Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Joys Of Living On A Narrowboat

One of the joys of living on a narrowboat is taking the opportunities as they arrive. To cruise, to relax, to do so called boat jobs, to learn new skills and to find friendly people who are willing to help.

What a lovely day - for once the weather forecasters got it right. But no cruising for us though, as it was the first fine day for ages it was engine service day.

Whilst Epiphany was being built John took a RYA diesel engine course in anticipation of doing our own servicing. Our first service was done by Richard here at the marina with John observing to brush up his knowledge. Now it was time for our second service.

One of the guys - Dave the taxi, we call him, who moors his boat at Pewsey Wharf offered to come and supervise whilst John did all the work. Dave is a qualified mechanical engineer so we had full confidence in his expertise.

So having bought all the oil, filter etc. John arranged for Dave to come over today.

As Epiphany is a trad accessing the engine (a Shire 45) and appropriate parts of it can be tricky, particularly for someone who is 6 foot 5 inches!

However Bath Narrowboats and John thought about this at design and build stages and as you can see it is possible, helped by our 4 foot hatch.

So with Dave observing and making helpful suggestions the oil was changed, so too the filter. Other jobs included recharging the stern greaser, "cleaning out" the air filter, and tightening an alternator belt.

The engine hole was pretty clean but John spent a while cleaning up afterwards and feels it is now about 75% cleaner with a bit more to do and probably a paint job in the warmer weather.

So job well done, in a couple of hours - very satisfying and much cheaper!

Thanks Dave.

And me? Was I any help? I had my own jobs to do but supplied them both with "real" frothy coffee. My jobs included making some bread, sweeping through the saloon, galley and bedroom, airing the cratch and washing off the cratch window. Oh I nearly forgot - and reading the February Waterways World which arrived today! Hurrah, I got to it before John!

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