Saturday, June 07, 2008

New Paint, Disappointing Prop.

It’s been a mixed week of weather, some hot days, some cool days and the odd shower thrown in for good measure.

Carol continued removing all the paint from the gunwhales on Corbiere. A long job, but getting it back to bare metal means that she will get a far better job in the end. I couldn’t do much to help, so decided to do my own bit of painting.

On Seyella, the panel between the gunwhale and the first rubbing strake is painted gloss black. Unfortunately it tends to get scraped in locks or on moorings, and was looking quite shabby after the winter. So I set to, sanding and priming, and got both sides done with 1 coat of gloss by Thursday. I’ll flat it and put a second coat on in a week or so.

Work in Progress....
One Coat of Gloss
We went back to Orchard Marina on Friday, to get into the dry dock for bottom blacking. Gary was ready for us, so we were straight in. I went into Northwich to pick up a hire car while Lee set about pressure washing the hull, then when I got back we dressed the prop to try to eradicate the annoying “singing” problem.

We left the boat with them and went up into Manchester to spend the night with Mag’s sister, did a bit of shopping and got back to Northwich this afternoon. The blacking was finished, so we set off back to the flashes after emptying the loos and filling with water.
This was the moment of truth for the prop. I gently opened the throttle into the noisy range and…… it was still there!!!

The chamfering of the edge of the blades has made no difference at all. I must confess to being a tad disappointed. I was convinced that it would be cured, or at least quietened a bit. Ah well, at least we’ve got a nice shiny black bottom.

Pity we had to moor in the undergrowth....
It was very busy, we had trouble finding somewhere to moor, but squeezed in. Everyone seems to be out on their boats this weekend.

The anglers are out in force too. One chap was dead chuffed to land this 27lb carp.

I’m after some assistance from you mobile internet users out there. I currently use a Vodaphone office card, plugged into the card slot on the laptop.
This has worked fine, but the contract is up in July and I’m looking for a cheaper option. Currently I get 250Mb for £30 a month and I know I can do much better, now there’s so much competition in this area. The new generation of USB dongle modems looks good, but I’m concerned about reception inside the boat. I’ve an aerial on the roof for the card (you can see the wire running from the card), which helps reception no end, but the dongles I’ve looked at don’t seem to have this facility. Are there any that do, or are there any other options? (other than sitting outside, of course!). All advice gratefully accepted.

Locks 0, miles 2


finnjim said...

Nice lifestyle you have carved out for yourself.
We used to live in Milton Keynes, took a great deal of pleasure watching the narrow boats.
One of our old friends used to have one, spent every waking moment trying to fix it up.

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Hi Geoff

We're with T-Mobile and have a long cable for our dongle which means that we just hang it out the porthole. Excellent reception usually - where you are at the mo, we've had hi-speed HSDPA (Super 3G basically) which even makes video streaming possible. Easy to set-up, easy to connect and we never get anywhere near our 3GM a month limit - think it costs around £15 per month but don't quote me on that!



Roger said...

I believe The Boaters Phone Company are now doing an aerial link that wraps around the dongle with velcro!!

I am currently looking at them myself for when we go afloat next year.


Geoff & Mags said...

Hi finnjim
Oh yes, it certainly is!
I hope your friend got the opportunity to enjoy his boat after fixing it up.

Thanks Greygal
I have a phone with 3, and they're offering me 3Gb for £15, with HSDPA. I was thinking of a USB extension cable, but what do you do when it rains??

Hi Roger
Seems like an idea, if it works. I'll check it out. Same principal as wrapping tin foil around the aerial of the early mobiles, I guess.

Julia & Mark said...

Hi there,
Just to back up the comment from dogsontour - We have T-Mobile & also usually hang the dongle out of the window but works fine even just hanging over the back of the chair. Very pleased with it, only problem I have found is that I have been unable to download PDF docs but that's a minor detail. At £14.99 per month it is pretty good value.


Roger said...

If you are already with 3, they are offering their mobile broadband for half price ie £7.50 for the 3GB.

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

We don't even have a problem if we hook it round the porthole frame inside - as long as it's adjacent to the glass, it works fine. We tend to open the porthole to give it some encouragement though! I would urge you to check the coverage maps before you choose suppliers - t-mobile seems a popular boaters' choice because of the decent coverage almost everywhere.



Derek Mills said...

Hi Geoff,

I have the HSDPA version of your card which is plugged into into a Lynksys router which gives WiFi inside the boat. The card has an aerial connected to it as yours has. Vodafone have a few HSDPA cards still around but as they are made by Huawei even if they run out, they can be bought separately.
Vodafone will supply you with a new HSDPA Sim card which what you really need (with a suitable card for it) for between £15.00 and £25.00 per month depending on the day! for a minimum of 3Gb per month. Hopes that is of some use.


Derek Mills

Geoff & Mags said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.
Julia, I'll have a look at T-Mobile, but Rogers note about half price 3 sounds good, as we already have a contract phone with them. Network coverage is the thing, as greygal points out. It's no point having a cheap contract if you can't connect, my phone has been off most of the day!
Derek, I'll give my current supplier a call and see what they say. I've already got the gear, so replacing the SIM seems an easy option. Otherwise, if I go to another network using a USB dongle, I'll get an adapter cable from Boaters Phone to fit my existing antenna. Thanks Roger.
Hey Derek, that setup sounds a bit swish! Maybe a little complicated for me....
Thanks all..

Heth said...

As a PS to these helpful comments, I signed up with T-Mobile a couple of months ago, unlimited downloads, & best coverage tipped the scales - & it's true, v impressed. Vodaphone doesn't quite come up to scratch with the HDSPA issue it still has, plus a limit per month.
Also, if you have a Wi-Fi ariel, it certainly helps boost the signal, especially when you're out in the sticks... Frm Heather at

Geoff & Mags said...

Thanks Heth.
It looks like, on balance, T-Mobile is the network of choice for floating bloggers!
I'll look into a new contract from them, I think.
BTW, I've been very remiss, and haven't included Takeytezy on my blogroll. Sorry, but remedied now.
Cheers, Geoff