Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hindering Things!

We have been just dossing around for the last week as we both had this cough and throat that seems to be going around..
Just to add to the problems Del has had a small back ache which has hindered things..
To top it all we had an email from CaRT saying we hadn't moved since November and from this blog you can clearly see we have.. We haven't even seen anyone take our number between Leighton Buzzard and Rugby, and we have been in a marina for 3 weeks over the Christmas period, so a phone conversation was in order..
Debbie was very nice on the other end of the phone, but was adamant that our number had been taken three times in the same place.. We patiently explained that we had moved several times and to read this blog or check with the marina to put things straight......
While ranting, we did send another email to Beta with some questions we want answered.
1. Why are they not informing all customers of this problem so they can check regularly for themselves.
2. Why are we having to pay for a modified kit on a problem which is clearly a design fault.

We still await a reply..

Bruising Day

We felt a bit better today and decided to move. We had kindly been given a spanner from the Chandlers at the bottom of Braunston Locks for the immersion heater element. It turned out it didn't fit and needed a box spanner which we had to purchase, but the thought was there and we had to return it..
We reversed up as we had spotted some more wood where we were and loaded Derwent6 for the next cold snap and then set off.
It was very pleasent cruising as the wind had dropped and it was still warmish, when we got to the locks at Hillmorton they were in our favour.
At the second lock Al slipped with the windlass and hurt her leg and shoulder but mustered on..
When we got to the last lock a boat was coming down which made things easy. When we got to the top we were surprised to see how empty the moorings were here, it is normally so busy.
It started to get a bit colder as we got towards Barby but it was lovely to be out in the countryside again..
We headed into Braunston and got ourselves onto the waterpoint. Al went up the shop and Del returned the spanner while the tank filled up.
We then had a pumpout at Braunston Marina and then headed out of the village to find a mooring..
 We just squeezed Derwent6 into a mooring by the church and set up the telly..

We thought we would treat ourselves to dinner out and got showered and changed to make us feel good. We walked to The Boat House as it was only a five minute walk, and ordered our food and got our drinks.. When the food came out it was awful, it was obviously frozen food over cooked, and we are not moany people but we had to complain. We were offered our money back and we left still hungry, sadly we won't be returning.
Back on Derwent6 it was cheese on toast for us watching some telly, hoping we wouldn't get ill from the food we had just tried to eat..
It had been a long busy day and we were ready for bed, Del with his back and Al with here sore legs and shoulder.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sharpening up

We woke up to ice again on the side of Derwent6 and we needed that wood cut up on the roof..
The chain on the chainsaw had gone blunt and it was time to sharpen things up a little..
We have three chains and Del managed to do all three and fit one on the chainsaw..

So we are ready to go, a job for tomorrow we think..
Al walked up to the general store and posted a letter and also got a few provisions..
This was going to be a lazy day for us..

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Just Enjoying!

We made our way back to our favourite mooring and gathered some wood on the way..

Our plan was to just be on our own for a few days, and we made our way to where we knew we could get a good supply of wood, there seems plenty around this year..

Derwent6 had done it's 10 hours since the bottom pulley had fallen off due to a loose crankshaft nut..
Del removed the belts and checked the pulley, all good. He did manage to get another quarter turn on the outside clamp bolts so it was worth checking.. Its next check is at 40 hours! We still haven't had an invoice from Beta yet and have asked a few questions we want answered, so watch this space!

Del also had to repair the shower pump as the bolt holding the diaphragm had fallen off just as we were leaving before Christmas..

It also got serviced with new valves, as good as new now..

Its so quiet on the canal's at the moment and Tooty is happy to have it all to himself.. Del got to work on the brasses and Al got Derwent6 shipshape, and the Christmas decks came down for another year..

So we are JUST ENJOYING! we are so lucky! (Doing our press up's as we write this)..

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Wow what a Christmas and New Year

Well Happy New Year folks!  New year new start..
We have had just a fantastic Christmas, ate too much, drunk too much, and saw so many people and we still didn't see them all..
We spent the bulk of our time down in Whitstable with friends Zoe and Greg, who put up with us both, and what a great time we had. 
We pubbed, partied, and ate for England.........
We had just a fantastic Christmas dinner (after the Neptune pub on the beach of course)
Thanks guys we luv ya!
We managed to see Bernie and Sarah and Steve and Erica, who we went to the States with last year, and Del even managed to get some gliding in at Long Man in Brighton.

