Friday, 4 March 2016

....There's always a job .....

5 March 2016 Preparing for the next trips

I've bought narrowboat oil (without additives) and antifreeze, plus oil and fuel filters. We visited the boat on Wednesday, to service the engine and maybe go out ..... until I realised the extent of the damage to the bowthruster pump mounting. This is powered by a belt, in the same way as the alternators. This 1cm thick iron had fractured! Also, the mounting was welded to the engine mounting bracket, and it was this that had broken, so the front left engine mounting was not doing its job. John got down and managed to use our socket set and spanners to dismantle the two halves of the mounting bracket: My good schoolfriend, agricultural engineer Sam Howard, examined the break and diagnosed old fatigue fractures / cracks - the last bit had given way - so welding and added reinforcement should solve the problem, hopefully. I must open the weed hatch at the front and check and grease the hydraulic bowthruster itself, too.

The replacement oil filter turned out to have the wrong thread, 3/4" instead of 20mm: So much for Ebay. The air filter was filthy, so a quick phone call to Sam at Wharf Narrowboats of Braunston, Annie's builders, resulted in (hopefully the correct) oil and air filters in the post as I write!

Parcelforce have just delivered a new heavy duty Bosch drill to replace the worn out Bosch drill which has served me very well for years. It and the angle grinder should help me de-rust the gutters under the deck near the stern, ready for new coats of paint.
The engine compartment floor could do with a clean-up and paint, too. Cheap nappies are very good at soaking up water and oily gunge!

Finally, I must have a look at the stern gland and see if it needs new packing ...... there's always a job to do, but that's part of the entertainment!

Ebay can be useful - I've just bought an old copy of the Boating Association navigation booklet for the Yorkshire Ouse. I have the new photographic version, but prefer the old hand-written ones (we also have both old and new versions of the Trent Non-Tidal and Tidal booklets), which are more boater-friendly, in my opinion. Our intention is to travel down the Trent to Keadby Lock, then spend a sizeable part of the summer travelling to Sheffield, Selby, up the Ouse to York and Ripon, then possibly back and up the Aire to Leeds: Ambitious, but should be fun!


  1. Hopefully they'll have the Aire and Calder reopened for you by then!

  2. Are you not going to pay us a visit on the Fossdyke and Witham on your way down the Trent?

  3. Hi, Naughty-Cal! Are you moored at Torksey, Burton Waters or Lincoln? We have visited Torksey Lock, Saxilby, the Pye Wipe pub and lincoln many times. If you look back in our blog, you will see we have enjoyed a leisurely trip to Boston and back, investigating Kyme Eau and the Drains near Boston before mooring near Maud Foster windmill. We used our bikes to leap frog the boat with the car! We know Lincoln and the Witham well, living in Market Rasen :)

  4. Sam has just brought back our repaired engine mounting bracket this morning, so we must find time to offer it up and check it fits well: He wants to fit a small extra piece of metal and tensioning bolt to hold the bowthruster pump in position, as it has slipped in the past.