Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Morso

I decided I would start to clean the Morso stove today.

It seems that the previous owner had never cleaned it.  The ash box was overflowing and the grate full of nails, the latter being as a result of wood being burnt without being prepared properly I guess, not that it mattered much.  The ash took ages to clear so I left it at that.  Next time I will clean the glass and re blacken the connections with the special stuff provided.  The brass is improving, albeit slowly.  Cilip Bang does work but I need a full day to let it attack the brass.  Next week the electrics will be sorted, I hope.  This should resolve the need to run the engine in the Marina or run the generator, not really too good for my live aboard neighbours.

I need:-

A shoreline connector
A battery charger
Better battery connectors
Possibly a new alternator
and the Sterling regulator controller re-setting

The boat has four leisure batteries and one starter battery, all relatively new but not keeping charge, possibly because the alternator is not working too well and the batteries have not had a proper charge.

Nice to have so many batteries, shame they are not wokring as intended, yet.

I also need to have a new gas regulator fitted and a second bottle linking in.  Only one bottle seems weird.

We can then have a weekend away, I am guessing west, going east to the double locks is a pain but I do want to do it one day so we can have a friends boat and food and alcohol (and juice) session near to where we live (not far from Beeston).

Next blog will hopefully include a nice controlled battery set!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The plastic boats

Hello again,

Plastic boats - or ice-cream tubs, you know the little crusier thingies.  Now everyone should be able to enjoy the canal and river network, plastic boats included as well as rowers, canoers etc.  But is it just me that finds the plaggy boats somewhat problematic?  They are, by design very manouverable are they not?  They can stop on a sixpence, even go backwards.  So why is it so many owners of these things insist on passage when coming to a bridge even when a 20 ton boat, with less manouverability and longer stoppoing distance is also coming through?

Also the way some navigate, like zig zag is a known convention.  Then there is the double locks  "no you cannot share this lock, you are too dangerous for my ickle boat...."

Now, I am sure that I have just met the exceptions to the rule of politeness, but to those exceptions do not whinge when your milk crate is crushed because of ignorance.

Ok, whinge over.

If anyone has any good tips about clenaing dark brown, pitted brass (excluding elbow and brasso) please do let me know.  Did some cleaning yesterday and the outside brass has never been cleaned.  Although, the tarnish look is not too bad, stops further oxidisation too.

Decided we will take a Friday off and have ourselves a weekend away, possibly looking around loughborough way.  Or we could head past Burton.  So many choices.

Been loking at engines.  I do not need a new one but wanted to check prices.  Not cheap so the Lister Alpha I have will be cared for lovingly, including checking the thermostat and getting that second keel cooler fitted, if I can find someone to do it that is.

Saturday, 14 August 2010


Got to boat about 6pm 13/8. Still not checked out my new stern greaser.
It rained like billyo last night but power and fridge seem fine, ran engine for 45 mins and all seems fine
Thermostat for engine is us so will add this to the list.  6.58am and the rain appears to be letting off.
Decided to stay in bed a while - hence photo from the pit.

Pump out is all we need to do today. Checked the stern greaser - wonderful.    Amazing what little things are important now.

Went to pump out made a great reverse into a mooring point and achieved the removal  of all connection to Angus!!  Pump out done, smell gone.

Rained again most of the day.  Bought a shoreline cable and did a bodge job to connect to the 240 ac, worked fine.  So, when the proper job is done with the battery charger we will be cooking!

Tried the trick of putting tomato sauce on brass to clean it, brassso is better, believe me or try it for yourself.

Just been to the Green Dragon at Willington for dinner (early).  Food was really quite good, why was I surprised?  dunno.

Sun is out and boating comes back.

Tomorrow back home and that's it till we get back from Egypt . Hopefully the engineers will have the landline fitted.

For a change, some real midiges are attacking us.

Plan is for a weeks cruising in October half term. Should be fun, have joined RCR just in case given the recent gear box disaster.  Perhaps we will go Leicester direction.

Monday, 9 August 2010

A short update

The marine engineers are back from their hols.  Called em today to remind them about the work needed.   I will tell it as it is so long as it does not bite me back.  Hopefully, tomorrow, 10/8, will be stern tube D-day. 

Nothing heard today 10/8.  However, I remain confident that the guys will deliver, don't ask me why but lets see.  In any case my timing was lousy, asking them to fit in some work the week before their hols, so when they get back I am sure they still had loads to do. 

I have found their blog site and they are working on a major project, so I must await, with patience, my turn.

12 August

Aqua Narrowboats are the marine engineers.  Like stars they exceeded expectations.  Not only did they sort the stern greaser, they also fixed a major gearbox leak which had occurred since the last trip!
A happy camper, invoice to follow though!

So, next is the battery/landline/alternator regulator issue.  I reckon the alternator is stuffed.

Now listen carefully.  A marine surveyor reports what he/she sees.  A marine engineer looks under the covers.

I have created a comparison based upon my limited experience - note limited!, marine surveyors are like lady boys, not sure whats underneath, marine engineers are the real deal.  Perhaps I have had a bad surveyor experience, maybe it was good.  My limited knowledge cannot discriminate

I went to the boat and, remember how it feels to drive your car after a service?  the boat was like an old car service, tighter, sweeter and someone had clearly done a good job.

So, off to the boat tomorrow, bit like a love affair cept the wife is coming with me, oops perhaps a tad pervy?  Still two days on das boot will be good.

 I need a second keel tank to cool the engine better, hopefully aqua can recommend a decent fitter/welder.

