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In the beginning
sp_BlogLink Read the original blog post
Wednesday,19 March, 2014
7:51 am
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I sit here full of everything to write and can find few words to say, few words to put down on paper…I hardly want to think or say I might have made a mistake. I might have forked out 27.5k on a boat that is totally unready and just not in the least but suitable for my needs. perhaps I should have spent a bit more and bought a better boat, or looked for longer until I found the exact one for me, maybe I should have had the full survey done at a bit more money, perhaps I should have insisted that the owner pay more towards the work that the surveyor sited as essential – my head is so full of worry and fear that I have bought a lemon and made a seriously expensive mistake.reflectionsImage Enlarger

Strong in my mind in the day of mopping up the water in the under boat compartments, my back is killing me from awkward positions to access the water under the floor and I am tired, weary to the bone.

Rachmaninov Vocalise calls to me and sets me free…if only briefly and I am caused to look back over the 7 days it took me to bring the boat from Nantwich Venetian Marina to Manchester…7 days of utter exhaustion and complete freedom, topped with solitude and nightly silence save the wild life, gentle meanders and a peaceful calm I have not felt for many years.

single handed 1Image Enlarger

A bit of the Shropshire Union and a shave of the Middlewich Branch turning right due to stoppages onto the Trent and Mersey heading south before heading up the Macclesfield canal towards Manchester. Heartbreak Hill didn’t break my heart or my spirit and with the help of a dog walker called Buff (Bough or Buth) I conquered and endured and was lifted by her enthusiasm, her energy and downright determination to enjoy every moment. Come with me I said…I don’t think my husband would approve says she…bring him I say and so we laugh at the notion.

is she winking at meImage Enlarger

Then the Bosley 12 and the Marple 16 just drift by and walkers without dogs notably Andy and two young lads from a local college in Marple all assist me to make my way with only the merest disturbance from grumpy (not-so) old men and so I make my way. Each evening exhausted from climbing ladders up and down, roping, mooring, turning reluctant and troublesome paddles being one of very few boats to pass these locks at this time of year.

All these strenuous and tiring boating activities punctuated with shopping for supplies, the odd pub visit and daily I unknowingly pump my shower water into the boat rather than out of it setting me up for a bigger job before i can go much further.

Later at his Marina we drink tea and he talks about water in the diesel and microbes in the water and Marine 16. I fill up to drive out condensation from the tank finding i have used but 50 liters which worked out at about 1 litre per hour of engine. My learning curve eases off for a few moments as we examine what I already know and how I can help myself much more than I realized from the outset.

keen to get on 1Image Enlarger

 

 

 

 

Eventually I moor in Droylesden which never looked so good and meet a group of very nice people moored there. All helpful and supportive, friendly and positive in outlook, keen to know me and where i intend to go.

20140310_073858I leave after 2 days and take someone with me to do the locks…and together we climb down the Ashton canal into Manchester with every intention of continuing on the Rochdale which we find is closed at the top…despite the website saying nothing about it. The lass i speak to at the Canal and River trust couldn’t be less concerned but the person who does phone back Mark couldn’t be more informative and understanding and so I’ve been stuck in Manchester this past week itching to get away and finding issue after issue that keeps me stuck here.

view from a bridge 1Image EnlargerI might have made an error with the boat being a novice and dependent on other people most of whom despite payment have let me down badly I think but that’s what people who sell things for a living do…profit, profit, profit. But I most certainly have not made an error with the lifestyle and long to get going and back on my journey which now looks like Friday at the earliest…all assuming i am able to fix the pump when the parts arrive.

I have so much i want to say but i am dog tired tonight with another day of pump fixing and parts ordering etc tomorrow and despite it being just 9pm I must go to bed.

whats left behindImage Enlarger water in the boatImage Enlarger

 

 

Wednesday,19 March, 2014
7:59 am
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Hi Ian. A thoroughly interesting first read. Well done!

Try not to worry too much about the teething problems you are facing at the moment. All boat owners have them, including owners of brand new and very expensive boats. I can relate to your issues with leaks, especially shower leaks.

When I first moved on to James, the rear cabin was virtually under water because of water ingress from the engine room. I managed to get the bedroom dried out then flooded it again by overfilling my water tank which had a leak in the hose between the tank and the deck filler cap. For about quarter of an hour after the tank overflowed the water ran out of the hole in the hose, beneath the boat floor, along the full length of the boat, filled up the engine room bilge then overflowed into the bedroom.

More recently, I had a leak in the shower room wall which caused similar water ingress.

You’ll get over these problems as you get to know your boat and then you can get on with your real job… enjoying a stress free life on the waterways!

