Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Salopgal

  1. Have found some water in the cabin bilge, viewable from an inch wide gap to the left and below the shower pump. The boat is a 1992 Stowe Hill trad stern narrowboat build and no plans available to me. The marina engineer and I don't know where any inspection hatch to gain access to the cabin bilge might be - he's looked around but can't find one. He's drilled a smallish hole and pumped out what he can, but ballast is getting in the way, so can't reach it all. He thinks the water's been there for the full 20 years of the boat's age, but who knows? The whole cabin area has fixed carpets and no obvious access points in wardrobe areas, under sinks etc. Has anyone on here got a similar build of boat that might be able to advise, or can you think of any places where an access hatch might be situated in a 21 year old trad build boat, please? I've contacted the previous owner, who had her for 10 years, but he doesn't know of any inspection holes/hatches on this boat. As you might know, I'm a real novice at this. Thanks one and all! K
  2. I haven't read what everybody else has said yet, and perhaps I should, but 3 gins in, I'm writing to you anyway. I did the same thing as you, thought a lot, got cold feet, warm and cold and warm again... etc I am 46, I have familial osteo-arthritis starting, I have 'Catastrophic Hyperacusis' (you might need to look that one up!), I have periodic extreme clinical depression, I am awake every night with joint pain and am probably pre-menopausal if my mood swings are anything to go by..... BUT.... In the end, I boiled it down to this, and my mother said it to me in fact: Would I regret never having tried? Never tried living on a narrowboat, being more self sufficient after a divorce, living in a new community of folk who are largely as quirky as me (ace!), never trying to see whether I could get more proficient at fixing stuff instead of always getting help? Would I REALLY be happy selling out that particular dream and living in a crappy bedsit in Oswestry, hating that solitary existence and wishing I had given the whole boat thing a go? In the end, it was my mother's adventurous spirit that spurred me on to say: "Yes, I'm going to try this - if it doesn't work out, well, at least I tried". I'll end my life with lots of regrets. I didn't want this to be one of them. I'm not preaching, I'm just saying. And I've had 3 gins - bear that in mind! I've been rightfully chastised for over thinking stuff by folk here and they were right, but they didn't make me feel small. I knew they meant well. Most here do and I love them for it. We are all just muddling on in life and making the best fist of it. Just don't have too many regrets is all... With my very best wishes to you, K
  3. Hey Mike - I knew you would come through with common sense! Vaseline eh? I'll give that a go. You are, as ever, a star... x K
  4. The chappy that sold me Delilah said that once I'd cleaned the brass (and he did mention Shiny Sinks to start off with), also said that Liberon Jade Oil would slow the tarnishing process down. I've noticed that just days after cleaning interior of portholes with brasso, they very quickly dull down to a tarnished pallor and within 2 weeks are already looking a bit grotty. So the question is - what do you use to treat the brass fitments after you've got them shiny as new? Has anyone else used Jade Oil and is it the best thing to try, as it's pretty expensive...? Once again, thank you for all and any advice! K
  5. I'm seriously toying with the idea of getting a washer dryer - please don't howl just yet!! I've never actually owned a dryer in my life, but suspect that living aboard a fully portholed boat with some limited ventilation, means that I might not want to be drying clothes inside all of the time using residual stove heat and possible condensation issues. I'm pretty sure some of you will have installed either normal size or special small boaty ones - someone told me you might even be able to get a 12 volt special variety but I'm not at all sure. As usual, I am pretty clueless... Any and all advice, and especially recommendations, would be most welcome indeed as I suspect I need to start saving pennies for this item, or organise selling a kidney... Thank you so much in advance! Forgot to add, I shall be based in a marina and they have only one machine which seems to be in constant use! Also, the local launderette is expensive - ours is £10 for full wash and dry of one load! Many thanks - K
  6. Jury's in - Craftsmaster it is then... Many thanks indeed!
  7. Thanks dear friend. I can always rely on you! Bless you. K
  8. I need to learn how to do this. I'll ask around at the marina before I try to take it apart myself though! I've fixed a couple of electrical issues on the boat by myself (very proud!) so I'm feeling confident, but gas stuff is a whole new bag. I've never used gas appliances before. Cooker is 20 years old and burnt the 1st thing I tried reheating to a cinder, so I need to practice! Any hot tips on taking the parts out to clean? All advice very welcome!
  9. Is the Carnuaba wash so very much better than water alone i.e. is the Wax polish sufficient, or would you strongly suggest I buy the wash/wax combo? I'm just a bit short of cash that's all!! Thanks!
  10. Many thanks for this post. I'm trying to find this product for sale on the internet - no joy yet. Found craftmaster site though and am emailing them to see whether they sell the wash and the polish you mention. Thanks again! Just an afterthought - are other Carnuba products as good as this e.g. Autoglym and Autosmart or is Phil Speight's product rather special and better for narrowboat coachwork?
