. The water circulation pump is built into the heater body which has a spigot to accept 19mm rubber heater hose.

    3. Installation.

    The fitting kit that is supplied with the Marine version of the Mikuni MX60 heater has been designed to keep installation as simple and quick as possible. The electrics just require connecting to a 12/24 volt D.C. supply and then the cable routing for the timer/stat and on/off switch. All the necessary cables and fuses etc are supplied in the kit. The exhaust pipe is only 28mm diameter O.D. and is manufactured from convoluted flexible stainless steel which is then fitted with a heat resistant glass fibre sleeve. The exhaust pipe is taken by the most direct route to the flue terminal via the stainless steel silencer. The fuel system for the heater is 3/16th copper to comply with the current boat safety scheme and includes stop cock and all necessary compression fittings to complete the installation.

    Kit Contents

    7kw Water Heater, control box, fuel pump, water pump, 3.3 metres fuel pipe, 2 metres exhaust, s/s exhaust silencer, brass exhaust terminal, switch panel, anti-vibration mounts and all clips, fixings etc. with 7 day timer/thermostat

Thursday 4 November 2010

Walls Done.

Its been a few days of making the bulkhead walls, not whole days of course, I have been shopping for ply again and B&Q for radiators and pipe, this once again involved making more templates.  Fortunately the hull is made from computer guided laser cut steel which has very precise location marks.  The result is each side is virtually (within a couple of mm) identical so the template made for one side worked for the other.

This is the template for the front walls
Front starboard


I have left these long as they will be trimmed once the front doors are done.

 Port Side

Rear bulkhead

And finally
The lounge / bathroom wall (bedroom /bathroom wall is the same)

I'm glad thats done I don't like woodwork at the best of times.  I know ply is not "real" wood for the purists but that and MDF is pretty much my limit.  I just think of it as sheet steel, just different cutting tools.
I have spent a lot of time on the loo today, but more of that later.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

What's In The Box?

Rupert's not sure

Still under wraps

My Engine & Gearbox
Vetus DT44 with Hurth ZF45

Sunday 31 October 2010

I have been shopping.

I have been away for the week in the motorhome.  On my travels I picked up some goodies for the boat.

B&Q are revamping their lighting dept. and are clearing out old stock.  This was exactly what I wanted so I picked up 43 light fittings for £45 with 240v bulbs.  These will be replaced with 12v LED's.  

My local B&Q didn't have enough of them so I rang customer services and found what I needed at a store 95miles from home, but right on the first leg of or trip needing only a 5 mile detour of the main route.

I also picked up some 12v recessed mini LED lights that will be used under the gunwale for mood lighting for £15 for a string of 10 inc. a transformer. 
I also picked up a Whale Gulper 220 and a Jabsco domestic supply pump.