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Posts posted by Maffi

  1. On 01/12/2021 at 09:47, Ex Brummie said:

    Aluminium or wood can be just as hard if you insist on bashing it with your head. The only time I've ever done it is when wearing a peaked cap that obscures my view.

    No! Ally or wood 'gives'. 6mm steel is not only heavy but has no intention of forgiving!

  2. On 04/12/2021 at 10:00, ncherbie said:

    FWIW Here's a link to my blog page from 2008 where I show Herbie's hinged hatch and discuss its pros and cons.  Although we had mixed feelings about it not being very "boaty" it has stood the test of time very well and  continues to be secure and watertight.. It's also very easy to take off entirely although we very rarely do.





    I wouldn't want to lift mine off!

    Who are you insured with I forgot what you told me.

  3. On 03/12/2021 at 22:52, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    Well to use your term FFS realise that the council don't have the resources to do anything about it!!!!!!! As the earlier link showed, even when they catch them it really isn't worth the bother for the penalties that the illegal fly tippers get.

    I went to the papers in Coventry several years ago about this very subject. I consequently took my evidence to the council and got two perps prosecuted!

    • Greenie 2
  4. 10 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    Rather begs the question of what exactly that will achieve? If they dumped them in the first place, and you return them by identifying them with a locator/owner tag, they will simply grind the tag off and dump it again, possibly in a canal somewhere (always a bundle of fun to get one of them off your prop:angry:).


    What is needed is concerted lawful enforcement backed up with punitive fines, a percentage of which will be paid to anyone whose information has led to the successful prosecution. If someone picked up a fine of £20,000 for dumping the said tyres above and I could have 10% of the fine, I'd be out with a camera tracking down fly tippers (nice little earner). People are running businesses making big profits from proper fly-tipping (not just a bit of ash in a hedge somewhere) and the councils responsible for the enforcement don't have the money to actually do the job. When they are caught the fines don't even represent a few days work of illegal fly tipping so where lies any incentive to stop them. The fines should be substantial, enough to fully finance the enforcement plus a bonus for informants, and should be accompanied by vehicle seizure and crushing of vans and lorries used for dumping. If the dumpers try to use hire vehicles then hire companies simply need to put terms in their contract that they will pursue you for the full cost of replacement of any vehicles so seized (they will already have your credit card details)

    Oh FFS use some leeway here! Go to the council with the evidence gained and report them!!!!!

  5. On 02/12/2021 at 08:35, Midnight said:

    I would be interested to see a pic of your gadget. Midnight is a John White with Similar hatch which is difficult to open from inside. It slides okay on cheap plastic runners and brass rails just hard to lift.

    I have knocked up this drawing Midnight. I think it is easy to see. I used 3x1 and a pair of 6 inch wheels with a long coach bolt for an axle. The total length of mine is 1.2 meters. Conceivably you could use 2x1 and 3 inch wheels its up to you. You can buy the wheels at B&Q.



  6. 1 hour ago, nebulae said:

    I have had to remove a trailer load of lorry tyres, illegally dumped on my land. Disregarding my time, fuel and the use of my tractor and trailer, the local re-cycling center charged me £450 to take a 12 ton trailer load.(actual weight about 2.5tons) Also, fridges, washing machines and a large television.

    A lot of truck tyres have a locator/owner tag inside. I know its a lot of time on your part but if you took one tyre to a reading station it could identify who the tyre belonged too. From there you could contact them and find out who replaced the tyre for them. And then deliver the tyres back to them.

    On 01/12/2021 at 12:18, Laurie Booth said:

    Yes, I do have a coal central heating system.

    Do you use house coal or smokeless?

  7. 15 hours ago, NB Alnwick said:

    This looks just like the bucket that we use - and although I wouldn't recommend the practice, the paint finish does seem to be sufficiently robust to withstand the red-hot ash and cinders that we occasionally drop into it. The lid helps to keep the ash dry and prevents dust ready for responsible disposal.