  11. My Mum's narrowboat was professionally painted in 2011 by previous owners and needs a good clean. I forgot to ask them what they used to wash and then polish the boat's external coachwork. I tried a car wash/wax solution yesterday and it went chalky and smeary and no amount of clean water or rubbing would take away the dull look, so that was hopeless. Can't remember the make but it was quite expensive - I may have just got the concentrations wrong but there weren't any instructions of liquid to water ratios anywhere on the bottle.... Please would you advise the best product and tried and tested methods (!!) of washing a narrowboat? What detergent do you use and do you use any specialist polishes afterwards? Also, how regularly would you recommend cleaning external paintwork and are there any major dos and don'ts? I'm such a novice at this and want to take the very best care of this boat, inside and out. Thanks so much! K
  12. So quite a few different opinions/ideas - but all helpful and informative so thanks! Methinks I need to experiment with quantities, as it's only me onboard anyway. Perhaps need to find a happy medium between neat blue in lower tank and up to 3 litres of water added to the blue! Thanks one and all though, it's been interesting reading...
  13. Thanks for the green advice. I've actually got a bottle of stuff the previous owners left and it does have instructions on it, but I don't know the litre capacity of the bottom tank, so I don't know what quantity of chemical to use in either case. Thought that someone might have a 365 themselves and know the exact quantities I should use. Thanks!
  14. Feel a bit of an idiot asking this question, but the online manual doesn't help so I'm asking you guys! I have been left a Thetford 365 electric porta potti on the new boat, but I don't know what quantity of the blue chemical to put in the lower section of the cassette. Please could you advise? Thank you! One other thing, I don't know how old it is so how and when should I check relevant seals to make sure they are OK and can they be easily replaced? Thanks one and all - as always... K
  15. Brilliant! All balanced advice, very fair and ALL very much appreciated! I can see that I have been erring on the side of extreme caution and I knew my post might cause some differing of opinion, but in the final analysis it's not my boat (it's my Mum's) and I am a complete novice, so I guess I'm trying to cover all eventualities. Still, after reading your posts, I think I might not email my draft to my cousin as he's very much a free spirit and he might take offence! It will be interesting to see how the day plays out. Looks like rain (boo). Don't worry, I won't take beer! Cheers one and all - you are amazing! Love to all, K x
  16. We've got a day to do it in, but I guess if it stretches to two, we will cope. But the plan is to do it from 7am to 7pm right through - 14 locks I think...
  17. OK - here's what I've come up with so far - or am I being fussy?!? I haven't proof read this yet, so there may be typos.... Crewing safely - NB: Be considerate around other canal users Have a good look at the route map before you go and discuss the route - how many locks are there? What type? Which way is the current? What are the skipper’s concerns about this route / weather / other? Make sure you are very clear about the skipper’s / helmsman’s rules for crew in all situations – sort this out before you set off! Horn blasts and what they mean – e.g. one long 3-4 secs is a warning, 3 short blasts means “I’ve got my engines in reverse". Be clear about what hand signals you will use between the 3 of you (as shouting is pointless) e.g. thumbs up for safety for the skipper to proceed with a manouvre or to signal you want to go into the cabin etc. What ropes are you each going to be using when mooring up before/after a lock, or for lunch. Don’t let ropes trail in water – beware dog poo & Weill’s Disease! Use of the pole and where it is situated. If you are going to be going through any locks then you will need a windlass each, as well as waterway authority key to use some locks depending on the area. Turn Stern Gland before setting off and when you arrive at destination. Make sure you have cast off all ropes, wires: electrical connections, phone connections, TV aerial connections. Take off the fenders before you enter locks. In still water, crew to untie the stern rope first (stern = back) then the bow rope (bow = front). The reason you cast off the bow rope last is that with the stern untied, you can still control it with the tiller and engine. If there is a current, untie the downstream end first (the current will keep the boat safely against the bank, until the other end is untied). A narrowboat cannot be stopped at once (even by the powerful engine at the back). Above all, do not get any part of your body between a narrowboat and something else - it will NOT stop the boat from hitting something. Lock’s: Don’t stress, don’t panic, take it easy and think things through Locks can be very dangerous. Keep the bow doors closed so water doesn’t get into the boat’s saloon. When arriving at a lock, if the lock is set against you, check for boats coming in the opposite direction. At a lock keep a special eye on children and pets, whether on or off the boat. Don’t speak to ‘gongoozlers’ (folk who hang around locks, asking stupid questions) while working the lock – being distracted is dangerous. Always remove the windlass from the lock mechanism Only open paddles very slowly at first, watching the effect they have on the