how time flies

'twas a year ago this week when we signed on the dotted line, been quite a lot of water under the boat since then (and in, and on and through and possibly up as well), hard to believe, but there ya go, so thought it might be nice to throw up a few photographic gems from the last 12 months, and in particular the wee jaunt back down

converted fishing boat refreshments
A macduff(ish) single malt seemed a fitting way to spend the night before the off

MFV conversion breakfast
A chicken curry pie and a mug of tea. Its very possible that there's an alternative universe somewhere in which this is the peak of sophistication for breakfast. Hi tech navigation and low tech scran, what more do you need

conversion meets repairs to an old trawler
where I could be found for most of the first day at sea. fixing stuff in the henjin room as it fell off. how I didn't bowk down there still puzzles me, it was dark, hot, filled with diesel and exhaust fumes and bouncing all over the place. Happy days

Pansy meets deadliest catch
Pansy does deadliest catch. No 2, desperate to try out his new flotation suit re-positions the fire guard whilst pretending its a lobster pot. If any one is curious as to why and old fishing boat needs a fire guard the answer is fairly obvious - to put around the vinyl seat that caught fire on account of leaning against a hot exhaust

rough seas in a converted MFV
So after the euphoria of gassing most of inverness (see 'what smoking ban' - below) we settled down (and up and sideways) to several hours of Rattray Head's finest weather conditions

the post Rattray head effect part 1 - No 1 goes a bit 'Blakie'

the post Rattray head effect part 2 - No 2 goes a bit dennis hopper and does some more lying down practice

A good omen by all accounts, a wee swallow hitched a ride as we crossed the Firth of Forth. Didn't have the heart to tell him we were going the opposite direction he wanted to be in

jury rigged tiller steering on a scottish trawler conversion
as documented elsewhere, after a total hydraulics failure this is what was cobbled together and passed for steering for the last 30 hours of the trip back

No 2 at the, err... helm? well sort of anyway. 2 hour shifts betwixt no 1, no 2 and no3 got us home though

So that was that, a little over a year ago, we brought the old girl down to the Tyne. We've had a few we trips out, but mostly just pulled her to bits, patched things up, burnt loads of bits and pieces, pondered planned and generally plotted what to do next. If all goes to plan (it won't) she should be coming out the water for some major TLC to her fragile wooden bits very soon, and then maybe, possibly even, she might get out there and do her stuff again. Will stick a few more little nuggets up in a day or 2

*No. 2's*

Best thing I've ever done in me life - hang on, apart from that time when ......, Oh yeah and that thing, and OOOOoooooooo I'd forgotten about that and - ouch it hurt but I'll never forget, you get me drift (sic)

Cheers for that skippo.

We're gonna need a bigger boat!

And a smaller deck! We have a lot of stuff on the boat at the moment, most of which is being fed into our antique MachineMart (C 2009) wood burning stove. By the way Skip that hole what you cut in the roof is a little larger now as the chimmley is setting fire to anything within 14cm of it. We have purchased some more big green radios, a couple of wide screen TV's to use as monitors so we can watch seabed TV and monitor any collisions we are about to have in 3D realtime and a pinball machine (Note to self, disable tilt warning) A new deck is in the offing after my SDS drilling attempts today - It's got a life of it's own skip, keeps diving into the timber and making a break for downstairs. Lump hammer and cold chisel, now ya talking.

** hoy hoy **

unaccustomed as I am to slipping a little something in from behind (ahem) but thought I'd share a thought that crossed my mind following a wee telecon' with No 2 this afternoon. The wee stovey thing, open the throttle, wind in the right direction and aye, it does get a bit 'furnacey'. The stove in question, is a called the 'boxwood' long thin with a door at the end, have a look on machine mart's site and you'll see what we are on about. Anyhoo... a good while back, we did get a request or 2 from a funeral director about potentially using the old girl to despatch someone's nearest and dearest to the deep, that thought came back to me today with the realisation that we could be in a position for a world first, a totally and utterly unique service, that not even an Americanist has thought up -cremations at sea for midgets, the stoves the right shape, right size and certainly does the do on the burny front - any takers??


