No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Mechanical failure & Mobile Phones

Thursday 22th July 2010.
Moored at Cosgrove.
0 Miles 0 Locks.

This morning after breakfast we had a walk down to the shop on Cosgrove Park caravan site and bought a few supplies.
 Another boat arrived for the weekend and asked if they could moor alongside us which was OK, very often at boating festivals boats moor side by side sometimes 4 abreast to save space along the Towpath, the important thing is that the sterns are in line so that people can get across.

Jayne had cooking fever again, so she was in the kitchen, making a fruit cake, the result was good but a little burnt on top, ovens fault of course.

The electrical power on a Narrowboat is supplied by Battery Banks, these vary in size from boat to boat but they all need charging, No Direction has 3 methods of doing this, first they can be charged from a Mains connection which is what happens when we are moored in the Marina, secondly they are charged by the engine when we are cruising, just like a car charges it's battery whilst being driven, and finally they can be charged by a generator when we moor for a few days.
The generator fitted to our boat is a Fischer Panda 3.5 Kw, it has a 300cc Diesel engine which needs Canal water to keep it cool, this water needs to be sucked from the Canal through filters, circulate around a heat exchanger and returned to the Canal, the pump that does all this has a rubber impeller inside driven by a small belt, this morning I started the generator and checked that the cooling water was circulating by looking at the transparent top of the main filter, unfortunately it was not !!
After cleaning the filters there was still no water flow so I removed the pump to check the rubber impeller and this is what I found.

The Impeller wheel, whats left of . It is about 50mm in diameter

We don't carry a spare, although the manual suggests that you should always keep a couple on the boat so it must be a common failure,  Jayne called the main agents and asked for two to be posted to Willow Bridge Marina which is just passed Milton Keynes where we had already planned to call and fill with Diesel next Tuesday,so hopefully the spares will be there and I can repair the Generator, meanwhile we will have to run the main engine to charge the batteries, which will use about 3 times as much fuel as the generator does.

About 6 weeks ago I had a call from Vodafone, with whom I have my phone contract, they said you are due for an upgrade, I don't want or need a new phone, the one I have is complicated enough, but they gave me a choice of 3 which I could have on my existing contract, I have had the same contract for years and only pay £15 a month ( £180 a year ) so when I checked and found one of the phones on offer retailed at over £300 I ordered it, I had already checked on the Internet and found that I could sell it for £150, so, if I only pay £180 a year and they are willing to give me a phone that retails at £300 how much mark up is there on a mobile phone.???. 
 So, I have a Nokia N97 mini in the cupboard which will get sold when we return to the Marina, but today I had another call from Vodafone, and they said "Hello, you are due for a upgrade" I was going to say thanks, but instead I told them to check their records.

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