Sunday, November 14, 2010
Of course I can understand why, as for the main and most obvious reason is the fact that she is town centre (ish!) and is probably one of the most photographed vessels in the world... even today its cloudy, cold and yet there are people taking pictures for their own use for whatever reasons.
So I suppose I could give a little detail about her and a wee bit of her history.
First of all, she was built in Dingle, launched in August of 1972 and called the Bountiful (SO424). She is 59 feet long and her beam is 19.5 feet, made of Oak and has Oroco planking with Larch decking.
She had a GRT (Gross registered tonnage) of 48, we think that she may be nearer 80 actual.
We think that she was renamed the Lady Evelyn in 1994 and had a larger engine (330 Pi-od or Pyeod) put into her by Tyrells of Arcklow in 1985.
From the research it seems that her wheelhouse was changed in killybegs around 1999 and she went from three windows forward to five.
She seemed to have a gear change around then for fishing for Herring (and probably any other pelagic species as well). Before that she was Gill Netting and (I believe) Seine netting as well.
Thats a bit of the history so far, when we get the website up and going I will build a proper timeline along with photo's and explain in more detail the information I have so far.
Thanks to John Baird for most of that. John is a marine artist and his site is -
John used to steam the West Coast both Fishing and on Coaster's and knows a huge amount about the Fishing fleets, Irish and Scottish, both past and present. John has also supplied a cracking picture which he has kindly allowed me to reproduce (and I will do later on in the blog).
Right, so thats a wee bit of her history now as to her future.
Originally we had planned to take her out the water at the local boatyard. Unfortunatly they are unable to take out anything over 50 or so tonnes. They have tried with the Lady Evelyn before I had anything to do with her but, I had a cunning plan to allow the Lady to dry out for a couple of weeks and trying to do it again as her GRT is 48 and technically they should be able to do it. However, I miss interpreted what the yard had said about where she could lie in order to dry out before the lift and in reality there is nowhere for her to go for that to happen (Her drying out that is).
So the next idea is to put her on legs and keep her somewhere safe on a beach, until the next plan can be put into action.
The main problem, as with any project, is money. If we had some, then for a mere £25K she would be away and repaired professionally in a yard and returned in a few months with everything sealed up (But no engine or steering, budget another £15K or so for that!), but since we dont , we have to do her as a long term project ourselves until funds are available or I win the lottery.
This is where we, as well as those watching with interest, have to be patient. Things will happen as we can afford them. Also we have to rely on goodwill from people with boats and the like in order to move her, we need to ba able to fit around them rather than them around us.
Oh! to have money!!
The aim of the whole project is to preserve the vessel for the future, she was built by hand and lets face it, few of these are ever likely to be built again. Certainly she could be used as a wreck for divers (as I know that very nearly happened), but it would be criminal to let that happen without a fight.
Ok, I will leave it at that for today. I'm suffering a bit with the old 'sore back' and buggering around on the laptop is killing me..
If you have any questions, please by all means e-mail, comment or get in touch and I'll explain what's going on. I know that there has been some real rubbish talked about this boat and whats happening if nothing else we get a laugh about it!!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Now I have de-installed all the upgrades everything is back to normal and I can update pictures as well as everything else (Including getting my iPod back up and running! which is the most important thing)
So whats been happening with the Lady? Well as you can see from the picture she is turned around. Love my fingers in the sodding picture!?!
This was her half way round (I tried to download these in order but have failed miserably!!)
This is her at the end of the day, pumps off and being left for the night. Unfortunetly there was a couple of issues when the tide went down and it was far from the end of my night with her!
She sits well for a boat that has been that has been on her side for the best part of a year, the list to starboard is basically because she has several tonnes of water 'logged' planking on that side .
This was taken the day before, and I missed the tide by ten minutes. She won't lift unless she is completely dry as the tide comes in and the pumps cope fine with this. However, there is a point that if the pump stops for ten minutes she floods beyond its ability of the pump to cope. Which has happened on at least four occasions due to blockages or (Lets face it) bad luck.
