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ivan&alice

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ivan&alice last won the day on June 22 2019

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    Middlesex, UK

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  • Occupation
    Software Developer
  • Boat Name
    Butterfly

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  1. I see that FOTRN is 12 GBP for the year and GOBA is 25 GBP. Both very reasonable. How does the mooring work - do they have moorings that they maintain / pay for for the use of members? Are there any facilities at these moorings or are they just bits of river that are open to members only? And if I didn't join these, are there any spots that qualify as visitors moorings along the rivers? On my map it doesn't look like I'll need Denver Sluice to get onto the New Bedford River / Hundred Foot Drain. For Salters Lode lock, do they just open both gates at high tide so you can cruise directly through?? Would a STL for the Nene be cheaper than upgrading to a gold license for 2020? (At my pace I'm not sure how many other EA waterways I'd get to this year). Is this normal? Is SSA likely around April-July? Does this mean I'm stranded wherever I am for potentially months if SSA is declared?? Thanks. At this point I presume you are grounded and need to back up until I find a 65' hole to turn in... Thanks all for the links and blogs, I'll look at these as soon as I can.
  2. Planning my first really long boating adventure for between April and July when the warmer weather hits. The farthest north I have been is just before Lock 74, Lady Capels near the Huntingdon Bridge interchange. I have family in East Anglia so from there I'd like to head north on the Grand Union through Milton Keynes and the Blisworth Tunnel, then take a right through Northampton and onto EA waters. From there, the River Nene to Peterborough and the Middle Levels to Salters Lode. Then the Old Bedford River / Hundred Foot Drain to join up with the Great Ouse at Earith. I then want to follow the Great Ouse to Bedford. Is this all feasible with our 65' narrowboat? Is the time of year appropriate? Where is the head of navigation on the Great Ouse? Am I going to have any trouble finding moorings along this route? Will a gold license be enough or do I need other special licenses for this route? I have not yet been on any rivers other than the Lea and Stort which for the most part were no different to canals. I have read the handbook about river navigation and it seems deceptively straightforward. However I have also read on this forum that flooding and tides can be an issue on these rivers. What else do I need to know and how can I find this out? Any other advice for me? Thanks!!
  3. The Ford Super Plus Premium seems to be a well-recommended antifreeze. I have seen other OAT antifreezes advertising 10 years (including some that I linked to earlier) as well as some that advertise 5 years. The cynic in me finds it hard to believe that Ford has a secret formula that doubles the lifespan - it's probably just This was really interesting, thanks for this. I notice that you can get a 20 litre of Prestone coolant concentrate from eBay for 66.63 GBP. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/352360538574 Is Prestone recommended as a good brand? It might be advisable to get the Prestone simply because it does mix nicely with other antifreeze, just in case I don't get it all out.
  4. I see! So is the following correct: Glycol (MEG) lasts pretty much forever as an antifreeze, but the corrosion inhibitors do not. Antifreeze with silicate based corrosion inhibitors is dyed blue and lasts about 2 years. Antifreeze with OAT corrosion inhibitors should not be used with yellow metals, is usually dyed red and lasts about 10 years. And never the twain should meet.
  5. This will be my first choice. If there are baffles in the way I'll try the compressor and blow it out method. I will do this, if it turns out to be very hard to empty the tanks. If I'm easily able to suck it up out of the bleed valves with a piece of pipe stuck down to the bottom, then I'll not bother. Unless I am trying to change the antifreeze type, not so? I hear they don't like being mixed. As I don't know what kind is currently in there I would not want to risk it - I'll be attempting to get as much out as possible and flushing well with water. Interesting you say this. This is the calorifier loop. All the plumbing on my boat is plastic push fit. What about this concerns you? Do you think that it can't handle the heat? These pipes have been there for a long time without any incident. And what would you recommend changing to? Copper? I'd wonder about the pipes work hardening given the vibration of the engine... As this is glycol based this would only last a couple of years, correct? Especially if the system proves hard to drain, I'd rather get the longer life OAT stuff if possible - works out a lot cheaper over the long run, too. My only concern is the yellow metals thing - the calorifier loop, at least, will have copper in it, so I suppose long life antifreeze is not compatible...
