As the build progresses this page will record our progress
It seems a period of remedial work has started, possibly thanks to the onset of the cold weather.
After the first serious cold period, I visited the boat with intrepidation and carefully checked all of the water pipes and joints before turning on the water stop cock and pump.
All of the fresh and foul water system was fine, but the engine cooling circuit to the calorifier had sprung a leak at the point where it enters the calorifier. The carpets in the utility where wet, I had noticed them being a bit damp over the previous weeks but had put it down to condensation and drips from the sliding hatch, Wrong, I should have checked.
Luckily I had been concerned about leaks when I built the electrics cupboard over and around the calorifier and so it could be "easily" dismantled. The couplings at the bottom of the tank were loose and dripping anti-freeze and water onto the floor.
Anti-freeze is a horrible sticky stuff and never evaporates. The carpet tiles are going to need a go in the shower and drying off before re-fitting.
We have had an interesting problem with the engine cutting out after about half an hour of running. It would not start at all immediately afterwards and it was clear that there was no fuel getting into the engine as there was no white smoke when the engine was cranked over. But when the engine was cold and the engine was cranked white smoke would appear and the engine would eventually splutter into life, only to die about half an hour latter.
After investigation by Ashleigh Pinder it turned out to be the fuel cut off valve over heating and dropping out. A new one was dispatched by Barrus and fitted by Ashleigh and the engine runs sweetly again.
The winter is fast approaching and we need to keep warm. The Stovax Brunnel that has been sitting in our garage most of the year finds its rightful home.
The surround is built from 18mm birch plywood and is firmly glued and screwed to the floor and walls. The tiles are fastened on the good quality adhesive (as we used in the galley, they haven't come loose yet!),
The stove is bolted to its base with four M8 Allen bolts. If we stop suddenly the stove won't leave the base, I just hope the base won't leave the floor!!
Cutting the flue pipe is fun with a hacksaw, remember the old adage - measure twice cut once. In this case measure many times, have a drink and a think and measure again. After about 45 minutes of sweat the flue was in two bits and thank god it fitted. I admit to erring on the long side as I assumed I could always cut a bit more off if I needed, but putting it back on was not an easy option.
Lots of small jobs around Blue Moon.
Purchased from Midland Chandlers eight sheets of self adhesive noise insulation to cut down the engine noise. It was as easy to apply as I hoped (one thing had to got to plan). Being a semi-trad the amount of insulation required is enormous. The stern lockers make great "boom boxes".
Installed the Stirling advanced regulator to improve battery charging. The electronics are fitted in the electrics cupboard and the cabling suitably extended to reach the alternator and battery bank. Worked first time and promptly melted the fan belt. Should have checked the belt tension before fitting and testing. It is amazing how much harder it makes the alternator work.
Week 24 - 29th July 2005
Guess what, still trimming and varnishing
I should have taken some action about the poor draining of the deck as after a severe downpour (the day of the Birmingham tornado) I had to bail about 10 gallons out of the bilges.
Fitted the TV aerial and the LCD TV. This is located on the hull side below the gunwhales. The TV (Cello 15" at £189 from Sainsburys) works well with no interference from the Sterling Quasi sine wave inverter. The same can't be said for the amplifier I bought, this actually blocks the signal rather than amplifies it. Will need to find a better (maybe 12v) unit.
Week 23 - 22nd July 2005
Guess what, still trimming and now varnishing (again)
Week 22 - 15th July 2005
Started the long and somewhat laborious job of fitting the trim over all of the joints and corners.
Finished off the cupboards under the bed.
Week 21 - 8th July 2005
Back from Saul, time to get on with the work..... a number of little things came to light during our trip including the self draining rear deck not draining too well and letting water into the bilges, this will need some improvements.
Spent the week doing all sorts of little jobs that I really should have finished before Saul.
Week 20 - 1st July 2005
Not a great deal of work done as we were away to Saul for the festival.
My faith in No Nails dented a bit as the lining of the rear doors comes loose on the way down to Saul. Had to take them off and re-do the No Nails, but this time also ensured that some of the door furniture is screwed into the lining not just bolted to the steel.
Week 19 - 23rd June 2005
Took Blue Moon back down the Tardebigge flight (in 30 degree heat!!!) back to Pinders for a couple of weeks to get the engine checked after 50 hours running and allow me to fit the shower tray and plumbing.
Week 18 - 13th June 2005
Took delivery of four sheets of veneered block board so I could make a start on the internal doors. These were cut to individual size and edged with 18mm x 6mm moulding, our local family run hardware store provides all of our hardwood mouldings, these are not only half the price of B&Q but are light hardwood without any finger joints . Three brass hinges and bolt now see them hanging and no more singing to indicate that you are on the loo...
