Saturday 17 September 2016

Andrew's Visit to Sheffield

We were not able to fit in a trip to Sheffield at this stage (we had diary commitments Thursday and Saturday) but, according to the schedule, this was to be a crucial time to sort out any shell details with an expected delivery to Stafford some time next week. As a result, Andrew kindly agreed to spend the day driving up from Devizes and to meet with Phil, the builder, on site. They could then both inspect progress and talk with Jonathon Wilson.

The first feedback was from Phil who called us by mobile around 4:30 to explain that, unfortunately, construction was not as far forward as he had hoped and that delivery to him is probably now going to be the following week. However, he is very satisfied with the work done and does not want to push them into finishing it too quickly as it is details at this stage that will affect the boat long term, especially its ability to avoid rust - the paint needs a good surface and no tiny rough points. He hopes to let us have some photos later.

Andrew did not reach home until rather late as he hit traffic around Birmingham but did manage to upload his photos during the evening and those below in this blog are his. (Photographing steel constructions in a shed is never easy!)

There was another boat being worked on at the time, but a bit further advanced. It seems that Tyler Wilson are having an open day tomorrow and were about to tidy up the workshop!

As the photos show, the shell is complete in its basic form but comes from Newcastle with a full trad stern cabin sides. Here in Sheffield they will start to shape that next week. This was what Andrew was most expecting to talk about and indeed this took up most of the hour and half that he and Phil were there.

We had already decided to fit a bow thruster tube and locker for 'future proofing' and the design drawings for this are made in typical boatbuilder style! The tube and locker are just behind the gas locker which, in this boat, is right at the bow.

We were interested to see just how much bracing there is to the roof. This should make it much firmer to walk on and Andrew commented on the smoothness of the outside - on Take Five we had always noted the slight waviness at the major support points.

This is the engine bay - note the skin tank on the side. The cooling water from the engine will eventually be connected to this so that it cools from contact with the water outside.

The shot from the outside of the swim also show what looks like the obligatory step. Although this is meant to help a boater climb back out after falling in, our experience is that this is not within our physical capabilities which is why we purchased a rescue ladder. The spec for the new boat also comes with a rope version as well.

There is still plenty to do: the windows have been marked out but not yet cut, the bow and stern doors as well as the side hatch need to be fabricated and fitted, all in addition to the semi trad layout already mentioned.

Andrew also picked up that the fixings for side fenders have yet to be agreed so that is something we will need to take up with Phil as soon as possible. The other boat in the shed had recessed fittings which looked rather fiddly. Our practice is to remove fenders every morning when cruising and then put them on at the right height each evening.

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