  6. Problem is my skin tanks have no bottom valve, and the inlet and outlet pipes are permanently welded to the tanks. The tanks are in series and if you look at the third picture the only place connected with hoses that I could potentially undo is level with the top of the tank. It might be easier to put a flexible hose down that pipe though, I'll see what it looks like once I get the bleed nuts off. Then I guess it is a case of flushing it out by putting plenty of fresh water in the one side and draining it out the other. I'll fill my waste drum and call it good - I don't want to have too much to dispose of. Thanks for the feedback on the smith and Allan stuff. Note that it is 36 litres _each_ tank, not in total. My estimated total is 81 litres! I got this figure by measuring the tanks externally. So I am sure it is substantially less than this. This is good to know, I guessed stronger was better. But I think then I will start with a 20litre and see if that is enough. The manual says 33% to 50% so I won't go less than 33%. Good call, I'll buy a drum of distilled water as well. Oh wow, I have not heard this before. I don't think there is any yellow metal in the system but there could be, somewhere I can't see. What happens if you do have yellow metal? Does just that part corrode or would there be some other systemwide effect? OAT just seems much simpler and cheaper to only have to replace every 10 years...
  7. I didn't get around to replacing my engine coolant before last winter. I still have no idea what type of antifreeze is in there nor how long it has been in there. So I really must replace it before the temperatures drop more. My two skin tanks have an externally measured volume of 36 litres each, and the engine manual says it take 7 litres. The manual also says it needs a strength of 33% to 50% antifreeze. This means I'll need a maximum of 81 litres of coolant, which means between 27 and 40 litres of antifreeze concentrate. Now, I'm sure that the external measurements of the skin tanks have overestimated it somewhat, so I think I'm going to buy at least 30 litres of antifreeze and I think this will result an adequate mix plus some spare for topping up. There doesn't seem to be that much difference in price between the blue, glycol, 2-year-life type and the red, OAT, 10-year-life type. Therefore I figure I may as well buy the red OAT type. If I buy 5 litre bottles from Halfords at 26.5 GBP a pop, that works out at 159 GBP for 30 litres. A number of people have recommended Ford Longlife, which I can find on eBay for 25 GBP for 5 litres. Oddly enough the listing says this is orange/pink and contains glycol?? This works out at 150 GBP for 30 litres. Then there are larger quantities from eBay - here is one, DriveTec brand - for 35.1 GBP for 20 litres. I could get 40 litres for 70.2 GBP which is less than half as much as buying it in 5 litre quantites. Here is a more expensive one - Smith Allan - 53.68 GBP for 20 litres, total cost 107.36 GBP. At the moment I'm leaning towards buying 40 litres of the Smith Allan stuff. Does anyone have any recommendations for brands or places to buy them? The second part of my question is how to drain my existing coolant. I have a large drum to put the old coolant in and take to a recycling depot or mechanic. I'm just not entirely sure how to get my coolant out. I have taken some pictures of the cooling hoses to show the possibilities. I think the best option would be to remove the bleed nuts from the skin tanks and try to pump it out with a hose. But I might be able to get some of it out by removing some of the hoses? I gave a really good go of trying to get the bleed nut off the skin tank but it's stuck fast. My 16mm spanner was a tiny bit big and the 15mm a tiny bit small, and hitting them with a mallet did nothing. A bigger wrench would be a good start. Any suggestions here would be appreciated as well!
  8. Thanks, I've referred to that PDF which I got from http://www.soliftec.com/Boat Stoves 1-page.pdf. It doesn't specify how far the stove must be from the hearth. I'm going to take it that since the hearth is non-combustible, and since I will be lining it with heat resistant board, that it should be OK to have an air gap of about 100mm between the steel hearth backboard and the back of the stove.
  9. I've decided to stick with convention and send the flue straight up out of the roof. I'll move the calorifier forward to make space for the flue to rise behind it. What's the closest I can have the 4kW stove to the back wall? There would be an air gap of around 150mm between the stove and a backboard made of 8mm steel plate, and I can place heat board behind that. Then there is Celotex insulation (which I could remove?) and the steel bulkhead. No wood is in that wall. The closer I can get the stove to the back wall the less the calorifier needs to encroach on my living space and the less dead space there would be in the corner next to the flue. Would it be too close if I reduced that air gap to 100mm?
