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sniffy the great

How the 'eck Does everything work??

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Took ownership of a narrow boat this week. Popped down with some stuff to take on board yesterday and, although pushed for time, I thought I just had to start the engine at least. And then I realised. I haven’t got a clue how to do that...! Furthermore, I haven’t got a clue how the electrics work, how the heating works - in fact I haven’t got a clue about how anything works really. The boat is 25 years old, there are no manuals. I had an hour with the previous owner a couple of months back and he ran through everything with me. I thought I understood it all at the time but really, I was just nodding and saying "yes, aha, mmm, yes" and not taking anything in. 

 

I'm going to be making a nuisance of myself with other owners for quite some time until I can get the hang of things - it’ll be interesting! It does make me wonder how many other newbies are suddenly brought face-to-face with their total ignorance?

 

sniffy

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Might be a good time to enlist the services of a marine engineer/serviceman. Try R.C.R. (River Canal Rescue )for a local reference. It would also be a good idea to enrol for their cover. They are like the A.A. of Inland waterways. 

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1 minute ago, philjw said:

Whereabouts is the boat?  There may be someone on here who could come and take a look with you.

I was about to rely in the same way but stopped to see if you had a location in your profile.

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Aha ,............ the innocence of youth. ?, it will all be OK:   enjoy the moment, when it comes ?.

Welcome. 

I expect you know something about the engine ?

There will be one [as in number 1] starter battery which is just like a car starter battery.

There will be some sort of OFF / ON [usually red plastic] switch for the starter battery. You need to start up with the starter battery and never turn the switch to OFF when the engine is running or it will blow up  blow the alternator.

There will be an ignition key, usually a plain steel thing attached ot a bit of cork, so that when you drop it in the water, it will float.

And a throttle/gear stick of some description.

A few photos might help

Edited by LadyG

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29 minutes ago, sniffy the great said:

Took ownership of a narrow boat this week. Popped down with some stuff to take on board yesterday and, although pushed for time, I thought I just had to start the engine at least. And then I realised. I haven’t got a clue how to do that...! Furthermore, I haven’t got a clue how the electrics work, how the heating works - in fact I haven’t got a clue about how anything works really. The boat is 25 years old, there are no manuals. I had an hour with the previous owner a couple of months back and he ran through everything with me. I thought I understood it all at the time but really, I was just nodding and saying "yes, aha, mmm, yes" and not taking anything in. 

 

I'm going to be making a nuisance of myself with other owners for quite some time until I can get the hang of things - it’ll be interesting! It does make me wonder how many other newbies are suddenly brought face-to-face with their total ignorance?

 

sniffy

Ahhh I remember that feeling, great isn't it.

 

Take your time, relax, spend a few hours a day opening cupboards and pressing buttons, tracing wires and it will come as you learn how your boat has been put together. 

 

Oh and don't feel daft asking questions, we all started somewhere and should never stop learning 

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Just don't go anywhere for the next eighteen months, 'till it is all sorted out ?

Forget designer shopping, wear your oldest T-shirts, expect to buy things like special oil, special grease, air filters, oil filters, fuel filters, batteries, alternator belts,  a multimeter, stuff to clean the water tanks, stuff to clean the bilge, check the diesel for black sludge/water/sediment. Obviously you already have a full set of vanadium chrome spanners, socket, ring,  open ends, metric and imperial, maybe Whitworths?

Sign up to ASAP supplies, 12 Volt Planet , Filtermania.

 

Edited by LadyG

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31 minutes ago, Ex Brummie said:

Might be a good time to enlist the services of a marine engineer/serviceman. Try R.C.R. (River Canal Rescue )for a local reference. It would also be a good idea to enrol for their cover. They are like the A.A. of Inland waterways. 

Best bit of advice you'll get for a while...…………………..

 

31 minutes ago, philjw said:

Whereabouts is the boat?  There may be someone on here who could come and take a look with you.

give us more info/pictures/location and you will probably be surprised at the help on offer...………………………..

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30 minutes ago, LadyG said:

Aha ,............ the innocence of youth. ?

 

Well, I’m 72 but thanks anyway?

 

"There will be one [as in number 1] starter battery which is just like a car starter battery.

There will be some sort of OFF / ON [usually red plastic] switch for the starter battery. You need to start up with the starter battery and never turn the switch to OFF when the engine is running or it will blow up  blow the alternator.

There will be an ignition key, usually a plain steel thing attached ot a bit of cork, so that when you drop it in the water, it will float.

And a throttle/gear stick of some description."

 

Actually, that helps a lot.

 

I've signed up for the Rescue service - I thought the Platinum cover would be a good idea, at least for the first year.

 

Budget is minimal. Technical knowledge - even less. Toolkit - Basic. Sanity - doubtful. Enthusiasm- high.

 

sniffy

 

 

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but roughly where are you? You will get far more help if an experienced member comes and visits. It is not normal to charge you so you have nothing to loose and everything to gain by telling us.

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This ^^^^ advice from Tony really should be your priority because, whilst there may be a little time for you to learn how much of your boat works, you really need to know how to keep your batteries fully charged, particularly before you leave them standing.  Unless you get to grips with this pdq, you'll be buying new batteries very soon. You can kill those equally quickly with a poor charging regime too, so this is a must do. 

