Thursday, July 09, 2009

Steering - Technical Stuff

The yard have taken the rudder shaft out and had a large Woodruff key cut in it. This will keep tiller arm fixed. The tiller arm itself is new and will be attached to suit the new steering (the Woodruff key locks the tiller arm to rudder shaft).

We finally got rid of the Tenfjord which was nearly 40 years old. Although itwas actually still in reasonable order and would have been salvageable using new rubber seals and an expert overhaul by Jimmy the Cat, , the company who made the steering is now owned by Rolls Royce and apparently spare parts are very hard to get hold of. They can take months to appear after ordering, and not wishing to be stuck somewhere in the event of a breakdown (unless its Red Bay, of course) we have coughed to upgrade to a super-modern Hypromarine system using two double rams...

The deck is being caulked on the right and you can see the strings of oakum at the edge of the steering gear plate at the starn here.
On the left is the finished deck over the steering with the beautiful brass plate with its own key.

You could have controlled the old Tenfjord system (if the hydraulics were still working) by pressing screwdrivers into valves, probably with oil coming out at the same time, based on shouted instructions from the bridge, almost impractical but a comforting thought. However, what we have now will work from one of the rams only; if one ram were to fail, the other would automatically take over the job, so there is a system and a backup, and no screw-drivers or yelling involved. The third backup is a new tiller made to fit on the top of the rudder shaft itself to allow non-hydraulic assisted steering (i.e. by hand) by standing on the aft-deck, again, being shouted at from the bridge, a noisy but essential emergency plan. The new tiller is 6ft long, like a scaffold pole for extra leverage, and if we buy small VHF radios it might do away with the shouting.

The hole on the top of the rudder is still there - this is a final manual steering feature - by looping some rope through the hole to make reins the rudder can be pulled directly to give some steering when all else fails.

All the steel work supporting the steering gear down below has been needle gunned and treated so looks pretty new, and there is much shiney new equipment right at the back with a new plate covering the steering on the deck.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Heart of the Heroine

Now that the main engine has been installed, along with the generator, the exhaust sytems and cooling systems are going in. The exhaust for both must go up all the way to the top of the boat, and out through the chimney, or perhaps "funnel", at the top of the wheel-house. The Caterpillar is a bit of a beast so the exhaust is pretty massive. The picture on the left shows the exhaust turning to go up through the main deck, and the other picture shows both the Caterpillar exhaust and the generator exhaust emerging from the engine room. This will all be boxed in with steel and on the right of the arrangement will be a separate steel conduit for cabling including morse cabling for throttle controls etc. No fly-by-wire for us!