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    In a cowshed!

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  1. Canalplan.eu might be a good place to look for photos of locations? Many derelict canals are well recorded with most of their physical features documented, and many of those have photos, which, while not always especially artistic, at least give an idea of the setting. This location on the disused part of the Lancaster Canal for instance, has one of my photos and shows what the locks look like: http://canalplan.eu/gazetteer/v1f6 Bear in mind though that this and many other photos can be several years old.
  2. This is the relevant text: There was still plenty of daylight when they came out into the Thames valley and Hornblower, looking down to starboard, could see the infant river—not such an infant at its winter level—running below. Every turn and every lock brought the canal nearer to the stream, and at last they reached Inglesham, with Lechlade church steeple in view ahead, and the junction with the river. At Inglesham lock Jenkins left his horses and came back to speak to Hornblower. "There's three staunches on the river next that we have to run, sir," he said. Hornblower had no idea what a staunch was, and he very much wanted to know before he had to "run" them, but at the same time he did not want to admit ignorance. Jenkins may have been tactful enough to sense his difficulty; at least he gave an explanation. "They're dams across the river, sir," he told Hornblower. "At this time o' year, with plenty of water, some o' the paddles are kept out for good, at the towpath end o' the staunch. There's a fall o' five or six feet" "Five or six feet?" repeated Hornblower, startled. "Yes, sir. 'Bout that much. But it isn't a real fall, if you know what I mean, sir. Steep, but no more." "And we have to run down it?" "Yes, sir. It's easy enough, sir—at the top, leastways." "And at the bottom?" "There's an eddy there, sir, like as you'd expect. But if you hold her straight, sir, the nags'll take you through." "I'll hold her straight," said Hornblower. "O' course you will, sir." Lechlade Bridge just ahead of them—the staunch was half a mile beyond, Jenkins said. Although the air was distinctly cold now Horn-blower was conscious that his palms, as they rested on the tiller, were distinctly damp. To him now it appeared a wildly reckless thing to do, to attempt to shoot the staunch inexperienced as he was. He would prefer—infinitely prefer—not to try. But he had to steer through the arch of the bridge—the horses splashed fetlock deep there—and then it was too late to do anything about his change of mind. There was the line of the staunch across the stream, the gap in it plainly visible on the port side. Beyond the staunch the surface of the river was not visible because of the drop, but above the gap the water headed down in a steep, sleek slope, higher at the sides than in the middle; the fragments which floated on the surface were all hurrying towards it, like people in a public hall all pressing towards a single exit. Hornblower steered for the centre of the gap, choking a little with excitement; he could feel the altered trim of the boat as her bows sank and her stern rose on the slope. Now they were flying down, down. Below, the smooth slope narrowed down to a point, beyond which and on each side was the turbulent water of the eddy. He still had steerage way enough to steer down the point; as he felt die boat answer the helm he was momentarily tempted to follow up the mathematical line of thought presented by that situation, but he had neither time nor really the inclination. The bows hit the turbulent water with a jar and a splash; the boat lurched in the eddy, but next moment the towlines plucked them forward again. Two seconds' careful steering and they were through the eddy and they were gliding over a smooth surface once more, foam-streaked but smooth, and Horn-blower was laughing out loud. It had been simple, but so exhilarating that it did not occur to him to condemn himself for his earlier misgivings. Jenkins looked back, turning in his saddle, and waved his whip, and Hornblower waved back. (1937)
  3. I know of one Banham's boat of similar age: Lady Beatrice, a much smaller boat of about 8' beam and I think about 25' in length. Probably a gentleman's day boat as it has no sleeping space. Having seen it a few years ago, the family resemblance to Malaya is striking. There are quite a few Broads Cruiser style Banham boats from the 40's, 50's & 60's still around I believe.
  4. It would have been really difficult to make space for any form of holding tank, and the AirHead toilet we've bought (yet to be fitted) is very compact should only need emptying every six months or so it seemed to be a good compromise. The toilet was sold on eBay some time ago. I was sad to see it go but I believe it now has a new home in a motor-home.
