Wednesday, 28 April 2010

A Dove day

Living in close proximity of Dove, like next door, it makes it easy to decide to have a "Dove Day" just when you want. As you can see from the above picture, I am notoriously tidy, I did put everything away once and couldn't find a thing for weeks.
Today, I thought we would make a new Scuttle hatch from some plate left over from the engine 'ole floor. Bending the plate proved a little difficult, not having a press brake. After cutting it to shape I had to grip the plate between two pieces of 3x3 angle iron in the vice, then heat it up and pull and heave like......well I'm sure you can imagine.
Making the hinges was just bits of 2 inch by 3/8th flat and bits of 3/4 inch round bar welded into 3/4 inch pipe. I think originally these would be forged or cast, but not having either of these facilities I have to cheat now and again.
After everything had cooled down it was time to get out the noisy tool and rivet on the hinges. With Andrea's help it didn't take long to pop in six 5/8th rivets.

The finished product, fitted and painted, looks a bit neater than the lump of ply wood we had wedged in previously.
We're off tomorrow for a trip up the Erewash with Trout for a few days. So next week we should have a trip report.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Boating and walking

The past few day's I've been re-arranging the all the stuff we have to carry around with us in Dove, spare Gardner engine etc. Trying to make things little more tidy and to give us a bit of social space in the hold for our outings. Social meaning, windup gramophone and home brew, or is that "boat brew" now.
After the tinkerings last week we had a test run to Huddlesford and back on Friday afternoon to see how things ran and all went well.
On Sunday, the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Society had a canal walk to raise awareness and funds. This was a four mile stroll from the Lichfield cruising club at Huddlesford to the Fosseway lock 19.
We decided to go down to Huddlesford on Dove (again) then do the walk, while chatting to Viv at Fradley it was suggested that we might take Grimsby for a little jaunt, first time Dove's had a butty for few years.
Sunday morning we cranked up the AS and set off to Huddlesford, picking up the Butty at the Junction. Andrea steering Dove and Viv steering Grimsby, we're off round the junction and through the swing bridge just chugging past all moored boats then open water.....Andrea winds up the throttle difference in speed at all. With both boats half loaded and not a lot of water underneath us progress was to say the least, steady.
It was a quiet morning, not much traffic at all and quite pleasant just plodding on to the chug of the motor. Then we got to the A38 bridge and then hell broke loose, what a place to meet another boat. I'm steering by now, I'm in reverse with full rev's and us and the butty are not stopping, half way though the bridge hole the other boat got the idea that we just might meet so decided to retreat and then went a ground at the other side of the bridge. After ten minutes of forward...reverse...bowthruster...forward...reverse, we finally got through and after that didn't meet another boat all the way to Huddlesford.
After mooring up outside the club house we paid our two pounds and went for a very interesting walk and learnt about the design of BCN locks. Much recommended. Arriving back at the the club house two hours later and time for pint or two then off back to Fradley.
With Grimsby back in tow we set off, all quiet on the cut until, you're not going to believe this, the A38 bridge, we meet another boat, here we go again! and again we meet another boat all the way to Fradley.
On arrival at Fradley the usual audience are outside the Swan. We have to turn into Junction lock, breast up and then reverse back to Middle lock, dropping off the butty on the way and it all went to plan. Am I glad about that!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Due to the lack of signal at Fradley, it's been difficult to post just lately. We are now sat in the Ellerby Hotel near Cleveland Potash and supposed to be working but found out I could latch on to the hotel wi-fi thingy.
Anyway to catch up on last few days, we've been tinkering about with the engine and gearbox.
The engine hasn't been running just right, a bit heavy on one cylinder, so I thought I'd have a play with injector pumps. They are independently adjustable, by shortening the length of the rods you can adjust the amount of fuel delivered to the injectors. After a hour or so I think I've got it about right, both cylinder are now firing even and at the same temperature, well, within a couple of degrees.
The gearbox top cover was also leaking badly, so a new cork gasket was needed, luckily I keep a sheet of 1/16th cork in stock for work, so this this was soon cut out and fitted.
After our little outing to Hoo Mill I've also made some changes to the gear change levers, I found out the bottom lever was catching a nut on the gearbox case when in forward gear and this was working the lever off the shaft. I've now adjusted the stroke of the lever making it fall short of the nut and also shortening the stroke at the steering position, which is now better all round.
On Monday we had a bit of free time so, we popped over to see Chertsey at Kieth Balls yard and met Sarah and Jim for first time. I must say Chertsey is looking very smart now with a new coat of black and will be nice to see it at Braunston in the water.
Right back to work.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

