At 58 feet length, TQ (as we call her) is a steel hull narrow boat built by Colecraft and fitted out by Elton Moss Boatbuilders. Currently based at Wigrams Turn Marina in Warwickshire we're able to cruise some of the most popular waterways in Britain. The Grand Union, The Oxford Canal, The Coventry Canal, The Ashby Canal and more.

Our friendly Syndicate decided to go down the Self Management route on 1st March 2012 and so far it has been very successful. Please visit the other pages in this blog to see the new Web Site and if shares are available for sale. (There'll not be many).

There are currently two SHARES FOR SALE in Tranquility.

I am having to place a watermark on the blog content as someone on Facebook is stealing photos and claiming them as their own. I wouldn't mind if they asked first and attributed it to my blog. If it continues I will name and shame them. I hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment.

All content is Copyright N. B. Tranquility © 2014

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

I cycled to Bridgwater Docks today...

The pix say it all...

Upper Maunsel Lock from the bridge

Lower Maunsel Lock Bridge
See the four concrete cappings?...
 During the war they were packed with explosive designed to demolish the bridge if Hitler had executed his planned invasion.

Lower Maunsel Lock

That's different!

Kings Lock - Yes, we have one down here too.

Standards Lock

Bridgwater Docks looking towards the River Parrett

Bridgwater Docks. B & T Canal is over on the far left.

On the way back through this walled cutting.

...And look who's here
 I stopped and had a chat with the people on board. Nice to meet you today.
Click on the image it should enlarge
See, I do spell it right!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Water Pump Repair

TQs domestic water pump has an internal leak and is back-flowing through its one way system triggering the micro switch every so often. We have two of these pumps, one is a spare and I've just purchased two replacement service kits as stock. This pump, the UV0814 is now obsolete and there is a replacement available, but at a premium.

Pump ready to be dismantled.

Turn upside down...

...remove rubber feet...

...unscrew four retaining screws and remove base...

...pull off pump head... new pump head... frame and screw together tightly...

...push in rubber feet... filter and turn upright.
Put it away in readiness for September - job done!

Friday, 6 June 2014

On the way to work...

...I took these photos:-

Bathpool moorings
From the tow path side

The canal is very shallow and weedy as it doesn't get the traffic of the Shropshire Union or Oxford Canal, but it's a very pleasant waterway, about eleven miles and seven locks including the permanently closed lock onto the River Parrett.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Back to Base

We waited for our friends aboard N. B. Kernow to catch up with us this morning and then we toddled off together in convoy to Wigrams. I say in convoy because it was very busy along this stretch of the canal, we were last in a long line of boats all heading toward Napton Junction. While we were moored up, about half of the passing boats didn't slow down at all and most of the rest only dropped back to half throttle once they'd got here, and then opened up again before having passed. No respect at all, but our spring line put a stop to all the bankside bumping which occurs without it.

I took our friends Dave and Anne to Braunston to collect their car and when I got back I polished TQ to within an inch and now she looks like a new pin.
Front and...
I have to say, we have experienced the best weather ever aboard TQ this holiday. Usually for us the rain is horizontal, and the temperature rarely rises above 10 Celsius, but this time we've hit it right. Hopefully our fortune has changed.

Tomorrow we take the long sprint all the way back to Zunny Zumerzet.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Out with the old, in with the new.

A maintenance day today, but first we slipped our moorings in Braunston after Lin went shopping again and I polished the Starboard side. We only moved a couple of hundred yards to stop at the water point to fill up and I went into Midland Swindlers Chandlers to get a spark ignition switch for the hob and 5 litres of oil. A very nice chug in the morning sunshine landed us somewhere between Bridges 100 and 101. I fitted the ignition switch and then painted the flue flange while Lin did some washing and then I waited for the engine to cool down before I changed the oil and filter. I also changed the primary fuel filter and gearbox oil.

New one on the left. Have a guess how much...

View to the North

View to the South

New fuel filter, there was no water in the dregs, the fuel was clean.

All finished.

Lucy has been so good, not a word of complaint, though she gets us up at 05:00 in the mornings, which isn't a bad thing.
Lucy showing an interest in the great outdoors.
Oh! I nearly forgot, the spark ignition button cost a whopping £14.75.

Just look at this lovely sunset...

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A meeting with friends.

We had an easy morning and slowly cruised to Braunston where we met up with Dave and Anne from Narrowboat Kernow. Lunch in the Boathouse was the order and we strolled down the main road from the 14 day moorings. We had a right session, lunch outside under the parasol, but the girls left early to do some shopping and Dave and I had another pint and we eventually left at around 17:00. Where did that day go?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

What a lovely day!

