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Everything posted by agg221

  1. I suspect the blue colour is iron tannate rather than dissolved blue paint. This can be fairly easily dissolved in various acids - oxalic is the least likely to damage anything else but hydrochloric as found in some household bathroom cleaners will do the same job more quickly but requires more precautions. The problem is if the iron tannate is bound within the vinyl matrix, in which case there is nothing that will sensibly remove it chemically without major paint damage, so mechanically abrading it back is about the only option. Very careful hand sanding with fine wet alumina paper from a car finishers is probably the best available option - 320 grit is about right as a start, stop if/when the surface is cleared and then move on up the grits (600 and 1200) followed by a car polish is probably about as good as it will get. Bear in mind that you will need to remove the permeable oxidised paint layer on the surface as part of this as the Vactan will have soaked through it. It is unlikely that the paint is permeable enough for any of the Vactan to have soaked in particularly deeply before it cured out, but if for some reason it has reacted together then overpainting will unfortunately become the only option. On the (very slight) plus side, 320 grit is a really good preparation for this. Alec
  2. It has an engine that goes, a hull with a leak rate lower than the bilge pump rate and a cabin with fewer drips. Add a bucket and what more luxury does Tom need? After all, we are talking about a man who quite literally sleeps on a pile of bits of Kelvin! Or alternatively: 1. Enter the Challenge. 2. Break down somewhere remote - top of The Crow or the Curly Wyrley are my preferred options, thereby failing to reach the finish. That’s been my approach on two out of three attempts anyway!
  3. Tom didn't fancy single-handing her down then? Alec
  4. This effect gets very interesting when you have a hydraulic drive, as we do. If you knock back the engagement of the swash plate then the fluid is pumped at lower pressure so the propeller (and hence the boat) slows down. However, the engine is then working less hard so the revs actually go up. It gets quite funny watching people come leaping out of the cabin red-faced and ready to shout about slowing down, only to realise we are crawling past. I once got filmed by an angry boater on the S&W as we went past at near full revs but less than 0.5mph! Alec
  5. Coincidentally, I saw it yesterday at Ellesmere Port. Quite a good gathering there this year. Alec
  6. Thanks John - I have been through these and nothing relevant to Empress, but some very interesting records relating to The King which I hadn't seen before and have passed on to the owner, including the best photograph I have seen of it. Alec
  7. Thanks John, I have started working my way through the photos (there are a fair few of them!) Nothing yet but I remain hopeful. It's a strange boat to have disappeared completely, as it should have been in reasonable repair, and a lot of effort to go to if someone broke it up. Alec
  8. I wondered whether anyone who was involved in the Coventry restoration in the 1970s might be able to clear up a mystery, or at least maybe help fill in some of the gaps. The BCN had six iron ice boats built. The whereabouts of five of the six is fairly well known but the sixth, originally named Empress, was last seen being used as a mud hopper by the Coventry Canal Society. It was a heavily built wrought iron rivetted hull, around 35' long with a rounded bottom - it was originally horse-drawn and by that stage had not been converted. Does anyone happen to have any photographs which might show it, or any idea what happened to it? Alec
  9. agg221

    J cylinders

    R.W.Davis don't have any. Not many J parts left there now. I'm wondering if there might be enough demand to get a batch cast now? Bridport foundry would certainly be an option, as would Taylor's Foundry in Haverhill (actually their ferrous castings are made in Stoke on Trent). Alec
  10. Sort of heading back on topic, we were at the top of Tyrley on Tuesday, so just north of Woodseaves. A couple of CRT boats had been through the area clearing floating debris. It didn't look as impressive as a boatload of sawlogs though. I also fear that, in the wake of Dudley and Eunice, they will now have to go through and do it all again. Alec
