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Neil2 last won the day on April 7

Neil2 had the most liked content!

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About Neil2

  • Birthday 23/05/56

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    Cairngorms National Park

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  • Occupation
    self employed
  • Boat Name
  • Boat Location
    Stone, Staffs

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  1. Buying a new boat

    As regards the boat I'd walk away. The Perkins was never a popular narrowboat engine as unlike the old BMC's and Listers it won't tolerate extended low speed running, and that's probably the regime it has been used to so far. As Dave says, £20k is a really risky price range. But I reckon you are much more likely to end up with a lemon than a bargain. It's a truly horrible time to but your first narrowboat, the market is just crazy at the moment and you will almost certainly get ripped off if you have little experience - even with the help of a surveyor. If all I had was £20k these days I'd look for a "write off" ie something with a worn out hull that you can get for next to nothing, then have it overplated by someone who knows what they're doing. It would cost less than £20k and at least you would know the hull is sound. Engine wise you really want something Japanese based these days as that's what most engineers will be used to.
  2. Waterproofing Timber

    Epoxy. Then paint over with whatever you like. Don't use bitumen you won't be able to paint over it the bitumen will bleed through unless you seal it with aluminium based wood primer first but what a faff, just use epoxy.
  3. Old sayings.

    When we were kids a treat was being taken out in the car by our posh Auntie who would say when we reached a junction "Get out the meat balls mother, we've come to a fork in the road". I remember Julian Clary telling this very same story on Just a Minute once which makes me wonder if we are related.
  4. Seen on the towpath N Oxford

    I was really struggling up the Shroppie near Brewood last week, at first I thought it was just lack of water but after a few miles I decided it must be a fouled prop but it's not that easy to get into the side so I ploughed on.. Anyway eventually I had to stop and discovered I was pushing a roadworks "Keep Left" sign along. Weirdly the sign was stuck to the bow and pointing ahead as if to indicate boats should pass on the port side, I kid you not. What's even weirder is I had passed several oncoming boats, none of which had made any comment/observation I just hope they didn't make a note of the boat name (presumably with "dickhead " written alongside).
  5. I don't know if it is commonplace but when I had an accident in Devizes a couple of years ago the local surgery flat out refused to see me as I didn't have any photo ID to hand. Carrying some form of ID with your photo on it seems to be becoming an integral aspect of modern life and I suggest essential if you are a CC.
  6. Reporting this year's findings ...

    My observations from this years travels are: Blackburn is still the litter/rubbish capital of the network. The Erewash canal has the friendliest locals. It's not a good idea to raft together two boats to do the Wigan flight. Even the most miserable depressing rain soaked journey can be cheered up by the sight of a steam locomotive.
  7. Old sayings.

    A favourite saying in the Yorkshire coalfields used to be "Don't piss up my back and tell me it's raining" so if you suspected someone was taking the mick, as they often were, your response would be "Is tha pissing up my back?". Another that springs to mind is "Ee doesn't know whether to stick or twist" Someone not of sound mind might be described as "not having all his/her chairs at home" I still don't know what it means.
  8. Which sort of battery should I get

    I have 2x Trojan 31XHS batteries which are getting on for £200 each these days, they are over 7 years old and are still performing well. But when I compare this with the anecdotal evidence from others on the forum who buy cheap batteries and replace them every 3 years or so it's a six and two threes financially. I don't know how much longer the Trojans will last of course but I assume I'm on borrowed time. There's an argument that "sealed" batteries are a better choice for the average boater who doesn't have the gadgetry to get the best out of wet cell batteries but I'm not sure I agree. I don't do any of that equalisation stuff and I don't have a sophisticated charging set up in fact it's about as basic as you can get, but, I do think the battery capacity is very well matched to our power needs. I suspect this is where a lot of folk go wrong, ie not doing a proper power audit so they have just enough battery capacity for their needs and no more.
  9. Never been up the Erewash before so having a bit of time in hand we decided to tick another box this week. Stayed in Sandiacre last night and at Langley Mill tonight. The locks are quite hard work and I've had to clear the prop four times but the overriding impression is how friendly everyone is round these parts. Everyone we have met, young and old, seems to go out of their way to exchange pleasantries, all the cyclists say thanks when you get out of the way, and only one surly angler so far. Also noticeable is the lack of litter, though the graffiti is pretty relentless. Maybe the locals are just pleased to see a moving boat.. or do they put something in the water round here?
  10. We had a thread recently regarding a surveyors view on overplating, an entirely biased (in my view) account based on worst case scenario stuff and completely disregarding any possibility that renovating a steel boat this way could be regarded as anything other than a bodge. Unfortunately there is evidence about to lend support to this notion, I've seen it myself, but I've also see work like Martin's where the overplate has been done with at least as much skill and care, if not more, than the original build. I've said it before, the cheapest way into narrowboat ownership is to buy a "write off" that needs overplating the owner will be glad to see the back of it but it can be made sound at quite reasonable expense. Yet most folk looking for a cheap boat would rather have a sound hull needing an internal refit.
  11. Amen to that. I recall feeling exactly the same way 35 years ago - and blaming the previous generation...
  12. The demand for narrowboats at the moment makes it a very bad time to be trying to enter the market. Maybe not so bad if you have something to sell, but brokers are falling over themselves to get used stock so you get folk chopping in their tired old boats for something newer/bigger and these boats get offloaded to budget buyers who have no idea what they're doing. £25k might have got something half decent to live on five or six years ago, but these days it covers boats that are potentially serious money pits. I'd echo what others have said about the cost of boat living, the appeal is simply the lower initial capital cost, in every other respect it is cheaper to live in a house. £25k might not seem like much when considering the price of property these days but I'd still think very, very, carefully before throwing it at an old boat. It's not an "alternative" lifestyle if it appears to be your only choice.
  13. Bukh DV36 owner?

    I guess you already know this but the DV24 has quite a bit more poke than the DV20 but exactly the same footprint. In fact it is the same engine with a different cylinder head. The difference is not in the out and out power, but the torque band of the 24 is better and will drive a bigger prop. Having said that I would go for the DV36 but if for some reason it won't fit all is not lost. Only problem these days with Bukh is I believe they are now fitting PRM mechanical gearboxes rather than the (very expensive) ZF Marinegear. I think even the 36 only has the option of a PRM 120 but I may be wrong. It's only an issue if you are buying a new engine.
  14. Good boat builders

    I've never heard of Arkwright and I suspect it's a mistake made by someone who isn't familiar with the company Arcrite Fabrications of Corby. Bear in mind that the info on the boat listing is provided by owners/previous owners, most of them will have spelled the name "Arkwright" because that's how it sounds and Open All Hours was a very popular show. They are no longer in the business of boat building but were middle market builders in the 1980's/90's and a fair few hire boats were based on Arcrite shells. My boat is an Arcrite shell from 1988 made for an owner fit out. The company was formed by two ex-Harborough Marine employees, but unlike the "window smasher" Harboroughs, Arcrite boats are not so distinctive, above the water. Down below it's a different story as the hulls were very "fine" with a sort of double chine arrangement and long swims. Generally though, with an older boat it doesn't matter that much who built it, much more important how it's been maintained.
  15. Bukh DV36 owner?

    You do know that Nick Alsop at TW Marine worked on the Coles Morton fleet of hire boats (with Bukh engines) years ago? Nick is the guy to talk to - if you can get hold of him - don't bother emailing but if you can get him on the phone he's one of the most approachable and helpful guys I know.