Sunday, January 29, 2017

Problems DO come in threes!

Well I hope so.  I can’t do with any more!
First was the leaky calorifier, then the conked out Webasto water heater (a problem I think I’ve resolved now), then came Thursday…

We had a great afternoon on Wednesday. John picked us up at our mooring near the Sun Trevor Inn and took us back to home, dropping off the old calorifier at the scrappy on route (£25 back, nowt to sniff at) where we had lunch with John and Val, a sort of belated Christmas dinner. Good food, great company. Thanks, guys.

Despite the fairly rubbish forecast for Thursday we decided to head into Llangollen, aiming to moor in the basin. But we only got half a mile, and that was a struggle. As soon as we set off we had the first of the narrow sections to deal with, just after Bridge 41W. IMG_3413

These two restricted sections are always slow to get through going west, with the flow down the canal exaggerated by the narrow channel. But today seemed to be worse, we were hardly making any headway. I thought maybe we got a fouled prop, so “chucked back” reversing the shaft a couple of times. It was then I realised that the engine would not rev much above tickover… Oh ‘eck.

We were committed to the first narrows, although I suppose that I could have just drifted back to the moorings we’d left, so crawled, painfully slowly, to and through Bridge 42W and the point where the channel widened again.

I found that if I spent a few seconds at tick-over I got another few seconds of revs, so we lurched along like this for a hundred yards till there was a place to tie up.

The symptoms were classic fuel starvation, we should have half a tank still but we had left the boat unattended for most of the previous day…
No, we still had plenty of the red stuff. So I disconnected the fuel line and blew through it, creating bubbles in the tank. No blockage there, then. I’ve two filters in the line, the first a combined filter and water trap, the second the standard Isuzu spin-on can filter. I changed them both, although neither was showing any problems. 
Next stop was the electric delivery pump which draws fuel from the tank and sends it to the injector pump.  There was no flow coming from the outlet pipe with the ignition on, although I could feel it pulsing. This is one of the few things I don’t carry a spare for.  We are basic-level members of RCR, the waterways equivalent of the AA or RAC, so a phone call to them had an engineer on his way. He arrived about 90 minutes later, and his diagnosis was the same; the lift-pump was at fault although he did get the engine going by priming it through the filter housing with fresh diesel. The fuel was syphoned from the tank, and guess who had to suck on the pipe? I was belching diesel fumes for 2 days… Another pump is on order and I’ll fit it myself.
The problem could have been something in the tank closing off the pick-up pipe temporarily, which was dislodged when I blew through the feed pipe, but it’s never happened before, and anyway the pump should have enough “suck”to pull fuel through the pipe and the filters when it was cleared. It always has in the past. Anyway, I’ll fit the new pump on it’s arrival although everything is fine at the moment. Otherwise I’d probably have the same trouble the next time I change filters.
That’s number 3. Hopefully the last for a while.

It was late afternoon by the time the engineer had left, so we stayed put and finished the trip to Llangollen basin on Friday morning.

Leaving our unplanned overnight mooring on Friday morning.IMG_3416 

There’s one final lift bridge before the terminus, but this one is normally left up.

Llandyn No 2 Lift Bridge

The second narrow section is longer than the first, and it’s obvious why they didn’t make it full width. It must have been a major feat to cut the channel we have…



We filled up with water at the services sandwiched between the winter moorers on the embankment overlooking the town. There’s facilities in the basin, but I wasn’t sure if they’d be turned on. In the event we could have waited till we’d moored up.

Following the channel above the town.


So here we are, in the mooring basin with water on the pontoons and even power available on some of the bollards. It’s been mixed while we’ve been here, some sunny spells, but a lot of mist and a bit of rain.

The basin this morning.

We’ll be moving off in the next couple of days, not sure when, it depends on the weather.

Locks 0, miles 2


Carol said...

Goodness me Geoff, you've certainly not had the best of starts to 2017! Here's hoping that February and onwards is much, much better. Love and hugs to you both from both of us. xx

Dave McKenna said...

Excellent blog.
Great pics
And not a hire boat in sight on the Llangollen basin one haha!