Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Playing Catch Up

More chasing my tail over the last weeks. Visited the chandlers to pick up a few bits and pieces as recommended by Chris the boat examiner but most of the time after that has been taken up by the preparation for the WRG work party ant Cotgrave on the Grantham Canal.
The site was to be accessed over a wide ditch and it was decided to make the farmers bridge a bit more secure than it was.
Should have taken some before pics.
Got an invite to attend a CaRT volunteer meeting at Newark as part of the GCS contingent. Found it to be very enlightening with volunteer lock keepers,  towpath wardens and the like attending. The whole mood seemed to be very positive and up beat which I found to be most encouraging.
Back to the Grantham Canal and the WRG week-end.
Did us proud they did, as always.
Shifted quite a few self seeded willows. Thought I had taken a panoramic shot but cocked it up as usualJ.
The following Monday a few of the GCS mob led by Ian were tidying away the tools used and taking Wayne from CaRT who had organised the volunteer meeting out on Three Shires to show what we would like to take on in future.
Since then it has just been a case of being overwhelmed by a case of the dreaded winter barking disease, but hopefully I’m through it now just in time for Christmas.
So Merry Christmas everybody.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Big Sigh

Passed the BSS exam today so Trudy-Ann has a ticket for the next four years. Chris from Ovation Boat Services came over this afternoon and gave the old girl a good going over.
He seemed to be quite satisfied with work carried out to date which was a big boost to me. It is one thing to read manuals and put things together by the book, there is always the question ‘Have I read that right?’ To have it confirmed by somebody who knows what should be what is truly gratifying.
Also picked up a few good hints and tips as to the way forward so it’ll be a quick run down to the chandlers in the next day or two, not least to pick up a new pressure relief valve for the calorifier which has started weeping. Tried reducing the water pump pressure but to no avail.
T-A will be closed down for the winter over the next week or two with a lot if the fittings being removed ready for the session in the paint shop. Railway pensioners Christmas do tomorrow and it looks like a few jobs to be done on the Grantham canal on Thursday in preparation for the Waterways Recovery Group (Wergies) coming to help us out on the 14th & 15th  at Cotgrave.
Can I retire from being retired to give me more time?

Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Long Pump Out

A lot of time over the last fortnight just tinkering about and generally getting the boat ready for the BSS and winter. One of the jobs on the list was to get the black water tank pumped out.
But as we don’t do simple round here, and the weather has been good. It was a case of load up the dogs last Wednesday and chug round to the pump out point at Pillings after which it was a gentle cruise down to Zouch for a very pleasant meal and a couple of pints in the Rose & Crown followed by another gentle cruise back the following day. The dogs love the open fields up there and wore themselves out chasing each other round and round.
A thoroughly relaxing couple of days with the only thing of note being the state of Loughborough lock.
The bottom gates were leaking so much the top gates could only be opened by opening all the paddles to overcome the flow. It’s a shame really because the damage is obviously being caused by boats rubbing along the leading edge of the gates. I know boating is a contact sport, but this seems rather unnecessary.
Today has been a bit busier down with the GCS clearing foliage from lock 12 down towards Muston after being fortified by an all you can eat breakfast at Muston Gap
An awful lot of the work hade been started on by Thursdays work party while I had been chilling out.
Getting lazy in my old age.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Those Bits and Pieces

There has not been a lot to make notes about lately. It has all been bits and bobs generally getting ready for winter around the home and garden, with the odd day down at Woolsthorpe with the GCS. The birds still don’t seem to be using the feeder yet. I hope it’s just because there are plenty of  berries and seeds about and not because I’ve not got the design wrong.
In the garden the hazel and cob nut bushes are in the process of being pruned but there are so many off cuts that I need to have a bonfire before I can cut any more and there are still the fruit trees to do as well once the last of the apples and pears are off.
Otherwise around the home it has been a case of tidying up the sheds, as over the year they have become very disorganised and cluttered.
Found a good use for T-A’s old floorboards though.
Toasting forks and crumpets at the ready.
Also went down the local scrap yard to weigh in all the old cable that had been removed from T-A. Didn’t get much though, copper has dropped from £4 to £2.50 a kilo –ah well at least I won’t keep tripping over it now.
Work on the wheelhouse is slow because by its very nature it is a series of small panels in different directions and angles, especially with me adding extras  such as drink shelves for the rear seat passengers and speakers for the radio.
On top of that there has been plenty of checking going on getting ready for the BSS on December 3rd.
Fingers crossed that I haven’t dropped too many clangers J