You'd be hard pushed to get a rabbit up the furnace bracket Skip - A Meerkat perhaps but the market's a bit limited round Wallsend way!

Saying that though once you find one Meerkat there's often a few more more Hinging aroond. Nosy buggers aren't they? Rodent Rubberneckers !

broadsword calling danny boy, broadsword calling danny boy...

just a quick up date, loads been happening. found an bought a pair of absolutely mint Sailor radio sets for the old girl, yeah we've got modern DSC VHF's and all that, but these lads just look soooo right, in fact I'd also wager that Sailor manufactured these to match the dulcit tones of charlotte green reading the shipping forecast perfectly:

As seen on the best MFV's &  trawlers every where, converted or unconverted!
The handset should help with any potentail Faux pas' on No 2's part as regards what to do with a microphone!

Also on the 'toy' front, just not 5 minutes ago I bought a gearbox, we don't need a gearbox, yet we need a gearbox(eh?), Our current gearbox has very low hours and works perfectly... but its just wrong. wrong ratio that is, we need a gear box with a big reduction ratio to spin a big prop to get the most out of her, so hopefully a few more knots and a lot less diesel being burnt. Its not the ideal box ratio for this size/type of boat, but is the right box ratio for the prop we've got fitted so, as an interim till some kindly soul finds us a nice 3:1 borgwarner box and a 28" or 30" prop (left hander please, 3 or 4 blade on a 2" shaft ;D ), it will be a big step in the right direction

Now the big news is, what was going to be a minor tidy up and bit of refit down below, may well now be a gut everything right back to the bones of the hull and start again kind of refit, all that 70's chic formica was holding so much moisture back, the proper wood hasn't taken too kindly to it all. Still, more fuel for the fire I guess! There will be much more space down there too when its done. Right, off to search ebay for 'Indoor Napalm' to get rid of the nasties now, will post some pics of the timber carnage later

*Avast Behind*

Not to be out done on the boat thing and buying stuff I would just like to report that after finishing Gears of War 2 on the X Box 360 I have just purchased Call of Duty - World at War. Doing my bit, it's only fair

Ford Lehman Marine Diesel engine stuff

Had a few emails over the last month or 2 from folks that have googled upon us with a similar Ford lehman engine to ours, ours is the Lehman 2715e.

so thought it it might be useful to stick on or 2 bits on here and let google do its stuff for anyone else in the same boat (ho ho!) as us

had a couple of enquiries about starter motors. First off, avoid anyone company that has the word marine in it! Find an Auto Electrical distributor, and ask for a Lucas starter motor for a ford lehman 2715e. the lucas part number is Lucas 77121A 12V. The mariney type chaps wanted anything up to £500 for one, the auto electrical type chaps charged us £100 or so. Other engine bits, like the oil pressure sender are bog standard units, pretty much any 12v oil pressure sender will work. The temperature sender that screws into the cylinder ehad has the following numbers on it: 23B8, BM1, and 41953 in case anyone eneds to go down that particular avenue, and the alternator that is fitted to ours is another standard Lucas part - A376, which also happens to be the same alternator that was fitted to Ford Fiestas up to the Mk3 version. Hopefully that little lot might help someone somewhere

And finally, if anyone needs a manual for the borg warner velvet drive, or the Ford Lehman 2715e engine, or part numbers for the engine, I've stuck some PDF's I found up on here:

Borg Warner Velvet Drive Gearbox Manual

Ford Lehman 2710 2715 manual & parts lists

Ford Lehman 2710 2715 owners manual

might be worth bookmarking this blog post, I'll probably added a few more bits of useful stuff and as and when I stumble upon it. As much for my addled memory as anything else!


just another wee note, for major engine components check out Ford Cargo 6D engines, and New Holland Combine harvesters

update, October 2009:
just added a marinisation pdf, how to marinise an engine, particularly ford diesel:

Marinising the Ford Lehman 2700 - 2715 series of Diesel engines

and just found the parts list:

Ford Lehman 2700 complete parts list & manual

will be giving her an overhaul and service shortly so will list the part numbers or equivalent part number and supplier for all the necessary bit n pieces, oil filter, fuel filter, injectors, sensors and so

Update October 2010...
Another wee addition to the Ford Lehman manual collection courtesy of Benjamin, I'd hope there'll be plenty of good karma heading his way from all the folks out there that have been looking for this.

