Sunday, 25 March 2012

End in sight...

Anti fouling done... 

Before:


After:



...looks a bit better! I do like that colour...  went with Seago Cruising in the end as the local chandlers had a deal on..

Shot of the completed "nav station" - also known as tea tray...  have added a lip to stop the Netbook sliding off (I'll also have bungee's) and painted it...


End in sight - I'll drop the mast to check it over next week, and I'll also fit the speakers and amplifier..  and that marks the end of all the must do jobs..

This week I'll have a go at putting together a handy/tidy box (item 9 on the job list) for keeping stuff in when I'm sailing....

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tender bung....

...ooooerrr  missus.....

Rubbish weekend of weather, but a couple of hours of sunshine this morning saw me finish off job no.7 - the bung is now fitted to the tender - a less than painful operation, but very pleased, a right proper job...  removed the old fitting (just a piece of pipe glassed into the hull and now loose...), sanded off the outer surface to remove all signs of the old epoxy glue, ground out the hole with a router to the right size to fit the new fitting, offered up and it was a perfect fit...  drilled through two fixing holes for the bolts holding the fitting, squeezed in some silicone sealant behind the fitting, pushed it home but not completely... I'll tighten off the bolts to get a tight fit in a few days time when the silicone has had time to harden off.. (and I've had time to get myself a couple of stainless bolts to replace the mild steel ones currently holding it.. )

While down there I also took the opportunity to slap a coat of wood treatment on the trim as well - OK so I wasn't going to, but the wood just looked so bad....  if the tender now gets knicked because it looks a 100% better I'll blame .... someone else....! I refuse to do the seat though... 

Lastly, I took the opportunity to also:

  • put a squeeze of Captain Tolly around the outer edge of the windows - they're much better since I treated them last winter, but I still have a couple of irritating drips when it rains that I'd like to get rid of..
  • reinstalled the battery - I've had it at home for a few days on charge ready for the new season
  • re-primed the bar - four cans of Fursty Ferret should see me through the first part of the season!
Only a few hours but hugely constructive... can almost see the end....

The outboard went in for a service yesterday, so that leaves just two major "must do" jobs to do, with a few "nice to have" jobs...  

I want to take the mast down to refit the windex, and straighten out the aerial - I have two options for this, either next weekend or the weekend of the launch - I'd prefer to do it with some time to fix any issues so I think next weekend is looking good...  and I'm going to do it on my own!

..and the other job is the anti-foul; for the first time ever I may have to actually buy some as my sis has found herself a (lovely) new job outside of the marine industry and she always used to be my source!  smileys

Monday, 12 March 2012

Good day...

....unseasonally warm and sunny this weekend so a perfect opportunity to get on with some work items....

Another couple of coats inside the tender - she's done now...  yes I know she looks ropey elsewhere - that's the intention - less attractive to the more light fingered brethren...  (though I may still slap some wood preservative on the seat and thwarts.. )



Also got two coats on the rubbing strip - look at the shine on that....


 Separately - screwed in the support batten to complete item 11 - headlining now secure..

The rest of the time was spent doing some fettling and jiggling to get the new speakers mounted...  I've come up with a plan to mount the speakers in a box, on the port side just forward of the switch panel..  the box is made, the circular cut-outs for the speakers cut, so yesterday was time to see how it fitted...  I wanted to make sure of the existing wooden battens to save having to fit some new one's (I can do it but it's a bit of a pain...) - the good news is that it looks pretty good...  I'm going to use some of those oh so useful plastic joinery blocks - one half on the box, one half on the batten, held in place by a couple of nuts (so that I can remove it when I need to...)  The difficult bit is the support of the back of the box - being a boat Pap doesn't have many straight edges - at the moment there's a batten running along the side just below the box - I think the answer will be a couple of wooden wedges that will hold it firmly in place while still making it easy to take out...

Good day... updates in blue - full list in the pages above...
 
2/. Repaint inside of tender..  Finished
5/. Amplifier/speakers to play the MP3 player through Amplifier arrived... speakers arrived... wired into power successfully...  Speaker box built (80% - may box in the ends) time to paint it, fit the speakers and finish installation...
11/. Re-fix port side headlining - it's come undone just inside hatch - just need to re-glue/screw it.. Finished
21/. Rub down and re-coat rubbing strip.. Finished



Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Nav station part 1.. proof of concept... jobs update..

"Proof of concept" indeed....

With the Netbook now set up with charts and OpenCPN I needed somewhere to put it, so that I could still see it from the helm, but where it would be protected from the elements... so I came up with this idea.

The frame sits over the bulkhead/partition - with a fork of the leg on either side which holds it rock solid...


Very, very pleased with this as I knocked it up in just an hour, out of bits and pieces I had in the garage, and with no need for adjustments at all - fitted exactly right straight out of the box...


..as a proof of concept I think it hits the spot exactly - the next version (when/if I get round to it) will be made of purpose bought/cut MDF so looking much neater in appearance...


In the meanwhile this version is due to have an appointment with a tin of white paint...

