Wednesday, 6 May 2015


This is it. I will now undoubtedly be both rich and famous. Dragon’s Den here I come. Heath Robinson, yes you: turn in your grave. I have an invention that will make the world stand up, jaws will drop and the universe will never be the same again.

It is to be called the HIATUS, or to explain the acronym, the HULL INSPECTION AND ANODE TOOL FOR UNDERWATER SITUATIONS.

The design came out of necessity: Let me explain. We bought Princess Lucy (nee Florence II) two and a half years ago and as the boat was then only around 10 years old, we didn’t bother dragging her out of the water. Recently we thought maybe we should get her out and throw some of that black stuff on the hull (I’m not really sure it’s of much use, but I’ll go along with the fashion.)

Anyway, when she comes out we might (or might not) need to replace those beastly anodes, and it would be helpful to know in advance if this needs doing.

As our mooring is on the Peak Forest Canal, and there is barely any water in it, I figured that one day the whole job might be do-able on our mooring spot, but despite occasional alarmingly low levels, it has never quite got that bad. 

So, to Plan B. This is to inspect the anodes, or at least – one of them, from the comfort of our creaky jetty. Enter the HIATUS, a 2 metre length of drainpipe with torches strapped to it and a Perspex disc glued to the end.

I cannot give any more details as the patent is still pending, but the following pictures should give the idea.

Today was the inspection day, and the results were as expected: Not a great deal of anode left. 

The photograph here is looking down the pipe at a front anode. Unfortunately the phone camera has not produced much to see, but the eye could see it reasonably well.