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Member postings for Sam Longley 1

Here is a list of all the postings Sam Longley 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Making a torch
18/12/2018 10:42:21

The Aeries self steering is alumnium & is 40 years old. It is anodised. The torch will not get wet so I am not worried about it being aluminium. thanks.

But, that being said, what would you suggest as an alternative that is easy to machine , turn, thread & mill flats on etc?

18/12/2018 10:19:42

As I said in my original post--we can all buy biros for pennies - But??

Machining the aluminium, cutting the threads, - nice fine ones so it feels like quality-anodising the case, making the clip & decent knurling. Battery fixings could be fiddly & a job for a printer.

I am sure that i could work out something for a reflector or LED mounting & perhaps use a small magnifying glass lense for the glass. Would that work? Focal length & all that.

Not sure about the electronics & that is where I was hoping to get some comment. Switch could be a screwed base.

It was only a thought for a project different to the run of the mill steam engines etc etc


Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 18/12/2018 10:22:53

17/12/2018 22:24:43

Yeah!!! I know that one can buy them dead cheap (Or pay a fortune) but you can also buy a biro for pennies & people still make pens!!

So has anyone tried making a torch. Perhaps a nice aluminium  rechargeable one? Coloured, anodised barrel perhaps. LED's or Zenon ( what should one use?) Are there any designs out there to follow?

I want a nice handy powerful round rechargeable one for the boat that will not go flat in five minutes & be there when I need it & not just glimmer at me & die.

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 17/12/2018 22:25:50

Thread: Interests other than Model Engineering
03/12/2018 22:32:28

Model Aeroplane flying. Good fun as I am in a great club, with some really helpful guys. If one has a problem there is always 4 heads in the plane making suggestions. They do not always know the answer, but all willing to try & help!!!

But mainly sailing (single handed). Been round UK twice single handed. Last year I was presented with some goodies by the Royal North Sea Yacht Club in Belgium to commemorate my 75 Th visit to Ostend. First visit was in 1970. I have cruised from Amsterdam & almost as far as La Rochelle & go to the Channel Islands most years

I also sail a single handed racing dinghy when not on my yacht. Yesterday I was on the club support boat rescuing capsized dinghies as for the last 15 years I have crewed the RIB for the winter series.( gets a bit cold so I have stopped racing it in the winter, just doing support boat ie laying marks etc & pulling others out of the oggin now)

I have had a lathe for over 50 years (originally a Drummond type M, plus a Colchester Master & now a Warco 250MV) & had a Myford wood turning lathe that my father bought for me when I was 12/13 years old.

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 03/12/2018 22:41:28

Thread: Quick release hook
16/11/2018 09:07:17
Posted by Bazyle on 15/11/2018 23:25:42:

It is really quite simple and I saw something suitable in use on a farm for holding open a hatch albeit at a lower load. Just scale to fit.
It was a chain ending in a foot long bar. The bar was passed through a staple in the hatch and doubled back to lie alongside the chain (vertically up). A foot of scaffold pipe slid down the chain over the bar so it couldn't move and the weight of the pipe kept it in place. A rope over a pulley would pull the pipe up releasing the bar which flipped down to release the hatch. The length of the bar meant there was little force so little friction to prevent the tube moving up. It could be released from the other end of the barn but was 100% secure so couldn't accidentally drop the door on an animal.

So basically a pelican hook but a much cruder construction. That has me thinking


14/11/2018 22:51:54
Posted by Brian Sweeting on 14/11/2018 22:48:13:

Plastimo do a 9000kg, swl5200kg, snap shackle, is this your idea?

