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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: Quick release hook
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

25/10/2018 22:24:38

Hi, I have a query re 12 V batteries on my boat & some of the caravaners/motorhomers on the forum may be able to comment as they also have domestic battery banks

I have a pair of 12 v 90A AGM batteries linked together as my domestic bank. I have a Dolphin 15 A triple stage charger that charges both starter & domestic batteries. It runs off shore power. If it is giving out max charge the cooling fan inside it goes on. If the fan does not go on I know that the batteries are not particularly low.
I have a NASA BM1 battery volt meter that works on the domestic bank only.
2 days ago I decided to check all was charged up for the laying up period, so I plugged into shore power. All electrics were turned off. The BM1 recorded 6 amp charge for a while at 13.7 V ( fan did not go on so I assume that batteries were fairly well charged)
I left it overnight & on return charge rate was 1 amp. Voltage still recorded 13.7 V
I disconnected the shore power (still showed 13.7V) & to empty the fresh water I turned on the tap & hence the fresh water pump. This then showed 1.3 amp discharge & voltage fell to 12.7 V within the 4-5 minutes I ran it. (I did not re connect shore power)
After about 15 minutes voltage went back up to 12.9 volts
The following day voltage was recorded at 13.1 volts
What I would ask is why such a sudden big drop- Should one expect this because 1.3 amps for 4-5 mins is really quite small ie. 0.1 amp hrs? Then why did it slowly go back up?
What is happening? No other electrics connected.No solar cells etc Is this a sign of knackered batteries?

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 25/10/2018 22:27:26

Thread: Nut screws washer and bolts
25/10/2018 09:38:30


If one is using a pair of nuts as a locking nut & one of the nuts is a half nut which nut goes on first?

Does the half nut go on first with the full nut on last or is it the other way round?

I have a small model which will have that & this thread has me wondering. I did read about it years ago ( I think that it was in RCME mag) but cannot recall the correct answer.

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 25/10/2018 09:46:52

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
14/10/2018 11:42:54
Posted by Bazyle on 14/10/2018 11:19:42:

Sam, I'm like your wife. Always have something on from getting up to bedtime, but at work I can totally 'zone out' the chatter in the open plan office. Silence is unnerving.

But, I bet if I asked you what the DJ had said 50 seconds earlier you possibly could not remember. Likewise if I asked you what the last but one record was you would not know. In other words you were not listening to it. You were ( possibly, I do not know about you in particular) just hearing a warbling sound in your ears. Sometimes a song that you might like triggers ones hearing senses for a minute or two but then one switches off. In many cases it is just useless rubbish. So it begs the question WHY????

When I did work in an open plan office I dd zone into some chatter because in a "team" one needed to know what was going on around one. Apart from that a bit of banter added to the atmosphere. But that was more relevant to one's interest at the particular moment.

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 14/10/2018 11:44:06

14/10/2018 08:22:08

Loud speakers--- The work of the devil

One of the things I like about my shed is to get away from the wife's b..dy radio. Why on earth do people feel the need to have endless racket going in the background with intermittent twaddle spoken every so often. My wife will be in one room with the radio in another. She cannot possible hear, properly, what is being transmitted, but insists on having it on.

It is like the TV. Sometimes we will scroll through the menu & there is nothing of interest. My immediate move is to turn it off. She then moans & turns it on. But "why" i say. "Well we have to have something"- "No!! we don't"

As I write this she has just got up. What has she done? turned the radio on to be told by some twat that there is " the rythm of the night" ( whatever that is) &  a traffic jam on the A13-- but we are not going anywhere today so who cares  !!!!


Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 14/10/2018 08:29:16

10/10/2018 19:32:13

Thanks George . That is very helpful. Might even change my plan for the oscillation of the blade.Lot more compact. Have to do some sketches.

Thread: Replacement bellows needed
10/10/2018 11:34:05

I use "Hi Load" DPC left over from a building job. A 50 metre roll of 225mm wide is not that expensive & you can always use it as a starter for a new workshop !!!!!!!!!

Thread: What did you do Today 2018
10/10/2018 11:23:36
Posted by mechman48 on 10/10/2018 10:28:49:

Hi Sam

I'm curious too, will get back to you later...



It is just that the existing design has an eccentric driven off a pulley that drives a block up and down 2 posts. I want to drive the eccentric straight off the motor shaft & then have a small shaft running through the block similar to the shaft that drives a steam engine slide valve. Then I will not have the weight of the block etc reciprocating. Hopefully this will reduce vibration. But first i think that the actual stroke can be a lot less than I have, as I only want to cut thin material- up to 3mm. I have a bandsaw for thicker material.

I need to know if the motor is fast enough so that i can eliminate the pulley & belt etc . I can easily slow the motor with a resistor but not speed it up.

It cannot be rocket science & more fun than forking out £ 60-00



Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 10/10/2018 11:29:18

09/10/2018 22:22:44

Mechman 48

I followed some plans I found online to make a fretsaw & it is not particularly good. However, I do see ways of improving the design. I intend to have another go just for the hell of it. I did make one years ago that worked very well but I lost it when I moved. Could you tell me please, what you estimate the stroke of the blade on your Aldi saw to be.I think my version has too long a stroke.

I also wonder how many strokes per minute . Although you may find that difficult to estimate.

Any indication would help


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