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nicknorman

Minworth embankment repair

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The pound below Minworth lock 2 has been closed for a while to repair a long term issue with the embankment leaking. This is what it looked like during the repairs. Presumably they put the piles of rocks and planks in to allow their vehicles to be driven along the canal bed:

FF3782D6-BD9D-479A-992A-89AF7DF3A3F5.jpeg.48e9edb6ebd0c72a8c44f446497413ad.jpeg

 

One would have hoped that they might have removed the rocks and even removed some of the crud prior to re-watering. It would be the sensible thing to do! But no, today which is a few days after reopening (delayed) we find ourselves hard aground on the rocks in the middle of the channel. Having tried 3 different paths through the repair area, each time banging and scraping to a halt on the rubble, we had to flush the boat through even though the pound was not down at all (bywash flowing at the next lock) and we only just got through, banging and bouncing off the bottom. Piss poor really! And so stupid. Makes me angry. Here we are hard aground mid-channel today:

 

B7119F18-9F18-4DC3-9EA9-AD642F19CBFB.jpeg.a075433f88986f62417ef41877fe070b.jpeg

 

Surely it would have been so much easier to remove the addd rubble BEFORE adding the water!. Smacks of severe incompetence! We will have to consider the stretch unnavigable until it’s dredged. We draw 2’8” which is deeper than average but not exceptional. The maximum depth of water is about 2’4” with the hard rocky bottom.

Edited by nicknorman

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I take it you've informed CRT? I find the @CRTcontactus twitter account is fairly responsive.

 

MP.

 

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On the plus side, you'll be able to keep your stove going for ages if you're still there when the planks start popping to the surface!  :D

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14 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

The pound below Minworth lock 2 has been closed for a while to repair a long term issue with the embankment leaking. This is what it looked like during the repairs. Presumably they put the piles of rocks and planks in to allow their vehicles to be driven along the canal bed:

FF3782D6-BD9D-479A-992A-89AF7DF3A3F5.jpeg.48e9edb6ebd0c72a8c44f446497413ad.jpeg

 

One would have hoped that they might have removed the rocks and even removed some of the crud prior to re-watering. It would be the sensible thing to do! But no, today which is a few days after reopening (delayed) we find ourselves hard aground on the rocks in the middle of the channel. Having tried 3 different paths through the repair area, each time banging and scraping to a halt on the rubble, we had to flush the boat through even though the pound was not down at all (bywash flowing at the next lock) and we only just got through, banging and bouncing off the bottom. Piss poor really! And so stupid. Makes me angry. Here we are hard aground mid-channel today:

 

B7119F18-9F18-4DC3-9EA9-AD642F19CBFB.jpeg.a075433f88986f62417ef41877fe070b.jpeg

 

Surely it would have been so much easier to remove the addd rubble BEFORE adding the water!. Smacks of severe incompetence! We will have to consider the stretch unnavigable until it’s dredged. We draw 2’8” which is deeper than average but not exceptional. The maximum depth of water is about 2’4” with the hard rocky bottom.

It really is unbelievable except sadly we all know with CRT it is a daily issue (a bit like like cutting grass that hasn't started growing yet) - classic public sector/charity disease - too much power with no accountability 

  • Greenie 1

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This section has been a real problem since the temporary repair a few years a go when they dumped goodness knows what stuff in for a temporary seal.  We draw more water than the mock Hudson that has got stuck and the last couple of years are just able to creep along in the middle without getting stuck.  It would be great if that gets reported as otherwise it will need a temporary closure notice pretty quickly for any deep boat.  Not planning to go through for a couple of months but sounds like if it stays as is we will not get through this section and hence the route to the centre of Birmingham will be off limits for us and many others.

Postings crossed, hope that gets a response.

 

Edited by PeterG

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3 minutes ago, PeterG said:

 We draw more water than the mock Hudson

 

What’s a mock Hudson?

  • Haha 1

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2 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

What’s a mock Hudson?

Maybe he meant Rock Hudson!:)

  • Haha 1

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This looks very worrying.

If a modern Hudson gets stuck in the middle when the water in on weir, it is hard to see how ex-working boats with several inches more draught will have any chance at all.

Not good.

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6 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

This looks very worrying.

If a modern Hudson gets stuck in the middle when the water in on weir, it is hard to see how ex-working boats with several inches more draught will have any chance at all.

Not good.

No chance. And it’s not even like it’s a soft bottom that could be ploughed. It’s rock hard, literally.

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8 minutes ago, PeterG said:

One without an engine room.  Steve never really liked building those.

He didn’t seem to mind when he built ours! I would say 1/2 were with modern engines around the time ours was built. Although his specs gave significantly different drafts for modern rear engine vs mid engine, in fact ours and I think all his recent boats has the same draft as the mid engine ones, with only very minor variations due to ballasting. Ours draws 2’ 8 1/2” static from bottom of skeg to waterline.

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2 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Ours draws 2’ 8 1/2” static from bottom of skeg to waterline.

Shame you couldn’t be precise on that draft ;)

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There is a difference between liking something and building something because you have a business to run and need to make money.

He also did not like including a cratch as his view was that it spoiled the looks but he certainly did not turn it down as it would have been commercially daft.