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1946 is a good year.?

It also explains your "confession"

jo

age 72 and a half

 

Peeps tell I've been on a downward slope since 1961. Of course 1961 is a complete fog.

Edited by LadyG

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5 minutes ago, sniffy the great said:

Location is currently Caen Hill marina.

 

sniffy

Well we certainly have members in the area.

 

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I went to help a new boater with her boat a couple or more years ago. In fact I helped more than I had planned to. I ended up getting a massive amount of grief from the young 'lady'. She's not been heard of since. Hope she's okay. Anyway, I'm sure someone will help you, if I was around Cean Hill Marina, I was a year ago, i would certainly offer. Pop into the office there, they may well help. Hopefully without charge.

 

Enjoy your adventure.

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33 minutes ago, sniffy the great said:

Budget is minimal. Technical knowledge - even less.

Bail out now.  As a keen diy-er and enthusiast I still say don't continue unless the actual doing of the maintenance/upkeep is what you want to get out of it. 

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Thanks for your support and encouragement. I'm sure there are others, including myself, that wouldn't agree with your comment above.

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9 minutes ago, system 4-50 said:

Bail out now.  As a keen diy-er and enthusiast I still say don't continue unless the actual doing of the maintenance/upkeep is what you want to get out of it. 

hard to disagree with that philosophy.   You really need to open your mind to the concept of DIY.   Once you tackle a minor problem and resolve it you will find your confidence growing, and it will snowball to the point where folk come to you for advice.

 

Otherwise owning and using the boat is simply not viable on a minimal budget.

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7 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Thanks for your support and encouragement. I'm sure there are others, including myself, that wouldn't agree with your comment above.

Your heart is in the right place.  I'm thinking of training to become an accountant...

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44 minutes ago, sniffy the great said:

Budget is minimal. Technical knowledge - even less.

 

6 minutes ago, system 4-50 said:

Bail out now.  As a keen diy-er and enthusiast I still say don't continue unless the actual doing of the maintenance/upkeep is what you want to get out of it. 

 

 

6 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Thanks for your support and encouragement. I'm sure there are others, including myself, that wouldn't agree with your comment above.

I think I understand where 4-50 is coming from: budget requirements and technical knowledge are inversely proportional, so the less knowledge you have the bigger the budget you need. If you have little of either, boating's frequently gonna be a struggle.

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33 minutes ago, LadyG said:

1946 is a good year.?

It also explains your "confession"

It was a good year although I don’t remember much about it, myself???

 

"Confession"? What confession?

 

I'm confident of getting assistance, the original owner lives on the marina but works away during the week - I’ll track him down over the weekend and I know someone else moored there so things aren’t too bleak. My original post was more to see if this was a  not uncommon way to start a boating career.

 

There seem to be a lot more negative comments in general on lots of topics from posters here than I find when talking to boaters face-to-face. Those I’ve seen when walking the canal all seem very positive and filled with a "go for it" attitude.

 

I'm also more than happy to get stuck in to learn some stuff and when I say budget is "minimal" I’m exaggerating the minimalnuss(?) for dramatic effect?

 

sniffy

Edited by sniffy the great
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3 minutes ago, sniffy the great said:

It was a good year although I don’t remember much about it, myself???

 

"Confession"? What confession?

 

im confident of getting assistance, the original owner lives on the marina but works away during the week - I’ll track him down over the weekend and I know someone else moored there so things aren’t too bleak. My original post was more to see if this was a  not uncommon way to start a boating career.

 

There seem to be a lot more negative comments in general on lots of topics from posters here than I find when talking to boaters face-to-face. Those I’ve seen when walking the canal all seem very positive and filled with a "go for it" attitude.

It's how I did it, absolutely no idea and loved every silly, worrying, scary moment 

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16 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

 

 

 

I think I understand where 4-50 is coming from: budget requirements and technical knowledge are inversely proportional, so the less knowledge you have the bigger the budget you need. If you have little of either, boating's frequently gonna be a struggle.

Let him enjoy his new hobby, we all need a new interest. Not sure why folks are being so down.

I've had this negativity from my own family. I didn't ask for their opinion. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Edited by LadyG

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16 minutes ago, sniffy the great said:

It was a good year although I don’t remember much about it, myself???

 

"Confession"? What confession?

 

I'm confident of getting assistance, the original owner lives on the marina but works away during the week - I’ll track him down over the weekend and I know someone else moored there so things aren’t too bleak. My original post was more to see if this was a  not uncommon way to start a boating career.

 

There seem to be a lot more negative comments in general on lots of topics from posters here than I find when talking to boaters face-to-face. Those I’ve seen when walking the canal all seem very positive and filled with a "go for it" attitude.

 

I'm also more than happy to get stuck in to learn some stuff and when I say budget is "minimal" I’m exaggerating the minimalnuss(?) for dramatic effect?

 

sniffy

"confession " of innocence ................ the majority of men are born with "knowledge" and "expertise" ............. the younger they are , the more they "know"

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