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Dav and Pen

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Everything posted by Dav and Pen

  1. Be careful if you go to Belgium they call paraffin petrol and it’s in most manned filling stations.
  2. We had to start with the gunwhales before we could rebuild the cabin on crane
  3. Did this in 1998 for 2 years. Took the boat over from Calcut to Salins near Dublin and the first year went up the Shannon and across into L Erne and during the second year after leaving the boat in Shannonharbour went south on the Shannon to L. Derg and then down the R. Barrow to Graigenmanagh where we got involved with the local pub scene and had a job to leave. Narrow boats are not ideal but with care and watching the weather can be ok. The wind comes up quickly and on the big lakes the waves can soon get up.
  4. I believe that the waterways do have a direct commercial value to the local economy and many surveys show this. Even in the dark ages of the 1960s when bwb were determined to and did close navigations it was shown that many village shops kept going because of water tourism in all its forms. This is even more vital now. The current guardians of the system have a duty to keep the navigations open ,even if they act as if it is their secondary purpose. All over the system culverts are silted up or blocked and with the demise of the local lengthsmen the current management do not even know where some of them are until something happens. I know a lengthsmqn who was made redundant and then asked later if he would tell them where all the culverts and suspect places were on his length. I have long thought that we need to go back to local river and drainage boards whose sole function is to look after their catchment areas and take the function away from central control and politicians. It seems to have worked on the Somerset levels.
  5. It depends how many elf and safety studies as well as environmental impact assessments they decide to carry out. If it was still a commercial waterway with customers queuing up it could be started tomorrow.
  6. I was on the IWA council when John Heap was chairman, not sure what he would think about Birchills now. Was a great boat in those days.
  7. Bizzard here’s a Duchess roaring through Blisworth. In 1958 I went from Northampton to Lime Street to join my first ship at Stanlow, it hadn’t arrived so was put up in the Adelphi for 2 days.
  8. This gives some idea of the size of Blisworth junction when we used to go train spotting
  9. My connection to both canals and railways was at Blisworth junction. We used to get the local from Northampton and then stand on the bridge collecting numbers on the main line and the old line to Stratford. We’d then go along toGayton arm end to watch the narrow boats on the canal and the occasional one going down the Northampton arm. At Blisworth we would see the big main line locos that rarely got to Northampton itself .
  10. Not quite as simple as the article makes out. The boat has to be measured and comply with French standards before getting a registration number. I sold my barge to a French national and even though it had a community certificate and current gas certificate he still had to go through the whole procedure to change it from the SSR to the French registry. People I know with boats in France have had to provide details of French bank accounts and proof that they had been resident for 5 years which mainly meant being in the same mooring or having a mooring contract with the vnf which proved they had entitlement to the carte de sejour. Spain may have an easier route as does Portugal.
  11. I found a 1982 WW in the loft and this ad was on back page. They were made of 4mm for strength!
  12. An old boatman I knew always said he was going to see Sidney when he needed the bucket.
  13. We have just finished barging on the continent and sold the barge last year. Nobody is sure at the moment how the eu will treat Uk citizens after the end of this year but it is possible we will be deemed a third country in the worst case. Lots of American Aussies and New Zealanders as well as S. Africans have boats mainly in France and the Netherlands and have to get visas and there are arrangements for 180 day ones in place but these have to arranged in your home country. Friends who live aboard in France and have done for many years are now getting carte de sejour to give them residency rights but this is complicated as each dept seems to have different parameters but you need some proof that you have been there for 5 years. Actually the rules at present state that you should declare yourself after 6 months in the country but this never seems to be enforced. Most of the uk boaters in France haven’t done so as they still come back to use the NHS. With regard to boats at present it must be registered, insured, and if over 20m have a es-trin certificate. Also best to have no red diesel in the tanks on arrival. It’s possible to get boats on the Dutch registry and this may be worth doing. Proof of VAT payment is necessary even if it was Zero. Before the eu and schengan there were border checks and it was necessary to take your boat out of the country after 6 months to avoid taxes etc but this meant between france to belgium or Holland and then back again. Don’t think this will happen again but the waterway police in all the countries have been much more active in recent years so who knows. Its a great thing to do and we miss it greatly but having a 100 year old barge and getting older ourselves was proving difficult especially in France where there is a lack of tradesmen and even dry docks to help look after the ship.
  14. Dav and Pen

