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‘Alnwick’ on the move!


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Have a great time Graham and Jane. We are on our way northwards soon. But we are going to Langley Mill drydock for blacking and insurance survey.

 

looking forward to getting away, at long last.

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3 hours ago, NB Alnwick said:

After almost three years of serving as a permanent home while Jane endured her cancer treatment. ‘Alnwick’ slipped her mooring at Cropredy Wharf and started the journey to Glascote Basin where we hope to get dry-docked and blacked.
Progress, so far has been satisfactory but we did need to pay some attention to the starter batteries that had almost boiled dry due to my lack of attention - six litres of distilled water being required! The cabin batteries are in the ‘no maintenance’ category and seem to be OK. Sadly battery maintenance was not a high priority while we were attached to a mains supply and I will be very impressed if the starter batteries recover sufficiently to start our two and a half tons of Kelvin K3!

Fortunately, we took the precaution of having our Honda generator serviced before setting out and, so far, this has been sufficient to provide enough power through our 24v charger to start the engine.

On the first day we reached Fenny Compton and were pleased with the obvious improvements that have been made at Claydon Locks. The summit level was comfortably blessed with adequate water and we managed to avoid going aground. On Wednesday night we moored at Braunston where we purchased supplies (especially of distilled water) and last night, Thursday, we tied up near Easenhall Lane Bridge - No. 34.

Please give us a wave if you see us on the way . . .

 

Give us a wave as you go past DQ and our house. We are about half an hour before your journeys end.

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33 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Give us a wave as you go past DQ and our house. We are about half an hour before your journeys end.

We will hopefully be batting by you tomorrow afternoon.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

And when you get to Glascote, and find turning into the basin hindered by a Big Woolwich moored just beyond the towpath bridge, you'll have met Belfast!

 

We did a fortnight ago. :D

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We were delayed at Bedworth Mill Bridge (No 13) on the Coventry Canal because a boat had taken the turn wide and become stuck fast aground. We took a line and towed it astern while another line from its bow was pulled from the bank. This worked and with a clear run we then managed to clear Bedworth and Nuneaton ourselves without going aground! Nevertheless, we could feel the bottom or various items of submerged debris more often than we would have liked! That turn just before Bridge 13 (once the junction for a branch to Newdigate Colliery) is notoriously bad and many boaters find themselves aground if they take the turn wide.

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We have now stopped just below Atherstone Bottom Lock - so only five easy miles to go before we arrive at Glascote Basin. This morning we were followed from our overnight mooring near Springwood Haven and through the Atherstone flight by the Redshaw’s in their very smart grey boat. When ‘Alnwick’ gets painted next year we hope to adopt a similar colour scheme.

  • Greenie 1
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Well apart from our initial issues with dry batteries, we thought all was well but while cleaning up last night, we found an inch of water in the bilge beneath the back cabin floor! Accordingly, various items that we had stored there became sopping wet and are now drying out on the bank! Meanwhile Jane did a sterling job in mopping out the bilge which is now clear but damp. Access to the stern gland is from beneath the coal box which is inconveniently full at the moment. Drips and lumps of grease from the stern gland are usually contained in a 'wet bilge' behind a low bulkhead and any excess water is usually evacuated by a bilge pump with an automatic float switch - for some reason the float switch has not worked and the wet bilge has filled and overflowed to partially flood the area under the cabin floor. I had installed a manual override switch for the pump and, using this switch, we pumped out the excess water thus confirming that the bilge pump works. It is likely that, with our boat not having moved for three years, the stern gland is leaking more than it should - so my next job is to shift the coal box and examine the gland.

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33 minutes ago, NB Alnwick said:

It is likely that, with our boat not having moved for three years, the stern gland is leaking more than it should

 

I find the opposite. After a period of boating, turning the greaser down results in the leakage slowing down to an occasional drip, but never ceases entirely. Whereas when I come back after a few months of non boating it is absolutely watertight.

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3 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

I find the opposite. After a period of boating, turning the greaser down results in the leakage slowing down to an occasional drip, but never ceases entirely. Whereas when I come back after a few months of non boating it is absolutely watertight.

 

One of the peculiarities of the Kelvin gearbox is that the propeller shaft, as well as rotating, is also required to move ahead and astern slightly for the respective cone shaped clutches to engage/disengage. When running at cruising RPM the thrust on the propeller (in either direction) is sufficient to keep the clutches engaged. Unfortunately there is a tendency for the clutches to disengage at the slowest canal speeds - an issue that we have addressed by hanging a 7lb weight on the gearwheel to keep it engaged at slow speeds. The amount of movement on the prop. shaft is only about an inch but it does add a little more wear and tear to the stern gland packing.

