Friday, 30 November 2012

Percy adopts us...

So all went to plan today. Well except for not getting past the Hilmorton locks. I am out in the mist just above the locks. My crew is mustering in Derby at the moment and hopefully will be with me 9am ish tomorrow morning.

I have to say a heartfelt thanks to Jill and Tony Redshaw. They have been just fantastic to deal with via Tony Redshaw the broker. It must be so hard passing over such a treasured boat to a relative stranger. They have left the boat well equipped, he looks very much as we viewed him some weeks ago. We are so well catered for I feel at home already.

The CHAPs transfer took longer than expected as we had to drive to Northampton to do it. We were back just before 12 and Rachel and Tony had hailed the local coal/diesel boat and topped up with about 125 litres of diesel, a bottle of gas and two bags of coal. Good to keep the local traders in business.

We went through the engine and other bits again then I slowly drew back and then forwards heading off the Grand union off up the north Oxford.

Then I cruised for about two and a half hours just perfect. It was cold but the little boatman's stove did a sterling job keeping me warm.

I especially enjoyed all the bridges as the engine note amplifies as you go under....:-)

Here are a few pictures for the record.

 Rachel straight into galley slave mode, getting some warm soup on the go.
 Tony's premises are in sight of the junction. I waited as just I undid the ropes a boat came up slowly behind me, then as I got to the junction there was an ownerships boat on the move.

 This fella was skipping off in front of me for a few hundred yards. You really cannot miss them can you.
 Not a place I'd want to be but is shows how deep the canal is ... even at bridge holes. I slowed to absolute tickover as he was not getting out. I got thanks for it. Good to see the maintenance going on. 
 As the sun dropped it got very cold. Enjoying the trad stern for sure.

So this is where I ended up, just at the top of the Hilmorton locks. the camera has got a lot more light out of the evening than there was.... it was very gloomy and foggy. I am about to go out and see if it has cleared.

Halfie, I passed Shadow as they were headed for the junction.

Finally a video taken just before I stopped. It moves a little as I was shooting and steering at the same time.... remember I am a bloke !

Thursday, 29 November 2012

BSC passed .... Ready for change of ownership tomorrow

Today was the day Percy was having a BSC inspection I had asked for as part of the offer to buy. He did have 2 years to go but I wanted 4 years as an endorsement that the main systems were safe. Tony Redshaw has been very good and sorted the stove out fully, another thing I was keen on. From what I gather a job for an engineer ....

So the logistics are resolved...

Rachel and I are driving over tomorrow to be at Braunston by 9.30. We will go through the paperwork then drive over to Northampton and do the CHAPS transfer then .... Depending on what I need to know I will be heading off to get as close to Rugby as possible. Rachel will be driving back to Derby Friday pm then being driven back to Rugby.... hopefully Newbold by Tom our eldest son bringing our youngest who is coming down from Leeds Friday late... Keeping up?

Callum and Rachel will be then with me till Sunday afternoon, hopefully getting as close to Alvecote as possible before they are picked up by Tom again and Callum will get the train back to Leeds from Derby....then Father in law arrives at the bricks and motor as he is having some building work done at his place. Depending where I get to on Sunday pm will determine if I get back to Fradley Monday... I doubt it but will try. I have Monday off work and have an option on Tuesday. If it is Tuesday Rachel will not be able to pick me up as she is off to a conference in Harrogate for three days, leaving Father in Law at our house until I get picked up ( hopefully) by Tom who will bring me and Leia the dog home.

Now that's logistics !

So if all goes to plan I may be blogging from somewhere outside of Rugby tomorrow evening!

All packed.... Te problem with getting anoth boat is all our stuff in aboard Waterlily and we are not 100% sure what Jill and Tony will be leaving n Percy.

S all things going to plan I'll blog from Percy tomorrow night somewhere short of Rugby !

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Whats in a name.....

There are many reasons why people call the bots the names they do. Waterlily has been know to be called 'that bastard boat' before, not many times I'm pleased to say.

As I type this I do not know the reason Percy is called Percy. I have two lines of thinking....

Tony and Gill's children were big Thomas the tank engine fans....

Percy was the little green engine....(maybe even Brunswick green?)

Or more likely as I'd like to think this puts a real link to Percy....