Lined the side hatch with Ash veneered block board, edged like the doors and edged the surrounds with hockey stick moulding.
Week 17 - 6th June 2005
Blue Moon performed well on our trip to Walsall and back, however she does need to take more water, especially at the stern, the counter is not quite under water.
On the building front, I finished off the bed drawers and lined the rear doors and sliding hatch, No Nails is a wonderful product saving drilling holes in the doors.
Fitted the Sterling 50Amp battery charger.
Week 16 -30th May 2005
Finished off the bed frame and now we have a bed, still need to finish of the drawers.
Lots of tidying up in preparation for our first proper trip over the bank holiday weekend. Fitted all of the curtain rails and curtain bottom bars and so all of the curtains.
Cleared out the saloon and laid some temporary carpet and take down the table and the two leather recliners. Don't look too close but she looks really welcoming and cosy.
Week 15 - 16th May 2005
Built the control cabinet in the utility room and nearly finished the wiring, this has really tidied up the back of the boat and will allow us to store tools under and on the workbench.
Started the bed frame and sorting out the pump out plumbing.
Tracey found the varnish tin again, how we love the smell.
Week 14 - 9th May 2005
Connected up all of the domestic batteries and fitted a 300 Amp isolator and a 300 Amp Mega fuse unit and wired through to the inverter mounted in the utility room.
Had a few evenings of doing bits and pieces, seemed to do a lot of work with nothing much to report apart from the mother of all splinters in my hand (ouch!!!!).
Week 13 - 2nd May 2005
Every evening down on the boat, wiring to the lights is in and lights are fitted. All of the power distribution is in (run under the gunwhales). We now have lights, therefore no excuses to got home when it gets dark !!
The Stoves cooker is installed and connected up and all of the plumbing in the galley is now finished. Also Tracey has started tiling the worktop surrounds.
Wash basin is also installed in the bathroom.
Varnishing done, (for now).
Week 12 - 22nd April 2005
Blue Moon was handed over to us on Wednesday 20th April and we took her for a short acceptance trial, almost everything is finished, but we agreed the schedule to finish of the outstanding bits and bobs.
The galley units that have being filling the dining room for the last months are fitted.
More sanding, varnishing, sanding, varnishing,...
Week 11 - 16th April 2005
Blue Moon is due to be handed over by Pinders on Saturday morning, a day of disappointment, as we arrive it is obvious things are not ready, she is still in the bubble.
The long task of sanding, varnishing, sanding, varnishing,.... started on Sunday.
Week 10 - 8th April 2005
Blue Moon is now in her final colour of navy blue.
Hardwood bow doors are fitted and it make all the difference with the navy paint.
The plumbing is nearly finished with the calorifier installed, the toilet next to be connected up to the "poo" tank.
Week 9 - 1st April 2005
All of the cabin wall lining and the bulkheads are in.
The engine is in place and just needs plumbing, wiring and trying .....
The carcases for the galley units are made and varnished, I didn't know I could make as much sawdust !
Hopefully the next week will finish off the bulk of the work and Blue Moon will be ready for her proper paint job.
Week 8 - 25th March 2005
The cabin wall lining and the bulkheads in the utility room and bedroom are in.
The 230v socket wiring and the gas supply for the cooker is all but sorted.
The Mikuni heater is fitted in the engine bay and the calorifier is awaiting connection.
Week 7 - 18th March 2005
The ballast is in and the floor has been laid.
The hull sides have been lined up to the gunwhales
The first fix for the electrics has been made and the cabin lining is soon to go up.
Week 6 - 11th March 2005
The windows and mushrooms are fitted and Blue Moon is on the canal.
Week 5 - 4th March 2005
Unfortunately, once again, progress has been a little slow due to the freezing weather and the snow.
Now Blue Moon is in the bubble (poly-tunnel) and the elements are kept at bay, a coat of blue has been applied to offer some protection during fit out.
The windows and mushrooms are about to be fitted and Blue Moon will be weather tight.
Week 4 - 25th February 2005
At last Blue Moon is a boat, She is in the water.
Progress has been a little slow due to the freezing weather and the snow, but Blue Moon's shell is finished, the exterior is primed and the interior is spray foam insulated.
Week 3 - 18th February 2005
End of week three and the cabin sides and the roof are on.
The boat is early there, it "just" needs finishing off and all of the rubbing strakes, etc. finishing off.
Week 2 -11th February 2005
What a difference a week can make, the cabin roof and sides are put to one side and the hull is not only started but is nearly finished up to the gunwhales.
Week 1 - 4th February 2005
The first visit to the boat yard to see Blue Moon.
The welders are fabricating the cabin sides and roof, no a lot to see really, but work has started at long last.