Wednesday 23 July 2014

Summer break

Not a lot has been happening on board Gannet this summer.  Dave has been very busy doing the hull of another boat that almost sank.  Had to be taken to dry dock and a new bottom put on it.  Some incredible tales of jacking up an entire boat to weld on huge sheets of steel to the underneath.  Quite impressive when one thinks about it.  Given the boat is sitting on its hull in dry dock, how to weld new sheets on?  It involves some very clever jacking and special support structures built by Dave.

It would have been good to see this but sadly I was too busy.  Dave has lots of work on this summer (good) and we have agreed that the interior work on Gannet can wait until winter when work for him is more scarce.  This seems sensible.  I do need to line up some portholes by early next year for him to work on.  Seems like a good compromise to me.

Monday 12 May 2014

Hatch restoration

Two rear hatches have been restored.  They needed some new hinge bolts to free them up a bit and the rear hatch down into the old life jacket store is looking good.

Monday 7 April 2014

All clear

The is something quite pleasant about starting the day here on Gannet.  Especially today.  The rubbish is cleared.  I awoke at 6:20 as usual and exited the boat through the rear door as usual to find a bright morning and the tide in.  Made even better by the fact I could walk across to the edge of the boat and stand and watch the ducks paddle by, something only made possible by the clear deck!  Yea!

Ta Da!

My meeting with Dave yesterday helped me understand the amount of work that took to do.  So well done guys for the clearing of the rubbish.  It took 2 men 2 weeks to clear.  But I understand they did ok with the scrap so I hope they found it worthwhile.  Sorry to hear about the boat.  Issues with the boat used to move the rubbish meant that the last few days needed the remaining rubbish to be removed by hand.

Dave has been busy on board too.  The old hatch at the front has been refurbished.  This is the new emergency exit for the front of the ship.  The hatch was old and rusty.  It was also all but impossible to open from the inside due to the weight. 

Dave refurbished it and added a counter weight on so the hatch now opens easily.

Inside the hatch Dave has added a bolt.  All the hatches will be secured from the inside.  Much easier than fiddling with the padlocks and of course a padlocked hatch is no good in an emergency if you are inside.

The doors have been cut into the chain buckets.  These will enable me to get to the cabling more easily.  Thats a big job to do.  The supplier of the cable stripper has let me down.  No answer of any emails or calls and no product.  Luckily done on PayPal who are proving to be next to useless in helping to resolve the matter. 

The pipework from the old lube tanks has been removed and the tanks capped off.  They still have oil in them.  That can be pumped out from the top deck.  This will leave the tanks in place as original features.  They just need to be painted something other than battleship grey!

Next steps for Dave are to get over his knee accident (hope you recover soon) and to start the refurbishment of the three hatches under the helipad.  Not a big job.  After that there are the main doors on the deck at the top of the gantry which are in a terrible state.   Inside no further work is needed until the portholes are procured (nearly 30 of them will be needed, so need to save the pennies).  The last job is then the floor on the chain buckets.

I will need to start pulling my finger out on the woodwork inside.  Months on and only one room completed.  I may get help!

Friday 14 March 2014

Chain room progress

Several hours of moving all my tools and stuff out of the chain room freed up the space for Dave to do further cutting.

The metal work you see below with the orange lines is the area to be cut out.  This will leave a flatter space to put the flooring over.  Railings are staying temporarily for safety as it will be a while before we get the floor in

You can just see the cuts here where it has been taken down.   Still a small ridge left to provide some rigidity.

Thursday 13 March 2014

Rubbish 2

The rubbish is being eaten away slowly.  Loaded onto a small boat tied up either alongside Gannet or by the pontoon.

Starting to look cleared.  Ish.  A day or so more work and it will be done.

All the rubble sacks are gone

You can see the deck on this side two.

I am very much looking forward to having a clean space again.  While none of the rubbish was domestic, the look of living in a rubbish tip was depressing.  It slowly built up over a long time.

The two guys doing the work have been relentless.  Organised by Dave (thanks again Dave) I have done a good deal where they get to recover some of the fees from the steel scrap.  The copper remains mine.  With the money I pay plus the value of the steel everyone wins.  People have suggested that I sort the scrap out but there is a lot of it and in the end I would have to pay a lot to get it moved and I suspect that while I may overall end up in profit from the exercise that would rely upon me working on it and not doing my day job.  Two days away from my day job and I lose more money than the whole thing put together.

The copper is still to be recycled so that should cover the upfront money I paid to clear the rest and a bit more besides.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Rubbish removal

The rubbish removal process has begun!  Yea!   Dave has managed to organise a team and boats etc to start the process.  The rear deck has been seen for the first time in a long time.  Lots still to remove but the process has definitely begun.