We also saw Terry and Ron (Del's stepmum) who kindly put us up for a week and also arranged a couple of gatherings before Christmas and on Boxing Day, where we got together with Cliff and Lou (Del's brother) and all the kids. Thanks so much both! xx
In between all this we saw friends Steve and Deb, who invited us to theirs for a delicious curry. It was then down to Bentley in Hampshire to see Jo and Brian (Al's sister) and it was lovely to see all the family together. They supplied more nibbles and drink and we had a good catch up..
From there it was on to Reading where we met up with Joy and Steve (Al's work friend). They had cooked a lovely roast dinner in the evening and it was quality, and very relaxing.. We stayed at their six star abode and felt like movie stars.. We were even taken out for a lovely breakfast at the Rustic cafe just round the corner before we headed back to Kent.
One of the highlights of the week was a family gathering on Del's side. At Del's Uncle John's funeral earlier in the year, we had all arranged to meet at Christmas as we were sick of seeing everyone only at funerals..  Terry had sorted out a venue and about 25 of us all turned out with more food and drink, it was so lovely to see everyone and long may this new tradition continue..
News Years Eve was bonkers. We met back at Zoe and Greg's before the pub... From there it was on to the Duke where two bands were playing. The first band were playing Reggie which got everyone going and then a brilliant band called Big Orange Head played, go see them if they're in your area..
If you think the party was going to stop there, think again. From the beach we ended up at Zoe's for a Disco.

They have a huge jukebox up on the wall and every hit from the 70's was played, and we all joined in on all different sorts of instruments from guitar to Uke, and every percussion instrument you can think off.. yep we fell into bed at dawn..  Hic!
After a very late start on New Years Day, we stopped in at Bernie and Sarah's again and they had done a fabulous cold meat spread to help that new years resolution of losing weight, the perfect end to wrap things up..
We stayed with them that night and set off after the morning rush hour and hit the M1 to pick up Tooty, the travel sick cat, and get back to normal (not that our life is normal!)
After we had cleared up the cat sick we opened up Derwent6 and warmed things up.. It had been cold as some of the Christmas cards had fallen down, but it was so nice to be home..
While things were warming up and Tooty was on guard, we went food shopping and there was no beer or chocolate in sight..
The next day was clear out day; as we always end up bringing back loads it means loads have to go if it hasn't been used.. charity shops do ok with us at the beginning of the year.. A big thank you to everyone who got us Christmas Presents, we are now listing hard to starboard and dredging the system as we go along..
The hire car went back and we untied the ropes and drifted off back to the cut where Derwent6 belongs..
It was lovely to be cruising free and thinking about what next!!
We have loads of plans!!

Friday, December 22, 2017

To all our readers!

So here we are on shoreline and running the engine until it has done its 10 hours and then Del can check it.. It has been quite good really because we have been able to do loads of things we couldn't have done on the cut.. Today we fixed the immersion heater which had stopped working when we were in Liverpool earlier in the year.. We fitted a new one and it had to be rewired, also as it was warmer, we let the fire go out and fitted the rope on the doors.. The veiws are still stunning here in the morning and we are looking forward to Christmas now..

We are now going to take a break from the blog.. Oh nearly forgot, we haven't heard back from Beta or received our invoice yet..
We just want to wish everyone who reads the blog a very Merry Christmas and lets hope its a fantastic new year..

Rev counter problem

After doing the crankshaft pulleys, Beta asked us for the hours that Derwent6 had done.. When we looked we had a blank screen on the hours gauge.. After looking on the forums we saw that if they have a damp problem they stop working..

When Del was doing the pulley's it was snowing at times, and as light was needed to work on the engine the sliding hatch was left open and the gauges got wet..
Del removed the Rev Counter and dried it out next to the fire, and he also noticed one of the panel bulbs had blown.
We went to the chandlers in Braunston and picked up a few things...... oil, a chimney brush, and some rope for the fire door..
On our return Del fitted the bulbs and refitted the Rev Counter and hay presto it worked..
We have now sent the hours into Beta and are waiting for our invoice.
We are enjoying being on shoreline for the Christmas period and also having a hire car is a nice treat..

Monday, December 18, 2017

Dense Fog for a treat!

It was another cold night and the canal was frozen, but only just. Del got up and started to chop up the wood on the roof to fill up the front locker. Halfway through Al made a nice egg on toast breakfast to keep us going.. When the wood was done, Derwent6 got a quick wipe down and then we set off for a change of scenery..
It had warmed up very slightly and two boats had gone past us breaking up the ice, so we felt it wouldn't do too much damage. The problem was the dense mist which had descended on us, which turned into freezing fog..

We came through Hillmorton and it got like pea soup, so the lights were on.
They are really getting on with the new bridge at Butlers Leap which will be bridge 66A.
We came to Clifton Marina and we were blocked again by boats across the canal and had to wait while they moved them..
With all this fog we did spot some great wildlife, but the concentration levels needed were very high..
Things seemed to clear a bit as you came to the tunnel at Newbold but that changed when you came out the outside..