What a do

As I said previous we were taking Dove to Hoo Mill for a bit of a do. I wont go into detail about the party, as Blossom has written a wonderful blog on it already.
This outing worked out to be a good way of testing all the new bits, such as the engine for one and to see how the prop behaved.
Saturday was never going to be an early start, due it being Andrea's birthday on Friday and her swallowing copious amounts of what she called "pink pop" Rose wine, I think is the proper term. Looked more like diesel to me. Anyway, after loading the where with all for the trip we got underway. Up through Middle and Shade House locks, forward and reverse gears working ok and we're popping along quite nicely. Up Woodend lock and its a level run now until Colwich lock.
With it being a long level run you wind up the motor and steer, so I keep popping down to see if everything is still there and doing what it should doing, quite boring really. On approaching Armitage Tunnel, Andrea got off and went to see if anything was coming the other way and I just coasted along in tickover, Andrea signaled that a boat was coming through so I popped it in reverse and put few revs on to bring us to a stop. But, it didn't, it went faster forward, insert your choice of word here....... Andrea is shouting "STOP" I'm shouting "THE B######D THING WON'T". I dive down the 'ole to find gear link has fell off, after fiddling about I get the box in reverse which then stalls the motor and we're still traveling forward, quite quick. I then jump out of the engine 'ole grab the back rail rope and rap round the tunnel hand rail and stop the boat inches from Stem bar contact. Few!!!! Apparently the panic on the other boat was greater than mine. How this happened, I don't know, but I couldn't make it do it again, but still, time for a re-design. All ran well for a while then, just after passing Trent Aqueduct the motor started to fade away and come back then fade away again, this was obviously a fuel problem, but where? I first thought the day tank was empty but no. The fuel filter? No. It turned out to be the valve on the tank had wound it's self shut with the vibration, Never had that one before! We finally arrive at Hoo Mill and the party was in full swing, went to wind round, breasted up against Trout and went into beer mode.
The only other thing I found was the oil leak on the pressure gauge pipe I thought I'd fixed had got worse and we had used nearly as much oil as diesel. That is now re-piped and sorted.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

All touched up

Over the Easter weekend the weather allowed me to slap some paint on the cabin boarders and beading, so it looks quite presentable now. It's not the best of paint jobs, when the better weather comes I'll rub it down and give it another top coat, then get Jim McCormick to re-do the registration numbers. While I'm at it, I'm giving the cabin top another coat of red, after plugging the holes left from the old gear change and throttle rod brackets.
In and amongst, I've fitted an alternator to the engine and now in the process of making a guard for it and also the low level crank which has a James Bond DB5 type claw at the end of it, just right for taking you leg off. It's had a tug at my Overall leg already.
While I've been busying myself on the outside bits, Andrea's been washing and cleaning all the Back Cabin stuff, Sidebed covers, curtains and lacy bits. She also blacked the stove which had started to show signs of neglect. It's now looking like home again.
We're taking Dove out for a jaunt next weekend, up to Hoo Mill for party. Will be in the company of Trout, Monarch and Lily although Lily is not in good fettle just yet, after the fire.
Edit...After reading Blossom other boats attending are, Minnow and England