Saturday, 22 April 2017

And finally.........

(Boat Flamingo - posted by Alan)

Some serious tree surgery has happened here recently.
The final run back to the home mooring today.

We were away before 9.00 am, and into Bucby top lock when a hire boat was spotted approaching at Norton Junction, so, of course we waited and shared the first lock of the flight with them.  So I was not a little surprised when Cath caught up with me again at the second lock down to be told they were stopping to moor up to go to the pub!  Does the New Inn do breakfasts?  Is it even open at that time?  Anyway we went down the rest of the flight on our own, getting into a comfortable and relaxed rhythm.

Following some recent exuberant behaviour, (and Max's dip the other day), Cath has decided to try and instill a bit more discipline in the dogs, so, as yesterday, is now getting them to lie down and wait for much of the time taken at each lock.  They responded well, and I think we will do much more of this on future trips -  undoubtedly it makes things safer if they are not just running around freely all the time.

Where safe, the dogs are allowed to run between the locks.
We seemed to make good progress, and were soon on the final miles back to our mooring.  The results of re-modelling the prop are now far more obvious on stretches we had used it several times before this work was done.  It is now much more responsive on the rudder when negotiating the tighter bends, and many that seemed pigs before are now quite easy.  Also surprising is just how much progress can be made in deep water at tick-over, (or slightly over tick-over).  Even though the engine is making a quiet "bomp bomp", it is travelling quite briskly, although nobody has shouted at us yet.  The excellent design of Flamingo's hull generally produces far less wash than many modern boats that sit far less deeply in the water.

It is still a slow stopper, and I suspect will remain so, unless we were to start experimenting with props of a different design.  Our blade appears to be designed with an symmetric shape to make it less prone to fouling, but I suspect this means its reverse capabilities are somewhat compromised.  I'm getting pretty good at stopping in the locks, but the unexpected appearance of another boats bow in a bridge hole can still cause moments of doubt.  Still, it is far, far better than it was.

Getting towards the bottom of the flight.
On another positive note we have added about 100 running hours to the rebuilt engine over the 14 days we actually moved.  It has run faultlessly, with no perceived issues at all.  It smokes a little from cold, but certainty not excessively, but really settles down to a very clean exhaust once it has been given enough time to warm up.  We had several things to worry about on this trip, but at last we are at a stage where the state of the engine is not one of them.

Overall the trip has been hard work - I suspect taking Flamingo round the much less used  bits of the BCN always will be hard work.  But we have learntd a lot, and are both more confident of the boat, and our abilities to handle it.

Buckby Top Lock to High House Wharf, Weedon
Miles: 6.2, Locks: 7
Total Trip Miles: 166.6, Locks: 161

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