While I was at the boat I also wired up the power cable for the new amplifier as I wanted to check that the 12v sockets I have on board actually worked.... I'd bought some plugs this weekend (they look like these) from the local caravan shop and although fiddly I managed to wire one up, plugged it into the existing socket, switched on the power, and fingers crossed, switched on the amplifier .. success!! Very snazzy amplifier by the way - volume button glows various pulsing colours in the dark....!

Things are coming together.... watch someone go and put a spanner in the works somewhere! Time for a jobs update, then.... the full list is in the tab at the top of the page.. recent changes in blue....


Item: 

6/. Amplifier/speakers to play the MP3 player through - Amplifier arrived... speakers arrived... Amplifier wired into power successfully .. next job is a wooden speaker box to attach the component parts to

7/. Drain hole in tender needs fixing - drain hole bought, existing drain needs to be drilled out and the new one fitted...

8/. Tiller extension - Arrived... needs to be fitted. Also need holding clip to keep it in place when I'm not using it...

13/. Rub down and re-coat rubbing strip..

14/. Anti-foul ...  how could I have forgotten....   This one needs to be done by the weekend of the 31st latest....

Monday, 5 March 2012

New purchases.... Spring is stirring...

Good news - I have a new mooring this year - potentially I should get an extra half hour to an hour before and after high tide - a potential huge improvement and gives lots of opportunity for more extended cruising on a single tide... great news, I owe someone a beer....

Separately the speakers are now sourced, and along with the amplifier previously mentioned these will form the basis of the new boat stereo...


I have an idea for how I will mount these but time will tell - I need some kind of platform to stand the Netbook on where it can be in cover but I can still see it from the helm.....  what I'm thinking of is to use the half partition which you can just see on the left in the following....


Two uprights, with a cross member to brace them - I'll make a cut-out at the bottom of the uprights so they can slide over the partition - and then a couple of brackets to support a small shelf for the Netbook.

I can then use the same edifice to provide support for a wooden plank that I'll mount the speakers in and I can also use to mount the amplifier... seemples.. until you see the standard of my woodworking skills...

Friday, 2 March 2012

Cheap plotter...

For Christmas I bought myself a Netbook - mainly so I could use it for reading ebooks, browse my email, blogging and stuff, without having to go and start up my PC which is in a separate part of the house..... all in all it's been a huge success, as in addition to the aforementioned (which it does well) it also means I'm not leaving the current Mrs Papillon sitting on her own for hours at a time.... never a good idea...

In the back of my mind though, there was always the thought that I might also be able to use it as a budget level plotter, so the Netbook I chose was largely determined by the battery; specifically how long it could last between charges - I ended up buying a Hewlett Packard 210 (left - yeah...  looks like a Netbook doesn't it...) as theoretically it has a battery life of 8 hours...

For £10 I doubled the memory - not sure this was necessary for the plotter but useful for all the other stuff I'm doing with it and at £10 it seemed foolish not to...  so it now has 1Gb RAM.

For the plotter software, based on feedback on the Practical Boat Owner forum I decided to go for OpenCPN - it's free and open source, and is constantly being developed, but the version I'm using is v2.5.0... one simple download and install later and OpenCPN was running without any issues...  I also plan to check out SeaClear later, which is also free.

Both applications require you to source charts - for SeaClear you can buy them..  among other places from VisitMyHarbour who do the whole of the UK on a DVD disk for about £30. The only downside of the arrangement is that you need to have the DVD in every time you start the plotter as it has an encryption key - I'd rather not....

Charts for OpenCPN are more difficult as there are currently no UK charts available to buy in the correct format - you have to search the web for a suitable download (Google "CM93") the set I found are oldish - 1993 but as a backup to my proper paper charts they'll do...  according to the chap from VisitMyHarbour, they will be producing a set of OpenCPN compatible charts later this summer which would definitely be on my "buy list"..

So - with charts sourced and downloaded, all you need do is point OpenCPN at the relevant folder and it should start up with the relevant chart loaded and your position indicated at lat 0 long 0 (the default)...

Next step plug your GPS in to the Netbook, and tell OpenCPN about it - for this experiment I'm using my main boat plotter which is the eminently brilliant Garmin GPS72 (right) - I think that at some point in time if I decide to carry on with the experiment and actually take the Netbook afloat I'll buy a separate GPS for resilience - you can buy a simple waterproof, GPS with a USB connection for about £30 from the likes of Amazon or Maplins...

Once the GPS is plugged in, on the Garmin at least you need to change the "conversation type" from native Garmin (which is the default), to NMEA type...  if you use the GPS72 you'll note it has a lower speed for NMEA than Garmin as well...  reflect this speed in OpenCPN, tell it what port the GPS is using, and if you also start the NMEA conversation window all of a sudden you see screeds (and screeds) or text flowing from the GPS to OpenCPN - and you appear as a red ship icon on the Netbook screen on the relevant chart ...

See following.... which shows me as being moored inland as that was where I happened to be with the GPS at the time...  you can also see the NMEA conversation window (labelled COM2) and also a sample of the vector charts that OpenCPN uses


Now with that done, and the Yachtmaster course finished, and only 30 days or so to go to launch day it's time to start finishing off some of those jobs...