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Thursday, December 03, 2015

Pre Christmas cruise

Having spent some time at Radford Semele on the outskirts of Leamington Spa we rather fancied a cruise to Napton to visit friends after we had met the fuel boat. The only thing that might cause a problem was the need for a train into London for my 3 month scan on the 1st. December. A phone call just 8/9 days before the appointment and the Radiology staff changed my appointment to Dec. 15th. Now we could take our time doing the return journey that will total 18 miles and 46 locks.
We cruised down over the next 4/5 days and reached Calcutt and with just 3 locks and a mile to Napton we still had not met the fuel boat. The decision was made that we would fill up at Calcutt marina and just as we were about to set off along came a fuel boat. Notice I said a not the for it was Ryan on Southern Cross part of the Jules Fuels fleet and not the expected Callisto boat. I flagged him down because winter time is when you need to have your fuel supplies full and as we were about to turn off the route of the expected fuel boat it was an easy decision.

One hundred and forty litres of diesel and six bags of smokeless fuel in exchange for £145($218) and we started to tackle the last three locks. As we exited the last one with just a few hundred yards to the junction fuel boat Callisto came into sight. Shame but as I said this time of year you do not want to be frozen in without fuel. I think 2011 was the last time the canal froze in mid November but we always expect the worst and smile when it fails to materialise.

We now have a heck of a lot of wood, 12 bags of smokeless, a full diesel tank and 60 litres in reserve,  ready for you now Mr. Winter.

We spent a nice few days visiting our friends Andy and Tina and decided to cruise to Braunston to get our Eberspacher boiler serviced. The Ebby as it`s known heats water and pumps it through radiators around the boat. . Over the past 10 years it has not been used much as a heat source as we have the solid fuel stove and we expected it`s excessive smoking and refusal to start to be solved by a service.........wrong.
After two hours the engineer had the bad news that the motor and the electronics had died and the total cost to put it all right would be just shy of £900. It certainly was a mess to look at. A new unit costs about £1400. We decided the little time it was used did not warrant that outlay not that we had that amount available. Good news was he only charged £20 for his time.
We used it mostly for heating water in the summer and will now use our generator and electric heating element in the calorfier tank.

Braunston was empty of boats with just half a dozen between Butchers bridge and the road bridge past Midland Chandlers. The winter mooring site is past the road bridge but i`m sure it has in previous years been opposite the pub.
Ryan stops by in Braunston to collect a piece of Jaq`s cake baked since we took on fuel a few days back.

The Boathouse pub is doing a 4 course Christmas day dinner for £42.99($65). Also noticed they have mooring signs stating 4hrs in summer and 24hrs in winter.

Same view circa 1970 when it was called the Rose and Castle. It has been in the past Mill House, Boatman and New Castle. The latter was when the license was transferred from the Castle Inn, an old coaching Inn, in the mid 20th Century.

 This map shows  the location of the Castle Inn that`s now a private house. It`s by bridge 91 where the footpath goes across the fields to the Wolfhamcote past the old church. The original Oxford canal route can also be seen on the map link.

We are now moored between Braunston and Napton and will on our way back to Warwick call in at Napton for one more night socialising with our friends.


Carolyn said...

Hi Jaq and Les
We had a similar experience with our Webasto. It stopped working so we took it out and took it to Evesham for them to look at. Well, it was dead! Rusted through the whole unit. Turns out the damage was done by using domestic radiator anti freeze instead of car antifreeze in the system. The domestic stuff erodes all the metal!!!! As the previous owner had left us what he used, we had continued like wise. Expensive lesson learned. £1100 for a replacement. As we are all diesal we needed the Webasto. We had to flush out all the system and re plen it. Fortunately the radiaitors were saved and didn't need replacing. So, if any one else is experiencing luke warm radiator spots, and problems bleeding the air out of them, check for rust........Carolyn. Carapace

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Both
Just a thought - there are plenty of suppliers of Eberspacher parts on Ebay, and they're not difficult to take apart, you just need a set of small Torx keys. It certainly wouldn't cost you £900...

Les Biggs said...

Hi Carolyn, Geoff and Maggs
The ebby had three major parts deceased and my searching the net resulted in a very high cost for replacement. Looking at it I got the impression it had overheated and distorted the chamber and surrounding parts, it really did look a mess.
Perhaps one day I might fit a new unit, saw a small ad for one recently, but it`s small amount of use makes it a low priority for limited funds.
Thanks for your input.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs