Monday, 20 January 2014

A good job done!

Some photos taken whilst Constance was in dry-dock.
The view down the weed-hatch

View of stern

Starboard bow (where Klingons can sometimes be seen - Jim)

Port bow

Starting to flood the dry-dock
Thanks to Ian and all his amazing crew at Semington Dry-dock!
We're out and on our way
Just as we left the dry-dock we met Spencer & Victoria on their fuel boat, we shared a lock and bought fuel. That saved us a trip down to Hilperton, thank you both!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Hull Survey

It is always a nervous time when you have a hull thickness survey done. You cannot see what is going on below the waterline and Constance is now nearly 34 years old. Duly taken in to Semington Dock.

Stop planks dropped in
Constance in position and the water being pumped out

The cleaning process starts with a jet wash
Hull survey under way
 The steel for Constance is known as 6/5/4. That is: 6mm base plate, 5mm hull sides and 4mm cabin top. The readings in chalk above and below omit the decimal point.
Starboard stern section
For a 34 year old boat these readings are pretty good. The anodes need replacing and have been added to the work list. Thanks go to David Williams for doing the hull survey.
More green

As Constance is under cover it was an excellent chance to put some more green paint on the cabin roof.
Constance in dry-dock
We are just waiting for the hull to dry completely so that the blacking can be done.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Semington Dry Dock

Another lovely day as I left Sells Green.
A gap at Sells Green for someone else.
The first swing bridge you come across is a challenge for a single-hander as there is no landing space on the far side. I had to 'rope' the bridge and pull it back. Interesting.
Long shadows in the winter sunshine
Between Sells Green and Semington Drydock there are five swing bridges and six locks.
Arrived at Semington Dry Dock
'Constance' will be going into the middle dock.
Arrived ready for dry-docking, hull inspection and blacking.

Friday, 10 January 2014

To Sells Green

It is all about 'weather windows' at this time of year.
The sun had been shining, honest!
We have now moved on from Upper Foxhangers and heading down to Foxhangers. At this time of year all of the hire boats are moored up and being serviced.
Judy patiently waiting whilst I take photos.
Two type of electric power.
The solar farm had already generated 16kW of power this morning.
We moved on to Sells Green, took on water and moored beyond the limited area. I walked back and got the car and we drove on to Bradford-on-Avon to see how much water was passing under the bridge.
The river Avon at BoA
The river was flowing well at BoA. looking at the silt on the footpaths it looks as if it had been about four feet higher at its peak. This is quite a contrast for us to see it this way after the summer when it was a quite stream.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Oil change done

It was time to do the oil change. I do not find this an easy operation. I have now converted the old BMC multipart oil filter assembly to a spin-on type. Even this was not quite as straightforward as it seemed. The bolts from the old filter mount were too long for the adaptor and I had to find a nice fat washer to make up the difference. Never mind, that is now done and next time the spin-on will be easy.
NO! The difficult bit is getting the oil out of the sump. Even when the engine oil is warm I find that my lift pump (bought for the purpose) will not 'lift' the oil out. The only way I can get the oil out is to cut four 4-pint milk bottles to make catchers and have a couple more modified 4-pint milk containers to pour the contents of the catchers into to get it al out from under the engine bay. The sump drain is just about as far as I can reach so I always get very messy.
Anyway the job is now done. She runs like a dream.
Upper Foxhangers
Soon we will be off down the Foxhangers flight on our way to Sells Green for water. We just need a day when it is not tipping it down with rain or blowing a full gale!
Happy New Year!