Tempus Fugit…

October 17, 2010

Can’t believe how long it’s been since I last wrote anything. So, quick update. Portwey went down to Ramsgate for her biannual inspection and all in all came away in fine fettle. Some plate work needed doing and she had a good scrape and paint below the waterline. Here are some nice pictures of her on her holiday.

She came back and did the Thames festival, but on the way back to dock it was noticed that the port side engine was moving. NOT a good thing. Not sure if it is the mounting that has gone or worse, the lower hull fixings. This will need some serious investigation and some SERIOUS money to fix, if indeed it can be fixed. Watch this space…

I have been continuing restoration on some of the old girl’s woodwork.

The fore cabin skylight fully restored.

The engine room hatch cover before and after.

Other good news is that the Channel 4 series about the Titantic has finally hit the (small) screen and has some fine footage of Portwey steaming on the river. If you care to look it’s episode 2, about 36 mins. in.

And finally a nice shot of the old and new London docks.


Come Back Boiler Repair Man – All Is Forgiven!

May 3, 2010

Hmm. Well, all didn’t go as planned for the steam test. I’ll let Chris tell the story.

“It has been a disappointing end to what started as a promising weekend. Last night as the pressure came onto the boiler many of the studs fitted to the repaired area began to weep.

Oh, the studs! See how they weep!

The problem was compounded when the gaskets began to sizzle and let by. Attempts to pull the valves up only stopped the leaks temporarily until the heat and pressure increased. We took the decision to draw fires, blow the boiler down and on Wednesday we will remove the valve studs and pipe work and reinstate them using Foliac and the same method we have employed with all the other ones we have serviced.

The successes of the weekend; Forward accommodation skylight has been fitted and is awaiting a special sealant to complete the job, main engines run without problems from either the Port LP bottom end or the new slide wipers that Mike made. Unfortunately the old ones that we restored caught in the oil ways of the slide and bent but nothing major. The Genny is going back together with the Main bearings now floated. The next one to be tackled is the bottom end and then the cross head.

Most of the other jobs on the list that was part of the last update have also been completed.”

So not ALL bad news then.

The Boiler Repair Man…Goeth!

April 20, 2010

Yes, it’s done. Chris and Barry got the boiler boxed up and pressure-tested last weekend and, apart from the usual leaks, all was fine. Work has been on-going on the piston big-end for the port side, low-pressure cylinder so, this weekend, we will be raising steam for a mechanical test as well as making sure the boiler doesn’t go bang. There are, of course, a thousand and one other jobs to do so, over the next few weeks, we will see a veritable hive of activity (between tea breaks!) to get the old girl spick and span and ready for the filming.

The Boiler Repair Man Cometh…The Finale

April 15, 2010

Yes, it’s all done. Or, at least, it will by Thursday. Hopefully. On Wednesday the welding on the new pad was ground flat and new studs were drilled and tapped

as well as tapping in new studs on one of the existing pads. All that’s needed now is to re-connect the pipe work

and the hydraulic test can be done this weekend, once the boiler is boxed up.

Meanwhile, back on deck…

we have been busy repairing the skylight over the forward cabin. It was in a bit of a state and needed urgent work not just to make-good the wood but to try and fix a leak that had been causing trouble for years. Once the woodwork had been taken out and cleaned and the worst of the rust cleared, the woodwork was placed back and new angle offered-up

this new angle was then welded in.

Next stage will be to re-fit and varnish the woodwork. Watch this space!

The Boiler Repair Man Cometh – Pt.II

April 7, 2010

Good news – the ultrasound test was fine (hurrah!)

Bad news – work still not finished (boo!)

As you can see from this

the pad still needs to be ground down and the studs must be drilled and mounted before the pipe-work can be reconnected. Once that’s done we can do a hydraulic pressure test and, if that’s OK, then finally, finally, fire up the boiler to run steam through it. All this and only 5 weeks until the crew from 20:20 start filming. No pressure there then.


The Boiler Repair Man Cometh…

March 17, 2010

The main phase of the boiler repair got underway this Wednesday. The old plug had been cut out

which showed the general wear and tear more clearly.

Then the chappie started to root-weld the new plug into place which meant weld a little, grind a little,

until a solid base was put down before laying on the main weld.

The next step is to get an ultra-scan NDT done on the welding and if that is ok we then need to do a hydraulic pressure test before firing the old girl up.

We also got the re-built mud door back from the workshop, but the shots I took of it were utter rubbish so I will try and get some next time I’m on-board.