This is the Ford Lehman 2700 Series Service Manual. 358 pages, its the full workshop service manual for the 2701E, 2703E. 2704E, 2701C, 2703C, 2704E, 2711E, 2712E, 2713E, 2714E, 2715E, 2704ET Turbo and 2704 ET Turbo Plus Engines.

its a fairly big file to download (35Mb) click the link to download it
Ford Lehman 2700 Series Service Manual

and just remembered.....
another couple of Ford Lehamn Manuals I'd forgotten to share!
Ford Lehman 2700 Series Service Manual

the first is a parts list for the Ford Lehman base engine:

Ford Lehman 2700 Series Parts list

the second is the Marinised Parts list:

Ford Lehman 2700 Series marinised Parts list
and not only that...

I recently found an installation manual for Borg Warner Velvetdrive and and Borg Warner Service manual too!
Borg Warner Velvet Drive Installation Manual
Borg Warner Velvet Drive Service Manual

Going to be starting a Full service of the engine shortly, so have a few common alternative part numbers that might be useful, oil filters, fuel filters and the like

/** Christmas 2010 **/

its fecking freezing, everything is buried in snow so I'm doing bugger all except trying to drink my own body weight in advocaat (well it is christmas after all!)

I just had a request for a ford lehman 2728 manual, found one so thought it worth sharing:
Ford Lehman 2720 2722, 2723, 2725, 2726 2728 manual for turbo and none turbo models

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

mfv motor fife stripped deck
In fishing days I wonder how much action this saw

so I walks into the timber merchants and this bloke said "do you want decking...?" Its alright though, I got the first punch in

had a bit of a power tool splurge, some more 'stuff created in the style of McAdam' was drimmered up (from the verb drimmering see - previous post) to the point that maybe a third of the whole boat is denuded and there for the world to see in all its naked woodliness. In area covered at least, in boat length terms it's probably 6 foot!

mostly good as well, few battle scars from the process and only 2 serious bits of rot, one we knew about one a bit of a surprise. The one we knew about is where the deck crosses the rotten deck beam. Turns out the only thing holding that bit of wood in place was the fact it was stuck to the green stuff, and as such came away with it as well, revealing a nice wee hole.

not surprised it was rotten though. Looks a very poor repair from the past. Someones attempt to scarfe in less than 6" of timber, with sod all support for the new bit. couple of iffy looking replacement planks there too, vintage cheap fence rails by the look of them.

the other bit of rot is just a wee(by comparison) spot, conveniently almost on a plank end up near the pointy bit

converted deck being stripped of old herring drifter
a few rotten bits to replace but not too many nasty surprises thus far

converted motor fife houseboat deck repairs
err... its ventilation, well it is now!

stripping the deck of an old scottish mfv houseboat conversion
Hmmnn, not sure that hole should be there.

mfv motor fife stripped deck
'wood' you believe it there's actually some timber left

And stop press for the angling pages of the Chronicle. Saw a dead shark, floating in the marina as I went in. Least I think it was dead, looked pretty menacing and swear it watched me as I walked by. Was pretty sure I heard a cello playing as well, but that's maybe just the side effects of the chemotherapy, radiationy, makes your poo glow in the dark stuff I've been sprinkling on me cornflakes

dead shark in tyne marine
cue jaws music... just when you though it was safe to go back in the marina

Anyone for Tennis?

Even the Queen didn't have a tennis court on her boat!

Decided its not tarmac, maybe the stuff they make all weather tennis courts out of??!! Tried hell fire and brimstone to shift it. Nothing doing. The miniature F15 jet engine with full afterburners was even struggling, then thought what the hell, get the Kango out. This must surely be the first time ever that a boat has had its deck stripped using an SDS demolition drill, but bugger me it works

more trawler un conversion going on
15mm all weather tennis court on deck, matches the roof tiles and cobbled bilges I guess

So a wee bit of drilling took place. Is it drilling or hammering with these things, drimmering maybe?

