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wandering snail

What's the worst you've had around the prop?

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A plastic carrier bag containing two bicycle inner tubes felt very suspect through rubber gloves when I snagged them on the Curly Wyrley. On the same cruise I collected a vacuum cleaner hose, wire reinforced, which took an age to hack through. But every cloud has a silver lining, when the Tame Valley provided me with about 20 mts of 10mm polyprop that kept me in fender ropes for a decade.

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A length of rope with a lump of stone same shape as a house brick went in between skeg and propeller stopped me dead and pulled the shaft out of the gearbox prm 150 cost £1700 ?

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It was 1986, Easter. Little Brumtug on the Caldon. A catalogue of mishaps and appalling weather saw us returning earlier than planned. With Gail steering, she called out that the engine had stalled in the top lock of the Bedford staircase two. I pulled up the boards covering the counter, removed the weed hatch and set about with the cabin shaft. The problem seemed to be large and soft, I suspected a mattress. We dropped through the locks so I could address the issue from the towpath.

Further probing with the shaft drew up what looked like a human head, which I thought was a dummy until a trail of bubbles suggested otherwise. We called the police and informed the crew of a nearby BW maintenance boat. There is a dry dock at the junction of the Caldon and T & M, they towed us there with a policeman on the counter holding on to the corpse with the cabin shaft. The docking revealed the grisly truth, a young man wrapped firmly around the blades. The police were hopeful that he was their missing person from 3 weeks ago.

Two Scenes of Crime officers arrived and effected the removal, wrapping the remains in polythene. The pathologist arrived too and , distraught, I explained the injuries I inflicted on what I assumed earlier to be a mattress. I was reassured that any pre and post mortem damage could be easily told apart. Shaken, the police gave us lunch at the local station, after which we journeyed south, somewhat chastened.

The inquest wasn’t till August, two days after our wedding. The poor sod was a student, 18 years old, who had drunk himself silly at an end of term party, damaged some furniture at a lecturer’s house subsequently, then vanished into the night. The coroner recorded an open verdict, based on the lack of evidence. My testimony was too much for his parents, I could only apologise afterwards. Needless to say, I never want another....

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9 hours ago, Ex Brummie said:

when the Tame Valley provided me with about 20 mts of 10mm polyprop that kept me in fender ropes for a decade.

You mean you gradually reintroduced it all to the canal with a fender attached?  If you need them back, I believe MTB has collected most of them. ;)

 

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2 hours ago, dave moore said:

It was 1986, Easter. Little Brumtug on the Caldon. A catalogue of mishaps and appalling weather saw us returning earlier than planned. With Gail steering, she called out that the engine had stalled in the top lock of the Bedford staircase two. I pulled up the boards covering the counter, removed the weed hatch and set about with the cabin shaft. The problem seemed to be large and soft, I suspected a mattress. We dropped through the locks so I could address the issue from the towpath.

Further probing with the shaft drew up what looked like a human head, which I thought was a dummy until a trail of bubbles suggested otherwise. We called the police and informed the crew of a nearby BW maintenance boat. There is a dry dock at the junction of the Caldon and T & M, they towed us there with a policeman on the counter holding on to the corpse with the cabin shaft. The docking revealed the grisly truth, a young man wrapped firmly around the blades. The police were hopeful that he was their missing person from 3 weeks ago.

Two Scenes of Crime officers arrived and effected the removal, wrapping the remains in polythene. The pathologist arrived too and , distraught, I explained the injuries I inflicted on what I assumed earlier to be a mattress. I was reassured that any pre and post mortem damage could be easily told apart. Shaken, the police gave us lunch at the local station, after which we journeyed south, somewhat chastened.

The inquest wasn’t till August, two days after our wedding. The poor sod was a student, 18 years old, who had drunk himself silly at an end of term party, damaged some furniture at a lecturer’s house subsequently, then vanished into the night. The coroner recorded an open verdict, based on the lack of evidence. My testimony was too much for his parents, I could only apologise afterwards. Needless to say, I never want another....

There was a claimable fee for recovering a body from the cut.

Unpleasant experience, sympathies.

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A few nasty items on the blade over the years.

