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  1. Col_T

    Ashby Canal

    We came off the Ashby on Sunday. The first 2 or 3 miles after Marston Junction were the worst, with levels low enough that anything much above tick-over wasn’t really viable as it led to breaking wash and the propeller stirring silt. It seemed as though the nearer we got to Shackerstone the more water there was.
  2. @Sea Dog has it right. The batteries were new July 15th this year, as the previous set had been on the boat since late 2014, and were replaced because a couple of voltage related issues with our 12v fridge caused me to lose confidence in them. No known problems with either alternator, except the engine alternator needed it’s drive belt tightening a tad, or circuit faults. As a genuine question, is installing a VSR a good solution to
  3. We’re moored by Hawksbury Junction at the moment. Water Taxi to/from the Basin seemed busy yesterday and today, pretty much full in fact. The fact it’s not raining probably helps!
  4. Many thanks for the replies, especially @Tony Brooks, whose first comments put the whole thing in context. In all honesty, I’ve never seen anything close to 70 amps on the ammeter, even at first start-up, but then we are very light electrical users, have a reasonable size battery bank (4 * 110Ah), almost always cruise for about 4 hours and have solar for the beginning and end of each day.
  5. To avoid the use of split charge diode, with attendant voltage drop, on a single alternator engine? Thanks for the info @BEngo - it’ll stay fitted.
  6. The engine is a Beta BV 1505, with two alternators - 70A connected to the domestic bank, and 45A connected to the engine start battery. At present, the domestics and engine start batteries are connected by a voltage sensitive relay and, because I don’t completely understand electrics, I am considering removing the VSR. My understanding is that the VSR will switch the output from one alternator to the battery being charged by the other alternator when the relevant voltage is reached. In my case, the output from the engine start alternator will be directed to the domestic battery bank. However, what I think will happen is that, once both alternators are supplying the same battery bank, one of them will drop out - stop charging - because a voltage limit in it’s regulator has been reached. If this is correct, I’m not sure that I see any benefit in having the VSR fitted. Any comment explaining where I have this wrong would be much appreciated.
  7. tells them it’s a ‘live’ email account.
  8. I’ve heard it said that the K & A is probably the only canal where a gang-plank is a necessity.
  9. We had about a dozen hire-boat holidays in the decade or so before we bought our boat, and used that experience to draw-up a list of things the boat must have and things it must not have. It was a useful exercise, but the boat we actually bought was a rubbish fit to that list. We still have the boat 7 years later, cruising for about 6 months a year and leaving it in a marina over winter. I’d say “hope this helps”, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t!
  10. Update as promised. Lapworth Junction to Knowle Locks - no problems. The weather gods had clearly been tipped off by Alan de Enfield as it was not rain, but a good, solid, persistent drizzle all the way up the locks. In its own way, this was ‘a good thing’, as it meant that the volunteers were grateful to have a boat to help through! We only had to wait for the very first to be set for us, then all the others were empty and gates open, waiting. That said, Nick Norman’s warning about the currents in the side ponds was absolutely correct so, whilst I may have been dreaming of gliding gently into the locks under the admiring gaze of the volunteers, it was much more a ‘crash, boom, bang’ affair! Knowle itself is a lovely little place. Good range of shops, mainly independents, with some nice old architecture waiting to be admired. Jones the butcher recommended, especially their pies! Knowle to Catherine de Barnes - no problems, except that we moored in a good, solid, downpour. Fine if you like that kind of thing; I don’t. Catherine to Bordesley Junction. The dredging has clearly made a difference, for the better. There was one occasion when the bow of the boat skipped off line, and a swirl of debris was seen at the stern, otherwise there was little discernible evidence of the bottom being too close to the top. Certainly this section was much, much better than the top half of the North Stratford where we could hear the silt peppering the bottom of the boat at barely 2 mph. Maybe the previous