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Richard Carter

That 3 cylinder Perkins in Baldock

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Having noticed that a few topics - albeit some not very recent - touching on this subject I thought I'd choose it for my first attempt to start something. Maybe there are previous or present owners of Baldock still interested?

 

I fitted the Perkins at FBS in the winter of 1985-86, during the time I was skippering Baldock & Virginis, it replaced an Armstrong Siddeley AS2 (one old forum thread suggested Sam Matts had done the work, but Sam was still at school then, and not doing much around the yard yet). We had got interested in the Perkins because of a trailer mounted ex-army generator which was in use to supplement the feeble mains supply at Foxton bottom lock (single phase supply fed down from the top lock, which delivered about 6kW before beginning to fade), which was powered by a Perkins 3.152. Duffields of Norwich offered to marinise an ex-training school engine for us, so it had been repeatedly stripped and rebuilt by apprentices, but not run for long (they did not ever seem to have bothered with a new gasket set, so it started weeping oil pretty much everywhere ... ). Tony M insisted on the bigger PRM260 gearbox, and since all the mounts were on the engine block it was a bit unbalanced; there was also a problem with the cooling, as Duffields were quite sure the raw water pump with rubber impeller as fitted was OK for a closed circuit skin tank set up. It wasn't, of course, although I struggled through the 1986 season with it like that. Even with the cast iron impeller circulating pump fitted the skin tank we improvised between the engine beds never fully lived up to expectations - the classic mistake of too much volume but not enough surface area in thermal contact with the canal water, and the internal baffles failing to prevent the water taking a short cut to the engine inlet pipe. If I was out on the Soar or Trent it needed six inches of water in the engine room bilge to assist with cooling.

 

But there was a further question which I never resolved - the 3.152 was the indirect injection model, the D3.152 the direct injection version (that's the basis of what Duffields marketed as the 3HD46 marine engine in the 90s). We'd fitted a different water cooled exhaust manifold to the generator engine, and wanted to have the same on Baldock's - but it didn't fit, the stud spacings on the cylinder head were not the same. So what was Baldock's engine (it had/has indirect injection)? I did wonder if it might be a 3.144, the earlier type with slightly smaller bore, but never got a satisfactory answer. Have any owners in between had the engine rebuilt, or needed any spares, and found out exactly which model it was? And how has the engine cooling been?

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I thought, (but do not know for certain), that the current engine in Baldock is a D3.152.

It's owner, (and a former owner), occasionally post on here, so maybe they will see this.

I doubt it has been used in a long while though - the boat was taken to a boatyard several years ago, and as far as I know is still there with no work restoration having been done on it since arrival.

Oh and the person who took it to the boatyard, (which was not without some difficulties!), also posts on here.  They may know something about the engine, but last time I heard them talk about it the comments were not favourable!

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The fuel was full of water and diesel bug, it hadn't been serviced for at least 3 years, and hasnt been serviced since. 

I could also enter this journey in the worst thing in the prop....about 25 metres of high voltage railway cable insulation wrapped round the prop.....no weedhatch, so had to slowly unwind it using the old toll island on the BCN main line. This was after having the rudder knocked out of its hole by a sunken fridge, p6rob from here helped me out with a chain and ratchet from a bridge to get it back in....along with sorting some of the fuel.

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I thought Baldock had a P3 in it.  At least when for sale in about 2000 it did but that was a few years ago. 

Not sure if all of them do but some Perkins units have the capacity in cubic inches cast into the block. I'll have a look at my P4 next time I'm in the engine hole and see where it is. 

 

It certainly seems possible the P3 is a 144 cubic inch unit rather than the 152. 

 

I think Chris Bennett would know but not sure if he is still on the forum. 

Edited by magnetman

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I hadn't realised Baldock had suffered so badly, I considered buying her in 2006, indeed might well have done so had the then owner not given Chris Bennett first refusal. 

 

I wonder how life would have turned out if I'd got into a relationship with a historic boat instead of one with a woman ???

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5 hours ago, magnetman said:

I thought Baldock had a P3 in it.  At least when for sale in about 2000 it did but that was a few years ago. 

Not sure if all of them do but some Perkins units have the capacity in cubic inches cast into the block. I'll have a look at my P4 next time I'm in the engine hole and see where it is. 