Friday, 25 October 2013

Blooming Weather

Well the weather over the past week doesn’t seem to have been up to much. At one stage I even resorted to housework to relive the boredom. Otherwise time has been spent in the shed making up a few bits and pieces as it has been far too wet to get many jobs done in the garden. Looking for a few dry days to give the grass its final cut of the year and burn off some cuttings.
A couple of visits to T-A just to see everything is OK and take a few measurements for the wheelhouse panelling. Some time has been spent updating the owners manual, just in case it is needed for the BSS due in December. Yep she’s 4 years old in December and still only clocked up 200 engine hours. Methinks that may change dramatically over the years to come.
Down at Woolsthorpe depot with the GCS yesterday putting up the new bird feeder
While the rest of the lads were trying to burn off the straw put down for the discovery day
Good job I was up wind.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

One For The Birds

Well another week has flown by. Had a meal out at ‘The Otter’ at Kegworth last Friday which was excellent and was able to wish Andrew and Anna safe journey back to New Zealand where I presume they keep an eye on the tectonic plates. Though it must be boring staring at a rock all day. (Somehow I think there is a bit more to it than that.)
Saturday was busy down at the carpenters shop at Woolsthorpe getting ready for the discovery day. Sunday came and the rain rained and the wind blew but the people still came to see what we were up to. It really good to see how many braved the weather to support the society and at the end of the day over £1200 had been raised. My duck has been sacked after coming nowhere in the dirty duck race, I’ll have to see if I can get a better signing for next year.
Monday was a fairly non day just pottering about with odd jobs in the shed and popped down to T-A to get my wet weather gear ready for Tuesday.
A very early start for me to get down to Streethay Wharf with Ian and Tony from GCS to take the RYA inland waterway helmsman course with Dusty and Phil on NB Centenary. The weather was kind to us and we had a very enjoyable and informative day, cruising round to Fradley and toward the marina at Bromley where we winded.
Ian’s turn on the tiller while we lock wheeled.
There is plenty of practical work between bouts of theory and instruction.
I was on the tiller when we winded and managed to cock it up with what felt like a 97 point turn, but even so we all came away with certificates. The photograph on mine is such a miserable looking git it has got to be somebody elseJ.
The last couple of days have been in the workshop making up bits for the wheelhouse panelling and building  a nice big bird table/feeder for the depot at Woolsthorpe for one of the lads who has managed to arrange a supply of bird food. Expect some pictures as things get a bit nearer completion.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Another Week Of Variety

We spent a fair bit of time in the garden this week, harvesting apples, pears and nuts, between catching up with the trimming of grass and trees. There’s going to be quite a bonfire in a few days. Last Saturday I was out with the GCS and CaRT with some 30 students from Loughborough University clearing scrub from around lock 11 at Cropwell, they seemed to enjoy themselves and have even volunteered to come again. I for one will be pleased to see them as they did a blooming good job.
On Trudy-Ann the water pump pressure has been reduced to see if that will stop tripping the relief valve on the calorifier which has a tendency to weep now and again. Checked out the toilet which has been struggling at times and was relived to find it was just an air valve not seating correctly. (Whew or should that be phoo). With the replacement hinges the old screw holes in the woodwork have been plugged with slivers of sapele and given a couple of coats of Impreg. Hopefully that will hold things until February when she is booked into the paint shop. It is my intention at that time to remove the skylight and wheelhouse to bring them home for rubbing down and re-varnishing.
Busy time coming up as we are out to lunch with nephew Andrew tomorrow who is home on a flying visit from New Zealand and then on Saturday it is down to Woolsthorpe to help with the final preparations for the Dirty Duck Race Day on Sunday. Plenty of stalls and things to keep people amused, duck race starts at 2.22. Details on the Grantham Canal website http://www.granthamcanal.org Drop by if you can it’s well worth a visit.
Next week I’m booked up on a RYA helmsmans course with some of the lads from the society.
Nearly three years into retirement, still chasing my tail and loving it.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Foxton Trip