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Wednesday,19 March, 2014
8:58 am
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Welcome Ian.  A good read and I look forward to your further reports.  Are you cc’ing or heading to a marina and what are your plans, if any?

You will find plenty of assistance as a single hander – travelling from Skipton to Leeds last year I did not have to tackle any of the swing bridges without help.  From a couple of local kids (with parents permission) who earned 50p each to the walker who closed the bridge in exchange for a plaster for his extremely painful looking blister.

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Wednesday,19 March, 2014
9:52 am
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Thanks Paul and Alan. It has to be said I have met many – well three including Paul who have pumped water into their boats via damaged hoses, pipes and water-tanks. I think I must remember that this boat although in good nick has not been used regularly and certainly not as a live-aboard so these issues are bound to surface as i break her in as a live-aboard.

Alan my intention is to keep cruising where possible and I have no destination save the time and money thing.

All assistance is a bonus especially when I have come prepared to make my way single handed. It has been pointed out to me that I will need two persons to tackle tidal rivers and a ready mud-anchor which I still need to buy. All is so expensive but there must be a second hand shop somewhere – probably Gumtree.

 

Thursday,20 March, 2014
9:53 am
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Vaguehippo said
It has been pointed out to me that I will need two persons to tackle tidal rivers and a ready mud-anchor which I still need to buy. All is so expensive but there must be a second hand shop somewhere – probably Gumtree.

 

No-one told me that when I went on the Trent – and I am intending the Thames this year.  You do not need a crew for tidal rivers.

The bad news – a mud weight is not sufficient, you need a proper anchor, chain and rope.  I shopped around and these were the cheapest prices I found (and paid)

20 kg anchor 58.79
10m anchor chain 39.45
30m anchor rope 60.00
 
It is also very advisable to wear a life-jacket, especially if single-handing.
Which rivers are you intending?

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Thursday,20 March, 2014
9:26 pm
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Hi Alan

20 kg anchor 58.79
10m anchor chain 39.45
30m anchor rope 60.00
 
I am assuming I will need all these bits – not much change from £200 – did you have them all for the river Trent? I intend the Trent and the Thames and was even considering some of the estuaries linking canals. Certainly the Ouse and a visit to York as I head east…
 
Thinking worst case scenario…engine failure on a fast flowing tidal river. Single handed the anchor will have to go in at the stern where I am as by the time I made it to the bow anything could have happened – however much of what I have read says the anchor must go in at the bow.
 
A life jacket I have from my canoeing days…I do have lots of questions and should probably post them in the forums. Not least: I had an isolator fitted but my starter battery still went flat. I am thinking it might have something to do with the 1.6 kw vitron energy inverter I had fitted as it has a fan and an integral battery charger – but surely my isolator should have protected the battery – god knows.
Thursday,20 March, 2014
10:29 pm
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We had exactly the worse case scenario of engine failure whilst on the Trent (non tidal part) and it was very scary. It was not in flood or anything like that but the flow on it was so strong.  We were eventually rescued and learnt a valuable lesson that day (we now have an anchor) .  Like you, we could not have our anchor on the bow (no access through the boat) so a walk along the gunwhales, whilst being dragged along by current is not something I , nor hubby, would want to do, so our anchor would be off the stern too.  Luckily, we were rescued by someone who happened to see us in trouble but I dread to think where we would have ended up if not.

There is nothing in the world as precious as the gift of life itself.

Friday,21 March, 2014
7:41 am
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I dread to think as well….my prop fouled on the canal which stalled the engine under load and even despite there was no current I could see the danger there and then…with a current as well and other bigger boats around the consequences could be very serious. Do you think your predicament would have been worse had you been single handed…I imagine in the assistance you received that throwing ropes to other boats or the shore was better performed by two of you…? Glad you survived to tell us all about it. May I ask what you paid for your anchor? Am I right in thinking not much change from £200.

Friday,21 March, 2014
10:09 am
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Yes I did have my anchor for the Trent, although when I started from Nottingham on the non tidal section, I forgot to attach it in my excitement!  A must for the tidal section IMO – there are few other boats and people about.  When my engine overheated on the tidal section I was glad to know I would be able to stop the boat.  Fortunately, it cooled down sufficiently on tick-over and deployment was not required.

The argument against stern deployment is that it could pull the stern down and allow water ingress.  If going downstream/with tide there is an argument for stern attachment as if on the bow the boat will have to swing round with danger of hitting the side or an approaching bridge.  As an option you can secure to the bow, run the rope to the back and keep the anchor on the stern.

