With the snow too deep to open the doors today, a few words on the last couple of weeks work seem appropriate.
We are still working towards an April launch, but there is a fair amount still to do.
Cabin and Cockpit Soles
We were lucky enough to have some oak (new) and mahogany (very old) floor-boarding donated to the project. So the cabin has the oak and the cockpit the mahogany. This involved assembling the boarding into “blanks” and then spilling and cutting the required shapes from the boat. (it also involved wrecking a set of planer blades when I missed a couple of old staples in the mahogany) This inevitably requires a deal of tooing-and-froing and careful adjustment. We opted to lay these directly on the floors, while we could have gotten them an inch or two lower, the trade-off of headroom, stability and work mitigated towards the simpler option.
We also decided to make the sole plates around the engine and boiler of aluminium chequer-plate. This would provide a better under-foot grip and withstand the heat/oil better than wood. We used 3mm plate reinforced with 30mm x 50mm x 2.5mm aluminium angle pop-riveted underneath. It all looks quite neat. (Subsequent experience has shown the pop-rivets are not strong enough to withstand the repetitive loadings caused by weights of the crew walking too-and-fro, so we will replace them with small stainless bolts)
Installing the Boiler
Much earlier in the process I made a mistake in fitting the funnel “permanently” to the casing. It’s quite neat but makes handling the boiler rather hard. We concluded that we needed to use two chain hoists (one for each side) to stop the chains fouling the funnel. The same process of lifting the boiler then sliding the boat underneath. It actually took two attempts to get enough lift to clear the cockpit sides, but went fairly well…
The boiler is mounted on four lengths of 50mm steel channel (two fixed to the bottom of the boiler casing in the “n” position and two attached to the bearers in a “u” position. We opted to notch the floors to get the boiler and inch or so lower in the boat, and ran it as far astern as possible to provide the best access to the cabin hatch. (Sorry for poor quality of pictures – the barn is quite dark).
The planning worked and there is just room for the battery to sit fwd of the boiler in-between the boiler bearers. We opted to put the boiler pressure switch inside the cabin (being 240v and all!) and fixed the switch/fuse panel to the aft cabin wall, so now we are just wiring up, and trying to make it all as neat as possible….
Here is the current version of the wiring diagram, but this is subject to modification and additional fusing is needed I think on the bus-bars.