Sunday, 22 September 2013

Woodwork Update

It has been some time since my last post due to our annual summer holiday and the slow progress of the build. Not that we are complaining it will take as long as it takes. So on thursday last week I went to see the change since our last visit.
A number of items have now been ordered and this list includes Ancona cast iron radiators in graphite, Sanimarin exclusive medium macerating toilet and the chosen tiles for the shower,galley splashback and behind the solid fuel stove. We have also confirmed our order with Paul Westby for a 9'' brass Francis searchlight and confirmed the supply time for our Panasonic 240W HIT solar panel. Our reason for opting for this panel is that its slightly smaller than other panels of a similar output which will therefore will still allow walking along the roof.

Back Room

The back room as we call it is situated just forward of the engine room. It is only 5' but we hope that it will perform a multi function role. There are bench seats on each side. On the port side the bench is 4' with a 1' cupboard. This will be used to store the Dyson handheld rechargeable and a table top ironing board amongst other things. On the starboard side the bench seat is 3' but with a 1' extension. There will be a table top stored in the saloon which can be set up as required and this will also fill the gap to make a 4' width cross bed. So although small hopefully this room will function as a utility room,dining room,occasional bedroom and a place to sit to talk to helmsman/helms woman.

View of back room
 Forward of the back room is the shower room/toilet. The shower tray is 800 x 800 stone resin and we have opted for a manual whale gulper pump to empty the waste water. Although it would be nice to have the automatic type I have heard stories of them failing and the dirty water overflowing the sump into the bilge.(Not nice)

The next room is the bedroom. This contains an in line bed which we will be able to extend the width by up to 8''. The bed base will be slatted and you can see the enclosed holding tank on the centre line. The dresser by the wardrobe is going to be altered from a cupboard into drawers.

Forward of the bedroom is the galley. We are going to have a stable type door between the bedroom and the galley to allow warm air to circulate through the boat by keeping the top part open whilst closing the lower part to prevent our labradoodle Dylan from making our bed his.

The housing for the domestic sized oven

A Zanussi washing machine will be housed in far corner accessed from the saloon and to the side of that will be a 12 volt Shoreline larder fridge
As the housing for the oven is 60 cm wide we will have the width of the long worktop made approx 10 cm smaller than normal. This will look fine as the worktop will be a single sheet of Avonite. 
The side hatch to the left in this photo will have a can cupboard beneath

Cupboards and TV housing

The saloon is 13' and will have corner cupboards to the port side of front doors and solid fuel stove on the starboard side. There will be a cupboard unit which will incorporate a 27'' flat screen tv

We have been told that there is about a month of woodwork still to go before varnishing begins so we think that we are on course for a spring finish.........maybe

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Blisworth Canal Festival

Yesterday we travelled to Blisworth for the annual canal festival. This village hosts the third longest navigable tunnel on the canal network at 3,076 yards.The journey from Kent took an hour and a half as both the M25 and M1 were trouble free. On arrival we found our way to the towpath where a number of stalls and boats were displaying their wares.

Blisworth Wharf viewed from the towpath.

Continuing along the towpath we soon found both The Cheese Boat and also nb Sanity selling various flavours of fudge. Several purchases were made after sampling the produce.
Further along the towpath were several traditional working boats moored and we took the opportunity to speak with the members of the restoration societies.

NUTFIELD (motor) and RAYMOND (butty)

OLIVE built for London Midland and Scottish in 1930


In the distance I recognised the distinctive shape of a Hudson narrowboat. The boat in question was OL SMOKEY. The owners were happy to chat and although the boat looked new it is in fact 7 years old. An unusual example as the engine is a Gardiner rather than the Lister that powers most traditional Hudsons. Seeing this just makes us want our own boat to be finished. OL SMOKEY was not at the recent Hudson open weekend but the owners allowed us to have a look inside (Thank You).

What we found impressive is it seems as if the whole village takes part in the festival with private gardens being opened to the public. As we explored the village we saw a collection of steam engines. The sound and smell of these when running is special.

After spending four and a half hours at the festival we departed via Stoke Bruerne where a stop at The Navigation Inn to refresh ourselves prior to driving home was the order of the day.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Engine In and Lining Out

Yesterday we travelled to Tamworth to attend Hudson Boatbuilders open day. It was an opportunity to view the progress on Achernar and to also have a final look at some other Hudson boats in case we wanted to make any final tweeks. The basin was full of colourful boats and the weather was fine and dry.

It had taken just over 3 hours to travel up from Kent due to a number of incidents on the motorways so a visit to the refreshment tent was the first order of the day. We went on board five boats in all some were for the first time and others we had seen before but wanted to re visit to confirm our own design choices. As always the owners were very welcoming and willing to answer our many questions. One important issue that arose was that gauges on the fuel and water tanks were not included in the standard spec. So having been made aware of this I have now added this to the requirements for Achernar.

Viewing from the bow towards the stern. The Houdini hatch and open side hatch are in the galley. The closed side hatch is where the saloon ends and the galley begins.

The bedroom with bed base taking shape. The boxed in area contains the holding tank. Base will be slatted and will have a pull out section to increase width from 4' to 4'6''.
Shower cubicle 800 x 800 taking shape with cupboards.

Alternate view of shower room where hand basin and Sanimarin macerating toilet will be located.