Make sure you check your insurance for tidal rivers and estuaries and what restrictions/requirements may apply – normally OK, I think, but only for travelling from one inland waterway to another.

I also try to remember to don the life-jacket for wide locks if on my own.

BTW if you do the Trent do not miss the Chesterfield.

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Friday,21 March, 2014
10:29 am
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Insurance was clear that I could use tidal rivers as a connection, not sure about estuaries – I will check this out. Good idea to have a rope from bow to stern. I have all my ropes set to I can reach them from my tiller position but this has been about mooring. With the anchor tethered to the front but kept at the stern I could indeed work it quite well but you make an interesting point about the boat swinging round especially near a bridge or other boats… but then water ingress from dragging the stern down is also quite a worry – something I have found out…if it can happen one day it will.

 

I will use my life-jacket from now on on wide locks especially when I am on my own.

Friday,21 March, 2014
12:13 pm
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Vaguehippo said
With the anchor tethered to the front but kept at the stern I could indeed work it quite well but you make an interesting point about the boat swinging round especially near a bridge or other boats… but then water ingress from dragging the stern down is also quite a worry – something I have found out…if it can happen one day it will.

 

On the Trent I secured to the bow as it is very wide.  Not sure about going downstream on busier rivers but if I tied to stern I would keep a means of severing the rope quickly to hand.

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Friday,21 March, 2014
1:31 pm
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Just because your air inlet for the engine is 10 inches or whatever above the water on the outside doesn’t mean it has to be on the inside. I made up a steel intake and glued it over the air inlet inside the engine bay so the air actually is sucked in and up. So the stern must actually sink about 15 inches before water could come in.

I have seen it suggested that one should tape over the air intake if there is a chance of waves and provide a different route for air to the engine.

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Friday,21 March, 2014
3:06 pm
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pearley said
Just because your air inlet for the engine is 10 inches or whatever above the water on the outside doesn’t mean it has to be on the inside. I made up a steel intake and glued it over the air inlet inside the engine bay so the air actually is sucked in and up. So the stern must actually sink about 15 inches before water could come in.

I have seen it suggested that one should tape over the air intake if there is a chance of waves and provide a different route for air to the engine.

 

So, a bit like a snorkel one might see on the odd 4-wheel drive. Good idea but all new to me. I remember reading in my survey that my outlets were not particularly high but apparently they have one-way seals (probably not so much the engine air intake) but was advised to check them regularly. Now i need to suss out there the engine air intake is and check the seal…how is this done when hanging from the gunnel wall?

Friday,21 March, 2014
3:10 pm
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Alan said

Vaguehippo said
With the anchor tethered to the front but kept at the stern I could indeed work it quite well but you make an interesting point about the boat swinging round especially near a bridge or other boats… but then water ingress from dragging the stern down is also quite a worry – something I have found out…if it can happen one day it will.

 

On the Trent I secured to the bow as it is very wide.  Not sure about going downstream on busier rivers but if I tied to stern I would keep a means of severing the rope quickly to hand.

…I have to get into thinking like this don’t I. I remember when I was young enough to call myself a rock climber keeping a way of severing the rope as a last resort was always part of the tool kit – I never had to use it thank god but have read many a tale about those who have had to use their knife to cut the rope.

 

Friday,21 March, 2014
3:42 pm
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Somewhere on the back end you should have some sort of grille to allow air to get into the engine bay which then is sucked into the engine. You ought to be able to see it fairly easily without too much hanging over the side. If you are still at New Islington then you can look from the canal edge at one side and if not there just walk over the bridge and look at the other side of the boat. Once you know where it is you can lift the boards over the engine and have a look from the inside.

I actually made mine up from a biscuit tin after a Christmas a few years ago and glued it in place with silicone.

Even if you don’t have non return valves in your outlet fittings, most of them curve upwards inside the boat to join sink outlets. The exception would be the shower.

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Saturday,22 March, 2014
7:37 am
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pearley said
Somewhere on the back end you should have some sort of grille to allow air to get into the engine bay which then is sucked into the engine. You ought to be able to see it fairly easily without too much hanging over the side. If you are still at New Islington then you can look from the canal edge at one side and if not there just walk over the bridge and look at the other side of the boat. Once you know where it is you can lift the boards over the engine and have a look from the inside.

I actually made mine up from a biscuit tin after a Christmas a few years ago and glued it in place with silicone.

Even if you don’t have non return valves in your outlet fittings, most of them curve upwards inside the boat to join sink outlets. The exception would be the shower.

Being a traditional narrowboat my engine is right inside with me…the air intake filter etc sits on the side of the engine much like that of a car so no worries there. I just need to keep an eye on the seals of the outlets

 

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