A steel radial tyre, Transit size in a figure of 8 on the shaft with the prop on the other side, heaven knows how but it took a day to cut through.

A keep net with steel wire braid rings well wrapped on a 26" blade.

Carpet wound on the blade whist turning in the Etruria/Caldon junction. Good quality stuff too.

A huge blackout curtain, like a theatre curtain. Not us but a travelling friend. Thought he had run down a nun at first.

Dead dog once, dead sheep/lamb twice.

Half sunk 8ft fence post stuck through the rudder to prop space being shredded by the prop whist jamming the rudder.

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Wasnt going to mention the human body at Hayes in 1985. What was worse was we didnt know until the police came knocking at Cowley with questions.

 

How long had you been moored there, did you hear anything? Did you realise she was under the boat when you moved off?.

 

Had to give evidence at the coronial inquest.

 

She had been  missing for a few days having been murdered poor lady.

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A child's tricycle.  The noise it made convinced me that I'd done some serious damage.  All OK, though, after a bit of a struggle.

20180913_143043.jpg

 

However, the worst thing I've had to deal with is this piece of wood.  It jammed the hydraulic motor which had to be rebuilt.

It cost me so much that I decided to mount it as a piece of artwork.

340395282_20180929_134958(1).jpg.6ed77aed061bb3ee2ca6d5e3d09dc7b0.jpg

Edited by koukouvagia
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I collected a floating bunch of reeds around the prop going through Armitage "Tunnel". Stopped the engine dead. 

 

Opened the weedhatch and a frog jumped up into the counter. Scared the living daylights out of me as I wasn't expecting it!

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2 hours ago, koukouvagia said:

A child's tricycle.  The noise it made convinced me that I'd done some serious damage.  All OK, though, after a bit of a struggle.

 

 

However, the worst thing I've had to deal with is this piece of wood.  It jammed the hydraulic motor which had to be rebuilt.

It cost me so much that I decided to mount it as a piece of artwork.

340395282_20180929_134958(1).jpg.6ed77aed061bb3ee2ca6d5e3d09dc7b0.jpg

On the two occasions I have had that happen the pressure relief valve lifted so no damage, but I was traveling slowly in both cases 

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Our worst experience was many years ago on the BCN when crewing for Ed Mortimer and Steve Jackson on Auriga. At one point we were with a small group of boats on the Walsall Canal when we all ground to a halt. Bewteen us we had picked up the soft furniture from a bedroom, we had the carpet, another boat the curtains another the duvet cover and so on. A little later we picked up a crane lifting strop 6m long which stopped the engine on Auriga dead. We were towed to the bottom of Ryders Green locks where we managed to remove it by dint of turning the engine over by hand with the decompression taps open and in alternate forward and reverse gear.

However the challenge did enable us to do something we hadn't done before or since. Ed had arranged for Auriga to be towed through Dudly tunnel from South to North. It was a strange but great experience.

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Not me but a boat in a hurry blasting his horn and generally being a right pain, so pulled in boat and water skier flew past for about 200 yards, when he picked up an interior sprung mattress, it was a right mess, engine was still running but gearbox wasn't oops, more haste less speed..............

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46 minutes ago, peterboat said:

Not me but a boat in a hurry blasting his horn and generally being a right pain, so pulled in boat and water skier flew past for about 200 yards, when he picked up an interior sprung mattress, it was a right mess, engine was still running but gearbox wasn't oops, more haste less speed..............

Be grateful Peter - until you let him by, that mattress had your name on it! :D

 

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2 hours ago, peterboat said:

Not me but a boat in a hurry blasting his horn and generally being a right pain, so pulled in boat and water skier flew past for about 200 yards, when he picked up an interior sprung mattress, it was a right mess, engine was still running but gearbox wasn't oops, more haste less speed..............

Always best to get someone else to do the hoovering.

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In a hireboat in 2004 we were passing a small building site at the bottom end of the Oxford Canal when the engine cut out and I discovered we had some metal banding wrapped round the prop. The type that they use to keep bricks together on a pallet. The problem was that it wasn't the springy tensioned banding but a soft tinny type, so as it had wound round the prop and shaft it had virtually moulded itself to it.

