Today was spent not going very far but getting a little bit of work done on Willow. Coming down Tardebigge the other day, one of the loops holding the main stern fenders had snagged on a rope and pinged off into the canal. So we’d had to attach some tyres to the secondary fender loops in their place. We’d been hoping that we’d be able to get a couple of new loops welded on to replace the snapped off one and the one on the other side before we got to Alvecote for the rally.
It wasn’t a big job but we were really grateful to the guys at Norton Canes boatyard for finding the time to fit us in at very short notice. They made up a couple of triangular brackets with holes drilled for shackles whilst James prepped the counter with an angle grinder. The new loops are better than the old ones as their shaped so a rope can’t catch on them. Just need to get them painted and attach the stern fenders again.
By lunchtime it was all sorted so we got on with other tasks around the boat, including sorting the engine room and attempting to bring the dull mushroom vents back to bright brass. I found that the hydrochloric acid in toilet cleaner was the best stuff for dealing with the oxidised surface and then it was just a case of lots of Brasso and elbow grease. 2 done, only 7 to go, and then we’ll probably lacquer them, life’s to short to be polishing 9mushroom vents!
Later on, a conversation with Graham at the yard alerted us to the fact that there was a plumbers merchant up the road where we might find the final piece of the header tank puzzle- and yes, they did have the elusive 8mm-15mm connection! It was a quick job to attach all the bits together, and so now we have a header tank for the cooling system which is about 4 times bigger than the one which came with the engine!
We then had to reverse out of the boatyard and down to the moorings where we could turn Willow-there is a winding hole of sorts at the end of the Cannock extension but it’s very tight and Willow’s bluff fore end got snagged on the bricks. Once facing in the right direction, we carried on along the Wyrley and Essington to Brownhills, where there’s a big Tesco to stock up, and it was also a convenient place to meet up with John (the Duck’s previous owner) and his partner Jackie. They arrived on his beautiful 1961 Triumph! It was lovely to catch up with them and show them around Willow.