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 Aqueduct Marina in Cheshire we're able to cruise some of the most popular waterways in Britain. The Shropshire Union, The Trent and Mersey, The Llangollen Canal, The Four Counties Ring and Cheshire Ring 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).

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.

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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

More trouble - minor this time.

We're not too keen on The Embankment, only really due to the Fairground, which isn't there all year round. The shining sun made things a bit better but it wasn't long before a mist rolled in and most of the morning was shrouded in cloud. We slipped our moorings and made our way to the sanitary station for water and a pump out. And the PUMPOUT IS FREE, YES FREE! The pump on button has to be pressed on the wall of the toilet block to get it to work, and it switches off automatically when done. When we left our moorings we did a 180 to get to the sanitary station, another 180 to ensure the port side of TQ is on the Embankment, and another 180 when we left to head out of Peterborough. The river is plenty wide enough here and its possible to turn in one, so its all very easy. To Asda then, to do a bit of shopping, (gotta be dun), and onward to Orton Lock, stopping at Alwarton Lock for tonight in the backwater beside the lock - ideal.

By lunchtime the sun came out and it turned quite hot this afternoon, there's a light breeze to slightly chill the suns heat - a bit of relief, really.

I decided to get down and dirty and investigate why the bowthruster has failed. So first things first, read the book, and I learned a lot from that. So off with the lid to see what's inside. Oh! dear, how sad, never mind.
There's 30mm depth of water in the bottom. That can't be doing it much good.

The bow thruster motor.

There's a cavity with the thrust tube and mounting for the mechanism which is bolted to the mounting. Various wires lying loose round and about, so I unplugged the control supply and the contacts inside are covered in verdigris. Not good for conducting electricity, a squirt of WD40 should help here. Next the fuse (checked - OK), cleaned contacts and replaced.

Too much verdigris here

Then check the brushes, Aha! here's the problem, the wire bonded into the carbon brush has burnt through very close to the brush. So how am I going to get around this I ask myself. Then I had a light bulb moment. Place the remaining wire under the retaining leaf spring where it touches the carbon brush. The spring will clamp the wire to the brush and make electrical contact. Right lets test it - on with the control panel, press starboard - YES! Port - YES! bodge accomplished. Hopefully it will do 'till we get back to Calcutt. Note to self (and anyone else who would like to know), Brushes as fitted:- 4 x Vetus part # BP1133. Note this brush appears to be for a 24v system, identified by it having one wire as in the photo:-

Also the brush holder appears to have melted slightly.
(This is one of the remaining good brushes)
Now I've a feeling the wrong brushes have been fitted, as it says in the manual all 12v systems have twin flyleads fitted to the brushes. This stands to reason as 12v systems draw twice as many amps as a 24v system, and therefore requires more wire to carry the load. The correct brushes should be Vetus part # 1134, with twin flyleads. Am I right or am I wrong?

I've placed the cover back on and noted one of the bolts has a stripped thread. Lets hope it all holds out.

We're here at Alwalton Lock
Back to Peterborough tomorrow to collect a parcel.

Its a lovely evening, me and my beer are going to watch the sun go down - cheers!

1 comment: said...

Ahoy Tranquility, (do you narrow boats use that term?) Have enjoyed passing some time looking over your blog. Actually I got sucked in reading your adventures. Looks like a lot of fun and beautiful countryside. I came here by accident while trying to research a Vetus bow thruster that's misbehaving. Your images and text were starting to make me feel better about tackling the job but unfortunately I need a small child size mechanically and electrically inclined person to fit into my bilge to even access it. I was further disheartened when I saw your manual - dated 2006! I've used a selfie stick to get my iphone in the compartment to try and see what the model is cause it isn't on my manual - that is missing from the front cover - but the date there is 1986! Mine looks brand new in comparison but I haven't got that cover off to see what's happening with the connectors. Maybe I got my use out of it? Not sure it will be worth trying a repair or if I can even get the parts but I hate to ass to landfill. It could just be corrosion or new brushes like yours. I've found one useful bit of info about troubleshooting it but it seems you are way ahead of me. It has worked fine for years on my trawler but it's not really serviceable besides topping off oil and having the diver change the zinc and clean it off. I may end up having to cut into my bunk platform thats right above to create an access panel but really don't like the idea of bilge moisture of fumes getting sucked up into my mattress... Here is a site that provides some good troubleshooting info I'll share since vetus info (besides the manual) is pretty non-existent. I have the same failure mode as the guy asking for help... Curious if you have any thoughts you might share given you experiences with yours. Mine has also been loosing it's umph over the last year or so but I suspected batteries. Thanks much! in the USA