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    Aylesbury Arm

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  1. Hello. I have an Eberspacher D4 hydronic (see previous posts about my sometimes troubled relationship with it ). It's now working well. It is mounted in the engine compartment under the back deck (cruiser stern) and draws air in from within the compartment - it's close to a vent so there's plenty of air for it. However it is noisy, and I have tried to reduce the noise, and as I am now moved into a marina with other boats close by I want to quieten it further. I've already fitted a proper marine silencer on the exhaust (replacing the crappy little one I inherited) and that helped. Does anyone have experience of fitting the 'optional' air intake and silencer from a skin fitting to the air inlet on the unit? Specifically: - eberspacher silencer vs generic? - can i use airtronic silencer on hydronic - same part? - impact on noise reduction? Any advice or experience appreciated. Patrick
  2. Yes indeed, but I would be wanting to see *all* systems powered up *every way* on any boat I was going to buy. So 240V off a hookup and off inverter; 12V with charger connected and disconnected from hookup; batteries charging off hookup, alternator, solar panels etc etc I've heard a few stories about sellers and in one case even a broker telling potential buyers that that there was some reason they couldn't test all the power systems on a boat. In one particular case this led to them (ill-advisedly) handing over cash for a boat which they were shown everything working on hookup which they were told couldn't be disconnected for some reason, only to find after the event that the alternator was cooked and the inverter/charger was faulty too. I'm afraid that my view is, if you don't have evidence that all the components are working, assume they're banjaxed and expect to see that reflected in negotiations over price (see earlier post ^ on the subject of eberspachers!).
  3. Another one, which I wish I'd known at the time ... If there is DIY electrical work done and you can get a look at the wiring (not the obvious stuff like battery connections, I mean the 12v lighting circuits, pump wiring etc) see what the quality of the work is like. Are proper crimps, bus bars and block connectors used rather than just twiddle joints wrapped in tape? And watch for any domestic house cable especially solid core type (v. bad on boats). If you find these, then you may have to assume that there is more of the same out of sight behind panels, in the ceiling and so on, and that's going to need excavating and redoing at some point. And ... get a 240V socket tester plug (£5 -10or so). You stick these into the sockets and signal lights tell you if they are wired correctly, whether there are faults on the circuits and whether they are earthed. Again, they'll give you a quick insight into how well the electrics that are out of sight might be done.
  4. If fitted, check water heating (e.g. eberspacher/webasto) and try running them for a while; while running, look for any leaks in central heating, radiators, valves etc. These can be systems which have been out of action or unused for a significant amount of time, so may have deteriorated, particularly if there is another source of heating. A survey may just report the existence of a heater/rads etc but may not be based on anything other than 'visual inspection'. Our experience (which others have confirmed) was of water heaters and CH which looked OK but which in fact given up the ghost some time before due to internal corrosion, fans fused solid, etc etc. and these made for expensive repairs or replacements soon after moving aboard.
  5. The basin has been busy over the weekend and the short-term moorings on the pontoons may be full, but there is plenty of mooring space along the towpath opposite the permanent moorings. The signage is confusing - some signs suggest that the whole towpath is (the world's longest) service mooring because there are water points all the way along, while others say that it is visitor mooring - as long as some water points are left clear everyone stays happy. The 'far' end of the pontoon area is quite shallow because all the silt washed down the canal seems to end up there - the mooring outside the college is pretty gloopy, so take care there. It's a bit less overgrown now than in the picture above because of the dry weather!
  6. There is pump-out at the Circus Fields Basin run by the Canal Society, but not in the Town Basin at the CRT services. You could ring the Canal Society in advance as you'd have to get in to the pump-out which is inside the basin by their slipway to check you can get access: 07784 540750. May be best to use Marsworth before you set off down the Arm - maybe others on the main GU can confirm if it is up and running.
  7. Yep. But the signage is confusing and the map and the mooring information posts are at odds with each other. There are rings opposite the permanent moorings (bring your strimmer) but signs suggest you can only moor there when using the services although they are VMs; its not clear to everyone that the 'dead-end' is also available for mooring (and actually does have some good rings there). We're on the permanent moorings and there's almost always space here, but we've occasionally had to reassure people that they can moor other than on the pontoons - sometimes, as they are heading back out thinking they have no other option.
