Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A fine St Georges Day, Corbiere gets a nose job and Seyella (almost) stops whining.

The forecast for yesterday was fine, so we stayed at Kirklees Top Lock for the day to get some more work done on Corbiere’s paint job. We’re nearly ready to put some new on, after spending several weeks taking old off!
I also had another idea about the prop shaft noise I’ve been trying to get rid of for what seems like ages. I’ve pretty well exhausted the options for the shaft itself, and have eliminated the gearbox as a source, so where else to look?
Well, the weed hatch sits directly above the prop, and the sound is like a high frequency vibration, so could something be fretting in this area. On investigation I noticed that the cavitation plate on the bottom of the hatch cover (I’ll post some pictures tomorrow for those who haven’t a clue what I’m talking about) had been touching the inside of the box, and could have been vibrating at certain revs, transmitting the noise to the hull. So I ground about ⅛ of an inch off the edge and reassembled the hatch. On today’s trip the noise is significantly reduced, and the rev range at which it is apparent is also narrower, so I think we’re on the right track. This evening I’ve taken another ½ inch or so off and also a bit off one of the corners, which should ensure clearance all round. Here’s hoping!

Anyway, today.
The day started murky, grey and damp, but was looking to be improving by late morning so we were off at 11:00. Through Anchor Pit Flood Lock and we were on the last river stretch of the navigation. The rest of the way to Sowerby Bridge is in artificial cuts.

Anchor Pit Flood Lock
This section ends at Brighouse Bottom Lock, and the basin presents a busy scene as you work up this, and the top, lock.

Brighouse Basin
We filled with water, emptied what needed to be emptied, had a quick visit to Sainsburys conveniently located right alongside the canal then pushed on to and through Ganny Lock. This lock is on BW’s improvement list, and does it need it! The gates leak badly, are very heavy, and one of the lower gate paddles is hanging off, making it unusable and preventing the gate from opening fully. This is the exception, though. We’ve found most of the gear on this canal in reasonably good condition.

Ganny Lock

Carol had made an appointment with the chap at Tayberg Steel Boats to inspect the damage caused to Corbiere’s stem when she hit the lock wall at Keadby. So we arrived expecting the usual sucking of teeth, tutting, and “Can’t do it this week”, followed by a big quote. But no, the man said he could do it right away, will take about 1½ hours and the quote was very reasonable, so he got on with the job. I moored Seyella up near the next lock and walked back to lend assistance if required (just being nosey, really).
He made a good job, not perfect but as good as can be expected without fabricating and fitting a whole new section. Carol is well chuffed, ‘cause I also got her air horn working yesterday, so that’s 2 good jobs done.

Corbiere’s nose job

We didn’t go much further, just through Brookfoot and Cromwell Locks. At Brookfoot there’s a sad looking lock-keepers cottage, and a derelict lock down onto the river.

Brookfoot Lock

We moored at a place called Cromwell Bottom, about ½ a mile from Cromwell Lock. It’s a pleasant spot, wooded and with the river just alongside. But it’s also busy with walkers, cyclists and fishermen.

Cromwell Bottom
It’s been a beautiful afternoon as you can see by the photographs. I hope this means spring has finally arrived….

Locks 5, miles 3

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