Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thanks to all who helped

Del n Al walked up a mile or so, George n Carol arrived on Rock n Roll and so did Geoff & Margaret on Seyella. The engineer had also arrived with refurbished injectors. Soon the engine started and purred like a happy kitten. The cloud above my head evaporated. Del noticed that no smoke issued from the exhaust and tick over was smooth. Many thanks to John the engineer at Tooley’s who was also pleased that the pump had not suffered. “I can tell you that I was also much relieved.” Del and Geoff helped move the boat to get water.
Carol invited us all for a celebration on Rock n Roll. No less than four sets of Bloggers on board.
Then we all helped each other getting under the lift bridge and down the lock. A sunny late afternoon activity when suddenly several boats were on the move up and down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Count your blessings

It is nearly two weeks since our engine problems started. Each day I wake to a nightmare. Putting the experience down on paper and in the blog helps me come to terms with the situation. We are in the right place (1) now and most days have been warm n sunny (2). Two weekends have got in the way of progress so we wait with mains power to keep the other systems going (3).
Flowers on the roof are cheering and colourful (4) 

Hindsight is a wonderful concept, ‘if only’ and ‘what if’ is pointless to consider. The road to discovery will be a maze of wrong turnings. What went wrong and why are questions that get answered in time. It was definitely a fuel problem. Air getting in? Heaters? Water? Diesel bug? It has been reported that all the injectors were damaged by water. Whatever it was the engine never actually stopped, just ran rough and smoked. While waiting for the injectors to come back we wonder what else may have gone wrong.
It looks like the public is being told about BW/Trust. A hat is about to be passed round asking for money from us all!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tank treatment

We are lucky to be in Banbury where Tooly’s Boat Yard offers a tank cleaning service. The kit has two large filters with water traps and a pre filter which catches the large bits that come out of the tank. The first thing done was to stir up the diesel in the tank using a copper pipe blowing air into the diesel while moving the pipe all over the bottom of the tank for about 5 minutes.
Then two pipes, one metal that picks up from the bottom, the other plastic that returns the cleaned fuel.
This picture shows the water bubbles in the diesel.  Taken by Matt Armitage of Tooly's.
The metal pipe had a site glass so you can see what is coming out. During the first 5 to 10 minutes a lot of black flaky stuff came out together with the diesel and water.
The pumping was stopped and the dirty diesel drained out of the water traps. The process continued for an hour and water was drained off several times.
The diesel with water in it is a murky brown colour.

Unfortunately the engine was still unhappy by running lumpy and smoking, even with the cleaned fuel. The injectors have now been removed to be cleaned.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Diesel bug treatment

Ian and Alison are here have had their boat ‘Truro’ and butty ‘Draco’ blacked in the Historic Toolie’s Boat Yard.

Ian and a friend kindly pulled our boat all the way back to the yard so we could have a landline. Our engine and heater cannot be used but thankfully the diesel fire can. We need it to keep warm while it is so cool outside still. With the mains electric and our immersion heater we do have hot water.

Being stuck across the entrance of the dry dock and under that walkway to the museum is a bit depressing and the TV is only just getting BBC from Oxford! 72 hours is a long time to endure the lack of freedom but at least the town and park gets us out.

I suppose there is no doubt where the bug and water came from and I have told the supplier where I last got diesel. Any user of diesel, red or white, is going to suffer from water and bug contamination. The problem has got worse since the introduction of ‘bio’ and low sulfur diesel fuel. The ‘Canal Boat’ magazine for June just happens to have a report by River Canal Rescue on the diesel bug that is worth a read.

The owner at Toolie’s has pioneered a system of pump and filters that can clean out diesel tanks. He has also advised me that our use of ‘Fuel Set’ is not so effective since the introduction of ‘bio’ fuels.

The small bottle has the bug killer and the large bottle is now recommended to keep the diesel fuel clean. It is ‘Marine 16’ Diesel fuel maintenance that contains ‘MAR 71’. It cleans all marine diesel and stops Diesel Bug.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Back in Banbury with diesel bug!

About a week ago the engine was difficult to start, ran lumpy and smoked. We moved up the lock after getting water and found a space near Toolies. They were not open till Noon when we asked for an engineer. He came late afternoon and checked the heater plugs which were OK. We will have to wait till Monday before he could check out the diesel supply.
So we find ourselves in a situation we do not like, a loss of freedom. Need to chill out in Banbury. We went for a walk round the park where there are signs of activity. A fair was arriving, as it is to be the Banbury Show on Sunday. Crowds of people turned up walked round and back out. At least it was a warm sunny day for the summer event. We had a look and saw that the arena was setup for a dog show to happen soon. After walking round the stalls we were told that the next event was not the dogs. Then it got cloudy and cold so we decided to leave. On the way out we saw Del n All on Derwent 6 and had a quick chat before returning to the boat.

John the engineer arrived late in the morning. The water trap was full of water and brown gunge. The diesel filter was also contaminated. It is the dreaded diesel bug. The system was last checked back in October and was OK then. Our last top up was at Sovereign in Banbury a week ago. Anti bug treatment has been put in the tank and now we wait 72 hours for that to kill the bugs. The ‘fuel set’ that we use regularly does not kill the bugs. Now that we cannot use the engine we have been offered a landline for power. Later we will get the tank cleaned out and the diesel ‘polished’.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What a Wonderful Weekend

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee event. The whole nation is cheered up with jubilation and celebration. We remember the ‘Silver’ when our road was decorated. Tables and chairs came out and we got to know our neighbours.
What a marvelous sight it was to see all the boats on the Thames.
Apparently it rained on the Coronation day but that was soon forgotten.

So many people turned out to celebrate despite the weather and they put their heart and souls into their performances. That alone will be remembered.
Are we, as a nation, so in love with our Queen because she is? We have such distrust of changing politics that we look to the Queen for stability. 
                                          Our thanks to Carol for the pictures.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

While at Banbury

Got water at Cropredy, moved on to Banbury and got diesel then stopped in the middle of town. After a snack lunch we set off to the shops. Our ‘to do list’ included eye & ear tests, getting finance advice and a visit to the chiropractor. Spec Savers did the eyes and ears for nothing, a good service there then. “Just need reading glasses now.” The bank offered a current account with interest and other cash back offer ‘carrots’. Keep an eye on your investments because after about a year they may not be paying as much interest as you started with! ISA’s are all very well so long as they remain better than other accounts. Then on to the Chiro who checked us both, causing our joints to click as they were realigned. Ann had got a bit out of shape when falling in the water.

The day got hot again and we almost wilted when we got back to the boat. The public seems to lack respect here and one boater had his generator going all-day and evening! By 8.30 pm we had had enough and moved on down the lock to get away. Our intended mooring was full so we stopped short just before bridge 168 near Morrisons. Industry both sides and trees for shade are preferable to that public. But the birds in the tree above us are leaving their marks on the boat!

Now that we are this far south we tried to get a signal from the south. BBC Oxford was found but several channels were missing! The trees prevent our use of the sky that at least has all the channels when you get a signal. We have moved away from Banbury and now get all the channels from Oxford!

Other things missing are several pictures on our website. “I know why and am very busy trying to find them.” There are hundreds of them and I have found many typing errors in the code! The problem only shows up when going on line, which is how you do it after all. When I test the html pages locally on the computer all is fine! Seems that upper / lower case file names are the problem. Thanks to Sue on No Problem who warned me about that problem some time ago. Just need the time to sort it!
OK tis a feeble attempt but we do celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.