  10. I can lag the flue outside. I was planning on sealing with rope. I feel like this is less of a problem than it is on the roof since it is mostly dry there. How is the hole in the roof usually sealed?
  11. I didn't think of this! Makes complete sense. Perhaps I could hook the siphon on the roof to the ball valve and plumb in the fresh water supply afterwards. Probably simplest to just get the human ball valve I married to do it while I bleed. If I'm going to be fighting between the rads and calorifier on the stove circuit as well, doesn't it make sense to just go back to the series idea? Currently the Eber is connected in series with the rads, so that seems like a conventional design. I can't really see a situation where I would want space heating but not hot water, and the reverse is easily achieved by turning off the rads. I feel like there is enough certainty here to build the system and then make adjustments as needed, though. So I think it will have to be the suck it and see situation. I could make space. If I was going to put the flue inside then I would want to avoid elbows, so I could do something like this. Move the calorifier forward by 300 or so and then the flue would go up behind it and out of the roof. This would probably be an easier install, as well.
  12. Yes, that had occurred to me. It's about 700mm of flue that would normally be inside. But if anything the stove is too large for the space, so having the flue outside will cool it down a bit. A shame to waste the coal though.
  13. I have a Morsø Squirrel right at the front of the boat, in the saloon. This heats the saloon, galley and bedroom very effectively, but the bathroom is cold and the back room (where the calorifier is currenly located) is icy. One stove in the middle would certainly be better, but the back room is currently unfinished while the rest of the boat is finished, so moving the current stove would be very, very invasive. I bought this as a second stove to heat the back room, and it has a back boiler. The calorifier, engine, Eber, washing machine and bathroom are all nearby. So it makes sense for the calorifier to be there. If I was fitting out a boat from scratch, I would definitely have one stove smack in the middle of the boat, and I'd plan the rest of the layout around it.
  14. This is my plan to mount the cylinder above the stove. I would weld a metal tray to rest the calorifier on to catch any leaks. The stove chimney I would have to elbow to get it out of the way of the calorifier, and out of the back wall which would also neatly minimise the chances of leaks by cutting a hole in the roof. It would be sealed with ropes and about 50mm off the back deck to help keep water out. The stove I'd mount as low as possible, right against the ribs of the boat in its metal tray. This layout is intended a) to encourage the thermosiphon effect and b) to save space in what is a very small room - mounting both the calorifier and the stove at floor level would not really be possible. Does anyone have any concerns or criticisms about this idea? Perhaps having 70kg of calorifier and water mounted high in the cabin would make the boat less stable? Would heat from the chimney be too close to the exterior paintwork or the calorifier tank itself? Perhaps having a hot chimney on the back deck is a safety concern? Would like to hear about any potential problems with laying out the stove and calorifier like this.
  15. I have an existing stainless steel header tank with a ball valve that I intend to re-use. It doesn't have a lid and was open to the air, however it did have an overflow. I wouldn't seal it but I would hope that in most cases it would leak overboard and I'd notice before it started spitting rusty water. I'll fit a bleed point at each high point, even if I never use them, I feel like it's prudent seeing as the system is built from scratch. I'm not sure I understand why you need to manually top up the header tank - unless some header tanks are not plumbed in, with a ball valve, like mine? What about a valve system such that you can select either Eber or stove, and if you select Eber it opens a vent from the stove directly outside? That way if you do light the stove with the Eber set, any boiling would be vented harmlessly overboard. Could even fit a whistle from an old kettle to alert you that you've done goofed. It would be nicer if there were no valves to have to remember to change. I wonder if the short circuit would be mitigated by the fact that gravity would be in the Eber's favour? I don't think the stove could be in series with the Eber, as the Eber is pumped and I don't think the thermo siphon would be able to get through the Eber, would it? Also, the Eber is in the engine bay and I think the loss in heat might also mess up the gravity circulation. One extreme option is to have the stove on a third coil and a completely different set of rads! It's a tricky problem.
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