Well, here we are in May 2020, and we are actually looking like Befur will soon warrant her “S.Y.” prefix, being a real Steam Yacht and all!
Almost all 6 panels, but missing a few bits of string – hence the creases….
Nine years work, and we feel like we are getting close to the end – the lockdown has been a blessing, as it has removed the stress of trying to be ready for the 1st of April, when our Windermere berth became available, and allowed us to work through the near-endless list of jobs that needed doing…
Today we managed to hoist the sail for the first time, and while there are several more bits of “string” to be added, it actually looked something like the CAD drawings we have been working from for a couple of years. Rather satisfying!
Just a note to record the things we have been doing over the last month or so.
Most importantly we have secured a berth at Ferry Nab on Winderemere, so Befur will be exploring new waters this year. So, as always, the cosh is upon us, with the berth being available from the 1st April (yes, we know, not an auspicious date!).
The work has divided into annual maintenance, finishing/installing the sailing rig and finishing the fit-out of the galley – and sundry diversions. Continue reading →
Today, the weather was calm (pretty unusual for Heggerscale), dry (very unusual for Heggerscale) and almost 8-degrees C (almost unheard of for January at 900ft), so it’s time to hoist the mast and cast the rubber foot for the mast to fit into the tabernacle…
It’s the second time we have hoisted the mast, but last time involved so much trepidation we forgot to take any pictures… So this time Louise (on light duties having tripped down the stairs yesterday) was pushed into being the team photographer.
The “running foreguy and bipod”, as recommended by PJR, can be seen doing it’s job. Once up we poured the casting rubber into a plastic bag surrounding the mast foot (to make sure it didn’t stick to the sides of the tabernacle).
The pictures tell the story:
The team assemble to plan to deed. Colin, Mike and Malcolm
Pulling the boat out of the barn – Colin and Malcolm were helping from the stern!
All rigged and ready to go.
A lift from the stern to get the lift started, and the foreguy (and Mike) take the strain.
50% of the way, Malcolm inside getting the foot set true.
Very nearly in place, with Colin on the safety line.
A close-up of the bipod and foreguy rigging…
The mast in place, temporary clamps on, ready for the rubber to be poured. – and the weather closing in!
The photographs make the bury of the mast look short, but it really is 10% of the mast as recommended. It also looks quite vertical (it should be according to the drawings and machining of the foot block… Now (once the rubber has set) we can drop it down, fit the masthead fittings and wiring, and then set about rigging the sail!
A quick note on where we are at, while we wait to hear from Windermere Lake Wardens on our application for a berth at Ferry Nab next year….
The boat is back in Heggerscale, and we are working on the following items:
LP cylinder “small end” (crosshead bearing) replacement: This had worn, partly due to a severed oil line at some point last year, and partly due to the fact I had to “re-ream” it at erection time to correct some misalignment. So a new bush fitted and reamed to size.
HP valvechest to HP Cylinder block leak: This is a recurring problem, there just is very little sealing surface round the port pockets. This year’s fix is an Oakenstrong gasket and Steamseal – let’s see if this works!
Cabin roof: Learnt a lesson here about cheap plywood…A small leak around the antenna cable resulted in the delamination of almost the complete forward part of the cabin roof. So it’s now been cut off, and will be replaced with “genuine” marine ply, and clad in epoxy and cloth like the hull – hopefully with more resilience! As it happens the removal of this rotten wood made the next job much easier.
Erecting the mast: As you may have read in an earlier post the Mast Partners had been made, so in the last few weeks we installed this on the boat, inserted the mast, and then started to wonder how on-earth we were going to raise the mast to a vertical position. Practical Junk Rig as usual came up with a good solution. This involved using a “bi-pod and running fore-guy” which worked faultlessly, so we saw the mast upright for the first time yesterday! This is almost a single-handed job, which is good, as it will be repeated each time we need to trailer and re-launch her.
Masthead fitting, with halyard crane, and other blocks for various parrels and lasy-jacks.
The next bit of this process, is to fit the masthead fitting (pictured above), (with navigation lights, VHF antenna and various shackles and blocks. Then we will cast a hard rubber square block at the foot of the mast, to secure it in the tabernacle base – the only problem with this is that the rubber components say they need to be mixed and poured at over 20-degrees C to cure, and it’s currently about -5-degrees C….
Once all this is done, we will put the boiler thru her annual test, and then reinstall the engine and hopefully enjoy SY Befur in her intended mode as a Sailing Yacht!
Oh yes, and we also need to turn a pile of sailcloth, blocks, shackles, rope and ally battens into a sail – more on that later!
Following on from appearing to have (temporarily at least) sorted the steam plant, it’s time to get on with fitting Befur with her Junk-Rig sails, so that she can truly be the Steam Yacht that she was always intended to be. The embarrassment of having to be towed home on three occasions also sharpened our desire to get this job done. Continue reading →
Today confirmed the order for the mast for Befur. A 6.4metre extruded alloy lamp post!
This is an unstayed mast, to support 16sqM of sail. Spent a long time trying to figure out how strong it needed to be – then suddenly realised it was much simpler than trying to figure the maximum wind load on the sail (guessing at maximum wind speed we might encounter) and realised it only had to be able to capsize the boat!!!
So the answer was a 177mm diameter, 4mm thick lampost, that tapers down to 90mm at the head.
Also reached the point where we could compile a list of the 70-odd outstanding jobs to finish Befur and divide these into Jobs to be done in Hampshire and jobs to be done once we have relocated to Cumbria. While it’s a daunting list, at least it’s fairly complete.
This is a hotchpotch of notes on progress we have made in the last few weeks.
I am now focusing my attention on the internal fit-out. We need to get Befur in a state to move her on a trailer to our new home in Cumbria in August, this is adding some needed pressure, to ensure we get everything done in time… Continue reading →
The current process is trying to finalise the major items in the fit-out of the boat, so that I can install the major structural elements for the cabin and mast. This is a bit of a “round in circles” process, You imagine how it will be, draw it out, see it doesn’t fit, imagine it again etc. Clearly some items will fall out later in the process, but we do need to get the mast, boiler, engine in the right place and make sure that one is not sharing the loo (head) with the other members of the crew or a few hundredweight of hot steel! Continue reading →
As noted in the last post, the plans for the cabin/mast arrived from Selway Fisher. Having poured/poored/pawed?? over these for a few weeks we have concluded we are going to slightly modify the proposed arrangement by installing a set of steel bracing inside the boat to support the Mast Partners (the thing the mast hinges in when being trailered), so that we can reclaim a little more internal space. We understand this is another bitter pill for the wooden boat druids to swallow, but hey, this is the 21st Century! Continue reading →