boat, especially when going up hill. Stay by the paddle gear all the time, watching the boat: be prepared to close paddles quickly if the force of the water starts causing problems to an ascending boat, or if a descending boat gets caught on something. NEVER EVER tie a rope from a boat going down a lock (and if holding one, check all the time that it isn't caught on something). Be very careful when closing the paddle gear, wind the paddle up a half turn to release the safety catch then lift the safety catch up and wind the paddle down slowly. Keep a tight grip on the windlass. Do not let the paddle gear drop on its own accord. There is a white line painted on the side of the lock called the cil marker. All you have to do is make sure that your boat is past the white line, well forward. Easy. White markers show where the cill is. Make sure the button fender at front doesn’t get caught on the gate – Crew should be at bow end of boat to watch out for this. That’s their job – to look out for the safety of the boat. Golden rules Everything behind the boat – closed! *When you open a gate, close a paddle* Don’t forget to close top paddles on tow and non-tow path sides After leaving, close all gates and all paddles (unless a boat is coming) Tying Up: Tie up around rings or bollards - in a perfect world about 45° in front and behind the boat. If possible tie the knot on the boat rather than on the towpath. If you need to use mooring pins; hammer in 45° in front and behind of the boat, there is no need to hit the pins very hard lots of little hits are safer than a few hard hits. It is considerate to mark the mooring pins with something bright like a carrier bag. Whaddaya reckon?
  18. I've been on a 2 day helming course (wonderful / hard / enlightening etc). Now I've got the forthcoming move of our boat from Swanley to Ellesmere this week. My cousin and I will be crewing with a seasoned skipper at the helm, so 3 of us in total. What might your top crew tips for a briefing before we set off be? I'm looking on the internet and not seeing much but putting something together from what I learned on the course at the beginning of the week. Thanks once again for all input!! K
  19. Hi The boat we have bought has a newish cratch cover by Bethsaida Covers. I wonder whether you have top tips on keeping it really well maintained? The previous owner said a mild detergent solution to get rid of bird poo on the outside, but I notice that the clasps and catches are already weathering and rusting slightly, so wonder whether you have ideas on how to slow that process down or better still cease it completely? I did wonder whether some vaseline on the catches would do it, or is that a no no? All ideas and previous experience of caring for this lovely piece of equipment would be most welcome. Regards K
  20. I've got something called 'Catastrophic Hyperacusis' but rather bizarrely, the engine noise isn't troubling me thus far. Not sure how this is possible when human voices hurt my ears, so it is, quite simply, a miracle for which I am most grateful... Think on't. If you want something badly enough, sometimes your body will fall in line and obey your heart's desires!! This time 5 years ago, I was housebound, my own whisper was painful to me, I lived in one room, saw no-one, went nowhere and was seriously and terrifyingly mentally ill - complete and utter mental and physical collapse. I may be nutty now, but it's a different sort of nuttiness... I shall probably never be free of Hyperacusis, but it doesn't own me anymore - no way!!
  21. Yes, it was great. 2 days deffo the way to go, you learn so much. Wind gusts were awful but what a great way to learn, thrown in at the deep end (metaphorically speaking only). Boat move sorted. Got cousin on the case and someone the marina recommended. Thanks for best wishes and offers of help. Regards K
  22. Learned today that my helming partner for moving boat next weekend can't make it after all. Am pinning hopes on my cousin being free as he's been on a narrowboat before and been at the tiller, but if he isn't free and other boaty contacts can't assist, am I best posting a request for help on the crew pages here? I've got the whole of next week off work, so need to try and move her over 2 days between 20th and 28th if at all possible (Swanley to Blackwater Meadow). Hey ho - am rolling with the punches.... when one door closes, another one opens and sometimes it's a better one too, said she optimistically... Still looking forward to helmsman course tomorrow tho' - bit nervous, but excited!!
  23. It's with DragonFly Narrowboat training at Swanley Marina, near Nantwich Cheshire, where our boat is moored. I think there are just 2 or 3 people on each course and I went for the 2 days because I'm a slow learner (bear of little brain) and need to be told most things at least twice! Hey, I know my own limitations - well some of them anyroad...
  24. Yay! Going on a 2 day helmsman course next week before moving the boat to new moorings. Really looking forward to the course and the move - feel a bit stupid that I don't have waterproof trousers yet, but think the hubby's giant fishing overtrousers are way too bulky to borrow! Hope I do OK and am worthy of a certificate at the end of the course... we shall see... New life around the corner, getting closer every day!!!
  25. I'll get that edition and see if it's the same boat. I met the owners in a charity shop in Whitchurch of all places and we've stayed friends ever since. They are very contented CCers!
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.