The fog was now so bad you could hardly see 50 feet in front of you, as you can see from this picture of a boat coming with no lights..
We turned into Brinklow Marina and found it still solid with ice as we pulled onto the services for a pumpout. We cut a path to get there...
Until this engine is sorted and we check our battery situation we feel we need to be on shoreline for a bit, so we have decided to treat ourselves to power and a hire car for Christmas..
It has been a tough week or so, but we got through it. We do like a challenge, we think that's why we do this!.. 

A Catch Up

It was a late start for us as we got in at 2.30am, so our morning started with a cup of tea in bed watching the Strictly final. It was pouring hard with rain outside and it was a nice feeling that Derwent6 was again running under its own power..
We did three hours of engine running so the batteries got a good charge. At 10 hours we have to take the pulley off again and re-check the allen key bolts on the clamp on the crankshaft pulley to see if they have moved, After doing this we will then mark the end of the crankshaft to check future movement.. It also has to be checked again at 40 hours.. If you look at the latest engines they have a adjustable plate fitted on the end of them which it looks like it bolts to the clamp, why haven't we got this design?
We had collected all our Christmas cards from Kent and opened them up over a coffee and a mince pie and then put them up. A big Thank you to all of you that sent one..
We had run our food levels right down, so planned to go out for lunch. We had the car and thought we would go for a nice Sunday roast dinner.
With full tummies and the rain having stopped we made our way back to Derwent6.
In the evening we watched Sports Personality and the Apprentice before going to bed to catch up with more sleep..

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Running at last, to a 30th Birthday

So again it was up early and everything in the engine room ended up on the bed with a old sheet over it..
Del set about trying to split these pulleys and first tried a sander around the end where it was stuck coming off. After a bit of grease it still wouldn't budge, so a bit of brute force was then in action. Terry had a good grinder we could borrow and we ended up taking a lump of the old pulley. Hurray! it fell off...
We bolted it together and then after another check of the clamp we fitted the old and new pulley on the end..
It was then a case of fitting the belts and my god they were tight to get over the pulleys, but were fine when they were on..

We were soon ready for ignition and kept our fingers crossed. The Beta 50 turned over slowly, as the battery had become a bit low, but then burst into action and purred like a kitten.
 It was a lovely sound and feeling to see the batteries getting charged and the water getting hot, it was time to spoil ourselves with a lovely long shower, with one ear on the rotation of the engine in the background..
It passed the first hour with flying colours and so we quickly got ready for the next stage of the day.
After checking and turning off the engine, we locked up Derwent6 and then we jumped in the car we had hired and headed down the M1.
We drove to Kent and popped in at Bernie and Sarah's and picked up our post with all our Christmas cards. We then went into Maidstone and to our nephew Dale's 30th Birthday. It was lovely to get together with some old friends and family just before Christmas. During his birthday speech Dale proposed to his girlfriend Fiona, a lovely surprise!..
It was a lovely evening and we said our goodbyes at midnight and then headed back to the M1. Staying over wasn't an option as we needed to double check the engine. We arrived back to Derwent6 at 2.30am and crashed into bed.. A really exhausting day!

Modified kit arrived

We had to get up early as we had a 7.30am to 10.30am delivery to pick up.. We got a text saying our parcel would arrive at around 10.00am and sure enough it did.. It was the package from Beta with our modified kit in it and we took it back to Derwent6 and inspected it..
You will notice there are only two pulleys, when we need three, so one will have to be bolted to this lot..
We then had to go out and get a 46mm deep socket and found one in a commercial tool shop in Rugby.
So the first thing to do is fit the engine alternator pulley and insert the large 46mm nut. We had to clean up the keyway hole in the crankshaft and then with a slight tap it slides on nice and tight. We then had to tighten the nut and what the instructions don't tell you is how to hold the pulley. We were given advice to remove the starter motor and then told there is a small inspection hatch on the right hand side standing behind the engine.
The torque for this nut in 110 lb/ square foot and this is very tight.
You need to wedge a screwdriver in the teeth of the flywheel and then turn the torque wrench till it clicks.
When this is done you then bolt on the clamp, bolting it to the pulley first and then tightening the small Allen bolts in sequence..
You then need to fit the belt as its easier to adjust and then split the front pulley.. This is harder than it looks and it wouldn't split fully, so it will be getting some heat on it tomorrow in the hope it separates.
We had some help from Terry again with the use of his generator, so we later went out and filled up his fuel can we had used up, thanks again mate..
Tonight we will be going to bed early as we had a early start today, but hope to make more progress tomorrow..