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Everything posted by nicknorman

  1. We cruised from Fazeley to cenral birmingham last week, overnight stop at Star City on the way - no other boats there. A bit icy star city to couple of locks up Aston, then it was OK. Whizzed up Aston and Farmer's Bridge with every lock in our favour. Yes the centre was very quiet, only one boat moored on the mainline on Brindley Place side, 2 or 3 on the NIA side. Just the one up the Oozels loop. We stayed a couple of days then wanted to get back. Mainline had been a bit icy so we waited until the afternoon to leave. Despite 48 hrs having elapsed, the locks were all still full from our earlier ascent, so we whizzed down (1:15 for FB) but nearing the bottom of Aston it was getting rather icy again. We stopped again at Star City (no other boats) and that night was -6 so we waited another day as the temperature was increasing. Despite it being above freezing next night and +7 during the day, ice was reluctant to clear but we set off after lunch crunching through it. However it was hard going and we gave up at Cuttle Bridge Inn (edge of Minworth) for the night. Overnight it remained above freezing but still the ice persisted. We set off again in the afternoon and as we descended Curdworth things improved and it was clear at the bottom. So it took us 5 days to get back to the marina when really it is a 1.5 day trip! Still, it was all good fun. But we only saw 1 moving boat!. The 600Ah of Li battery power came into its own - we could still use the air fryer, the electric kettle, the toaster etc and not need to run the engine at all when we were moored for 48 hrs at a time. Only slight problem is that we now have some shiny metal showing at the bow. Then again, we haven't had it out of the water since 2016 (it's 2-pacced) so I suppose it is time. I've been prompted to enquire at Streethay...
  2. Fazeley Mill is not looking very full at the moment, I would have thought they had room. Just put their prices up though, £50 per foot per year. So they will probably be even less full soon! If it's an old working boat, Alvecote might be a better bet. They like that sort of thing!
  3. All credit to you for volunteering with vegetation removal. Much appreciated, thank you. Just thinking back to 2022 cruising, we did 2 main trips - the Leicester ring, and down the Thames to the Wey. The latter of course mostly off CRT waters. Leicester ring we had a very annoying volockie on Foxton who started telling (shouting at) Jeff (who has been boating for 30 years) how to drive the boat. Lockies at Watford were very offhand on approach (barely any eye contact) but at least didn’t object when we said we liked to work the locks ourselves. There were a few gongoozlers around but the volockies stayed in a huddle and didn’t engage with them, apart from 1 volockie. Hillmorton - mercifully unpopulated with volockies one of the times. The other time on approach to bottom lock, as a boat was 50% out of the lock going down, volockie nevertheless felt the need to wave and gesticulate frantically that we should approach same lock that was being vacated. A very minor irritation of course, but it demonstrates a need to be in control despite it being “stating the bleedin obvious”. I’d just rather not have the back seat driving. Napton, a pleasant volockie who was quite happy when we said we preferred to operate the locks ourselves. Claydon, mid way through a busy passage when everyone was “playing nicely” together, volockie decided to disrupt things by turning a lock in our favour as we approached despite a boat a few yards away coming opposite direction with elderly couple - who unsurprisingly, were not pleased. Same was going to happen at next lock until I intervened and told the other volockie not to turn the lock for us in the face of an upcoming boat - especially as there were already 3 boats in the next pound queuing to go our way. I asked nicely with explanation, he argued, I then told him, he got a bit shouty and then stormed off in a sulk. Turned out he was day 1 post training, which doesn’t say a lot for the training! They like to keep these silly chalk scoreboards, I think the aim is to get as many ticks as possible regardless of whether they are assisting the overall flow or not. Atherstone, we said we preferred to work the locks ourselves. Very nice chatty guy said no problem, but then proceeded to assist anyway, whilst telling us that they were only there to assist if required, not to take over. I had to laugh! At least he didn’t try to tell us how to do it. On your point about the “face” of CRT, in our experience 50% are grumpy grey beardy old men who barely possess the power of speech, stare at their feet and certainly don’t engage with the public. A terrible face of CRT to gongoozlers. Of course some are chatty, friendly, welcoming, informative to gongoozlers. As I said earlier, there is massive inconsistency. That was 2022, let’s see if 2023 is any better.
  4. More than a couple. But like everyone else, plenty of good and positive interactions too (although none that we actually needed). That is the point, there is no consistency. On seeing the blue shirts and life jackets, you have no idea whether it is going to be a helpful person who know what they are doing, a control freak who wants to take charge, the mansplainer who has to tell you that in his weeks of experience, you are doing it wrong and or dish out unwanted backseat driving instructions.
  5. This seems an odd post. Of course I am posting my own opinion, and anyone’s opinion tends to be biased by their relevant lived experience. It should be taken as seriously as anyone else’s opinion. I suggest that opinions based on first hand lived experience are more valid than opinions based on “something I read on the internet”.
  6. it’s all part of the dumbing down of boating. Once CRT can engineer it that boaters have no idea what they are doing, they will be easily suggestible…
  7. No it won’t. You need to disconnect one of the wires from one of the battery positives. And be careful to insulate it. The ones going to the battery negative and the alternator go to the relay coil. But the coil only pulls the relay in, the relay relaxes (opens) due to spring pressure, which doesn’t work if the contacts are welded.
