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Everything posted by Tony1

  1. There are certainly well-surfaced stretches of towpath, but it is not universal. Whitchurch down to Ellesmere there are long stretches that are pretty bumpy and stony when dry, and a lot of those stretches when it rains turn into a quagmire. I spent five months last summer on the Llangollen, and I cycled almost every part of it, and I personally would not have attempted to use a brompton on some of those stretches (and at the time, I carried an electric brompton on board with me). We all have differing abilities and strengths on a bicycle of course, and thus different opinions on the difficulty, but I personally would not suggest that the whole of the Llangollen is perfect for a bike with thin tyres and 16 inch wheels, and certainly not in wet weather.
  2. Lack of kitchen space old chap- the curse of the 50ft boat owner. I would have to sleep with said dryer on my head.
  3. Why of course! How could I have been so blind? That arrangement would be much more stable than planting the rotary airer on top of the tiller, as I thought one might. How can I have been on this Earth for so many years, and only yesterday learned of the existence of this marvel of man's ingenuity? It strikes me that the noble brolley-mate deserves its own internet user forum- or at the very least its own section within this forum.
  4. One can live in hope, but sadly the odds are very much against it. She suffered a stench that day that no human being should ever have to endure. To this day my toes curl with embarrassment to even think of it. Its a lesson learned though. If I know its not a self service launderette, I always pre-wash the more offensive items to make them safe for human beings to handle without a hazmat suit.
  5. This does bring to mind my single most embarrassing moment of the last decade. After a week in chester basin I had around 3 weeks worth of stuff to wash- clothes, bedding, you name it. I had been mostly out in the sticks for a few weeks, just washing the odd shirt as needed, but underwear had been accumulating at the bottom of the basket in the most sinister fashion. Some particularly unpleasant socks, hidden under a long-neglected shirt, had been in there long enough that they were probably eligible for some sort of housing benefit. I've lost my sense of smell, so the true horror of this washing load wasn't immediately apparent, although I feared the worst. My plan was to get to the launderette at a quiet time in the morning, and hoik everything into a machine so quickly that nobody nearby could smell how awful it was. I traipsed up to the launderette which google said was up the hill and fairly close by, and I was mortified to see a counter barring access to the machines. What devilry could this be? I wondered. Does the lady have to approve me somehow, and allow me in to use the machines? The reality was worse than I could possibly have imagined. Their system was that you hand over your bag of washing, and they load it into the machines. I recoiled in shock at the thought of this innocent young lady handling socks that had evaded at least two wash cycles, and thus been sat in the laundry box for as long as 2 months. I'm sure I must have gone pale. I felt that some sort of PPE was in order- these items were surely verging on being a biohazard. I stood there for a few moments, whilst she obviously wondered what was going on. Finally the need to get the clothes washed overcame the titanic embarrassment of allowing another human being to handle my 8 week old socks. I handed over my deadly cargo with great reluctance, and tried to explain the potential risks. 'There is a slight problem with them. I live on a boat, you see, and some of the clothes have been stored for a few weeks. Well, more than a few weeks, really. Erm, do you have gloves at all?' The woman was already reaching for a pair of gloves, so the perils of handling dirty washing were clearly nothing new to her. But was she ready for the awfulness of this load? Could anyone be? I doubted it. I felt sure this would be beyond anything in her professional experience. 'So I can only apologise, really, if some of the things are in a bit of a state. It's hard to find laundries in some places, you see. It's all a bit unfortunate, the way its worked out, really...' By now she was already loading the clothes into the machine. Mercifully her back was turned, so I didnt have to see what kind of face she might be pulling. I watched a single horrid sock being lifted into the machine, held with great caution between two fingers. I fled. The clothes were offensive enough that it felt like it should be illegal, but I skulked back to the place later that day to collect the cleaned laundry. If it were possible to actually die from embarrassment, that would have been the incident that nailed me. I may still be suffering from a form of post-embarrassment stress disorder even now. She was a lovely and helpful woman, but hope I never see her again.