 

It certainly seems possible the P3 is a 144 cubic inch unit rather than the 152. 

 

I think Chris Bennett would know but not sure if he is still on the forum. 

Certainly not what Chris B described in 2013....

 

On 14/05/2013 at 14:59, Chris-B said:

Api CC 10w / 40 is what I used in Baldock's D152

if you are coming to Crick we will have a very special oil offer !!!

watch this space

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It's easy enough to tell whether it's direct or indirect injection (if you're standing next to it, that is) - on the indirect build the injectors are vertical, and there are separate combustion chamber caps on the side of the head, and that's what I fitted in 1985. It was definitely not a D3, where the injectors are mounted at an angle. I know there were there were different builds for the tractor engines - for Massey Ferguson or for Ford etc. which just adds to the possible confusion, and I don't recall there being any sort of serial number plate on the engine Duffields supplied then.

 

I hope Baldock finds a new caring owner soon ...

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There are multiple references from the last but one owner that the current engine is a D3.

 

Another example...

On 30/05/2011 at 07:36, Chris-B said:

Baldock has a D3 fitted and I can vouch for how good the engine is

I think bob Knowles may still have a couple of new ones left so you might be able just to do a core engine swop

All thebest

Chris

 

I've no idea of the history of the engine in this boat back into the last century, so maybe it has been changed since, but in view of his day job(s) I'd be surprised if Chris couldn't identify the current offering.

Edited by alan_fincher

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Alan, thanks for the gentle reminder that what seems like yesterday is actually 34 years ago, of course the engine might well have been changed between times!

 

Judging by other recent posts Baldock, for all it is in a bit of a sad state now, has come off lightly compared with the other ex-FBS campers - Coleshill & Virginis - as it was sold off fairly quickly into private hands still running.

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12 hours ago, matty40s said:

The fuel was full of water and diesel bug, it hadn't been serviced for at least 3 years, and hasnt been serviced since. 

I could also enter this journey in the worst thing in the prop....about 25 metres of high voltage railway cable insulation wrapped round the prop.....no weedhatch, so had to slowly unwind it using the old toll island on the BCN main line. This was after having the rudder knocked out of its hole by a sunken fridge, p6rob from here helped me out with a chain and ratchet from a bridge to get it back in....along with sorting some of the fuel.

Fetching a13623980_BaldockJoey1987.jpg.f53edc414214092fbbb4d79d5c8e0cda.jpg joey from Bradley Yard, Summer 1987

  • Greenie 1

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10 hours ago, Richard Carter said:

Judging by other recent posts Baldock, for all it is in a bit of a sad state now,

 

Photo from earlier this year (from this post)

 

B38BFDBC-0E48-4C12-B240-CD60E3030A37.jpeg

  • Sad 1

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In case anyone was wondering: yes, the steel gunnels were welded directly on the old angle (which the wooden ones are normally bolted through), but the deck beam was fabricated at the original height of the wood - carried out at short notice by Braunston Boats in the spring of 1984 - hence the rather abrupt upsweep starting just forward of the conversion cabin. They originally had a 2" upstand at 45° on the inside edge which the battens holding the sidecloths were bolted through, the topcloths were roped to steel rings welded to bits of channel trapped under the sidecloth battens.

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21 hours ago, Richard Carter said:

Alan, thanks for the gentle reminder that what seems like yesterday is actually 34 years ago, of course the engine might well have been changed between times!

 

Judging by other recent posts Baldock, for all it is in a bit of a sad state now, has come off lightly compared with the other ex-FBS campers - Coleshill & Virginis - as it was sold off fairly quickly into private hands still running.

Coleshill and Virginis are in good hands, and will in time be fully restored. I believe Coleshill is progressing nicely, it certainly was last time I saw her.

 

Kind regards

 

Dan

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6 hours ago, stagedamager said:

Coleshill and Virginis are in good hands, and will in time be fully restored. I believe Coleshill is progressing nicely, it certainly was last time I saw her.

 

Kind regards

 

Dan

This is good to hear - I found a post from Tim Carter elsewhere in the Forum to the effect that he is involved in that. It does seem a great shame that they had to wait so long ...