    Petter PJ3W

    I put this engine in Tadworth after the last PD2 broke its crank. Can’t remember the exact year but around 1980. It came from a Trinity house generator set and had only done 400 hours. I paired it to a prm box and used a modified truck shaft to the stern tube. we decided to run an external pipe right round the swim to act as the cooling as I can’t remember there being a mud box. The job was done at Braunston when Balliol owned it. Think it was probably scaffold tube. The engine came from Bryco in Daventry. I doubt if it has had a service or regular oil changes for many years but it doesn’t sound to bad. Afraid it’s not a classic engine but at the time at start of the camping season there wasn’t much choice however it’s been in the boat now for around 40 years.
  15. I have used Vactan quite a lot on the rusty decks of my old barge after getting as much scale off as possible. The company give the DBA a discount and they state that it is not necessary to prime over it. Overall the result was good on the decks but when I used it on the cabin sides where rust had developed under the d section covering the joint between sides and roof it ran down and left black streaks which took a lot of rubbing out before a top coat could be applied especially as the cabin sides where white.
  16. We first knew Mark when he was with the Mikron and he was great fun. Never forgot to called me Mr Tadworth and Nick Hill Mr jagular. Good drinker as well.
  17. I remember Stingo as being brewed by Northampton Brewery Company NBC. It was usually sold in 1/3rds and topped up to a pint with bitter. In my fathers pub the older men used to put pokers in the fire and then when hot enough plunge it into the beer to mull it. For all the new micro breweries around Timothy Taylor’s and Black sheep still take some beating. when I was buying the barge in Antwerp the broker introduced me to a beer called Duvel which I think is around 7% and it certainly makes you sleep well. It means devil and on the side of the brewery it says pass quietly the devil is at work inside. Lots of the brown and Trappist beers where very strong and need slowly sipping to avoid falling over.
  18. We had friends who had one of the Water Mist style cruisers. They travelled all over the system but for a time lived at Stratford on Avon and were very active in the southern Stratford society. Names Meg and Marice (Marie) Frost some of you may remember them. cant find a photo of the boats but it really slipped along.
  19. Never used anything but red oxide on the gunwales and roof of our narrow boats. Easy to apply and a flat finish. Don’t expect it suits the shiny boat brigade though. used teamac non slip on the barge gunwales which were 1 foot wide but dreadful result as sand trapped all the dirt and couldn’t keep it clean so disked it off and coat of Matt deck paint from Paints 4 trade who do a great range of marine paint. Dog never fell in..
  20. What a way to advertise a boat, presumably all the junk comes with it.
  21. Yes indeed I had forgotten about that article. I joined the IWAI whilst we were there and went to their rallies which were both campaigning and great fun.
  22. I have just looked up my old log book and the worst trip we had was actually in Lock Key. We came out of the lock in company with a cruiser and after clearing the protecting headland came out into the lake to find big waves broadside on. Even heavy old narrow boats like Thor can really roll. I decided that it was to risky to try and turn round so continued to where we were going which was behind an island. When we got moored up the guy on the cruiser came and said “I was going to turn round but followed you because thought you knew what you were doing”! Don’t want to put anybody off but you need to be patient and not try to beat the weather. Loch Ree is 20 miles across and takes over 3 hours in which time weather conditions can change.
  23. We took our narrow boat to Ireland and stayed over there for 2 years. We had it picked up from Calcut and put in the Grand canal at Salins. We used an Irish haulier who also had a crane at the other side. We based ourselves at Shannon Harbour and cruised the Shannon, the Shannon Erne canal and loch Erne itself. Also the R. Barrow and all the offshoots of the Shannon itself. Our boat was 50 ft long and had a lister HB2 engine which was powerful enough. The big lakes need some care and a close watch on the weather especially the wind strength as some big waves are soon wiped up. After one particularly rocky crossing of Loch Alan we decided that narrow boats are not ideal over there and went to Holland to buy a small Tjalk but finished up with a 22 meter barge and stayed on the continent. We really enjoyed our time in Ireland, the Irish boaters where great company and the singing and pubs brilliant Looking a bit lost on Loch Erne
  24. I used this on my barge for a while but found that the gloss white didn’t seem to have enough pigment in it and didn’t cover well but the blue I used on the topsides was very good.
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