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At last, a Butty in the fleet!


GSer
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Had her hull looked over by a surveyor over the last few days

 

He found a few 'undesirable features' The run of rivets along the starboard chine angle were quite messy, some corroded, some worn, some had already been welded in the past (its a high wear area) so it's been decided to overplate that area with a 50mm wide rectangle section of steel from the bow to the area just forward of the back cabin 45' perhaps. In the the area between these rivets and the next row above had been overplated i'd guess to protect the rivets as much as it getting a little soft in that area. This left a gap between the overplating and the new bottom of approx 48-50mm

 

When the boat was rebottomed 3 years back the welder had had a bad day and missed 6"- 8" of weld on the port side between the chine angle and the base plate. :rolleyes:

 

Above the knees in the hold, corrosion is taking place between the struts and the hull sides causing the sides to 'pillow' around the rivets in some areas, not alot can be done about that short of stripping the whole lot down into components and starting again, and that's not going to happen on my watch. His reccomendation was to keep it dry!!!!!!!! I think i'll make a little 'tank'( or some similar device, that will clamp over the area and fill it up with vactan etc to kill the rust, give it a good soaking then finish it off with my favourite owatrol and red oxide mix.

 

The two small areas of blistering on the hull will be ground back for inspection and remedial action planned after we see the extent of the issue. Famous last words but i'm not expecting these to be serious :rolleyes:

 

Not too bad I suppose, had it been raining and cold i'd be needing to do alot less to get a ticket :D

 

I guess if it had been a flimsy Northwich it may have been written off by now, but these Woolwiches seem built real proper like and are well worth the odd inch or three of weld.

Edited by GSer
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I guess if it had been a flimsy Northwich it may have been written off by now, but these Woolwiches seem built real proper like and are well worth the odd inch or three of weld.

Yeah - I'm sure the stats show far more scrapped Northwichs than Woolwichs!

 

The way to avoid all this angst is to do what I'm currently doing - keep it firmly in the water, and you can't see any potentially dodgy rivets!

 

Seriously though, I am lucky enough to have a file of photos that to some considerable extent shows the work done on our "flimsy old Northwich".

 

Just a tiny selection, (all photos copyright Matt Parrott)

 

0021.jpg

 

0024.jpg

 

0028.jpg

 

0036.jpg

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They are some great pictures, well done!

 

I'd like to think that someday if it suits and I have the money, i'd like to replace the welded bits and re-rivet her, i'd still keep the steel bottom but sort the sides out properly. All repairs are being done with that in mind ie reversable. None of the boatyards near here are into that sort of work so when it's time i'll need to travel.

 

I do like your boat though, quite nice for a Northwich :rolleyes:

Edited by GSer
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I do like your boat though, quite nice for a Northwich :rolleyes:

I was brought up a Woolwich man, but fate, of course, means I have had to change my allegiances a tad!

 

The compromise with "Sickle is that the new bottom is welded, rather than riveted in. One shudders at what the cost might be to do as much rivet work as has been done elsewhere, though, if you were commission it yourself.

 

A boat we were looking at buying before "Sickle" is now having a kind of replica "Northwich" steel cabin put on. But although countless holes have been drilled, what is actually going through them are coach bolts into nuts, and then with the internal ends cut off each. Quite convincing, and fairly clearly significantly cheaper. Under close scrutiny the end result is too neat though - on the real thing every one looks subtly different - something faking it rarely achieves.

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I was brought up a Woolwich man, but fate, of course, means I have had to change my allegiances a tad!

 

The compromise with "Sickle is that the new bottom is welded, rather than riveted in. One shudders at what the cost might be to do as much rivet work as has been done elsewhere, though, if you were commission it yourself.

 

A boat we were looking at buying before "Sickle" is now having a kind of replica "Northwich" steel cabin put on. But although countless holes have been drilled, what is actually going through them are coach bolts into nuts, and then with the internal ends cut off each. Quite convincing, and fairly clearly significantly cheaper. Under close scrutiny the end result is too neat though - on the real thing every one looks subtly different - something faking it rarely achieves.

Riveting is actually quite quick to do! you need ideally 3 people and its very noisy hard work but the results are well worth it and look nothing like coach bolts. coach bolts will just look wrong.

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Riveting is actually quite quick to do! you need ideally 3 people and its very noisy hard work but the results are well worth it and look nothing like coach bolts. coach bolts will just look wrong.

 

Agreed, the time consuming part with rivetting is all the preparation. By the time you're ready to put coach bolts in, the extra for rivets wouldn't be all that great.

 

OTOH those new rivets in the side of Sickle do look a bit like coach bolts, bigger rounder heads than original. I'm guessing they were done with a hollow snap in the hammer?

 

Tim

Edited by Timleech
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I wonder what torque you would have to apply to say an m17 coachbolt to achieve the same pressure that a well formed rivet could?

 

Dunno (apart from M17 not being a standard size ;) ).

Rivets secure components in two dimensions, as well as the 'clamping' effect they swell to fill the holes & so prevent any shearing movement which an ordinary bolt only resists by the clamping friction. The closest you'll get to that with bolts is by using 'fitted' bolts which are a precise size for driving into reamed holes. No-one is likely to use those to hold a boat together!

 

Tim

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Riveting is actually quite quick to do! you need ideally 3 people and its very noisy hard work but the results are well worth it and look nothing like coach bolts. coach bolts will just look wrong.

