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Scholar Gypsy

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Everything posted by Scholar Gypsy

  1. It's a BBQ, for use after the annual St Pancras Easter Cruise to the Fox at Hanwell.
  2. Timings can also help - eg it is 0.8 nm from Tower Bridge to Wapping police station, and then the same distance again to Limehouse, Typically a bit under ten minutes for each segment.
  3. I agree with the previous posting by larryjc. I would also add that in my experience one needs to behave differently when meeting passenger trip boats - as noted earlier these regularly turn round, overtake, switch sides, stop at piers, break away from piers, tie up at their moorings, and so on. The safest plan (as Colregs say and as noted above) is for a narrowboater is to maintain a confident, steady course and speed, while not getting too close to the right hand bank (for example if you are too far to the right when going upstream through Tower Bridge then you cause problems for boats using Tower Pier). In my experience trip boats will navigate around you safely. large commercial vessels - eg a tug and three barges on its way to Wandsworth (photo below). Here they are taking a steady course and speed, and cannot slow down without losing control, and you should keep out of the way. So for example I was recently crewing on a narrowboat approaching Albert Bridge - where there is only one upstream arch. We saw a tug coming up from behind and the white isophase light flashing on the bridge. We did not fancy going through the bridge at the same time as the tug, so I got on the radio and asked if the tug wanted to go through first. If he had said yes we would have turned around to starboard (4+1 blast), and stemmed the tide until he had gone past me (passing starboard to starboard) before turning again to continue upstream. As it happens he said no, as he was slowing down anyway before stopping at Battersea.
  4. An opportunity for another plug for my portable fixed set: a second hand fixed set from Ebay, speaker and aerial cost less than the handheld! It has been used on three different boats so far this year (Limehouse to Brentford, Limehouse to Teddington, Limehouse to Gravesend & back), and is on the lookout for more boats to travel on. It can pick up London VTS in Reading (though they couldn't hear me...)
  5. I find it very handy to have a thin line running along the roof from the stern, joined to the bow rope. Then, for example, when going uphill I can climb up a ladder holding (eg) stern rope and said thin line, tie off stern, and then walk to bows and pull the bow rope up. Much easier to handle than a 25m full size rope.
  6. I would invest in a cheap multimeter that will tell you which is +ve. When we had our boat stretched (the second time) the extension to the cable to the horn had the wires connected back to front. It took me a while to work this out, when I next replaced the horn - it mattered as the chassis of the horn was bolted to the steelwork, and so the negative wire had to go to the chassis as well.
  7. I think we are confusing two scenarios here: * a controlled stop, where you would turn into the tide/current, bring the boat to a stop, lower the anchor, and then back away in the way you describe. Most narrow boats would struggle to do that (or to moor to the bank safely) in a 7 knot current - see earlier posts * a sudden engine failure while you are doing 7 knots over the ground going though Cannon St railway bridge (which is not unusual). Unless there is another boat very close to you who can get a line to you, you have to chuck the anchor over the side, keep all limbs out of the way, and brace for a rather sudden stop....
  8. Me neither - but it's quite common to be doing 6 or 7 knots over the ground: 4 kts through the water plus 2-3 kts tide.
  9. That's true, but I wouldn't like to try paying out rope by hand when travelling at 6 knots over the ground: just chuck the anchor over the side and get out of the way ...
  10. That will be more than enough - if anything a bit too long, especially if you have an engine failure close to a bridge....
  11. Glad to hear you had a good time! Here's a plug: at 1030 on Saturday 20th July at the IWA National Festival at Cassio Park, Watford, there is a presentation on “Safe and enjoyable tideway cruising”. It features Andrew Phasey from St Pancras Club, David Phillips of the PLA (his name is at the bottom of all their notices), and Sue of Indigo Dream (RichardN's better half).
