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Parahandy

Head Ruling The Heart

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I spotted the chap about a 150 yds away attempting to pull his Boat into the Towpath in order to moor , it was getting dark and as he appeared to be in some difficulty I wandered up to lend a hand . It quickly became apparent that the deep draught of the Boat coupled with the ever increasing shallowness of some of our Canals nowadays was proving a real issue . As there was no Armco railing at that point and Pins were being used I suggested he move the Boat down nearer my own , that way he could use the Armco and avail himself of hopefully deeper water which he subsequently did . Anyway thats how we met and for the last couple of days we have enjoyed some Beer and admired each others Boats  which are of similar age and value apart from one major difference , he is the proud owner of a Kelvin Engine whereas I am powered by a Beta Marine . It turns out that my friend has owned this Boat for 18 months , a newcomer to Boating he and his wife are now beginning to struggle with issues as diverse as a Bed under the Front Deck and the limitations such an Engine imposes when you are continuously cruising , deep draught , unable to sometimes moor , running a supplementary Generator not to mention the search and cost of spares should something go wrong . In short its an enthusiasts Boat and my Friends who are both in their late sixties simply want to cruise the Network rather than face the stress they presently encounter . Over discussion its become clear to us that we could possibly reach a Deal together as regards a possible Boat Exchange , the trouble is that I am not that keen , I have been afloat forty years and in my Area of cruising have noticed the decline in some of the Network , I feel I would simply be giving myself a headache that I dont need , but when I peer into the Engine Hole all that experience goes and I am seduced by that Kelvin Engine and the smell of Mineral Oil , is it doable to you think ? Perhaps he will untie whilst Im at my Office on Monday and I wont have to make a decision , at nearly 60 years of age I dont think its for me . 

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If you are a complete enthusiast for dirty smelly vintage engines go for it. You don't sound like an enthusiast to me otherwise you would have jumped at the chance. So my advice would be to stick with the Beta Marine which, whilst not vintage, does come with a spares base and advice from Beta Marine should you need it.

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You have said it all yourself.

A Kelvin is a truly wonderful engine but not the best thing for a continuously cruising liveaboard ..... unless you really really love that engine.

 

30 inches draft is about the practical day to day maximum  on our silted and neglected waterways, in five years time it will be even less.

 

...............Dave

and I have pondered this a lot myself of late, the only real answer is too have two boats, a living boat and a hobby boat. This does have financial implications.

 

...............Dave

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2 minutes ago, pete.i said:

If you are a complete enthusiast for dirty smelly vintage engines go for it. You don't sound like an enthusiast to me otherwise you would have jumped at the chance. So my advice would be to stick with the Beta Marine which, whilst not vintage, does come with a spares base and advice from Beta Marine should you need it.

Just so.

 

Think first about how long in life you hope to be boating. Will you still want he extra effort then to maintain a specialist machine? Or will you plan on replacing it sometime? How does that impact your financial/retirement income/pension planning? Buying a new boat is a considerable faff - even with a good builder it still takes a lot of work, both physical and mental. (We know!) Are you planning on a retriement cruising pattern that is laid back and 'pottering' or do you want a 'project' - one that is shared with anyone else also staying on board?

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Not sure where you are based, but I have a engineer friend who specialises in Kelvins and looks after quite a few in various bits if the country. He has one, of course, in his own boat. Whether he wants to take on any more work I don't know but if the info is any use to you or your friend PM me and I'll pass on his contact number. 

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We have at least one, probably more, Kelvin owner(s) on here who may be able to proffer advice.

 

I sometimes admire the J3 in a boat called 'Equinox'.

Royal blue finish, lots of polished copper, sounds like an entire rhythm section.....wow!

 

Finding and affording spare parts....hmmmm.

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26 minutes ago, pete.i said:

If you are a complete enthusiast for dirty smelly vintage engines go for it. You don't sound like an enthusiast to me otherwise you would have jumped at the chance. So my advice would be to stick with the Beta Marine which, whilst not vintage, does come with a spares base and advice from Beta Marine should you need it.

Its not that Im not an enthusiast Pete its just that I am also a realist .Thanks for the kind replies , thanks Arthur , I was just genuinely throwing my situation out there for fellow Boaters thoughts or experiences .

I have a mate down in Milton Keynes Marina who has just purchased the NB Fly which has a vintage engine though not a Kelvin , I shall drive down there later and get his thoughts over a cup of Tea . The crucial difference with his situation of course is that he is on a Mooring complete with Hook Up rather than a CC .

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49 minutes ago, pete.i said:

If you are a complete enthusiast for dirty smelly vintage engines go for it.

 

But that's not what's on offer. It's a Kelvin K2, a clean running engine that smells of nothing much, unlike a Beta Marine tug engine. 

 

I know from experience, having had both in one of my boats.

 

 

  • Happy 1

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Having owned two deeper draughted boats I learnt my lesson. Never again. I like boating not ploughing furrows. I nearly bought a fab boat with a Kelvin but my brain luckily overuled my heart on that occasion. My latest colecraft with a 22 inch draught is stopping with me for the moment. being able to come alongside just about anywhere properly etc etc outweighs the ownership of a nearly scrap engine. MTB will be along soon to tell you to buy it!!