Link here


Edited By Brian Sweeting on 14/11/2018 22:48:42

Thanks I did not realise that pattern went that large . Wichard are notoriously expensive but I will find out the cost

14/11/2018 22:48:23
Posted by Pete Rimmer on 14/11/2018 22:16:29:
Diving is a no-no simply because of visibility. Lots of divers have told us so, otherwise we would just reconnect new chains to the existing sinkers on the seabed without raising them. (we are not using bags to raise them)

Find better divers. I had guys working at 24 metres down rigging up a concrete cutting setup in zero viz by touch alone. If I told them that it was impossible to attach a chain in zero viz they would fall over backwards laughing.


Edited By Pete Rimmer on 14/11/2018 22:17:28

Edited By Pete Rimmer on 14/11/2018 22:18:46

How much do you pay these divers along with all the attendant support gear?

When you tell me, I will laugh as well.

This is all about economics. A tug to lay the moorings wants several £k's poss £6-8K to be confirmed

A local friendly tug guy used to do them for £ 50-00 each as he was passing, minimum 10 at a time. Just because he was friends with us all. Unfortunately he passed away & his family will no longer hire the tug to us

A Flotation bag costs £1000 & will last several years .We can do the job ourselves using our own group launch at times to suit us. Ie not all in one day. So when someone wants a single mooring we can put 1 in & not pay the minimum fee.So for 40 moorings we would charge £ 40-00 each, we would make a small profit for our fund & have a free flotation bag ready for next time

But all we need is to design a quick release hook

14/11/2018 22:16:28
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 14/11/2018 21:44:45:

Aren't quick release hooks a standard maritime item? You can get small ones on Amazon up to giant ones for un-mooring ships. Perhaps a Ship Chandler would have what you want. The working principle of this Amazon example is fairly obvious if you wanted to make one.

Re Martin's point about the floatation bag rocketing to the surface on release, I don't think there's much difference between raising and lowering. To lift a 3 ton concrete block you would need about 1.35 tons of buoyancy. To lower the same block, slightly less. Say the bag is about 10 feet deep. The amount of energy released when the bag rises through water is the same order as a 1.35 ton weight dropped from a height of 10 feet. Easy enough to get a feel for the forces involved with a football and an oil drum full of water.

I think the method of moving the blocks is basically sound, but it would be dangerous to operate the quick release before the buoyancy of the bag was much reduced by releasing most of the air. On something like this I'd do a risk assessment and plan suitable mitigations. I suspect professionals wouldn't mess with bags for this - they'd use a barge fitted with a 5 ton crane to lower the blocks straight into the water, making it a standard lifting job.



You need 1.7 tons ( imperial) but there are other bits like weight of the mooring chain & the bag etc plus the effect of being towed through the water so the bag will probably be between 4 -5 ton capacity which( I think) is less that a 6 ft cube. there is a difference between raising and lowering as to raise one needs to pull the bag under the water to force the weight upwards. This needs attendant gear to do it. To lower it one hooks it tight to the weight & waits for the tide to come in & lift it, so there are no extra strops etc other than those on the bag. The bag will only sink about 3 feet so will not actually "shoot up" as suggested

If one released some of the air (assuming one could do a controlled release) the bag would sink & if for some reason the hook did not release then we could not return it to shore to sort the problem because the weight would drag on the seabed, leaving a dangerous object partially sunk in the water. Believe me, we have thought those situations through.

We just need a good simple quick release hook operable from the surface

The hook you kindly suggest is difficult to release under load very successfully & has to be pulled from the correct direction. Believe me I have released a few off a rolling yacht at sea with a billowing spinnaker trying to throw me overboard. Ships hooks tend to be designed for horizontal use as in warps and anchor chains through the hawse pipes so the designs do not really work for us.

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 14/11/2018 22:17:54

14/11/2018 17:46:14
Posted by Martin King 2 on 14/11/2018 17:35:28:

Cannot remember the figures but concrete as a mooring weight medium is less than ideal, weighs so much less in water, you may need to take that into your calculations?

Mooring systems these days tend towards hydraulically driven galvanised screws, driven in vertically with extra sections bolted on until they ground out. Ones I ihelped install in the BVI years ago have just withstood Hurricane Maria with sustained 150 knots for 14 hours. 60 foot boats all survived except 2 where the cleats ripped out of the hulls!