 

Regarding Ray T's fresh post - it is quite scary how quickly this can happen, 'moth and rust doth corrupt' indeed, especially with a mooring under a tree.

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It would be slightly unfair to completely lay the state of Baldock now on the current owner.  When it was offered for sale, (and he eventually bought it), it had also  been done few favours by the previous owner.

It was a boat we elected not to go and take a look at, even though we were seriously in the market for something of that type.

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When I had a look at Baldock for sale at Iver it must have been early 00s or possibly late 90s it did seem problematic with a distinct list to one side and smelling of damp. 

 

There was definitely water in it. Where it came from I don't know as it was all steel. Could have been a badly leaking stern gland I suppose. 

 

Has it been overplated? That could be a bit rude if it was, rather than being replated. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by magnetman

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1 hour ago, alan_fincher said:

It would be slightly unfair to completely lay the state of Baldock now on the current owner.  When it was offered for sale, (and he eventually bought it), it had also  been done few favours by the previous owner.

I think this is right - surely any boat of that age has gone through many ups and downs over the years, and the downs are for many reasons - a period of waiting to be sold is a time when it can be difficult to muster the enthusiasm for upkeep and maintenance ...

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2 hours ago, alan_fincher said:

It would be slightly unfair to completely lay the state of Baldock now on the current owner.  When it was offered for sale, (and he eventually bought it), it had also  been done few favours by the previous owner.

It was a boat we elected not to go and take a look at, even though we were seriously in the market for something of that type.

When I first went to move Baldock for the owner before last from Cropredy, I arrived at a boat trashed from the one I moored behind at Ricky festival in RayTs picture above in 2011??

I opened the back cabin to be attacked by more spiders than a Raiders of the Lost Arc cave, I actually walked away for 20 minutes to let them disperse.

The front cabin had been stripped and a rudimentary refit attempted, with screws stuck though wiring and stove disconnected....the galley had been botched and the shower stuck in the middle of the cabin without a bathroom round it. There was also no headlight working, due to damaged wires.

Dominic of Rugby Boats refused to sell it on seeing it, having been misled by the seller. So muggins here then moved it to WarwickshireFlyboats , where it sat and deteriorated even more, until the present owner bought it from abroad,  maybe not realising the state it was really in , and who had big plans for it. So I then did the December cruise to Norton Canes....where it remained.

 

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One last post before this topic runs out of steam - I've learned a lot about the more recent history of the Baldock in a very short time, so thanks to all who have contributed!

 

The engine: I have researched a bit more online, and now am 99% certain that what I fitted in 1985-86 (whether or not it is still in the boat today ... ) was a one-off marinisation of a Ford/Perkins F3.144 or 152. These were developed for and fitted in the Fordson Dexta and Super Dexta tractors resp. and there's plenty of info on the vintage tractor sites (and YouTube videos of restorations). Fords provided the heads and blocks, Perkins built up the engines, apparently on a sort of "just in time" basis, they seem then to have only acquired a serial no. once back at Fords - so if this one was siphoned off for the training school, the absence of a no. plate is explained. They can however easily be identified as they were fitted with a Simms inline fuel pump and injectors ("Simms" embossed in the side cover of the pump), unlike the subsequent in-house Perkins builds which had a CAV rotary fuel pump, as seen on Massey Ferguson tractors, or the 3HD46 marine build from Duffields.

 

This part of the topic might have been better in the vintage engine area of the forum, but I was hesitant to put this engine in that category. FWIW I think it is an excellent workhorse - much the same output as a Lister HR3 in a very compact package, max. torque at 1200 rpm, what's not to like? ... well, not at all photogenic for starters, and looks a bit lost in a trad engine 'ole ...

 

Richard

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Perkins P series engines are excellent units. 

 

P6 was fitted to some of the Thames police boats built by Toughs of teddington. Later ones had the 6354 turbo units.

Those Boats were designed for tidal and non tidal work and able to pull a Lighter if required in unusual situations. Smoky old buggers the 6354 though. 

 

I have an ex admiralty (non marine type) P4 in one of my boats marinised in the Mid 90s with a PRM 160 (later called 260) box.  it is a real gem. 

