Monday, 1 October 2012

Family Favourite.


After our last blog on Monday,the rest of this week has been pretty uneventful,we haven’t been anywhere special,we’ve just been buying things and arranging other things for our great day.Lisa has had a very heavy cold too so we have stayed at the caravan and haven’t ventured out much.The lads at Kingfisher have told us they are confident that everything will be ready for the launch date on the 12th of October. Just a touch up here and there on the paintwork and the outside will be all but finished.Both Mick and John are going to get on with the final bits and pieces to the inside of Chyandour.The bed has to be completed and then the carpets can be fitted.Cupboards and drawers are to be be finished and the interior doors need to be hung.Things are starting to arrive from the various suppliers we have chosen and confirmation is coming from others that they will deliver on time.The measurements for the Cratch cover have been taken so that’s another job in progress,it’s all getting very exciting as the handover date gets closer.

Amongst a lot of other things,we had been looking for some non slip deck tiles for the stern deck and the well deck on Chyandour .Mick had told us that Millar Marine chandlery at Shardlow had them,this chandlery is only a few miles from Trent Lock,and only a few yards from the Trent and Mersey canal.We paid them a visit on Friday and they had just what we were looking for,along with quite a lot of other things we are going to require in the future.Norman and Christine Millar are a very pleasant couple and it’s nice to be able to deal with a small family run business  for a change.We will be going back there for quite a few other things and their prices are competitive too.Our Life Jackets arrived on Tuesday from the Marine Warehouse in Swansea,they also gave us great service and free delivery.We have a friendly neighbour here at Tall Trees and she kindly allows us to use her address for some deliveries and others we can get sent straight to the boat yard.

We’ve been in touch with friends who live on their own boats this week and we understand,it’s been a bit of an experience for some boaters because the heavy rain we’ve all had.The rain has led to flooding on a number of rivers.It is a good idea to seek some sort of refuge whenever flooding threatens because Narrowboats are not the best craft in such conditions.Being on rivers also presents additional problems anyway because,for one thing,you can’t pull into the bank just about anywhere and moor up like you can on a canal.Being on a river when in flood can result in your boat not being where you left it when the flood recedes,ie it could be in the field alongside.The worst case scenario has your boat pulled under by your mooring lines as the water rises.We have friends who are trapped,in a place of safety,on the River Derwent in Yorkshire by the high water levels.Sheila and John from the good ship WateRatz came down to Nottingham by car over the weekend and we met up for a couple of hours to hear their experiences.We’ve discovered today that they may not get moving again till next weekend and they have already been there all of last week.

Canals don’t very often suffer from flooding but they can “burst their banks” in a way that have some drastic consequences.This last last week has presented a challenge to the Canals & Rivers Trust in the form of a breach on the Trent & Mersey Canal just north of Middlewich in Cheshire.This breach,caused by the heavy rain,resulted in a few miles of canal losing water and even more miles being closed to navigation.This doesn’t just impact on those who live on the canals,there are businesses alongside the canals that depend on them being open.Hire Boat companies often have boats that are on the “wrong side” of the breach and they have to get them and their crews back to base.Hire companies in the area work together to help each other overcome these problems as best they can,and there is another way round in this case,but it looks as though this canal will be closed for many months.

                             T&M breach

Above is a picture of the breach on the Trent & Mersey canal,not good,the whole of the bed of the canal has been washed away.Fortunately C&RT were aware of a potential problem and acted accordingly,thus reducing the impact as much as they could.We hadn’t planned to be on that stretch of the T&M at any time next year but it’s still sad to see.C&RT have started an appeal to raise funds for the repair of the breach because,as I said last week,the canals have never had enough money for maintenance,and an event like this will mean that something elsewhere will have to wait.Lisa and I have donated so here’s a link,for anyone who may be interested,to do likewise Breach Appeal.

Friday was our busy day this week.After getting the tiles from Millar Marine in the morning we went over to Loughborough to see Jan and Dai,they got off the River Soar and on to the canal before the water levels went up,and were moored on some lovely moorings just outside of the town.It was only a flying visit ‘cos we had arranged to meet up with Lisa’s sister and brother in law,Heather and Steve,at Trent Lock so they could see Chyandour.We all got there just after 12 and got a conducted tour from the lads at Kingfisher.Chyandour is looking superb,John,Mick and Jan have worked wonders on her and,like us,Heather and Steve were well impressed.

Another one of my requirements had arrived on Friday as well,it’s an MPPT Solar controller.This controller takes the energy from the solar panels and uses it to charge the batteries and it is supposed to convert up to 30% more of the energy available from the panels than a normal PWM controller.I hope it does and my research indicates that it will,particularly in the winter months,when the panels are giving lower output.We are hoping our investment in solar technology is going to pay off,and reduce our Diesel consumption.After looking over Chyandour we walked over the Erewash canal to the Steamboat Inn,which is opposite the boat yard,and there we had a very reasonably priced lunch.

Chyandour 28.09.12. (2) 010 Chyandour 28.09.12.(4) 

Above is the Cratch board in place and there’s Tim making the template for the cover on the right.

Chyandour 28.09.12. (2) 009 Chyandour 28.09.12. (2) 006 

On the left is the bows and the scroll work on the panels,this is more of Jan Deuchers beautiful painting and on the right is the roof with the hatch cover in the foreground and the Solar Panels in the middle.The little white thing on the left is the exhaust from the central heating and the silver thing is a mushroom vent.That’s some paintwork on the hatch cover,what a gloss,and all done with a brush by Mick and John.

Chyandour 28.09.12 (7) Chyandour 28.09.12 (6)

The one on the left is some of Mick’s handiwork,before he was finished may I add.The blue box in the centre is the inverter,this will give us 240v for the washing machine and the fridge.We aren’t having many 240v appliances,there isn’t going to be a microwave,kettle,toaster or freezer because they’re all power hungry.To the left of the inverter is the MPPT controller for the solar panels,and above it are a couple of 12v charging points,one is direct from the controller.We have four 12v points on our boat so we can use car chargers for the phones, the laptop and the 12v tv.The picture on the right is the beginnings of our bed.This has been designed by John and is going to lift in such a way that we will be able to access beneath it for storage.We didn’t want drawers because they aren’t the most efficient way of using the available space.

To give John and Mick a chance we aren’t going to visit the boat yard again till Friday,and by then there should be quite a few changes,given the things we know are to happen,it will give me something to write about next week.Believe me it’s hard to stay away,but it’s always well worth it when we do get there.We’ve the mattress to order before then and also I want to get some more rope to match that that comes with Chyandour on handover.The anchor has still to arrive as well so we aren’t going to be idle this week

Ok folks,that’s all for this week,take care and keep your eyes open for our next update.

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