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Bimbling about
#1
What - no one has posted in this forum? I am shocked! I suppose this comes as more of a surprise because the only other discussion forum to which I subscribe is full of people who live and travel in their vehicles. Living on a narrowboat I'm in a minority there too, but there is a lot of discussion to be had.

I've been living in my boat for eight and a half years and for most of that time it has been disabled with engine problems. Gradually the problems have become fewer and have crept into the realms of things I'm prepared to have a go at fixing myself. Fortunately, I have found a great place in the middle of not very much and a farmer lets me rent a bit of his river bank. It's a great place to be based but, being so isolated, I need to have at least a few days clear if I want to go anywhere that looks very different and, of course, the engine needs to be working. My work is normally sporadic, each job requires several days of rehearsal and preparation. I could not afford to break down somewhere if I have a deadline to meet. It's not as though I can just go home and wait for the repairs to be done. I am at home!

A couple of weeks ago I had a go at replacing some components in the fuel and cooling systems that came up as advisories during my last engine service. I've put it off since December, because I am not a natural (and certainly not a trained) mechanic and any job I think to try and tackle usually unravels more problems. Unavailability of spare parts for my thirty year-old engine has been another result of the pandemic, as has - of course - having no work and in theory at least, plenty of time to travel. I amazed myself that I achieved in only two days what a marine engineer could have managed in an hour. I have taken the boat out on a couple of test runs and have seen no evidence of the leaks that were obvious before.

It seemed time for a proper test. I've used the lockdown to get my books and paperwork ready uncharacteristically early for the accountant to check and sign off. He also sorts out my tax returns. The town where his office is situated can also be accessed from the river I'm on, so I like to arrange to take the books in by boat when I have those few days. Sometimes the trip is more fraught than I'd like. One year I had to abandon the journey because my engine overheated and died while I was in the middle of the river, about twenty feet from either bank. Fun times.

Just to place life in my world in perspective, his office is a twenty-five minute journey away in my van. However, the trip takes about six hours in the boat. Some of the route was obstructed with weed on the surface of the river from bank to bank. That slowed me down as the weed kept obstructing the propellor, so the six-hour journey became seven. When PA is with me, he stays inside and takes lots of photographs or prepares wonderful food so I can keep going. Most of the time I'm on my own though so that requires a little more forward planning.

I am delighted that my repairs held fast and the engine seemed to work as never before. I managed to choose the hottest days of the year to go and I am nursing sunburn in places I didn't know I had places. For the past couple of nights I have huddled in bed with ice packs. Today we are back to good old-fashioned English rain and wind.

I couldn't decide in which forum I should post this, so Travel - Europe - UK seemed most appropriate. To make it slightly more relevant I live mostly in The Fens. No need to visit; there's nothing to see ... although you may know some of the towns and there are things to see in Cambridge Angel
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#2
(06-27-2020, 02:29 PM)marshlander Wrote: What - no one has posted in this forum? I am shocked!
I know... thanks for getting it going! Smile I'll need to post some UK travel guides once things get back to normal.

Sounds so romantic and carefree living on a boat compared to the confines of being in a house or flat with neighbours! Wink The fact that you can up and go... decide to move on from a particular spot if you want is amazing too!

Glad you managed to get the engine problems all fixed and that was quite impressive you managed to fix it by yourself! Wink

Eek... the sunburn sounds bad... apparently a great quick remedy for it is shaving foam containing menthol! Just rub it on the affected areas for 30 mins... wash off and apply next day if still sore! Wink
Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this contaminant free message. However, I do concede, a significant number of electrons may have been inconvenienced.
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#3
That sounds amazing, I would love to travel one day and I've always wondered what it's like to live on a boat.
[Image: tumblr_n60lwfr0nK1tvauwuo2_250.gif]
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#4
Well done on fixing the engine @marshlander

You know, I knew you lived on a boat from some of your previous posts I'd seen, but I always had the impression it was static, just a floating home. I didn't actually realise it was in working condition and you could journey around the Fens. A lot of hard work, but it sounds enjoyable nonetheless, a true labour of love.  Smile
<<<<I'm just consciousness having a human experience>>>>
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#5
Hello @marshlander

Interesting post! I've never known anyone who has lived on a boat. Sunburns are no fun, please be careful!!!
Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: 
''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!
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#6
(06-28-2020, 02:55 PM)andy Wrote:
(06-27-2020, 02:29 PM)marshlander Wrote: What - no one has posted in this forum? I am shocked!
... Sounds so romantic and carefree living on a boat compared to the confines of being in a house or flat with neighbours! Wink The fact that you can up and go... decide to move on from a particular spot if you want is amazing too!

