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What have you fettled for the boat today?


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On 06/11/2020 at 16:56, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I use roll flat hose for filling the water tank. It packs down very compactly when not in use, but its light weight means it tends to get blasted out of the tank fill point with any sort of pressure behind it. Some years ago I made a gadget from a length of 22mm plastic pipe and a spray nozzle hose attachment to clip to the end of the hose and give enough weight to keep it in the filler pipe. This works reasonably well, but I decided to make something smaller and neater.

The deck fitting filler plug on my and many other boats has a 1 1/4" BSP thread. I bought a plastic cap fitting with the same thread. A hole was drilled through to take a 15mm compression to 3/4" BSP brass coupler. Without the olive, the back nut on the 15mm compression end acted as a nut to hold it in place. A standard hose lock connector goes on the 3/4 BSP end. Also drilled 12 of 4mm diameter holes to relieve any pressure build up and allow excess air and water to escape. The tank has an air vent, but this is an additional safety measure.

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Old (below) and new (above) end fittings to hold a hose in the filler point.

 

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The new fitting in place, ready to attach the hose.

 

It has been tested and works well. Total cost, less than ten pounds.

It would be possible, with a lathe, to turn the whole thing in one piece, either in a good engineering plastic, or in metal. Only an o-ring would be needed to seal the hose lock connection. I have neither the skill, or access to the equipment to do this unfortunately, so it had to be done with five parts, not two.

 

Jen

 

 

As it's a few weeks since you posted this, how well has it worked in practice? Any problems? I'm thinking of doing something similar but I'm a bit concerned that when the tank is full the increase in pressure within the tank (due to the reduction in the area for air to vent) may cause the flexible pipe between the filler and tank to blow off. My tank vent isn't very large but that's never mattered before.

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44 minutes ago, Mike55 said:

As it's a few weeks since you posted this, how well has it worked in practice? Any problems? I'm thinking of doing something similar but I'm a bit concerned that when the tank is full the increase in pressure within the tank (due to the reduction in the area for air to vent) may cause the flexible pipe between the filler and tank to blow off. My tank vent isn't very large but that's never mattered before.

It is working well thanks. Used around once a week, so maybe three uses so far. The key seems to be the array of 4mm air holes around the perimeter. The combined area of these is greater than the bore that the water goes through and seems to prevent any serious pressure build up in the tank. Once the tank is full, any excess water just blows out these holes, so the tank filler and vent flexi pipes are safe from getting forced off.

My boat also has a relatively weedy vent pipe. Certainly not enough to cope with a fast running water point at full throttle, If the tap is opened too far, then any excess H2O that the vent can't displace air fast enough to allow in is again vented through the array of 4mm holes.

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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2 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

It is working well thanks. Used around once a week, so maybe three uses so far. The key seems to be the array of 4mm air holes around the perimeter. The combined area of these is greater than the bore that the water goes through and seems to prevent any serious pressure build up in the tank. Once the tank is full, any excess water just blows out these holes, so the tank filler and vent flexi pipes are safe from getting forced off.

My boat also has a relatively weedy vent pipe. Certainly not enough to cope with a fast running water point at full throttle, If the tap is opened too far, then any excess that the vent can't displace air fast enough to allow in is again vented through the array of 4mm holes.

Jen

Great! Thanks for the update. I'll make one up.

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1 minute ago, Hudds Lad said:

@Jen-in-Wellies so this would cover it? only ask as cap from your link looks different than one you used, or is it generic pic from seller?

 

 

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Yes, that looks spot on. I think the picture for the plastic plugs is generic as they have a range of sizes. Check that your tank fitting actually is 1,1/4" BSP, not 1,1/2". The diameter across the threads of the usual plug should be 1.65" for one and a quarter inch BSP and 1.882" for one and a half inch.

Jen

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just replaced the fire bricks in my Stovax Brunel 1A.  God I hate this job.  Despite only burning Excel, I find I need to remove the clinker that builds up on the top of the baffle plate every few months.  The fire bricks only need doing every two or three years, but require the baffle plate to be removed.  The rear one suffers most; the side ones would last a lot longer but I normally change them as a set while I’m at it.

Firstly need to remove all trace of ash, then jiggle the baffle plate about to try and get it to slide forward.  The side bricks can then be removed, but usually very tight. Then the rear one comes out, followed by jiggling the plate to drop down. This it is usually reluctant to do - I’m sure it could be designed better if the designer was made to do the job first.  Then a good poke down the flue with a piece of metal pipe to clear any clinker.  After cleaning out, try and jiggle the plate back in and replace the rear brick.  Now with plate forward slide the side bricks into place. These are usually too tight and very unhappy about going back in ( but after years of doing it, I’ve got a couple of tricks...).  Hopefully the baffle plate will drop back into place and the job’s done.  All done while lying in a contorted position on the floor.