No 2 looked on offering helpful advice suggestions like "can we not just replace the whole deck?" or "should just board the whole thing over?" Half an hour so of drimmering and a couple of square metres of woody stuff was revealed. Looks promising. camera phone pics so not the best but, hey ho.

Managed to burn a few more bits of the boat in the new metal thing as well. Positively toasty it is down below

more trawler un conversion going on
lo and behold, there's actually some wood under there

*Oi Oi*

I'm getting quite good at the burning thing but need a bit of advice on the "How to stop things burning" front. Filled the beast up with wood, fiya and turps and then had to hang around for 4 hours waiting for it go out. I'm guessing cold water may crack things if poured down them 2 holes on the top? Got the chance to read the MachineMart catalogue from back to front though. Can we have one of them "Compressors" please skip? No idea what they do but they are big and have knobs and on. Quite liked the blue but we could always spray paint it yellow for a laugh.

The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown

I'm sure there's some hi falootin' word to describe a cannibal that eats themselves, whatever that word is, we've turned Pansy into one.
:idea: :idea:
Install a fire and burn the bits of the boat we don't want any more

indeedy, what used to a useable saloon is, well, a little less glamourous than it once was.

Sealed behind all that formica type panneling, lay the heart of the beast. Formica is great stuff, well known for its ability to keep nasty wet water out of nice friendly wood, or in this case, the opposite, keep the nasty wet water inside, the result being that behind the shiny brown 70's chic fascade the poor old girl was moldering away, so we can add that to the list of old lady's ailments - wetting themselves, setting fire to themselves and now fungal infections down below in places its not polite to look, let alone poke with a screwdriver

so when we bought her she looked like this in the saloon

after conversion but prior to being converted again
so, take a reasonably well converted fishing boat and un convert it as part of a re conversion (eh?)

So...... to follow on from No 2's and No 4's efforts last week, well I think it was number 4, but frankly having run out of fingers on one hand since playing with sharp chisels I've lost count, any hoo, following on from some knocking down that occured between bovril fixes, some more knocking down took place today, so the saloon is looking a little less 70's chic and a little more Gaza chic.

behind the shiny brown 'not wood but would like to pretend to be' stuff was some 'real wood but possibly not for much longer' stuff. the damn formica has been holding loads of the the wet stuff and it has been doing its worst, or at least attempting to, some rather soft and punky bits here and there and lots of fungussy stuff growing with gay abandon (not to be confused with Gaye Advert from the 70's punk band BTW) so out it comes, revealing a lovely mahogany bulkhead which when cleared of the white fungussy stuff and lovingly sanded and polished will be quite nice, behind where the 'seats are for sitting on not sleeping on' was, there appears to a curiosity as yet unexplored, behind the plywood on the left of the pic is a void about 18" maybe more of dead space. This will either reveal itself as

1: An excellent space to accommodate a 'seat for sleeping as well as sitting on' (possible),
2: a damp fetid hole filled with wet rot dry rot and stowaways of the wood munching variety (alarmingly possible)
3: will be a huge wall of water in a Poseidon adventure stylee containing the remains of Shelly Winter (undecided, but worth getting sunday sport photographers in just in case)

Anyhoo, out some crap bits came, in came a new metal bit, and the new metal bit's job is now to consume all the nasty things. And consume it does. The old girl has probably not been that warm in years. Need to go google the effects of inhaling smoke produced by new paint burning off a hot stove to see if I'm going to be dead by the morrow, but other wise a bit of a landmark sorta day generally

the thrice conversion of a re-converted unconverted conversion in the process of being converted to a proper conversion. or something

after we un converted the conversion as part of converting it
so, after we un converted the conversion as part of converting it we have fire!

*Oi Oi*

What he said + we made huge amounts of smoke and an unbelievable volume of noise for quite a while. I quipped to The Skip "What do these people expect living in a marina" then realised I'd got "Marina" mixed up with boatyard / recycling plant / building site. People what live in marinas expect to hear the chink of ice in a G&T, the cooling sighs of a well honed graduate as she slips out of her goretex underwear, that comforting yet faintly homicide invoking sound of rigging slapping off of an aluminium mast, the odd guffaw. That type of thing.