  11. Apologies if my reply came across as a bit sharp - treating the terms 'volunteer' and 'amateur' as derogatory and automatically inferior is something of a hobby horse of mine and I probably jump to automatic subconscious assumptions. My experience with volunteer groups is that they span the full range from well-meaning but totally clueless and probably best kept away from anything as sharp as a pencil, through to out-performing professional teams (ever had any dealings with the Wendover restoration? That is one seriously impressive amateur team). I have a similar response to people who make derogatory comments about all scientists (being one myself). I wonder whether the best way to tackle the cuttings wouldn't be to bring in a forestry team. Some of the teams which work the Welsh hillsides are used to that level of instability and angle, although it's mainly softwood. Given that it would be near clear-felling, certainly of anything large, it might be an appropriate approach, possibly using a skyline to get the timber up to the top. I personally wouldn't want to take it on either - dropping the odd standing dead oak in woodland without taking out anything around it is more my level of entertainment (even has canal content, as it's usually then milled for boat work) Alec
  12. It isn't just the two major cuttings - for example there is a tree on the offside at Betton Wood which has been down some years. The bank there is less than 8' high. There are quite a few similar situations most of the way up. I was also thinking more of the trees which have already fallen in the cut, rather than work up on the cutting sides. There are undoubtedly some challenges in removing them, but leaving them as a semi-permanent obstruction until they rot doesn't seem a reasonable solution either. It seems to me the ideal long-term management strategy for the deep cuttings would be management as coppice, but the work to get to that stage would be both complex and phenomenally expensive. As such, leaving a part-blocked channel and an effectively permanently closed towpath 'because we are going to do it all properly at some point' must eventually become unacceptably long. It might be better to accept that it needs doing piecemeal to keep a level of operability in the system for the indefinite future. I would also add that 'volunteer' covers a very broad spectrum. If, for example, you were to volunteer for a few weekends that wouldn't suddenly reduce your competence (I hope :=) ) and having done a reasonable amount with WRG around 20yrs ago there were definitely some highly skilled volunteers around then. I would agree that competence needs to be checked rather than presumed, but such things are possible as the WRG ticket scheme demonstrates. Alec
  13. Thanks Grassman, Is there an equivalent group to yours for the Shropshire Union? There are quite a few sections on that where trees have fallen, mainly in cuttings, and been cut back enough to allow a boat to get through but no further. These in my view are more of an issue even than obstructed lines of sight, since they are solid objects and whacking into a foot diameter end of a cut off branch is really going to do some damage. They are visible in good light, but boating in the evening in a cutting when they have gone the same damp, dull colour as the water makes them hard to spot. In some cases, the section under the water is left further out than that above the water, making it even harder to navigate. Alec
  14. Thank you for this - it really does make a difference and is appreciated. We went round the Four Counties ring last August and then from Redhill Marina (Soar) up the Trent, T&M to Great Haywood and down the S&W in October. We weren't particularly looking for offside vegetation issues but those which were bad enough to notice in passing were: 1. Just south of Tixall Wide, between there and Tixall lock. It is barely wide enough for a single boat on some of the bends but I can't remember how much of that was trees and how much was rushes. 2. There were a couple of bridges which were quite obscured on the length of T&M up to Great Haywood which is where you are planning to go anyway? The worst was the iron topped skew bridge fairly near Great Haywood (sorry, can't remember the number but you will no doubt find it. 3. The T&M between Wychnor and Tatenhill Lock had a few sections. Aware this isn't on your stated area of intent, but it does appear to be within your general remit? The biggest issue we found with the northern S&W isn't really in your remit but you may be able to have an effect, and that was the number of large submerged objects between Gailey and Calf Heath. These appear to be a mixture of collapsed sections of brickwork from the towpath wall, and sunken logs. These are big enough to cause our boat to roll alarmingly and are likely to be an issue for anything relatively deep-drafted. The logs in particular suggest that, in the process of trimming back the smaller overhanging vegetation it would be good if there is an opportunity to pick up on anything else which is on the point of falling in (usually standing dead) and pushing it backwards rather than allowing it to fall forwards. Alec
  15. That had me slightly confused too, but I think Mike may be referring to your avatar (which I presume is your own work?) Alec