Percy was one of five sons who ran the Lister company in 1926. As you can see Percy Lister was the driving force in taking the company forward.

"Founded in 1867, R. A. Lister and Co. were initially manufacturers of agricultural equipment, but after the invention of the internal combustion engine the company became a world-renowned name in engineering. By the early 20th century Listers were producing petrol engines, initially to power sheep-shearing equipment. These products remained an important part of the company's business, but over time the product range expanded considerably, ranging from electric lighting plants and dairy equipment to garden furniture.[1]
Robert Ashton Lister was still alive in the late 1920s, at which time the management of the firm had passed to younger members of his family. In 1926 the chairman of the board was Austin Lister, and the company was run by the five sons of Austin's brother Charles: Robert, George, Percy, Frank and Cecil. Inevitably this occasionally caused tensions, as for example George managed home sales and Frank was in charge of buying, while Cecil did not have a clearly defined role at all; and, although Robert was the eldest, it was Percy (later Sir Percy) who had by far the most significant impact.[2]
As managing director Percy led the firm through a period of significant growth and prosperity in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1926 the workforce was around 2000 and was growing rapidly; the company ran a 24-hour manufacturing operation, expanding its range of products and supplying retailers to around 6000 UK customers and many more worldwide.[3] Retailing revenues were particularly healthy in Australia and New Zealand, where sheep-shearing equipment was in great demand.
The company headquarters were housed in an early 16th-century Priory building in Dursley (which remained the headquarters of Lister Petter at time of writing in 2009). In the nearby valley was located a foundry, together with a number of other workshops necessary for the production of engines and the various other products offered, including a machining shop, capstan lathe shop, engine assembly lines, and a coopers' shop.
Lister engines were traditionally painted a mid-range shade of Brunswick Green, which continues to be used by Lister Petter (see below) at time of writing (2009). In 1929, the first of Lister's own design of "CS" (cold start) diesel engine was made in Dursley. The CS is a slow-running (600 rpm), reliable engine, suitable for driving electric generators or irrigation pumps. The CS type engines (the range spanned single-, twin-, triple- and four-cylinder versions in a range of power outputs) gained a reputation for longevity and reliability, especially in Commonwealth countries, to which they were widely exported. Some CS engines ran practically continuously for decades in agricultural, industrial and electrical applications.
By around 1930 Listers were producing around 600 engines a week, most of which were small at around 1.5 to 3 hp; many of these had applications in the construction industry. Listers continued to flourish during the 1930s, riding the economic financial crisis and building on its many earlier successes.[4]"

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Insurance - who do you use ?

A little cross posting but I'd like your input?

So getting close now.. the list is done for what I need to complete before Friday....and insurance is up there.

We use craftinsure for Waterlily at the moment. Costs us about £120 per year. I have just completed the on line quotation for Percy and it is coming out at £225 with a £150 excess, down to £191 with a £300 excess.

The other company I am drawn to is Towergate..... they give options:

The Breakdown option appeals as at the moment we are paying for RCR £155 for their silver cover.

I have just printed off the towergate policy docs so some bedtime reading.

I'd be interested in who you use and why?



Monday, 26 November 2012

Anorak alert...

 I am on 'Knowledge' trail now for canal boat engines that have some vintage or in my case related to vintage heritage.

For this reason I have ordered a book

The engine in Percy is not vintage, but it does have design - I think much unchanged from 1929 when it was first built. I like that, I like the fact it has such a pedigree.

If anyone out there knows of a good source of knowledge on all tings canal engine please let me (us) know. I have some simple experience of vintage engines in boats, we looked at a boat called Coopers pride a couple of years back. It had a 4 cylinder Gardner in it. All I can say it was very powerful, but also quite noisy and not in a nice way. Very much the same layout as Percy, it did have a dinette which I will miss on Percy.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Tick tock tick tock

Well, Tony is getting a new BSC done next Thursday, if Percy passes then it is looking like the hand over will be Friday.

It looks like I might be single handing part of the way back as Rachel is at a conference into the following week. I recon on three or four days back to Fradley, We have done the route on Canal Plan. Ironically last time we did this route it was to bring Waterlily back, it was July and we had to stop the trip at Norton Junction because of the land slip at Braunston tunnel - due to heavy rain !