 

We bow hauled the boat a few hundred yards to a boatyard. They struggled with it and could only laboriously chip bits off it using a mooring pin and hammer. 5 hours later and he'd removed enough for the prop to turn freely but most of it was still in situ. When we got back to the hire base they had to fetch the boat out of the water to remove it.

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On 22/12/2019 at 18:44, NB Esk said:

 

Picked this up just going into a lock on the Ashton, had to haul the boat onto the lock landing and set about it with a hacksaw, working down the hatch, took forever.

Next was a duvet cover which didn't stop me, just made a lot of black smoke (heavy flywheel).  By the time I made it to a mooring it was well on, had to cut it off in strips.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0481.JPG

Picked up a tyre as I was turning on my mooring. Spent a fruitless hour and got nowhere.  Asked a fellow moorer if he had any experience of removing tyres. “No” he replied, but said he had been told a way of doing it. The method was to tie a rope round the tyre and pull backwards while jiggling the prop. He duly dived down the weed hatch, fixed the rope and passed it under the stern and up to the counter of the boat behind.  After an hour we hadn’t really got anywhere so, resigned to having to get a tow to a dry dock, he went back down the weed hatch to untie the rope. Unfortunately the knot was jammed tight between the tyre and the hull.  I took the rope onto the bank to try pulling it forwards.  A hard tug and the rope seemed to come loose.  Followed by a tyre tied on the end.


 Might be useful experience for anyone trying to remove a tyre.

 

 Worst thing was that it was my own tyre, used as a fender tied to the bank.

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Going through Blackburn some years ago with a hire boat - prop firmely jammed up by  a mailbag full of undelivered mail!! Called the cops who then found 5 more bags...

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7 hours ago, dor said:

Picked up a tyre as I was turning on my mooring. Spent a fruitless hour and got nowhere.  Asked a fellow moorer if he had any experience of removing tyres. “No” he replied, but said he had been told a way of doing it. The method was to tie a rope round the tyre and pull backwards while jiggling the prop. He duly dived down the weed hatch, fixed the rope and passed it under the stern and up to the counter of the boat behind.  After an hour we hadn’t really got anywhere so, resigned to having to get a tow to a dry dock, he went back down the weed hatch to untie the rope. Unfortunately the knot was jammed tight between the tyre and the hull.  I took the rope onto the bank to try pulling it forwards.  A hard tug and the rope seemed to come loose.  Followed by a tyre tied on the end.


 Might be useful experience for anyone trying to remove a tyre.

 

 Worst thing was that it was my own tyre, used as a fender tied to the bank.

I have been lucky in that after picking up 2 tyres one in Burnley and one in Brum they both came off easily, the only downside was I couldn't retrieve them and had to leave them for some other poor sod to find. 

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A mountain bike tied in a nice knot around the prop at county lock just after I arrived on the K&A. Moored up under the flyover, saw more than a couple of locals jacking up. Once we were free, I did some serious night cruising - think it was about 18 hours cruising between setting off at sunrise and mooring up for the night, thank god it was only autumn.

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A very long stair carpet at the curve below the Caldon Staircase locks at Etruria that we kept pulling up through the weed hatch and ended up with a rear deck full. It was several years ago when they were building the new houses that are there now.

A similar experience with a fire engine hose at Hockley Port on the BCN.

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Not round the prop but two friends of mine have had human bodies tucked between their bows and the bank under the boat.

The bizarre bit is that both happened in the same place*  but 20 years separated the incidents.

 

 

 

 

 

*Between Islington tunnel and City Road Lock one in the 70's and one in the 90's

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One of those giant Teddy bears you see at fairgrounds the 4 foot high jobs. Stopped engine dead just as entering a manned lock, the guy coming the other way was arguing with the lock keeper that he should have emptied the full lock to let him through, and not waited 60 seconds or so for me to reach the open lock gates.  He had to wait while I went the weed hatch and extracted the giant soggy mass minus it's head. As I exited the lock the glare given was definitely designed to kill.

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Embarrassingly my own fender rope, coming from Thames plastic cruisers  where  fenders were left down everywhere I went.,I did the same  on my first narrow boat...I soon learnt. 

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