I noticed that I had not written anything since the end of March, and I guess (unconsciously) this was because I had intended to have Befur ready for the water on the first of April, and that clearly wasn’t happening – and addressing that fact in print was a bridge too far!
However, we have been far from idle, and I actually do think we should be there for the first week of June (fingers-crossed). So here is a quick review of progress in April and May.
Checking the Solar Panels
Having craned the engine and boiler into the hull we have now settled the position of the key components and can start to deal with some of the remaining fitting out tasks.
We are still aiming for an April Launch, but in true project planning style we had not said which day in April, so we have a few days left. The following items have been addressed so far:
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. Continue reading
Just a note to commemorate another milestone. Yesterday we (neighbour Mike and I) lifted the engine into the boat! Hurrah!
We had spent a deal of time debating how best to do this, with the hydraulic bucket on the tractor being the initial option – but in the end we both felt a bit “windy” about working under the engine held up by an ageing tractor, and instead opted for the “trusty” Chinese chain-hoist strapped to an RSJ in the roof of Mike’s barn. We then picked the engine up, and manoeuvred the boat under the engine. To make it more interesting, we really don’t know how heavy it is – but the two of us could not lift it by hand to get it to the engine crane to put on a trailer for the trip to the barn (200yd push in light snow!)
The decision as to installation was to epoxy four M10 studs into the engine bearers and then use nuts on the studs to secure the engine bed down. Continue reading
The rudder with pintles ready for varnish and fitting
One of the major outstanding jobs on the hull was to build a suitable rudder. As Befur is meant to sail (as well as steam) we wanted to make sure we provided some thing effective.
Researching the subject covering everything from historic articles on Chinese Junk development to the Steamboat Associations’ handbook and designers from Selway Fisher to Dave Gerr’s excellent book on ship design and lots of trawling of the Junk Rig Association’s web site we discovered some important facts: Continue reading
Just a quick note, the last week or so have been dedicated to the building of the cabin on Befur, and the first stages of internal fit-out.
This has involved the fitting of the cabin sides (as seen in the last post’s pictures), and the fitting of internal bulkheads, (e.g. the walls of the loo and heads for the bunks.) This has involved more “spilling” to get the shapes from the hull for cutting of the bulkheads (a remarkably accurate process) and fitting these too the hull using epoxy filets. Continue reading
Boat building for botchers!
I have returned to work on finishing and fitting out the hull, and in the process come to the conclusion that boat building using strip-plank/epoxy is mostly a process of sculpture using wood and epoxy as the constructional elements. I must confess that this approach really rewards the botcher, as there seems to be no need for the kind and quality of woodworking skills traditionally needed – in fact I think they may be a disadvantage. 🙂 Continue reading