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magpie patrick

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magpie patrick last won the day on August 4 2016

magpie patrick had the most liked content!

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273 Excellent

About magpie patrick

  • Birthday 07/07/66

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Frome, Somerset

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Town Planner
  • Boat Name
    Juno / Lutine Bell
  • Boat Location
    Brassknocker Basin / High Lane

Contact Methods

  • ICQ

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  1. Fun in Gosty Hill tunnel

    It's not called Ghosty Hill for nothing! I seem to remember someone tell of a mysterious ghostly legger who helped them through - perhaps he puts the wood in waiting for trade
  2. K&A Trip planned

    Indeed they were, but the trick isn't so much the level of the top gates as the ground paddles having a bywash built in, so the first thing that surplus water does is fill the lock. If it then can't escape at the other end the lock then floods, hence the top beam of the bottom gates should be lower. One problem of adjusting the bottom gates is that it is the top beam that sets the level (I don't mean the balance beam, I mean the top beam of the gate itself) and lowering that isn't really practical. What then happens is that replacement gates get ordered to the same spec as the ones they are replacing. All that said, historically the locks at Devizes were left empty with the bottom gates open which meant that much of the time surplus water ran to waste. This was never a busy canal though, and even then it suffered water shortages I think that is an issue, and personally I think a lot of boaters expect far too much when they moor up. Miles of permanent moorings with big "slow down" notices - if that's is your permanent mooring the boat should be properly secured to a level that probably isn't practical on a temporary mooring. Even at a temporary mooring though passing traffic is a fact, and the boat should be tied up properly. It isn't so much that people who live aboard should be more careful, but one would expect them to be more aware than someone on a week's hire. My own view, which I don't espouse very often, is that the tickover past moored boats should be dropped* and the responsibility for the moored boat being secure and stable should rest firmly with the moorer. Before anyone shouts at me though, I do always slow down past moorings, but I also moor properly because some others do not, if my boat comes loose then in practice it's my problem. (Someone will now doubtless tell me Lutine is adrift as I type!) ETA *Note, I'm also of the view that some people's cruising speed is too fast for the canal anyway and it is these that REALLY cause a problem for a well moored boat For all this debate though, the Kennet and Avon is not a canal that can easily be hurried - it wasn't a huge commercial artery in it's day, time was never of the essence and the West Country never offered the traffic that Birmingham - London did, it was slow then and it's slow now
  3. K&A Trip planned

    Some senior IWA members have taken it upon themselves to be pretty rude about liveaboard boaters, one has even gone as far as to suggest they are a barrier to restoring the Wilts and Berks canal because "they" will go more there once it's open. My view is that, whilst some liveaboards have a bad attitude (as do some hirers and some private boat owners) overall they are a segment of the market that those seeking to secure the future of the canals should be courting rather than alienating
  4. Gate Paddles

    Portishead I think (The marina, not the trip-hop band) They're sector gates - they can also open the gap in the middle to let the water through, but this is normally only done to empty the lock as it's even more impressive! As far as I'm aware there are no user-operable sector gates - for a very good reason!
  5. Diesel fuel consumption

    If his engines start leaking diesel into the sump like mine does it will be impressive!
  6. K&A Trip planned

    SHUT UP MIKE! It's working, Nick is going to tell the whole world how dreadful the K&A is and then we can have it to ourselves! Lutine is at Aldermaston, and I'm looking forward to the next bit. Sara seemed to enjoy a lock every ten minutes or so, although I wouldn't want all my cruising to be like that I will admit I find long runs with no locks a bit tedious, although the Thames having been in the pouring rain didn't help. Last year I enjoyed the Oxford far more than I expected to, and found the detail of it's heritage fascinating. The Kennet has so far taken on the mantle, the remnants of the old turf sided locks, the varied rise and fall typical of an ancient river navigation, and the stub end of the branch at Aldermaston which once served local industry and then the railway sidings - fascinating stuff!
  7. Sea trial

    I'm not saying throw caution to the wind, but I've had to reflect on not having a survey and subsequent horrors in the engine department: these have included an alarming tendency to overheat, diesel leaking into the oil, a gear box failure and inadequate battery charging. It has to be said that none of this except the gearbox became apparent until the boat had been from Lapworth to Manchester and back through Harecastle Tunnel, a trip that involved at least one fourteen hour day and about two weeks cruising. Even the gearbox didn't show notice until nearly at Bugsworth on the outbound leg. I doubt a survey would have picked up much, and a two week long test cruise ain't gonna happen. If, however, I'd known the history of the engine I would have been a lot more cautious. I think it had been bought on eBay as part of the refit on the basis that "it works".
  8. K&A Trip planned