  6. Dammit, the flaw in my genius plan.... I'm hoping I could get slick enough at collapsing the brolley that it wont interfere too much with steering, but if I'm honest I can see scope for plenty of comical incident...
  7. I do tend to use launderettes when they are handy, but the nearest self service launderette to me is a 10 min train ride and then a mile walk away, which is a pain with a load of washing- so there are times when you have to wash your stuff on the boat. I recently got one of those mini washing machines, and it is sort of ok for washing, but it spins about as fast as an elderly Bernard Manning might have, after a 30 minute ballet class. I'm now looking for a small clothes airer. I really could do without more gear to clutter up the cratch, in fact if I carry on I'll have to sleep on the roof, but in this case it will be a help. I must admit, I do also quite fancy the idea of having a large brolley suspended over my head when cruising in the rain. I could wear light, fashionable clothes and smile gaily at the miserable soaked boaters who pass by.
  8. Thanks Tony, I was just wondering if there was something I could pick up at say B+Q to seal the wood, rather than ebay. The problem is I have to use ebay click and collect, which means staying put for say 4 or 5 days depending on how quick the courier is, etc. There've been a few times I've ordered a product to be delivered to an ebay collection shop that is about 4 days ahead on my route, so it can work that way, but I'm moving on tomorrow to Pretty Bridge, which is not very handy for any ebay collection shops. And in the case of Amazon, you have to get to the shop within say a week of your item arriving there, or it will be sent back. If its an amazon locker you get three days to collect it, so you try to place the order on the right day, and if it gets delayed, or if you're late getting there, you can have a problem. So if possible, I try to get stuff from local DIY shops when I know I'll be moving the boat shortly The other issue is that I wanted to make sure I got exactly the right product, as I'd never heard of West system expoxy before yesterday. Its very easy for a relative newbie to get the wrong product sometimes- like I did when I picked up a bottle of marine 16 at the chandlery, and it was the complete, instead of the more effective biocidal type. So sometimes double checking the name and details, or even better getting a link to a specific product, will avoid an hour of searching online, and maybe getting the wrong thing as I did with the marine 16. I can understand that it must be slightly irritating for folks who have known all this stuff for years, and I can only apologise and ask for your patience if possible, because for someone with little or no knowledge it can be a useful safeguard, and help avoid wasting money.
  9. Thanks Paul, I'll go for that stuff. So I need to coat the edges of a board that is very roughly 1m by 2m and 18mm thick- would this size do the job? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/233621130560?hash=item3664e78d40:g:aFcAAOSwP1de6OA3 They also sell a 1kg pack, but seems like it might be far too much.
  10. Thanks Tony, it does look like its going to be more trouble to fit some trim than the benefits are worth. The current board has lasted over 6 years (although its been tatty for about a year), so maybe I can accept that is the expected lifespan- a new board is not a great expense after all, taken every 5 years or so. For sealing the edges, is there an epoxy or other suitable product that might be available from normal DIY stores?
  11. Cheers Tony, the board is 18mm wide I believe, so this trim is about 1 or maybe 2mm too wide, so not an ideal fit. The other option I'm pondering is a better fit, and maybe sturdier against the knocks it will gets when being dropped back into place etc. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Furniture-Various-Colours-TMW-Profiles/dp/B07N93467M Maybe this plastic trim, combined with a 4mm neoprene strip around the underside of the edges, will be a good combo.
  12. Tony, I wonder if I could ask for your thoughts on this rubber type of edging for a deck board? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/123384676630?epid=18024063000&hash=item1cba4cc116:g:QSIAAOSwnRZbpn95 My slight concern is about adhesion. Even if I roughen up the inner faces of the rubber, I'm not confident that it will bond to sikaflex well enough to hold it securely to the wood- especially when the board's being hoiked around- so I'm wondering if I might need to use a screw every 30cm or so, to help hold it in place. My concern with an L shaped edging trim ( as opposed to a U shaped trim) is that it might not adhere to the hexagrip quite so well as a U trim might do- and especially if its rubber or plastic. An aluminium L shaped trim sounds ok, but again I'd be mostly relying on screws to hold it to the deck board, whereas with a U trim, sikaflex would become more useful.