  16. Hello Mike, Bryan's son I presume? If you work through the film, there are two cans on the roof of Arcturus at one point, both appearing to have a black ground. You can see them side by side at 3:09. There are images of single cans at 4.46, 5.11, 6:24 and 6:40 but I think all except the first are of the other can. Alec
  17. Thanks Tim, don't know how I missed these. @dave moore - interesting can at 4:46 in the video I have left in the quote above. I haven't seen that style before - any ideas whose work it is? Alec
  18. Another film I hadn't seen before: https://fb.watch/b6Hftx4tly/ Alec
  19. Precisely. I think as a general point that some people are not aware of just how much demand for boats and rises in steel prices have driven up both prices and lead-times. I would expect to be able to reduce that £28,000 by negotiation, and if there are issues which become apparent during the survey that will reduce the figure still further. To the OP, as an aside, have you run across Danni & Joe's narrowboat rebuild series on Youtube? https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlmgZH37X2WnAv-aWijhYAfmzZm6QIWgI It is a fairly honest diary of what it takes to start from stripped back hull to a useable boat. It is not rose-tinted! Alec
  20. Personally, I can't see anything that would instantly put me off. At that price bracket I would expect to have a lot of work to do. Try finding a boat for under £30k that doesn't. Some work is within the ability of the purchaser, some isn't. If you can weld, a hull may be within your capabilities to repair. If you can't weld, or at least not that much, then something with a good hull but some work needed on the engine and fit-out may be more your thing. A purchase of a boat that isn't selling quickly (and many are) will probably involve several visits. The cost of some mats to mop out the oil and then pumping the water out as @David Mack suggests is negligible. I would be inclined to do that asap, then see what happens between then and the survey. It will give an indication as to how bad things are. Also, check for drips from the stern tube and if there is some grease left, wind it in to stop the drips. Get the engine running for a bit (once it's dry) and see whether that results in oil or water coming out somewhere. This will tell you a lot about the engine and the source of water for little time and money. My first guess would be that a boat owned for a long time by someone of advancing years may well end up like that as they become less physically able to get into the bilges and sort it out. I wouldn't see it as a problem if one quick clean up sorts it out. The big one is going to be the condition of the hull, but you will need a survey for that. Alec
  21. Presumably there is also a cold water in? Alec
  22. Two observations here, the first somewhat speculative. The OP says that all the feeds are at the 9 o'clock position. I wonder whether that is all the outlet feeds, with the inlet at the 3 o'clock position? If so, I suspect that the calorifer was installed rotated by 90degrees. Since it is under the bed, I suspect that would have been for reasons of access and height. As you state Tony, that would mean half the calorifer was not actually delivering hot water. If the OP does not run out of hot water, I would leave it alone. If however they do, I would look to rotate it as close to upright as possible (11 o'clock or 10 o'clock) to improve utilisation. It's a lot more plumbing work and may involve some funny angles. I would go for buying a pipe bender and using compression fittings, rather than a whole load of soldered bends. For functional reasons, I would fit the expansion vessel in the cold water feed, particularly if you are in fact only using half the hot water. On expansion, water is pushed up the pipe into the expansion vessel. If the expansion vessel is on a hot water outlet then the water pushed out is hot. Once it reaches the expansion vessel it cools, meaning that you have to run that much water through to get hot water. If however the vessel is in the cold water feed which is placed near the bottom then the water pushed out is likely to be colder and even if the temperature has homogenised, the water will re-heat when it re-enters the calorifer, resulting in closer to instant hot water from the system. Depending on pattern of use, this could result in a considerable difference in water consumption. Alec
  23. Totally off topic, but one Sunday in the early 1980s the burglar alarm went off on the local Spar. Nobody around and no contact number so after listening to it for half an hour, Dad put Sandy Nelson's 'Let There Be Drums' on the record player at full volume. We couldn't hear the burglar alarm any more! Alec p.s. nothing to do with my family but after about 2hrs of it going continuously, the burglar alarm mysteriously disappeared off the wall of the Spar, courtesy of someone with a stepladder and a crowbar and was heard running on batteries disappearing off down the street. When the police enquired, none of the local residents had seen anything...