Sorry- do not wish to be blunt but I want to avoid thread drift- I said in my first post that we are NOT interested in alternatives. We know all about specific gravity, screws, anchors, concrete (145lbs / ft3) marinas etc & have been using sinkers as best option for 30 years. We still believe that there is no economic, viable alternative having fully investigated them over the years. Even to the point of engaging outside marine consultants.(waste of time of course!!) Diving is a no-no simply because of visibility. Lots of divers have told us so, otherwise we would just reconnect new chains to the existing sinkers on the seabed without raising them. (we are not using bags to raise them)

I will take your first post ( & i thank you for that ) & go back to the air bag supplier who suggested it & has offered a bag for trial prior to purchase. However, there will only be a linking hook between sinker & bag so the situation is not quite as you suggest. We are dropping, not raising which is different.


Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 14/11/2018 18:18:05

14/11/2018 13:27:52

Without going in to the long convoluted reasons our local mooring holders have a problem laying their mooring sinkers.

We have to place 40 concrete weights weighing up to 3 tonnes in the River Blackwater. To do this we are going to place the weight ( complete with the chain & buoy attached) at the low water mark. We will attach a flotation bag to the weight & as the tide rises (5 metres) it will lift the weight off the sea bed.

We will then tow the weight to its position using a work boat & drop the sinker with chain etc thus placing a mooring.

The bottom of the flotation bag will be approx 1.5 metres below the water level and we have to release it from the sinker.This means we have to make a quick release hook. The hook must not come undone accidentally as it is waiting for the tide coming in due to wave motion & it must never come undone in the wrong place as we cannot move an incorrectly placed mooring which would be a disaster

So what I want to know -- can anyone come up with an idea for a simple release hook that can be operated from a workboat at water level safely under 3 tonnes of load. We have to be able to make it ourselves. I have milling & welding capabilities etc I want to be able to make it as economically as pos & it to be fairly basic idiot proof.

Please do not suggest other mooring methods- there are countless reasons why we have to do this. 50 mooring owners have applied their minds to this & this is the direction we must go

I am hoping someone may have seen something in a factory somewhere that we can adapt. Or, being engineers, they may have an idea


Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 14/11/2018 13:29:43

Thread: Solution found to the World's biggest problem . . .
12/11/2018 22:41:12
Posted by RRMBK on 09/11/2018 12:28:52:

I recently visited the Triumph factory at Hinkley, great day out and very interesting . Very tempted by a new bike but will it still be going in 40 years time i'm not sure? will I be able to get spares , I suspect not, can I service and repair it myself absolutely not !!

Exactly the same applies to my 26 year old Peugot based motorhome in comparison with a new one,

But will you be in a fit state to repair it in 40 years time? & even if you are, you will, i am sure, have lost the will to repair it anyway. Why not buy a new one & enjoy it? If you drop dead next week then you will be able to say that at least you had a new bike for a week. People seem to say it is wrong to change, but is it?

Life is not all about possessions but it is about "comfort" & "quality" of living. Sure if you enjoy repairing old items ( & let's face it there is a satisfaction in doing so) then do it.Can you blame people for not wanting to have all the bells & whistles & the latest gadget or the latest bike, or the most modern machinery that actually has decent controls plus a few "extras" that you had not thought of before.

Thread: Boiler certification in a launch
09/11/2018 20:50:05
Posted by Paul Kemp on 09/11/2018 20:09:02:

Posted by Ron Laden on 09/11/2018 16:52:03:

I know very little about steam engines and boilers etc but how anyone can operate one at any scale with an untested boiler is beyond me. I would keep looking at the boiler thinking "is it safe" maybe its just me.