So in all, well done Aqua of Mercia Marina, Willington, Derby (any discount?)

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Bit of brass

Ok so we all went to the boat this morning, first in over a week.

Decided to clean the mushroom vents, all five.  johanna was doing the mushrooms and I decided to clean the brown vent covers.  Cleaning away and the brown vent covers became brass!  Now that did surprise me.  Still, half are now gleaming.

I also decided to clean the interior ceiling laps.  Ughh, smoe residue had made them all but yellow.  Still not much and they were nice and clean again.

Whilst doing this I decided to run the engine to charge the batteries.  So all was not lost I ran the genny so Sarah could watch tv.  Mistake as i happens. Our neighbour across the way got the genny fumes - humblest apologies was all I could deliver.

Hopefully next wee the engineers wll make a start on the shoreline and the stern greaser, I am not so sure that they will turn up, lets wait and see.

Paid a quarters morring fees, over £500, must find a different spot next year.

So, hopefully we will have batteries charging properly and a shaft which turns easily.

Not much this week as I was away for work.  Next week will be much the same but we will get to the boat during the week and over the weekend when the painting will commence.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

A day off?

So, more about my day off on, the boat, rapidly becoming Das Boot.

Went to Tescos for a little food for Friday Night (we planned to spend Friday night on the boat).

Saw a tv I thought would fit lovely in our bedroom, impulse purchase £120 plus £30 for the vesa fitting (see earlier post).

Got to boat and relised unless I run a line from the front aerial via splitter box, I would need another aerial.  faced with removing panels all over, I opted for another aerial, much easier, cheating possibly, but hey.

I then decided to fit some catches to the doors under our bed, they were held together by insulating tape!

So off to the chandlers for some bits.  Bits in hand I hopped back to the boat.  Impossible! without the full toolkit.  I took the door off to make fitting easier, but I needed a drill to set the hole for the screws.  So off we went back home (Johanna was accompanying me).  Picked up a drill, bits, hammer, and assorted oddments.   Then we went to the other Chandlers at Bridge 3 Millar Marine on the Trent and Mersey.  Nice couple run it and I reckon they are deserving of my business if their prices are reasonable - they are.  Back to boat, much easier.

So not as much achieved as I had planned.

When kath and Sarah arrived we set about tidying up a little and relaxing.

Saturday Morning came as did the Swinscoe's (about 9.45 am).  Angus showed no signs of hangover from his evening out on Friday.

Off we popped at 10 am, the exit form the marina went really well, revers out till in thedirection I wanted the boat to go, uual audience from marina folk, all hoping I would cock it up.  Ha ha to them, perfect manouver.

Headed out of the marina, negotiated a right turn onto the trent and mersey, heading to Burton on trent.

Engine behaved, temperature still 95, so I am thinking about a second keel tank, maybe after the good enginners, after their long holidays provide some guidance.  I am currently thinking I am going to get skinned for a haul out and prop re-fit once they see the grease shit all over it and the nipple joint definitely plugged hard.  But, if the nipple comes off for the stern greaser to be fitted, perhaps the problem will be solved, I wonder?

Only one lock each way today as we are returning pm.  Got stuck behind a go slow nob.  Now, I do not speed, but this guy was causing a line astern like in the war films.

Thought he might be a midgie, but when we got to the lock he was all loved up with his wife/girlfriend snogging him in front of all, including some midly amused fishing folk, you know, the ones who nod and grunt.

Lock was pretty easy and we continued to just before shobnall basin, where we would turn.  Off to the Albion in Burton, via the visitor shop - oops it closed at 12 noon, we got their at 1.15 pm.  So a pint and snack (chinese for all when we returned from the Little Bridge chinese over the erewash canal).  Back aboard off to do the wind.  Hoped for a single turn but had to do a couple of reverses, ah well.  Back to the one lock. 

Angus decided to wear his Sunday best on Saturday, why he bothered and why he gets his kicks from dressing up is his business, Elaine better check her knicker drawer though!

The kids got in on the act too!

Johanna comes back from the lock after being deposited on the towpath by Angus, his first lock as captain!
Anyway, Johanna exclaims "theres a drunk on the floor next to the paddles and he might be dead!".  Went over he was dead - drunk!  Totally out of it so we just moved around him, 5 cans of carly special brew was responsible, all strewn around him. 

Into the lock and off home, nearly at the marina when the engine thermostat alarm went off and the engine temp moved from 95 to 120 in seconds, bugger, she is gonna blow!  Turns out a false alarm as it dropped as fast as it climbed, another thing to add to the list.

Bridge 26, via the iphone.  I will learn better and blog via it soon, promise!

Perfect turn into the Marina, so much better than the last one from this direction, off to the pump out, Tom, our near neighbour had beat me to it, so I decided to leave it for the next visit, probably next Saturday. Now me and pump outs are already well documented so I did spy a poo point on the canal where I could use the manual pump out if needed.

Problem of stalling at low revs still occuring, more evidence to say the shaft needs re-fitting.  I suspect its because the grease has hardened and the stern gland packing is too tight.  Will let the engineers know, got to be up front about this. Aha, more thoughts.  Decided that the packing is too tight, the grease is not flowing, hence low rev stall cos its a bit tight, good innit?

Anyway, a very succesful reverse into the mooring got us back safe and sound.  Took some piccies on way back, here they are, hopefully in order.  Will find time on future trips to better document what goes on.

Might use my digital recorder to capture moments? and camera to back up what I see.