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nicknorman last won the day on January 5

nicknorman had the most liked content!

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About nicknorman

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  • Interests
    Electronics, gliding, motorbikes

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    helicopter pilot - retired
  • Boat Name
  • Boat Location
    Fazeley Mill Marina, Tamworth

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  1. Minworth embankment repair

    When we were trying to find a deeper bit to get through, Jeff was on the bow with cabin shaft. He kept poking it into the water trying to find the deepest bits but it barely went below the surface, and that was in the middle of the cut!
  2. Charging

    Answering your question directly, the main benefit of a travelpower or generator is an ability to generate electricity at mains voltage! But if you meant “over an alternator” then firstly, an alternator tends to be less powerful. Secondly you need an inverter to run mains power stuff. Thirdly, most boat alternators aren’t really designed to produce their full output for very long - they overheat. And with a severe overheat caused by prolonged operation at high output, they fail.
  3. Minworth embankment repair

    A boat with 3’ draft would have absolutely no chance at the moment.
  4. Minworth embankment repair

    He built well over 200 boats. I’m sure he didn’t like them all. Or even any of them, after the first 100 or so! My point was that the spec I think said 2’4” for the modern rear engines and 2’9” for the mid engines. With the steel being pre-cut I suspect he worked out it was cheaper and easier to just go for 1 size. He was more of a mass producer than most. Obviously as you say, the actual depth of water needed will change with power/speed, fuel, water and coal etc. The propellor on our boat is a reasonable size, big by many standards, but could have been quite a bit bigger. But I’m glad it’s deep drafted, handles great in wind. Just not so good when the water is only 2’ 4” deep!
  5. Minworth embankment repair

    A tape measure down the weedhatch hooked under the skeg gives an accurate reading! Although I suppose there will be a bit of variation with water / fuel load.
  6. Minworth embankment repair

    He didn’t seem to mind when he built ours! I would say 1/2 were with modern engines around the time ours was built. Although his specs gave significantly different drafts for modern rear engine vs mid engine, in fact ours and I think all his recent boats has the same draft as the mid engine ones, with only very minor variations due to ballasting. Ours draws 2’ 8 1/2” static from bottom of skeg to waterline.
  7. Minworth embankment repair

    No chance. And it’s not even like it’s a soft bottom that could be ploughed. It’s rock hard, literally.
  8. Minworth embankment repair

    What’s a mock Hudson?
  9. Minworth embankment repair

    I’ve emailed Ian Lane who is the W Midlands boss: Dear Ian When the pound between Minworth middle and bottom locks was closed for the embankment repair, we visited by road and saw the site. A large quantity of rocks had been put on the canal bed to aid vehicles being driven over it. I have photos. The lock landing and that area has always been very shallow and effectively unusable so I hoped that CRT would improve the situation whilst the canal was drained and obviously remove all the material that had been put on the canal bed. But no, today we tried to transit through this pound but not only is the lock landing just as shallow as always (can’t get within 3 feet of the side) but much worse, the short stretch of canal at the embankment repair is ridiculously shallow and with the rocks left on the canal bed. We ground to a halt in the middle of the channel with stones being kicked up into the propellor, sounding horrendous. We had 3 goes trying slightly different lateral paths but we got stuck each time. I dread to the think what the propellor looks like. In the end we managed to get through on the 4th time by opening all the paddles on the lock. This flushed us through but still scraping and banging on the rocky bottom. The level of the pound was not down, and at the bottom lock the bywash was flowing showing that the water we had to use to flush the boat through was wasted. Our boat draws 2’8” which is perhaps a little deeper than average, but by no means exceptional. We have to consider this stretch to be unnavigable until the depth is improved. And it will be all too easy for a boat to get stuck in the middle of the canal with no-one on the bank to open paddles etc. I was told by some contractors messing about with a dredging barge at the next bridge that this has been reported and CRT will be dredging it. But surely it would have been so much easier (and cheaper!) to have removed the material before refilling the pound? I’m sorry but it smacks strongly of incompetence in carrying out the repair, whether due to the contract not being specific about removing excess material before refilling, using contractors who have no idea about canals or a combination, I don’t know. But with CRT’s budget for repairs and maintenance already being spread very thinly, I suggest that you can not afford to waste money having to fix incompetently done repairs. As you might recall, in the past I have been supportive and appreciative of CRT W Midlands attitude and effectiveness, but this event has left me quite angry and fearful for the future of the canals if maintained to this sort of standard. Oh and can I suggest that the dredging be done as a matter of urgency and in the mean time, a stoppage notice be put out advising that the maximum depth of water is about 2’4” or less. Kind Regards Nick Norman
  10. Minworth embankment repair

    The pound below Minworth lock 2 has been closed for a while to repair a long term issue with the embankment leaking. This is what it looked like during the repairs. Presumably they put the piles of rocks and planks in to allow their vehicles to be driven along the canal bed: One would have hoped that they might have removed the rocks and even removed some of the crud prior to re-watering. It would be the sensible thing to do! But no, today which is a few days after reopening (delayed) we find ourselves hard aground on the rocks in the middle of the channel. Having tried 3 different paths through the repair area, each time banging and scraping to a halt on the rubble, we had to flush the boat through even though the pound was not down at all (bywash flowing at the next lock) and we only just got through, banging and bouncing off the bottom. Piss poor really! And so stupid. Makes me angry. Here we are hard aground mid-channel today: Surely it would have been so much easier to remove the addd rubble BEFORE adding the water!. Smacks of severe incompetence! We will have to consider the stretch unnavigable until it’s dredged. We draw 2’8” which is deeper than average but not exceptional. The maximum depth of water is about 2’4” with the hard rocky bottom.
  11. Drying Washing

    We have a tumble drier. It uses about 2kw so we can only use it when cruising, via the travelpower. Or n shore power of course. But it takes less than an hour from taking the clothes out of the washing machine, to putting them away dry. One of my pet hates is damp washing hanging around the inside of a boat!
  12. Ellesmere Port on Easter Monday

    Personally I think it well worth paying the museum fee not only for a look around, but for the secure mooring in the lower basin. The moorings at the top are right by the road and thus a bit “exposed” in terms of people wandering about.
  13. Revenge of the Beast from the East (Part 2)

    One of the best mods I did was a heat exchanger so the radiators can be heated by the waste heat from the engine, “Free” heat whilst cruising. With the stove at the front, it means that the mid and back of the boat can be nice and warm too. You should get Iain on to it!
  14. Revenge of the Beast from the East (Part 2)

    Soft southern flatlanders! Although I do notice that it’s 1C here and 4C in Aberdeen! Anyway, Jeff is driving and I’m too hot next to the stove! Of course, once hypothermia sets in, you don’t feel cold at all.