Thursday 30 September 2010

Fuel Tank Capacity And A Leak

Armed with my water meter I decided to see what the fuel tanks would hold.  The Starboard one is 280L the Port 326.  So I have a tad over 600L

The bad news was the Port tank leaks !!!  It was quite a leak as well and wasn't easy to trace.  In the end it turned out to be in a bloody awkward place meaning upside down welding in a confined space.  My favorite!  

At this point I want to make it clear that I didn't make the fuel tanks.  They are an integral part of the shell I purchased.  Given the quality of the rest of the welding and construction of what I bought I am very supprised.  

I have welded and stopped 99.9% of the leak but its still tracking a bit so I need to to a bit more welding.  I will probably need to cut the drainage channel to get a weld behind it as the tracking is coming from the tiny gap between the tank and this channel.

 The small leaks

The first repair attempt.  Awkward to get to

How glad am I that I decide to fill them with water to to find the capacity?

This could have been diesel
had I not checked it with water and red food dye!

Thursday 23 September 2010

More Jobs Done

After much consideration I've decide not to insulate the floor.  Doing this would reduce airflow in the bilges which is considered a bad thing to do.  I asked about this on the canal forum and the replies were pretty much 50/50 on to insulate or not.  So in the end it was my call.  All of the reasons discussed made sense though.

I've now finished the gas locker and storage lockers on the port side of the hatch. All the lockers will have decorative hard wood lids and the tall locker will have doors on.  The middle part is the helm and instrument panel.  Parts are removed for priming so it looks a bit odd.

Gas Locker

I have painted the bottoms of the floor ply with bitumen to seal it.  The floor in the bathroom is now fixed down and the temporary fix of the wall has now been made permanent.

Blacking the board backs

This is the best view I can get of the bathroom area. Its 1525mm x aprox 2440mm.  I say approx as I haven't finalised this and its not critical at the the moment.

Looks a lot narrower than it really is

The toilet arrived today.  So I can move this around to set up a design. Original plan was to have a bath, then a shower bath, but its now back to a shower.  We will have the washing machine in the bathroom now.

I got to work on the bilge as well this week.  It was pretty grim as it had been open to the elements for 2 years before I bought it so the paint was shot to bits, then its had all sorts of crud in it from the bushes around.  So when I finally cleared it out it was pretty stinky. 

I ground it back to bare metal where the water had damaged the original paint and have now re-primed it.  It looks a whole lot better now

A fair bit of rain had previously got in the engine bilge because the self draining decks weren't working properly.  There was a big dip so the water was finding its way in where the removable bar goes.  I have jacked the back to level and glued the removable bar in.  Just need some rain now to test it.  The weekend is coming so I suppose we'll get some then for a change.

Monday 20 September 2010

Size Is Relative

I was trawling the net as you do and found this picture.  This is about the size of boat I am building (the small one in the picture). In fact the one I am building is a foot wider, not that on this scale you would notice.

The really amasing thing is the tanker will go about 3-4 times faster than the widebeam.

Friday 17 September 2010


Yesterday I made a template of the side and roof.  There is an extension for the roof profile but I made it detachable to make it easy to move round.

Armed with this, this morning I made some partitions to divide the boat up into its rooms rear lounge and kitchen, mid bathroom, and front bedroom.



Bathroom  (Sorry no wide angle lens)

The template worked well.  Now the boat is partitioned up it gives it some perspective.  These partitions are only temporarily installed.

I'm considering weather its worth putting insulation under the floor.  I am seeking opinion, but it seems to be evenly divided at the moment on  Any blog readers care to comment?

Thursday 16 September 2010

Ballast Update.

My boat has 20 ribs each side of the base.  I have filled the middle 10 each side with slabs.  The 5 each side at the front and back will be left accessible for final adjustment.  

There is now  1860kg of ballast.  Thankfully the lorry delivered it with a Hyab so I had only to lift it down.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Its Been All About Ballast Today

According to the designer of the boat it needs to displace 24,500kg to set the boat right in the water.  I have a spreadsheet running and I have been adding to it as I have added materials.  Up to now this has been retrospective, but as I am preparing to put the floor down I need to work out future materials weight.

Armed with the weight of ply I am going to use I have calculated that this will weigh in at 1100kg, the rest I have had to estimate.......
Kitchen and bathroom with stone work tops and appliances 1000kg, engine, gearbox, stern gear, steering gear and rudder including batteries, generator, waste tank full 1500kg, water tank full 2000kg, bedroom furniture 500kg, misc. fixtures, fittings equipment and services 1000kg, fuel 250kg.

At the last count the boat was weighing in at 14,800kg, the known weight of the ply + the estimated weight of everything else adds up to 7300kg comes to 22,100kg so I need to add at least 2400kg of ballast.

Now you may recall if you have read for a while I was going to use granite off cuts from my brothers company.  I have decided instead to use compressed stone paving slabs.  They come in various lengths x 600mm wide.  So it works out that 1 x 750mm and 1 x 600mm is just right.  The 750mm weighing in at 52kg and the 600mm at 41kg  so each bay adds 93kg.

