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Saturday, 11 March 2017

The scene of the crime!

Who would think that such a teeny weeny hole could cause so much expensive trouble?
In the lower part of the photo is the cause of our woes, When they built the boat they used pea shale as ballast, this contains salt and is a perfect medium for holding moisture. This caused the bottom to rust from the inside and caused the skin cooling tanks and their balance pipe to rust through so that they too leaked into the pea shale.
We just completed welding on the new base and plug welding the centres of the panels to prevent sag, Next we need to overplate the leaking parts of the skintanks.
Tomorrow I'll clean the hull so that we can give her a few more coats of blacking before she's refloated on friday.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A problem solved?

One problem with re-bottoming is that the base needs to be welded to the the old baseplate in the middle of the boat to stop it sagging.
So we'll grind through the new baseplate and jack it up so that we can add supporting welds at intervals.
Another is that, once overplated, there can be a small air gap between the new base and the bottom of the skintanks, this interferes with the ability of the skintanks to dissipate the heat from the engine.
The last pieces of the jigsaw, the sheets were too narrow to fill the area under the swim, I decided not to turn the sheet lengthwise, this meant I'd need a small triangle each side and these would mean two welds would cross the bottom of the skintanks, helping with the cooling.

One of the triangles prior to grinding out and welding to the old baseplate.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A new bottom for Freyja.

So, after I found the leak, we decided that, rather than patching the bad section, we would re-bottom her completely.
But, how to go about it? We only have a choice between going on the long trailer or on the rail-mounted dollies on the slipway, but then how would we do all those welds upside down?
Clive, the marina owner, came up with a solution :- 
Thirteen sheets of steel, laid out on the trailer.


The first two sheets champfered and clamped ready for welding, this means most of the welds will be done from above instead of from below.

We also had to weld extensions onto the trailer to support the pen-ultimate sheet.

When the weather turned we got around it by building a temporary tent over the next sheet of steel.

One very large plate, almost ready to receive Freyja.
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The new baseplate is reversed down the slipway ready for us to float Freyja on top.
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Perfectly placed first time.
After welding the base to the boat Bruce needed to cut the excess steel away.

Using an oxy-propane cutter.

Trimmed tidy! And we started to finger mould the welds with sealantto seal any pinholes (as we couldn't pressuretest the whole hull)



Thursday, 23 February 2017

Eeek! That sinking feeling!

Once we got the Sabb running I filled the cooling system, once filled, I suspected a possible leak from the skin tank balance pipe.
Next morning as Glenda was heading off to work she said :-
"Don't go poking around, finding more problems that we don't need"
Ten minutes later I found some water in the cabin bilge next to the engine 'ole bulkhead. As I started to suck it out with the wet & dry, a bit of rust got sucked up and a jet of water shot up from the baseplate! 
"Oh! Fiddlesticks" (or similar) I exclaimed!
Luckily there was a roofing screw nearby, which I screwed into the hole, reducing the flow to a trickle. This I then replaced with a new roofing screw, a tap washer and some silicone, stopping the leak.
We slept onboard that night and arranged to haul Freyja out the next morning.
Even though the Sabb had no coolant, throttle, engine stop or gearchange I decided to take Freyja around under her own steam.
I set the throttle to tick over, used a parasol pole for a gearchange (holding it in gear with my foot).
I was very happy that it pulled like a train.

Water seems to have collected in this spot overthe years, we knew the shower was emptying into the cabin bilge and had fixed this and dried the bilge out, But it had obviously caused the skin tanks or the balance pipe to rust through and start to leak.
The roofing screw and tap washer stopping us from sinking!
The Sabb performed well, bringing Freyja around to the pump-out pontoon, ready to haul her up the slipway.

Here, I think Glenda is signalling that this is the second time we've had Freyja out recently.

Here Glenda is multi-tasking, showing me what she thinks of my ability to find leaks as she removes mussels etc. from the baseplate.

Thirteen 8 foot x 4 foot 6 mm sheets being laid out and prepared to be welded together into one big plate. The trailer will then be reversed down the slipway and Freyja positioned on top of the plate.

The first two sheets chamferred ready to be welded together. Once Freyja is in position Bruce will weld around the edge and flame-cut off the excess metal.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Re-routing the diesel and grease pipes

After years of struggling to be able to climb into the engine 'ole (due to pipes, cables, fittings etc,) I wanted to route all coolant, diesel and grease pipes out of the way of places I need to use when climbing in to work on the engine.

I used sections of wooden decking, using the grooves to locate the 1/4" copper pipes.
 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Freyja's got a Boom-Boom!

After much fiddling and twiddling, I finally finished routing the copper piping around the engine 'ole, albeit with a few small coolant leaks.
The time had come to connect the electrical side of things and to hear the Sabb run again.

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The Sabb was happy to tick over but kept fluffing and cutting out when we tried to rev her up. Next we'll check the lift pump for any foreign bodies.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A crap Xmas present? Composting toilet is the way forward.

We agreed that for Xmas we'd buy each other bits of a compost toilet kit, how romantic?!! This we'll put in the butty, we only use our cassette in Freyja to pee in and don't even put toilet paper into it. If we needed a 'big job' we've always walked up to use the marina toilets, but they are sometimes blocked.
Our seasonal gift to each other was the urine diverter and the specially adapted toilet seat from http://www.offgriddesigns.co.uk In this photo I'm trying to work out the height and position by blancing it on a cardboard box.

I cut out the hole needed for the urine diverter into a piece of hardwood that I'd been given.

Shaping around the front of the 'thunderbox'.

Getting there, the compost toilet is now usable but unfinished, as it still has no front on the 'thunderbox'

We keep some woodash in the yoghurt pot, this is used as a carbon cover which is sprinkled onto the solids.
The business end :- A painter's bucket bought from B & M for £2.99 with a green garden bag from Wilko for the solids and a four litre container for the urine.