Progress Report v8.35

*No.2 Sneaks into a lifeboat and pulls an old bit of sail over his head*

"Oi Oi!"

"Can't hear you mate, you're hiding in a boat covered in a sailage"

"Aye - ok can I come out?"

"Course you can you lemon, this is a virtual conversation between 1 person, everyone's a winner"


I've tired myself out typing all that stuff so here's a quick infoblast

Fuel tanks are shiny and green

Fishfinder died due to moisture

Deck is about to be tackled with whatever it takes!

The prepacked hot chocolate Skippo left is causing arguments, stick with beef tea, you know it makes sense.

Wood burning stove about to go in


Musings on 'Elf n Safety

musings on 'elf n safety

bugger all to do with anything boaty (well almost), but I've come to the conclusion that by and large we have turned into a rather limp wristed nation of soggy apologists. It all started by watching the panic set in as the end of the world arrived in London in the form of a bit of snow. An entire fleet of modern buses is grounded, for safety fears. Compare these with the routemaster of years gone by, air assisted anti lock disk brakes, traction control, power steering, pneumatic suspension versus a bloke with a strong left foot and arms like popeye. Used to be quite a regular thing, snow in the south east, and the buses just kept going.

all the schools close, 'cos the playgrounds' are a bit slippy. Hang on, that was the best bit, 50 yards long slides across the playground, but oh no, can't have that, one of the little darlings might fall over

which brings me to more boaty themes. The internet is a wonderful place, full of useful and not so useful information and a veritable goldmine of knowledge when you've got a problem to solve, but even this seems to be succumbing to the 'Elf and Safety disease. So you find a forum and ask your question, and someone somewhere will come up with some sort of a solution, but then the avalanche begins. NO NO NO, you mustn't do that, it might not be safe, you must adhere to BS-XYZ standards and wear a thermo-nuclear NBC spacesuit with bullet proof safety goggles, and you have to buy this widget for a gazillion squids (ensuring it has a CE mark/kite mark), cos anything less might break or endanger the coypu breeding industry in norfolk or some such bollocks

Poor old heath robinson would turn in his grave. The good old fashioned British solution would go something like, "take your Flim Flam, get a bunch on nails, some poisonous glue and big hammer and keep hitting it till it works, then paint over it with some even more deadly chemicals, whilst eating a full fat cheese butty on white bread with butter, then have a cup of tea (3 sugars) and a fag whilst the first coat dries" If after hitting with a hammer the problem persists, its probably an electrical fault, so pull all the wires and lash loads of insulation tape over them, then stick them back again"

Sadly, I fear, it has now become totally endemic, we have lost the resourcefulness that made us what we are. We have been nannied into submission and dulled into apathy. Maybe the economic depression (gordon's words not mine!) might bring back a bit of the make do and mend spirit and get everyone off their fat arses and force them to do something a bit practical. Oh yeah, and if you bash your thumb with a hammer, please don't try sue the hammer manufacturer for failing to affix a safety label telling you not to hit your thumb with a hammer, its called an accident, they used to happen all the time, and only a few people died from them (I think)

*Ahem* I left the wobbly half cut bottle full of turps next to the fire Skipper as I thought heat might speed up the cleaning process. Luckily "Joe the Cabin Boy" mentioned the fact that "turps can get a little bit burny" so I moved it a bit.

Sharpen up!

just a quick one on the importance of looking after your tools. things are gathering pace, lots of decisions made, several miles of timber is almost on order, we've almost bought a stove and we've nearly started the woodwork proper.

So time to dig out the those bastions of the boat builder, wood chisels and planes. Now I'm taking this seriously. spent an age researching various means of getting them to the peak of operational perfection, then this afternoon set to, once on the 80 grit grindstone, then onto a 240 grit grindstone, then a final honing on a proper wetstone for a good 10 or 15 minutes each.