    Prices on Amazon range from just under £13 but we paid twice that for ours from a our local stove retailer. I don't regret paying the extra because that way we were able to examine the product prior to purchase - some of the reviewers who purchased similar items from Amazon have complained about poor quality and it is likely that these may have received cheap and inferior copies.

    The stainless one from Machine Mart is only a couple of quid more and last longer.


  8. Thanks all for your input! My slide does drop down to hold the doors shut.. I cut off the 'D' handles (shown)......




    .......and replaced them with this beautiful brass adornment, but that's only any good getting in the boat.




    I have a gadget, a length of 3 x 1 with wheels on, that I can use on the inside to lift the hatch and draw it back the first foot but its still difficult to open and close from the inside.


    My current method is to lift the slide with my head, but this is not much good for my neck. I am sure I am shorter now than when I first got on the boat 15years ago.


    Aluminum or Dural would seem to be a solution as I reckon it would reduce the weight by more than half.


    I had also thought a nice Sapele construction would look good but am concerned about security.


    It really is the lifting bit that is the problem, but even though I wax the runners it can often be hard to slide.

  9. 5 minutes ago, Mikexx said:


    Yes I have, you get remember for how things end, rather than how they started.


    Did you read my post you're replying to?

    yeah I read it! Then I thought who the F are you. One thing you will notice about me is you can see my name, my picture. and the name of my boat. I dont hide behind a blank profile. You could pass me every day and I would never know who you are. You would only need to pass me once and you will know who I am. Your opinion matters not a jot to me because you chose to be invisible. Goodbye

    • Greenie 3
  10. Just now, Mikexx said:


    Given how you have reacted to some of the post, that isn't the message we're hearing.


    It should be your starting point, and your finishing point. Anything more and it hardens attitudes.

    I started off nice, have you read from the beginning?

  11. 15 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    Is anyone on here still burning house coal? (if they ever did)

    Unfortunately many do/did. I have never understood why you would want that horrible yellow smoke streaming out of your chimney but I still occasionally see it! I am thinking most canal suppliers no longer deal with house coal, but where there is a will there is a way.

  12. 3 minutes ago, Mikexx said:

    simply and kindly asking people to dispose of their ashes appropriately

    That was my starting point! But when It comes to boaters and dumping their crap on the towpath I find "kindly asking" doesn't help much!!!

  13. My hatch slide is made from 6mm steel. God knows how much it weighs, probably 40-50 lbs. It can be difficult to open even with wax in the winter. But that is only part of the problem. Several times I have drawn blood by hitting my head on the slide when it has not been properly opened. The last time was Friday. I have on a number of occasions been bloodied by my interaction with the damn slide.


    Now then what I want is a slide that has a bit more give and a little less mass. So I am thinking Aluminium, or better Dural.  Does anyone know where I can take my slide and have a duplicate made in Dural?





    • Greenie 1
  14. 7 minutes ago, MartynG said:

    Don't worry about that - it will be  a fraction of the emissions that came out of your chimney when you burned the coal.




    MachineMarts Stainless Steel bin comes with a lid for £14.99 I think I posted a link near the top of this post.


    3 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    So leave it under a hedge to 'weather' for a year (J for ....!)


  15. 4 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    Re-surface the towpath?;)

    Ash is no good for resurfacing the towpath unless it has weathered for a year!

    1 minute ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    You mean so that it sticks to the skip when they try to empty it?:unsure:

    OH FFS!!!!!!

    I am done with this!

    3 minutes ago, MartynG said:

    I doubt it.

    Machine Mart sell 12 liter SS buckets!


  16. 3 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    I do already use a metal container, but I'm not sure simply emptying it into the bin solves the issue. When the bins are emptied a hoofing great lorry picks it up and inverts it so all of the waste tips into the back of the lorry.......except the large cloud of ash which will dissipate in the air around the neighbourhood:unsure:

    The solution there is a simple one! We sit in millions of gallons of water! Damp the ashes down before putting them in the skip.🤷‍♂️ 😉

  17. 1 minute ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    I do already use a metal container, but I'm not sure simply emptying it into the bin solves the issue. When the bins are emptied a hoofing great lorry picks it up and inverts is so all of the waste tips into the back of the lorry.......except the large cloud of ash which will dissipate in the air around the neighbourhood:unsure:

    OK so what do you propose we do with it?

