Narrowboat Oakfield has asked for an update of whether we are cruising yet...well we have now done our first proper cruise to the River Nene from the Middle Levels to give our boat a true test run.
Our first 2 months, what has seemed to be a constant wait for some problems, snagging and wet commisioning issues to be sorted, as well as battling with some very inclement weather, and with me spending countless hours with my head down in the engine bay doing gearbox oil changes. We now hope with fingers crossed & baited breath we are almost there.
One of our major problems has been coolant getting into the gearbox, and oil into the coolant from the gearbox oil cooler, we hope this is now sorted with a modified part from Beta. We would also like to thank Sam and Paul from Foxton Boat Services for their excellent service to get to the bottom of this problem over their several vists to our boat.
We have also been waiting for our hatch to be fitted.We requested one in our spec that would be easy to open and could be locked from the outside and this got overlooked during the build, We had a couple of weeks using a temporary wooden board substitute, whilst the hatch was taken away to be modified. This made the boat unsecure so we was limited to where we could go to, along with the gearbox spraying oil from the dipstick breather holes and oil resembling copydex glue.
The hatch now works brilliantly, and can be operated with one hand which was our original brief. I would strongly recommend anyone to consider a hatch that runs on bearings, as we had a larger hatch fitted to the shell they are quite a lump to move.
We now think we have calibrated all the gauges so hopefully can now monitor our levels, although the water gauge seems to be unaccurate by quite a margin, so we will have to look into that.
We have also had the boat lifted to get the gas locker vents welded at Foxes Boatyard, as we are an all electric boat these vents were not required, and we wanted this area as extra dry storage.
All credit to Foxes, boat was lifted at 8.00am and blanking plates welded and blacked and we were back in the water by 9.30am.
We are still awaiting the fitment of our auto start system for the generator, which was unavalable at launch.
We have a few vists from Fernwood as well as Procast to sort general snags and resealing of the portholes etc.
So Thanks to all concerned in getting to the bottom of these problems.
We have now received our BW Gold Licence and so we are now legal on the rivers and canals.
We will be returning to the Middle Level until all the closures on the Nene are completed and we can make our way up to the Grand Union.
All said and done we are loving our new life, and feel we can now start it....watch this space.