The results are awesome, and I couldn't resist having a little test on a piece of well seasoned hickory. sliced it like butter it did. chuffed as 'owt

can't wait to use them. Unfortunately however, I now have to wait for my fingers to heal and the stitches to be removed before I can use them again! :oops::oops::oops:

As my wounds were being ministered to though, I did finally realise why you never see an amuptee smoking a fag

(I typed this with my nose BTW)

*All Aboard* If you've seen the Skippers hooter then you'll know he was in the kitchen when he typed that last missive. The keyboard is in the living room of course :yes:

Tora! Tora! Tora!

After a few sedentary weeks, had a bansai moment today. Plans have been formulated and a schedule of works drawn up, so hopefully the next few weeks should see major progress. Fab news from our newest bestest friends at the Historic Ships register. We applied for a grant for the upcoming graft and they have duly obliged. I knew all those lottery tickets weren't bought in vain!

Seriously a big big help, and very grateful for it we are too

Spent an hour up front, as most of you are aware, old ladies, as well as wetting themselves down below and setting fire to themselves from time to time, suffer from bad knees, Pansy is no exception, her knees are rotten, well some of them anyway (loads of knees but no legs?? how does that work then?) so took lots of measurements, prodded and poked and am going to set about my neighbours Oak tree with an adze in the morning, but the bad knee thing might be contagious, am also afflicted with a bad knee my self (possibly in need of a knee tablet in fact). during my bansai moments there was a bit of slippage with the grinder, and cutting disk and knee had a brief liason, so am now sporting a comedy scar right across me left knee.

the grinder was brought out to play to get rid of some stick up bits that had sort of welded themselves in situ. Galved stanchions sat snuggly in non- Galv'd steel sockets for a few years and they'd become rather attached to each other so had to be cut away. So no stanchions or guard rail anymore and the gunwales only a foot high. Its only a matter of time till there's an 'Only fools and Horses' comedy moment and someone leans back to take the weight off......

With them out of the way there was a power tool frenzy for a few hours and the years of paint are now gone.

converted MFV trawler gunnels
ooh look some wood!

We did also turn her around last week. Made us feel loads better as the really scabby bits are on the outside now, out of site, and do therefore, no longer exist

And finally, quote of the last fortnight has to come from me unfortunately. That quote is "where've the stairs gone"

This utterance was heard as I hung upside down after stepping backwards down into the saloon a little more ambitiously than normal. I was also, somewhat more unfortunately wearing a Frank Spencer beret at the time

*Oi Oi*

Aye, Skipper is slowly but surely removing things for No. 2 to lean on! We'll end up with a raft and unfortunately I will have no option but to lie down on the job. Thanks for reminding me of "The Hatch" incident, never seen a man's legs bend so much. Still laughing!

Plan of a Tack

Well they're small and pointy at one end, ok plan of attack then, rather than something to nail the carpets down with!

New year well and truly seen in, hangover's but a fond(!) and distant memory, and time to get the our fingers out (all 20 off them?) and get her looking a bit nicer. Not been sat totally idle this last month though, lots of pondering and stroking of the chin has taken place, accompanied by copious amounts of bovril and fags, got some plans drawn up for a finished look:

Trawler conversion plan - what this old fifie will look like when converted again
Final(ish) idea of what we hope this poor old fishing boat will look like when done

Started writing what seems like an endless shopping list as well, but first up the deck, the tarmac will be no more, not looking forward to it, but its got to go, little by little, the target for the beginning of feb is a stripped deck. This is has become a bit critical as its more than a little bit leaky in places. The planks in many places retain there old poured pitch as a sealant which has hardened over the years, become brittle and cracked, so sooner thats replaced, the sooner we'll have a dry boat again, so when its dry outside attack the deck, when its not dry outside, the saloon is going to get stripped out. I had suggested to my nearest and dearest that attacking the deck with a hammer and chisel will probably be wonderful therapy for PMT, her response is unfortunately unprintable, and its only now that I've regained the use of my fingers that I can even pass this idea on

once the deck is stripped, there's another jaunt down the tyne in the offing to slip her out again, stuff some sticky stuff in places under the water that are in need on new sticky stuff being stuck, then out with the paint brushes. Will take some more pics this next few days to start charting the progress of the dreaded deck

Full of Christmas Cheer?