    7 minutes ago, MartynG said:

    You  could use a metal bucket and empty  the ash directly in the bin at the waste collection point. 



    Ooooo is that stainless?

  18. 40 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    Starting from the position that I do indeed bag and bin the ash from my fire as you suggest, but it doesn't prevent me from seeing just how illogical it all is.


    To begin with, what is causing the greatest damage, burning the coal in the first place? or dumping the ash in a hedge? A 20Kg bag of coal will generate 42Kg of CO2 when burnt and 4.5 Kg of ash, on a global scale which is the greater problem? Just because you cannot see the 42Kg of CO2 doesn't lessen the problem that it is causing.


    Moving onto the disposal, the plastic bags that you are putting the ash into are just going into landfill, you cannot burn the plastic bag in a combined heat and waste unit (since the ash in it will prevent it) nor can you recycle it, so instead of being on the ground under a hedge, it is being buried in the ground somewhere else in a plastic bag (I'll come back to that later), other that the aesthetics, where lies the difference? It would be far more useful if we could find a practical purpose to use the waste ash for without putting it into plastic bags and burying it. Whilst I would accept that the ash may well kill the fauna on the towpath, you are looking at a 3 metre ribbon of land that was intended for walking on (with horses) so it could be argued that it will save CRT money on the Fountains contract for cutting the grass;).


    On the other hand, the industrial amounts of waste that are now being dumped by illicit, commercial fly-tippers as referenced in the earlier post (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/24/waste-dumping-uk-environment) make the small amounts that some boaters dump look beyond trivial (yes, I've also had to put out hedge fires caused by it, but it's not as though there isn't an abundance of nearby water to deal with it). When we start hitting these commercial fly tippers with meaningful financial penalties, I would suggest something of the order of £20 per kilo of dumped waste (£1000/50Kg) with 10% of the fine going to anyone who reports them leading to a conviction, this might lead to a reduction in offending. I've just travelled into Birmingham on the New Main Line and by one of the bridges there has been dumped a whole load of builders waste including a large corner bath (look out for it, it'll probably be a feature there for some considerable time). This hasn't fallen from the sky, or even come out of the back of someone's car, a substantial sized van has been used to dump it. When those who are responsible for this vandalism are dealt with, then I'll start to get excited about some ash in a hedge.


    I'm not condoning those who do dump such ash, but in proportion to the main fly tipping, it is indeed trivial.


    Regarding the plastic bags mentioned earlier, isn't it also somewhat ridiculous the manner in which we deal with dog waste? We have something that naturally decomposes that we now get people to seal up in a plastic bag which will then also go to landfill where the plastic bag itself will last for decades, if not longer.. Wouldn't it be better if people used compostable starch bags to put the dog waste into some form of composter (that is of course disregarding those who hang the bags on trees for collection by the dog sh*t fairy:sick:

    Agreed ! but my post was about a specific problem which we as boater can rectify. Not large scale fly tipping, not dog shit.

    You will notice even the Swedish actress only deals with the smaller problems. You wont see her popping across to India, China, or Russia telling them they have "Stolen her childhood" (another pathetic lie). She is not telling the CCP they should be building electric cars, or closing down the coal fired power stations. NO! no she is dealing with the smaller problems as I am dealing with little things and I hope I can help to make a difference. I dont sit here at my Keyboard  and tell you what you must do unless I am out there doing it myself. My own personal crusade has taken about 14 tons of rubbish of the canals!

