Thursday, 17 November 2011

Pottering about

With nothing particularly planned for today, I got off to a rather slow start.  The fire had stayed in all night again, so the boat was nice and warm.  I didn't put any more coal on, as I'd like it to be pretty much out by the time I head for home.

Doing two boat tests in two days has meant I haven't had much time to do any jobs on Briar Rose, let alone leave the marina.  Actually, that's not quite true, because on Tuesday evening I hung the framed waterways map over the dinette.  This was the 1985 map we bought for £1 from a second hand bookshop in Tewkesbury when we did the Avon in June.

Today's first job was to replace a broken cabin hook which keeps the rear door open when cruising.  In chandlers, these seem to cost more than £10.  I got two at £2.50 each from eBay.  I replaced the one on the other side too so they match, and have kept the old one as a spare.

Then I decided to check the levels in the batteries.  Briar Rose has expensive Rolls batteries, so we want to look after them and try to remember to check them every month or so.  Last time Adrian did this job, he enthused about the filler bottle I'd bought -- it's much easier to use that trying to pour top-up water into the hole, and has a valve on it, so puts in as much water as the battery need, before cutting off.  It's just as well it's useful because it cost about £20, which seems a lot for a plastic bottle!  Checking the batteries is quite a time consuming job as each one has six cells.  It's a matter of methodically working through all 24 of them, unscrewing the cab, checking the level, topping up, and screwing the cap back on again.  Then there are six more on the starter battery, but those are trickier as they need a screw driver to undo them.

I realised that time had moved on, and I wouldn't be home by lunchtime, so decided I might as well have lunch here and then head home.  I tried phoning the owners of the two tested boats, neither of whom were available.  I could quite easily spend all day pottering about doing little jobs, and if I hadn't got a meeting to go to this evening, I probably would have done.

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