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Hatches cut out, portholes in

Two new portholes now fitted to the kitchen outer wall.  One more gap to fill.  If the porthole deal goes through on Monday I will have spares to complete the set.

The two fitted (the right hand one of the two you can clearly see below) are opening ones.  The original set did not open and I thought it was important to have some air flow into the kitchen if possible.

Again, another photo showing what is not there.  There was a big metal cupboard at the bottom of the stairs which was no longer needed.  All gone now opening up that space at the bottom of the stairs to the chain room.

The new master bedroom now without poles.  You may also note on the right a new hatchway that goes through to the front bow space.  There is an identical one on the other side of the bed space.  I have to say that it looks great and the photos do not do it justice.

Same hatch way on the left hand side.

View in from the hatchway.  I will leave the stairs in place and put in a skylight (porthole into the hatch at the top.  It can serve as another emergency exit.  Or I may utilise the stairs in the bedroom for the same purpose and remove these stairs.

Dave has cut the door out on the old coal bunker so we can fit a proper door to the ensuite.

Its hard now to capture the size of what will be the master bedroom.

View from the wall with the hatches on (the bed wall).  The stairs down into the hull will remain as there is a huge storage space underneath.  This shot is looking left.  The wall showing on the left is hull, the wall behind the pole is the coal bunker (ensuite to be).  There is a big space to the left between the coal bunker and the hull.

View to the right of the bunker through the door into the chain room.

Still more to do though.  Dave is now cutting the remaining floor down in the chain room and removing chain guides that are no longer needed.

Final news, I have just bought a cable stripper to remove the copper from the cable.  The price of copper is much higher if you strip it yourself and I have got a very cost effective drill powered stripper that will take the cover off cable up to 35mm.  Hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of fun to be had there I suspect.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Poles away

News just in.  Expert advice has indicated that the support poles in the front locker are no longer needed.  These supported the deck.  Clearly with tons of chain bearing down on the chain runners on deck there would have been considerable forces pushing down especially in 10m + waves in the Irish sea.  Now, Gannets gentle existence in the Medway or indeed in any inland waterways where she will spend the remainder of her life, there is simply no need for this reinforcement.

The poles have gone and the room is now fully open plan.

Work has started on cutting the hatches into the bow room of the ship.  Portholes are being fitted into the kitchen as we speak.

Finally, news in on some portholes for sale.  Possibly as many as 20.  This would sort the front bedroom and the remaining 8 missing cabins' portholes.  That would just leave the chain room to sort.

Gulp, the expense!

Tuesday 4 March 2014

New floor

Lots going on aboard Gannet this week.  Managed to get a day on her myself last Friday and got plenty of photos of the work in progress.  

Dave has been busy building the new floor extension in the chain room.  The idea is that the door through to the master bedroom (in photo below covered in plastic) needed to be more central due to the lube tank.  That meant that there was no walkway chain room side of the door just a plunge to a grizzly death at the bottom of the chain bucket.  The new floor will sort that and provide the landing for the stairs down.

Now most of the heavy cutting is done it is time to sort the rubbish and recycle the scrap.  Dave has agreed to project manage the exercise and get some trusted labour in to help.  Basically there will be skips put along side and the rubbish will go in them.  Then the scrap will be offloaded in further scrap bins.  Finally the bilge diesel water mix in the barrels will be pumped out and barrels removed.  We will also get the paraffin and lube tanks pumped out in the chain room enabling us to use them for other things.  Not least of which it help removes a fire hazard.

The old coal bunker is now clear.  Perfect size for the ensuite.  Removed the planks already.  There is an existing air vent out onto deck which will help with ventilation and the extractor fan etc that will be needed.

The problem of the poles is still to be solved.  The two middle poles will really need to be removed to fit the bed in.  Advice is being sought.  We may need to strengthen the beam above but that should be easy to do.

The final task in that front explosives locker was to decide what to do with the room (under the hatch below) at the bow of the ship.  It is a very nice little space (see photos below) with the anchor 'tubes' which connect the deck with the outer hull at the bow and which was where the anchor chains ran down over the big metal 'runners' (apologies for lack of nautical terms) on deck.

The condition of the hull here is amazing.  The pain looks mint condition and like it was painted only yesterday.  The idea would be to remove the ladder, put a skylight on the hatch above (probably a porthole rather than skylight) and use the space for storage.  The question was how to get in there.  I am investigating (again advice being sought) cutting two hatch ways through from the master bedroom on either side of the bed.

More pictures of the new floor.  Now boarded for safety

Still more to do but lots of exciting progress.