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  1. Thank you. It is indeed a wet exhaust, the impeller was changed not long ago after about 600 hours running, but it was still in reasonable condition. The base plate for the pump was a little worn at the inner rim and was beginning to struggle, so we just turned the plate around rather than fit a new one, it's been fine since.
  2. Thanks. Yes I'm going to check the anode next time I'm down, have a spare if it needs replacing. The mixing of raw water and coolant is a concern too but I'm assuming if this happened then it would also show a leak since the raw water would have to get past the seals before it could mix with the coolant? If not the only way to check is to open the filler cap after a while and see if the solution looks a bit murky or with debris.
  3. I decided to check the heat exchanger on my Beta 20 for the first time yesterday as per the manual guidelines; the channels in the tube stack were clear and the whole assembly was reasonably clean, o rings were ok so nothing more than a check-over needed. The fact that the water temperature had been fine and no leaks prior to checking indicated this. I put it back together and ran the engine at normal revs for about 20 minutes afterwards. To be clear it is an indirect raw water-cooled engine with a sealed coolant system, hence the need for the heat exchanger. My question is would any leaks from the HE have been made apparent within the 20 minutes of test running the engine afterwards? It was all nice and dry after running and the water temperature was fine so, so far so good. But since this was the first time of doing it, I'm not sure if I put it back together properly, specifically I don't know how well the o rings will work now that they've been removed once from the seal for checking and put back on. They fit snugly and smoothly into the groove as before so it looked ok, but as I say I'm a bit unsure. I'd rather not take the thing apart again unless necessary because it's awkward with the alternator in the way and also with it being aluminium it's a bit delicate against the bolts, so would any problems (ie. leaks) have been obvious within the time I ran the engine for testing?
  4. Goes to show ring cruises are overstated, at least the Four Counties; aside from Wardle and Cholmondeston there wasn't much of a drop in usage along this stretch compare to 2017 figures, some even recorded higher figures!
  5. Also tried the Rifleman's Arms in Droitwich on a visit by train last year, seemed a good little place. It's near the station.
  6. Doesn't surprise me too much sadly! We went in about a decade ago and seem to remember it being pretty good back then, shame how it has slumped. I've had a meal there twice now, first in Sept '17 then again last March, so this may have been during the brief landlord's tenure. Both meals were just of very good quality, freshly prepared and well cooked etc. There was good choice on the menu too. Since I'm more a lager drinker (still enjoy some bitters mind!), I can't comment on the 'beer', let's just say the lines were clean and the barrels in date... My only slight negative thoughts are that it took ages to be served a drink the first time (but it was a Saturday night and they were predictably busy!) and also the size of the building and the rooms did seem a bit small for the number of punters that were there on both occasions, they were very stretched and getting to the toilet was a challenge, especially having to clamber over dogs in the bar area! Looks like it's a victim of its own success!
  7. Another very good place is the Garderner's Arms in Droitwich - they do an excellent variety of sausages (Worcester Sauce flavour to name one!), amongst other things. It is at the back of the park that the canal goes through, in the centre of town. I would say Droitwich is a detour worth making and plenty of time with the number of days you have. You should have time to do both the Barge and Junction canal, but of the two I found the Barge canal to be prettier, especially the locks. If going clockwise, perhaps a good idea would be to overnight at Stoke works, then the next day turn off at Hanbury Junction; all the way down to Hawford Junction; turn in the river; back up to Droitwich town centre for the night and then the next morning back up the narrow locks to rejoin the W&B at Hanbury to resume your Stourport Ring. For anti-clockwise, you could moor either on the river at Stourport, or Worcester, or at the Lenchford pub and then do the same as above but the opposite way round, still with Droitwich as the overnight stop in-between. For reference, the pub I mentioned at Alvechurch is the Crown.
