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, 2 October 2014

The Grand Canal Tour 2014. Plan B and the final problem solved.


It turned out that Peter could not make it to Lower Heyford, so I continued south as far as Aynho, where I moored for the night and paid a dutiful visit to The Great Western Arms.

I forgot to mention yesterday, that when talking to Bob Mitchell about engines, I showed him my tool for reaming the carbon out of the heater plug holes and he said “I can see that you have an engineering background. Would you like a job?” Something that I found quite flattering at my age!
My plan was to moor on the Thames, whilst at Banbury Canal Day, but that meant a Thames licence for more than seven days, probably fourteen days, which was going to be expensive. It was time for a rethink, so I phoned George Dickinson, the Enforcement Officer at Braunston, saying that I had suffered some delays due to engine problems and that my CRT licence ran out in three days time. He did say that action was not usually taken for a month after the licence expiry, but that I could also buy a short term licence on the internet for a week. This I had not even considered, as I was under the misapprehension that CRT licences were for a minimum of one month. I took the appropriate action, which cost me all of £21.

I knew that there were 14 day moorings at Banbury and that only the 48 hour moorings were restricted for the Canal Day moorers, who pay a considerable price for the privilege. I decided to wing it and return to Banbury hoping to get on a 14 day spot for the Sunday following. I need not have worried, they were very plentiful six days before the event and I bagged the one closest to the town below the lock.

With a lot of time on my hands now, it was appropriate to have another look at the water pump, which was still pumping air out of the hot tap; it was also leaking a little into the cabin bilge. On removing the pump, I found the leak to be from the water pressure switch, which I opened up to find a rubber diaphragm which pressed on the micro-switch, so shutting off the pump. It was leaking either through the diaphragm or around the periphery, which I tried re-sealing with an O ring. It still leaked, so was probably the diaphragm. There was not one in the repair kit that I bought in Uxbridge, so the only alternative was to buy a new pump.

Fortunately, I was close to Tooley’s  Boatyard, where I paid the usual chandlery price for something that can be had in a caravan shop or Amazon for far less. I fitted the pump easily enough and switched it on.
The paper towel is a tell tale for leaks.
Bingo! No leaks and no air bubbles from the taps and eventually the pump switched itself off. Problem solved at last, but was it? After running the water for a few extra times, there was this dreadful rhythmic banging from the stern end. The Pressure Relief Valve was opening and shooting water into the engine bilge! I baled it out and had a re-think. Obviously, the pump rated at 35psi, was producing a far higher pressure than the old one. It was time for more internet research, which I left for the next day.

Sure enough, Canal World Discussion Forums eventually came up with the answer. I searched for ‘water pump’ on the forum and there was a post from someone who had almost the same problem, which was only posted the day before. In the replies, was the answer to my problem. The new pump had a screw in the centre of the pressure switch housing, which allowed the pressure to be altered. I unscrewed it one whole turn and tried it and it worked without activating the PRV, as well as providing a good stream of water at the taps – job done at last! This was the final bug to be sorted on this boat and I was in good spirits.......
...........so I had a minor celebration, which has been kept since Fathers' Day!
Thank you Toody.
A CRT work boat came past early this morning and moored closer to the lock, for no obvious reason. I watched while they dragged the canal bed with a single grappling hook towards the lock. There were three guys on the job; one with the grappling hook, one with a keb (four pronged bent rake) and one to supervise of course! I heard later that they had removed a shopping trolley and three bikes as well as a concrete fencing weight. It seems that they do this every year before the Canal Day and then display it for all to see at the show.

I phoned Peter Darch to see if he had left Kidlington and was surprised to hear that he was two locks below Banbury, so I walked up as far as Grant’s Lock to meet him and Maffi. Sadly, Peter’s sister–in-law had just died, so as soon as he got to the mooring, he was off on the bus back home, leaving me to secure his boat just ahead of me. Maffi was moored behind him too, as they had travelled up together.

New spill rail from each injector and back to the fuel filter.
Plus new steel pipe from filter to injection pump.
New diesel return pipe in yellow. Jubilee clips at
each end are my idea for belt and braces security.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Yo Ray, saw you fly past us today!! We always seem to be passing, we will have to stop and have a beer next time!
All the best Carol & George (Still Rockin’)