Friday, 30 September 2016

Progress On "Flamingo's" Engine

(Boat Flamingo - posted by Alan)

(Retrospective Post For Friday September 30th 2016)

Just on from a fortnight after the Lister HA2 was craned out at Brinklow Boat Services, we were back there to start to consider the issue of the absolutely foul mess of oil, grease, water and "silt".  Currently most was under an ineffective oil catchment tray, (which someone had actually wrecked the end of, so most oil was flowing out of it and under it - some odd decisions have been made by previous owners of "Flamingo"!)).

We were pleased to find Dave had made good progress on dismantling just about the whole engine, and was already trying to source the best new parts we could acquire, (which is now harder with the Lister HA series engines than it used to be).

On the whole I will not make too many detailed comments on the photos, because I'm fairly confident that if I try to, I will get plenty wrong!

The engine had already had a new front oil seal, but was not working well now

Good progress on clearing out sludge that should not have been there.

We were expecting the pistons and bores to be very worn - they were!

As were the main bearings - the crank-shaft would need regrinding.

Big end bearings were also bad, but not as bad.

Some of the more complex bits!

Not a lot more prep to do before some of it can start to be reassembled.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Fetching "Sickle" Back To Base.

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

(Very retrospective post for Saturday 17th September and Sunday 18th September)

In the distinctive locks on the Grand Union Birmingham main line.
Finally the day we were waiting for!  Graeme had advised that "Sickle" could be collected, and other commitments made this weekend our best opportunity to move it.

No other uphill boats- we did all these locks on our own.
Graeme was himself wresting with a domestic emergency, so we arranged to meet him only briefly to collect the keys, after which we were on our own.

The Admiral Nelson, Braunston - still locking through alone.
"Sickle" remains a real pleasure to take for a trip, and we had a good weekend for it.  It is reassuring to now know that the thin patches we had before the visit to Stockton Dry dock are all repaired in brand new steel, so we no longer need to be cautious to avoid bumping them against piling or lock sides.

And still on our own in the Buckby flight of locks - the last of the trip.
Unfortunately "Sickle's" engine is also showing a tendency to smoke more than it should be, and will need attention soon, although it is nothing like as bad as "Flamingo's" had become.  That will no doubt be causing some further blog entries in the months ahead.

For now though this trip, destined to be "Sickle's" last of the year, passed off without problems, nd we thoroughly enjoyed letting the boat stretch its legs for a couple of days.

Stockton Dry Dock to High House Wharf Weedon
Miles: 19.6, Locks: 24

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Flamingo's Engine Is Removed

(Boat Flamingo - posted by Alan)

(Retrospective Post For Tuesday 13th September)

We had not travelled to Brinklow Boat Services' yard at Stretton Under Fosse with any expectation we were about to be present as the engine was removed from Flamingo.  In fact we were at the time looking to purchase a complete spare engine, and had decided to drop in and check "Flamingo" as we travelled back from a visit to look at a couple of engines that someone had for sale.

However on arrival we found "Flamingo" moved up to the yard, with most of the roof bolts already removed, as well as anything connecting engine to roof, such as controls, or exhaust.

In fact most of the engine wiring was also disconnected, the joint to the prop shaft unbolted, and the nuts removed securing the engine to its bed.

Dave announced it would be coming out shortly with Simon's help, so clearly we were going to stay around to witness this very significant moment.

In practice the roof didn't come off without a bit of a fight.  Brackets have to be got clear of upright angles in the engine room, before it can then be edged forward, so it doesn't foul the end of the cabin handrails on the lift.

The engine also put up some resistance.  Not all the wires proved to be disconnected, so the final ones were cut through.  Then it was reluctant to come off the bolts its feet were sitting on.  They were a remarkably tight fit, and a bit of manhandling and levering was required before it swung free.

Once it was detached, it was then a fairly speedy lift to get it out of the boat.  This is a scary time, because although I am sure the studs that Lister use to attach the lifting eye are actually adequate, they don't look a lot to have half a ton of engine dangling from!

There are no pictures of the lift of the engine itself, because Cath was using the camera to video it.

That video can be found on You Tube here......

Here are some photos of the rest of the operation.......

Freeing the roof from obstructions ready to lift

Roof off - some of it proved to be body filler at one corner!

Roof off.

Getting ready for the engine

Attaching strops to the Lister HA2

We knew there would be some cleaning up to do - this is the easiest bit.

There is no evidence this has been out since it was put there in 1968.

Roof lifted back on to keep at least the worst of the weather out.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Steel-work on Sickle - Part 2.

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

(Retrospective post for Wednesday 7th September 2016)

This was over a month since we had last visited "Sickle" in Stockton Dry Dock, although we had been getting updates from Graeme in the meantime.

Work was now entering its final phases, and it was arranged that our surveyor would also drop in before anything got painted over to satisfy himself that all necessary work had been done, and for us all to make sure we were happy with everything.

The main things still to be done at this stage was to complete the bulkhead at the forward end of the hold, (this had been deliberately left open until now to allow thorough de-rusting and painting of the locker in the bows), and then to apply the necessary anodes and blacking.

I'll just post a selection of the photos taken this day.

The complex shape of the bow meant building up the new steel from strips.

Replated section with repaired guard irons reattached

Larger replated section further forward

Extending existing over-plate on rear swim.

This view shows the most extensive areas with new plate

Additional areas we decided to do, although survey did not require it.

Repaired and reinstated ice-breaking additions, riveted to new plate.

Same on left - front bulkhead still to complete

Plating here built up in 6mm steel proved to be Graeme's biggest challenge.

Sharing the extensive dock facilities.

The boat alongside is being built from multiple BCN boat parts.

Two pieces cut out, showing hidden damage behing knees.


Some of the worst steel removed - still watertight, but thin in parts.

Here a small hole is actually present - fortunately above the waterline!


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Last "Flamingo" Trip Before Engine Is Rebuilt

(Boat Flamingo - posted by Alan)

(Retrospective post for Tues 20 Aug to Weds 1st Sep)

Atherstone locks
Well, we had a great time at Alvecote, and it still remains my favourite event of the historic narrow boating calendar.  We had taken a slightly risky decision to be there at all, in view of the issues with Flamingo's engine, but now all we had to do was to make it back to the yard of Brinklow Boat Services, where the engine was due to be removed and rebuilt.

As previously, we were definitely not rushing, as it was making much less smoke being worked at a moderate pace than if we risked working the engine hard.

Starting to make the 180 degree turn at Hawkesbury Junction
No new issues were encountered, and again things did not get noticeably worse.  We now had to wait for a diagnosis on the engine once dismantled, but there seemed to have been no further harm done by making the tip to Alvecote before we handed it over at Brinklow.

Alvecote (Coventry Canal to Stretton Arm, Brinklow, Oxford Canal)
Miles: 25.3, Locks: 12