Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Pram hoods?

OK, random post for all the boaters out there...

Since moving oop North, I have made an observation. There are LOADS more narrowboats up here with pram hoods (y'know, the ugly canvas things that conventiently cover the stern + steerer when it rains) than there are in the midlands.

Now, I realise that pram hoods have their obvious benefits in the great old British weather, but is there a reason that they are so much more common up here? It feels like I am almost the only one without one! Is it that they don't fit under the bridges on the pretty Midlands narrow canals or something? I can't imagine that it's SO much more grim up North....

Answers on a postcard!

Boaty - quick update

Sooooo, general consensus is that my engine is dead. Very dead. Likely busted piston rings / piston rings need regrinding / stuff that needs the attention of someone way more mechanically minded than I.

As my engine (Isuzu 3kc1) was last built in 1991, part prices are getting unreasonable, and it's on the small side for my boat anyway, I have decided to bite the bullet and plump for a brand new, modern engine (and the associated credit card debt in the short term).

New engine is a Betamarine 38hp, with upgraded panel which will alert me when stuff (i.e. temperatures) goes wrong, before it blows up (hopefully).

Muddy Waters is currently in the boat yard at Thorne, in the process of having a new skin tank fitted to accomodate said new engine. More power needs more cooling, which requires an additional skin tank. They are also going to clean all my engine bay up and give it a lick of primer. I am then going to paint it, to preserve the steel down there for years to come.

Now that I have dealt with the fact that I have to shell out for a new engine, I am actually quite excited about the whole affair. Since the repaint, my engine bay really has let the side down in terms of presentability - the rest of the boat looks pretty decent; the engine bay certainly doesn't.

I plan to go up to Thorne at the weekend and take some photos of the work in progress. Can't wait for the work to be completed and the new engine installed now though. 2 weeks' cruising in North Yorkshire this summer certainly has it's appeal, and a brand new engine with a 3 year warranty will be reassuring to say the least. It's hard to believe that it has now been 6 months since I had a working engine...says a lot for my friend who very generously gave me a tow, and for my new mooring with mains electric :)

My old engine is destined for a lifeboat restoration project, by a man who knows far more than I about all things mechanical. Assuming that he will let me, I hope to keep tracks of it in it's new life.

I know I've been slack lately, but will post more soon....promise.