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Tony Brooks

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Tony Brooks last won the day on April 19

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About Tony Brooks

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  • Occupation
    Engineer/trainer/retired
  • Boat Name
    JennyB
  • Boat Location
    South Midlands

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  • Website URL
    http://www.tb-training.co.uk

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  1. This ^^^ Kind of gives the lie to the statement. A GI can and will conduct under certain condition, often external to the boat, so needs very regular monitoring. An IT can not and will not conduct on the earth circuit because there is no earth connection.
  2. This is a 1973 boat with an engine that the new owner knows nothing about and only THINKS may have been overhauled. The engine would certainly have been offered as an original fitment. I would suggest that to take such a combination that recently had only been used on non-tidal and canal work onto a tidal river without ensuring it was capable of dealing with tidal conditions is irresponsible to say the least. I would also suggest that anyone with any knowledge of engines would be negligent to encourage such an endeavour. Remember reliable on a canal is different to reliable on a river or tideway as probably hundreds of canal boat owners with undersized skin tanks have found over the years. The engine is probably a heat exchanger engine so when was the raw water impeller last changed? When were the debris that tend to build up on the inlet side of the heat exchanger and any gearbox oil cooler last cleared? Both can cause overheating at higher revs but not at canal speed. I agree the boat is probably more suitable than a narrowboat although it may get a bit lively at times but it will never be suitable if the owner is confident in his engine AND that confidence is based on knowledge and experience.
  3. Sorry but I disagree, however unless you can get proper technical details its probably the best you can do. A flat plate traction battery thick, heavy plates, very shallow sediment traps and poorly supported/separated plates would probably last little longer than a so called leisure battery. Its just that makers of traction and semi-traction batteries tend to sell them into knowledgable markets so have to build to a good design.
  4. The potential problem I see with the engine is that it may have a slight head gasket leak that is not noticeable at canal speed but could cause overheating at tidal river speeds - especially going up stream. Certainly give it plenty of revs for a fair while to test the cooling while still on the non-tidal river.
  5. And coal dust with air blast injection - now that would give the greens something to shout about!
  6. My biggest concern with such an old boat and engine would be reliability. Although you should be going with the tide you will have to turn and face uptide at Keadby unless you time it just right and even then there may not be enough water over the cill to allow lock operation. The cruise there will take many hours and how your hot engine will react to potentially running at full speed to go against the flow at Keadby is anyone's guess. Certainly drain or pump whatever is lurking in the bottom of your fuel tank and change the fuel filter(s) well before setting off so you have time to find out if you have introduced any air leaks. Carry spare filters and a suitable anchor is vital - just in case the engine fails. You will not want to be carried down to Trent Falls and the Humber. You may find other river users intend to do it in two or three hops stopping at Torksy and then West Stockwith. I think it is a good idea to try to pair up with someone who is familiar with the river and also is a good waterman so that if you do have problems they stand a better chance of helping you. As you will be doing it on a falling tide the Trent maps/guides from the Boating Association are probably a must to avoid bars and sand banks although going upstream I felt they were marked well enough. I would suggest that you get them well before hand so you can study them at leisure. You may have a radio but do you have a license to use it assuming that you are talking about Marine VHF?
  7. I suspect much re the cyclic life depends upon how well the plates are supported, how well they resist vibration and flexing, how well the plate material is held in the plate and how well they are separated. The more one pays one would hope the better the internal design but as you have found its the devils own job to get proper technical info. Another thing is how large the sediment traps are. I would not be surprised in some of the extra height of Trojans comes from deeper sediment traps. When I worked at a battery agent I was always told that typical flat plates buckle and flex when under heavy discharge and this causes the plates to shed material. The stress in the powdery lead oxides as the plate flexes will be less in thin plates than in thicker ones. Hence starting batteries having many thin plates because this is one way of minimising plate shedding without resorting to plate pockets. I am far from convinced thin plates on their own means a short life but I am sure that thin plates together with no pockets, thin separators, small sediment traps and poor plate support will. I would certainly be looking for pocketed plates in a quality battery. I also have reservations about the wisdom of powering a 2.5kW inverter from a few thick plate batteries.
