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Bargebuilder

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Everything posted by Bargebuilder

  1. Yes the channels are free, we have Freesat at home, my reference was to the price of the equipment to pick up the signal, specifically the slightly more tasteful dome type and the satellite box to go with it; isn't that expensive?
  2. And my heating oil from 45p/l to 89p/l. There being about 10Kwh to the litre, that's about 9p/kWh and yet it's consumers of gas who get all the publicity.😕 Your coal works out to about 6p/kWh which is the cheapest of all🙂
  3. No sane person would anchor in a place where the tide runs at 5 knots, other than in an emergency. Assuming that it's not an emergency, you would motor in forward so that the boat was dropping back at a speed that was less than the speed that the anchor windlass could pay out chain. Not the depth of water, the distance from the sea bed up to the bow roller or bottom of the hawse pipe, as it's the angle of pull that's important, not the depth of the water. The measurement to be the high tide measurement, assuming you'll be there over high tide. 3x for a lunch stop, 5x for overnight in calm conditions and 7x or everything you've got in a blow. Don't you have a chain counter? If not, you know how many metres per minute your windlass pays out, so time it for a very good idea. Use chain markers to be certain. Apart from an engine failure emergency, there is no reason to dig in an anchor with the chain on the gypsy and not supported with a chain hook or chain catcher; I never have. May I suggest that you were travelling backwards far too fast. Or maybe you were using the engine to dig in the anchor before setting the chain hook.
  4. We cruise from one side of the country to the other and we always get good TV from either a cheap aerial on a pole or over the internet by using the 'hotspot' facility on our phone to our smart TV. Satellite is so expensive and we have found it to be unnecessary.
  5. I'm sure you know... You pay out the chain faster than you are dropping back with the current, (whilst ensuring that no chain in dropped directly onto the anchor) so there is a deep catenary between the boat and the anchor that is resting, but not at this point dug in on the sea/river bed. You then stop the anchor windlass, slip the chain hook under the chain, then one tiny bit more on the windlass, until the chain hook is supporting the chain that is overboard. The current will continue to make the boat drift back until the chain's catenary straightens and the anchor bites. You then motor gently astern to dig it in with one final burst of engine to satisfy yourself that the anchor has set firmly. Basic stuff
  6. I'm astonished that you didn't set a chain hook in place before the anchor bit, that's pretty basic stuff for a lumpy water skipper, and always stipulated in the instructions that accompany any windlass, electric or manual.
  7. That's probably because a fortress isn't really shaped to fit neatly on a bow roller like a plough or claw shaped anchor like a Bruce is. A fortress is much more likely to be stowed flat in a locker out of sight. They do fit very nicely in a hawse pipe though on a barge such as mine. It was also the only anchor design that was light enough to get back on board by hand should the electric windlass ever fail.
  8. The effect of tidal flow reversing on an anchor is a very gentle one. Over high or low tide, the current slows to zero and reverses over many minutes. The boat gently stops pulling on the anchor, the chain slackens, the boat hovers and slowly turns through 180⁰ whilst tracking back over the anchor. When the slack in the chain is taken up, the anchor breaks free, flips over or rotates gently in the mud and gradually digs back in again in the opposite direction. This is never a violent process with shock loads, just a gentle process with almost zero possibility of damaging such a well made anchor. If you jammed the flukes between rocks and motored backwards at 90⁰ to the shank then you probably would damage it, but in normal use no. It is an expensive anchor, but it is beautifully made and best of all, the Fortress is light in weight. Easy to lift into and out of deep lockers, easy to deploy, easy to retrieve and of all designs, one of the best at digging-in first time, every time and holding firm. These features make it highly suitable for NBs as an emergency anchor. As an emergency NB anchor, it will never experience the sort of lateral load that could damage it, in fact the chances of damaging it on any boat and in any circumstances is vanishingly small, otherwise they wouldn't have tens of thousands of satisfied customers.
  9. Under such circumstances the biting anchor and it's chain/warp will be in line, or nearly in line with the direction of the pulling force, the point at which the Fortress is at its strongest. If correctly sized it won't fail. Forgive me, but to suggest that one of the world's most respected anchors is not worthy of carrying is just wrong. Tens of thousands have been sold and they just don't fail in real life use, indeed, they have been extensively tested and recommended by independent bodies and trusted by yachts taking part in the Vendée Globe and the Volvo Ocean race. Below are quotations from 'Practical Sailor', but if anyone needs further reassurance that the Fortress is a reliable, high hold anchor suitable for narrowboats or other craft then a quick search on the internet will provide all the reassurance you need. "Many of 2008-2009 Vendee racers used the same style of anchor that Stamm did, a 32-pound FX-55 made by Fortress Anchors. Others used Fortresss budget-priced version of the same anchor, the Guardian G-55. The preference for the Fortress brand has since become institutionalized. In the upcoming 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, the rules specify that all yachts carry at least two Fortress FX-85s." "Practicsl Sailor tested the Fortress FX-23 in a variety of seabeds, ranging from clay and sand to mud and weed. In each seabed, the anchor set quickly and securely. In anything up to a 90-degree turn, the anchor swiveled but did not pull out"
  10. Does the UK have a problem with supply, or just the price of gas?
  11. Strangely, I've never thought to video my anchor, but I can tell you that it sets quickly and well and when the tide turns it breaks out and resets faultlessly. Tens of thousands of them have been sold and the Fortress guarantee is for replacement should any part fail, unlike that of other premium brands. There are lots of anchor test comparisons that rate the Fortress highly if not best and lots of very satisfied customers who have never had a problem with them. They can be almost 50% lighter in weight than a steel anchor of similar holding power, so are ideal for deploying in an emergency and safer to retrieve without putting out your back. I really can't see how it could be bent during emergency deployment in the case of engine failure and I've yet to see a NB anchored in a tidal estuary over night. I fear the boat would be more vulnerable than the anchor in tidal waters.
