Sunday 30 June 2019

Bramble Cuttings Sunday 30 June 2019

Day : Sunday
Date : 30 June 2019
Start :
Finish : 1630 Hrs

We spent last night with my son in Gloucestershire so this morning it was a trip up the M5 and M6 with thankfully no hold-ups. Today started quite a bit cooler but got warmer as the day progressed but with a cooling breeze.

My first job when we got onboard was to fit the new oil cooler. The oil pipe connections lined up exactly which was good and the overall length was only slightly shorter so due to the flexible hoses on the end of the copper runs I could even get that to fit, the only real difference was the diameter of the cooler body, the old one was about 55mm and the new one only 51 mm. DSCF1615

The cooler is held in place with two U bolts so two new holes had to be drilled in the plate its fixed to, one hole was completed before the drill battery went flat so there was a delay in drilling the second, but by about 2pm. I had just finished as Diana came back to the boat after a trip to Tesco in Northwich. The engine was run up and all seemed well. Cleaning up it became obvious that the old cooler had leaked more than I realised due to the amount of oil in the coolant overflow bottle.

After lunch we set off out of the marina turning right towards Middlewich. As we approached Bramble Cuttings we could see there was only two boats there, so we tagged on at the far end. Once moored I checked the prop for debris but it was all clear, there was a bit of water in the bilge so I also adjusted the stuffing box, something I have only done a couple of times it the past 17 years.

Today's JourneyMap 01

3 Miles 0 Locks in 1 hour

Monday 3 June 2019

Saturday Update

Update on Saturdays Blog

We brought the oil cooler home with us so that I could check it out and hopeful prove it was the cause of the oil in the cooling water. A visual inspection following cleaning showed no obvious faults so a pressure test was required. After a bit of thought I decide to obtain a Schrader Valve as used in car wheels to connect to an air pump. I thought I may have to drill a suitable hole in something to install it, but in the end it turns out its an exact fit in the nut of a 15mm compression plumbing fitting, just a case of leaving the olive out.

The oil ports in the cooler already had 15mm compressions fitted so I put a blanked off piece of 15mm copper water pipe into one and the Schrader valve in the other, with this arrangement I could pressurise the oil side with a tyre compressor.DSCF1607Within seconds of pumping it up it was obvious there was a leak as the pressure dropped rapidly and I could hear a hiss, but it wasn't where I expected, it was where the end caps were attached to the barrel. DSCF1609The liquid I used to flush the cooler out could be seen blowing through. I was expecting to have to immerse the cooler in water and look for bubbles.

I was very pleased to find this as it proves this is where the fault was and replacing the cooler is relatively cheap and easy.

Saturday 1 June 2019

Park Farm Marina

Day : Saturday
Date : 1 June 2019
Start : 1100hrs
Finish : 1500 hrs Marina

Well its the start of yet another month so can I just remind you all to check your CO and Smoke Detectors.

A very quiet night here last night at Bramble Cuttings, even the Owls went to sleep before midnight. A big thank you should go out to The Broken Cross Boat Club for both creating and maintaining these lovely peaceful rural moorings.DSCF1590

It was 11 am when we left, after the rain had stopped, that wasn't the reason for the late start, we only had a short way to go and I didn't want to get back too early. It took us just over an hour to get to the winding hole at Middlewich, turn and get back to where we moored last night, someone had already taken our place arriving in good time to get a spot.

CRT have completed raising the bank at Croxton Flash, only just in time as the old concrete edging is already just submerged, last year it only overtopped with the wash from passing boats, so the ground must still be sinking.DSCF1594

As we passed Whatcroft flash two Grebes were showing off to each other, I would have thought it a bit late in the year now.DSCF1598

We stopped for lunch on a section of piling just north of bridge 177. I had met 6 between the bridge and here and probably 18 since Middlewich and not one was a hire boat.

Back at the marina we are in a different slot as they are laying the mains electricity along the pontoon we normally moor at, so it was a case of collecting the fenders and hanging them in the new spot. All we have to do now is clear up ready to go home in the morning.

Map of the whole weeks trip.map trip

Today's Journeymap 4

Miles 6 Locks in 2½ hours

Post script

I was checking around the engine this afternoon, checked the oil as I changed that a couple of days ago then the water. Looked into the header and saw a black oily mess, engine oil in the cooling system is not good, a thousand expensive causes ran through my mind. Although it was oily it wasn't milky or gooey, just like someone had poured oil in there, bit more of a think and the obvious culprit is the oil cooler stack leaking, this is a Polar one which are not made any more. Anyway I set to and removed it without making too much mess, draining the oily coolant into a bucket which I have since separated 99% water at least and the cooler will be going home for a pressure test. Don't you just love boats.