A bit of a monster blog for me this is. Should have taken more photo’s but was just too busy chilling out. Despite a few mishaps and problems it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Sunday 22/09  Pillings - Watermead Country Park
Set off about 2 o’clock at a leisurely pace as it should only be a short run of about 3 hours, sharing locks all the way. Mostly with two couples on ‘Lock by Lock’. After the long lay off their experience was a great help to get back into the swing. Passed ‘Seyella’ but saw no one to say hello, shame that, Its one of the blogs I like to follow. The weather is looking good and the forecast is looking promising.
Now moored beside Watermead Country Park enjoying some well earned bacon cobs. Nothing but healthy eating on this trip J
7 miles / 6 locks
Total 7 miles / 6 locks
Monday 23/09  Watermead Country Park – Kings Lock
A good day again for sharing locks, started with a couple on ‘Elysium’ who went as far as Leicester Castle Park with us and then it was only three more locks to stop just short of Kings Lock.  Some of the locks are very heavy and it’s a shame there is so much rubbish floating about. At least we managed to get through without picking anything up.
8 miles / 8 locks
Total 15 miles / 14 locks
Tuesday 24/09  Kings Lock – Kilby Bridge
Disturbed night as some saddo went down the moored boats banging on the hulls about 03.45.
Dogs went ballistic so we were wide awake for the next hour. Had a bit of lie in and a late start but managed  to  wear the dogs out in Aylestone Meadows. Then a bit of a scare when the heating started playing up but just needed a drop more coolant in the header tank. Hopefully the last of the air is now out of the system.
Shared the first  six locks with Neil on ‘Ruby Too’ before we stopped for a lunch break and to let the dogs out.
We have now passed Whetstone winding hole the furthest south we have been so far. Now we are alone Karen agreed to steer the boat on her own whilst I lock wheeled. It all went very well so now I’m worried I may have to work for a living. J 
Now moored just south of Kilby Bridge enjoying a stew from the slow cooker.
6 miles / 9 locks
Total 21 miles / 23 locks
Wednesday 25/09 Kilby Bridge – Foxton Locks
A day of problems most of which were over come. Last night the black water gauge suddenly decided to show full and it became difficult to flush the toilet, so first thing in the morning we reversed the three hundred yards to Kilby Bridge to use the pump out facilities. Problem, the pump out is CRT card but none of the staff around have authority to sell cards or know how to get hold of one. Now what do we do? We are up black water creek without a pumpout! We decided to bite the bullet and head for Debdale marina but that is a long way away. By lunchtime we had done 7 locks and were going well. Karen had started taking the helm into the locks and we were getting into a good routine taking it in turns to go ahead and lockwheel. . The pound between Spinney Lock (24) and Newton Top Lock (23) was very low and we grounded a few times. Sounds of something round the prop after that – looks like a trip down the weed hatch when we reach Foxton. Got to keep going if we are to make Debdale before closing time.
After that it was stop for lunch before tackling the last 5 locks before Saddington tunnel. Things were going well until just after bridge 79 the engine came to an abrupt stop. Restarted the engine but as soon as forward or reverse was engaged the engine stalled. Down the weed hatch I go with Karen holding on to the centre line from the tow path. About an hour of faffing about with various cutting implements saw ropes, fishing line, plastic and part of a sari removed, this has put us back at least an hour and Karen doesn’t want her bread knife back for some reason.
Romped through the next five locks but managed to loose a windlass in our haste.  Had a good clear run through Saddington tunnel but still arrived at Debdale too late for a pump out. Carried on to Foxton and winded before watering. Now moored just north of Foxton ready for a dash to Debdale first thing. Final calamity was one of the wheelhouse hinges breaking as we put it up for the night. Shower and a hot meal order of the day.
Too cream crackered to go to the pub so it’s a quiet drink and an audio book to relax with.
9 miles / 12 locks / 1 tunnel
Total 30 miles / 35 locks / 1 tunnel
Thursday 26/09 Foxton  - Debdale & back
A leisurely breakfast before dropping down to Debdale for a pump out and then back to Foxton. On our return we managed to get the two day mooring right by bridge 62. A quiet day just mooching about and exploring with the odd pint in the bridge 61 pub.  Arranged to meet up old with friends Tony and Les  (Who said less of the old) on the following day.  ‘Elysium’, who we had shared locks with came through moored up on the Harborough Arm along with ‘4Evermoore’ which we had looked round when choosing our ‘builder’ – at least she still looks good and I hope the people who have bought have a good time in her. I really must start and get to know peoples names, I must know dozens of people to speak to but haven’t a clue what their names are – but then does it matter so much?
1 mile
Total 31 miles / 35 locks  / 1 tunnel
Friday 27/09 Foxton  - Bottom Half Mile Lock (Kilby)
Another leisurely start and winded below the locks to be ready for the off that afternoon.
Met up with Tony and Les for a very pleasant chinwag and lunch at the Waterfront  pub. Ordered  4 ‘Light bites’ ploughman’s which were huge, so a recommendation to meet there again.
Set off, back the way we had come, just on two o’clock and kept going until stopped by lack of light by Bottom Half Mile Lock landing. Had intended to moor in the pound but the edges were so overgrown.
8 miles / 8 locks / 1 tunnel
Total 39 miles / 43 locks / 2 tunnels
Saturday 28/09 Bottom Half Mile Lock – Kings Lock
Very early start for us 07:30 to clear the lock landing and stopped for breakfast at Kilby Bridge. From Kilby  we paired up with a couple on ‘Mrs D’ which made for an enjoyable journey to Kings Lock where we stopped below the lock for the dash through Leicester on Sunday. 'Mrs D' opted to carry on into Leicester.  We are starting to get the hang of this boating lark, the slower the better. The dogs were a bit stressed during the first couple of days but have now settled down and accepted T-A as their second home, which in turn is making life more pleasant for us. Putting the wheelhouse up after mooring and the second hinge broke on the windscreen so now it is just held in place by its catches.  Both hinges have broken through the first screw hole which is obviously a weak spot.
7miles / 13 locks
Total 46 miles / 56 locks / 2 tunnels