744kg worth going under the bathroom floor

I am going to add this to the middle of the boat and leave the rest of the floor removable so I can add ballast to trim the boat as required.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Water Tank Capacity, Roof Batons & Hot.

I bought a water meter so I could measure the capacity of the water tank.  Result is 2233L to the brim, this will reduce a bit when I put in the overflow so will probably end up about 2000L once that is in.  Now you have to trust me on this.  I estimated 2000L in my mind.  

I will use it next to measure the capacity of the fuel tanks.  My guess for them is 450L  They are built into the rear of the boat and are a very strange shape so its kinda hard to get a feel for it and seeing inside is not easy either.

I fixed the roof batons in this morning.  It was hot work.  Its amasing just how much warmer the shell is now the insulation is on and I had the doors open.

Monday 13 September 2010

Insulation Done Today

The chaps from Cosyhome turned up today as promised to apply the spray foam insulation.  It was a long haul for them 220 miles each way.  No sooner were they here and they were straight on with it.  First job was masking up the batons and windows.  By the time I'd made a cupper it was almost done.

Before all masked up

I was very surprised at the material.  I had in mind a type of foam you get in a can but on an industrial scale. Not so.  This stuff is a 2 part product and is heated and sent down the tubes warm.  Its mixed in the gun and starts to react immediately it leaves the nozzle.  It then generates its own heat and sets within a few minutes.  The heat it generates is enough to raise the inside of the boat to about 75C.  I am also surprised just how "hard" the finished foam is.  You can't dent it with a finger.

After about 2 hours

Once it had set off completely the chaps set about removing the masked bits and cutting back any high spots.

Peeling of in progress

All done

I am very impressed with the finished job and the chaps that did it.  They arrived on time, did what they said they'd do, cleared up after them, and very nice blokes as well.  I do and will certainly recommend their services to anyone.  Total time about 5 hours.  Cosyhome.  

Now hers a real surprise......... all that foam weighs in at 170kg  When you pick a bit up it weighs nothing, even a big bit  but cumulatively it all adds up. 

Sunday 12 September 2010

Water Tank Test.

I filled the water the water tank a few days ago so I could test the tank for leaks prior to the spray insulation being applied.

I am please to say the cabin side is leak free.  

However there is still a leak which is finding its way into the chain locker of all places.  I had hoped not to have to go in the tank and do more welding, but it seems its going to have to be at some point.  I hasten to add that the weld's that's leaking are NOT mine, but also in fairness the space I am using was not originally intended to be an integral tank.  I suppose I can't moan.
Another option would be to drop the level of the overflow so it didn't reach the level of the leak.  But this would be cheating and would probably cost 100L of capacity.

It's Been A Holey Day Today

I have been finishing of preparations for the spray insulation early next week.

Normally I try not to work on the boat at weekends. But needs must.

I have Plasma cut 14 holes in the hull.  4 each side for the recessed fender eyes and 6 on the roof for the mushroom vents. 

No photos as holes are kinda boring.

This just leaves me to clear out the tools and materials so the insulation chaps have a clear run at it Monday.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Nail Gun In Action

Youv'e seen the gun and the nail.  Here's how is works.

How quick and easy is that?

The nail is fixing 2 x 1 timber to 6mm angle iron.  So far I have used 63 lengths of 2 x 1 batons  each one is 4.8m long  so thats just over 300m and I still have the floor and roof to baton so thats going to use another 30 odd lengths.

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Hatch & Battoning

I have been working on the gas locker and other storage compartments on the stern.  I had to stop as it was raining yesterday and welding in the rain is no fun.  I will post pictures when its done and painted.

So I welded the bolts on the hatch and attached the ball races that the hatch will run on.  I have left clearance for some brass runners.  

It runs nice an smooth now.  I haven't closed the ends yet as I'm not ready to do that until I have the doors fitted.

I have the foam insulation firm coming in 6 days time so I need to get the battening done.  I made a start last week on the lower section which is being nailed on.  The side batons are being glued on with a Sikaflex® type adhesive.  To get a good key on the metal involves a heavy grinding.  The top baton has been nailed to the roof beams.

This took about 4 hours to do. The bottom 5 you see took less than 30 minutes. 

I am running about 6 weeks ahead of my planed schedule.  It was my intention to have the boat sealed to the elements and insulated by the time the clocks go back so I could get on with the internal fit out over the winter.  Apart from the rear doors which I have being priced at the moment I will achieve this.  I will make some temporary doors if need be.

I am now thinking a late spring completion date is possible.  We had planned to take it straight down to France when it was finished.  We have thought on this a bit more now and have decided to have it here for at least 6 months to ballast it and "sea trial" it first.

Friday 3 September 2010

Roof Bars Done (Handrails)

Its been a while since I made the roof bars but I've not been able to weld them on because the welder was inside the boat.  I moved it outside this week so I could work on the back.  While I was waiting for some pressing to be done I got on with welding the roof bars on. Quite a tedious job!