Koos has won my gold award for ingenuity and sheer brilliance by designing and building a hoist that could be put on board the Hennie H so as to manoeuvre the engine from the back deck into its bay. The thing is, much measuring is needed before Koos can fit new mountings in place and to do that, he needs to see where the engine needs to sit. There is also the small matter of having it in exactly the right place to align it with the prop shaft. The latter has some flexibility because it has a thing called a Python on it (technicians will know what this is), which means it doesn't have to be exactly straight, but even so, there isn't a great margin for error.
Anyway, to cut the story short, the last month has been one of creative problem solving for Koos with me as the sounding board producing my usual list of (sometimes useful) 'what if' questions. The result of all his labours is this mighty construction:
|The hoist in position on the back deck|
It's been quite an evolutionary process involving much rethinking and redesigning, but it fits perfectly and makes it possible for Koos (with me as assistant) to lower the engine in and out of its place in the bay without asking anyone else for help. Genius, isn't it? Well, I think so. The upper spar is there to hold the tent over the deck, which also makes it possible for us (mostly Koos, though) to work in most weathers. From outside, it looks a bit like we've erected a tipi on board.
|The wild West has come to Sas|
Finally, then, we got to test it today. With the problem of shifting the block and tackle pulley along the bar overcome by using the kind of tensioning straps found on trailers (you know, the ones that can be made super tight with those ratchet things), Koos inched it along the bar until it was hanging over the opening.
And then lowered it into position so he could measure where it would need to 'sit' on its mountings. My job was to keep things straight and stop the tensioning straps twisting and the pulley chain getting stuck on anything...heavy burdens indeed.
|And into the 'ole she goes|
As for the other project, my Vereeniging, rain has stopped much of my play and I've been confined to working on the floor of the roef, or back cabin. You may (or may not) remember I had to remove the entire floor because of woodworm. I'm still battling to eliminate the last of the little blighters from inside the cupboards, but I'm getting there. Nevertheless, I've finally managed to put in a new floor base, this time made of thick ply wood (which woodworm don't like) that I've painted on both sides (which they like even less).
It's hard to see it well from the photo below as it's quite dark in there, and I haven't put the piece in the gap in the middle yet as I've got to reroute the bilge pump hosepipe. But it's ready for the next time I have a free hour and it's raining. I'm pretty pleased with the result as the shape made it very difficult. I'm planning to finish it with easy-to-roll-back lino. Before that, though, I'll revarnish the cupboards. It will be great to be able to use this little room again.
Well, that's it for this week's updates. A bit of coming down to earth after all the exoticness of Poland, but it's real life, it's hard work and it's also very rewarding. I just need the rain to stop so I can finish my painting...ho hum.
Just for some colour, here's a photo of my ultra fancy wellies. These are the ones I keep for best. I have a tartan pair that I do my real work in!
Have a good week, allemaal, and I'll be back with more on boats, boots and maybe even books soon.