 

I'm sure Baldock had a P3144 which has been replaced by a D3152. The latter were available new until about 2000 I think. A friend of mine put a new one in his boat around that time. Then they stopped making them which was a shame as it is a superb narrow boat engine. 

 

Lots of grunt and not greedy on fuel. 

Edited by magnetman

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1 hour ago, Richard Carter said:

One last post before this topic runs out of steam - I've learned a lot about the more recent history of the Baldock in a very short time, so thanks to all who have contributed!

 

The engine: I have researched a bit more online, and now am 99% certain that what I fitted in 1985-86 (whether or not it is still in the boat today ... ) was a one-off marinisation of a Ford/Perkins F3.144 or 152. These were developed for and fitted in the Fordson Dexta and Super Dexta tractors resp. and there's plenty of info on the vintage tractor sites (and YouTube videos of restorations). Fords provided the heads and blocks, Perkins built up the engines, apparently on a sort of "just in time" basis, they seem then to have only acquired a serial no. once back at Fords - so if this one was siphoned off for the training school, the absence of a no. plate is explained. They can however easily be identified as they were fitted with a Simms inline fuel pump and injectors ("Simms" embossed in the side cover of the pump), unlike the subsequent in-house Perkins builds which had a CAV rotary fuel pump, as seen on Massey Ferguson tractors, or the 3HD46 marine build from Duffields.

 

This part of the topic might have been better in the vintage engine area of the forum, but I was hesitant to put this engine in that category. FWIW I think it is an excellent workhorse - much the same output as a Lister HR3 in a very compact package, max. torque at 1200 rpm, what's not to like? ... well, not at all photogenic for starters, and looks a bit lost in a trad engine 'ole ...

 

Richard

I have enjoyed following this thread and I do not think it is anywhere near running out of steam. I do have a note in my records (from Mary Matts ?) that the Perkins in BALDOCK was derived from an F3 tractor engine.

 

I owned the large Woolwich BADSEY in the late 1980's and at that time it was powered by a Perkins P3.144. I found it a poor performer but did not have the boat long enough to work out why. Whether it was due to miss-matching of the gearbox / propeller or whether it was just completely knackered I am not sure, but I suspect the latter as it consumed a considerable amount of oil split fairly equally between between leaks and what was burnt in the exhaust. Having said that BADSEY was O.K. as a single motor, but it was not so good towing BARNES against any sort of current. Seven years after I sold BADSEY the P3.144 was replaced with a P3.152, then in 2006 BADSEY was re-united with its original National 2DM.

 

I now have a large Northwich motor with a 1995 Perkins 3HD46 Mk2 with a PRM160 and 22'' x 22'' propeller. I have only done 4 days boating since buying this boat last year but I was very impressed, especially on the Thames running upstream from Reading to Oxford. As this engine produced no smoke when almost flat out on the Thames we have upgraded the propeller in both diameter and pitch, but apart from a static run a couple of weeks ago it remains untested. This Perkins set up as mentioned above propelled the boat during its time in the retail coal business between 2001 and 2008, which included towing a butty and working on the River Severn. As you say the Perkins does look a little lost in a traditional engine 'ole but I quite like that as there is plenty of room in there for other things.

 

What happened to the iron B.C.N. day boat featured in the photographs above with BALDOCK :captain: 

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I remember your boat moored opposite Tilehurst station. Slightly irritating conversion cabin on it but a good boat at the end of the day. 

 

 

Edited by magnetman
Correct spelling for "Tilehurst"

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16 minutes ago, pete harrison said:

 

What happened to the iron B.C.N. day boat featured in the photographs above with BALDOCK :captain: 

It seems to be a bit shorter which is odd. Maybe just the angle. 

 

I don't keep an eye on boats like you do but assume you are aware of the one moored near the Richmond half lock on the Twickenham side of the river :)

 

its been there a long time so I suspect you know it. 

Edited by magnetman

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2 minutes ago, magnetman said:

I remember your boat moored opposite Tilehirst station. Slightly irritating conversion cabin on it but a good boat at the end of the day. 

 

 

That is where it was when I viewed / bought it, and the removal of the 'slightly irritating conversion cabin' was one of the first jobs done under my ownership. I am very happy with this boat and it has not produced too many nasty surprises :captain:

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