  8. I agree with jonesthenuke about the Vine at Kinver; went in last summer and waited nearly an hour for a basic meal order, despite hardly anyone else in. The food was ordinary at best. Perhaps it may have changed for the better since.. There is a good pub at Alvechurch just down the road from the canal bridge, I think it is the bridge before the one that is next to the Weighbridge. Went in Sept '17 - was very warm and comfy and good solid pub grub. The Weighbridge was packed that evening. Namaste Indian at Stourport is worth trying if the schedule fits; very friendly and excellent food. Again I last visited in September '17 and before that April 2014, both times were good. If you happen to stop at Swindon on the Staffs and Worcs either as a detour or if taking the Wolves '21 route instead of the Stourbridge, then I recommend visiting both the Green Man and the Old Bush. They're both very chirpy, a little eccentric and both have good beer and do good pub grub at lunchtime but don't think they do food in the evening nowadays, but as mentioned above there is also a good chippy in Swindon. Thumbs up for the chippy at Compton too, along with the Italian next to the canal, by the bridge.
  9. In terms of canals I have done the full length of, I would have to place the Trent and Mersey at the top of the list for having a bit of everything in the context of what you're asking, with the Staffs and Worcs and Worcester and Birmingham just behind. I wouldn't state any of these as my personal favourite waterway mind and there are plenty of canals I haven't touched or have only done part of which I suspect would be nudging for top spot, going off guide books and other boaters' experience.
  10. Which are the two heavy locks?
  11. Yes, a good outcome in the end and hopefully she'll regain her confidence with locks, but a reminder of the potential hazards - though she may have been standing in the wrong place. Very much in the Tardebigge, Stourbridge and Delph fan club and also some of the Wheelock locks are quite fun to watch when you draw the paddles to empty them. My favourite of all is probably the Tyrley flight on the Shroppie; particularly first thing in the morning or late evening with no one else about and when the trees at the bottom are in leaf. The wharf at the top is lovely too.
  12. Depends on how "leisurely travel" is defined. I would say 8-9 hour cruising days in June is fairly leisurely given the amount of daylight at that time of year. I know the Stourport Ring from Norbury could comfortably be completed over two weeks with those timescales, with an extra week there to explore the Stratford or the Droitwich. Also the locks aren't exactly hard to work in that part of the system.
  13. Would imagine you could do the Stourport Ring with a return trip to Stratford included in that time. Alternatively to Shardlow via Birmingham then return via Great Haywood with an extended tour of the BCN, or a detour down the Coventry and Oxford canals. Going north you could head to Middlewich then do the Cheshire Ring, or even go to Wigan and then head down towards Liverpool (going on the link and into Salthouse dock would depend on availability). The other obvious option is the Four Counties and in 3 weeks you could include a couple of detours with a choice of the Caldon, Bugsworth Basin via Macclesfield/Upper Peak Forest, Chester, Llangollen, Preston Brook and Manchester via Bridgewater Canal, or the River Weaver via Anderton lift. All very worthwhile routes, though I do have a soft spot for the Stourport Ring; it's very pretty and has a good mixture of nearly everything, plus it feels to me like 'proper' canal country, but that's just my opinion. Never done the Stratford but it sounds like a fascinating additional canal to explore, and Stratford itself has plenty to see.
  14. I did Tardebigge single-handed September 2017; timed it from the top lock down to the bottom of the 6 Stoke locks since I didn't stop in-between and barely any distance between the two flights. It took me approx 5 hours 15 mins in total. Was very pleased with that, but my good work was undone by a ridiculously long wait for some lunchtime grub in the canalside pub at Stoke works! (forgotten the name)
  15. For most of its life it was based on the Norfolk Broads, so I guess this arrangement was done so with this in mind. I guess it isn't the best arrangement for shallow water use but, the whole structure of the stern would have to be changed to incorporate something different, so probably more cost-effective to buy a new boat! I don't often get things round the prop and the drive and prop are both in good nick. If I'm honest I quite like the slightly quirky (if that's the right word?) side to it!
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