  13. Thanks Jon, is this the sort of thing you mean? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/113722586365?hash=item1a7a64f4fd:g:RmEAAOSwuiddpwBg
  14. Thank you David, but from what I can tell, the brolly mate is held in position using two screws, is that right? At first glance, it doesn't look like it would securely hold an airer full of clothes on a windy day. I would want to drill through it and use a securing pin of some sort. The guy's setup I saw looked really strong, since it used a tiller pin to hold it upright and in position, and screws were only used to prevent movement of the clothes airer rod. .
  15. I've no idea if this will help with a Lister, but it made a big difference for a canaline engine. https://www.force4.co.uk/item/Force-4/Acoustic-Class-O-Insulation-Silver-Faced-Box-of-4/D5L It was really intrusively loud with just the hexagrip board, and I could never hear what anyone was saying on the bank, at a lock etc, and it wasn't very pleasant just cruising with it. I stuck this stuff underneath the deck board (and later secured it with screws because the adhesive was not strong enough), and it reduced the racket to a tolerable level, and meant I had a chance of understanding thing that people said from the bank. I would ideally like to install the same stuff to the underside of the steel plating of the stern deck, and not just underneath the deck board, but to date I haven't bothered. I know electric engines are the work of the devil and Jesus himself actually designed the first Lister engine, but I reckon cruising in peace and quiet would be really nice.
  16. I saw a great idea in action on the boat behind me yesterday. The guy had an L shaped steel tube - one arm of the L fitted onto his rudder, in the same way that a tiller does (and it even had a hole in it for a tiller pin, to keep it in place). The vertical/upright arm of the L had a clothes airer stuck into it, and held in place by a couple of screws coming through the side of the steel tube. I've pondered different ways to dry clothes, and never really come up with a solution I liked, but this one looked great. Only thing is, you need someone who can weld, and grind the steel tubes so that they fit together to form the L shape needed. A welder could make one of these out of a cheap steel tiller bar in no time. This is the sort of thing they should sell in chandleries. So I was wondering, what other clever ideas are there for clothes drying?
  17. That's all very well old fruit, but there are so many commoners on the Llangollen these days, its a rather frightful place. Not like it used to be in the good old days when I started boating in 2020. The discerning boater waits until October, by which time the riff raff have departed, and he can cruise to Llangollen and actually find somewhere to park his gin palace. Or his lager palace, in my case.
  18. Thanks again, that sounds like a cracking idea, strips of neoprene around the edges on the underside of the board. The soundproofing sheets I fitted have really cut down on the noise (which was pretty loud when I first got the boat), and rubber strips will help even more, as well as lifting the wood a little bit away from the draining water. There are vents on both sides of the engine bay so that should be ok. I dont suppose you have a link of the sort of thing that would be suitable? I'm guessing softer rubber will just squash down anyway, right? So would it need to be a harder rubber compound?
  19. Sorry Tony, I skim read and overlooked the drainage issue. I do want to see if I can edging that will wrap up and over the top by at least half an inch if possible, so I will need to cut some drainage holes around it. I was never very good at ice skating in the mornings.
