Tuesday, 20 June 2006

So, Tortoise had a wee bit of an adventure today...A couple of days the engine stopped apparently randomly, with the fuel gauge showing a quarter full, although I'm convinced that's pretty much bollocks now. A can of diesel didn't revive it, it needed the administrations of Bill the engine expert to coax the air out of the fuel lines and get the engine running again. To celebrate the success, we went out for a trip; left the moorings, got to the junction with main canal so thought the ultimate trip to Tesco's at Bull's Bridge a couple of miles down the canal would be appropriate. Got there no problem, although no space outside the supermarket itself, on the opposte side of the canal to the towpath. I texted here and there I'd see if anyone wanted to come out and join me for the trip back; made a cup of tea, and started turning around - and the engine stopped again. Ah. The fuel tank - having been filled up to half full - back to showing a quarter. Bear in mind the guideline is about a litre of fuel per hour, and I'd done around six miles in less than two hours. I contemplated this as I walked up & over the Hayes bypass to the garage to buy diesel, and whether I'd be able to replicate Bill's prods & pokes. Thankfully I did, successfully, only to spot the reason I was getting trhough so much fuel - a leak out of the fuel filter, going into the injection pump. I'm not doing too badly, bearing in mind this is the first IC engine I've ever so much as had dealings with. There's a thin copper pipe coming out of it, sealed with a brass ring; the tube has sheered just by that ring. By the time I'd sussed allt his time was getting on; I think I've effected a repair using a bungee cord and PVA glue (!) to seal it, but I've let that cure overnight. Work early in the morning, so I'll go back over Weds afternoon to run back up to the moorings, possibly via a plumber to find 3/16" olives... if anyone can join me, please do; the aim will be to get back to my moorings adjacent to Langley station; nearest station to Bull's Bridge is Hayes (although not close), and I'll be passing West Drayton on the way. We'll probably be calling into Tesco anyway to pick up a couple of bags of cat litter to soak up the leaked diesel, too... ;-)

This is all part of the learning process; I'm happy that I'm learning about the thing (although I really should join the canal version of the RAC, though, anyway) and getting things sorted. This also explains the quantity of diesel in swilling around in the bilge. Better to discover these things now rather than half way around the middle of nowhere... ;-)

Friday, 2 June 2006

Over on the boat again yesterday; I'm now fully legal, insured & licensed, so I could get on with a bit of hacking about.

The main difference is that the big wardrobe/cupboard has gone, making the kitchen area so much more open (and that window is now fully exposed internally); one plan is to move the sink into where that gap was (where the pieces of wood are visible behind the cooker), then the stove can (eventually) move into where the sink was, freeing up the front of the boat for more benches/beds. That will leave me with a very compact kitchen and less storage space, but a lot more flexible sleeping arrangements for the lovely people who'll be coming along.

meanwhile on the LHS; the original table top didn't actually fit in between the seats to make a bed, so I've made a new one that does/will. I've also cut off the seat back of the far seat, meaning that my feet can hang over the end in bed mode; the happy side effect is that the seat also works from the other direction, looking straight out of the back door.

Hopefully taking it out down the canal for a few hours at some point next week; if anyone has time off during the week, shout and you could come too...