  12. Have a good trip! You might like to check this PLA notice re Battersea railway bridge.
  13. Dear Fudd I have done this trip several times as an experienced crew (with radio etc), which I think reduces stress levels for the skipper concerned! I may be able to do next Saturday - we would need to leave Limehouse about 1015 (BST). If you are interested please email me on sg (at) judgefamily.org.uk
  14. You might like to look at the GPS tracker in this posting of a recent trip I did. http://nbsg.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/tideway-trip-april-2013/ It was a weak (neap) tide, and we dawdled quite a bit on the way, so averaged only 4.3 kts over the ground. (18 nm in just over 4 hours) NB also that high water is 60 mins later <edit> at Teddington, so if you leave Limehouse 3.5 hours before High Water LB then you have 4.5 hours to get to Teddington before the water starts to go out again (unless there is a lot of freshwater coming over the weir at Teddington). So the required speeds you have calculated are too high. Enjoy!
  15. Or you can have (as I do) a mixer valve that mixes (very) hot and cold water to produce warm water for the shower and the washbasin - I have it set at a safe shower temperature very hot water fed to the galley hot tap, for washing up (and filling kettles) Note that these mixer valves should have a one-way valve inside them, so you need to add a drain point downstream of them if you drain your water system in the winter.
  16. After passing though the wooded cutting just south of Husbands Bosworth tunnel recently, which was quite close to impassable, I dropped an email to the regional office, and got this helpful reply within 24 hours: "We cut offside vegetation in the winter outside of nesting season, we covered around 15 kilometres this winter in the worst affected areas of the South East waterway. This area is on the to do list now for next season. However I will make sure we visit this area sooner to assess and define works we can carry out specifically to maintain safe navigation sooner."
  17. This book from the RYA tells you all you need to know to pass the test. There is a cheaper and shorter version on the website as well.
  18. It is another one of mine, taken from PUFFIN. The other 150 or so are here... (see the links at the foot of the blog posting). Enjoy.
  19. I would commend the pontoon moorings at Gravesend - photo from this weekend's trip below.
  20. I use Mustos - chest high trousers, with braces, and a coat on top. And a Tilley hat which is fantastic at keeping the water off your face. The Mustos (I use a fairly light one - their inshore sailing range) are good for lock wheeling as well - I have found with some waterproofs that you can overheat with physical exertion.
  21. Another reminder of the same effect. NB Gort near Margaretness, just downstream of Woolwich. Photo from Herbie's blog. This was caused by an easterly wind over an ebbing tide, not passing boats!
  22. Yes, that does make more sense. My rudder (and the one in the photo I posted) is welded onto the stock, so no bolts to come loose. So the first thing for the OP to do is to find out if there the bolts you describe exist, or not.
  23. Here's a very clear photo showing what I mean - not my boat. The skeg is the horizontal steel bar at the bottom of the photo, and you can see the vertical pin (rudder stock is the correct term) slotting into the socket on the skeg to the right of the photo.
  24. Here's another possibility - depending on the design of the rudder (photos would be helpful). I have had this happen on my boat, after catching the rudder on a largish rock. The pin on the bottom of the rudder may have lifted out of the socket in the skeg, which can cause the rudder to flap around a bit, but it still works (sort of). In normal operation this "pin in socket" forms the bottom end of the axis about which the rudder rotates - the top end is where it comes out through the deck, through a bearing of some sort (often a very crude bearing). If you have long arms then reach down through the weed hatch and find the bottom of the rudder and see if the pin is indeed seated in the skeg. If it is not then you need a reliable helper to lift the rudder up a couple of inches and you can then (if your hands are not too cold by this time) move the pin into position above the socket, at which point your helper slowly lowers it down. Be careful not to get your finger between the rudder and the skeg, or anywhere near the socket, else you may find the fat in your finger is now turned into rudder grease. PS the above assumes that the rudder is loose, but that the tiller is securely fixed to the rudder. The other possibility is that the rudder is fine, but the tiller is not securely fixed to it. In that case tighten the nut that holds them together.
  25. Yes, they deal with different problems. Galvanic isolators (zinc savers) prevent galvanic corrosion of anodes,zincs ,magnesiums,shafts,propellers & all underwater fittings created by the use of marina shorepower earth connections.Use of mains power in marinas creates an increase of electrical current flowing through the underwater metals leading to deterioration of fittings often resulting in major repairs for the owner! Text lifted from here. Obviously you only need these if you use shore mains power. Not needed if you only use invertor mains. Sacrificial anodes are needed because your propeller and prop shaft are made from different metal to the hull. See here. You need them even if you don't use shore power.
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