We are starting out here, Brother was a but dubious as to whether my clever rope system and relying on the wind to do her stuff! But hey ho... experience and all that the next picture says it all!!
Here she is around and afloat. The pumps are more or less acedemic when she's upright and the two inch honda four horse power copes absolutly fine (When not choked up with crap!)
Its amazing the cold sweat I had on here, thoughts like 'if she goes down here the harbour master is going to have my B*&^s!!
She is still moving with minimal effort... well by me I had the camera recording for history!!
And finally here she is floating fine! It took quite a bit of effort but this was the result of a days work and you have seen a bit of the process above, thanks to David (My brother) and his mate Aiden who put their backs into the job....literally!
So at this precise moment she is back lying on her side, well away from the harbour wall. She has just survived a North Westerly force 9 (Thank you Posiedon!) but we are due another blow on Tuesday so I am a wee bit panickly at the moment.
There is an awful lot yet to be 'B'Logged' about, but I'm just out of hospital after a wee procedure on my back and its getting painful sitting here typing. So I'll update again tomorrow, hope fully, with a bit more about everyone and everything that is going on.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
As you know she is presently on her starboard side with the tide flowing through her on a daily basis, I personally don't think thats to big an issue as she is not moving and lets face it the corrosion doesnt matter at the present state of the repair schedule.
However, the weather is getting a bit poorly now and all it would take is a half decent blow from the West and then I would be dealing with more than parted seams!
The main disussion with Sandy was on what to do with the Lady if she could not come out the water on Kerrera because of her weight.
Obviously, the Corpach yard can take her and do a full repair and I am going to have them give me a full quote to make her watertight and sea worthy again, the earliest that it could all come together is January as they have obligations to other boats meantime.
But meantime there is the issue of moving her and getting her somewhere that doesnt cost £110 a week to be tied up against a car park!
The answer is legs methinks and then tuck her into a corner somewhere until the yard can work their magic..
One thought is to drill a rib and a plank and attach a birch log leg slighty aft of amidships. This would stablilise her to a point and then I could maybe put another leg slightly forward. It would add extra strength in the long run.
I am going to have to take advice before I start drilling right enough, I also have to persuade the previous owner of the Lady to supply me with the wood for the project.
Sorry I cant get any pictures up at the moment something is wrong with the software. I'll look into it in the near future.
I have a whole lot more to talk about, but I think its more appropriate to put it on the website which is still being constructed....dont hold your breath!
I'll probably leave the blog until next week, when Sandy the Shipwright gives her a going over for the quote from the yard. Unless something happens of course.
Sorry about the spelling as well, spell checker is duff as well on this software!!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Do you ever get the feeling you have bitten off more than you can chew?? Well its getting that way with the Lady Evelyn!
Where to start?? The begining is always good I suppose...
Ok, after my 'help' went AWOL due to the cry of wild women and drink!
I had to sort out the pumps and the logistics myself. I hear you say "So what?" well you try lifting, lowering and manhandling a petrol pump down a twenty foot harbour wall and across a deck that is a slippy as ice and tell me that its easy...well if it is, it all had to go back up again when the lady refused to lift on those tides I didnt blog about.
I managed to source three pumps and heres a wee thank you to those involved, first thanks to Paddy Lafferty for the honda 5hp garbage pump, then to Burden's for finally getting a decent wee diaphram pump and also to Neil Munro from Munro's garage in Oban for the very cute 1 inch honda that looks like a toy (Works absolutly fine though!!).
I want to mention the fourth pump that came from MacGloghlans that didnt work and nearly killed me in the discovery that it didnt work!! It was a heavy bloody thing that was as awkward as you get, a huge amount of effort for nothing in getting it on board then trying to prime the thing...but a thank you for letting me borrow it none the less.
The pumps were all 2 inch apart from the one that didnt work which was a four inch. It turned out the diaphram and the 5hp were adaquate to get her afloat. It appears that there is a point where if the boat is dry enough and if the pumps are on, then she will lift.