  5. Thanks MP. Canals have indeed been used for pleasure trips for a very long time. Sightseeing trips into/through Sapperton Tunnel on the Thames & Severn Canal were noted as being popular in a book published in 1811 C. J. Aubertin's 'Caravan Afloat' seems to have been essentially a large punt with a cabin constructed on top. Narrow enough certainly for any standard narrow canal in England, but having no engine (it was towed everywhere, mostly by the crew) and probably basic, if any, toilet & galley facilities, it wasn't really much like a modern narrowboat I would suggest? Thanks Laurence for the info about 'Dragonfly', a boat I'd heard of but knew nothing about. 'Malaya' though was very much designed to exactly the same sort of specifications as any modern narrowboat. Quoting from an article in 'The Motor Boat' magazine dated 2nd April 1926, entitled 'A 40-ft. Canal Cruiser', it describes 'Malaya's' construction in some detail and starts with these paragraphs: "An Unusual Boat Intended for Use on Inland Waters at Home and Abroad. Canal cruising is increasing in popularity, and unquestionably the attractions are considerable to those who prefer quiet inland waterways to the more boisterous characteristics of open-water yachting. During the past few years numbers of motor boats have been built and many more converted, all with a view to making them specially suitable for canal cruising. A most interesting vessel of this type is being built at the yard of Mr. H. C. Banham, of Cambridge, to the order of Mr. Poths, of Boston, the design having been prepared by Mr. A. H. Comben. Due to the restrictions necessitated by lock dimensions, it is by no means an easy matter to evolve a good canal cruiser, but in this case the designer appears to have achieved the desired object and the boat is of by no means unprepossessing appearance. The overall length is 40 ft, and as the maximum beam permissible is only 7 ft, the moulded breadth of the boat is 6 ft. 9 ins., and the addition of rubbing strakes brings this figure up to 6 ft. 11 ins. The accommodation is, however, not unduly cramped, and 6 ft. headroom is arranged in spite of the fact that the craft has a draught of only 2 ft. 3 ins." This does imply that 'Malaya' may not actually have been the first such boat, but if any other similar craft still exist, it would be very interesting to know of them and compare notes. I suspect though that 'Malaya' may well be the oldest such boat still afloat (or will be when we get her back in the water). If anyone's interested, I put a bit of video here on YouTube of 'Malaya' being carefully lifted out of the water at Jalsea Marine in Northwich (R. Weaver) prior to transportation to her current home in a cow-shed. It's about 4½ minutes long because the crane driver takes it very carefully. Note the sad state of the woodwork (even worse inside), windows (sealed units no longer sealed) and the very black hull below the waterline - white when last refurbished. One further point of interest is that, by the look of the plans, 'Malaya' was designed with a flushing toilet and a small galley with sink & cooker (probably only a camping size one). If the toilet that came with 'Malaya' when we bought her was the original, and it's quite likely that it was, it was a Simpson-Lawrence No.397 Bow Toilet, i.e. a 'sea toilet' which flushed straight through the hull into whatever waterway the boat was on at the time. Needless to say, we've sadly had to change the toilet as there wasn't enough space to have a modern composting toilet as well as the glorious brass & ceramic Simpson-Lawrence.
  6. Thanks, we're looking forward to getting her afloat again, though I fear it's looking like 2017 before that happens; 4+ years of sustained restoration!
  7. When would you think the first narrowboat specifically designed for leisure use was built? Previous to buying Malaya I would would have thought maybe the 1960s or 70s. Before that, most leisure use on the canals seems to have been with converted working boats, as indeed was Tom Rolt's Cressy in the 1940s which really popularised canal cruising. Malaya though was launched in May 1926 and designed at the outset as a leisure narrowboat with a beam of 6' 9" and 40' in length, three cabins able to take a family of up to six, and a toilet and small galley. Waterways World latest issue (October) has my article about Malaya's history which readers of this group might, I thought, be interested in reading? Enjoy.