 

 It used to be a lot worse when I burnt wood as well, but I still get quite a bit of clinker built up.

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Just finished fitting a timer/thermostat to control our Mikuni heater. I managed to find a 12V timer/thermostat to - most require 230V. Hopefully I won't have to turn it on manually whilst shivering on a cold morning!

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Yesterday drained old antifreeze out, had to completely remove the drain tap as it broke as I turned it on :( so waiting for a new one to arrive before I can refill it.

Today fitted two new ammeters and the wiring for my new GSM  heating control system which will also notify me if the shore power goes off and if the battery charge drops below a preset level. Trying to think of uses for the other inputs, one neg switched the other pos switched;)

 

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On 07/12/2020 at 13:06, dor said:

Now with plate forward slide the side bricks into place. These are usually too tight and very unhappy about going back in ( but after years of doing it, I’ve got a couple of tricks...).

Can you let me know what your tricks are? I have the same stove, and while I've managed to avoid having to remove the baffle plate thus far, it will have to happen sooner or later! I've been putting it off because it looks like a disaster of a job...

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16 hours ago, tehmarks said:

Can you let me know what your tricks are? I have the same stove, and while I've managed to avoid having to remove the baffle plate thus far, it will have to happen sooner or later! I've been putting it off because it looks like a disaster of a job...

It could be worse!  It takes me about an hour to change the bricks.  You need to remove the bricks before removing the baffle plate.  Make sure the grate is very clean with no dust before trying to remove/refit the bricks.

The important thing with the baffle plate is to make sure you can move it right forward, which it is sometimes reluctant to do if there is a lot of clinker built up. Some vigorous jiggling about while pulling the front up and forward usually works - make sure it does come as far forward as it will go.  If it doesn't move easily, I can poke down the flue with a bit of pipe to break up the clinker, then drop a wet/dry vac hose down to pick up the clinker.  I don't burn wood any more so the clinker is usually hard and dry;  it was more difficult with wood as well due to the tar.  I've attached the notes from my maintenance guide about changing the bricks.  You can get a set for £25 off ebay from "stovecareandrepair".  They are vermiculite and seem as good as any other vermiculite ones I have come across.

Good luck!

 

Solid Fuel Stove

 

No specific regular maintenance as such, but note the following.

Fire bricks.  These should be replaced if broken.  The rear brick is the most likely to break, but requires the side bricks to be removed to be able to change it. The side fire bricks are not easy!  If removing the fire bricks, completely remove the baffle plate and sweep flue pipe.  Firstly remove all ash and dust from the fire grate.  Now lift the baffle plate slightly and slide forwards. If the baffle plate won’t slide forwards, it might have a load of congealed ash on top. Jiggle it with some force should break up the ash enough to move or remove it.  It should now be possible to remove the fire bricks by pulling out from the bottom; a knife of screwdriver under the bottom edge might help to get this started. Baffle plate must be fully forward to release top back corners.  The rear fire brick can now be removed.  It should now be possible to remove the baffle plate by jiggling it – note the cutouts in the supports on the side which help to remove the plate (note which way round the plate fits!).  Although you can replace the fire bricks without removing the baffle plate, it makes sense to clean the flue at this point.  Clean all ash

 

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and soot from the grate.  Lift and slide baffle plate forwards and  replace rear fire brick. If using new side fire bricks, chamfer (use little Surform) the top outer edge and the bottom inner edge to make it easier to rotate the bricks into position. Also chamfer off a mm or two from the inside back corner (about 50x50 triangle) of the side fire brick and a little off the bottom to help to get it up behind the baffle plate.  Check also that the rear brick fits back ok, it might need a bit taking off the ends.  Make sure baffle plate is as far forward as possible so that back top corner of the side fire bricks can go up alongside it.  After replacing side bricks slide baffle plate back into position so it sits on the side supports and also sits on top of the rear fire brick. Fire bricks can be bought or ordered from chandlers but will be cheaper online (although allegedly not as long lasting).  Make sure the replacements are for a Stovax Brunel 1A.

 

Flue.  Smoke coming out of the top vent often indicates the flue needs cleaning (although it will smoke a bit when first lighting, especially if it is calm).  The flue has a tendency to tar up quite quickly if using wood.  To clear flue, remove baffle plate as detailed above.  Now use a metal tube or similar (there is one in the ‘shed’ or else use the aerial pole) to scrape down inside the flue.  Make sure you go right to the bottom.  This is needed to remove tar as the brush is not hard enough.  After scraping, use the flue brush to clear any other material.  Clean out grate and reassemble the stove

.

