Tuesday, 5 March 2013

That unusual noise from under the stern

Yesterday I mentioned the unusual “clunking” noise emanating from under the stern.  It wasn’t until we were back on the canal that we both heard it.  Late yesterday I had checked all the connections in the drive train and found it to all be secure.  We were starting to think there might be a problem with the Axiom propeller; or at least something might be fouling it.  Checking the propeller through the weed hatch In the morning seemed a good Idea.   Meanwhile Peter Berry (nb Kelly-Louise) left a comment on the post in which he mentioned a possible “cavitation” issue, perhaps associated with the Axiom propeller.  My understanding of cavitation on a narrowboat is it is caused by air being sucked around the propeller.

We woke to a lovely morning.  Dry and calm with the sun starting to drive away the morning mist on the fields.  Smoke was gently drifting from the chimney of the boat moored on the opposite side of the canal.  It was going to be a day! 

Once the mercury had risen I removed the mat off the rear deck to access the weed hatch cover.  Wilson-Tyler build their boats with a separate weed hatch.  This eliminates the risk of the hatch cover coming loose and flooding the engine compartment with canal water.  Once the hatch cover was lifted it the problem was obvious.  At the bottom of the weed hatch there is a rectangular hole in the Uxter Plate (the baseplate) which allows access to the propeller.  The hole has a cover plate which is secured in place by a locking bar.  This bar had moved which had allowed the cover plate to expose the hole in the Uxter Plate which then allowed air to be sucked down and around the propeller.  The cover plate has now been secured back in place covering the access hole.

The white plate covers the access hole and the retaining bar locks under to short lengths of horizontal angle iron.  The white handle is the top of a worm thread which presses down on the cover plate and up against the retaining bar securing both in place.  This retaining bar doesn’t seem to be a secure as I would like and we might have to think of another way of ensuring the retaining bar doesn’t move.  Our next cruise will confirm this was the cause of all that unusual noise…. <I hope>.

Ralph, the courier driver arrived at the boatyard in the afternoon to deliver what we hope is the last of our cruising equipment.  After a considerable amount of internet searching we identified a supplier of automatic inflating life jackets at a very reasonable price (£49.99 ea).  We now own two jackets which we plan to wear whenever we’re on a river or in deep water. (Jan here, we are always In deep water)

The problem was finding somewhere to stow them.  Eventually we decided to fit a clothes hook high on the toilet wall where they are now hanging in their plastic bags. 

Now we have a new problem.  The laptop power cord caught around my foot in the morning and this appears to have created an internal break in either the live or neutral wire close to the plug that goes into the laptop.  I’ve no doubt a new power cable will cost a small fortune so I need to start thinking of an alternate solution.

After missing a long walk on the weekend the afternoon was spent looking at the maps on the Ordnance Survey and Open Street Map (OSM) websites.  The aim was to identify some local footpaths that can be added to the OSM tomorrow.  Meanwhile Jan had baked a chocolate cake.  Apparently the ducks got the last two slices of the previous tea cake.  <Jan claimed they were going green.  However I suspect it was more a case of the ducks being noisier and more insistent than me!>


Peter and Margaret said...

A miniature joiner's G clamp from B and Q placed on one side of the holding bracket for the weed hatch should assist the main one sufficiently. Maplin.co.uk for a cheap generic laptop charger chord, and I hope you don't ever need to be rescued by helicopter wearing those self-inflating life jackets. The crew will take them off you and fit their own manual ones before taking you off :-) Pros and cons with everything in this boating lark.

Tom and Jan said...

Already thought of the small G clamp except from the 99p Shop or Poundland! Replacement charger off eBay for £6 but I'm going to see if I can repair the broken wire and re-sleeve the cable with heat shrink. If we need the jackets it will be because we are in the water :-)

Class 73 builder said...

Hi been reading your wonderfull blog for some time now as we are about to follow you on to the cut I did a similar trick with my laptop cable and found a very cheap generic replacment on ebay been working fine since

Tom and Jan said...

Yes... I've also seen the cheap replacement power supplies on eBay. However I think there might be an even cheaper solution. I've found the break in the cable and will see if I can purchase a replacement plug from Maplin.
We hope your own canal planning is going well!
Tom & Jan