Tuesday 27 March 2012

Steps Revealed

Been to the boat for a couple of days and got a few more more jobs done.

I can finally reveal the steps which have been a work in progress for a while now.

The woodwork was done from my drawings by DW General Wood Machinists They have a CNC router which shaped the steps and plunge routed the slots to 8mm to receive the inserts.  I made the inserts from 3mm x 10mm steel which I had chrome plated.

These steps were my wife's concept and of course it was my job to deliver.  We have 2 dogs, one of which is getting on a bit and struggles with steps so we needed steps that they could get a good grip on but still look stylish.

Another job done was some the bow deck gritting.

 Masking is the trick but it takes 90% of the job time

The finished gritting ready for final paint

Well half of its done.  It's only practical to do sections at a time to keep it neat and manageable.  All the corners are rounded as it looks better IMO.

Thursday 22 March 2012

A Little Video

Almost Forgot

I almost forgot to post some pictures on the water.

So The Boat Is Afloat And Named Avalon

Now Avalon is afloat the job of ballasting and trimming needed to be done.

I went the the boat on Tuesday with the intention of buying more slabs locally, but to my surprise I had all I needed on board.

The back was a tad heavy and I was going to counter this with more in the front, and as I suspected the port side was a little high.  So I removed 400kg from the lounge area which was sort of midships 

and put it in the front and with the bias on the ports side.

There is also 200kg in front of this under the board where the silicone tube is.

Now with the water tank at half full (1000L or kg) Avalon sits level fore and aft and port to starboard.

I have some blogging to catch up on. Not only have I been very preoccupied I have also had laptop problems which is now sorted with a new one.

Monday 19 March 2012

Friday 16 March 2012

We Are Afloat

The title has it.

A bit of a drama with a small leak but all better now.

More later, I gust need to breathe now.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Launch Tomorrow

Sorry I haven't blogged much this week but I've been very busy doing at least a thousand last minute pre launch jobs.

I have loads of photos and will get them up ASAP.

The loading from home will be streamed live all being well at the top of the blog.

The direct link should be HERE   or copy and paste  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nivek-test

See you on the water.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Mud Box Mods

I was not overly happy at the arrangements for the cooling water intake.  Its done through what's known as a Mud Box.

The primary strainers on the hull had no way of being unblocked without getting wet.  

 Original strainer inlet

I asked on a Canal Forum and it emerged there's a better way which enables the primary strainer to be cleared from inside the mud box.

This meant cutting out a larger single hole in the hull.

 Hole cut, viewed form inside the mud box

Then to make the internal strainer.

First a template

Then a 4mm plate cut to the template

Then several hundred 5mm holes

This strainer fits where its shown above.  There will be some guides to locate it ans it will be removable for easy clearing.

So thanks for the discussion on The Canal World Forum for this modification.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Rear Deck Boards

A while back I made some templates for the back decks from the temporary working decks I've had since 6th July 2010

I took these to a local firm that make ply lining for vans.  The have a couple of CNC router decks.  From these templates they digitised then cut the Wisadeck panels.  This board is difficult to cut as it splinters very easily if cut with a saw.   

The router cuts a nice clean square edge and the curve is nice and continious.  The edges were then beautiflly painted and sealed by SWMBO.

Thursday 8 March 2012


The hose arrived for the generator exhaust modification, but before I could fit it I had to wizz of to London to pick up the steps that DW Wood Molding made for me.

Here's a sneak peek.  Warning its naked!

The steel insert is just plain steel template
I have 24 of them being chrome plated

Once I was back I put the new bit of wet exhaust pipe and silencer in.

I didn't think this little box would do much but it did.

                                    Before                                                          After

I don't know much about dB, but I do know the scale is a logarithmic one and that its understood that an increase somewhere between 6dB and 10dB is perceived by most listeners as "double" the volume.

So on basic maths the genny is now about 2½ quieter.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Canopy Modifications

Sam returned today with the modified canopy.

I had the rear window and the helm window modified so they can be zipped out.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Somethings Wrong Here

If you've read this blog a while you'll know that I don't do wood.

Well, look at this, I've successfully made something out of wood!

What is it?

It's one of these:-

On a woody theme.  The other day I got the dressing ferrels for the mushroom vents .  Here they are all varnished up and ready to fit.

Other jobs done today.  Another coat of paint in the water tank, permanent fixing of the domestic battery to inverter isolator, made a start on re-routing the generator exhaust (2m of 40mm wet exhaust at the local marina with discount £65.00 + £5.00 on fuel for the round trip. On line, £25 delivered tomorrow!)  I can wait a day. I've also re-plumbed the water inlet for the generator.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Ranked No. 22

I joined UK Waterways web ring type ting last week. I'm really pleased that I'm in at No. 22. Thanks everyone for reading.


Preparations have started.

Mindful of the impact that hedge timing would have on nesting birds I have left getting the lane access trimmed back to the last possible moment.  2 weeks to go and I think any later would be detrimental to the local wildlife.  Hopefully this hasn't upset the Pheasants, Partridges, Rabbits and Muntjac Deer that live in the local scrub as well as the multitude of other bird species and feral pus cats, one of which is getting very curious of late and is ripe for adoption.

So this morning the hedge trimmer arrived, all 500hp of tractor and cutter.

This took an 8' lane to 14' of paint scraping free access for the cranes and truck.  

He managed to break some previous dodgy welding repair work on the cutter head before I re-welded it so he could finish the job.

Talking to the driver he told me this tractor has a GPS system on it that can auto pilot the tractor to an accuracy of 50mm (2") when he is spraying, plowing, etc. If you look on the top of the cab you can see a yellow dome.  That's the GPS receiver.  Not only that but it logs where & what the tractor has done so that next time its on the same area it can suggest a better way of doing the task in hand. £15,000 GPS system makes a £100 TomTom look like the bargain of the century considering what th at can do.

The last time this was trimmed was 2 1/2 years ago.  Its amazing how much growth happens in that time.

Thursday 1 March 2012

Gunwale Gritting

I started the day buy sweeping off the excess grit.  This needed to go into the oven to dry out ready for the starboard side to be gritted.

This is how it looked before painting.

After I masked up and gritted the starboard this had given time for the damp of the day to burn off so I could paint the port side.

This really drunk some paint I can tell you.  Hopefully all this gritting will ensure I never slip off the gunwales.  Fingers crossed hey?