Views of engine room

Engine bay showing hospital silencer and Beta 43 engine protected by plastic sheeting.

Stainless Steel water tank beneath well deck
One of our other objectives was to choose a colour scheme but on this we have failed. Just when we see one boat that we like we then see another and so on.
Our journey home was more enjoyable thanks to the break we took at The Navigation Inn at Stoke Bruerne. We arrived home at 7pm having missed most of the forecast bad weather. I hope the planned evening barbecue and band was not affected too much by the weather and once again thanks to all who allowed us onto your boats.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Steelwork Sprayfoam and Electrics

Since my last post when Achernar was launched whilst on holiday I have now obtained the photos that Steve Hudson had kindly taken. Whilst I am biased I do think she looks good.

Slowly does it !!!!!

As you can see from the next 3 photos we have opted not only for steel side doors on the starboard of the boat which are in the galley area but we specified additional doors on the port side which are located between the galley and the saloon. The reasoning behind this is that no matter which side the towpath is we can always have side doors open without being peered at when moored.

Entering the water

Side hatches viewed from inside facing the stern

Then last week along with many others we attended the Crick Boat Show. This was out third visit and the weather was by far the best it has ever been. We of course viewed several boats but one of our main reasons for attending was to obtain things on our shopping list. We managed to secure a 55 pound show discount on a seagull water filter and we have also confirmed that the freestanding sofa and armchair will be made by elite furnishings. We have order extra material (mulberry flame) so that cushion seats in our back room can be covered to match and also our porthole bungs.
Whilst viewing the Hudson boats Steve informed me that the Beta Marine 43 engine on show was in fact our engine and that it was to be delivered straight after the show.(We went and had a look and saw it complete with Travelpower)

Fine weather for enjoying a picnic lunch
 I was also interested in looking at solar power options and following a discussion with exhibitor of 'run by the sun' I was pleased that my choice of a Panasonic 235w panel and an Outback charge controller which can be added to as required is a good choice. The Panasonic HIT panels are very efficient and so are slightly smaller compared with other panels of a similar wattage.
Unfortunately I did not see any exhibitors from Merlin as I was hoping to source a Smartguage at a show price. However I have also been reading Tom's blog from Waiouru so I may hold off from this purchase until he has finished reviewing the BMV600. (See blog list for link)

With the build of Achernar progressing well we needed to make a final decision on what cables are required for our audio visual entertainment. These cables need to be installed now so I have opted for 2 HDMI - 1 COAX and 1 Ethernet. All will run from the back of the TV to a corner cupboard containing Satellite Box, Blu Ray player etc.

So yesterday  I travelled to Tamworth and delivered said cables. It was also an occasion for more photos to be taken.

Engine bay - Battery bank will on the left and Hurricane diesel heater will be on the right.

Brick ballast with cut away section for Stainless Steel Holding Tank. The base plate which is 15mm has been treated with bitumen and waxoil. By resting the tank on the base plate it has increased its volume by about 20 percent.

Showing the Houdini hatch and the pair of prisms currently partially covered by sprayfoam.
 Well I am sure that a next stage payment is soon to be due but at least the day when we finally get afloat is in sight .

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Launch

Having been away for a couple of weeks we returned yesterday to find that ACHERNAR was launched last Monday and is now afloat in Glascote Basin. Steve Hudson has taken some photos for us as we were unable to be there. The process of battening out has begun and the intention is for the spray foam insulation to be applied later this week or early next week. We have also added to the specification the requirement for navigation lights to be installed. The next step is The Crick Boat Show where we intend to view lots of boats to see if we wish to make any small adjustments. On the shopping list is Smartguage and a seagull water purifier. We will also be checking out solar charging systems and satellite tv.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Steelwork Stage One

Friday 19th April

Today started full of anticipation as I set off from Kent at 8am heading for Tamworth. In the boot of the car was the Zanussi washing machine that I was going to deposit at Hudsons boatyard. The M25 was surprisingly free flowing so good time was made via the M1/M6/M42 arriving at Glascote Basin at 1045 am.
On arrival I could see that the boatyard was quite full with boats including a number that were in build.

Hudson Boatbuilders at Glascote Basin

Steve Hudson was with other customers when I arrived so I had a short wait during which time I was able to view a boat within the paint shed. I was itching to get inside the steel shed to see Achernar and after what was only 5 mins but seemed an age Steve took me inside to see how our boat was progressing.

Distinctive Bow of a Hudson with 15mm Base Plate

Side View of Bow

Bow Thruster Tube

I had read earlier during my research days that there is a slightly higher risk of the bow thruster tube being perforated and that although this is rare I would rather mitigate this risk so I have specified a watertight bulkhead to be fitted between the bow thruster tube and the rest of the boat.

Well Deck showing Bow Thruster Hatch

Stern showing part of the 14' swims

Rear Engine Room which will house the Beta 43 Engine

Front Roof Section - Showing slots for Prisms

Roof Section being raised - Showing Prism slots and Houdini Hatch cutout

Side View showing Ports and (Rivets)

Internal View showing Floor Bearers
Once the steelwork has been completed some of the floor bearers will be altered to allow the stainless steel holding tank to rest on the base plate. This should increase its volume thereby increasing the periods between pump outs.

Steve estimates that the shell will be finished in about two weeks which is good news. On the flip side that means the next stage payment is due. Now looking forward to Crick to source some equipment at hopefully show prices.