The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2021.02.20 - Preparing for Naiad's MoT

I don't know what the weather has been like around your part of the world, but round here is has been pretty dire. Windy, wet, cold and coupled with the dark afternoons and evenings, I've just not wanted to work on Naiad. Well, I have but I didn't want to go out in the weather so to do.

Until today. It's windy but not wet and not cold either. In fact, I have the front and back doors of the workshop wide open to get a breeze blowing through in order to dry it out. There have been times during the last 4 months when there has been standing water inside the workshop. I've got tarpaulins over everything that would suffer permanent damage if left wet.

However, not only did I want to work on Naiad, It is now a case that I have to work on Naiad as she is due for her Boat Safety Scheme Certificate (BSSC) examination on 8th March. The BSSC is essential since without that I cannot legally put Naiad in the river. It is a bit like an MoT for a car but for a boat. Fortunately, the BSSC lasts for four years and not one as for a vehicle.

The BSSC examination is pretty thorough and covers a great number of things but not all of them apply to Naiad. The BSS has a website here and the document that covers the requirements for private boats can be found here. Scroll down a couple of pages to find the link if you are interested.

The short story is that there are seven sections in the exam:

  1. Permanently installed fuel systems and fixed engines
  2. Electrical systems
  3. Electrical propulsion systems
  4. Outboard and portable combustion engines and portable fuel systems
  5. Fire Extinguishing and Escape
  6. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) systems
  7. Appliances and flues
  8. Pollution prevention

Now the only sections that apply to Naiad are 2, 5 & 7 from the above list which makes the exam a lot shorter than it could be and then only parts of those sections apply. Good news for Naiad and me.

So, I need to start putting Naiad back together again so that she may be examined. One of the requirements is for adequate ventilation and to that end there are two vents into the cabin under the side-decks. However, I bought a vent grill when I first got Naiad and I've never fitted it. Guess was was my first task?

This is the grill and I want to install it in the top washboard like so.

Having marked the position of the grill and the mounting holes I cut two large holes in the washboard and cut out the piece between them to form a rectangle with rounded ends.

I used bolts to secure the grill to the washboard since using screws would allow the grill to be removed from the locked boat from the outside. Not something I wanted to allow. Without access to the nuts on the inside it is virtually impossible to remove the grill.

It looks fairly good from the inside.

I turned my attention to the solar panels once the grill was completed. The first thing was to find where I'd stored them nearly a year ago now. Having done that I also had to find all the bits that went with them since I'd put them somewhere else.

Then came the task of feeding the cables through the deck fitting which was achieved by suitably bending the connectors on the ends of the two cables and then doing a lot of wiggling of the cables from inside to push then cables through.

One of the three supplied cable glands was slipped over the cable and this sits in a recess in the fitting. When the front part of the fitting is screwed in place it squashes the gland so that it forms a watertight seal around the cable. Hopefully.

The on to fitting the rest of the assembly. Only I realised that I didn't have any sealant to run around the edge of the fitting and the screws that held the solar panels in the frames were rusted so work stopped for now and will resume once I have obtained the missing items.

Time for a cup of tea.