If the pumps are not running, as happened the night before, the water overtakes and its not worth carrying on.
I think a lesson to be learned here is that if the water looks like its going to win...then its going to win!
So after the lessons learned from day 7, the Lady lifted on day 8. It took the two pumps mentioned and having them running the whole time. She really did not take that much water after she levelled out as most of the seams that were coasing a problem held fine (I had caulked them at low water)and the worst ones were above the water line anyway.
If she has sprung a plank then its not overly causing a massive influx of water. Not enough to worry about towing her as is anyway.
The tow job... Well she is going to a yard to be hauled out and then work can begin on her proper. At least that was the idea.
What the reality is, is that she may well be far to heavy for the yard's cradle to lift her out. The yard has apparantly tried this before an the cradle 'groaned' under the strain. So much so that the pilot of the cradle gave up.
The yard have said they will try again, but she goes back into the water if the cradle fails again.
Therein lies yet another problem, if this yard cannot take her out......what the hell do I do?
The charges where she is sitting at the moment are £110 (Approx) per week and the deal is that I get her moved ASAP.
I have postponed the move three times due to pump problems, human interference (Sorry, lack off it) and timing of the tides and to be honest the weather the other day was atroshious.
If she cannot get intot he yard then one thought is to put her on legs and find a beach somewhere, but to be honest that would be the kiss of death for the vessel as access might very well be a huge issue.
She already lists very badly to starboard after having been lying on that side for over a year and very badly needs to dry out . (The initial idea was to let her dry out for some time on the slip at the boatyard then lift her, that cannot happen now as the yard have put pontoons up inside the pier for locals to use for their boats.)
Since the timimg of the tides are wrong this week, the fact that I have managed to lift her and turn her round are a bit acedemic and I have had to return all the pumps.
The tow couldnt take place as there was nobody in the yard at the weekend to attemp to lift her. So the next attempt is going to be on the 5th or 6th of November.
I still do not know hat do do if the hoist/cradle cannot lift her. Is that going to be the nail in the coffin for this project? The only yards that are capable of taking her are based on Corpach near Fort William, Mallaig or South to Crinan. But since I would not get change out of say, twenty thousand...well thats me stuffed.
Like I said at the begining of this blog "Have I bitten off more than I can chew?"
I am begining to think this project is cursed.....
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Basically I went down at 6 this morning and sorted the pump out. The pipe had blocked at the joint we had put in, with seaweed. It took half an hour to get it clear which proved that we would not have been able to have done it last night, especially in the dark!
Where the boat is sitting at the moment is one of those places in the harbour that get effected by the tide very easily, by that I mean that the difference between 0.1 and 0.2 on the tide table is equivalent of 4 feet in this harbour.
Because of this, I could not get down near the hull as there was 3 feet at he stern and about a foot at the bow of water. Wellies, sadly are not big enough!!
When the boat lifted the other day, she moved about 6 feet in towards the quayside and she is now leaning slightly on the quay. I think this has caused the planking, where she is touching the quay, to split allowing more water to leak in causing the pump not to be able to cope.
I am at a wee bit of a loss as to how to procede. The pump really has to go back to its owner and I think we actually need a larger diameter pump to be able to cope with what has happened. Gawd knows where I am going to get a pump to be able to deal with this.
Maybe the plus point is that we have a week until the tide starts to make again and that gives me some time to source another pump.
Well, watch this space! A big change to this blog will be taking place over the next couple of days. Rebuildalittleship.blogspot will become rebuildalittleship.co.uk. Now that we own the site we can build on that, allowing us to provide links to advertisers, other blogs as well as to let us sell some bits and pieces that are surplus to requirement....oh yeah also have a begging page as well.
No pictures today as there was nothing different to see.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
We managed to pump her dry again fairly quickly and when the tide went out also managed to caulk a few of the bigger holes in the planking on the port side. I am impressed that there is no rot or soft wood anywhere which makes for less work in the planking repair department!
