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Toe Rag

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  • Occupation
    Mechanic, hire fleet engineer
  • Boat Name
    Phoebe and Helena May
  • Boat Location

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  1. Good news everyone- the terrible two have returned !!! Edi at 3am to my boat and Django at my friends in Gnosall at 10.45am. A big thank you to you for your support, especially Catweasel Thanks Stan
  2. Hello all, I am out cruising on the Shroppie and while moving early yesterday evening ( Sunday 16th June ) South of Gnosall my two lurchers ( both sandy colour, medium sized) vanished and not been seen since. I have notified the dog warden, local vets and kennels, spoken with local farmers etc but no sightings. They’re true canal dogs and I believe that they won’t be far from the cut. Please keep your eyes open Gnosall to Market Drayton especially! Thank you
  3. Toe Rag

    Toe Rag

  4. Malcolm Braine and Dennis Cooper both based at Norton Cannes built handsome traditional boats for many years. Just over a year ago I brought a 45foot Malcolm Braine trad with a rotten wooden cabin for well under £10k. Using traditional hand tools and a few thousand pounds worth of timber and materials I have restored the boat whilst afloat. Still got a fair bit to do but she’s come. A long way!
  5. Built 1976 by Nigel Jackson, Cliff Sherwood and others Phoebe incorporates much ironwork from the remains of definct carrying craft; T studs, elum irons etc. She was active in the restoration of the Caldon and carried a variety of loads with the Five Towns Carrying Company. See http://apolloduck.net/441234
  6. This is endeed a lovely engine with terrific character. Some items to check easily: Play in the rocker arms - the rockers rely on rather unreliable drip oilers. Take the cover off and see if there is much sideways play The cold valve clearances are quite large for this engine so some play between the rockers and pushrods is quite normal. If you buy the boat be sure to remove the cover every few hours and manually oil the valve gear and rockers. Gongoozlers especially enjoy watching the valves dancing if you decide to leave it off when running the engine Oil pressure of at least 25-40psi running depending on temperature. An old RH engineer once said to me 'You'd best not rush 'er, they don't like to be rushed'. So don't expect to punch the current on the Trent/Severn etc, pick your day and avoid thrashing the living daylights out of the poor thing! That way it will certainly give a lifetime of reliable service. Don't be surprised to see a few oil leaks, it seems to inevitable ooze from a myriad of places which seems to be par for the course with many old engines! Check for diesel bug if you can, it seems to be increasingly rife in every type of boat using diesel for leisure fuel. The filter should have a drain point which can be drained into a jam jar for insepction. Should be pink, nice and clear, and free of 'snot' or grit which are both signs of the bug. Hope that is some help. Check the engine, but the boat and enjoy!
  7. This was also spotted by my aunt near Tewkesbury and also my Dad in Malvern. Well done for providing an explanation - aunty thought she had seen Airforce One!
  8. Our DM2 #3282 has a Parsons mechanical reversing gearbox with a 2:1 reduction box on the back. Works beautifully despite being fitted in the boat since at least 1963 ( we have a lovely letter and instruction manual from Parsons dated 1963 ). The ball for the neutral detente dropped out from between the change arm and the box housing not long after we re-commissioned the boat. Never got around to putting it back as it seems to work fine without! I have been told the engine would originally have had a Brunton box but I rather like the Parsons as there are lots of lovely brass bits to shine up... I have a measurement of the prop size on file if anyone wishes to know, I'll have to look it up.
  9. Try Richard Milligan he is an excellent contact based Wolverhapmton area 07973 826260. Have you tried Tony Redshaw? I have a 2vsh in a modern 50 ft shell - truly wonderful sound with only the slightest expansion in the exhaust. She does struggle when the Severn is 'fresh' but is a brilliant canal engine. 4 years faultless service so far. Let me know if he wants to see any pics or even come and have a look at the install ( Stourport ). Good luck!
  10. Recent reports on the reducing of sulphur and increasing of biodiesel worry me. Currently in the 'fleet' I have a RN DM2 pre-war and a Ruston Hornsby 2VSH built in the 1940's. These engines have lots of brass components and very old seals in the fuel systems. The suggestion is that the latest spec diesel may attack these components. Has anyone any experiece of using additives and if so which ones? Has anyone actually had any failures due to the low sulphur and high bio-fuel diesel? By the by I did use Forte Diesel conditioner in the Ruston some years ago. The results were disappointing and she has smoked more ever since. I guess it cleared out any accumulations here and there which were probably helping everything seal and seat nicely!
  11. Toe Rag

    Don / S&CCco Motor number 6

    Some photos of Don taken since purchase in July 2009
  12. We have an old 'Whitlock' type key which has L.B. Faulkner cast onto it. Presumably a company funded item for the crews of Faulkner's boats. Found it in the bilges of NB Don. Put some photos of Don and her paintings on the gallery on my profile. Anyone got any ideas who might have painted these?
  13. I had always cut the bottom out of the big Brasso tins to use to cover the engine stack. Being a brass addict I have recently graduated to a second world war brass artilliery shell - £15 from a 'nick nack' shop and sometimes found at car boot sales! Needs lots of polishing but looks grand.....
  14. Took on the project that is Don from WFB Co in July. Poor Don was full of mould and junk and the engine in peices. After a clean out and repairs to engine she has been made canal worthy again. As mentioned Don was previously MV6 for S&CC Co. MV6 was a reworking of the butty Dee, also mentioned above. This was done at Stourport, where Dee was originally built ( 1910 ). With some difficulty due to narrowing of locks and spreading of old wooden boat Don has now been brought back to Stourport. The conversion is now being removed prior to fitting planks and cloths. You are welcome to contact me if you are interested in having a look. Back cabin and engine hole are quite original - bar the Russell Newbery DM2 in place of the bolinder!
  15. Toe Rag


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