The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.03.20 - More Electrics, Birds and Gauges

I had intended to apply the fourth coat of varnish to the boat today but when I went down to the workshop to begin the job I found that the boat was wet. We had nearly 9mm of rain this afternoon and I had not replaced the tarpaulin and the drips through the holes in the roof had made puddles on the varnish in places. So the first task of the evening was to put the a tarpaulin back up. Mopping up the puddles was also carried out with the intention that the boat will be dry enough tomorrow evening to apply the varnish.

When I did the electrics for the inspection I had to wire the battery to the box through the isolator switch since the inline 30A circuit breaker I ordered had not arrived. It arrived last week so the next task of the evening was to install the circuit breaker and rewire the box so that the isolator switch is now after the battery regulator and solar panels. This was the original intention and would have passed the inspection as well.


The gaff with the cramps, pads and plastic removed. This means that all the spars are now ready for being made round instead of square.


The tarpaulin back in place but with the sides tied up as well.


While I was doing this there came the sound of bird song in the workshop and from the back on the south side I saw a small bird hop onto the sink and then fly out though the doors. This is the second time it has happened. The bird has either built a nest in the workshop somewhere using the hole I made in the front gable end or it came in through the hole where the outflow pipe for the sink exits the workshop. I had a look around but couldn't see a nest so I suspect it is the latter option. The bird appeared to be a wren as it had that cocked up tail that is a characteristic of the wren.


The circuit breaker installed in the cable to the battery.


The isolator switch is on and the lighting panel is powered up as you can see.


The isolator switch is off, the lighting panel is no longer powered but the regulator remains powered as you can see by the red LEDs still lit. The means that the solar panels are also in circuit and will charge the battery when sufficient light falls on them.


I made a spar gauge which is used to mark lines on each side of a square section timber. Cutting off the corners to these lines gives an octagon and is the first step in making the square round. The second step is another spar gauge with the pencils in a different place. This is used to mark the faces of the octagon and cutting off the corners again gives a hexadecagon with 16 sides. After that you use coarse sandpaper or a rasp to convert the hexadecagon to a circle.

The trouble with this gauge is that the pencils kept on breaking and it didn't seem to be correct anyway. Turning the gauge around should put the pencil marks in the same place but they came out in a different one. I found that the table on the drill press was not set to zero degrees and the holes had been drilled at a slight angle.


So I corrected the tilt and made another gauge. This one, as you can see, had the points of two screws instead of pencils and this time reversing the gauge put the score marks in the same place as the marks with the gauge the other way round. I'll leave the second gauge until I've made the octagons.

I shall also investigate using the table saw to cut the corners almost to the lines and then use the plane to complete the job otherwise it would be a lot of planing and I'm not sure my back would thank me for that!