Saturday, 25 June 2022

Making memories

Took my mum to the boat today. She’s been on holiday on it and our other boats in the past. She’s 87 now and not as good on the memory front as she used to be so it’s important we use any triggers we can to get her memory exercised. 

Percy is a sorry looking mess, we really need to spend so time on her but Leia is close to the end of her life and can’t do the boat anymore so we are struggling to get the time to get over  and give Percy a good clean. 

Sad on two counts.

At least I  was able to bring all my tools back so the inside of Percy is looking good as Rachel has carried out a small makeover of the back cabin … as well as curtains in the boat. She is deserving of a decent cruise …..

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Percy is moving again - oil changed for the record at 917 hours

 ... it's only taken me 7 months. 

November 2021 and all was well bringing Percy back to Shebdon from blacking at Stone. However as I neared Great Hayward the engine started knocking which I thought was fair to say was a worn big end bearing - bugger. Not wanting to damage the engine I pulled into Great Haywood marina and we have been there ever since. Sadly having had to give up our lovely Shebdon mooring as we could not afford to keep two moorings and seek repair of the engine.

Lots of excellent advice and guidance from the Lister forum as well as being let down by one engineer at the last minute and getting expensive advice from another engineer pushed me to opening up the engine and replacing the shell bearings myself. Fear not, the advice given to use Plastigauge  see here for all info on this interesting stuff and parts from Stationary engine supplies with the advice above from the lister forum. I set to over many months of check and double checking, holidays, other DIY, blood biking, helping others, holidays etc etc I got the job done. 

As an aside and timely it is a maintenance task for the engine to open the crankcase door  ( means draining the engine down, removing the starter motor and relay, alternator and water pump. Just to get to the engine crank door. However once in there you can get access to the big end shell after removing the con rod caps.

So all cleaned out correctly gaped and shimmed re filled with just over 8 litres of SAE 30 oil and all the above put back on after referring to copious photos I gingerly turned the key and on the first turn the donk set to ticking over quite nicely thank you.

That was a relief I can tell you. I let it warm up at tick over for about an hour then shut it down. A few hours later we were heading out of the marina for Rachel's tentatively promised birthday cruise. I felt a bit sorry for the fella who was mooring up just to the left of the marina entrance as I'm sure at about 7pm he was not expecting any boat movements ! We cleared him but if we'd been much longer than our 60 feet he'd have had to have moved....

We only cruised to just past fancy bridge having dropped down Great Haywood lock. I slept soundly that night !

As our mini holiday was being cut short due to needing to help a family member pack for a house move we had decided to venture off towards Rugely, not having done this route since I moved Percy from Fradley to Shebdon. So the next morning we headed off, did Colwich lock with a small wait to go down, past Wolsey bridge and checked the moorings which were just a couple free and proceeded to wind at bridge 68 having past a very different pig (not) farm at bridge 69. 

Now a moan, its ok for the wildlife not cutting the tow path but it makes it bloody dangerous risking stepping off the boat into three foot high veg not knowing if there are holes or worse you are going to step or jump off into ! For that reason Rachel was not keen for me to get off the back of the boat to pull the stern round - one of our winding techniques when the wind isn't favorable. So with the unhelpful actions of an impatient boater who came past while we were winding we ended up pinned across the winding hole. It took some serious pole work from yours truly to get the bow pointing the right way to get up back to Wolsey bridge. 

That's Comet our first fully owned boat. It seems to live around Great Haywood now having previously seen it around Fazely junction. Nice to see it in such good condition - a credit to its new owner 

We had another good meal there, good service and food after visiting antique shops and garden centres ...all part of the birthday experience.

Friday the 10th June saw up away just after 8.30 am to get back to the marina to drive home to drive to Derby to do a lot of packing and sorting and moving !!  It was a sublime cruise with nothing in front or behind so to aid the running in of the new bearing we went at tickover through the two locks and back into the marina with some trouble with the wind again - I do hate marinas for that, you almost need to fire the boat into its berth  - we went in forward as the next maintenance job is a clean and polish of the whole boat, the gas locker needs a paint and the regulator and pig tail  really needs replacing - a job for the boat yard here - one of the benefits of the marina (hopefully) 

So that is another chapter in our ownership of Percy. Going into year 10 now. We are on the waiting lists for a couple of farmers moorings, I am ok in the marina at Great Haywood but they will soon be destroying its selling points when they start the construction of the HS2 route and bridge over the canal so we won't be staying for sure but not clear on that timescale. A real shame for the marina  as I like it despite the price and the lack of privacy if the other boat owner is on their boat.