Saturday, 18 August 2012

A bit more work on Lola

Two more jobs done on Lola.

Yesterday, Richard fitted a new Calorifier and simplified the plumbing at the same time.  It now also includes an immersion heater which has not been connected yet, but will be.  this makes going to the boat in winter much easier as we will have hot water on demand.  And yes, I will likely have a radiator or two fitted next year now we have the capability.  Whilst the stove is great, it does take a wee while to take the cold off.

He has also fitted a new Inverter.  Now with the inverter came a few problems.  The current inverter sits in a small compartment.  The new inverter is 2.7kw and as such a tad larger.  Such a tad larger that it will not fit in the compartment.  Richard then decided to move the waeco battery charger from its position under the compartment, into the compartment and the space left by the waeco is now filled with the new inverter.

We chose a 2.7kw watt inverter because the last one was 800 watts and the spike wattage of many items meant we were limited by what we could connect.  The TV could be connected but not the laptop.  We could not use an electric kettle.  We could not fit an immersion heater to the calorifier.

So, there now only remains the gulper and the water pump to replace from an electrics perspective and in two years thats no mean feat.

I still recall seeing the boat for the first time and I have no regrets.  She needed some love and attention and now she just needs her bum cleaning and a new paint job.  I am not a member of the shiny brigade in that I am not precious over having a gleaming paint job.  I am thinking of asking Phil Speight to do it but I need to think about what I want given she is no "trad" in any way shape of form.

Today we go to the boat to take some friends on a day out.  they expressed a real interest in narrowboating so I decided to take them out.  If they enjoy it and want a longer stay on her I am thinking of letting them take her out for a week.  Now that's a first.

I will post some piccies of the jobs after I get there today.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Post Holiday Horrors


After a lovely holiday I can reveal the true cost lol.

First - The leak from the calorifier was not a leaky connection.  It was a pinhole leak in the tank.  So, the calorifier needs replacing, doh.  not sure how much it will cost yet as Richard Sherratt of RJS Marine 07779 242055 is sourcing a replacement.

Second - The trouble we had been having with the 240 seems to be a short in the inverter with fried cable at the back.  Again, Richard is looking for a replacement, we shall see what transpires.

Third - We still need to remove some ballast.

Fourth - More on that later.

So, all in all a few bob will be spent.  Since buying the boat and once the above is done we have three critical elements left (the base and hull have been tested!).  These are -  the water pump, any day I reckon, the gulper, again any day I reckon, the Stove, probably will crack lol.  The oven and hob seem ok.

If anyone dares say that boats are a cheap holiday, walk away - quickly.  Having said all this, I am still happy with our decision to buy as we have had numerous weeks and weekends away.  If I pay £5k per holiday for the four of us including kennelling, we would have spent at least £40k including weekends away since buying the boat.

So far, including engine work, I reckon we have spent 22k including moorings and licence.  The engine was the single big number and I expect a number of years from this if I look after it properly.  In terms of net value, I reckon that in three years we will be in net profit based on opportunity cost considerations, this being what leisure activities we would have paid for instead of being on boat.

The four counties was lovely, our next trip has not been planned as we need to get the blacking done first and this might be the trip to Paul Barbers in October half term.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Penkridge to Home

So we enjoyed a night in Penkridge and saw fellow bloggers Piston Broke.  Weather was lovely and we made it all the way to Colwich with just a few delays and an idiot who came through a double bridge section as we were already in and then said "hello" I said, idiot and continued without said glance back.  From colwich we made the easy journey back to Kings Bromley

We now need, calorifier fixing - minor leak, new inverter - its just too old and more ballast removed as we are getting too much cavitation and the stern (as in uxter plate) is 3 to 4 inches under the water and we are getting the cavitation noise when you are too far under.  Deeper water and we get no noise at all so I reckon we could lose 2 cwt easy.  We shall see.

Photos to follow (as usual!)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Just passed piston broke and we are now in Penkridge after having moored in Coven last night.  Only six miles today, lots of queues and canal riggles, more later, blogger app still not working

Monday, 6 August 2012

Monday's update

Tyrley locks were fine, even remembered the shallow shelf between 1 and 2.

Just got the cheapest diesel 73.9! from Norbury Wharf

Great spot to moor to for the diesel unlike others I won't mention

Also met Bruce from Sanity Again.

Also met some others but that detail is for another day/week

Weather bit cool here but all else ok, for now. Let's see if this post works!

Dunno why the blogger app will not post this!

On to Gnossal for the night


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Brief update day 7

So since Kidsgrove we have been rained and hailed upon.

We moved to Wheelock on Thursday doing 25 locks in a day.

The 240 issue took another turn.  Twas not a loose connection.  We had more alerts from the inverter about massive battery voltage drops.  I decided to use some skills from bygone days and searched for the fault.  I went from the end point, the TV.  I happened to have a small inverter which connects to the 12 volt via the cigarette socket on the boat.  then I connected the main TV to it and it faulted.  I then removed the tv in the bedroom and connected it to the wee inverter, no fault.  I then connected the bedroom tv to the main inverter circuit, no fault.  So, it was the TV at fault, not the inverter.

After Wheelock we stopped at Middlewich where I had to overshoot the Shroppie to get to a pump out, ignorant of the ones on the shroppie.  This took a bit of nifty reversing but all went well.

Next was a short hop to finish on Friday at Barbridge where we had a lovely meal at the Old Barbridge Inn.  we could moored right outside of the pub but SWMBO decided otherwise.

Saturday we were meeting some friends at the bottom of Audlem locks.  On the way we hit a huge rainstorm  but did not get too wet thanks to our new brolly mate - it does work I am living dry proof.

We met Angus and family and then climbed the Audlem locks to No. 13 where we filled with water and Angus collected a replacement TV (one from our bedroom at home!).  We then climbed to lock 3, enjoying some heavy rain and moored for the evening and a meal at the Shroppie Fly.  Food was lovely, really nice.  After bidding farewell to Angus and Elaine and Tomas, we went back to the boat and relaxed.  This morning we started off and got to 3 of the adderley set of locks.  I then made a stupid blunder, reversing too fast to align for the next lock and knocked the pound wall unfixing the rudder from its cup on the skeg.  We got the rudder back into the cup.  The skeg has possibly been bent slightly so this will be looked at when we get the boat zingered in October.  This seems a superb product.  I just need to source the work.

We are now in Market Drayton for the evening before moving onto Norbury Junction or Gnossal Heath for Monday.

A few photos

Excuse the over-exposure, Tower of London

Billy the Beefeater, an excellent guide, very funny

Yup a raven

 Tower Bridge
 The Mall

 Eton Dorney

Yes we were at Eton Dorney for the heats, very enjoyable indeed

Mr Heron

 The Rain

Angus and Elaines Holiday let on the Audlem Locks!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Problems - I was finding trouble with the 240.  Batteries seemed fine but the tv would not turn on.  the inverter then decided to give up.  I looked at the battery covers, the battery on/off and then the inverter.  It was the inverter to blame and is now rectified.  Just loose connections at the back of the inverter.

i have been listening to Canalworld forum a lot recently about zinga, a zinc hel product which is supposed ot much reduce blacking and anode related activity.  I have decided to go ahead and am planning shot blasters and appliers of this product.  As usual, I will let you know how I get on.

So we made Kidsgrove today.

We travelled from South of Stone and to be honest there were no problems.  The trip through the Harecastle was fine, if not bloody cold.  We are moored just north of Kidsgrove and south of Red Bull.  I will have to consult canal planner to determine whether or not we are on target, not bothered really.  Sorry, no photos, maybe tomorrow, maybe later.