  12. We only anchor when we intend to spend the night, we always anchor in tidal estuaries, the tide always turns every night, usually whilst we sleep, the current changes through 180⁰, the anchor breaks out as the boat passes over the top and re-sets in the opposite direction, every time with no problems and creates no anxiety for us. The Fortress is light in weight, meaning you can get an oversize model with no fear of breaking your back whilst deploying or retrieving. As an emergency high hold anchor for a NB I would be totally confident in it. Most anchors that I see on NB's I really doubt would bite and hold in an emergency, but I have had 100% success with my Fortress in some extreme conditions.
  13. I have a huge amount of respect for your opinions, but as a long term owner and extensive user of the Fortress anchor, in extreme coastal conditions, very high winds, seas, and currents, plus having multiple boats tied to us with all that extra weight and windage, I can tell you with complete confidence that this anchor bites and holds exceptionally well and mine at least never bent or deformed in any way.
  14. Were you able to work out the pay back period for a professionally installed solar PV system now the incentives have been slashed? Higher electricity prices will work in its favour, but as interest rates on savings rise, the opportunity cost of money spent will also increase which will extend the payback period. That's if you believe the output figures that the installer quotes, which are going to be optimistic, and that's being generous!
  15. I had a Fortress on my barge and heartily recommend them as a high hold anchor. My record was, our anchor deployed in an estuary with 6 other boats rafted (breasted in NB speak), 3 on each side with all 7 boats hanging off of just our anchor overnight. Not only that, but when the tide turned whilst we all slept, the anchor will have broken out, turned through 180⁰ and re-set again, with no further intervention. I wouldn't have risked doing that with just 3m of chain though, as the anchor's holding and setting ability is a function of the anchor rode laying horizontal (or close to) with the sea or river bed and 3m of 10mm chain in water doesn't give much weight. Given that a NB anchor is likely to only ever be deployed in a grave emergency, like engine failure on the tidal Severn, skimping on chain may not be the way to go. You need your anchor to bite first time, every time, and hold against a 5 knot current.
  16. For anchoring of course when spliced to chain, the easiest rope to stow is anchorplait as it flakes like chain into the locker; still nylon, still stretchy, but much less likely to twist or knot.
  17. Only tight breast lines could hang a boat up, never properly rigged springs. I like to use nylon springs rather than polypropylene, as the former is slightly elastic, soaking up surging forces rather than snagging tight. Take one line from the bow mooring pin right back to the stern cleat and the second from the stern mooring pin right forward to the bow cleat. The lines are so long that any fall in water levels makes almost no difference at all and certainly will have no ' hold down' effect.
  18. I get the impression that certified installers charge more for labour to the value of the available grant, so the consumer saves nothing and the installer reaps the benefit.
  19. Absolutely right, but a correctly sprung boat will hardly surge at all, improving comfort for the occupants and preventing pins from being pulled out as 20 tonnes of moving boat is brought to a sudden halt when relying on just fore and aft breast lines. There is little doubt that the shouters get pleasure from doing so, particularly the ones that moor badly, often with lines so slack that they hang out feet from the bank and sometimes have a loosely tied dinghy or canoe trailing from their stern. It matters not whether you pass in a widebeam which might bounce around the moorers vessel, or a tiny grp cruiser that displaces almost no water and couldn't possibly affect a properly moored boat, all will be yelled at by a certain type of moorer, or should I say moron?
  20. I'm guessing about £400, but drop this chap a line for a quote: tony@tonytugboats.com If the boat's afloat, he'll need a slipway to get it out and return it to the water at the other end. If it's ashore he'll need a crane or boat lift.
  21. For what? For whom? For how much? To encourage a landlord to abandon gas central heating for a heat exchanger, any grant would have to bridge the financial gap until there is no choice.
  22. I suspect that landlords will be forced to upgrade insulation when they have to renew the energy performance certificate on their properties. No help will be offered. Landlords also have to provide heating, so when gas and oil boilers are no longer available, they will be forced to buy the much more expensive heat exchanger systems. No help will be offered. The 'investment' will represent up to two year's rent and so either rents will go sky high or landlords will sell up; I suspect in many cases the latter, and there is a chronic shortage of 'affordable' rental properties already. I'd be surprised if the home owning less well off will get more than possibly a small grant towards the cost of conversion away from fossil fuel to electric.
  23. http://littleatoms.com/science/how-humanity-postponed-ice-age "Now with more than 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age we should soon be due another. But recent research shows that due to the current global warming a new ice age is unlikely to happen for at least 100,000 years." Brrrrrrrrr.❄️
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