Perhaps our fortune has changed, we don't get weather like this when we're aboard TQ. I woke at 05:00 this morning and left Lin "struggling" with her velcro back. A peek out of the side hatch revealed this...

A misty morning on the cut
After we had bacon butties for breakfast we slipped our moorings and pootled off up to wind between The Old Oak and Bridge 74. On the way we stopped and moored next to N.B. Kernow and had a chat with friends Dave and Anne and we planned to meet up again in Braunston tomorrow for lunch.
Once winded we wended our way (I should be a poet or a literary - on second thoughts nah! maybe not) back to somewhere just short of Barby Moorings by Bridge 75 and had lunch. I cleaned some brass in the afternoon and installed this...

A key rack to stop the coat hooks from being cluttered.
Later, at around 17:00 we made our way back and moored near Bridge 85 (we think).

Here's some more pix from today...

Barby Moorings gradually filling up but still not much in the way of facilities.

Looking back along the Barby Straight on the Oxford Canal.

I like to moor TQ up with a spring line...

...It stops speeding boats from spilling your tea and breaking your crockery.

I often wonder what goes on iside that empty head.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Quite a successful day.

We had some heavy rain this morning, but fortunately it was all gone by the time Michael Allen the BSS examiner arrived. Yes, the dreaded Boaters MoT, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I did some research into this beforehand and there are pages and pages of impossible to comprehend text. Michael was quick to put me at ease and the test was over inside the hour. It seems 99% of all that is written doesn't apply. Anyway, the upshot is, TQ passed with flying colours.

Items inspected include the gas system, hob, grill and oven. Our Bubble Stove was checked to make sure it was bolted down and is sealed properly, fire extinguishers, type, quantity and Kite mark, ventilation mushrooms and bulkhead grilles, batteries, wiring, fuel system etc. etc.

Later we departed our mooring and headed to Braunston in brilliant sunshine only to be heavily rained on just before the junction. We could see it coming from a ¼ mile away and then it suddenly arrived, so it was out with the brolly until we sheltered under Bridge 88 and waited for it to subside. We found a mooring soon after and have settled in for the night.

Here's some pictures of today:-

Monday, 12 May 2014

We always end up cruising in the rain, and then we wait... and we wait.

We left Wigrams early in the morning to be at Calcutt by opening time. Well, it's a long way to go, all of half a mile, but as soon as we were away it started to rain and slowly became heavier as we moored up on the wharf. Not long after the sun came out and I went into Reception to say that TQ had arrived and was ready to have the detent ball and spring replaced in the gearbox. The engineer Dave arrived and said it'll take 10 minutes and went to lift the deck board when his walkie talkie called and someone called him away on another job! For the sake of 10 minutes (it was actually only five) we were left waiting for nearly four hours! Where is the sense in that? I have a little phrase I use... "The Management are always right, even when they know they're wrong".

After we paid up at Calcutt we decided to cruise toward Braunston and wind at the winding hole just short where the private moorings are. We stopped for tea with about two miles to go as it was a lovely evening, and then cruised back to Wigrams  much later. We have a BSS examination in the morning. Talking of which... I've sealed the Bubble Stove, and in the morning I have to empty the gas locker of everything but gas.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The half way point

Today I'm half way through a two week holiday, spent so far rebuilding our bathroom into a shower room. It's been one of those jobs where you open a can of worms, literally with the state of the floor boards, and the joists didn't fair much better, so the whole lot came out right down to bare earth. Everything has been renewed, the plumbing, drainage, soil pipe etc. etc. Now there are tiles on the wall, the basin is fitted and working as is the toilet. But I've had to leave it all to go on holiday!
Not that I'm complaining, you understand...

Well, I've torn myself away from all that to spend the second week aboard TQ. Lucy, our cat has come with us and she's settled in really well, so no complaints from her.
This week there are some jobs to be done, tomorrow we cruise all the way to Calcutt to have a detent ball and spring fitted in the gearbox, and on Tuesday we're having the BSS examination done. Already I've repaired the hob ignition button - it was full of fat and needed cleaning, but really needs replacement. I'll see if I can get one later in the week.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Tranquility is back on home moorings

Yes, we're home again after our engine repair. It's all been tested and after a minor fault, all is well.
A big thank you goes to Gary and his team at Heyford Fields Boatyard.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Painting the Gunwales

This is what we use to paint our gunwales.