Having said all that, our stern gland is good and was not dripping at all with the boat stationary. The float switch is also working OK now but was probably stuck before I cleaned all the old grease and muck out of the wet bilge. We live and learn and the secret of happy boating is regular maintenance!

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7 hours ago, NB Alnwick said:

  - for some reason the float switch has not worked and the wet bilge has filled and overflowed to partially flood the area under the cabin floor. I 

Maybe the knackered batteries had a hand in the pump not working

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6 hours ago, NB Alnwick said:

 

One of the peculiarities of the Kelvin gearbox is that the propeller shaft, as well as rotating, is also required to move ahead and astern slightly for the respective cone shaped clutches to engage/disengage. When running at cruising RPM the thrust on the propeller (in either direction) is sufficient to keep the clutches engaged. Unfortunately there is a tendency for the clutches to disengage at the slowest canal speeds - an issue that we have addressed by hanging a 7lb weight on the gearwheel to keep it engaged at slow speeds. The amount of movement on the prop. shaft is only about an inch but it does add a little more wear and tear to the stern gland packing.

Having said all that, our stern gland is good and was not dripping at all with the boat stationary. The float switch is also working OK now but was probably stuck before I cleaned all the old grease and muck out of the wet bilge. We live and learn and the secret of happy boating is regular maintenance!

When we bought Enid some years ago I found a sledge hammer under the boatman's cabin deck. Apparently it was to strike the shaft back (or forward) if stuck in forward or reverse. Tales of north sea fishermen returning after a week or so away, permanently chugging away and then having to circle when returned to harbour until they could knock the shaft back!

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12 hours ago, Markinaboat said:

When we bought Enid some years ago I found a sledge hammer under the boatman's cabin deck. Apparently it was to strike the shaft back (or forward) if stuck in forward or reverse. Tales of north sea fishermen returning after a week or so away, permanently chugging away and then having to circle when returned to harbour until they could knock the shaft back!


We understand that Phil Trotter (Who built ‘Alnwick’) experienced the phenomena of being stuck in forward gear and had to resort to the sledge hammer. It seems more likely to happen when there is a lot of power (thrust) being transmitted to the prop as when at full RPM on tidal waters. Fortunately it is not (yet) something we have experienced at our canal speeds.
 

We have now arrived at Glascote and are moored just outside the basin. Unfortunately, the starter batteries have now given up completely and despite being fully charged last night, they now have insufficient energy to engage the starter solenoid! We have ordered new batteries but in the meantime, in order to get into Glascote Basin we will need to borrow some jump leads to start the engine from the domestic bank . . .

Edited by NB Alnwick
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The problem of sticking in gear by the Kelvin box is much ameliorated (not eliminated tho) if the cones are the lined ones.  The metal to metal ones are inclined to form ridges and these interlock after a spell of high pressure. The rivets in the lined cones can also cause the problem when the linings are well worn.

 

Can you not start up on petrol Graham?

 

N

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2 hours ago, NB Alnwick said:


We understand that Phil Trotter (Who built ‘Alnwick’) experienced the phenomena of being stuck in forward gear and had to resort to the sledge hammer. It seems more likely to happen when there is a lot of power (thrust) being transmitted to the prop as when at full RPM on tidal waters. Fortunately it is not (yet) something we have experienced at our canal speeds.
 

We have now arrived at Glascote and are moored just outside the basin. Unfortunately, the starter batteries have now given up completely and despite being fully charged last night, they now have insufficient energy to engage the starter solenoid! We have ordered new batteries but in the meantime, in order to get into Glascote Basin we will need to borrow some jump leads to start the engine from the domestic bank . . .

 

It was pretty late when (I think it was) you passed us last night.

 

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3 hours ago, NB Alnwick said:

We have now arrived at Glascote and are moored just outside the basin. Unfortunately, the starter batteries have now given up completely and despite being fully charged last night, they now have insufficient energy to engage the starter solenoid! We have ordered new batteries but in the meantime, in order to get into Glascote Basin we will need to borrow some jump leads to start the engine from the domestic bank . . .

Then you'll be back in time for the enhanced bell ringing numbers in Cropredy on 17trh May!  Glad your trip went well despite starter batteries [story of my return to Cropredy Marina, but it had lasted 7 years so not a bad innings for an RN starter motor!]

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