Sunday 29/09  Kings Lock  - Watermead Country Park
A quiet  cruise on our own today, not much traffic about. Stopped off at Tesco Express by Mill Lane Bridge on the mile straight, for some more dog food. Passed Mrs. D still at Castle Gardens moorings.
Leicester may be trying for the city of culture banner but it wouldn’t hurt to clear some of the rubbish floating around the river. North Lock seems to be in a sorry state with badly fitting gates and rotten woodwork. In fact we have passed through several locks that will require remedial action over the winter. Moored up beside Watermead Country Park about 3:30, with the intention of giving the dogs a good walk. Could probably have made it to Pillings – but what’s the rush J.
We are well ahead of schedule having factored in at least two days where we would not move owing to poor weather, but it has been fine throughout the trip.
8 miles / 8 locks
Total 54 miles / 64 locks / 2 tunnels.
Monday 30/09 Watermead Country Park – Pillings Marina.
Another gentle cruise back to the marina just taking our time, arriving back about lunch time.
The natives en-route seemed very friendly.
Needed a bit of help to get back into our berth as the breeze was getting up and we have to reverse in to get the dogs off as the pontoons are fairly short. That’s my excuse anyway. Feeling bone idle, once the wheelhouse was up and the boat secure it was a case of load the dogs, food and dirty washing before heading for home.
It may not be much but it was our longest trip in Trudy-Ann so far and it bodes well for the future.
7 miles / 6 locks
Total 61 miles / 70 locks / 2 tunnels (Or should that be 35 locks / 1 tunnel twice)
On Tuesday we were back down to T-A to clear the rest of our bits and pieces and while Karen cleaned up I replaced all the wheelhouse hinges. Rather than use filler the old screw holes have been plugged with stainless steel grub screws.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Let There Be Heat