Not once the heads are ground off they don't. They look very impressive, and that's before they're even painted. I was looking at Stanton's (real but retrofitted) rivets on Saturday and I would have been hard pressed to tell the difference. In this case they are not structural either, purely 'fake' - but there are hundreds of them.

It is clearly a great deal of work but the requisite manpower and equipment that would have needed to be brought in for hot rivetting would have been more prohibitive.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, she went back in the water on tuesday,i had a little bit of a scare when water started to appear in the hold, just in front of the cabin, i asked the crane to wait while i investigated, turned out to be water from the decommissioned water system, phew!

 

It was nice to get cygnus alongside apache at last, they are an odd couple to look at but i'll put up with that unless of course Cephus comes up for sale, then i'd have to do some serious thinking :blush:

 

Looking forward to the first trip, easter weekend, so i expect it to be busy, especially with the DW canoe race on as well :wacko:

 

Say hello if you see us

 

Paul

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Good luck with your first trip :cheers:

It can be a quick learning curve!! We have had several mismatched pairs, one thing to remember if the butty is longer than the motor, then when you try and stop when breasted up, the butty can start to overtake and turn the boats. Can be useful when wanting to turn around, but cause problems when slowing to pass other boats,

Hope I'm not telling you what you already know :blush:

 

Ben

Edited by BenC
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Good luck with your first trip :cheers:

It can be a quick learning curve!! We have had several mismatched pairs, one thing to remember if the butty is longer than the motor, then when you try and stop when breasted up, the butty can start to overtake and turn the boats. Can be useful when wanting to turn around, but cause problems when slowing to pass other boats,

Hope I'm not telling you what you already know :blush:

 

Ben

 

 

At this stage i'm very happy for any tips :blush:

 

Both boats are the same length its just that the butty towers over the tug at both ends, so when breasted up, it just looks odd.

The butty is quite empty and only very lightly loaded so the situation should improve with a bit more weight in cygnus. Inevitably some of the weight will come from Apache so it will be a win both ways.

 

Initially i've breasted up with the butty to port, i'll have to see how i get on.

 

Thanks

 

Paul

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Generally I'd say put the motor on the left, not the butty, as, if travelling breasted, the motor will be in the deeper water as you pass people coming the other way, and the butty can float in the shallower water near the edge.

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Generally I'd say put the motor on the left, not the butty, as, if travelling breasted, the motor will be in the deeper water as you pass people coming the other way, and the butty can float in the shallower water near the edge.

 

You just beat me to that. Definitely motor on the port side.

Ben

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You just beat me to that. Definitely motor on the port side.

Ben

 

That's fine if you have a right-handed propeller, the inertia of the butty when holding back will work the opposite way to the paddle wheel effect from the prop.

OTOH with a Left handed prop, both will be working in the same direction, tending to swing the pair anticlockwise.

I'd try both ways if regularly travelling that way with a LH prop, see which works best for you.

 

Tim

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That's fine if you have a right-handed propeller, the inertia of the butty when holding back will work the opposite way to the paddle wheel effect from the prop.

OTOH with a Left handed prop, both will be working in the same direction, tending to swing the pair anticlockwise.

I'd try both ways if regularly travelling that way with a LH prop, see which works best for you.

 

Tim

 

Didn't think of that! I was just going for the motor in the deepest water.

Also if you bump into a moored boat, then you have the butty to hide behind!! :blush:

Ben

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one thing to remember if the butty is longer than the motor, then when you try and stop when breasted up, the butty can start to overtake and turn the boats. Can be useful when wanting to turn around, but cause problems when slowing to pass other boats,

 

Ben

 

I must be miss-reading this as the length of the butty has nothing to do with the effect the butty has when travelling abreast. What is important is that the butty is tied tightly against the motor and is prevented from 'slipping' backwards and forewards by tying the butty anser pin to the bollard / dolly on the motor boats counter and tying the butty tunnel hook to the anser pin on the motor boats gunwale. It is probably fair to assume that APACHE does not have an anser pin on its guwhale so a compromise will need to be found. Simply tying each end of the boat together is not sufficient as the butty will slip backwards when travelling forwards, then slip forwards when slowing down or going into reverse - which will cause all sorts of problems.

 

In my experience an empty butty is much happier being towed behind the motor boat on cross straps, usually requiring little or no input from the butty steerer at all. Travelling long distances abreast with empty boats is fine on the lower Grand Union Canal but not really suitable on the Kennet & Avon Canal, apart from short pounds of course.

 

As a professional boatman (retired 1985) I felt it was for me to control the boats, not the boats control me. I have always put the motor on the left to ensure it is in the deeper water, although clearly I have to work around the rotation of the propeller - which in my opinion has much less effect than the inertia of the butty.

Edited by pete harrison
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"Sods Law" is usually an excuse for incompetence :captain: The butty will only do what the steerer's (motor and butty steerer's combined) have made it do :captain:

 

Lack of experience I would accept. 'Incompetence' is just rude.

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Lack of experience I would accept. 'Incompetence' is just rude.

 

What is the difference between "lack of experience" and "incompetence" ?

 

To my mind "lack of experience" is "incompetence" but possibly with good intent :captain:

 

I also agree wholeheartedly that it is just rude to be incompetent.

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