Glass replacement.  Lift off door and lay flat. Slacken four screws holding retaining clips.  These tend to be tight to remove, so carefully use mole grips to turn screws which have a cheese head  (vertical sides to head).  Cord in groove under glass should be ok, but if torn replace with same diameter.  Glass should be sitting on cord when clips tightened, not on metal of door.  Replace glass, noting it is not square so fit right way round. Size is 223x217mm. Tighten clips using a screwdriver only and not too tight.  If you have some high temperature (e.g. “Copperslip”) grease put a bit of that on the threads.

 

Edited by dor
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  • 3 months later...

This is the result of my latest bit of fettling with an angle grinder. I've added a section from an old aluminum ladder to the bow of my boat. It stands on some aluminum brackets I made which are bolted to the lid of the BT battery box. 

 

As a single-hander I use the roof a lot and sometimes need to get down to the bow. Also if the doors are being kept shut on a tideway, going over the roof and down the ladder is a safer way of getting to the bow for me or anyone travelling with me, rather than using the gunwales. 

 

It does mean I need to undo 6 screws to get to the BT batteries, but they're sealed-maintenance free so I don't need to open it very often.

 

 

IMG_20210404_120228.jpg

Edited by blackrose
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Just had to change the old Stoves built in oven and hob, and was always concerned that in use, the cabinet it was housed in got very hot. The Thetford replacement allowed for a 3"vent at the top which I have fitted, along with a 3" fan from an adjacent cupboard controlled by a capillary thermostat. Whole cost (from ebay) £18.75. Well worth it for peace of mind. 

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Yesterday, not today. A new coolie hat.

Tried cleaning the winters accumulated tar off the outside of the stainless steel chimney. I've previously used oven cleaner for this, but the stuff I used this time was useless and didn't touch it. When rinsing it off in the cut, the old dog bowl coolie hat finally parted company with the chimney. Off to the local pet supplies store for a new stainless steel dog bowl. £1.99. Cut some 1mm thick stainless steel straps from a sheet I had. Pop riveted on. The straps were made long so the rivets would go in to the outer skin of the chimney, but not the inner and hopefully last longer. It isn't the most aesthetically pleasing, but it should work. You can't see the paw prints and bones embossed in to the stainless steel at normal distances. It isn't as obviously a repurposed something else as the converted frying pan I once used!

I still need to clean the tar off...

IMG_20210405_125204.jpg.50025275c5591bf45735a9055063d4c8.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Yesterday, not today. A new coolie hat.

 

You should have a Blue Peter badge for that collie hat. But I tried an outside fitting chimney the first year, since then, I fit an inside fitting chimney. The crap runs back into the flue and doesn't leak onto the roof. 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Higgs said:

 

You should have a Blue Peter badge for that collie hat. But I tried an outside fitting chimney the first year, since then, I fit an inside fitting chimney. The crap runs back into the flue and doesn't leak onto the roof. 

 

 

Surly thats what the liner does by hanging inside the flue

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15 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Surly thats what the liner does by hanging inside the flue

 

Maybe I just bought the wrong fancy chimney. Only bought one, it was rotted through by the end of the winter. 

 

 

Edited by Higgs
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22 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Surly thats what the liner does by hanging inside the flue

 

 

But the oily smoke will hit the underside of the coolie (is that racist ?) condense  run down the slope and can dribble down the coolie legs on the outside of the chimney, with the standard coolies the legs are on the inside so the condensate dribbles back down the inside & back into the fire.

 

12" Double skin chimney with chrome band and stainless coolie hat

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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6 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

 

But the oily smoke will hit the underside of the coolie (is that racist ?) condense  run down the slope and can dribble down the coolie legs on the outside of the chimney, with the standard coolies the legs are on the inside so the condensate dribbles back down the inside & back into the fire.

 

12" Double skin chimney with chrome band and stainless coolie hat

I wouldn't use a hat anyway, if the fire is alight the rain will evaporate before it can rust. It might however be handy going through Blisworth tunnel if you get the wrong line at the wrong time ? 

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21 minutes ago, Higgs said:

 

Maybe I just bought the wrong fancy chimney. Only bought one, it was rotted through by the end of the winter. 

 

 

The only sort of fancy narrowboaty type chimney worth buying are stainless steel and double skinned. The double skin stops a lot of the tar going on to the roof and the stainless steel means it last more than one winter.

 

16 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

coolie (is that racist ?)

Definitely. We need a new name for these hats. I wasn't happy with it. A bit of an ethnic and class based slur on lower class Chinese people, left over from British empire days.

1 hour ago, Higgs said:

You should have a Blue Peter badge

I did have a Blue Peter badge, back in the 70's. Presented by the great man himself, the late John Noakes.

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8 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I did have a Blue Peter badge, back in the 70's. Presented by the great man himself, the late John Noakes.

 

He was a good presenter. At some point, I started to prefer Magpie. Think it might have had something to do with Susan Stranks. 

 

 

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