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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Litres per hour and the answer to a question

I have mentioned on the blog in the past that I don`t keep much in the way of records. Some boaters keep records of miles and locks travelled and all sorts of other things which is fine as we all travel through life in many ways.
Anyway i was on the CanalWorld Forum and someone asked what amount of diesel members boat engines used. Obviously all sorts of factors will need to be taken into account to get an accurate consumption, engine size, speed etc.
So filling up soon after this I kept the receipts and 67litres costing £63.05($95) over 53 hours of the engine running produced a figure of  1.26 litres per hour. This is roughly £1.18($1.80) per hour. That figure if cruising will not only move you to a different location but will give you hot water and electricity and most important a stress free life, bliss as Jaq sums it up.

Talking of engines and diesel reminds me of being asked via e mail about the power source aboard Nb Valerie. We have below the decks a 33hp  4 cylinder Vetus engine. It is basically a Mitsubishi  engine that has been marinised by Vetus. (pictured below left) To answer the readers power source question fully lets go below decks to look around.

Above this view of the engine shows the black oil filter and just out of site above it the fuel filter. The silver coloured thing is the electric fuel lift pump. All these 3 things are easily accessed for servicing as the above picture shows.

On the right is pictured the Eberspacher also located in the engine bay but operated from inside the boat. It is a diesel fueled boiler that supplies hot water to a storage tank and to four radiators in the boat. Our heating is mainly the wood stove but this boiler is ideal for a cold morning when the stove is not in use.

On the left is the weed hatch with the cover removed. It gives access to the propeller when at best some plastic bags and string or plants have become attached to the prop. At worst it could be anything from a car tyre to a blanket or carpet. The latter are best if attracted in summer as the amount of time your hands are in the icy water is considerable to cut away the items.
Last of the picture tour below decks is the rear end or to be nautical the stern. The yellow lump is the gearbox from which the prop shaft emerges. The shaft exits through the stern via a Vetus water lubricated bearing system. it has it`s good points but I find it drips water in every now and again no matter how much grease i insert as recommended between the seals.
The vetus replacement unit is very expensive but I have replaced the seals within the unit for just a few pounds from a bearing/seal centre.
The red canister top left is the fuel filter/water separator in the fuel line. Fuel passes through 2 more filters before it reaches the injector pump.
So there you are your questions answered. Please feel free to ask questions as in this case by e mail or even via comments. This is a great life but i am quite willing to share my experiences if you feel it could be the life for you.

Just like to say hello to the crew of `CASSIE TOO` who as they passed used sign language to ask how Jaq`s foot was.
Also the crew of `SOKAI` recent liveaboards who after a brief chat cruised off. Next time we can have a chat over a cup of tea but I`m sorry I was in the middle of tiling and had the wood stove removed and sitting in the cabin. 


Anonymous said...

The prime mover is located where, on the
boat? And in relation to same, the fuel tank, the weed hatch and related. The engine/prime mover is a marine version of a Mitsubishi design for what originally? Starting the engine utilizes electricity and what are referred as glow plugs? Water cooled using water from the canal?
Would an air-cooled design with a fan
work as well?
Interesting to meis how many Honda marine designs are in use?

As to the weed hatch, is there not some
form of protective cover surrounding the propeller which is how many blades and
of what diameter, RPM when underway?
Transmission is mechanical or electrical,
and range of speeds/throttle settings?

And I'd never fit vertically in any narrow boat. My friend Mike tells me they
don't make NB's as high inside as I stand vertically. Maybe what we call here a
cabin cruiser perhaps, however the draft is often deeper than a flat-bottomed NB.

Anonymous said...

Hi Les, I'd post a comment but I'm speechless with admiration for your knowledge and my lack thereof!


Chas and Ann said...

No mention here about your batteries and alternator charging system. See my website for info at Hope your system is behaving itself.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Chas
Have e mailed you.
Everything is working at the moment

Les Biggs said...

Hi Sally
Assume you are U.S. Sally!
Looking forward to your visit.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Bryce
You need to get narrowboats in Canada.
So long is your comment that I am going to do a little blog just for you.

nb Cleddau said...

My rather older! BMC 1.8 marinised diesel uses about 1.9 litres an hour on the canals. It was last refurbished about 18 years ago and I have no idea of the date ofthe original manufacture.
Regards to Jaq,

Anonymous said...


We do have canals and related however
they might not be as quaint as the ones
Valerie is seen upon.

and there is this canal system:
(posted as of September 8, 2012)

Bryce Lee

PS All canals are shuttered and closed for the winter period.

It can be most interesting to see all of the
Great Lakes frozen solid, and it has happened within the last twenty years!

Les Biggs said...

Thanks for the links, I will check them out.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Ken
Nothing wrong with the BMc. It was a very popular choice in the past and just like yours they have been working tirelessly below decks for many years.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs