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.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Basingstoke Assault 2.

After a chilly night, we awoke to wall to wall blue skies for a change, after so much rain in the past few months. Fires were smoking and engines fired up for a 9am start. Jeff lit the burner to heat up the hot bulb on his Petter and after about ten minutes it was ready to kick over and fired up straight away.
1936 Petter with gas burner on.

We cruised slowly up to the first of the St John's flight of five locks and waited again to get through the first one, but after that progress was fairly swift. The Rangers were again in attendance at the top to caulk up the gates and so prevent loss of valuable water. As I made my exit from the top lock, the engine refused to respond to the throttle and I naturally thought the propeller blades were choked up yet again, but the Morse control was very slack and after lifting the deck board, I could see that the throttle lever on the injector pump was not responding, so the cable had broken or come adrift. Unfortunately, it was the former, so here I was stranded miles from any chandlery and no means of propulsion, although thoughts of a jury rig were already crossing my mind. Several boats passed by asking if I was OK, until Brian on nb Whisper offered me his spare cable, which I accepted with grateful gratitude. Not long after, another Brian on nb Zavala offered me his old cable too, so I was being inundated with them. It took about an hour to replace the cable and get under way again, but there was still a problem.
How does this thing work?

The gearbox was not engaging until 1,000rpm, which was causing the engine to dance about violently on it's mountings, so after mooring up at Brookwood Country Park, it was up with the deckboards again to investigate the reason why. I am still not sure why this occurred, but I found that by increasing the length of the adjustable gear lever inside the Morse control, the gear lever on the gearbox would engage gear at just above tickover speed. Problem solved and another step up the learning curve. In retrospect, I think the old system of speedwheel and reversing rod, would be much more robust and reliable than cable, but I also need to carry a spare cable in future.
Quiet Moorings at Brookwood.

The day ended with a visit to the Hunters Lodge in the pleasant company of Dick and Brenda and Carol and Phil. Being Good Friday, the place was quickly filling up and we were very lucky to get a table so quickly.


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

Is the full length of the Baisingstoke open now. I have been to the top many years ago and also a large rally they held a few years back

Oakie said...

Sorry for the late reply. It's been a busy day having fun.
The Basingstoke could be opened later in the year, subject to a review
after this trip. My thoughts are, that it would be a tragic waste of money if they didn't.
At the moment we can only get as far as Blacksmiths Bridge, because of a landslip 300yds beyond that. No doubt that will be cleared before full opening.
I presume you are Diana and Brian on Harnser moored by the Engine Arm at the top of the Napton Flight.
Thanks for the comment on my blog. Good to know some people are reading it.