days rain helped! The infrastructure on the Camp Hill flight looks as though it would benefit from more use, but then it would probably break. There were a couple of locks where the rack on the paddle gear did not engage with the pinion, and a couple where the wooden post that the winding gear was mounted was just rocking in the breeze - quite literally! I didn’t dare put a windlass on those! CRT have been notified. Bordesley to Star City - no problems. Clearly very lightly used. There were a couple of locks where the mooring bollards were lost in a sea of wild plants! Star City mooring is fine. We moored just after Lock 1 (the guillotine) on the North Stratford, and Star City is much, much more pleasant, and feels much safer - to us, at least. A nice quiet night and, considering the proximity to the Star City car park, not even that light! The Aston and Farmers Flights were no problems, though we did have a CRT litter picker who emptied at least half of the Farmers locks for us, which made our lives very much easier. Neither of the ‘underground’ sections showed any obvious signs of dubious goings on (syringes, needles, that kind of thing) though there was a lot of scaffolding up which may well have cramped their style. Cambrian Wharf was packed with what looked like live-aboards, with only 2 spaces not occupied, so we just motored on by. Mooring at the end of that was a little trixical - no spaces down Oozells, though plenty of ‘gaps’, not much evidence of shared rings or bollards, and a very tight turn at the exit. I’ve discovered that a 57’ can turn onto the mainline there and head off toward the Lego giraffe, but it needs crew off both ends pulling the boat sideways towards the apex. Still, we eventually found a gap near the giraffe, so alls well that ends well. We went for a wander after mooring up - the back to backs were closed, so no looking at those, and pretty much everything else was an eating / drinking place. Neither my lady-wife nor I are city folk so, while we’ve done Birmingham and discovered there is nothing to fear, it’s unlikely that we’ll be rushing back. We left on the Worcester and Birmingham with the idea that we’d stop off at Bourneville, not for Cadbury’s World ( I already have more than my fair share of fillings) but to visit the Factory Garden and the village. Didn’t bother in the end as, while the actual off-side mooring area looked okay, the whole area beyond was way overdue a mow, and how to actually exit the area, perhaps to visit Bourneville, was a puzzle I didn’t fancy trying to solve. Thanks to all who commented, and we totally understand why most people said the W & B route is the nicer into Brum and we’d agree!
  11. Thanks for all the further comments. In truth, there is an element of wanting to do the whole of the GU from bottom to top, and whilst there is some discussion about where is the top of the GU, Nicholsons labels the Camp Hill to Star City section GU, so I’m happy to take that and know that some folk will disagree! As for almost doubling back on ourselves by doing Camp Hill => Star City and the Aston and Farmers Bridge flights next day, we have been known to do Caen Hill marina to Devizes Wharf on Saturday and then return to Caen Hill marina on Sunday. Slightly eccentric isn’t always bad!!!
  12. Thanks for all the input, folks, it’s very much appreciated. I’m reasonably sure that we’re going to tempt providence and go up past Katherine de Barnes - we’re 2’6” by my estimation, so at least I know to expect slow progress. We’ll try for Star City for our first night, with Camp Hill as a fall-back if we’re delayed too much, and then the Aston & Farmers Bridge flights for a long day before overnighting and then stopping at Bourneville to have a look around there. If we have to do Camp Hill, we’ll just aim for Star City next day and stop there before doing Aston Farmers Bridge. It’ll not be for another week or so, but I’ll update this after we’re done, just in case it may be useful to someone else.
  13. Would a shorting cell give rise to the reported ?
  14. Many thanks for the comments, gents. @Captain Pegg Pearsons et al are full of “don’t leave your boat unattended here” comments which can be a little unsettling, particularly as we haven’t been into,Birmingham on the boat. @David Mack My Pearsons reckons that Star City is at the junction of the GU and the Birmingham & Fazeley. I wasn’t explicit, but we are thinking of going up to the very top of the GU, hence Star City, overnighting thence the Aston and Farmers Bridge flights to Cambrian Wharf, then leaving Brum on the Birmingham and Worcester.
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