  8. The moorings are indeed CRT, with the development at the basin being AVDC. They're nothing to do with ACS. Just for info though: there's no mooring spot directly outside the college building (so no rings on the stonework of the basin side there at all) but the space between the 'last' finger of the pontoons and the basin edge there is a few inches short of two boat-widths, making it look like a 'double berth' like the others - it's just an unfortunate coincidence that it looks that way. Mooring rings are a bit of an issue at Aylesbury - they are few and far between on the pontoons and quaysides (or are sometimes buried in the undergrowth on the 'services' side), so sharing rings and a bit of creative ropework is sometimes needed.
  9. True, but Nairn was an architect and was talking about the buildings, locks, signage and so on, rather than the boats. In the BBC film he hardly mentions the boats at all.
  10. Nairn in the film (at about 8:10) talks about the original design aesthetic of the canal system as the 'discipline of black and white' suiting almost every structure across the system and complains about the loss of this consistency. Hmm ...
  11. I had this experience - regular, short runs of the newly replaced water pump but no leaks - and the reason, it turned out, was that the new pump was rated at a higher pressure than the one it replaced. This was just enough to make the pressure release valve on the calorifier to vent, which then caused the pump to run again ... and so on. I put a pressure gauge on a suitable point in the system (might have been the washing machine fitting) and then adjusted the water pump until it was back within the limits of the calorifier vent. This sorted it out. Might be worth checking?
  12. Yes it was a BP boat. If you follow the link I posted to the BP owners club archive and dig around (you have to cut and paste link addresses) you'll see 61791 Lightning listed - BP were naming them after types of plane and other things military at the time, so there is also a Harrier, Meteor, Tornado and so in the 'Fighter' class of boat. Described on the site as "Fighter Class: 50ft 6 berth. Two separate bunk cabins aft with separate wc & shower ahead, followed by galley and settee/double forward. A popular class with around nine being built by Black Prince and more inherited from other fleets." So not clear if it was a BP build or 'inherited'. Sadly the pics that accompanied the description seem to have disappeared from t'internet.
  13. The Black Prince Owners website seems to have gone offline about 2015 but you can still see an archived copy of it on the "wayback machine" here: https://web.archive.org/web/20140602064533/http://blackprinceowners.org.uk/latestupdates.html Not all the links work - e.g to individual boat records and the stories about conversions - but there's a fair bit of the original info including registration numbers and original names, details of the different designs and so on. Our boat is one of the 'experimental' (!) Duchess models from 2000 - when the characteristic roundy-rectangle windows first appeared.
  14. I made up a list recently in response to the same question from someone else, so sharing it here: Aside from the kit you need for an engine service (filters etc) we listed the following based on our first 6 months or so aboard - not exhaustive, but here you go ... A good knife – one with a rope-cutting blade is best. Opinel make a good one. A multitool like a Leatherman A multimeter – to check batteries and circuits An adjustable spanner (ours is known as ‘Chief O’Brien’s Magic Spanner’ after the character from Star Trek: Deep Space 9 who seemed to be able to fix anything from a computer to a warp core equipped only with a large one of these) A set of other spanners (probably covering sizes 6-16 or so, with a few imperial sizes too like 5/8″, 3/8″) Wire cutter/stripper – don’t use your teeth, you’ll regret it eventually A good lantern – rechargeable Several head-torches A sea magnet – for retrieving windlasses and mooring pins from the water. Also specs. Also bicycles. A roll of plumbers’ amalgamating tape - handy stuff Hose adaptors – you need these to use water points and they are easy to leave behind by accident, so keep a spare or three A gas spanner for disconnnecting gas bottles from their hoses – maybe two as they seem to jump overboard A length of thick wire to parallel your domestic batteries and starter battery when the latter is flat (assuming no fancy battery management setup) Bungees – for attaching things to running rails and quick repairs Ratchet straps – keep stuff on the roof with these, also emergency mooring Cable ties – useful for all manner of jobs A complete replacement water pump – you can fix these, but when they ‘go’ (often the diaphragms perish, finally giving up while you are in the shower) you will want to replace them immediately Lots of replacement fuses If you have a cassette toilet, the ideal number of cassettes is n+1 where n is the number you currently have A good first aid kit. Either one of the St John Ambulance ones that's got the essentials, or make up one yourself And if you have a cat, some means of them getting back on board when they fall in. Either a mini-cargo net or a sturdy doormat so they can scramble up.
  15. I'd also suggest the stretch just south of the Globe. Alternatively there are usually other boats around just south of LB lock (between the lock and Wyvern) and we have moored up there and left the boat with no problems. Another option is up at Three Locks (where there are long term moorings on the offside) where there are 14-day moorings opposite (a few shorter-term moorings closer to the pub, but chug past them).
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