Well the heating is all installed and working after a fashion. I’m wondering if the thermostat is working because the heater just keeps on running. When you turn the dial there is no click to say the contact has opened or closed so that will be a job for the meter in due course. At least it does run and does so without continually shutting down every few minutes.
We can live with that so a fresh cruise is in order --- Yippee!!!
Not sure how long we will be gone for or how far we will get – all depends on weather, T-A not developing any faults and how lazy we feel. J
I’ll try and put out some posts but have a new dongle from EE for the laptop which is an unknown quantity at the moment.
As promised a while back here are a few before and after shots.
Heating as was
And now
Control desk when front removed
And now
Hope you’ll agree that both are quite a bit tidier than before even with a lot more happening.
There is still a task list which I keep adding to but in the main all the essential jobs have been done. The outstanding jobs on the list now are to finish the panelling in the wheelhouse, build a small bedside cabinet and. of course, sort the thermostat.
That aside we now have a boat that is usable all year round – I think the slog has been worth it.
Just hope the examiner agrees as Trudy’s first BSS cert is due in December.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

One Final Revelation

Well things have been going slowly this week. Just bitting and bobbing the main job being to reinstall the Hurricane heating. To do this I have downloaded the Hurricane manual which has caused a bit of confusion. I was already aware of the instuction listed in part 7.2  ‘Ensure the pump is lower than your Hurricane heater’ and that the left hand side should be clear to carry out maintenance and have added a swirl pot to remove air from the system. When installing the swirl pot (Air Trap) I checked the direction of flow against the manual to make sure that it was fitted the right way round.
If you look closely at the following picture you will note that the pump is fitted in reverse, so instead of pushing cool water into the boiler it was sucking hot water out, no wonder we were having problems.
When questioned about the problems our Mr. Harp stated the Hurricane rep had been out and had said that everything was installed as it should be and that there were no problems - are we taking bets on that – about sums up the whole build.
Looking on the bright side – the more problems that are sorted the more chance there is that the system will work when restarted.
Just thinking of all the things that were connected up in reverse – engine cooling system, winch, steering, hot & cold taps and the heating. I think there was something else but I can’t bring it to mind right now. I’ll have to look back to see what it was.
We should be grateful that we got home at all J.
Hopefully there will be a few pictures later in the week when the heating is finished and working, before we go for another cruise. The memsahib states we are definitely not going anywhere at this time of year unless there is heating and hot water – that’s me told then.
Better get cracking.
Just remembered - not exactly in reverse but the winch was wired to the live side of the battery switch.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A Very Pleasing Week

