Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Stocking up at Thorne Boat Services and preparing for the Trent

We were in no rush, so we left the mooring outside the New Inn at 0945. As expected, it had been a quiet night. I forgot to mention yesterday that the coleslaw accompanying the meal there appeared to have been home made. It was very good.

Thorn was only three miles away, so we were soon at the swing bridge and lock. The swing bridge is manually operated but the lock is electric; when penning down (the terminology in these parts) you have to fill the lock and open the top gates, then close the road barriers, then swing the bridge before entering the lock, closing the bridge and working down.

We tied up initially on the linear moorings before the boatyard. The man on a neighbouring boat told us how his boat and that of a friend had recently been set adrift from there by members of the local populace. As soon as I'd done some more diesel sampling we moved onto the boatyard's services mooring for a tankful of diesel, after which we moved to the finger pontoons by the CRT services block, with entry by BW padlock.

At the boatyard, Thorne Boat Services, in addition to the diesel we bought two new automatically inflating life jackets, two 40' lengths of rope and a tin of grease. The long (ish) ropes are for Keadby Lock; the helpful boatyard man spliced eyes in them for us.

Now, on the subject of diesel, the result of my sampling the far recesses of the tank this morning was a jam jar filled mostly with good clean fuel, but with a certain amount of crud at the bottom. I showed this to the boatyard man who said that the dirt probably contained water, and suggested that I drain the agglomerator. I will do this tomorrow; if a significant amount of water comes out I will consider replacing the filter as well. This despite having put a new one on only a few weeks ago. The man (I really should have asked his name) said that if the fuel take-off is not at the bottom of the tank then, over a period of a few years, a lot of water/muck can build up without becoming apparent. This could lead to a problem when entering bumpy water for the first time. On the other hand, had the boat been built with the take-off at the bottom, the tank would constantly be "cleaned" by the filters preventing build-up of anything which isn't diesel. He approved of my "small" diesel tank, though, agreeing that a relatively high turnover of fuel is a good thing. (Jubilee's tank is 100 litres; many narrowboats have tanks double that capacity.)

As well as checking the agglomerator tomorrow, I shall get the anchor out and attach it to the boat, and check that the insurance covers me for the tideway.

Oh - we had a barbecue this evening, while the smoke from a neighbouring boat's stove drifted across...

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