|Posted by PentargonSpringer on May 19, 2017 at 9:40 AM|
It was originally intended that Pentargon would be at or near Liverpool for Pogue's birthday in mid May.
As the day loomed and the boat was at a decision point at Great Haywood junction, immediate entry to the Staff & Worcs was deemed prudent, if the voyage was to advance to Bristol before Jun was out.
In fact it was deemed prudent to get it to Wombourne before May was out but trouble was just around the corner; it always is on the cut. Nearing Penkridge, the engine began to falter with symptoms like fuel starvation.
Ron's boat (see the Macclesfield detour) was used to tow it to through the lock after Tixall Wide to find somewhere secure to tie it up and try to sort out what was wrong and fix it.
It transpired that cleaning of the port tank had been less than perfect in 2014. Also water had entered the tank over past winters through the inspection plate. Elements of diesel bug were also suspected as the fuel filter was clogged up and collapsed. At Penkridge, the lift pump gauze was replaced with the filter, the tank was given a preliminary cleaning and a jury tank rigged up. And then the rain which had been absent for weeks, nay months, all came at once. However, the engine was running and a decision was made to rest up and go to the land house, until after the monsoon.
The weather broke fine within days, so it was deemed prudent to return to the boat on 22nd using a ticket to Atherstone that would run out on the morrow and hopping off to renew some books from the library and then advancing to Stafford by stealth. 23rd to 26th were spent removing the tank from its anchors, cleaning it out scrupulously and then washing the crud out through the [rear] stopcock into the bilges and allowing the tank to dry itself. It was refitted but with a pad under the forward end so it now sits at a slight incline. All assemby was meticulous and half a can of clean diesel (about 15L) was put in, almost half-filling the tank. The bottom of the pick-up pipe was confirmed as being clear of the floor of the tank and all pipery was secured. All this work was completed by Friday evening, 26th.
We had an advance ticket from Wolverhampton station to get us to London on the Saturday and had planned a long w/e resting and doing some house work.
The boat is at Gailey, (home to Viking Narrowboat Holidays) where we find a most efficient operation right on the side of Watling Street. They have an experienced in-house welder who has secured a day on Thursday Jun1 to do a slight conversion on the rear cruiser deck adding 120mm of steel sheet all round to raise the "freeboard" above 760mm. Pentargon will be going into the Bristol Channel and so there are absolutle no doubts as to its seaworthiness it will comply with MCA recommendations for class D waters as laid down in MSN 1837 1st April 2013.
There is also the matter of the broken and foreshortened throttle cable with we hope "Little Dave" has a solution, using a gearchange cable over 10' long. And we have ongoing decluttering to keep us busy once the essential work is done and we are back on the road.
.. TBC ... 1458/19/05/17
... TBC ...2120/27/05/17