At long last a new picture for the top of the page.
Well it has been a busy week clearing out my clutter from T-A. there is still plenty to do, but we decided it was time for a shakedown cruise to try out all the work that has been carried out so far.
Look no tools
We loaded up provisions and dogs and set out yesterday afternoon between showers looking at cruising down to Zouch.
Being the wimpy fair weather boaters that we are decided to wind and night stop at Loughborough when it started to rain again.
Proof that she has left the marina - I'm willing to bet there are a few that thought it would never happen. The modified steering which I was most concerned about worked beautifully and is proving much more responsive, even making a difference when going astern, a bit heavier than before but not uncomfortable with the larger wheel. 
Back to Pillings today. The only shortfall was that it was a bit cool this morning because the Hurricane heating has still got to be installed. (The trouble is it’s been so long since I removed it I can’t remember where I put the silencer J)
It might have been a shakedown cruise but nothing shook off. It may have only been a very short trip but it did enable us to get the dogs used to boating
and try out all the bits and pieces. With a big thumbs up it’s good to know that all the work to date has been a success. While I may be enjoying myself doing all the bits I am no boat builder so every task that bears fruit is considered a bonus.
On top of all the boaty news it has been harvest time with this year yielding a bumper crops in most things.
Here’s a new one though, has anyone heard of a dog that picks and eats blackberrys straight off the bramble?
Tommy in action
Sox is happy with windfall apples and plums. At least the dogs are getting their five a day.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Getting Ready

It has been another mixed bag this past week and rather a smelly one as well.
The second door frame has been fitted and looking good, so hopefully, with the previous work that will make the wheelhouse pretty well water tight so now I can plan on refitting the rotted woodwork.
Both fuel tanks have been drained and the fuel gauge senders have been fitted, managed to get smothered in diesel doing that and Karen nearly refused to let me back in the house. Had to swap the drain plug for a spigot for draining with the tanks full -  that was fun.
We were both down with T-A yesterday, Karen cleaning the fore end and making up the bed ready for the shakedown cruise. For some reason she told me off for using the mop and bucket to clean up the diesel spilt the day before. Ended up with both of us with paintbrushes on the go, Karen varnishing the kitchen cupboards and me giving the door frames a coat of wood impreg.
Today has just been pottering about in the garden and making up some pieces to cover the control panel.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Another Milestone

Pottering about sort of week until the week-end. Making up panels to cover the wiring and control panel, fitting the radio and doing some more work on the second door frame. Soon have that finished and I can try out that Wood Impreg Tom recommended.
That was until Saturday when Chris from Tops Tarpaulins came over and started a hectic day finishing off and fitting the new wheelhouse top. Even the weather was kind to us a bit of rain in the morning and fine from then on which was handy, being naked as it were.

What a smashing new frock she has, made to measure and all stainless steel fittings. Even has Velcro strips inside going round the cross bars to stop it flapping in windy weather. Beautiful job! The most important thing is of course that with the wheelhouse easy to drop again there is no reason (apart from my clutter) that we can’t go cruising – A shake down cruise is definitely on the cards during the next week or so.
Result! J
Went down with Karen this morning to see how Trudy-Ann had fared after all last nights rain. No bother at all, the wheelhouse was quite dry. No water had come through the top or in at the new door frame. Once the starboard door has been done I can really get cracking in the wheelhouse and engine bay. Spent the rest of the day touring chandlers getting the parts needed to re-plumb the Hurricane boiler. Still not got all the parts so may have to do some ordering on-line, but at least it will have an filter in the system along with plenty of other modifications that hopefully will stop it cutting out all the time.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Back to doing my own jobs over the last couple of days.
The first door frame has taken shape. All parts that will not see daylight again given a couple of coats of varnish, the ply across the top is just to help keep it square during fitting.
The main parts are cut and shaped for the second but were not finished off with the intention of waiting to see if the first fitted OK.
Well it did and it fits perfectly, perhaps too perfectly as the is just a 2mm gap all round, it may need some adjustment if the wood swells in damp weather.
All the rebates were cut from measurements so a nervous time during fitting but catches hinges and locks line up fine. First coat of varnish to seal the wood and plenty more to go on.
Now for the second doorframe, though that could be a problem because it is on the off side, might have to leave it until I can get a mooring on the left hand side.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Grantham Canal

