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.

All content is Copyright N. B. Tranquility © 2008 - 2019

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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.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A short cruise...

...from The Bridge at Napton to Wigrams Marina.

Arriving at the marina the Sun was reflecting off the water and I had a job to see where I was going, but managed to get us on the berth without too much bother from the wind. We jumped in the car and went to do some shopping in Southam. There's a nice Tesco there and Lin was in her element. We needed some essentials, but there were more than the essentials in the basket. "Where's your shopping list", I asked. "In here", said Lin, pointing to her head. We had only one basket, Lin picked it up on the way in, I elected not to have one - good move!

After a sandwich for lunch, I got down to the task of wiring up the new engine hour meter. I knew of one place for sure where it could be connected, but I really wanted to connect it to the back of the tacho and that wasn't going to be easy, so it was going to be the back of the domestic alternator. I checked out, using a meter, which connection to use, threaded the wire around the engine and terminated it using a crimp. Then I connected it to the appropriate connection. Switched on the ignition, hour meter not working - correct. Fire up the engine, hour meter working - also correct.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow - what a surprise!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

First Post of 2014.

Happy New Year!

I'm sorry this post is late, but where we were moored yesterday there was absolutely no internet or mobile phone connection at all.
We slipped our moorings at around 08:00hrs and yes, you've guessed already, it started to rain. We were committed once we'd done the first lock at Marston Doles, so we just kept going. The rain was horizontal all the way down the next eight locks and we'd had enough 13:00hrs. We fancied lunch so we moored outside The Bridge at Napton and had hot dogs and caramelised onions in a crusty roll - delicious. I should point out that the pub was closed and appeared that it had been for some months. There are weeds growing up around it and some guttering and a down pipe have fallen down. Lin cooked lunch and then we "crashed" and waited for the weather to abate. Of course, it didn't.