Friday, 27 October 2017

1 Year on...

Well Happy Birthday 'Ellis'.  YES - 1 year ago today, the boat was launched/craned on to the water here at Stanley Ferry, Wakefield!

This morning, I'm up and about early for no reason really...  RATHER pleased I'd bunged a few more ovoids on the fire about 10pm before retiring...

as it was 3.6 degrees Celsius outside and still a comfortable 21.9 in the lounge saloon.  Mick is always making a point we need to use 'Boaty' terms for different parts of the boat...  *sits on the naughty step*...  

Hey ho.  I've given the grate a bit of a riddle and chucked on a few more coals so before the sun gets up, it'll be back to about 25-26 degrees in here again.  I've never liked being cold so it's come as quite a relief how HOT a boat really can be... especially given that the first 18 or so inches of the living space, is under cold water!

So then -  NOW we've had the boat 12 months, I thought I'd look back at how it's all gone.  I'm in danger of just writing a list here so bear with me... I'll try NOT to but you know how it is ... sometimes a list IS the best way.

STARTING with the Bedroom  sorry Mick, CABIN, ... you may recall on the orginal plan
 we'd planned to fit fin rads in the bottom of each wardrobe... THAT didn't happen.  I did buy them but in order to get the 22mm piping hidden behind the front bulkhead and bent around rather than have 90 degree bends, the big one just wouldn't fit and as for the smaller one, by the time the piping went in for macerator toilet, there wasn't room in there either.  Also, on the plan, we'd intended building a cupboard to house the compact tumble dryer to the left of the front door - in reality, due to the curve of the boat, it wouldn't fit either without seriously obscuring steps/door.  As such, it was relocated to the bottom of the larder cupboard in the kitchen.... which in use, actually works quite well as the vent hose hangs easily out of the porthole above the sink.

Moving through into bathroom (what Mick expects me to call that I don't know) that was as planned - except 1 ft larger than we wanted.... the builder sort of bullied us in to that - I now wish we'd stood or ground and had it a bit shorter as that extra 1ft would have been more useful in the lounge.

Writing of the lounge, that (with the exception of 1 less porthole each side) is also more or less as planned... I've still not gotten around to putting the ceiling level vent in above the fire into the back of the storage cupboard in the bathroom - I bought all the bits required (12v computer fan, ducting etc.) but in reality, when the fire is lit, the bathroom is warm enough anyway - IF we get a really bad winter and we feel cold in there, I might get around to doing that.  The position of the stove HAD to be moved slightly more centrally due to the wiring loom in the ceiling ending up RIGHT where we needed to cut the hole for the flue... which in turn upset the ballast a bit when the toilet tank is full.  We've now gotten around that with the heavy steel plates Tony gave us.

Kitchen wise - Sorry GALLEY, that had to be changed a bit... with the removal of a dishwasher (there was no way of opening the door without having it open into the lounge, (which would have meant moving a chair out of the way each time you put a mug in) .  GIVEN what we now know about "power" generation and management, it's probably been for the best.  We also LOST a cupboard space opposite the sink because the Oven had to be fitted there...  despite (on the plan) it going opposite the fridge, the wiring for the fridge ended up being the wrong side and rather than squeeze it on top (it might have fitted) we opted to fit it under the kitchen work top.  IT's a bit of a pain and at some point, we might replace it and the 2 burner hob with a free-standing full size one.  It IS perfectly usable but  it did take a bit of getting used to.

The larder cupboard and 2nd toilet have worked out well - although they too have swapped sides - it being easier to plumb the loo in as the pipes to the kitchen/bathroom ran down that side.  

Dinette wise, that has gone to plan, with the fin rads being fitted under the floor which do a good job of keeping long term storage stuff aired, whilst the 3 little radiators take care of 'proper' heating back there - besides, so long as the eco-fan is on the fire, it's usually only a couple of degrees cooler than the lounge anyway - clearly having the stove roughly in the middle of the boat WAS a good idea.