Just carrying out a few mundane jobs on T-A again this week. The main interest of the week has been the new bottom lock gates at Woolsthorpe. I only went down on Wednesday and Thursday but some of the lads and lasses have been beavering away all week.
Wednesday morning the new gates arrived
but were held up by the lorry delivering the pump getting stuck on the track. Fortunately local farmer John was on hand to drag it out with his tractor and to keep things moving he brought the gates to site on his trailer. It’s a good job we have such handy neighbours.
Taking things seriously as usual.
Balance beams had already been removed the day before
Out with the old
And in with the new – which seemed an opportune moment for Lincolnshire IWA to present the Society a cheque for two thousand pounds towards the cost.
Another photo opportunity for our motley crew – oh this happy band.
By Wednesday evening the gates are in and looking good. A fine piece of woodwork by Hargreaves in ekki (No I hadn’t heard of it before either) but it is supposed to last twice as long as oak .
These are the top gates they fitted last year and are as tight as tight can be – not many gates on the system as dry as that.
Thursday morning and we find that we already have a lodger on the new gates
Despite the work going on he/she/it refused to budge so Dave working in the lock kept it damped down and the Hargreaves lads covered it with a spare hard hat to stop it drying out in the sun.
Gates not quite finished but looking good.
Ah well back to the varnishing. J  

Monday, 12 August 2013

Another Busy Week

But not a lot to show for it. The door frames are progressing though there is still a lot to do, not having seen the metalwork surrounding the door I’m having to measure everything and work out what the dimensions are from only what I can see so there has been a lot of measuring and double checking before any cuts are made. Only working on the detail of the starboard door so that if I get wrong at least both are not wrecked.
Otherwise the work on T-A has been more of the mundane – stocking up with gas , mounting the anchor, fitting the radio in the wheelhouse etcetera. On top of that the wiring and rerouting of pipes in the engine bay is finished.
The control cables have been rerouted under the engine between the bearers to enter the back of the cocoon so no more tripping hazards.
Starting to look a bit tidier that when we first got her
Friday morning was helping tidy up Woosthorpe depot on the Grantham Canal
and in the afternoon it was a very enjoyable time over at brother Pete’s for a barbeque.
On Saturday while I was ferreting down below Karen was grafting away topsides giving the old tub a well deserved scrub.
Though it is purely cosmetic because today Trudy-Ann has been booked into the paint shop next February / March to be shot blasted over the top sides and then given 9 (yes 9) coats of paint and be fully sign written. What Andy did on the stern  the first time was  fine but instead of getting the number and name painted on the bow we got a bloody great Ben Harp logo on the gas locker. The top coat of paint is lifting all over the place because the primer wasn’t properly cleaned down before application – so back to bare metal and start again.
The only trouble with spending all this time on the boat is that the dogs are definitely un-impressed. 
Anyway – if there is anybody out there wants a good show, the new lock gates at Woolsthorpe are being replaced on Wednesday and Thursday so there will be a chance to see flying lock gates and balance beams and hopefully there will be a boat through the Woolsthorpe flight for the first time in a good many years. With any luck I should have pictures by the week-end.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


Not a lot happening down on the boat this week hence the lack of posts.
Went down to reposition the exhaust outlet.
The U bend should of course be the other way up but when I attempted to loosen it the whole issue refused to budge. Managed to unscrew the skin fitting but even with a 24” stilson the only movement was the silencer mounts threatening to break free. Decided to leave it as it is and just re-lagged it. It’ll get chopped out when the time comes to replace the silencer.
Further up the  exhaust towards the engine the gear change cable was resting on the exhaust.
This has now been re routed under the engine between the bearers. While doing this it came to light that there is a similar port on the opposite side for the throttle cable which at the moment enters the engine cocoon from the side because it is too short, creating a tripping hazard. A longer cable ordered and this will also be routed between the engine bearers.
The rest of the time has been at home making up the new door frames.
The profile of the new step is somewhat more complex than the existing 130 x 35mm plank and will slot over the metalwork rather than rest on it.
The rest of the time has getting to grips with jobs around the garden, reroofing the shed and repairing the lean to, all exciting stuff