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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Monday, 15 September 2014

The Taunton end of the B & T

I'm going to let the pictures tell the story:-

The Obridge Viaduct.

The original replaced by the new and nasty.

Another new bridge - for the North Taunton Link Road.

Firepool Weir

Firepool Pumping Station... a listed building... to these new apartments.

3 & 4 Bedroom Luxury Apartments - not for me, thanks.

Firepool Lock.

We have vandals down here too!

Old redundant canal equipment.

The aftermath of the wino's picnic...

...absolutely no respect whatsoever.

Now onto the River Tone where Somerset are playing Middlesex.

The Town Bridge.

In times of flood I've seen the water up to road level.

Back on the B & T, it's good to see it being used.
Just through the bridge on the right is the building where I work.

The Somerset Space Walk.

You wouldn't want to live here.
The Space Walk spans the whole length of the canal and is centred by The Sun at Lower Maunsel Lock. To give you an idea of scale, Neptune, represented by a stainless steel ball about 75mm diameter, is minuscule compared to the 2.5 metre diameter, 14 tonne concrete Sun.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Gongoozling on the Napton Flight

We left the marina and turned left for a change and winded in the second winding hole just before the locks, and then reversed back just far enough to be fully on the moorings. Then we took a stroll up the locks to the Engine Arm and found many boats queueing to go through.


...and bridges along the Napton Flight.
We couldn't resist popping into The Folly, well, it's gotta be dun, annit?

Nice pub.
We had a lovely lunch, Lin had a beef bun with chips and salad, and I had a cheese version washed down with this...

We're now moored just outside the marina hoping for a quiet night, as it's around this time that the local malisha fly in and nibble the the sides of the boat all night. There's no sign of them out here so it looks like we'll get a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

So much done today and TQ gets her Travel Pack back.

We slipped our moorings at 08:30hrs and cruised to the next winding hole about five miles away, did the winding bit and retraced our wake all the way back to Wigrams, only stopping for sloes on the way. Lin spotted several laden bushes just before a bridge and I said I'd reverse back and let Lin disembark, but she said "No, drop me off at the next bridge". With that done Lin walked past the next two bridges and picked one sloe. She then boarded TQ and we left it almost to Napton Junction where we knew there were loads. If you're wondering, we're going to make Sloe Gin for Christmas.

With TQ moored up on her berth, we went into Reception to enquire whether Cox's had phoned and sure enough, they had. The Travel Power Pack is ready for collection so we made the journey to Atherstone again. More silver was exchanged and what looked like an brand new TPP was placed in the boot of the car.

Looks like new.
We got it home safely and after tea I got stuck into fitting it. First the main box mounted on the bulkhead inside the cabin. Relativly easy, just connect the mains outlet, Live Neutral and Earth, and plug in the other two connectors from the generator, fit the cover and half the job is done.

Box fitted ready for connection at the generator end.

Next, remove the domestic alternator drive belt, and place the TPP belt on its engine pulley and replace the domestic alternator belt and tighten. Clean the generator mounting nuts and bolts, and offer the generator up to the lower mounting bracket and place the short bolt through with washers and nut. Lift generator to upper bracket and place long bolt through lug on generator, spacer and bracket. Apply washer and nut, Apply enough body weight  to generator to tighten belt, (lean on it) and tighten all bolts. Check belt tightness.

Fitted and working.

Next make the electrical connections, wires marked 1 to 5 fit into terminals 1 to 5, simples.
Tested - OK.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A meeting and some R & R

We cruised to Braunston this morning to meet Phill at Wharf House Narrowboats to duscuss the refurbishment of the Shower Room and partial refurbishment of the Galley.

When done I had to reverse TQ back about 200 yards to wind in the Wooden Plank Bridge 'ole, and then we filled the water tank next to the Stop House and then cruised past the junction to just past Bridge 88 where we stopped for lunch.

Battersea went past - nice.

Much later we moved up a bit further to a spot where we can watch the Sun set.

No maintenance done today, I'm having a day off, but I think there'll be more to do later in the week.

Monday, 8 September 2014

We have escaped!

After being stuck in the Marina for the last six days, we had the call from Sandy to say that the starter motor was ready for us to collect, so off we went to Atherstone to collect it. An exchange of an appropriate quantity of silver took place and I had what looked like a brand new starter motor in my hot sticky mit. Very impressed with Cox's automotive, the've done a superb job.

The starter motor. The yellow in the picture is a reflection
from something else.

Nine teeth - must remember that!
Two bolts and two electrical connections and it's fitted. Sounds easy doesn't it? Actually it's a right BF. The oil cooler has to be unbolted from the header tank to gain enough access, although the cooling system doesn't need to be opened.
Anyway, I got it all together and it works perfectly. Apparently, they tell me, it was in a bit of a state, totally s worn out.

While I was there (in the engine 'ole) I changed the oil and filter, knowing I didn't have enough oil to fill the engine so I sent Lin into Reception to buy another five litres, unfortunately they didn't have any, so of we go, out in the car again, to Calcutt Marina and sure enough they had some.

With engine oil topped up we made our escape out of the marina toward Braunston and found a lovely spot in the countryside where it is very quiet (apart from the local farmers enjoying themselves joy riding around the fields in their tractors).

Disc harrowing.