    • Greenie 2
  19. 11 hours ago, john.k said:

    Fly ash is chemically identically to grate ash. To burn coal in a huge boiler, it is ground to powder and blown into the furnaces by steam or compressed air the powder coal burns to ash in the furnace ,and is exhausted via a separator. Fly ash is akin to cement ,and is a valuable additive to concrete. When the carbonaceous material is burnt out of coal, what's left is a baked shale, dried clay. The harmful materials in coal such as tar, arsenic, phenol, aromatics, etc either burn or go up the flue and are either exhausted into the open air or in the case of arsenic and tar, condense in the flue. Consequently, the harmful material from a coal fire is not the ash, but the smoke, so you saturate the countryside with harmful particulates and gases, and worry about the disposal of a bit of hard dirt.

    I disagree you cannot compare a professionally run furnace to a poxy Villager stove on a narrow boat run buy some moron who thinks operating a retractable ballpoint pen makes him an engineer. I would argue that most boaters do not urn their fires hot enough to turn good coal into non-toxic shale.


    Come up with a way of collecting the particles from my smokeless chimney and we can talk.

  20. 5 hours ago, Athy said:

    I'm sure that I've seen you using cinders to fill depressions in the local towpath. I always thought that doing this was a Good Thing.

    Surely Athy if anyone is spreading 'cinders' on the towpath then they haven't burned their fuel correctly and the toxin level in those 'cinders is high?



    When I first started on my anti-littering campaign 10 years ago it soon occurred to me that many people had no idea how to run their stove. This was so apparent that as well as a plastic bag (for litter) I would carry a bucket and a seive. A good days litter picking would also get me a bucket, sometimes two of unburned coals. I once found a pile of ash 2 feet high beside a boat whose owner told me that he was born on a boat and knew "all there was to know about fires". He told me that the lumps were the bits that would not burn, which he added to the pile every morning. From that one pile (with his permission) I took two buckets of unburnt coals that lasted me three days. I recently re-visted the area and that pile as I passed this year and evidence of that pile was still there 6/7 years later no grass in it at all. Ash poisons the ground it sits on.

    1 hour ago, David Mack said:

    But isn't that what the toilet composters say?

    Half composted sewage is not compost, It's a different class of waste altogether!

  21. 9 hours ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    Compared to the real issue of fly tipping (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/24/waste-dumping-uk-environment) a few Kgs of ash is a bit of a minor issue.

    Our local coal boat delivers about 11 tons of smokeless fuel every three weeks in the winter. There are about 17 or 18 coal boats. So a ballpark figure could be nearly 200 tons every three weeks. I dont know the ratio of coal to ash in a ton but assuming its a 1/4 that's around 50 tones every three weeks. 350 tons over heating season is not a few Kgs. Even if it only 1/10 that's still 140 tons.


    I look at the tow path more than most when I am on a litter picking mission and see many barren patches of tow path caused by dumping ash on the grass. These areas can be barren for 2 or 3 years. Something is killing the Flora. And who hasn't seen burnt stretches of hedgerow. From a boaters point of view it is a big issue. What is wrong with bagging it and binning it? Is it so hard!

    • Greenie 4
  22. On 22/11/2021 at 18:16, Wanderer Vagabond said:

    Just as an aside, and speaking as the man who made that mistake, it is possible to do considerable harm by over-tightening the belt in an effort to stop it slipping. It cost me a new water pump when I overloaded the bearing on it.

    Ah but how old was your engine?

    On 22/11/2021 at 14:56, Lizette said:

    Hi. Just an update. Maffi- I know you were in Oxford but thanks anyway.


    I called Canal River Rescue and although the guy did not replace the belt . He tightened the belt and took me through what I need to do and what size belt I need and I feel happy about doing it now

    He also started my engine which means I can have heating and hot water.

    Another thing I have learnt.


    Thanks to everyone for your comments and help. One day I shall post something, other than requests for help- lol!



    Oh good it's done. But you didn't call me back.

    Do you know what size the belt was and have you got a new one, just in case?

  23. On 13/06/2019 at 19:36, hider said:


    Not really, you see we are both on line, me and my DAD! Just using his log in because again he has had an attempt by the phantom password breaker. Getting really fed up with this person. They seem to be able to use any address when they attempt to log in. 


    WOW! that was a quality side step Sam! 

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