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Elessina - Steel Fabrication
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This page shows the steel fabrication stages of our barge Elessina. Elessina shell was built by Piper Boats at Stoke on Trent. She is 60 ft long x 12'-6" wide has a 12mm thick 5ft wide flat bottom with 8/10mm thick angled side chines. The fit-out details are shown on separate pages.
Saturday 10th January 2004 - 1st Week
After sorting out pre-cut sheet steel pieces, work started on Thursday 8th January. After just a couple of days work, the 'skeleton' frame begins to take place. It is even looking boat shape already!
From front (bow) looking towards the stern with temporary (grey) angle iron braces supporting the bow upright. Cut sheet front side plates are on the floor ready to be welded to frame. Side braces to gunnels / side walk in place.
Looking towards the stern from the front. You can see some side braces with the gunnels / side walkway (top left - 6ft from ground). The upper cabin superstructure will sit on this. The flat base plate (12mm) is tack welded in place, together with some of the chinned (angled) side plates (8 / 10mm). Look carefully and the engine support frame and prop shaft cut outs can be seen.
Above; Stern from engine room. Engine support frame and prop shaft cut outs profiled in steel bracing.
Bow (painted red) with temporary support frame (grey). We will visit again on Saturday 24th January, when the next set of photos will be shown.
Saturday 24th January - After 3 weeks
January 24th, This photo shows the good sheer (banana shape) lines of the barge, taken from the Stern (rear) looking forward. Deck height is top of front steelwork. Her flat bottom is directly on the concrete floor. Canal water level will be around 9" above the top of the chines (2'-6" draft).
Taken from inside, looking forward from rear engine compartment. Note the top of steel is the gunnels / side deck, which will rest on the top of the angled supports. The chains across the barge keep the sides to the correct width and stop deformation. The two 'grey' sheets on the right are the skin cooling tanks, around 2" deep with baffles, they are used to cool the engine water. Floor level will be around 6" lower than the top of the chines
Inside, looking towards the stern (back)
The bow, looking towards the stern (back).
Bow to stern.
Detail of the stern.
Sunday 8th February 2004 - After 5 weeks
Progress over the last two weeks has been slowed with the late delivery of steel, but Elessina now has rubbing strakes, wheel house and forward bulkheads fitted. Piper Boats finally received the steel on Saturday 7th, so fabrication can continue on Monday 9th February. The photo top right shows the internal floor frames that are now welded in, unseen is a waste tank under the floor. Forward bulkheads are also fitted, with large fresh water tank and gas bottle housing. With all the steel now available, progress over the next week could be significant, so we will probably visit again on Saturday 14th February.
The significant aspect of this visit was to determine whether a walkway /passageway directly between front cabin and rear cabin would be possible. With bulkheads now installed it has been determined that a passageway with 6'-0" headroom, is possible. So we have decided to go with this. The big benefit is that we will be able to walk directly from the main front cabin into the rear cabin without walking through the wheelhouse (and up-down the wheelhouse stairs). Alongside the passageway will be the 'white' kitchen appliances (fridge, freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer and dish washer). This walkway will be 'open' from kitchen making the kitchen much larger. Another benefit is the greater utilisation of space in the wheelhouse allowing moore seating area, as there will now only be two doors, one external and one down to the front cabin (instead of the planned 4, two external, one to rear cabin and one to forward cabin). The down side is we will only have one full length external door (on the right side) of the wheelhouse, making locking and mooring etc on the left (port) side a little more difficult. We had been discussing and analysing this walkway on the CAD drawings for some time, but it was not until the bulkheads and floor chine angles could be seen and physically measured that a decision could be made.
A new 'revised' layout can be seen on the layout planning web page.
Saturday 14th February - After 6 Weeks
Great progress has been made over the last week, with cabin sides and front roof installed
View of stern, showing the nice curved / sheer lines
View of bow, highlighting the small step down in roof. This helps helps with visibility of bow from wheelhouse. A 5ft helmsperson can see the bow tip from the steering position, which greatly assists with length judgments, particularly when mooring. It also gives extra strength to the roof, and give the barge a moor 'original authentic' look (in our opinion).
View from stern. Showing part of rear cabin and wheelhouse (the roof is not on the rear cabin, and the wheelhouse is open). This photo shows the 10" wide side deck (because it is a little wider and has a raised edge it makes walking along the side deck much easier and safer than walking along a narrowboat side deck).
This photo is taken from inside the front cabin, looking towards the rear, through the 6ft high passageway which connects the front and rear cabin. Leigh is standing in the rear cabin. The engine room is between Leigh and the front cabin, on the left. A doorway directly from this passageway will give good easy access into the engine room. Fridge, freezer, dish washer, washing machine / tumble dryer will be installed between the two door apertures on the right hand side of the passageway.
This photo is taken from inside the rear cabin looking into the wheelhouse and then into the front cabin. The door apertures on the left hand side show the walkway which connects the front and rear cabin. Fridge, freezer, dish washer, washing machine / tumble dryer will be installed between the two door apertures on the left hand side of the passageway.
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Created 25th January 2004 - Last updated 20 December 2009