Note - There is going to have to be a complete strip down and re-caulk of the entire vessel, deck as well. Big job, but its going to have to be done.
Sadly the pump started playing funny buggers towards the end of the day and because it was getting dark and the water ingress had to be kept on top of, we decided to call it quits and give it another go in the morning.
The pics show how she settle last night and also a wee bit of the cauling undertaken today.
Wish us luck tomorrow, I hope that the luck the previous owner of the vessel had is not carried on to us after todays carry on!!
Monday, October 11, 2010
She came up on the tide after we spent time today caulking the major leak's on the deck and the hull.
There was quite a bit of work involved in getting her up, it turns out that the pump we are using has garbage 'cruncher' impeller built in, so this meant we could remove the filter and let the pump suck up the sea weed. This helped a lot and after we extended the intake pipe we could mount the pump away from the gunwale.
It makes life easier when we have to return the pump and are back to working by hand.
My brother was on the job most of the day, but tomorrows big job is to reach him how to tie knots!!.... over hand knots holding a 60 foot trawler alongside?? no I think not..
An inspection of the interior made for an interesting time. The ribs in the boat are very large, especially around the engine beds, everything is painted white and hopefully they will come up when we can finally get in a clean her.
The engine is showing signs of being under water with a lot corrosion, not as bad as it could have been right enough but needs a good look at. I think its going to be a huge job for it be removed, but hey ho its going to have to happen.
Pyeod (Pi-od, pie-od, py-ode..etc I cant find the correct spelling on line or in fact any details about the engine. Once I get in and around proper I will get the information form the engines manufacture plate.
I would be interested for any comments about a replacement engine. Obviously we don't need to have 330 Turbo (which is what the size is at present) so it would be nice to get a smaller more economical engine that would take the py-ods place.
Well, more caulking tomorrow. The tools I won on eBay have arrived, too late for today's effort but a large coal chisel did the job (and a damn fine one!!).
The pictures are of the interior and some of the vessel upright.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
She is a huge boat and although she has no rot, the corrosion is pretty bad on all the metal areas exposed to the outside. I spent a good part of the day checking the metalwork and then the woodwork.
On the wood side of things most of the vessel is solid except where the stantions meet the deck on the gunwales. I am sure this is down to the fact she has been on a mooring for a long time and has possibly had fresh water lying on her decks, if anyone has any other ideas let me know.
The metal work is in a hell of a state but on a positive side nothing is rusted through, it seems to be solid once the surface is detritus is removed. I think that if I remove the surface rust at the moment then I would have problems as its going to take some amount of time and paint! to get right so it will safer as is.
We still did not manage to get her upright and it took two hours to pump her dry.
After hoping that the pump would cope with the ingress when the tide came back in, it was a fools errand. The gunwale and the deck amidships were badly split and needing caulked, although I am sure its not the worst place I am positive it is one of them.
So guess who's going to be patching and caulking tomorrow (On the assumption that the tools and caulking twine ordered last week arrive).
Thankfully my chief bilge rat was back today, full of excuses about being 'tired' and 'sleeping' through a Saturday but at least he appeared!! The rest of the crew were down and being as helpful as small boys can be on a big climbing frame, so plenty of biscuits and juice were on hand to keep up spirits and that along with the beautiful blue skies and the thought that one day we would be afloat on her.... well lets say it was a better day than yesterday.
Today was really the first time I have been inside the main hull and had access to the accomodation and engine room. The interior is caked in oil and has plenty of sea-weed rotting in the bilges (The pump choked a couple of times and it was F'n awful to clean!) so it made for a slippy dangerous rummage around. I think that steam cleaning is going to be the only way to clean her up.
She has lovely white painted wood forward and the accomodation was all unpainted bare paneled dark wood. I hope that it all cleans up well.
The battery went flat on the camera so I only managed to get a couple of pics before the thing went dead. We will be back on tomorrow so I will get more detailed photo's then.
Sadly thats it today, hopefully some more positive news tomorrow (and better pic's!).