  20. Thanks Tony, I'll take a look at plastic edging as well. The aluminium slightly worried me because when the soundproofing sheets are screwed on underneath, and if I combine the two sections into one bigger board, it will become a pretty heavy item, and a bit unwieldy, and if I add in sharp edges there seems a higher possibility of hurting myself or anyone standing nearby, not to mention scratching the paintwork etc. The edges of the board are supported by the drainage channel, which effectively runs all around the board, and the water drains off the board and into this channel, and (eventually) drops through a downtube under the rear corner of the board, and then out of the hull side. So there will be times in heavy rain when the channel fills and the board edges are touching the water, but most of the time I think it drains well enough that the board edges are sat on top of the channel. Except when the draining downtube gets blocked and the channel overflows into the engine bay, as happened last Autumn.... It seems to me that what does the damage is the water and frequent scuffing of the edges combined. A small chunk taken out of the plastic covering will allow water in, and that starts to weaken the surrounding wood, and makes it easier for more of the plastic covering to come off when the board is scraped against something. And so on. So my thinking is that a hard edging of some sort will stop the plastic material coming off. To reduce the risk of trapping water underneath the edging for long periods and thus rotting the wood), I could maybe squeeze some sikaflex into the edging trim just before I put it on the board, and maybe that will fill any gaps and seal the edges. I've got to do something to seal the edges, because my board is being cut by a boatyard, and they almost certainly wont be sealing around the edges, as would happen if I bought a custom made board from the hexagrip company themselves.
  21. Thanks Arthur- there are actually a couple of timber yards locally, but none of them seem to have the super-duper 'phenolic' board, which the boatyard chap told me will last far longer than normal plywood. (This is normally where four people comment to say they've had their regular plywood boards for 15 years). To be honest, since a sheet of hexagrip is only £50 more than normal marine plywood, it seems to make sense to hang on until I'm passing Tattenhall in another month or so. The chap I spoke to was a tad sceptical about the benefits of putting an edge trim around the board, even though I explained that it was clearly scuffing and damage to the edges that had started the deterioration in my current board. So I think I'll ask them to to undersize the board by 2mm all round, and I'll buy some aluminium edging and put it on myself. So far it seems like its not going to be an easy product to find, though... PS- not wanting to go all Chris Pincher on you, but I do like your stern. Mine has a side entrance door, which creates a few issues.
  22. Thanks Tony- I'm a bit stuck at the moment, as I'm back in Ellesmere Port and the nearest boatyard is Taylors at Chester (who I heard are not taking on new work at the moment anyway). Tattenhall is the next option, and they said they generally have a sheet or two of hexagrip in stock, so when I'm passing them on the way south I'll pop in and get them to cut it to shape. They charge £140 for a sheet of hexagrip, plus about £60 per hour for the labour, and the guy thinks it will take just about an hour. I would have had a go at the cutting myself, but it'll cost me £60 to buy a cheap circular saw, and I may never use it again- so in reality its no cheaper if I do it myself.
  23. I did actually think about reducing the size of the pieces in this way, but I paused because there are drainage channels around the edges of the boards that allow rainwater to drain through the hull. The current setup is actually two pieces- the main one is 147cm long and 85cm wide (with a few cut outs), and there is another smaller sheet above the weed hatch- but underneath the junction of these two, there is a drainage channel. My concern was that if I cut the main/larger sheet into two, the new gap in between the two sheets might allow rainwater to drip onto the engine, which didnt seem ideal. The larger board is a pain to manhandle around, for sure, but I can manage it for short distances, and I'm worried I might lose a bit of its strength if I put two pieces in there instead of one. There's no lateral strut across the centre of the engine bay at the moment, which is actually handy as it allows good access to the engine bay. I could rig something up to help support the board (and removable), but tbh I want to try and keep it simple if at all possible. My current thinking is to replace the two boards with one big board, since the smaller one is only 85cm x 45cm anyway, and if I need to get into the weedhatch, the big board always has to come off as well.
  24. I'll try calling them. I assumed they only delivered to a postal address rather than, say. a canal bridge with a what3words location. But its worth a try. Well it was the outer edges initially, but over time, in parts its kind of crept inwards by up to an inch, so the 'edging' horse might have bolted, or least cantered, from the stable.
  25. Cheers Arthur, I'll check it out on ebay. Without a car, I'm going to struggle to get hold of a big sheet of hexagrip, so I might have to make do with the low quality marine ply that you get from DIY stores. Needs must, and all that.
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