Percy is at the junction with the North Oxford so all narrow locks. Just a matter of waiting now........with a little planing thrown in!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Percy survey

I arrived excited and bang on 9am at Roger Farringtons yard in Braunston. He was getting ready to drag Percy out and as I apprached he just walked past saying 'who are you....." never waited for the answer. I accept there has to be 'characters' on the cut but this was rude, especially as I was paying him nearly £200 quid to slip Percy.

Other staff where much more friendly and later in the day I did see RF smile.... but I don't recall having any conversation with him.

Anyhow, the survey.....first job is to get the boat out of the water..... all 18 tons of it.

We had commisioned Balliol Fowden from Anglo European Marine to do the survey. He has done the surveys on our last two boats and is very knowledgeable and comprehensive. He provides a very detailed report with varying levels of recommendation for works needing doing.

He is also happy to have me follow him around and ask all sorts of questions and explains his findings as he goes along. Having now done three surveys I almost feel like his apprentice !

Plenty to look at, they always seem so different out of the water.... like a beached whale in fact.

Pleasing bow construction.

Might have to spend a few bob  on a new fender tip cap I think it is called?

This 18" prop is he driving force. No real ratio on the hydraulic drive so it gets about 600rpm max....still shifts a fair bit of water.

Balliol spent some time inspecting the locking of the prop. Really the thread should extend past the nut. Something to worry about when the prop shaft is ever replaced.

Good gaps apparently....all I know is the boat was very responsive when we brought it down from Norton Junction on Sunday.

This is a retrofit, anti cavitation device. Added as the boat might have been pulling air off the surface into the swim.

Tony Redshaw build this himself....a good shell with little wear or pitting, just what you want to hear from the survey.

So, a few things in side to get sorted....nothing serious and I have asked Tony if he will look at them for me.

 Oh -  some inside photos.....these have been taken off the original advert for Percy.

Well... what do you think?

Sunday, 18 November 2012

First cruise on possibly our next boat !

Today we drove down to Norton Junction to meet up with Gill and Tony Redshaw who's boat Percy we are hoping to buy. The reason for the visit was to take Percy to Braunston boats where tomorrow the 19th November he will be put on a trolly and dragged out of the water for a full pre purchase survey.

We really hope it goes well and there is nothing bad to find.

We enjoyed the trip. The controls are very intuitive and easy  - speed wheel and gear selector. As the boat is driven hydraulically it can be moved in and out of gear without dropping revs, ideal for moving between locks as we did today. It can (and will) be dropped to a fantastic tickover as and when needed.

This is a quick video or rather audio clip going through Braunston tunnel

These are photo's dropping down the Braunston locks.

This last one shows how busy it is ar Roger Farringtons yard, and how late we got there. One thing..... never had a trad with a stove just by your leg.....worth its weight in gold on a day like today.

Lets hope the survey is ok tomorrow.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Slip & survey booked

Not quite as quickly as we would have liked due to making arrangement with the owners Tony & Gill   to move the boat. Part our fault as we have requested the top of the stove be replaced and a boat safety acquired. This resulted in a slight delay in getting the boat down to Roger Farringtons yard at the bottom of the Braunston flight. The yard could not fit us in next week s it has to be Monday the 19th. I have booked the day off to be there when Balliol does the survey.

Balliol has surveyed our other two boats and is precise and very knowledgable. One thing we will ask for a good look at is the hydraulic drive. Not something I am familiar with but I know Balliol fitted them to his hire fleet when he operated from the same yard Percy will be surveyed at....small world.

So nothing to report until we have the survey done.....

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Welcome to blog 3 for narrowboat Percy

If you are here you have found it by accident or more likely and hopefully you have followed my link from my other blog Waterlily. I say hopefully as I will only be adding further content if we are successful in our purchase of NB Percy.

NB Percy is a one off boat built by Tony Redshaw Tony built Percy in 1991 so not a historical boat but a boat with a great pedigree of engineering experience and therefore carries its own provenance.

It is an unusual boat in layout as well as its power plant.

More of both later but for now I wanted to start a blog as I have enjoyed detailing the ownership of our other boats using this medium.

So for the record we viewed Percy on Saturday 27th October at Weedon and put an offer in on the 31st October. Exciting, worrying all at the same time. The survey isn't for a couple of weeks so that may be the next post.