About Me

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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Braunston Coal Run. Day 7

We were now up on the summit level of the Oxford Canal and I was steering the motor again. There were some tricky turns coming up, the worst being Cabbage Turn at Wormleighton, but I got round it with no problem and it was not until later in the day that I realised it had passed, because I was steering without a map at the time. Maggie took over steering from me above Napton locks and all went well until the motor stuck in the exit of Lock 12. 

Are three heads better than one?

We used the Pull-Lift to get it back into the lock, before refilling the lock and pulling out to let several other boats through. Eventually we managed to get through by using full revs and flushing water through the lock at the same time with both top paddles open.

Jacking back the motor. (photo by Maggie)

Flushing out the motor. (photo by Maggie)
The butty got through with no trouble. At Lock 9, we had the same problem with both boats and the butty rudder was dislodged from both pintles and only retained by the safety chain. We managed to get the top one back in using the shaft and lock gate method, but the lower one had to wait until later. Meanwhile, Barry was tightening the chain beneath one of the motorboat beams to draw the gunwhales tighter in and make the boat slightly narrower, but broke the chain in the process. Fortunately, CRT workshops were open at the bottom lock and he managed to repair it there. It was now time to try again and with full throttle and both top paddles open, it was a success. Having got the motor through, it was easy to use it to tow the butty through. Our thanks go to Bill Gill and George Hougez, volunteer lock keepers on the flight, for all their help. Mooring was above the bottom lock and we repaired to The Folly for a meal and beer and very good it was too. There were several other boaters there, who we had met at the locks during the day.

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