No sooner did we arrive here when Lin went blackberry picking. The hedgerows are fully laden, and guess what? I had blackberry and apple crumble and clotted cream for tea, made with the blackberries that were growing in the hedge right next to where TQ is moored - Delicious.


Somewhere near Flecknoe...
...where me and my beer are going to watch the Sun go down.

Enough said.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Two blogs back to back, a barbeque and more painting.

Yesterday, (Saturday) was the first Saturday of the month and here at Wigrams it's Barbeque Night. Late in the day I asked Lin to nip over to the office and get some tickets. Lucky, we had the last two. So after a days rust removing and painting, we took a couple of bottles over to the seating area. Sausage rolls and burgers in a bun - just the job. But would you believe it? It rained, heavy and thundery, although it didn't last long, it went as quick as it came.

Today (Sunday) we were getting low on certain supplies so a trip to Tesco in Southam filled the gap. When we came back we had brunch in the form of bacon sarnies and a glass of orange juice - delicious.

Then I got down to the business of more rust removal and painting. Yesterday I cleaned out the loose rust from the bow thruster hole, but I had to wait for it to dry out before I could paint it. This meant leaving it overnight with the hatch on to protect it from rain, and this morning it wa largely dry enough. So I got on with the gas locker first and after emptying it of everything I hacked at the rust with a screw driver until it was all loose and then scooped it all up and put it in a bucket. Then I gave it a good wire brushing and vacuumed out the remaining dust.

Next the paint; Hammerite Direct to Rust in Dark Green. The gas locker was easy enough, but the bow thruster hole took some inginuity. I couldn't get in there with the paint brush due to the fumes so I tied the brush to my aluminium dip stick with insulation tape, so now I can reach in without being overcome by fumes.

That should give it some protection for a while.

The gas locker
No, that's not boobies,  it's gas bottles.
More tomorrow.........

Friday, 5 September 2014

Maintenance day.

I cleaned out the bow lockers and removed all the loose rust. Then I vacuumed it all out and gave it a coat of Hammerite Direct to Rust paint in Smooth Dark Green. Here's the picture story:-

Port side locker

Starboard side locker

This is the rust/steel that came loose.

Good paint this, it's like tar yet finishes well.
Portside finished

Starboard side finished.
Stern lockers tomorrow perhaps...

Thursday, 4 September 2014

A pub lunch and and a Winter arrangement

We drove the car to Braunston today to do a little shopping and some gongoozling. Driving through a place you're familliar with by canal is totally different by car, and you have the problem of parking it, often in a tight space. We parked in Bottom Lock Chandlery car park and bought some supplies for the boats' engine.

Then we did some gongoozling and took a stroll down to Braunston Marina where I made some enquiries about our Winter Maintenance programme. Unfortunately they couldn't help us until Easter next year, way too late for us, but they recommended Wharf House Narrowboats and I paid them a visit. Very accommodating and friendly service and now I have an initial idea of what can be done, how long and at what cost.

Bottom Lock, Braunston

They need to see TQ to give a more accurate estimate and I'll try and arrange that this week or early next.

We then strolled over to the Admiral Nelson for lunch which was very nice, Fish and Chips washed down with a pint of Guinness. Actually, it was better than very nice.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Lazy day.

The Sun was up before we were this morning, and after a good night's sleep, showers and breakfast all round we waited for the Red Cross parcel to arrive. One can of coke had punctured so they let us have the eight-pack for free.

Haven't done much today other than re-drill and tap the holes for the centre cleat and the control panel door was falling apart so I've glued and screwed it back together.

Cleat refitted. I'll need to change the screws for brass ones.
Control panel door repaired.

No word on when the Starter Motor and Travel Power Pack are likely to be returning, I'll have to see Sandy to find out if he knows anything.

The internet connection here is dire on 3, I have to mount the tablet on the rear sliding hatch to get a signal and then it's only just a signal, uploading takes for ever. The local wi-fi doesn't work, being maxed out there's not enough bandwidth, and there's no mobile phone service whatsoever on EE.

One thing, the weather has been very kind.

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Did you know it's dark at 05:00hrs?

We arrived at Wigrams at 07:30hrs and found TQ on the quayside where the hire boats are normally moored, and proceded to unload the car. Having TQ on the quayside was very handy as we didn't have to wheel the loaded trolleys down the pontoon.

The Starter Motor and Travel Power Pack had already been removed to the workshop ready to be taken to Cox's Auto-Electrical in Atherstone for repair today, but first, Sandy assisted us with moving TQ back onto the pontoon. Being there early in the morning paid off as there was no wind to blow us off course, which was just as well as we couldn't start the engine without the starter motor.

No generator, and no starter motor!
We're going nowhere for a while.

The water pump serving the galley and shower room has been playing up for some while, so I fitted a serviced replacement this afternoon and then serviced the one I took out. I've left it under the base board next to the one in operation, ready to be fitted when necessary. Now it doesn't pulse every couple of minutes.

Oh! The TV aerial didn't work (major tragedy) - It does now. The co-axial cable had parted company with the circuit board. A quick soldering job sorted that one out.

Lucy settled in well again, she must recall the last time she was here.

I'm experimenting with a tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab S and it does some crazy things...

Panorama shot of the marina from the side hatch.

A standard shot, that's Lin walking to the car.