Wednesday, 6 May 2015

2015 Cruising Season Approaches

Since we winterised our boat in November last year she has entered the dry dock in Stourport in order to be blacked. A decision was made to splash out and have her grit blasted and a two part epoxy coating applied working on the principal that this method is more cost effective.

Our previous boat was built by Roger Fuller in Stone and he always prided himself on having immaculate fenders on his boats so following on in this tradition we had two fenders made by Mal Edwards MBE who moors opposite the famous Anchor pub on the Shroppie.

Whilst moored by the Shroppie Fly last year there was a boat selling all sorts of brassware and Keith spotted an old lorry wheel brass cap that would look very nice positioned over the tiller swan neck bearing. To complement this he also bought an eight sided brass knob. The two were duly married together, a cut-out machined for the swan neck and a thin strip of rubber stuck to the inside to enable a snug fit onto the boss.

Keith spotted an offer in Lidl for a 240v polisher that he duly bought and boy what a difference it has made to polishing the cabin sides. He managed to spruce away the winter bloom port and starboard whilst we were out for those few days.
We planned a shakedown cruise on the Staffs & Worcs canal in early April and with all systems go, Keith turned the key on the ignition but the engine barely turned over! Luckily Lime Kiln chandlers were still open so out with trolley to transport dead battery and a new one was duly fitted. Not bad I suppose for nearly five years of life.
Now up until now we have been plagued from new with a high discharge from the domestic bank of four batteries overnight according the Smartmeter. We have always put this down to the fact that we have a 240 volt fridge and have to run it through the inverter 24/7. As soon as this new starter battery was fitted the meter only dropped some 10% overnight. The two sets of batteries are supposed to be independent of each other but we are now wondering if there is a connection. (Excuse the pun!) So we might stave off fitting PV panels on the roof until we can disprove this theory.
We are planning our main summer trip this time heading for the River Nene, a place we have not explored before. To aid this Keith has bought a cruising map of the river that can be run on a Smart phone and picks out where the boat is on the map using the phone's built in GPS system.
See the web site at Good value at £9.60 and you also get a .pdf version thrown in. Crammed with up to date information.

So until then Keith will have to make do with his volunteer lock keeping activities on the K&A Bath flight for his mid-week fix.