  8. Well, yes, it can end up making more mess by trying to clean before it sets. The best thing I've found is to use white spirit dampened paper towel (kitchen roll or toilet paper) and remove small amounts at a time, changing the paper often. If it can be done neatly, it's less work to get it off before it's set. I've used at least six or seven boxes (of 12 tubes per box) on our boat restoration, and I'm still learning. Try a bit on a similar joint on something that doesn't matter and do one bit without wiping off any excess, and another with wiping. If you succeed in getting a neat joint with white spirit, that's the way to go. Leave it for at least a day (longer if more than a few mm thick) before trying to pare and/or sand back any excess on an uncleaned joint. Expect some waste. Some applications I find that I wipe off at least 50% of what I put on, but it is sometimes necessary to have some excess to make sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies so that water can't get in there. UK Sealants have a good range of the different types and colours, will give advice and dispatch very quickly if it's in stock, Good luck.
  9. I would just add that white spirit is adequate for cleaning off excess Sikaflex (before it's set) and easier/cheaper to source. If there is still excess Sikaflex after it's set, it can be carefully pared back with a sharp knife or chisel, or can be sanded to produce a nice matt effect.
  10. Brilliant! Apart from the browser making life difficult because the site isn't HTTPS, it seems to work very nicely thanks.
  11. Many thanks bag o' bones for the quotes from the relevant standards. At 88 Swiss Francs for the ISO standards and £208 for BS papers it isn't practical to buy such things for every decision we need to make during our restoration. This wonderful forum is always such a helpful and friendly place to get information.
  12. Helpful point thanks. Looking in the BSS Essential Guide doesn't give any particular specifications as to whether the pipe should, for instance, be annealed or not.
  13. Thank you all for the replies various, but so far as I can see, nobody has actually answered my question as to whether alternative sources of 3/8" copper pipe are suitable (and legal?) for LPG in boats. Here are some alternatives I've found or that been suggested (note I only need about 3 metres): BES - 30 m x 3/8" (22 gauge : 0.7 mm) £96.16 Aquafax - 20G 3/8"OD thickness guage: 20swg pressure working: 1261 psi (???) 10M £ 43.12 Ebay - 3/8 x 15m coil copper pipe gas/plumbing. Cruiser, narrowboat, canal, caravan. EN12735-1 R220 3/8" x 0.032" £45.00 Ebay - Air Conditioning Copper Pipe 3/8" 5 metres (0.032" wall?). This copper pipe is manufactured to the latest British standard and being soft copper coils is easy to work with and bend £13.59 Ebay - 3/8" OD x 2.5 METRES SOFT 22G EASY FLARE COPPER BRAKE PIPE £11.99 OUTSIDE DIAMETER 3/8ins - 9.5mm WALL THICKNESS 0.028ins - 0.71mm £11.99 So far as I can see from these sources, most 3/8" copper pipe is typically 0.028" or 0.032" wall thickness and designed for pressures way in excess of anything an LPG installation is likely to experience. Obviously, safety is of prime importance, but it looks to me that 3/8" brake sold for vehicle applications is very close to any specs I can find for LPG gas pipe, more accessible and cheaper. All further comments/suggestions welcome. Thanks.
  14. I'm replacing the gas pipe from the storage container bulkhead fitting to the hob and oven which will soon be installed in our new galley. I made the mistake of assuming that the previous pipe-work was 10mm only to find that 10mm pipe doesn't fit the existing 3/8" bulkhead fitting, so rather than trying to source adaptors, it seems easiest to do the 2 - 3 metre run in 3/8" copper pipe. However, local stockists of such pipe designated for gas use seem to be non-existent. Looking on eBay though, there's plenty of choice of imperial sized copper pipe, but I noticed that 3/8" copper brake pipe and 3/8" copper air conditioning pipe are noticeably cheaper than 3/8" copper pipe specified for LPG. So, does anyone know if the price difference is just because brake & a/c pipe is normally sold in bigger quantities, or is there a difference in the actual pipe which would make it unsuitable for use with LPG? Thanks in advance for all replies.
  15. I concur that a ball valve is what you need. There's a wide range of sizes (generally bsp threads) and options such as male-male, female-female or male-female so you need to look closely at your existing pipework to see what would fit best. Many suppliers sell ball valves, not just chandlers. Lots of choice on eBay and elsewhere.
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