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Sunday, 13 October 2019

OH stop your moaning...and a buggered Alternator!

Look, I've already explained... time is short due to fast turn arounds and me now doing dark blue AND light blue jobs (due to the aforementioned recent single-dom)...

When I do get a few hours to myself, they are occupied by trying to keep in touch with the world of boater forums and non-boaty friends...either that, or having a bit of a clean  OR (as in the most recent bloody annoying case which I'll come to shortly), FETTLING things that need attention.

So then,

I left you sitting at the top of Bingley waiting for my next guest to join me...  This was Simon the CRT volunteer who'd already been on a couple of times with me since Andy's departure to help out as crew - it seemed weird for me to "doff my cap" so to speak and look after him... (as anyone who has been aboard/knows me will agree,  subordination does not come naturally to me lol)...

Anyway - we had an easy and pleasant enough run along to skipton - the wind at times being a bit of a pig but between us, we managed the (WAY TOO NUMEROUS) swing bridges with out much problem..  Simon was keen to spend some more time at the helm which gave me an opportunity to Kingfisher spot - a few were areound but as usual, never close (or slow) enough for me to get a decent photo...

Our trip was bascially Bingley to Skipton for an over night and then on to Grargrave and back the next day... The weather the next day being nothing better than bloody awful - folk  keep saying there is no such thing as bad weather just wrong clothing... having worn my way through all my waterproofs I'm inclinced to think that's a load of cobblers .

Anyway - once back in Skipton rather than get off ready for the next guests to arrive, he stayed on for another couple of days as crew and that gave me chance to get revenge ease off the hosting a bit whilst he picked up the slack.

The guests who arrived were thinking about buying a boat so wanted to play around for a couple of days on someonhe eleses - a good idea ... and probably part of what lead me to begin this "live-aboard" experience in the first place...  when we were looking at getting a boat, it was either hire or hotel - nothing in between...  without blowing smoke up my own harris, I'm the perfect "middle ground"...  I just keep HAVING to remind some folks about me NOT being a HOTEL!!!!!

This trip was a taster I cobbled together that took us to Gargrve (and back) and then to Kildwick (and back)... the weather once again was not very good but we battled on.  Simon giving them locking instructions ... "best practice" rather than "practical boating" but at least it meant I didn't have to be climbing up and down ladders - ergo, I let him get on with it .



Once moored for or final night, we cracked open some lemonade (for Simon) and the grown ups went on to Gin / Wine... and played a game that Vickie (a recent guest) had left for us - it was blooming hard but a great laugh so thanks for that Vickie ... we'll force you  encourage you to play it next year when you come back.


When they left the following morning (complete with hangovers) I had another frantic same day turn around and even got Simon roped in to cleaning the bathroom room lol... once done, he beggared off home and a Lady and her daughter came aboard earlier than planned - it being a sunny day I phoned to suggest if they were in the town already, we might set off earlier and get to Bingley before tea-time... the next days weather forecast being a bit rotten... 

They were happy to oblige so I cobbled together a quick ham sandwich to take the edge off their hunger, and off we set to Bingley ... arriving by tea time as planned so we were in the queue to go down first thing...
#

Once safely through the locks (btw - the Bingley crew are brilliant) I put them back to work on the locks at Dowley Gap staircase....  


Once again, this was a short trip which ended at Apperley Bridge - Luckily for me, I was able to get moored alongside the Marina when it closed and able to "plug in" to shoreline for laundry turn around ...  

Next day, after ANOTHER rapid turn around, we set off with 2 new guests - Skipton Bound once more...  The triple stair case at Field locks is getting worse though and it took a fair bit of buggering about to get up...  Still we made it ok. 

Once in Skipton, we tried a couple of ales in the Boathouse Bar and also the Narrowboat - where I tried a few pints of Amnesia ... I THINK I liked it... !!!  😁




When they left the following morning, I did another rapid clean and then set off BACK to Shipley in readiness to collect the penultimate guest of this season... (well unless I do a few 2 nights from Wakefield over the Christmas period - un decided about them yet...)

The wind was still blowing a hoolie and 21 swing bridges head sent me in to a bit of a downer... I won't dwell on that day - suffice to say, on arrival at Bingley again, I collapsed in a heap.

Oddly, things then went down hill further... 

Half way down the Bingley 3, I nipped in to put the kettle on (electric one when the engine is running) and noticed the engine didn't "dip" ... on checking the battery status, I also noticed they were lower than when starting an hour earlier.  It looked like the Auxiliary alternator (the 175 amp one) had packed in...

Once at the bottom, I tied up, went into the engine hole and checked connections etc... All ok so I grabbed my amp meter and discovered bugger all output from the alternator... 

I do have RCR membership but my first port of call was Pennine Cruises in Skipton - the boss bloke being a proper boater... alas, they didn't have a suitable one in stock...  SO reluctantly, I called RCR, only to be told that as it's the auxiliary one not the starter one, it's not classed as a break down and they passed me to their "contracting division"...  who sent me through a quote to supply and fit a replacement...  £695  to include 5 hours labour!!!

Well, having taken the thing off myself in less than half an our, I decided against that option... AND on the recommendation of Wendy's Eddie, got a train to Keighley and took it to an Auto-shop who have sent it away for assessment and (hopefully) repair....  I'll find out tomorrow if it's repairable... if not, I'll bite the bullet and get the like for like part from the engine mariniser so at least I know I wont need to bugger around with brackets etc... (well in theory).






Noting the batteries were now quite low (thank you fridge/ freezer and heating) - I panicked a bit and rushed off to Screw fix to buy a little genny to charge them - I'm actually very pleased with the little thing.. only 700watts and 8kg but is easy to start and once I'd reduced the output of the combi charger to 45amps it works fine.

Once tied up for the day in Shipley, I went digging around in my box of bits and bobs and found some old jump-lead cable which I bastardized with a little modification became a temporary charging lead from the Starter battery to the Aux bank (them already sharing the negative)...  ONCE the genny had gotten them back to a reasonable level, I connected this up so that when I chug along, they'll charge - albeit it at a slower rate than normal... the crocodile clip enables me to simply unplug the starter circuit when I stop the engine so as not to end up with a flat starter battery - although if I forget, I do have a back up plan with my starter pack !



I'm currently sitting in Shipley awaiting a gap (hopefully) in the rain to chug up to Saltaire and collect the guest due after lunch...  and then we'll set off  Bingley bound ready to ascent again tomorrow.

Until next time...


1 comment:

Dave Ward said...

If you made that "temporary" lead permanent, by adding another isolator, you wouldn't need to rummage in your "box of bits and bobs" if either alternator fails in the future. But label both the isolator & key CLEARLY, so it doesn't get turned on by mistake!