  8. I would try magnetman’s idea. It’s certainly true that fewer revs is needed to operate an alternator than to get it going. Nothing lost by trying anyway. Momentarily short the D+ directly to the B+
  9. What happens is that the domestic and starter batteries are permanently connected together, ie there Is now just one battery. Why it happens is usually because the contacts are welded together from passing too much current with some arcing and or melting.
  10. Oh no, if they cycle a L&L lock for each potential volunteer, they will have to close the navigation due to water shortage. And anyway, what has interfering with boaters operating locks got to do with “preserve and protect the nations’[sic] …canal network”. Why not have taster sessions of picking up litter and cutting back vegetation?
  11. 😂😂😂 or to put it another way, thank heavens for FPV!
  12. I think actually in terms of tensile strength, grp can be better than steel (and much lighter of course) but it depends on what the p is. Boats tend to use polyester resin which isn’t great. Aircraft use epoxy resin which is very strong. But tensile strength isn’t the only relevant thing, and grp is much more prone to being cut or punctured than steel, much worse in compression etc.
  13. Grp is translucent so even pretty thick grp allows light through. Which is why it should be coated in something opaque such as gel coat which typically has something like titanium dioxide in it that is very opaque. If you can see light through the hull, it means that UV light can impact the grp structure and that damages and weakens it a lot.
  14. No I don’t think your thinking is correct. The charger doesn’t know the capacity of the battery(s) nor their state of charge. It only know how much current it is supplying. Connecting a fully charged battery across one under charge is only going to have a very small effect on the charge current, probably undetectable to the charger, might actually increase it slightly, and certainly not a decrease significant enough to make it switch to float early. Fully charged battery sits at 12.7v, battery under charge will be well over 13v before the VSR operates.
  15. If a grp boat is not suitable to be left on the canal over winter, then don’t leave it on the canal over winter. Or put down adequate ice boards. It seems fairly logical to me. What is not logical or reasonable is to say “my boat is not strong enough to be on the canal in ice with moving boats and therefore I demand that no-one else uses the canal for its primary purpose.” But anyway, a grp boat in good condition is not that delicate. The fuss is mostly hysteria caused by owners reading stuff on social media, not based on any actual experience. Plenty of grp boats were around when ice breaking was the norm. Same hysteria that makes steel boat owners think their blacking is going to be damaged.
  16. This was us yesterday heading into Birmingham for a very important appointment - Strictly the Live Show at the NIA.
  17. It’s a (mostly leisure) transport network, not a private housing estate. If you object to boats moving past you in winter, I would recommend putting your boat in a marina or on the bank.
  18. My point is that you need x amount of electrical energy to run your boat. Some of that energy comes from solar, some comes from shore. Of course you want to be able to control how much energy comes from the solar and how much from the shore. But once you have determined that, it doesn’t matter which bit of equipment on the boat uses the energy from which source. As to commercial electricity rates, at the gliding club we are still on sub-20p a unit and we are just moving on to a new annual contract with a different company that was set up about a year ago, even cheaper I think. Thanks to the foresight of the Hangar Manager. So commercial rates are very dependant on what long term deals you have negotiated, rather than the instantaneous market price of power.
  19. 60p!!!??? Still 22p at our marina. As I said earlier, with current on-grid energy prices and relatively cheap solar, I can see the point. But 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago, I could’t see the point.
  20. I'm reminded of those electricity tariffs that boast they are “100% renewable” when as we all know, it’s just electricity coming from the grid which is quite often mostly from fossil fuel or nuclear! I don’t see how it can matter which bit of electricity from which source runs which bit of equipment!
  21. Yes if you want to have a circuit that is only fed from shore power then of course it should have a breaker within the boat. But I’ve never really understood why one would want to do that. A Combi is very flexible as it will pass through mains power, supplement it with inverter power if necessary, or just invert if no shore power.
  22. Very nice. Although it’s a shame you stopped filming just before the police sirens became audible.
  23. You need breaker(s) prior to any sockets etc. Since we only have one circuit after the Combi (mains ring which includes the immersion) and none prior (ie no shore power only circuit) we just have one 16A RCBO after the Combi. It does mean we can’t use more than 16A at a time, whilst theoretically we could get up to about 26A (6kw) with 16A shore power and another 10A from the inverter, but we don’t really need that much and the wiring would have to be upgraded. You can always spend money on “safety” if you wish, but sometimes adding a lot of unnecessary extra clobber can result in annoying failures. Before doing so one should determine exactly what risk one is trying to address. In the case of breakers before a Combi it would be to address a double fault of shore bollard breaker non-functional AND a wiring fault (short circuit) in the short run of cable between the breaker and the Combi. About 2 metres of cables our case. Of course any fault in the cable between the bollard and the boat wouldn’t be covered. That cable is subject to flexing and chafing, being trodden on etc, whereas the short length of cable you are protecting is hopefully fixed and not subject to flexing, being trodden on etc. And you still have some “unprotected” cable between the shore socket and the breaker. So IMO, no point.
  24. There doesn’t need to be. There isn’t one on our boat.
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