Category Archives: SideNotes

Other stuff that happened during the build

Heggerscales Steam Yacht Club Opens!

Well we made it! Befur is delivered to our New home in Heggerscales in Cumbria – a long slow 10hour overnight tow on Sunday got us here intact….

So the next job is to fit out the workshop, and then build some boilers!

Here is Befur ready for her journey – the Landy performed perfectly…..

Befur ready to head North

(ps – the unfinished looking paintwork is ready for its antifouling, which can only be applied 2-weeks before launch)


Mast Ordered!

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.

Just for your interest – an Electric thing…

The video below is not even steam it’s a 1930s Synchronous Electric motor producing 350HP from a 2,400 volt supply….

There is something I have never seen before in here: Watch the video first, and see if you can understand what is happening – I didn’t get it at first…. Explanation is below…

scroll down for answer…

scroll down for answer…

scroll down for answer…

scroll down for answer…

scroll down for answer…

scroll down for answer…



1930’s “soft start” technology

This is a synchronous motor, so it doesn’t like running below synchronous speed, and I bet it only makes a fraction of the power… so the solution is that when it is turned on the outer casing is allowed to rotate (in the opposite direction to to the motor) – it is quite easy to bring the casing up to speed, then the man on the wheel is applying a brake to the housing to bring it to a standstill, while the rotor slowly brings the flower mill up to speed…..VERY neat!

Winged Friends, staging and tooling!

The Robins' Nest - is that the correct punctuation (maybe nest is a verb and so it's "The Robins Nest!"!

The Robins’ Nest – is that the correct punctuation (maybe nest is a verb and so it’s “The Robins Nest!”!

Well,  for the 2nd year (and despite my presence) the Robins have decided to nest in the air-hose reel… Well at least this time I figured this out… last time they got “spin-dryered” when I ran the hose out. At least they were only nest building (no eggs or chicks). Today there was definite “cheeping” and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with worms and insects.

Woodworking, Staging and Tools

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A Spring Clean of the Blog…

I have just reorganized the content of the blog to separate the hull build from the power-plant, and also adopted a new theme, with continuous scrolling…

I’m not really sure if this is an improvement….

Please feel free to let me know if this arrangement works for you all (or not!)


A bit of an upgrade

Malcolm’s a happy boy!

Much as I love the Adcock and Shipley milling machine that Andy Murdock found for me in a Car Park in Runcorn in the early 80’s, and despite the sterling service it has provided with the Bridgeport head I fitted, I had yearned after a machine with a bit more capacity for a long time, and with the “pending boiler” build, I decided the time had come to find its replacement….

I had intended to buy a Bridgeport “series 1” mill – and a bit of research demonstrated that you could buy “a bit of a nail” for about £1500, a passable example for £2500, a nice refurbished one for £7,500 or a new one for about £15,000!

After a lot of searching, and trawling ebay and looking at the cost of transport, I bit the bullet – sold the old mill on Ebay and went (with supporting friend) to look at few replacement machines … including at a dealer (BW Machines) in Leicester….

Well as with all “best laid plans” on arrival I did not much like the one I went to see, did not have enough funds to buy the ones I fancied, but fell across a ’72 Italian turret mill by Rambaudi… It took a while to convince myself I could move and install the thing (1.5tonnes), but it was in good condition and was obviously a very high quality machine, so the deal was struck…

So here’s a two pics of it arriving and of it almost in place – now I just need to fit a DRO, swap all my tooling to 40INT and resume work (currently on the auxiliary drive assembly for pumps and alternator) – it is BIG!

A hasty snap of delivery in progress

A hasty snap of delivery in progress

Rambaudi V3 in situ

Rambaudi V3 in situ