Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shopping, an unlikely visitor and a NEW PROP!

On Sunday we took the boat back up to the marina, picked up the rental car and did a big grocery shop. Then back to the flashes to moor.

Chris of Fenny Fuels is feeling the pinch with the recent massive fuel price increases.
Later on in the day, with both side doors open to the sunshine, we had several visits from swallows that were skimming the surface of the water for insects.

This one perched on the curtain rail near the dinette, had a quick look around, then flew back out again.

Monday the car had to be back at Enterprise, so I walked the mile or so to the marina, took the car back up into Northwich and was dropped off back at Orchard by 11:00. This is one of the reasons I use Enterprise all the time; the pick up and drop off service is extremely useful. The rates are competitive, too. We got a Fiat Punto from Friday AM to Monday AM for less than £45.

On my return I had a chat with Gary, and he offered to change the prop as a final solution to the noise problem. Luckily, he had one of the same size on the shelf. He was able to fit us in on the dry dock early today, so at 07:00 this morning we were turning into the mooring basin.

We tried to reverse in to the dock, but Seyella sits pretty deeply and she wouldn’t go over the outer lifting beam. So we turned around and ran in bow first. Unfortunately this meant that Gary and Lee were working from the dinghy as that particular dock is only 50’ long. (The other is longer, but a paint job was in there).

Old Prop still in place.

However, an hour later we were afloat again, with the new prop fitted.

Shiny new Prop.
The moment of truth came as we backed out of the covered dock and turned towards the entrance. We were all keyed up with anticipation as the revs were steadily increased. 700 rpm, just the exhaust note, 750, still the same, 800, just a little mechanical noise, 850 rpm, and the exhaust note drowned out any shaft noises. The new prop had solved the problem!

Manoeuvring around to get on the diesel dock for water and loo emptying, and I discovered that the singing now occurs at 850 rpm in reverse. As I explained to Gary, we spend most of our time going forward, so I can live with that!!

It was a joy to cruise back to the flashes at 800 rpm with just the thrum of the exhaust, and no irritating propeller noise. What a relief to finally fix what has been a long drawn out problem.

I’ve got to say that Orchard have been very helpful, fitting us in at short notice for the blacking, and now the prop change. Thanks, guys.

Off to Middlewich tomorrow, to catch up with Carol.

Locks 0, miles 4.

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