Sunday, 8 December 2019

Polishing a Toad - Part 2

Once the required plating was done on the hull of Toad, a couple of coats of blacking and it is looking better

 Next, the engine was removed and stripped down. The oil drained was a 50:50 mixture of oil and water, which won't have helped, however there were no major problems found

The block was given a coat of engine enamel and was re-assembled with new shells on the Crankshaft
All of the valves were ok, so they were reground into the head with new guides fitted.

Meanwhile Ian has cleaned up the shell and Toad is now looking better in primer.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Achilles Last Stand Part 2 - bottom lift??

The engine looks to be in a "challenging" state. Once cleaned up I started to strip it down.  Surprisingly, especially as this engine has spent many years in a river, nothing was seized on the engine.  I could almost go as far as saying it was in good condition.
The same couldn't be said of the swim.  There was extensive rust around the joint between the uxter plate and the swim, so we decided just to remove it

The old swim was then used as a pattern to make a new one...

 Once back on The boat looked a whole lot better

A coat of blacking and things are looking up
 One of the con rods in the engine was slightly warped, but this was the only replacement needed.  The engine block and cylinders are now back together. Loads of progress

Monday, 4 November 2019

Polishing a Toad - Part I

I have often walked past this boat which seems to be abandoned.  I wonder what the story is, why it has been left.
Then one day, Sam and Jay walked into the boatyard, "We need a boat painting and a new engine".  This is their boat "TOAD", it turns out that they have been in Australia for several years, but now want their boat restoring as they will be returning to the UK. I asked why they wanted a new engine, and they said that it hasn't run for three years, and it is an old engine.  I think the old engine will probably last longer than a new one!

The engine is installed with open skin tanks, and a useless external cooling pump
The wiring is a mess, but I've seen worse
 The engine room is full of water, so, armed with a new battery, I soon cleared this with the bilge pump.

Having freed off the starter, we soon had the engine running and sailed down the locks to the boatyard.  The gearbox had a five second delay before changing gear, so this was "interesting"

Ready to start work!

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Achilles Last Stand - Part I

The cabin roof was too badly damaged, so we built a replacement.  First steel bars were notched, then bent and welded to form curved beams.  These were then welded to a sheet of steel, forcing it into a curve across the roof section

 Turning this over, slots were cut across the roof at intervals.  When welded up, these slots pulled the roof into a curve along its length forming a compound curved roof panel.
 A trial fit, a bit of a trim, then welded into place.
A couple of strips of "rivets" down each side, and the roof is on, with a very pleasing compound curve.

The trouble with twitter...

Twitter is a convenient way of posting messages, photos, or almost anything from wherever you are, from your phone.  No computer, little typing, formatting, etc.

The trouble is, this is so convenient that I don't seem to ever update the blog anymore...

In fact it has been over two years....

During which time lots have things have happened, and some things haven't happened.

Some things may have happened that I don't know about and some things may not have happened, but I haven;'t noticed yet.

Other than that it is now more than two years later.

However, even though I have been in a deep dark tunnel at some time over the last two years...

I will now try to resist the urge just to twit

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Out with the grown up ships

 While at Tewitfield, I thought I should go and have a look at the locks.  This is the northern side of the road which blocks the Lancaster canal.

The locks are all still there, but missing gates.  I wonder how much a lock gate costs...

 A couple of the old gates are on display at the side of the canal

after a bit over half a mile, we reach the point that the M6 blocks the canal

Leaving Tewitfield, there seemed to be less water in the canal than on the way up.  More scrapes and bumps as I headed south.

I decided to stop for a brew, and to clear some more rubbish from the prop, at Capenwray Canal.  This is a really peaceful spot.  I might come back here when I want to get away from the world for a while.  When I look on the map, this short stretch of canal is called Lovers Creek, and I'm here on my own.  Bloody typical.

 The canal follows a railway, but it isn't electrified, so this is not the main line.  I don't know where this goes
 There are a lot of nice canal side houses, but I think they may be out of my price bracket
 Finally I reach the junction with the Glasson branch, and the first lock is very close to the main canal.
 Six locks later, and three hours 15 minutes doing the locks solo, and finally I am out into Glasson basin
 I moored up at the visitor moorings at the right hand side of the basin just as the sun was starting to set.
 Across from me the grown up ships were moored.
 And a bit further down was another "project".  I'd better not show Luke...

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Whistlestop tour to the top

As this is a last minute idea, to come over to the Lancaster canal my return Ribble crossing is in two weeks, so I don't really have much time, I decided just to have a quick tour, and stop in some of the places I haven't been for a while.

The canal isn't like the Leeds Liverpool, it seems much more overgrown

 A quick bite to eat in the Waterwitch in Lancaster...
 ..then it was over the impressive Lune Aqueduct

A lot of the stonework in the bridges seems to feature fancy columns

 At Carnforth I stopped for a quick shopping trip, and was moored behind an impressive looking traditional boat.  This will be some inspiration for rebuilding the cabin on Achilles

The bottom of the boat is dragging aginst the bottom of the canal, so I don't think there will be any blacking left on the underside.

The biggest problem with the Lancaster, is the depth
 and the rubbish.  I have had to clear the prop of rubbish more times this last week than I ever have,  Fertiliser bags, a tyre, clothes, builders bags, bags "for life", more fertiliser bags, rubber matting,,,

As I reached the most Northern section the canal became even more overgrown, and shallower - although the rubbish had all gone.

 I passed the Capenwray Arm - I have dived many times in Capenwray Quarry and I never realised that Capenwray had a canal!
 Soon I had reached the last bridge in the north of the canal...
 ..but a foot short of the end of the canal, I decided not to continue to the end!
 Instead I consoled myself with a Steak in the Longlands Hotel bar.
This is the closest to Cumbria I can get, still about 800 yards short I believe.