Glad you managed to get the engine problems all fixed and that was quite impressive you managed to fix it by yourself! Wink

Eek... the sunburn sounds bad... apparently a great quick remedy for it is shaving foam containing menthol! Just rub it on the affected areas for 30 mins... wash off and apply next day if still sore! Wink
Thanks, @andy. Like being a musician, things can look "romantic" from the outside. The view from the inside is often a bit different. I can go into more detail if I haven't already done so elsewhere, but this probably isn't the thread to indulge! If anyone wants a link to my blog DM me. There are plenty of gory details on there  Undecided

Believe me, no one could be more impressed (or surprised) than I am that these repairs seem to have held. For anyone who understands such things the trickiest was replacing the CAV housing, which is one of the junctions for bits of the fuel system. The primary fuel filter bolts into it as do several other copper and steel pipes. In order to be able to get one of those out I had to sort out how to move and reroute the throttle cable, which was a puzzle in itself. Then one of the nuts wouldn't budge and I ended up turning what was left of the hexagon into a nice smooth circle. I'd already been warned that I wouldn't be able to move it, by the engineer who tightened it for me a few years ago!

I don't have a lot of use for shaving foam and I don't have any with menthol, but I'll certainly bear it in mind as a handy tip. I've been using aloe vera and ice. It wasn't too bad after a couple of days.

(06-28-2020, 03:07 PM)ceez Wrote: That sounds amazing, I would love to travel one day and I've always wondered what it's like to live on a boat.
@ceez There are plenty of places in the UK (specially England) where one can hire a self-drive narrowboat for a holiday. You could satisfy your urge to travel and your curiosity in one go! I love my life and there are times when it truly is amazing, but I have had to become quite resourceful and used to doing things the hard way. I have to bend double to get in and out of the boat; everything needs to be carried along a river bank and up or down the bank; fresh water is only available if I keep the water tank topped up which involves running four joined hosepipes to a standpipe in front of a barn in the farmyard about 150 metres away - a full tank lasts me  about three weeks if I'm frugal; the toilet needs to be emptied weekly by carrying it to the sanitation point behind the barn; hot water is only on tap if I've been using the engine or, in colder weather, I light the woodburner. When I need hot water I generally boil a kettle.

(06-28-2020, 07:18 PM)Bookworm Wrote: Well done on fixing the engine @marshlander

You know, I knew you lived on a boat from some of your previous posts I'd seen, but I always had the impression it was static, just a floating home. I didn't actually realise it was in working condition and you could journey around the Fens. A lot of hard work, but it sounds enjoyable nonetheless, a true labour of love.  Smile
Thanks, @Bookworm.
The boat was sold to me as being in "working condition", but one of the people who sold it to me was a notorious bodger. Although the boat was only about ten years old when I bought it the first owner had managed to seize the engine solid. He sold it on to a couple of people who wanted a project boat to do up and sell on. Part of that involved finding and installing a reconditioned (allegedly!) engine. It has been a long and winding road/river!

(06-28-2020, 09:46 PM)CellarDweller Wrote: Hello @marshlander

Interesting post!  I've never known anyone who has lived on a boat.  Sunburns are no fun, please be careful!!!
Thanks, @CellarDweller.
I thought I was well-enough covered. During the hottest day of the year, last week, I was wearing a boiler suit for protection. I've often wondered, but now I know for sure, why it is called a boiler suit!
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#7
I always wondered what it would be like to live on a boat. There is something that is appealing to me and I think about it alot when we go to our favorite restaurant as it is adjacent to a harbor where alot of people live on their boats.

Moss Landing - Phils Fish Market


I like the people alot who live on the boats as well - like their vibe. I see them in the restaurant alot. 

Glad you got your engine fixed!
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#8
My sister is the boat person in the family. She has even built one herself. Handy gal!
I bid NO Trump!
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#9
(06-29-2020, 09:31 PM)eastofeden Wrote: I always wondered what it would be like to live on a boat. There is something that is appealing to me and I think about it alot when we go to our favorite restaurant as it is adjacent to a harbor where alot of people live on their boats.

I like the people alot who live on the boats as well - like their vibe. I see them in the restaurant alot. 

Glad you got your engine fixed!
Thanks @eastofeden ,
I know we've been friends for years, but if you ever make it to this side of the Atlantic you know you'll be welcome to visit. Unfortunately there is just the one bed!

(06-29-2020, 11:46 PM)LJay Wrote: My sister is the boat person in the family.  She has even built one herself.  Handy gal!
@LJay Clever woman. I may need her advice. I'm no carpenter either and I fear I'm going to have to look at some of the flooring before too much longer ...
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#10
when your moored is it still stable - id be so scared to drive it id just walk to wherever , i can fix million pound machines at work but i dont understand boat engines at all
"when u wake up with me ....I'll be your glass of water"
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