Well, a good day! Befur went back on the water yesterday, and it would appear that the work over the winter worked well.
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…
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 🙂
Yesterday I stripped down the plant ready to have the engine lifted out next week. I also took some pictures to remind us how it all goes back together!
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”.
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
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)
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
(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!
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!