Monday 30 November 2015

Getting Hot and Steamy

As you know for the last couple of days we have been getting hot and steamy in the hallway, stripping.........wallpaper.

Tonight after work we will continue with the stripping but before that we are heading to B&Q to pick up a few bits and pieces, namely a new jigsaw as Liam's is on it's last legs and some pine cladding.

No we are not going for the sauna look, we are going for the fairly traditional clad bottom half of the wall beneath the dado rail. This will then be painted, a colour which we have yet to decide, but I am steering towards a nice pale green colour.

We picked some wall paper to match but we are a way off needing to buy that just yet. We plan to get all of the walls stripped, sanded and prepped and the cladding fixed in place and painted prior too setting about the wall papering. But hopefully in the next week or two we will be in a position to start this next phase of the attack on the hallway.

Sunday 29 November 2015

DIY Sunday

Another day of DIY for us today. Yet more wallpaper stripping.

Yesterday we got most of the bottom part of the hallway stripped and Liam got the new lights fitted which are a great improvement on the old ones we have hated so much.

Not that putting the last one up was a safe process mind!

Saturday 28 November 2015


It was somewhat odd waking up at home this morning but now we are getting on with some decorating.

Today's victim, the hallway.

Friday 27 November 2015

Keeping Up Momentum

Last night the shaft seals finally arrived for the stern drive. I had ordered these last Friday, but due to an admin error at the place they were ordered from they have been on a bit of a tour of Sheffield.

They mixed up the billing and delivery addresses and sent the seals to my home address with my work address post code!

Thankfully they have finally made their way to us, so today Liam is keeping up this years spruce up momentum by fitting the new seals to the shaft ready to fit them back on the boat next weekend. It isn't a long or difficult job and one that Liam has done every year since we have owned Naughty-Cal, so he is getting pretty proficient at it by now. 

For the sake of £35 worth of seals and an hour or so's work it isn't really worth not doing them annually. Dodgy seals allow oil to escape from the drive and more importantly water to enter the drive contaminating the oil which protects the mechanical components. 

The seals are double back to back seals in an attempt to give the best protection possible, however they are not really much of a match for fishing line which manages to wend its way through them pretty much each year without fail and this year has been no exception.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Small Steps

This week I have taken a few small steps towards getting jobs on the boat done this winter. When I say small I really do mean small this week.

First up I have washed the ensign, the red flag that flies from the stern of British registered ships and boats. We fly our flag with pride and so it needs to be kept clean and tidy to do it justice. So that small job is finished. We also plan to sand and varnish the flag staff at the weekend as this is due doing as well. Can't have a clean flag flying from a tatty flag staff now can we?

I have also brought the fenders home to give them a good scrub with some magic sponge and EVM and get them looking good as new again ready to refit come spring. The fender ropes are still in excellent condition, however we have decided that it is time to get some new mooring ropes, the current ones have been on for five years now and are starting to show signs of wearing through in places. We will definitely use the same braided rope again though as it has worn and lasted far better then previous ropes we have bought.

Whilst these might only be small steps towards achieving the finished article in a few months time it is better to get them done and out of the way now, rather then stacking jobs up and rushing around in February prior to relaunching.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Shop Wiser

Now we all like to save a few pennies here and there and one way we have discovered of doing this, food wise at least is to buy bigger.

Now this might seem like a strange idea to some but it really does work. Take this leg of lamb for example.

Now this is a big lump of meat just for two people but it has fed us well for most of this weeks so far.

On Sunday it was slow roast in the overn at 120 degrees for four hours.

And from that we had a melt in the mouth lamb sunday lunch.

Now it was a big lump of lamb so as you can imagine there was a fair bit left over after the two of us had our fill. It hardly looked as though we had touched it.

On Monday we both had massive lamb and stuffing sandwiches for work and then on Monday evening I rustled up a lovely Thai Green Curry.

But there was still loads left. So yesterday again we had lamb in our sandwiches for work, this time I had mine with tomato chutney, very nice. And then  last night I made a quick lamb and mint casserole.

 But there was still a fair amount left. By last night however we were both feeling a little lambed out, so the remainder of the mixture has been put in the freezer to make lamb and mint pasties next week.

So one leg of lamb has so far served us with main meals for two three times, with a fourth time in the freezer and two of us with sandwiches for work for three days.

Not bad from a £10 lump of meat.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

The Next Step

Now that we have had out initial look around Naughty-Cal we can start to make a list of jobs to do and give them a timescale.

As we have a good few months, possibly a little longer to plough through the to do list there is no great rush, so we can set ourselves realistic deadlines and break the work up into manageable chunks. 

We won't be at the marina next weekend due to other commitments at home so we will have the change to gather a few bits together for our next visit the weekend after.

