Friday, 13 July 2012

The finished product

Well its been worth the wait although given the time in anticipation, the handover was inevitably a little of an anti-climax taking place in yet another downpour. Three car loads of personal items were installed aboard then numerous trips to local stores to add galley essentials and food stocks.

Ecky Thump moored in Glascote Basin during a brief spell when it wasn't raining. The device on the white pole provides a long range WiFi hookup to local household utilising BT's internet sharing scheme.

The finishing touches since its show debut include the Kardean flooring using re-claimed Victorian oak effect strips in saloon, galley and bedroom. It matches the real wood so well you cannot tell its artificial. In the bathroom, diagonal set marble effect square tiles are used with silver strips in between. Given the minimal length apparently only one tile didn't need cutting. All have been fitted to a very high standard though.

Galley now fully operational. Note expensive but superbly crafted custom spice rack. The half round breakfast table with bargain price gas strut stools from B & Q, are proving more useful than expected. Although compact, the saloon accommodates two swivel recliners plus a foot stool.

SMD LED lights have replaced most of the quartz halogen bulbs. Although difficult to match the light output of the original 20 watt ones, the power consumption will be a small fraction allowing them to be left on without concern. Given the price of metered electricity the Mikuni diesel heater is proving useful to provide hot water. Its controlled by a battery driven timer/stat located in the bedroom with two on/off cycles per day.
Recently fitted neat alternator mount ladder. Top 160 amp unit charges the service battery bank. The bottom 90 amp one feeds all three banks via zero volt drop three way selective splitter which can be seen top left in right hand picture. The fuse to the right protects the long charge cable run to the bowthrust batteries.

I measured 156 amps from the top one at 650 rpm engine speed whilst testing with a 3kW kettle. With the second alt helping we were only 25 amps short of matching the load from the inverter.
Although the mechanical standard of the electrical installation was excellent many minor issues were found requiring correction, although I think I've nailed them all now. Tony did point out it was the most complicated electrical fit he had ever done. A failed shower pump-out float switch created a minor drama when 9 gallons of water were found under the engine room floor, fortunately well below the electrics. It was soon pumped out and a new float plus a manual override switch I had previously supplied (but deemed unnecessary!), fitted the following day. Seems I am the only customer to have suffered this problem though.

The boatman's cabin looks more the part now with the addition of a suitable quantity of canal ware. Val's relief was palpable, although I thought it looked rather nice previously decorating her fireplace. The three gallon Buckby can I acquired on eBay now needs repainting to match the boat. Note also the superb opening cabin stool, a Christmas present from Val, built and painted by Terence Edgar.

The thick carpet was custom knitted by Val from North African wool ribbon using giant wooden needles. She also threaded up the ribbon plates recently purchased at the Crick show.

So after a prolonged build I'm finally ready to go cruising - except the rain won't stop!  In fact since Steve's open weekend is only a week away I will probably stay based at Glascote Basin armed with a catering size can of Brasso. The following Tuesday we finally depart with my sister and brother-in-law as crew. Can't wait - more to follow when I hope to report on the boats performance.

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