    Water that goes down Crofton, or at least the top six locks, isn't really wasted as it gets pumped back up again. That's why the top six are comparatively shallow, to reduce the tendency for crofton pumps to just be recirculating the same stuff. The four at Wootton Rivers each have the same fall as the top lock (and I think all subsequent ones) at Devizes to ensure enough water went that way. The four at Wootton have the same aggregate fall as the six above the pumps at Crofton: the original intention was a gravity feed and a long tunnel from Crofton to Wootton
  9. Passing Place in a Lock

    It may not be apparent but the lock in the photo is sandwiched between two locks with no passing place. Regarding the bit in bold, was the Canal du Midi a commercial entity? I appreciate our promoters under-estimated demand but I find it difficult to believe that there would be a return on capital with boats only moving every other day! A river navigation might be different of course, as creating the navigation potential has a much lower spend per kilometre
  10. This may explain why, since buying a new N reg Fiesta in 1995 my subsequent cars have been P, N, N, Y, V and T reg! No fancy new fangled jalopy for me!
  11. Not sure about that, some years ago now I bought a rover 218 turbo diesel for £2k, it had 75,000 on the clock, I scrapped it with 220,000 on the clock 4 1/2 years later, the only significant expense in that time was a clutch failure, which I'm guessing was nothing to do with it being diesel. At the time I bought it there were two petrol engined cars at similar prices with lower mileage, I doubt I'd have got 145,000 out of either
  12. At Aldermaston - where to stop next?

    Last weeks push got Lutine clear of the Thames, this was useful as I felt that Oxford to about Aldermaston would be difficult territory to leave the boat and go back to work, and the difficulty of finding anywhere to leave the boat on the Oxford extended that still further, in the event to Heyford. Lutine is now in a place where I can, if needs be, go one day at a time getting back to work in the meantime. I'm heading back to the boat on Friday, with the plan to move for one day on Saturday. Someone suggested Woolhampton but other than complying with any CC regs this seems a bit pointless, it's only about two miles! Where would be a good place to get to where I can repeat the trick of tying her up (with moorings pins but on a decent length of bank not tooo far from a road, say 400 yards) for another week or so. I'm hoping the bank holiday weekend will see another push for 3 or 4 days, although events elsewhere may rule that out Destination Dundas is beginning to look achievable, even with this recalcitrant engine...
  13. K&A Trip planned

    Ah, that could bugger up my plans to be home by the end of the month!
  14. Passing Place in a Lock

    Did Von Maillard build the three rise with a shallow middle chamber I wonder? The difference in depth of the middle lock would be quite prounounced, easily apparent to the naked eye when looking at the formation. I've also never seen any of the staircases on the Canal Du Midi, do they have sjhallower chambers in the middle, or did Von Maillard see the modus operandi and realise they would work better if they did? I'm slightly at a loss as to how this works anyway. The only times I've worked a staircase in this manner I've run water down from the top gates rather than from a full top chamber. In any event, if we take a three rise, and the bottom chamber is at the low water level and the middle chamber is completely empty, the top lock will only fill the bottom chamber, when you have filled that, and sailed into the middle lock, the top chamber is empty, and you'd have to use the top paddles anyway? Or am I missing something. I'm not denying that's how the french often work staircase locks, I've seen the pictures, I just don't get the logic of shallower chambers. Edited to add - I have now realised it makes a difference going down. With the shallower dry chamber one lockful of water will suffice all the way down. Finally all this business of dry docks in locks and filling 8 rise staircases from the top paddles would lend to support to Pluto's conclusion that traffic wasn't expected to be incessant...
  15. Passing Place in a Lock

    That is, in effect, what Foxton (and Bratch) are - and indeed what Fourteen Locks are. The "side ponds" are filled by the lock above and drained by the lock below, but the bywashes are also routed through them. They act like a conventional pound between two locks, but are off line. Fourteen locks are built close together because of the severity of the climb, Foxton was, I believe, to save money without wasting water. Whilst Von Maillards musings are of great interest, he reminds me somewhat of Sutcliffe, strong on theory but didn't get round to building much. Are there any staircases on the Weiner Neustadt Canal?