...    P E N T A R G O N  ... 



... an unassuming and tatty little Springer narrowboat cruises the ..."Longest Friendliest Village in England" ...

Leaf mugging occurs when the propeller picks up and retains sodden and partly submerged or suspended leaves on the blades reducing the ability of the prop to move the boat forward. Generally, provided it is anticipated!, simply by stopping the prop for a moment the forward way will cause the water-flow over the blades to clear the prop. Sometimes a momentary selection of reverse speeds up the clearing and when forward is re-engaged it should be possible top see the leaves been churned away from the stern. Experience teaches to avoid or minimize these hazards and makes one aware of where to look. If bank-side contractors have been chopping up rose briars and dropping them in the cut, they hang about for some time slowly either sinking as the rot or accumulating at the head-race above the top gate of locks. This is a favourite hang-out for ice too, where the water flow is least. ...

 

SAM SPRINGER ... UNSUNG GENIUS OF THE CUT

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   In 1973, Sam Springer was said to have been topping his 36' boats in wood. We were told Pentargon was re-topped in steel at some point in the 90s and that the existing windows were cut in and older windows shut up! Looks like a steel top from a longer Springer was dropped on an older hull. Hence the unique lines and the tiny forward deck. Or so the story goes.

During an archeological dig on 2012/3 to remove almost a ton of unwanted concrete slabs from the bilges, we were unable to unearth any evidence that the original boat had EVER been tampered with.

 For the moment it looks as though Sam worked his magic and produced the ultimate Springer:

 

a narrowboat that can go to to the most inhospitable inland waters in total safety.

 

She's been tested in Class D waters and has behaved impeccably in sea trials. In mid 2007, at Gailey Wharf, the freeboard was raised to 750mm to comply with "Class D inland waters" (as defined by the MCA) Cat.C includes "inland" tidal rivers, estuaries and lakes and lochs where significant wave height could  'not be expected to be more than 1.2 metres at any time'.

Cat D: refers to tidal rivers and estuaries where significant wave height couldn’t be expected to be more than 2 metres at any time. Cat D is found in a very few areas.such as the Thames Estuary, the Bristol Channel and the Humber and has Summer and Winter specs. To

 

Pentargon is a much larger boat inside than is apparent from her 36' overall. With over 6'3" head-room, her discrete fore-cabin (with en suite bathroom, Hampshire heater, wardrobes and storage) can be isolated from the aft cabin where mess and galley co-exist with considerable storage space. She is built for two in erm luxury but can accommodate four, with the [Summer] galley bunk made up!  She also has some 7' of cruiser stern with a canvas cover. With air-beds and sleeping bags out on deck it might be fun for up to four young hardies?

 

On-board there are only two of anything: cutlery, ware, table space, seats, steam cookers and almost everything of board has two uses; if it hasn't its days are numbered. A glass flower vase holds EXACTLY enough water to make a cuppa and the mugs hold exactly that amount of tea, coffee, cocoa, soup and THEY double up to hold the right amount of weetabix  for breakfast. 

During 2013, Pentargon's front cabin was extensively modified to fit a 4'6" memory foam mattress on a slatted [IKEA} base, raising the bed level up to the gunnel line thus permitting a view out the front window. An auxiliary bunk was fitted below and athwart for Pogue's personal use in exceptionally cold weather.And ... within this under bed space resides a black plastic tank which can hold enough drinking water for almost a years' cruising in keeping with the stated aim of living 'off grid'.

 The Hampshire was tweaked, modified and repositioned to provide warm air heating to the space under the bed. Pogue found that the Hampshire had originally been heating the ceiling exceptionally well and the floor not at all. Over time an ingenious heat trap was made from marble slabs cut by a monumental mason in East London. Now the cross bunk and water tank can be made warm and the the water retains heat for quite some time in operation as indeed do all the furnishings and contents.