I would not go there on drafts the shell was built to fit the type of engine and how large the prop needed to be and was not exact.  The draft will vary for all sort of reasons that I am sure you understand during the course of just using the boat.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, WotEver said:

Shame you couldn’t be precise on that draft ;)

A tape measure down the weedhatch hooked under the skeg gives an accurate reading! Although I suppose there will be a bit of variation with water / fuel load.

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9 minutes ago, PeterG said:

There is a difference between liking something and building something because you have a business to run and need to make money.

He also did not like including a cratch as his view was that it spoiled the looks but he certainly did not turn it down as it would have been commercially daft.

I would not go there on drafts the shell was built to fit the type of engine and how large the prop needed to be and was not exact.  The draft will vary for all sort of reasons that I am sure you understand during the course of just using the boat.

 

He built well over 200 boats. I’m sure he didn’t like them all. Or even any of them, after the first 100 or so! My point was that the spec I think said 2’4” for the modern rear engines and 2’9” for the mid engines. With the steel being pre-cut I suspect he worked out it was cheaper and easier to just go for 1 size. He was more of a mass producer than most. Obviously as you say, the actual depth of water needed will change with power/speed, fuel, water and coal etc. The propellor on our boat is a reasonable size, big by many standards, but could have been quite a bit bigger. But I’m glad it’s deep drafted, handles great in wind. Just not so good when the water is only 2’ 4” deep!

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Yes I am well aware how many boats he built and he had his preferences in ways to do things like we all have. I agree that even though his website said 2’4” for the modern rear engines and 2’9” for the engine room type that was only an approximation, but having seen a number of Hudsons they do vary quite a lot in build for draft.  Yes I agree he could standardise his build quite well saving an amount in the build costs but not a mass producer.

I also like deep drafted boats for the handling but not when you come across problems like at Minworth, so I am glad you have reported this and just hope some action will now happen on this rather than all attention on the breach.  Would have thought that the contractors could be made to sort out their mess as it is possible everything was left as in your photos which is plain daft.

 

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54 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

This looks very worrying.

If a modern Hudson gets stuck in the middle when the water in on weir, it is hard to see how ex-working boats with several inches more draught will have any chance at all.

Not good.

It was navigable before these works, I was one of the crew on Nuneaton and Brighton (well on one of them at a time!) coming down the B&F last summer laden with coal, drawing about 3' 0", I'm not sure of the exact figure. I'll be keeping an eye on this topic, as it sounds as if the NBT will be unwise to attempt this route until Nick's concerns are resolved.

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4 minutes ago, Peter X said:

It was navigable before these works, I was one of the crew on Nuneaton and Brighton (well on one of them at a time!) coming down the B&F last summer laden with coal, drawing about 3' 0", I'm not sure of the exact figure. I'll be keeping an eye on this topic, as it sounds as if the NBT will be unwise to attempt this route until Nick's concerns are resolved.

A boat with 3’ draft would have absolutely no chance at the moment.

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Presumably when CRT employed contractors to do this work, they included the requirement to clear up after themselves when the job was done.

Obviously they haven't done this ( why would you when you knew they were going to fill it with water?).

Surely the answer is to get them back and make them remove the rocks and rubbish( at their own expense), and then never employ them again.

It's more likely we'll get their usual line, "we have to remember the waterways are there for everyone to enjoy; not just boaters".

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1 hour ago, DRP said:

Presumably when CRT employed contractors to do this work, they included the requirement to clear up after themselves when the job was done.

Obviously they haven't done this ( why would you when you knew they were going to fill it with water?).

Surely the answer is to get them back and make them remove the rocks and rubbish( at their own expense), and then never employ them again.

It's more likely we'll get their usual line, "we have to remember the waterways are there for everyone to enjoy; not just boaters".

I would suspect it is contracters cutting corners.

On the way down to Coventry basin we witnessed the contractors who were surfacing the towpath tip tons of excess gravel that they had into the canal, out of sight and all that.  Why do they care and it is not easy to check up on them.

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Some years back on the BCN Challenge a bridge on the Wyrley and Essington was being replaced. The old bridge had been demolished but work on the replacement had yet to start. We got there to find a queue of deep drafted boats having difficulty passing, while the shallow boats had no problem. So we knew where much of the old bridge had ended up!

I'm sure I've read somewhere that in these situations CRT (and BW before them) are supposed to survey the channel before and after the works, with the contractors being responsible for ensuring that the depth after is no worse than that before. But it doesn't always seem to happen in practice.

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1 hour ago, john6767 said:

Why do they care and it is not easy to check up on them.

It is simple to check up on them.

You send a civil engineer (preferably the one who ordered the works) to inspect the job and, if it fails, to condemn the work and get the contractor back to put right the mess they've made at their expense.

The contractors should care because they should be aware that their work will be inspected and junked if it isn't up to scratch and will cost them money.

  • Greenie 1

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4 minutes ago, carlt said:

It is simple to check up on them.

You send a civil engineer (preferably the one who ordered the works) to inspect the job and, if it fails, to condemn the work and get the contractor back to put right the mess they've made at their expense.

The contractors should care because they should be aware that their work will be inspected and junked if it isn't up to scratch and will cost them money.

How do you easily inspect a length of canal to see if they have dumped stuff in it?

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