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Member Since 20 Nov 2007
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 06:56 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Beginners Bad Luck or a life of pain?

14 August 2014 - 10:18 PM

We did have twin Volvo straight 6's (200hp each)
A "pussy" to handle, catches the wind but had a V hull, draws around 1 metre, so no problem steering into, across, or down wind
Has the power to get out of trouble, go against any flow or tide.
Can run on one engine at tickover - 3mph
If it wasn't for frightening SWMBO crossing the Irish Sea (waves over the fly-bridge) we would still have it.
We now have adjusted to 'muddy ditches' and 'sewer tubes' and enjoy them but there is no comparison to Tupperware doing 25 knts down Gare Lock (Faslane) and being chased by Commados in rubber boats pointing sub-machine guns at you,  when they think you are terrorists going to attack the submarines.

I had a similar experience off Dairen in China un 1971. The Captain thought it was time for a lifeboat drill, and as we were anchored off waiting for a berth we launched two rowed lifeboats and the motor one. I was engineer on the motor one. We really were minding our own business when thus chinese navy gunboat pulls along side of us abd lots of guns are pointed at hs with instructions to return to the ship. Seems Dairen was akso a naval base and they got a bit hot under the collar.
We also had lifeboat races in King Gearge 5th Docks jn London (now London City Airport iirc) That was more fun

In Topic: Staying put!

10 August 2014 - 02:18 PM

At work at my lock on the Trent. Had bedb precipitating quite hard but now a bit sunny. Not many boats through so far - 2 up and 2 down.

In Topic: Section 8

06 August 2014 - 12:57 PM

Well done Jelly-Lunga. A fair offer and worth a green-boogie

He has not taken up my offer. Wonder why?

In Topic: TV Licence

06 August 2014 - 08:02 AM

To be fair, it's not exactly easy to pay a TV licence if you don't have an address. If you could simply post them a cheque once a year and they issued a licence to "Narrowboat Whatever", then I suspect that more would pay. But having to actively pursue them to pay them money at they're entitled to, doesn't exactly make the prospect of paying an exciting one. If I wanted a TV, I have much better things to do with my time than sending them innumerable emails and spending a lot of time on the phone trying to pay.

Assuming you receive post then do what we did. Have the licence at your postal address. Then you are permitted to use a TV in a boat or caravan. Not complicated simple.

In Topic: This Is Why You Should Carry An Anchor

05 August 2014 - 02:09 PM

I have permission from the 'affected person' to tell the story, on the condition of anonnimity - those that were there know who it is, those that were not there dont need to know.
Background :
We decided to 'make a weekend of it' - travelling to Cromell Lock (River Trent) Friday afternoon, planning to return Sunday evening (48 hour mooring) so a small 'flotilla'  travelled for the 'BBQ-Banter'
The BBQ basically ran almost non-stop until Sunday lunch, much 'pop' was consumed and a wonderful time had by all.
On leaving the pontoon, one of the NB's needed to reverse out of the 'hammerhead' and into the 2mph flow,  The flow and the wind took hold and the NB was broadside to the river and despite some 'excess throttle' seemed reluctant to turn, eventually turning (as we found out later) just as the water pump (fresh water cooled engine) decide to unfasten itself from the side of the engine - almost instant 'boiling engine'. Switch engine off to avoid siezing.
Seeing a drifting NB - two other NB's circling to try to offer assistance - now 500 yards from the weir
Affected NB throws out (would be considered large by many) 20kg anchor  and chain - now less than 300 yds from Cromwell weir 'floats' - anchor takes another 100 yards + before it bites (apparently 'brown trousers' time for those on board).
Boat now safely tethered, and investigation into possibility of repair considered. - no chance.
Circling boats now attempt to get a line aboard, but broken-down boat swinging about 120o in the wind / current. Several attempts and finally get a 'long line' aboard and a tow commenced with the 'spare' boat keeping station 100yds astern to collect broken boat if rope snaps, T-stud pulls off or anything else goes wrong
Towing boat's first time towing and lets out the rope to maximum length to avoid towed boat running into the back of him, as he "has no brakes"
Towed boat all 'over the river'
Eventually I pulled along side and we got the two boats strapped together side-by-side and the 'towing boat' cast off the tow rope.
Uneventful cruise into the marina - totally manoeverable  when side-by-side, we even managed to get into the 2-boat width moorings without touching the sides.
Lessons learned :
A (suitable sized) anchor is a necessity on the River (but like insurance you hope you never need it)
Life jackets are certainly advisable.
VHF radio would have enabled an emergency call had he been alone, as it was he could have called us to explain the situation earlier.
Never be complacent on big rivers.
There is no way we would have been able to pull him off the 'floats' had he been broadside on in that flow.
Cromwell Wier from the bottom - the site of the drowning of  10 Para's in 1975
Photo - copyright "Captain Ahab"

When another narrow boat ended up across Cromwell Weir last year with a lady in a wheelchair on board, it took 2 helicopter, ( air sea rescue and air ambulance) Notts Fire and Rescue Boat section, and a couple of land Ambulances to rescue the lady, and two CRT river tugs to get the boat off the weir.