Tag Archives: progress

Winter Work (some progress)



Well, we have been working on the list we made in the last post, and have some positive news, and some better understanding of the problems…


I spent a couple of days with the engine on the bench and a dial indicator attempting to find and measure the wear or absence of same…. We have a page or two of measurements…

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SBA 50th Rally

A memorable week: variable weather, lots of friends,
some mechanical mayhem

The first week of August is “Windermere Week” for the SBA, where a number of members gather, with their boats, and a number of marine and social events occur. This year it marked the 50th anniversary of the SBA, so more jollity was ordered and delivered. Continue reading

End of Season Work and a Blowy Day

Just a note to say that Befur is out on the hard now, so we can commence the over-winter work.

We made about 5 or 6 trips on the lake in the season, and spend quite a few days on the mooring spannering the various issues we had into submission.

However, just before we fetched her out the first named Storm of the year “Ali” produced some impressive weather, with gusts of over 70mph on Ullswater. We stopped by to see how she was doing on her mooring – here is a video…

Work List

The main task is to find the source of all the knocking and rumbling (which I still think is most likely a fractured crank) and then tackle some other outstanding issues. This list is to remind me what is to be done:

  • Inspect/fix/remake the Crank
  • Cure the leaks between HP cylinder and Valve Chest
  • Make some Gauge Cocks (to damp the pressure surges in the gauges)
  • Tidy up the fittings for the stern-tube cooling feed
  • Re-paint antifouling (as quite a lot fell off!)
  • Inspect/test all the vacuum side for leaks as it’s still quite low (~10-15 inches hg)
  • Make a new ball-cock valve for hotwell (plug-cock type)
  • Maybe make some drawers for the galley
  • Fit a stern light
  • Think about remaking the cockpit sole to improve access to stern-gland etc.
  • Fit a seacock to the blow-down line (to allow the flexible hose to be removed when afloat)
  • Install a skin-fitting for the bilge ejector…
  • Make a whistle that whistles!
  • Attend a VHF course, to get my license 🙂

Onwards…. 🙂

Time to take stock

Well, as we approach the end of the 2018 season, we have decided to fetch Befur back onto dry land a little earlier than planned. This is principally because I can’t tolerate the racket the machinery is making underway, and it seems cruel to run it further pending the noise turning into a real “issue”.

…and it floats level!

We did have a nice steam this week about 2 1/2 hrs round the northern reach of the lake in a “fresh” breeze.  We were towing the inflatable (still nervous about our reliability) and this very nearly became airborne as we opened Befur up into the headwind – she goes quite well. Continue reading

Are we having fun yet?

As Lou explained (as I sat in the land-rover feeling quite defeated) “It’s like when you built the racing bikes/cars – you can’t expect to show up at the circuit and have it all work perfectly the first time you race it. There is always going to be development work.

…and I guess she is right!

This post firstly relates the trips we have made so far, and secondly attempts to provide a balanced view of the successes and failures to date – to help other builders.

Trials (and tribulations)

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Late- yes, Embarrassed – some, Nearly There – maybe

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

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Befur has a Trailer!

(editor’s update: This trailer was eventually scrapped and a new aluminium one purchased from Gecko Trailers – see The Final Push to the North )

Thank goodness for eBay… (and Graham Wright)… Graham managed to spot this gem on ebay, it’s about 6ft too short,  in need of some paint, somewhat bent from abuse, but it was only 4 miles away, cheap, and nothing a welding torch can’t fix – happy mode:on!

A trial erection

So we reach the point where we can see if it looks like it will fit together. The engine is makes a lot of use of jigs, something new to me, but you can see how they work.

So firstly the front columns are clamped to an assembly jig located in the main bearing slots. Then a jig to locate the lower covers of the cylinders is clamped to the slideways,  then the whole cylinder block is lowered onto these covers – and you start to get a feel for how it’s going to look! and how heavy it is!

first erection - LP valve end
first erection – LP valve end

from the rearfrom the rear… and from the HP endfrom the HP end

Step one complete!

Here are half the moulds for Befur with louise providing scale

Here are half the moulds for Befur with Louise providing scale (Oh, I mean "elegance" - phew!)

Well, we passed the first milestone; all the formers/moulds/jigs are cut out, and I only made a complete hash of one of them! One needs a 14mm “outer” laminating around it due to my misunderstanding of the frames v ribs question and cutting it undersize – but that will serve as good practice for the rest of the laminating I have ahead of me.

Here are the rest showing the ones next to the Transom and Stem;  an elegant stern and prow designed to cope with open water…

Louise modeling the other half of moulds...
The other moulds showing the end ones (next to stem and transom

We are going to return to some metal work while we await the arrival of the Castings from France…. (end August) – I think I will fix the two bikes occupying the building space and turn them into wood funds…


First Mould astern of stem
First Mould astern of stem

As you can see the bows flaire to throw off spray when operating in rough water, and the transom has a significant tumblehome, so the moudls are made in two halves, so that they can be dismantled and removed once the stripping is complete.

The game plan is then to cut the floors, frames and bulkheads to shape using these moulds. Having spoken to Paul Fisher he has persuaded me that we should not try to fit floors etc. prior to sheathing the inside of the hull, so I am planning to just preinstall the Hog/Stem/Transom (of course) and the Bilge Stringers and Clamp.

Next up is sourcing the timber for the strongback of the building jig. I was thinking of building box sections from OSB (sterling board) to save weight and money, but “the community” has persuaded me that this is a bad plan, and I have come to agree. While I think the actual box sections should be a strong as the timbers, I concluded I could not attach the “risers” that hold the jigs in place firmly enough – It would be too hard to spread the load to acheive a stable solution… so 30+ meters of 8 by 3 – here we come!