Monday, 10 October 2011

So the hull arrived on 20th October, a little late for any outside work so it was all go to get it weather tight and get some decent access sorted. I was already fed up with the ladder and that was on arrival day!

I had been planning since the previous Christmas so and I had rather a lot of gear in stock ready. This gear included a multi fuel stove and its chimney and this was the first thing to go aboard after the shed was built over the wheelhouse and a temporary floor had been laid.

It was going to go against the bulkhead that was going to support the mast and that was a fixed position. So a hole was cut with the 41/2" grinder with a steel cutting disc in it. It is amazing just how much of a curve can be cut with one of these machines.

Ordinary black stove pipe was used on the inside to radiate as much heat as possible.  Outside a double skinned insulated flue system was used.  It has two metre sections and is supported as the photo shows.  This can be reefed for sea work if necessary by taking the top section off.  But this height does ensure a good draft and the smoke is kept above the wheelhouse roof.  The other black half buckets upturned on the cabin top are the steel upstands for the vent tubes.  The upstand for the forehatch has also been welded in now.  the Tabernacle also supports the overhead electricity supply.  Two 13 amp extension leads were used for the power supply as the bench saw needed nearly three kilowatts alone.

There is an awful lot of work to build a barge from the hull onwards.  Jobs have to be done in a sequence to make sure you don't have to undo what you have already done.  Planning is the key and with a bit of foresight serious snags can be prevented.  I used to work in agricultural engineering and was used to making do in the field.  Coming up with solutions with what I had.  Working on farms later led me into the whole scenario of maintenance in the widest sense of the word.  Plumbing, electrics, woodwork, welding, spraying, upholstery, I can turn my hand to most things.  Not that I am clever at all of them but I can get by with a bit of time and thinking.  The internet was brilliant for research and ordering parts and gear.  I confess I rather liked ordering and had my own mini warehouse with parts and equipment just ready and on the shelf waiting.

Tools were another thing.  I bought two DIY bench saws before buying an Elektra Beckum with a sliding table and rear out feed.  £1100 it cost at the time but what a piece of kit.  I sold it at the end of the job and it is still working hard for a cabinet maker.  The repeatable accuracy is the thing with a good piece of kit and it was well worth the money spent.  The amount of grinders and drills I got through before buying Makita gear was amazing.  I had made do with cheap tools as they used to last me fine for the odd job.  I might be grinding for a week at a time or drilling a thousand holes.  Not the situations for the cheaper end of the market.  Bench drill presses and bench grinders did not have to be so expensive as they only had occasional use, I guess it's horses for courses and you need to be a bit canny and not spend money when you don't need to but don't skimp when you do.

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