Thursday, 5 April 2012

Well, I'm well behind on my entries, and now I've a 'work-around' the software problem.  We've made lots of visits so there'll be lots of pictures, too many really so skip to the best ones, but this is meant as a record of the major changes!  For example, on 19th March we visited and found a much more complete shell:
Although if you magnify it you'll see the joins are just tacked, so it'd be pretty leaky!  This probably the most impressive end, but here are some more from the next visit, when they'd put on enough deck for us to stand on (the time before they had to take the pictures from bits of steel because "they were insured" !:

Then here's one Nicola took of me for scale;  I include it although it's out of focus, or maybe the World moved a bit when the shutter went?:
Here are some images of a similar boat, that sat alongside Archangel on that day, of what she'd have looked like even before the first pix we received from them.  It's a bit like a herring after you've eaten the flesh!:

Then here's a view looking along the top of Archangel from the stern deck.  The up-stand in the foreground is the steel, lower half of the wheelhouse (the rest is in hardwood):
At this visit we learned that the builder urgently needed at least samples of each size of porthole so they could cut the right size holes in the side of the cabin walls (to the right above, standing up from the deck).  So I contacted Trinity Marine, the excellent Aladin's cave of all things maritine;  they have lovely portholes of all varieties and we'd visited them September 2011 to look for all things that might suit the barge.  We found a wonderful spinning porthole, complex and so clever;  rather expensive for the whole boat, and in the end too large for where we wanted to put them.  So we went for some reclaimed ones, with 2 locking screws.  When we discussed these with the builder he preferred a similar one but with 4 locking screws.  Not important unless you have to open and lock them every day (which we wouldn't of course)!  Anyway they looked lovely too, so I called Trinity to arrange delivery of one 16" inch diameter and one 14", which arrived the Friday after our visit of the Wednesday.  They looked great, and were in even better (e.g. shinier) condition than the ones we'd originally chosen.  So we visited to see the boat now with some holes cut in to take three of the larger ones:
I then had a meeting to further discuss, this time with their head welder, how to attach these and make sure they don't leak.  There was a concern because, being old, they weren't quite round (about 5-10 mm out of circular) which makes the engineering and fit difficult.  We came to a kind of compromise solution, which I was content with.  Later that day we heard that the boss felt that a different porthole again would be better, and fit better with their excellent reputation for quality;  we're now going from a reclaimed brass porthole (as used on the Queen Mary) to a newly made bronze porthole from Trinity (bronze is a bit better for marine use) that is fully CE marked, made using the old casting process and design.  It will be more precise, have brand new seals, and looks very pretty indeed.  It's back to two screws as well, so a further bonus!  You can see them on the Trinity Marine website, well not ours, they're already delivered to the boat builder, and all the holes cut.  The only other difference, which you'll probably see on the pictures below, is that the smaller portholes are 12" instead of 14";  these are the three towards the bow, for the bedrooms and bathrooms.  So here it is "on the move" from the welding shed into the woodworking shed - quite a transformation:

Amazing (or are we biase?) !  This is with the primer coats on;  there are undercoats and all sorts to go on, near the end.  Bear in mind these are of a boat at the end of March, which was nothing in January except some steel sheets and bar, and in February would have looked like this (another one in build):
We're not visiting for a little while, Easter and all, but next time it will have the foam insulation added on the inside of the boat, and soon after will have an engine and the bits to drive it.  It already has two huge liquid tanks welded into the base, one for diesel and one for waste water.  And it'll have added that most boring but necessary of things, ballast!

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