Saturday, October 09, 2010
We managed to lift the pump onboard, if you have read previous entries you know its about 20 feet or so down to the gunwale from the quayside, after a walk along the esplanade and across a very slippery and seaweedy beach.
My 13 year old son was leading the way but ill be buggered if I know where he was going as we ended up crossing the most difficult part of the beach!
Never trust a 13 year old who is more interested in games machines than his fathers 'boring boat'....Gawd only knows where his mind was.
Anyway after much consternation, my back exploding and a few choice 'french' words, the pump got onboard just as the tide reached halfway up the keel.
Because we took so long getting the pump and then the back breaking effort of a cripple and three hero's, we missed the chance to pump her out before the tide came in and that was the fatal lapse in the days plan.
We needed the boat pumped out before the sea came up as the pump would not be able to cope with the ingress and the water already there.
It turned out that it was a good exercise in what the pump could do and what was going to happen before she finally lifts, we could do with this all happening three days ago of course!!
The reason for the lack of help today was due to a brother of mine deciding that women and drink were a far better option than helping get the Lady afloat. Good to know that he is up for the challenge.
The boys were stars and did a fair bit of the grafting... and then the incessant talking!
The pictures give a picture of what went on.
On a quick final note, crew member number two managed to work out that the deck was like ice after managing to slip the whole 19 feet of the deck to the deepest part of the gunwale... The water was up to his waste...
Oh well it made for a laugh at the time!! There is a drying out pic as well!!
The boat is in a good position for meeting people and many folk are interested in whats going on, its probably the best photographed vessel on the West Coast for the time being sadly for all the wrong reasons.
One person I chatted to was Bob from Ardrishaig, it turns out that he is a welder and works on boats. That's the kind of person you want to meet especially when your boat is partly made of the stuff and corroded to hell!! Bob also gave a contact for various woods in Balloch near Dumbarton.
Well its back down to the old Lady in the morning for another attempt at pumping her dry.
Maybe be on better form tomorrow along with better news.
Friday, October 08, 2010
What today turned into was a fiasco of comedic proportions that Fawlty Towers would have been proud of!!
First of all, how difficult is it to locate a marine petrol or diesel water pump??
I can tell you its a nightmare.
I had made the assumption that when you go to a plant hire, you could get one off the shelf or at least come away with the idea that you are going to get one in the near future.
How wrong was I??
Very methinks, it turns out that you can walk in fine and ask for one,but dont expect them to actually have one or tell you when one will be in from hire!
How the hell do these places keep track of their stock?
Anyway, that was more or less done,dusted and that option exhausted at 0900 this morning.
The next move was to go around to another plant hire operator, who it turned out was on holiday but had a guy running the place while he was away.
Well the guy running the place was AWOL!! and the shop next door was taking messages for him and surprise surprise I am still awaiting a call back.
It was now about 1030 so I decided a coffee and sandwich were in order and a rethink of where we could get the pump was needed.
We decided that another marine engineer out of town was worth a try so we headed up to his workshop about three miles down the road.
The manager was very nice and showed us three pumps that were ok, but really only one of them was fit for our purpose.
Sadly we could not hire the equipment then and there as it belonged to the actual owner of the company and we told that we needed to get his authorisation for the deal.
So off we traipsed back into town and up to the office of the business owner to plead our case.
When we arrived he was nowhere to be seen so I felt that now was a good time to go shopping for my sons twelveth birthday present the time now was 1130.
I made it back to the office by 1200 and met up with the owner who was on good form and immediatly authorised the use of the pump from the workshop.
So back out of town and into the workshop for the pump unit, now heres where even more fun started.
The engineer on the premises gave us an all 'singing and dancing' diesel pump, he fired it up and told us it had been serviced recently and it was very powerful.
However it had bits missing and we could buy them from the local tool hire place..... Guess where we went after loading the pump up?? yep..back to the first plant hire people and a mere £15 later we had the connector and a length of pipe (Free!! the desk guy was symapthetic to our cause by now..).
