Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Boiler Test

Boilertest Passed!

On Tuesday we had our annual boiler test.  A well maintained and operated boiler is a safe as any other peice of equipment on a narrowboat, but like all of these things if neglected can turn into a lethal weapon. So like MOTs for cars (which mine just passed today after a new exhast section)

 our boiler has to have an annual inspect where its condition and state are checked and tested along with the  feed water system and valves.

The first part of the boiler test is always to spend a day taking apart and cleaning the boiler ready for inspection. It was felt the boiler was a little oily inside so in addition to cleaning the tubes and firebox the inside was cleaned by filling the boiler with washing soda and boiling what oil the was off the heating surfaces with the boiler vented to atmopher through the whistle pipe (whistle removed).

 A photo looking into the boiler at the boiler crown.

[What you can see in the lower half of the image is the water side of the firebox and in the upper half the bottom of firetubes where the meet the bottom tube plate which runs along athe middle of the photograph.]

The oily discharge from the whistle pipe exit.

Cleaning the tubes.
With the smoke dome and flue removed a mechanical wire brush is run down each of the tubes, starting with the 25 stay tubes as seen here.

Fueled by digestives, powered by honda!
The mighty boiler inspector at work!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Trent Rally, the River Sour Trip and the Leicester Section!

Emilyanne took part in the SBA TrentLock rally and TVSC last weekend which was a great success. 

She was then moved south through Loughborough and Leicester on the River Sour with myself an a number of freinds from university who where graduating this year to the foot of Foxton Locks. (i will graduate next year, having compleated a masters courses)

Three days later she was the picked up by another group of freinds and I, this time other students who i did my placment with last year at JCB, who moved her through foxton, watford and braunston before mooring near Warwick where she will undergo her annual boiler inspection

Photos to follow.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Working Week on the Boat

For the last fortnight EmilyAnne has been moored at Willington in the new Mercia Marina and over the last week we have been working on the boat and engine.

The first thing we decided to do was try and locate some of the knocks within the engine as while there is nothing wrong with it as such after 20 years service its not quite as smooth as it was when new. There is some slop in some of the valve linkages when the eccentrics couple to the reverse slider and also some play in the big end of the high pressure cylinder. It was therefore decided to take the HP big end apart and measure it for wear with the plan to removed some of the thickness of shims holding it apart. In the end it was decided to remove the 6thou shims and replace them with 3thou shim to reduced the clearance.

We have also be struggling to develop any vacuum on the exhaust of the engine recently which was put down to leaks within the system between the engine, condenser, and airpump. Investigation revealed that as expected most of the joints in the system leak to some degree or other, so work set about disassembling each part, cutting gaskets, and reassembling with new gaskets or silicon gasket sealant (or both!). 

Monday then saw the boat leaving Willington for the steamboat association trentlock rally at the trent valley sailing club which also served as a short test run to prove our weeks work.

Im happy to report that although there is still some knocking within the engine, the harsher knock of the big end is now gone, and although we can still only pull around 10 inches of vacuum (not the 2o we need) we do seam to have cured the leaks (vacuum doesn’t leak away when we stop) so all eyes are on the air pump with an aim to now service and improve that!