One thing I now accept I DID get carried away with, were (was?) the number of radiators - ONLY by 1 though ...  this one to be exact

On paper it seemed a good idea  - being able to lean on a hot radiator and look out of the side hatch....  in reality a) heat wise it's just not needed and b) space wise, it means when we have the chairs facing THIS way,

due to the "lost arm space" under the gunwale, the walkway between the chairs is a bit tight... We'e both taken to sitting this way of an evening so we can put our feet up and feel the heat from the fire WITHOUT one of us sweltering in what became known as 'the hot seat' lol.    Sitting this way ALSO means we can make good use of the usb points over our left/right shoulders with the usb reading lights we have.  

AS for the hull, the only change there was we only have 5 portholes down each side rather than the planned 6... it hasn't made any difference (other than knocking £1000 off the final  invoice)... the glazed side hatches (1 on each side) HAVE made a big difference.   I still need to buy a sheet of clear perspex to place on the outside  - currently when it rains/blows, due to the tumble home, the water runs to the bottom of them and drips inside.... having something on the outside will direct it down the exterior instead and still allow day light in.

OTHER than the things mentioned above, it's gone pretty much to plan.   

One thing that definitely WAS a good move, was the engine upgrade ... from a 38 to 42.  The "power" as such isn't really noticeable unless heading upstream against fresh flow on the river but the resultant PRM 150 Hydraulic gearbox AND 175amp 2nd alternator it runs, DO make a big difference ... especially when the washing machine is running.  

RE. the washer - whilst it is cold fill, I HAD planned to fit a " Y " piece in and connect it to hot and cold supplies with 'stop taps' in each pipe... The risk there though would be unless I remembered to intervene mid wash, it might end up rinsing hot water too...   SO in practice, we've got 2 x empty 5 litre water bottles that live in the 2nd loo cupboard which I fill with hot water and pour in the drawer at the start of whatever program... that saves an awful lot of battery drain and does mean I can have a load done and ready to peg out on a morning, before the 8am engine starting time slot.  

NOT that many people seem to adhere to that around here...  WE do and for the most part don't get narked that others don't... we've learned to adopt a 'live and let live' attitude - live-aboard boaters sometimes run out of electricity/battery power so  needs must and all that.

We're still managing on just the 3 135ah batteries... the de-sulphication charges appear to have done the trick and although this morning when I looked, they were down to 66%, yesterday they didn't start off full anyway.    Our charging regime at present is to run the engine for about an hour first thing - which gives hot water for the day and does the bulk charge.  The Solar then (hopefully) trickles away all day putting the rest in.  Generally, I'll run it for another half hour or so after tea to top up the hot water.  

Once a week (ish) I get the generator out and charge using the inverter until the charge current drops to under 2amps...  assuming that means the bank is as close to 100% as it will get. This seems to be working ok.  

The generator is a bit loud so I've asked the boaters moored nearby to let me know if it' gets on their nerves and I'll move the boat a few hundred yards up the cut when it's running for more than a couple of hours - EVER the considerate one that's me 😇

Until next time...


Catherine VK4GH said...

Toilet is called the "head". If the "head" is in the bathroom, all in one, on a boat it would normally be called a "head" too.

Quaysider said...

ah - not the 'crapper' then... I had a feeling mick was wrong about that one lol

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary.
Living so close together and not having murdered each other is worthy of congratulations too.
Looking forward to the launch of the next chapter, and your first clients :)
nb Paneke

Phil said...

Happy first year in, I have been following every step on your blog from the beginning (hope that doesn’t make me a stalker😀). We have now ordered our sailaway that is due just after Christmas and I have learned lots through following your journey so thanks very much. I hope to be just as successful (but with fewer medical incidents) and our target to sell up and move on is mid summer.

Quaysider said...

Cheers Rog - there HAS been talk of having a 50lb lump weight strapped to me and thrown overboard on the odd occasion but so far so good ;-)

Quaysider said...

Stalker? lol nah but you need to get out more ;-).

Please blog about your build - there's nothing more interesting than OTHER people's boats... I can't get enough of them. ONE bit of advice - get the fire in asap so working on it is more pleasurable and less of a drain on the batteries than relying on the diesel heating. Good luck and enjoy.