Ok now to the boat as it was now an hour after low water (1330) and we were keen to get her (Lady Evelyn) dry ASAP and keep as much water at bay until she floated. On the pier side we realised that the deck was 15 feet below us, ok this is where my old Seamanship Teacher would have been proud of me! so a couple of bowlines and brute strength along with a pivoting system to stop the pump being wrecked against the was all in place and away the pump went down the quayside. If you have never shifted a diesel pump its quite a beast to manhandle.
However with some swearing, it made it and all the relevant piping was attached.
The pump started fine, but for the love of anyone it would not suck up any water. We primed, re-primed, changed hose connectors, filled pipes with water and eventually gave up! cursing the thing, now what the hell was wrong with it??
To be fair we were pretty knackered and p*^%&$ off by now. We thought it was something stupid, but I have used these things in various situations and in fact used to spend hours training with them while working with the Coast Recue Team in my Auxilliary Coastguard days so I was pretty much sure it was not us that was at fault....but then it had been serviced before we collected it...Allegedly...
It was then that I had to get the car to my 'very tolerant' partner so I decided to leave my second in command (My Brother)to deal with the bloody pump and nipped off for half an hour.
By the time I returned the housing was apart and the impellor, or rather what was left of the impellor was in a bucket.
It turned out that once the housing was opened it was easy to see that although the pump may have been serviced, it had been used.
How did we know this?? that would have been down to the big bloody 'stones' that had destroyed the interior of the housing and impellor that were included in the mish mash of materials that was now sitting in a bucket.
So it was a case of phoning the office/engineers shop and tell them the good news.
Now I expected this to be a hassle, but to be fair the owner of the business told us to go anywhere and get an impellor and he would pay for it but of course, you will have guessed by now, there was no way we were going to find one in this small town!!
We had to try though so off we went for a wander, leaving said pump high and dry.....
Or so we thought....
I swore I heard my brother say "I left the pump well out the way of the water, it will be ok for a while yet..." or words to those effect.
When we finally got back to the boat at around 1700 the F&^%$* thing was just about covered.
Yet despite previous conversation here was the pump sitting right where it had been set up earlier with water just about to enter all the various inlets and outlets engines tend to have.
An immediate panicked extraction was undertaken and the thing was hauled unceremoniously up the side of the quay and words were had.... I'm apparantly deaf and useless even though I had left him for an hour on the boat on his own!!
Never mind. It was the enevitable end to a very long and non productive yet physical day.
The boat didnt move an inch and we have major pump issues that we are unsure of how to resolve as nobody seems to be able to hire us a pump.
Oh well as the discussion after the pump was hauled up the quay side went..."Lets never mention this day again"
P.S the pump?? Well its running fine albeit with no pump housing on it.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
She is of Southern Irish fame and was lastly used for Pelagic fishing (Pelagic means Mackerel,sprats or Herring).
I believe the method used was ring netting judging by the marks on her decks and where various fittings sit.
She was fitted with a 330hp Pyeod (Spelling is wrong) and since this has been flooded it will be replace with a lighter 180hp model (to be decided). As with most Irish vessels of her year and type, her engine is located in the forward section of the vessel. This has advantages and disadvantages which we can discuss at a later date.
The present condition of the vessel is pretty poor, although a complete hull. She has been on her side for almost a year and because of this she is showing wear and tear to most of her seams on the starboard side. Whilst the water has been allowed to run in and out of her for that time, this actually has done little damage other than have everything covered in a light covering of oil.
All deck gear is very badly corroded with the mast stays being the worst. Even the anchor on deck has been hellishly damaged with corrosion.
She has had a fair bit of her equipment removed or destroyed. The helm and throttle controls have gone, the interior has been dismantled and allowed to fall into the water that could get into the various sections and finally everything is covered in a sheene of oil (as mentioned).
The pictures don't do much justice to the actual condition but give a good idea.
So thats the boat! I will update the history as I find it out and I will add in details of everything that happens from now on as tomorrow it all starts!!