Yow there he is!! :D

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43 minutes ago, dmr said:

the only real answer is too have two boats, a living boat and a hobby boat. This does have financial implications.

 

 

A friend of mine has just done this. After enjoying his own boat (beta engine, gas free, all mod cons) for years the shapely tug near his mooring he’d always admired came up for sale.. He bought it immediately with full intentions to sell the original boat but having put years of work into it has decided to keep both.

 I did the opposite and bought a traditional tug with vintage engine as my first boat, and to be used as a livaboard. I can honestly say as an enthusiast of old engines I’d rather give up boating than swap it for something modern. 

  • Greenie 2

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28 minutes ago, Parahandy said:

Its not that Im not an enthusiast Pete its just that I am also a realist .Thanks for the kind replies , thanks Arthur , I was just genuinely throwing my situation out there for fellow Boaters thoughts or experiences .

I have a mate down in Milton Keynes Marina who has just purchased the NB Fly which has a vintage engine though not a Kelvin , I shall drive down there later and get his thoughts over a cup of Tea . The crucial difference with his situation of course is that he is on a Mooring complete with Hook Up rather than a CC .

You could always take the Kelvin out and fit a nice light electric motor ? plenty of room for solar on the roof and and big engine room for the batteries! would lift the stern up inches ?

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12 minutes ago, noddyboater said:

A friend of mine has just done this. After enjoying his own boat (beta engine, gas free, all mod cons) for years the shapely tug near his mooring he’d always admired came up for sale.. He bought it immediately with full intentions to sell the original boat but having put years of work into it has decided to keep both.

 I did the opposite and bought a traditional tug with vintage engine as my first boat, and to be used as a livaboard. I can honestly say as an enthusiast of old engines I’d rather give up boating than swap it for something modern. 

Well I can here my Friend has his Generator switched on so I am off to MK Marina to see my Mate

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It’s easy. Toss a coin, whilst it’s in the air you will be wanting it to come down one way or the other.

Ignore the result and go with the result you were wishing for.

 

on the practicalities, I’d be driven by how marketable the other boat is if it proves to be the wrong choice.

 

 

 

 

  • Greenie 2

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I just spent 5 mins on youtube watching one being started up.

 

I adore the sounds of anything vintage but that is a lot of faff which i suppose if you have the time is great but im not sure i could deal with the start up alone. I imagine running the engine to charge the batterys is a no no so a generator needed regular. 

 

The engine room does look and sound nice, somewhere to tinker which also sounds fun depending on conditions. 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, bramley said:

I just spent 5 mins on youtube watching one being started up.

 

I adore the sounds of anything vintage but that is a lot of faff which i suppose if you have the time is great but im not sure i could deal with the start up alone. I imagine running the engine to charge the batterys is a no no so a generator needed regular. 

 

The engine room does look and sound nice, somewhere to tinker which also sounds fun depending on conditions. 

 

 

You can cut out 90% of the faff by using a thermostart glow plug on the inlet.

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The K2 is at the extreme end, weight, draft needed and suitablity but lovely. I did meet someone with a K3 in who talked a lot about furrow ploughing.

 

I guess it depends upon where you do most of your boating.

 

The Rochdale would be interesting!

 

Or the Southen Oxford.

 

We have a vintage and it's not too bad but every now and then we have to leave the 'rse end well out.

Edited by mark99

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29 minutes ago, mark99 said:

 

 

The Rochdale would be interesting!

 

Or the Southen Oxford.

 

 

A forum member moors his K3-engined boat opposite us on the S. Oxford.

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Funny I was talking to a boater with a RN, said it was in the boat when he bought it, bloody noisy but he is starting to get use to it and guess he will have to put up with it. I did consider offering to buy him a new Beta in exchange but couldn't face the work of swapping my lump out.

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4 hours ago, Athy said:

A forum member moors his K3-engined boat opposite us on the S. Oxford.

When was the last it moved? We now struggle in several places, especially on the summit, and we are not as deep.

 

...............Dave

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5 hours ago, Athy said:

A forum member moors his K3-engined boat opposite us on the S. Oxford.

How far does he travel each year?

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5 hours ago, dmr said:

When was the last it moved? ...............Dave

June, certainly - possibly more recently too.

5 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

How far does he travel each year?

I've no idea. They usually go to Crick for the show.

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13 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

I know from experience, having had both in one of my boats.

 

 

I didnt know you could get twin engined narrowboats?

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7 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

I didnt know you could get twin engined narrowboats?

Our first boat had twin engines. Trouble was, it was one engine at each end. Being new to boating, Mrs Rusty took one end, I took the other. The first year we spent going nowhere...... Outside a pub. 

 

It was good for turning round though! 

Edited by rusty69

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22 hours ago, bramley said:

I imagine running the engine to charge the batterys is a no no so a generator needed regular. 

 

Thus writes a man who has neither owned a Kelvin nor discovered solar panels yet...

 

?

 

And then of course there are Gardners, which are key-start and indistinguishable to start from a modern engine. So similar in fact to a modern engine to own and run that there is some debate about whether they count as vintage motors at all. :) 

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7 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

And then of course there are Gardners, which are key-start and indistinguishable to start from a modern engine. So similar in fact to a modern engine to own and run that there is some debate about whether they count as vintage motors at all. :) 

You've got your long ladle out early today.

:D

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