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Elessina - Fit-out at Piper Boats
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Elessina - 60ft barge -Ian & Leigh's dream Build Fabrication of Elessina Fit-out - DIY on her mooring Elessina Latest Photos Elessina Master Bedroom Fit-out Elessina Master Bathroom Fit-out Elessina Electrics and Plumbing Layout of Elessina
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This page shows the building of our barge Elessina, at Piper Boats. Steel construction photos are now on a separate page as is the continuation of the fit-out on our mooring at Port Medway Marina. Elessina was built by Piper Boats at Stoke on Trent, to a sailaway plus specification. She is 60 ft long x 12'-6" wide has a 12mm thick 5ft wide flat bottom with 8/10mm thick angled side chines.
Saturday 28th February 2004 - After 8 Weeks
Virtually all fabrication is now complete, window apertures cut and 1st coat of primer and Comastic type bottom blackening applied.
View of bow, showing bow thruster tube installed.
View from rear cabin looking forward, with wheelhouse opening in centre, ready for collapsible wheelhouse.
View of corner of wheelhouse looking forward. with opening down to front cabin ready for door installation.
View of bow and cabin topsides.
View of interior of front cabin. Cross frames are installed ready for floor to be laid.
Saturday 13th March - Week 10
Steel fabrication is now complete and few more coats of paint applied.
Another barge has been started (also 60ft but only 10'-6" wide)
An anchor Hawse pipe has been installed on the starboard side, two oil tanks (1x300gal under floor and 1x40gal adjacent to stove fire) and an under floor toilet (black) tank installed (fresh and grey tanks were installed earlier).
Bow deck, with separate gas / anchor locker (open), fresh water tank inspection cover (closed and anchor hawse pipe tube.
Front (bedroom) now batten and spray foamed with roof partially lined, floor installed and Houdini escape hatch opening. Weed hatch can be seen on top of bow thruster tube. Bow thruster not yet installed.
Lounge area looking forward. Stove / fire place surround partially installed (oil tank to right hand side ). Floor, ceiling, spray foam and roof hatch opening installed.
Lounge area looking towards the stern. Stairs from wheelhouse will be on the left, walkway to rear cabin is on the right.
Saturday 20th March 2004 - Week 11
Elessina now has a blue undercoat paint to the top sides of hull, and ivory superstructure, plus side windows and ports.
Double glazed, gold anodised Severn Yacht / Wifwerfen windows and portholes installed. The windows look good, and we are very pleased with them. Ceiling has a coat of paint, Iroko hard wood trims will run across the roof and around the roof hatch opening.
The rudder. Note the aerodynamic / aerofoil shape. It looks huge (nearly 4ft high)!!, but no doubt will 'shrink' when in the water. Waterline is about 1/4 way down. This type of rudder is often (incorrectly) referred to as a Schilling type rudder, but closer resembles that of a NACA profile rudder. It gives greater maneuverability at slow speeds than a standard flat plate rudder. Steering will be hydraulic, with a 140 degree rudder movement (70-0-70), which is twice as much as the more common 70 degrees (35-0-35) systems. If you are familiar with narrowboat rudders then I am sure you will appreciate the more movement the better.
View from the bridge. Standing in the wheelhouse the front bow can be seen, which greatly assists in steering distance judgments, helped by the slight step down in the front cabin roof.
Perkins M92 engine in position (to be connected - photo taken just a few hours after delivery to Piper Boats), viewed from passageway connecting front and rear cabins. Area to right of vertical steel support is the doorway, area to left will have a removal partition, allowing good all round access. The 3.5Kw 230v Electrolux travelpower alternator and PRM 500 gearbox trolling unit (variable propeller speed down to to 1 rpm when engine runs around tickover speed, improving steerage at low speed) are both fitted.
Rear cabin, now with floor and roof, raised at rear for seating area. Weed hatch and rudder tube can be seen in the centre, plus opening escape window..
Friday 9th April
Now with a name - stern sign writing
Vetus 24v bow thruster now installed,
adjacent to weed hatch, on 250mm tube
Left: Drop down wheelhouse front window during installation.
Look carefully and you may be able to see a hydraulic cylinder (centre right under the window frame). You never know, in a couple of weeks time there may be a one piece, forward sliding roof, attached to the front screen, enabling quick, easy lowering of roof!!
Saturday 24th April
Some good news for us, Elessina (and Piper boats 'Ultimate' Class sailaways) have been given an RCD Cat 'B' conformity assessment by the official appointed notified body. We had only specified a RCD Cat 'C' barge, so getting a Cat 'B' barge is a bonus.... Not that we ever plan to be in any sea in anything like wind force 8 and 4m waves!!!!.....but it will be comforting to know that when the 'inevitable surprise' rough seas are encountered Elessina was built to withstand them.
Lounge area, with roof and side linings down to gunnels, awaiting Iroko / teak trims around windows and across roof beams.
View from rear cabin looking through walkway into galley and main lounge area
Sunday 2nd May 2004
This was our 2nd Open day, an opportunity for anyone interested in new build barges to have a look over the work in progress of Elessina. It was equally as popular as the 1st one with another 40 or so visitors, with 5 pints of milk being used to make the tea and coffee!. It was nice to meet everyone and both Leigh and I enjoyed the day. Our thanks to all involved, especially Andrea who kindly supplied all the food etc.
