Saturday, 24 November 2012

Some important updates - 1

One of the items on the Surveyor's report when we bought our Finesse was a recommendation to improve the stowage of the gas bottle and the connection to the stove to comply with relevant standards.

Here is a how I made a new gas bottle locker that is gas-tight with a drain out through the hull.  I used the Boat Safety Scheme Part 7 technical literature and other info mined via the Web in order to set it out.

 This is how we had been keeping the 4.5kg bottle from flying around; lashed to the suction hose of the bilge pump.  Its previous stowage was behind the engine's control panel and above the starting battery - not good.

This is the connecting pipe where is goes from flexible hose to copper before vanishing through the bulkhead on its way to the stove.  There was not one clip along its entire length and too many joints.

I decided to make a gas-tight box and install it in the same locker with a drain out through the yacht's side.  Here I am deciding which plank to put the skin-fitting in.

A box was made to fit the space to carry the 4.5kg bottle out of 9mm marine plywood.

Trying the box for size - there was just enough room for it to stand in the base of the cockpit locker and for the lid to go over it - just!

The regulator wouldn't fit but a little modification gave a space for the flexible rubber hose to run.

The box was completely sheathed with GRP and painted. Here it is with the hose taken through a protective sleeve in the side of the box. In the base of the box is an in-fill to keep the bottle central. Still to be fitted is a webbing strap and clip to hold the bottle down.

This picture shows the drain from the bottom of the locker.  It is a requirement to have a minimum of 19mm internal diameter on the drain hose and fittings so I used 3/4" fittings. A 'fall' is needed all the way from the box to the outside air and this was a fiddle to achieve...

As can be seen in this picture as water is caught in a low point of the pipe. A clip now holds this up to continue the downward 'fall' of the drain pipe.  The seacock is shown closed in this picture.  We close it when sailing as water fills the locker as the boat heels, leaving it open when she is moored un-occupied.

Here is the drain outlet - just above the normal water line.  I was not keen on having to bore another hole in the yacht's hull but such is the price of safety regs compliance..

A new copper gas pipe was run in one run, clipped with non-corrosive rubber lined P-Clips to a batten fastened to the hull. The flexible rubber tubing lengths were kept to a minimum length and the whole of the gas pipe line is visible for inspection.

I fitted a shut-off valve adjacent to the stove. A looped length of flexible rubber hose allows the gimballed stove to move.

The main problem I had with the installation was buying tubing and fittings.  It was possible to buy BSP fittings, but only for metric tube, its seemed, and then impossible to find a source of metric copper tube in reasonable lengths.  In the end I used 5/16" tube bought from one supplier and fittings from a couple of others including our local Chandler's - this took more time than actually doing the job!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Summer 2012

Just after we commissioned 'Enfys' for the 2012 season 'Seafair Haven 2012' came to the Milford Haven Waterway.  The weather was dreadful for the most part with poor visibility and high winds.  We slogged up to Lawrenny getting soaked and had a poor night's sleep as the wind howled rattling the rigging. Have I mentioned how 'noisy' a clinker hull is as waves lap and slap under the lands?  Makes getting some rest difficult at times. However the next day we mad our way with some of the fleet of small boats right up to Cresswell Quay for breakfast. Only a shoal-draught yacht like a Finesse can get up a creek like this.  Cresswell Quay was once very busy as a loading point for coal from the Pembrokshire collieries but is now a quiet backwater with a nice pub!

'Enfys' joins the fleet at Cresswell Quay
 Whilst we were 'upriver' we had a go at exploring the upper reaches of the Eastern Cleddau and sailed  up with a following wind against an ebb tide, eventually deciding to turn about near Slebech with the muddy banks closing in on each side.  Unfortunately on the return trip I 'cut the corner' near Picton Point and unsure of where the channel was put her aground, too late I worked out that the big plastic bilge-keeler I thought was anchored was already ashore!  It was 1 1/2 hours to low water and we had a 3-hour wait.  Luckily we had a good stock of beers on board!

Dryed-out at Landshipping - The yacht in the background was already aground.
 During the summer we had a few day-sails around the lower reaches of the Haven and have paid a few visits to Dale.

Reefed for a fresh breeze near Thorne Island
 The summer threw some unsettled weather at us for the most part and most of our sailing was reefed. On on sail inside the Haven with two reefs in we  managed a record (For 'Enfys') 7.5kts.

A fine day for sailing in Pembrokeshire

A rainbow over Lindsway Bay near Dale

Monday, 2 July 2012

In commission at last!

We finally got the antifouling and painting completed between rain showers - and tides! It is a filthy un-cherished job that was made more difficult by the boat lying directly on the mud (oh for the luxury of being on nice timber blocks in a boatyard!) The wind was blowing hard too whistling between the keels and coating me with almost as much paint as the boat...
 Topsides, bottom paint and boot-top all done!

 Hanging the rudder that I had previously painted off the boat.  We were against the clock now as we were floating her off on the next high water and the flood was approaching fast!
'Enfys' is now back on her outer mooring after getting her off over the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.  Since then it has been mostly rain and gales, and more gales :(

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Some more maintenance..

After a long winter of recuperation now the spring of 2012 is here - despite the iffy weather - I have made a start on a few of the winter maintenance jobs to get finished before re-commissioning.

One of these was to sort out the guardwire stanction bases that remain filled with water and have been rotting out the wooden pads:-

I unbolted a couple of the worse looking ones and let the soggy but sound hardwood pad dry out, primed it and bedded the stanction base back on using Sikaflex. Whilst the base was off I filed a drain groove in its underside to discourage it from filling with water.

The wooden pads are tapered to make the steel stanctions stand vertically upright regardless of the boat's sheer and the camber of the deck.  However the whole design is not the strongest; the inboard pair of bolts are about 4" long and pass right through the boat's inwale (beam shelf) which is strong, but the outer pair are brought up under the deck between the planking and inwale. There is a tendancy for the deck to be 'peeled' up by any inward load on the guardrails and the bond has been strained here and there letting water in - not good.  We like the security of the guard wires but will have to give some thought to a better arrangement for securing the stanctions....?

Coming up in the next post or two will be another couple of 'improvements' I have been working on before Enfys is commissioned for the 2012 season:- A proper vented, draining gas bottle locker, that is long overdue and was a survey recommendation, and a different way of switching the engine starting and boat supply batteries on and off.