Edited By Ron Laden on 09/11/2018 17:07:15


Anyone operating a boiler ought to be capable of making an informed judgement if the boiler is in acceptable condition - if that is not the case then I respectfully suggest they stay well away from one! The real danger from boilers is a lack of understanding by the operator.

I regularly volunteer on a heritage railway and before anyone is allowed to light a loco up, let alone fire one they have to learn and demonstrate competence in the principles of operation and safety and carry out their own visual examination of the boiler for any signs of water leakage externally or within the firebox including stays and fusible plug(s) and the smokebox tube plate / tubes which is a daily check, to an assessor. Once in steam and before going off shed the safety valve should be observed to be operating correctly according to the pressure gauge and methods of water feed proved functional as well as a proper test of the gauge glass(s) or try cocks. Granted that is not a full trousers down inspection of the whole boiler but roughly once a month at wash out all fittings are inspected as well as an internal exam and integrity of stays checked, among other things. This is in addition to the annual formal boiler test by an independent inspector.

Things worth considering are; boilers rarely fail catastrophically without some prior indication like steam and water leaks - hence the importance of the operator having a full understanding of the implications of warning signs. A boiler inspection is a bit like an MOT, happens once a year and a lot of damage can be done to a boiler in a year by the operator running with low water, rushing into steam (unequal expansion damage), failure to wash out or in hard water areas descale so hot spots develop stressing the plates, etc etc etc!

The real risk of a miniature boiler exploding is small unless it has been made from a baked bean tin held together with chewing gum by someone with no knowledge or appreciation of the potential issues - in which case return to paragraph one! The relative level of risk is further evidenced by the low cost of insurance, if boilers were exploding left right and centre the premiums would be massive. Even the black museum of sectioned boilers parts showing quite serious weld defects and constructional issues which used to appear on various stands at exhibitions in a perverse way show the level of risk as they came from boilers that had been operated for years with those defects present before they were cut up and none of them failed catastrophically as far as I am aware?

As far as the OP question goes there is not enough information on the proposed boiler itself to make any reasonable assesment of risk - is/ was it being made to an established design? What are the materials? Builder competence? The question focused on a lack of intent to follow a formal independent inspection and certification regime because of a belief it wasn't required - that doesn't necessarily on its own make the boiler dangerous. It may be the owner is perfectly capable of making his own assesment and is confident in his abilities. It is interesting perhaps and seemingly little understood that it is the owner / operators responsibility under the regulations to appoint a competent person and be confident of his competence in so doing, to inspect a pressure system. It remains the owners liability for the safe operation unless it can be proved the person issuing the certification was negligent the owner / operator will carry the can. Having boiler certification means nothing 11 months after the test if the boiler has not been operated and monitored correctly by the operator.


Please accept that I agree with you entirely & with some of the comments within this thread. I just am surprised that no one can come up with a statutory instrument to stop people having what would be quite a large boiler without having any sort of test during its lifetime

I suppose it is a bit like all the cheap air compressors that are sold to the public. I expect that once sold none are ever tested, but many sit in sheds collecting water in the tanks, never drained, & rusting gently away.

Still as one never hears of one exploding I suppose it is a non event, thus not requiring attention from the authorities

09/11/2018 17:20:51
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 09/11/2018 16:44:03:

So Michael, You don't have a "pressurised system of steam" ? I would have thought your boat was "Steam-Powered". It is true that the BSS inspector would not be able to inspect and pass your boiler, but he/she should demand to see your "Current Inspection Certificate".

2.25 pressure system - current pressure system certificate
boiler - current pressure system insurance policy
boiler - LPG installation complies with Part 7 of these Standards
boiler - fuel system does not complies with Part 2 of these Standards


Did you read the last paragraph

I read that as excluding Michael ( unless he is giving rides to kids & what kid young or old would refuse?) for the items listed. Plus the scheme is self regulation not stautory- Is it not?