  24. My thought was to discourage long-term moorers from using the shorter term visitor moorings. Take two examples to explain what I mean (numbers are arbitrary). 1. Moorings are charged at £5/day in 14 day zones, £10/day in 48hr zones and £15/day in 24hr zones. You turn up and pay for the period in advance when you arrive, so £70 if it's a 14 day zone, £20 if it's a 48hr zone, £15 if it's a 24hr mooring. 2. Moorings are charged at £15/day in 14 day zones, £10/day in 48hr zones and £5/day in 24hr zones. You turn up and pay for the period in advance when you arrive, so it's £210 if it's a 14 day zone, £20 if it's a 48hr zone, £5 if it's a 24hr mooring. In both cases, you can then stay up to the allowed time limit and must then move on. Example 1 encourages long-term moorers to stay on long-term moorings. For a 14 day period the cheapest option is to find a 14 day mooring - if they stay on a 24hr mooring it is 3x as expensive per day. That would tend to leave those moorings free for visitors, who would have a lower absolute cost for staying there (£15 vs. £70) but there is nothing to stop a visitor who wants to stay longer from finding a 14 day mooring. Example 2 encourages long-term moorers (bridge hoppers) to use as many 24hr moorings as possible, making it more difficult and expensive for short-term visitors, ie. bona fide continuous cruisers. The principle of the above would appear to encourage bona fide continuous cruising, since outside of very crowded sites, mooring remains exactly as it currently is, ie free, but discourage what are in effect static houseboats from solidly occupying city centres to the detriment of the navigation as a whole. It tacitly acknowledges the existence of bridge hoppers and raises a revenue from them which enables services to be put in place to meet their needs. Enforcement requires some thought. You could have a physical 'traffic warden' who walks/cycles the towpath, who could cover 20 miles a day I would think, so three people could probably cover the key parts of London, but there are emerging alternatives. For example, the flying range of drones is getting quite substantial. Imagine you have a requirement to place a QR code on your roof. CRT could then use a pre-programmed drone to map boat locations. Science Fiction? Well - there was a successful project 8yrs ago looking at drones to map the ripening of apples in an orchard by flying up and down the rows. The data processing required for that was considerably more complex and the technology has come on a long way. Big Brother? Sort of, but no more so in practice than a CRT employee walking the towpath with a notebook or an iPhone. Yes - but I can't think of a practical alternative. If you're running around with a vintage engine then getting parts may genuinely not be quick (no idea how long it would take me to find a replacement cylinder for example - I might even have to get a new one cast). I did contemplate whether CRT could operate a secure yard storage facility (charged) for broken down boats. Say you get a month to fix it after notifying them, following which you get towed (by CRT) to their nearest facility, which comes with a storage charge. This is, in essence, a marina (in fact, CRT could subcontract it out to marinas to fill spare berths), so you are in effect now paying for a home mooring, but then if you have broken down you aren't continuously cruising anyway. Alec
  25. CRT does appear to have the authority to restrict moorings, creating, for example, 24 and 48hr moorings. It also appears to have the authority to create chargeable moorings? Given the above, on the point of supply and demand, it does occur to me that something equivalent to local authority parking controls could be effective. Keep the general rule of 'free parking' (mooring) for up to 14 days in rural areas, with reduced times in popular areas, but then in very popular areas, add a charge. For example, London could have 14 day chargeable zones, 48hr chargeable moorings and 24hr chargeable moorings. Make the shorter duration moorings more expensive per day. As a visitor, a 24hr mooring might be all you need so it's cheapest overall to stop there, or find a 48hr mooring if you are staying longer. Similar to a long-stay car park. As a liveaboard, 14day moorings would be cheaper per day. Get the charging structure right and it should make London less difficult for visitors. Charging for moorings in this way would also enable raising of revenue to increase services in the areas where needed. How about a corresponding system of fines, just like with parking? Pay on arrival (by app, no need for parking meters). If you want to chance it, you may not get caught. If you have a breakdown and contact CRT you can arrange an overstay. If however you get caught overstaying, or simply don't pay, implement a fine which is added to the next licence fee. I believe the local authority parking fine is in the region of £50, with a discount for prompt payment? Failure to pay in full means no licence and the current process then comes into play. May not raise £100M but could address some of the current pressure points and address the cost/service discrepancy they create? Alec
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