  8. Or buy some non-slip additive and add to your paint. I have some by Hemple (was Blakes) that seems to be hard plastic almost powder.
  9. Or grain of wheat dolls house) bulb as found in some "push in" warning lamps.
  10. In the main batteries fail from one of two causes. Internal short circuits or excess sulphation. They are cause in two different ways. Sulphation is the conversion of a lead oxide to lead sulphate and is an intrinsic part of how lead acid batteries work. The moment you discharge lead acid batteries by any amount you produce lead sulpahte but the problem is the longer the lead sulphate sits there waiting for charging to reconvert it to lead oxide the more and more it changes its properties so it becomes more and more difficult to reconvert to lead oxide by charging requiring higher and higher charging voltages to do it. Eventually the voltage required is in excess the voltage that would in one way or another damage the batteries in other ways so normal charging leaves the old sulpahte in place thus reducing the batteries capacity. This has nothing to do with the so called 50% rule and that "rule" addresses failure caused by short circuits. Now think about the above. In an extreme case someone who is blindly following the 50% rule without much understanding may leave their in late October with 75% charged batteries thinking they will be OK but all winter the 25% of lead sulphate will be changing its composition making it harder and harder to reconvert so come the spring the batteries will have lost 25% of their capacity. The same will apply if the batters were left for days or weeks in that state, its just that the sulphate would be easier to reconvert so the damage would be less. I think this is what has ruined Mike's batteries. Internal shorts are caused by either the build up of plate materiel in the base of the battery or contact between positive and negative plates when a separator becomes damaged. The rate at which this happens is related to charging voltages and the internal battery construction with more expensive batteries having features that enhance the plate separation and also tend to keep the plate materiel on the plates. It is these features and others that allow the manufactures to give different cyclic lives to different battery designs and it is this that the 50% "rule" seeks to address by reducing the depth of discharge so you get more "partial cycles" and thus less internal damage/wear from a given battery design. I fear the discussion in this topic has been caused by people misunderstanding the 50% "rule" and not grasping that it says "try not to discharge below 50% for optimum battery life but recharge ASAP to minimise sulphation.
  11. If its starting well and easily from cold and burning no oil it is less likely to be a worn engine and more likely to be an injector fault. take care not to spend money to solve a comparatively minor irritation - with a bit of exhaust smoke it will just look as if you have a vintage lump installed.
  12. I agree, probably a short to metal. I would suggest running a new temporary cable between the warning lamps and alternator but note what Snibs says in other topics. We are all assuming this is a conventional 9 diode alternator (I am not wading through all the posts in case it has been identified).
  13. In that case the lower half of the toilet is probably bolted straight onto the tank with a thick gasket or two. If that is the case don't mess about with angle grinders or files, just use stainless steel hexagon setscrews, nuts and washers. It is not difficult to push them up through the tank by putting your hand down the hole.
  14. Is the fridge door seal in good order and does the door shut properly with no gaps (put a powerful torch inside and look around the door in a darkish environment). This sounds more like heat leaking in than a unit failure to me. I have had one of these where the seal where the unit passes into the cabinet was not good. The end result was the Rockwool insulation was sodden and not very good at thermal insulation. However I would hope that more modern fridges would use some form of closed cell foam.
  15. There are already methanol powered fuel cells sold for marine use and several years ago I wrote an article about alternative power sources including diesel and methanol fuel cells. (email me if you want a copy). Hydrogen powered fuel cells are already in use in the construction industry as portable power sources but the problem seems to be getting sufficient fuel capacity. Hydrogen is not that easy to store in bulk as I understand it will not liquify like LPG so it is only stored as a compressed gas or combined with another material as a hydride. I suspect the fuel problems and cost will make this uneconomic for the majority of boaters. Edited to add - yes welcome to the forum.