All checklist items relevant to the boat's installations are mandatory passes for non-private vessels


09/11/2018 17:13:45
Posted by Ron Laden on 09/11/2018 16:52:03:

I know very little about steam engines and boilers etc but how anyone can operate one at any scale with an untested boiler is beyond me. I would keep looking at that boiler thinking "is it safe" maybe its just me, I dont know.

You are dead right, but it was a point dug up on a yachting forum by people with little or no knowledge of these things. Once someone said that there was no statutory requirement, I argued but have been proved totally wrong. It was accepted that one would need it for insurance purposes, but once again one is not legally obliged to hold insurance for a yacht in the Uk. Marinas etc would ask long stay visitors for confirmation third party insurance is held ( but never ask to see the policy), but there again one can moor in a bay without it, --as many do !!

However, if one takes it abroad the authorities inevitably ask for proof of 3rd party insurance, so the Op of that thread could not emigrate with the launch to some EU countries.

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 09/11/2018 17:14:56

09/11/2018 15:40:58
Posted by michael cole on 09/11/2018 14:45:51:

nor is it for inland waters. My steamboat is exempt from the BSS as being sold fuel and no other systems there is nothing to test.

Thanks - no argument with that as you are a user !!!

09/11/2018 14:18:13

But the boat safety scheme is not a statutory scheme for boats on coastal waters---- or is it?

09/11/2018 09:18:50

As I understand it small boilers for hobby use are not covered by the pressure systems regs

In addition a vessel used in navigation is exempt from the pressure systems safety regs 2000.

Are there any other regs that might lead to compulsory certification of boilers in a steam powered 16 ft launch. In other words can one just go gaily ahead & build without reference to any outside inspection etc (albeit at ones own risk). Having done so can one then continue to run it without inspection ( Once again at one's own, risk)?

I ask, to assist in a dispute on a yachting forum where I stated that it would be unwise to operate such a thing without certification.& regular testing

It was pointed out that there was no legal requirement to do so.

However, I felt that any boiler would have to comply with the 2000 regs during commercial manufacture as the boiler left the factory. Regardless of final intended use. But would it, if it was for hobby use?


Thread: What did you do Today 2018
01/11/2018 18:24:59

My first thought was that it was a key for unlocking a chastity beltyes

How much tension are you expecting to put on that dress??

Are you selling her? does the poor bloke know what he is buying?

Have you made a tool for safely letting it all out or will they press a button & it all goes with a massive twang!!!!?crook


Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 01/11/2018 18:31:11

Thread: Fluctuating battery voltage
26/10/2018 18:32:41


If the batteries are a bit low, ie after a cruise where I have used electric but not charged much with the engine then the charger will initially charge at 14.4 volts & a higher amperage, then when the fan shuts off the voltage drops to 13.7 as it showed in this case. Suggesting the batteries were fairly full anyway & charger was on stage 2 of the cycle.

Wires were the size recommended in the instructions when I installed the charger ( forget the size). Length is approx 2ft 6 ins to domestic & 3 ft 3 ins to starter.

26/10/2018 10:27:57


Unfortunately I cannot keep it plugged in full time, but I do visit the boat every few days, so it gets a couple of hours a week all winter.

Yes, the charger has 2 outputs. The starter battery is a red flash 35 amp battery. That is small for a 20Hp diesel but as the engine usually starts on the touch of the button it is OK. I also have a switch to link all 3 batteries in an emergency if needed.

I note the point about charger output & did think of this. When i noticed this voltage issue I flicked the switch to link all 3 batteries to see what happened. It made no difference to the charge rate or to the voltage reading so I turned the switch off again.I wondered if the increase in voltage was because the domestics were drawing some power off the starter battery. ie through a faulty voltage relay on the engine alternator charging side.

However, reading from Simon's link it seems that it is normal for voltage to rise at restive state. Something that I had not noticed before. At least not to such a large extent.

It was the large initial drop from 13.7 to 12.7 in less than 5 mins that had me worried & I still do not understand why so much

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