Matt Black - £9.98/750ml from B & Q Jan '14

It was £11.99/750ml in April '12

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Major Surgery

I had a phone call from Gary at Heyford Fields Boatyard. Our engine is out of TQ and is in pieces. We're having the crankshaft re-manufactured, at least the bit on the front end where the pulleys fit. While the engine is out, it's a good time to look for wear in the critical parts. Gary has advised we have new engine mountings, a drive plate, new big end shells, and new piston rings. It would be false economy not to do this, I fear the engine would be out again in twelve months time if we didn't.

The shells are showing signs of discolouration so they're down to their limit, and the rings are slightly grooved, as are the bores. Gary will lightly hone the bores to remove any high spots before fitting the pistons with new rings. It's impossible to fit the old rings back in exactly the same place and if they were fitted, the engine would lose compression, burn oil and have a smoky exhaust.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Everything went to plan.

TQ was delivered to Heyford Fields Boatyard today and I was shown in detail what work needs to be done. It is very intricate and requires professional excellence. In the worst case scenario, the crankshaft will need welding to build up a layer of metal to replace that which is worn away. This is very involved and needs to be done in such a way so as not to distort the shaft. Then the excess metal has to be machined off and the original dimensions reproduced. Two key-ways have to be cut at 90° in the crankshaft and the pulley, and on assembly a pin is inserted to prevent the retaining nut from loosening. Belt and braces on the belt and braces.

TQ at Heyford Fields Boatyard

Sunday, 12 January 2014

A New visit

We've had Sunday Lunch for supper in the New Inn and I have to say it was really very good. We had Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding with carrots, peas and cabbage, roast potatoes and mashed potatoes, Cauliflower Cheese with leeks, extra gravy. The problem I had with this was that I didn't have room for the Blackberry and Apple Crumble on offer. The meal was excellent with a quick and friendly service. I get the impression that they are there for good customer satisfaction and profit is a secondary priority. It's a long way from "Charge as much as possible and slap it on the table". It's an old pub sympathetically decorated and retaining its history with many photographs of days gone by. I would highly recommend it.

Everything is going to plan (so far).

We arrived at the marina around 09:45hrs and prepared for our "soon as possible" departure. We thought there wouldn't be much about on the cut today and that we'd be doing the Braunston Six on our own, but there was far more than we expected, and we even had a locking partner for the flight. It couldn't have worked out better.
We've made it exactly half way at Norton Junction where we'll be going in the New Inn for supper.

A spot of engine trouble

When on on board TQ at Christmas, as part of the daily checks, I noticed the generator and the two alternators would turn easily by hand whilst the engine was stationary - Not by much, but enough to be concerned. I rang Beta Marine and they were very helpful as always, and advised we get it sorted as soon as possible. They put me in touch with Gary at Heyford Fields and he advised the same as Beta Marine. So today we're taking a sprint up the M5 to our marina to take TQ to Heyford Fields and act on the advice given. I've heard of this problem before, it occurs when there is a heavy load on the mains 240v circuit with the engine on tick-over. It induces opposing and alternating torsional forces between the pulley and the crankshaft, placing wear on both. Ultimately, total crankshaft failure would be the result, and having heard of this happening on another vessel in the fleet, it is something which must not be ignored. Hopefully I've caught it early, before too much damage is done.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Home again.

We arrived home safely, but my last job on TQ drew a blank. I couldn't get the immersion heater to turn, it's in there too tight. The other thing is, I've found another leak so that will need investigating.
Check this out:- We were there last Monday, and winded in the hole just the other side of the bridge.
Well, that's it for us now, we're into maintenance weeks for the next fortnight, so I'll be returning at the end of that to do some work and I have the two weeks following which I have given over to maintenance. That'll take us through to the end of January.

We're going home today.

We're fed up with the wet and windy. But there are a few jobs to be done first. I have to drain the water system as its Maintenance Fortnight and being January the risk of frost is high. While the water is drained the immersion heater needs to be removed as its leaking. I'll replace it with a brass plug, as we don't use it, it's not even connected electrically.

Friday, 3 January 2014

A quiet day.

We just popped into Braunston to get a couple of bits and pieces and in the afternoon I drop tested the domestic battery pack. No, not from a great height, or even a lesser height. It places the battery under load for about ten seconds and the recovery time is measured - it should recover within 10 seconds. The good news is the recovery time was almost instant, so each of the batteries is in good health.

6v and 12v Drop Tester.

On connection, the needle is on the green/red border - 12.8v.
Under load, the needle drops to 11.2v.
Recovery instantly goes to 12.6v.

Each battery was disconnected and tested individually. The starter battery proved similar results.