Feeling a bit Jim Royle in this season of consumer frenzy formerly known as Christmas

not posted for a while, stuff has been happening, but not a lot, cold days aren't the most conducive to doing 'stuff'. There's been a bit more tinkering in the henjin room, a bit more woodwork, bit more paint sloshed about, that sort of thing, not a huge amount left to tackle down there, ok, I lied, stilla fair bit. Hit one of the fuel tanks with a grinder, objective being to find out wether the tanks were actual made of metal, or just rust held together with 70 years worth of paint. and there's metal there, yippee! The jury is still out on wether we 're-tank' or not though. Still got a future hydraulics conundrum to resolve, but for now, I'm happy with the if it ain't broke don't fix it school of thought

before the dreaded season of good will has fully descended, I'm going to tackle some bits of the deck, its a bit leaky(!) likely to be little more than a bit of temporary bodgery of the sikkaflex flavour though, pending a full strip next year. Much of the deck is original and the old pitch & Cotton that is sealing(not) the seams has retired some time ago. All that aside though, the deck is nearly clear, down to our last small pile of scrap metal to dispose of, so we might see an empty deck for the first time since we bought her soon

Stuck some proper electric lights in the wheelhouse, so we can find the bovril easier, bought a wee electric heater to take the chill off during pondering sessions and emptied the bucket under the sink.

A quick heads up (and thanks) to this site which might interest some, many pictures and history of trawlers and fishing boats past and present. The knowledge of those guys takes some beating

Christmas?? My Arse!

*No.2 calling in wearing flashing raindeer antlers and comedy slippers*

Oi Oi! I'll take Christmas everytime

We've been working on a bid to secure a grant from The National Historic Ships register (The old girl's been on for some time) for some of the "big jobs" coming up soon. No.2 decides to edit the final final final version last night after a bottle of Talisker at 3:00am + and e-mail some random document back to the skipper instead of our finely honed missive. Deadline's January 2nd, also important as that was the day when I descended to Earth on a golden one-way bungee jump some time ago. Skipper had to post hard copy this morning, I got up at 3:00pm!! Been typing things like "Punishment at Sea" into Google - Not looking good.

Zen and the Art of Trawler Conversion

Dark nights & cold days are upon us, so, until we get the 'spacher working, its getting a tad chilly on the old girl, although a dozen litres of diesel engine purring away for a while does make the engine room nice n toasty, which is where most of the 'doing' type stuff has been done of late. So now is the time to reflect a little and plan ahead to what is, what will come to pass and what shall never be.

Looking around the ol' t'interweb for ideas and inspiration, there are lots and lots of these delightful old trawlers, MFV's, seiners, drifters and what have you out there, but sad to see that most have been sacrificed on the alter of live aboard conversion. Why oh why oh why do people do it. It seems to me there are 2 basic ways that a lot of people attack the problem of converting an old fishing boat. the 'shed' method' or the 'caravan' method

converted trawler mistake number 1
The 'Shed' Method of trawler conversion

trawler & MFV conversion mistake number 2
The 'Caravan' method of Fishing boat conversion

As many boats have got the chop as part of the EU's stupid and completely wasteful decommissioning policy, the odd few have apparently been 'rescued' or god forbid, some even say 'preserved' only to suffer the indignity of having what can only be described as a shed stuck on deck. Luckily, ours, whilst not original is far more sympathetic to the boat than most

Why do they do it? If you want a floating shed, buy a shed that, err... floats I guess. If you want a floating caravan buy a caravan that doesn't float, and go to sleep in it at low tide somewhere remote!

so, the next few months are going to be spent plotting and conniving, (yes some of it will be done in a shed - thats a wooden structure in a garden BTW) with a bit of graft chucked in the mix just for good measure. Hopefully at the end of it, we'll be heading in the right direction to get her looking proper again.

Meantime No 2 has done some stuff & drank several gallons of bovril in the process. Bovril filters have now been placed on the mugs to help him along. More paint has been sloshed on unsloshed bits in the hole, plans are a foot for new fuel tanks in the making, Can you use feet as fuel? if so keep it quiet as HMRC will slap a recreational foot use duty on them sharpish no doubt, although they may allow us to keep 40% of our feet for domestic use and be exempt from general foot duty (general foot duty?? didn't he fight along side wellington??)

