Oz's travels.

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I thought the black and white photos used as the header pic of the pages looked great, but this time as Troutbridge is now grey, I thought I'd leave this one in colour.

A little job one Saturday afternoon was to fabricate out of aluminium a dial holder for the oil pressure and the fuel gauge. I didn't want them on deck where they would be out in the elements, so they were pensioned in the engine bay. I plumbed in the oil pressure gauge thanks to Mike (who we got the engine off) supplying all the correct fitting, cheers mate. The fuel gauge needs wiring up, a job for a little latter on. 

Phil made the bases for the shower and toilet some time ago, one of his first welding jobs as I recall, anyway its about time they were set in place. 

Typical Phil didn't take any photos of the fabrication of the box steel bases to the bases.... if you get me drift, he then cut the holes in the very uneven original floor to get at the new flat floor underneath. 

Before lifting them in Phil got to work with the grinder and a twist wire head to clean off all the loose rust. A vacuum all around, then he set the bases in place and welded them down. Not bang on but very close... just a few mill out, but that'll do for me! The rectangle section (bottom left) cut out is for the sump tub that the drain will run into, then the pump inside the tub will pump the water up out of the drain that..... come to think of it needs to be fitted.... "Phil..... found another little job for you." 

A ruddy good coat of red oxide paint for now, then later on a coat of bitumen to waterproof it.  

We set out timbers on the cross members and the scaffolding plank you can see will be the level of the floor... funny enough the floor will be made of sanded down scaffolding planks. 

Busy weekend on Troutbridge. Floor.. cleared, rubbed down with wire wheel on grinder, vacuumed then painted, timber joist cut down to size, drilled and bolted in place. a quick in an out job.. hang on Phil done it.. so a slow and steady job and done right.. Well!! only joking.

Following weekend a thick coat of bitumen paint to water seal it.  

It has now got a clear three weeks for it to go off (dry), due to its Christmas day next weekend, then new years day the weekend after... so all being well a new date to go on your 2022 calendar.... BRICK DAY! When we place in the engineering brick ballast.

When there is heavy rain, the gully on the slide window fills up and overflows inwards, Phil has glued an screwed a bit of plastic along the bottom so hopefully stopping the problem... we will see! 

Saturday 15th January... Brick Day. 

                                                           Time to put some weight on, NOT ME! Troutbridge. 

The photos bellow are of the water line plus the tyre line before they started.

Phil had bought... some time ago come to think of it... two pallets of engineering bricks to be used as ballast. Phil's brother Dave arrived early an after coffee I got him and Phil to work. They cracked on well, Dave cleaning then transporting the brick in the wheel barrow, passing them to Phil who then took them bellow an then arranged them in the hull. Now this next photo is when they had finished the back, then they moved all the stuff that was up the front to the back... why? 
Well Phil had already put bricks in the front earlier on in the project... BUT!! he had used the wrong bitumen paint. We found it didn't dry that hard so it glued the bricks down. Is that a problem you might ask... Yes! When Phil removed a few bricks one day it lifted the paint off the hull floor leaving it back to bare metal, so then not water tight. It was a step backwards but it had to be done right, so Dave and Phil cleared the front out completely and started again. 

Then painted it with the proper Black Jack Bitumen paint that once dry go's rock hard..... the only thing is we need to leave it 2 weeks to do so just to make sure. 


The front... sorry the bow needs to be dropped down so the long line is about water level.

On the Sunday, even though the front was light the boys could resist taking Troutbridge out for a run up the cut. Here's how they got on.

Its funny when you think a job is so simple and will take minutes to do, then it takes hours, well that's what I found doing these to small..ish jobs.

 Number one job was to make up another wiring loom for the ignition. We had put back the original one, but cuz we have moved the controls it was too short and lay across the engine. The new one now is fixed around the side on that railing Phil attached back on page 6. Its the blue line... (Heat shrink)

Also we found that if you are a bit too heavy handed with the control levers and go too far forward or back, they then end stop the inner cable and start to move the outer sheath of the cables pulling them out of there mountings, that has happened a couple of times. Loosing the throttle or gears as you are in the middle of a manoeuvre is not good! So we come up with end stops to stop the over travel. 

                                                              clever aye!

                                      SHES GOING DOWN!!!" Well... a little way.

Bow now filled with ballast, some more needed, but with not much room left......

                                                          I have a few ideas. 

Phil timbered the mid section around the toilet and shower base.

Sunday 06/03/22... Added more weight in the bow, she is dropping nicely. 

Just today adding a bit you can see the clean inch of hull under the water. 

Thats good... the back end is getting higher again, we dropped her to low, she needs to come up so the tip of the rudder is about an inch above the water.

After the last "run up the cut" we encountered a wobble on the tiller, but due to the rear end being to low in the water, we could remove the weedhatch cover, now its up a bit higher, Phil wipped it off and found rapped round the prop..... 
                     well... we couldn't tell if its a shirt or dress. It has a button and a zip. 
Another run up the cut...... but this time you will see a return journey! More ballast has been loaded on board an Troutbridge was fantastic, the handling was a lot more responsive then before. It was Phil's first time on his own an I think he done a not bad job, a couple of close calls, due to some clowns had thrown a Sainsburys trolley... not a shopping trolley!... a big delivery cage trolley in the cut under one of the bridges. Luckily just enough room to get past. Anyway enjoy a leisurely trip along the Old Main Line Canal from Valencia Wharf Oldbury up to the Gower Branch Canal, then a turn round..... a try to get moored up... but wind takes the pointed end out before Phil can tie it up.... so a run back to base.