So far the to do list for the first weekend in December looks like this:

  • Refit shafts and new seals to drive.
  • Refit cleaned up aluminium anodes to the drive.
  • Fill drive with oil. (This will be drained off closer to launch time to flush out any remaining water contamination  and be refilled with fresh oil again just before launching)
  • Remove K&N air filter to take home for cleaning.
  • Remove raw water pump.
  • Remove alternator.
  • Fit new Raymarine Speed/Temperature transducer.
  • Clean out engine bay and bilges.
Whilst this might sound like a bit of a long list, none of the jobs is very taxing and we should easily have this lot done by early afternoon on the Saturday, so that we can then get ready for our E Pontoon Christmas Party at The Double Tree by Hilton on Brayford Pool.

Monday 23 November 2015

A Good Start

We have had chance to have a good look around Naughty-Cal now that she is out of the water and I am pleased to report that there are no nasty surprises or hidden horrors that have revealed themselves, well not just yet anyway!

We already knew that we had picked up what we suspected was fishing line in the shaft seals and we were proven right as the pictures below confirm we had a good ball of the stuff wrapped not just around the outer seals but the inner seals as well.

With just the prop cone off the fishing line reveals itself.

And more behind the prop.

No we know that this had happened fairly recently on our last proper run on the Trent to West Stockwith as since then we have had a slight weep of oil from the drive. However we were still surprised at how well the oil looked when it came out. There was minor water contamination but nowhere near as bad as it has been in the past.

 The oil draining from the leg. Only slight water contamination this time. There was some screen wash left in the tub we drained the oil into hence the odd colour!

So now after weekend one we have a better idea of the jobs that need completing. The next time we visit in a couple of weeks we will have a few bits and pieces to put back. The new shaft seals are arriving this week so Liam can fit those to the shaft and he has the anodes with him to clean up ready for refitting. So with some fresh seals and oil and a good wash and touch up of the paint and the drive is ready to go for another year. We changed the bellows last year and they still look as good as new so they don't need changing until next year.

One small item we didn't bank on was replacing the speed transducer for the Raymarine Tridata. However at some point over the last year the speedwheel has gone AWOL. Liam took the old one out yesterday which was an easier job than anticipated and I will order a new one this week so that it is ready to refit on our next visit in a couple of weeks time.

 The transducer which fits through the Hull of the boat.

Paddle wheel should fit here!

Sunday 22 November 2015

Bright and Crisp

It's a lovely bright and crisp morning here at Burton Waters,  a far better prospect than yesterday.

Today we have a few minor jobs to finish before we lock Naughty-Cal up for a couple of weeks until the next time we come and pay her a visit.

Saturday 21 November 2015

High and Dry

Here is Naughty-Cal's home for the next few months. High and dry ashore next to the workshops.

Friday 20 November 2015

A Belated Extravaganza

Belatedly here are a few pictures from our last weekend on the water when we went to see the Queen Tribute band at the Engine Shed in Lincoln.

 Starting the evening in the Electric Bar with a couple of cocktails.

Beverley enjoyed her cocktail.

Phil getting the beers in at The Student Union.

A quick pint they said.

 The main event.

A brilliant performance.

 We will certainly go and see this lot again. They were amazing.

In the crowd.

Group selfie of the occasion!

Thursday 19 November 2015

2015 - Part 3

The final part of this series of posts looking back on 2015.

 One of many lovely sunset cruises along the Fossdyke, this time approaching Torksey.

 August Bank Holiday cruise in company up the Trent.

 After a shambolic start to our October break we did finally get out onto the Trent on a lovely early morning.

 Sunset over West Stockwith.

 An eerie foggy run back towards Torksey.

 NB Python and Naughty-Cal on the Trent. Perhaps one of my favourite pictures from this year.

And finally a fitting end to the year with a civilised lunch at the Pyewipe.

So there you have it. Our cruising season for 2015 is over. We have travelled 1257 Miles, traversed 64 locks and used 985 litres of diesel giving and average fuel consumption for this year of 5.75mpg, a little better than in previous years.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

2015 - Part 2

2015 - Part 2
Our summer holiday on the Fens and a chance to explore waters new.

 Naughty-Cal ready to set off.

 Back in Kings Lynn for the second time this year.

 Heading up the Great Ouse and into the unknown.

 Up the 100ft Drain, a complete contrast to the mighty Great Ouse.

 Off the tidal waters and onto the non tidal river, cruising through St Ives.

 The lovely Waits Moorings in St Ives.

 More pretty scenes as we head upriver.

 Through lovely villages.

 And onto the Old River West, our route to the Ely Ouse.

 Ely, the capital of the Fens.

 Moored at the Five Miles from Anywhere on the River Cam.

 Back onto the Ely Ouse and another stop off in Ely.

Heading for home anchored in the Wash.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

2015 - Part 1

So here is a general look back over another great year of cruising with Naughty-Cal.

March and an early season trip to West Stockwith to check that all is well after a few months ashore.

 Easter and a trip along the Witham towards Boston.

 Easter in Kings Lynn.

 The end of May saw our annual trip to Wells next the Sea once more.

 With dinghy rides in the salt marshes.

 Looking out to sea on a glorious Norfolk day.

Leaving Wells on a very low tide. Not a lot of room for error this time.