With wheelhouse roof slid forward
Now fully painted externally
Wheelhouse roof, supported off hydraulically controlled front screen. The roof slides forward (see above photo) then lowers onto the front cabin roof, giving 6'- 9" air draft. With roof up air draft is 9'-9".
Wheelhouse with front screen and roof, plus 5ft x 3ft wide hatch on cabin roof. Engine and other navigation instruments will be installed within the central 'sloping' panel. Entrance to front cabin is on the right.
Interior of wheelhouse, showing part of the 3/4 length side door opening and seating area
Interior with roof linings, fire surround and roof hatch. Master bedroom and bathroom are behind the fire place.
View from front looking towards the stern. This area will be the galley, with cooker and hob between the two doorways. Stairs to left lead to wheelhouse, passageway to right leads to rear cabin.
View of lounge and fire surround from rear cabin. Access to engine room is through the doorway on the right hand side.
Saturday 22nd May
Bubbles 5Kw diesel stove, with coal / flame effect kit, fiddle rail and remote sensing fire valve.
Rear cabin convertible dinette under construction
Saturday 19th June
Progress has slowed over last few weeks, partly because we asked Piper Boats to fit-out the rear cabin with narrowboat style convertible dinette / double bed and bathroom with shower, vanity basin and electric loo to black storage tank. Delivery now scheduled for Thursday 1st July to Sheerness docks on the river Medway.
Hospital type (super silent) silencer
in engine room (It's big!!)
Rear Cabin convertible
dinette (narrowboat style)
Saturday 26th June 2004
Delivery booked for Monday 5th July to Sheerness docks (Sheerness could not do the 1st, transport truck not available on 2nd, so the 5th it is). Engine and Bubbles stove were run for the 1st time today with no problems.
Iroko window surrounds now fitted around the double glazed Wifwerfen windows.
Bubbles diesel stove now running, with flames. Gives off nice background heat and is a nice focal point in the saloon.
Saturday 3rd July
With Elessina craned on to road trailer and with just couple of jobs being completed prior to truck delivery to Sheerness on Monday morning, the main bearing 'hinge' on the hydraulically raising screen failed, causing all three outer panes of the double glazed toughened glass to break. Delivery now deferred for a week whilst new glass is made and the cranked arm modified / lengthened to relieve the forces on the bearing. Further bad news was that the final inspection a few days earlier by the RCD conformity official would only rate Elessina a RCD Cat 'C' certificate because the wheelhouse glass was 1mm to thin (plus there was no harness points at the front deck, but this could easily be provided). The toughened glass must be 5mm thick (single or double glazed), we had two times 4mm thick (double glazed) panes. I am sure 4mm double glazed units are a lot stronger than a single 5mm pane, but evidently not!!.
The positive outcome from the weekend is that the screen bearing failed at Pipers and that a stronger / improved solution will be provided prior to delivery, plus, with the breakage of the screen we have decided to replace all the wheelhouse glass with 5x5 double glazed panes (and add harness points at bow) so that a RCD Cat 'B' certificate can be given. Although disappointing, in the scheme of things, another week but with a RCD Cat B rating and a stronger screen raising / lowering mechanism, is maybe not such a bad thing. We did not original specify RCD Cat 'B' or a hydraulic screen / roof lowering, so both can be seen as bonuses really.
Rescheduled delivery date is dependent on 3 things; 1) Piper Boats completing the work, 2) Transport truck availability and 3) Sheerness Dock availability,
Elessina, on her trailer, awaiting final transport to Sheerness dock
Rear cabin bathroom (shower is around corner on the left). Electric loo plumbed in to black storage tank. Rear cabin convertible dinette (narrowboat style, but an extra 6" wider) shown without table and carpet. Storage under and behind each bench.
Saturday 10th July
New bearing and screen hinge mechanism now fitted. The hinged / cranked arm is now over twice the length, which means the force required to lift / lower screen and roof is less than half what it was before, relieving the forces on the bearing. Unfortunately the replacement glass had not arrived as promised (now due Monday), so the operation could only be tested with the old (single pane) glass, but it raised and lowered very well. Nice and smoothly, no problems.
Tuesday 13th July 2004
We are in!!!. Despite traffic delays along M25 etc. Elessina was final launched. Many thanks to Duncan Milner for safely delivering Elessina from Stoke (tel 07774 627997) and to Dave Redwood, Paul Sands and the team at Sheerness Dock (01795 - 596566) who did a great job craning her in. It was getting close to sun set so we decided to moor up at Sheerness dock and motor up to our mooring the following day. Wednesday saw force 4 / 5 winds and white top waves, and Sheerness is pretty open on the Thames / Medway estuary!!. Elessina was a little light on ballast so we filled up the fresh water tanks (1,500 litres) and diesel (1,000 litres) and set off to our mooring at Cuxton some 15 miles upstream. She handled beautifully, a very respectable 7.9 knots over land speed on the gps against tide and wind with no noticeable engine temperature increase. Cruising very comfortably at 5.5 knots and 1300rpm. No problems at all, just needs a little more ballast, which Simon Piper is installing Thursday.
Crane-off and Crane-in at Sheerness ......... and at Port Medway marina, Cuxton
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Last updated 20 December 2009