This week should see the last of the refitty type stuff refitted in the hole; storage lockers to put stuff in so we can't find it again, newly mounted and re-wired 'spacher; shiny things here and there to attract spiders, that sort of thing. I may also drink bovril unattended, smoke a few fags and gossip with our nautical neighbours. Any pairs of hands at a loose end have been invited to come join the fun, Left answer phone messages for Jonathan Ross & Russell Brand, as I'm led to believe they might have an opening available. Toyed with the idea of cobbling together a radio transmitter and anchoring 6 miles off shore so they can keep in practice till january, just to piss the daily mail and it readers off as much as anything. Barack Obama has been invited also, as despite the fact he won the election, he's got to sit through another couple of months of retardisation before he can start picking up the pieces, and Clarkson has asked if he can come and hide from the lorryists for a while

ho hum, onward and sideways

/*** UPDATE ***/

just a little footnote here, based on the fact that this particular post seems to come up a lot in peoples search's for trawler and MFV plans and drawings. I do have in my grubby mits a few different sets of drawings for the various designs of these old fishing boats, among others I've got some Fifie Plans, Ringer Plans, 65' MFV plans and 50' trawler plans and drawings

if anyone wants a copy for reference or model making drop me a line

Come worship at the alter of conversion!

Blimey, we've now got a cathedral up front, ok, maybe a small chapel, alright a nice empty, dry cabin ready to converted into something useful. finally shifted the remaining, err ballast? Still don't know why each individual 10kg pig of iron was wrapped in 2 Tesco's carrier bags, they could have had 389 green clubcard points if they'd taken them back!

more scrap ballast from an old converted Motor Fifie MFV
wonder if I'll get green clubcard points if I take these back?

What we inherited was this.

the old Fifie Forecabin, converted to a skip!
the previous conversion, obviously converted the forecabin to a skip!

the Caley fish box was a chain locker of sorts, and under and behind that, and the board it rested on, was a stack of scrap iron, just like the above.

so attacked it this afternoon with vigour (we'd ran out of flash and swarfega) and my back is telling me there I shifted 600tons at least. but out it all went and is now sat on deck awaiting, err... 'recycling', which might be a week or 2 before we take the boat to the err.... 'recycling centre'? (!)

but once emptied, its huge down there, I can proper stand up and everything without cracking me nut (the doctors assure me that the flat head I've developed might grow back) A cathedral as No 2 proclaimed as he sauntered up having escaped from that thing known as work

so here we go, the previously converted forecabin has now been unconverted ready for further conversion... maybe if we cut the roof off it would be a convertible?

the forecabin now ready for conversion on and old herring drifter
View back to the fish hold conversion of this old scottish trawler
the view back down Pansy to the saloon from the new 'cathedral'

looking good though, all the timbers are solid as a rock, right down to the hog, not bad for 70 years old, they certainly knew how to build them up that scotland. looks like the gas board forgot to fill that trench in properly though.

forgot to mention, we didn't lay the foundations for an inspection pit underneath Pansy, nor did we offer any improvements to the bottom of the marina or start laying a gravel drive from the berth to the river today either... just in case anyone was wondering

*All Aboard*

No. 2 here - after the power of the Presha Washa and the efforts of Conan the Libertarian I've been able to do what I do best recently. Flouncing around with a 2" paintbrush in my hand, stroking my chin and sitting down a lot. (the best thing about sorting the engine room a tad is there are many more opportunities for the sitting down) I've toshed a bit a bit of Danboline *Cheers Cuz* on here and there and haven't managed to blow anything up. The Skipper did have to stop me painting the engine room lights white though, made sense at the time! Did stretch myself though on account of moving about down there is like playing a game of twister inside a traction engine's thingmybob. At one stage I had my leg hanging over my shoulder with one hand above, the other steadying me from below and the spare texting my stockbroker. Just got home and have realised I've painted one of eyes as well.