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fatmanblue

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  1. A bold claim I'd be interested to see substantiated.. I'm happier to jump on a Moulton and rode a hundred miles (or a couple of hundred) than on any diamond framed bike.
  2. Bromptons are excellent if you want to fold them and maybe not ride very far. If you want a bike to ride, buy a Moulton. Both are made in Britain, I'm glad to say.
  3. If I recall correctly, the Gloucester and Sharpness used to be 'pass on the left'. The reasoning being that inbound ships were laden and outbound ships were usually light, and the towpath is on the west side of the canal for the entire length.
  4. It's bad luck to be superstitious.
  5. You can do Tewkesbury to Stourport in a day if you start early enough. The stretch to Worcester is not the most interesting, the upper bit to Stourport is nicer. The Severn feels very large when you come out of the Avon and see the Mythe bridge.
  6. If I was looking to cruise from Stratford to Stourport (i.e. the river bits fo your route) quickly, I'd probably do three days, stopping the first night at Craycombe Turn and the second at Upton on Severn. If you prefer mooring in towns, you could stop in Evesham and Tewkesbury (at Tewkesbury ask the lock keeper if you can lock down and moor overnight on the Severn level - that way you can leave very early to do the stretch to Worcester). The only sensible place to moor between Tewkesbury and Worcester is at Upton. Be aware of the lock hours at Tewkesbury (including the lunch hour) and at Worcester, where there is no hospitable mooring below Diglis lock. You can do the Severn quite quickly of you have a powerful boat (with cooling system to match). The Avon not so much.
  7. From experience, don't discount the accumulator as a potential source of rust. I have replaced one that was very rusty indeed.
  8. I would suggest getting to know your boat very well, and acquire more experience yourself, before thinking of attempting this. Many narrowboats spend most (all?) of their time on canals where their engines, gearboxes, cooling systems etc. are not tested to any extent; and when faced with a strong river current more than a few cannot cope. It is best to find out if this applies to your boat (or you) long before exiting the lock at Sharpness (or, to be honest, leaving Gloucester lock for a passage to Tewkesbury). There are several lengths of the non-tidal Severn (north of Tewkesbury) that allow for extended periods of high-speed engine running upstream. Having done this, do the trip down to Gloucester and back a few times. Any engine/propulsion failure out in the estuary is immediately a very serious, potentially life-threatening situation. There is a lot of good guidance in the Gloucester Harbour link above and elsewhere. It is essential to take a pilot as others have advised above.
  9. I would guess that there are many different alternator fitments on SR3 engines - yours is certainly completely different to the one I had. Probably best to identify the alternator on there now and attempt to replicate the fitment size. It has a poly-V belt - so not that old? As always with SRs (and I presume STs), the alternator pulley is on the camshaft so spins at half engine speed. You need a big pulley on the engine and a small one on the alternator, which may explain the poly-V belt you have. (as Tony posted whilst I was typing)
  10. Both the Caldon and Chester are great diversions and there are some beautiful stretches of canal. On a two week hire doing both should be possible, depending on how many hours a day you wish to cruise. You can (if needed) moor short of Chester in Christleton and walk or bus in, but the canal through Chester and the Northgate Locks is a real highlight of the network (in my opinion) and it would be shame to miss it. The Chester - Ellesmere Port stretch is surprisingly rural for most of its length - heavily weeded this summer though. Moorings in Chester east of Cow Lane Bridge, or west of it right under the City Wall - or in Tower Basin below the Northgate Locks (the latter would be my pick, although finding a spot might be tricky in season). All are very central. There is a Tesco by Cow Lane Bridge.
  11. Many years ago, a friend of mine had an arrangement like this. On a very frosty winter morning he turned on the tap and nothing came out as the pipes had frozen. He went off to work and several hours later received a frantic 'phone call from a neighbour to advise that his boat was rather low in the water and leaning alarmingly. Luckily he was not too far away, and was able to get back and turn off the tap that he turned on in the morning and forgotten to turn off as nothing was coming out and it looked like it was off.
  12. I'm lucky enough to have a boat with a tank like that, 350 litres either side of the engine beds with the top a good 20cm below the water line. I have somewhat presumed that condensation in the tank is not the issue it is where the tank is part of the counter or otherwise above the waterline. 22 years and no problems yet.
  13. Trad for me. Lived aboard 16 years. My boat is a tug with a long (10') full depth well deck at the front, covered with a canopy. This is incredibly useful as a workshop space , for storing bicycles, for sitting out and eating etc. In many ways a cruiser stern with cover may be quite similar. Much admired and I know a few people who have had such a foredeck arrangement added to their boat. Maybe what I'm saying is that the bow is more important than the stern... The back cabin has the engine boxed in under the step. The boat does have a wet exhaust which keeps the cabin temperature reasonable in summer - a dry exhaust may result in the cabin being rather on the warm side. I also designed and built the back cabin with engine access in mind, helped by a deep draught which gives plenty of room under the engine.
  14. The Avon is volatile, quick to rise and usually (not always) quick to fall. The Severn builds slower, and holds up for longer periods (last winter being a good example). At Tewkesbury the two meet and once the Severn rises to the Avon level it can stay there for a long time, holding the Avon up with it. Keep an eye on the ANT River Watch page for levels: https://www.avonnavigationtrust.org/river-watch/ - this now helpfully links to the Mythe Bridge gauge on the Severn which has a predicted level forward 36 hours (as do the Evesham and Stratford gauges). If you look now you can really see the volatility in some of the locations.
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