Wednesday, 31 October 2012


With the evenings rapidly drawing in and the end of the boating season looming, we spent a day servicing the engine and draining down the domestic water system. 
I obtained replacement filters (fuel and oil) from the excellent ASAP supplies and the oil (Morris 10W/40, recommended for canal boat engines) from the very helpful Oundle Marina Chandlery.  With the sump pump fitted to the 1.8 litre BMC engine, it's a relatively easy job to drain the old oil out into a can.  Taking out the old diesel filter is a bit messier as there is no drain plug on the bowl. There is no air filter element to replace, but I did clean round the air intake grill.  Finally I checked the belt tension and the anti freeze concentration (this was replaced last year).  I am planning to go back and check the valve clearances, as recommended by Calcutt Marine, but that can wait for another day. 
We also drained the water tank and as much of the pipework as possible.  Having experienced a cracked toilet pump valve block last year, the screws to the flange were slackened off to ensure no water remained in the block. The last couple of litres of water in the bow tank were removed with a bucket and sponge.  The inside of the tank is in really good condition with only a few rust spots visible.  The strategy of applying a coat of potable bitumen paint each year seems to be paying off.
We also fitted two replacement LED tubes in the galley.  These were obtained from the very helpful people at Campercare Products.  Although not cheap, they draw less current than the old fluorescent tubes they replace and are much brighter.  We plan to replace the other six tubes on a rolling replacement programme. 
It only remained to wander into Oundle for a pint and a steak sandwich at the Ship Inn in the High Street.  Job done!
[See also Winterising 1 ,Winterising 2, and Chief Engineer's Report - all previous blog entries on wrapping up your boat safely for winter]

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