Thursday 10 March 2016

Odd Jobs and Weekend Cruises.

Once again work is limiting our cruising at the moment but that will change. We are, however, starting to preparing AmyJo for our Easter cruise by doing a few odd jobs on her.

Back in 2014 during our Llangollen cruise you may recall our horn started playing up (click). After some fiddling I got it working again but it has never be reliable. I put this down to me buying a cheap quality horn, my bad.  We stuck with it for the last year but over the last few months its been playing up more and more, sometimes working sometimes not.  It got so unreliable it had to go. After trawling the internet I eventually found a good quality dual pair of electric horns for 24volt and installed them. They are actually truck horns and at 122db they are really loud, possibly a bit too loud but then I take the view at least we will definitely be heard.

Ongaro Air horns

AmyJo's Beta Engine has reached 500 hours use now and has provided reliable power since it was installed. Chris Jones serviced it last time under warrenty so he was the obvious choice to do so again. This provided us with a good excuse to have a little cruise so on Sunday we headed off towards Chester and moored at Eggbridge in Waverton. This is a 7 day mooring close to the village but also has a handy car park right next to the tow path so Chris could park his van close by. Its a good spot and is in a lovely setting and never any trouble. We have stayed there a week commuting to work from there in the past.

There was another motive on our Chris's part. As it was Mothering Sunday Chris got the girls to arrange a meal in the Cheshire Cat for us all. This is only 15 minutes walk along the tow path from Eggbridge so there was no need to worry about drink driving. Mind you walking in pitch dark with a torch was interesting. Had the torch failed we would not have been able to see a hand in front of our faces. Good job phones have torches these days as a backup. A great time was had and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening. We don't get to socialise with Amy and Joanne as often as we would like. Both lead busy lives and work long hours so when we do all get together we make the most of it.

Our daughters and AmyJo's namesakes.  Amy on the right and Joanne on the left.
On Monday the day dawned bright and sunny with a cloudless sky and a very light breeze. By 11am the sun was beginning to have some warmth to it. In fact the coat was discarded and only a jumper needed outside. AmyJo's back cabin engine covers and steps are designed to be removed by simply unbolting the supporting frame work. 

Taken during AmyJo's build but shows the removable framework for access
Takes about 20 minutes but this gives ample room to access the engine, so first job was to remove these. Chris Jones arrived shortly after and serviced the engine. He checked it over thoroughly giving both engine and gearbox an oil change though looking at the oil there was no real need. The oil filter was also replaced. The air filter was still fairly clean so with a slight rotation to use the cleanest part near the intake it was put back. Finally he replaced the fuel prefilter cartridge. The old one still looked fine but as the unit had been dismantled a new one was used in its stead. As this was clean we left the fuel filter alone as we felt the pre-filter being clean would mean it too was clean.

After he finished, and whilst easy access was available, I gave the bilges a good clean before replacing the frame and covers. I then made a brew and, as the first lady was at work, I winded AmyJo by Quarry Bridge just past the Cheshire Cat pub and returned to Tattenhall on my own. On my trip back I had lowered the pram hood as the weather was good and could feel the warmth of the sun on my back. It was so nice to cruise without dressing up like an Eskimo for a change. I arrived back at the marina entrance just as Chris was walking up the jetty having just finished work.

Also getting a look at is our chimney. Having now done stirling service over three winters it is starting to break up and looks sorry for itself. I ordered a new stainless one from Lime Kiln Chandlers so once I get the flue swept the new chimney will be put into service. 

English Stainless Steel 18" chimney
 The new stainless one looks a thicker metal and looks more robust so it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. Its made from English steel so, costing more than normal stainless chimneys, I'm hoping to get a good few seasons use out of it.

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