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Tales Of A Liveaboard

A Norfolk Broads Forum extension for the Sailing High Seas YouTube channel for contact, photos & updates, etc.
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Miles
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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

Post by Miles »

Winter Draws To A Close.

Three months moored up at Beccles. I had no heating, no electricity and very limited moorings to move between. Although it was tough, I had enjoyed every moment. It had been an adventure and a thorough test out of my comfort zone. I now knew what I needed as a liveaboard, what did and didn’t work and above all else…how to survive a winter on a boat.
The winter was now over and a new Norfolk Broads boating season was on the horizon. It was time to leave Beccles and return to the north Norfolk Broads.
I had completed my first boating season as a liveaboard. It had been a harsh winter and I came out of it in good shape…I was ready for a new Norfolk Broads boating season.



To Be Continued...
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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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Second Year On The Broads.
Second Year On The Broads.jpg
Experimenting With Energy.

Second-year on the Broads meant for the first time in my life I was forced to consider how to produce energy. Quite pathetic really when one considers that I had lived a life previously having been used to limitless power served on a plate.

Now, if I could not make power, I was to go without and that sucks.

The above wind generator is a Savonius turbine. For my purposes, it was to fail miserably and I will explain why.

Firstly, a Savonius turbine requires the physical force of the wind to push the turbine around. Too slow and it fails to deliver, too fast and it stops powering to avoid over generating.

There may be a situation where these types of turbines are effective, however, I don’t know where that could be.

The reason they fail to deliver effectively is that they are not shaped like a wing. If they were then the wind passing would create drag and therefore would operate far more efficiently.

So don’t buy one unless it is an aerofoil fan blade as you will be wasting your money and time. The problem is they cost the price of a decent outboard.

My second year on the Broads meant I was getting the hang of this game and that came from other people as well as experience..
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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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Different Gas Types.
Different Gas Types.jpg
My boat came with Camping Gaz cylinders and these must be the biggest rip off of all time…totally scandalous.

These portable gas cookers are really very convenient. However, they are lethal. On two occasions I had to throw these cookers out of boat whilst they had caught on fire…I kid you not.

The problem comes from a little metal lever that is used to clamp the gas cylinder in place and engage with the cooker. If you attempt to press this metal lever down whilst the temperature dial is not closed properly, then the bracket which engages and locks the gas cylinder gets bent.

The effect of this metal being misshaped is that the device no longer engages the gas cylinder completely.

The next time you fire the cooker up it will work but then also ignite the gas now leaking out of the top of the cylinder. This can not be turned off by the dial and you are faced with a fireball as pressurised gas is ignited and forced out of the cylinder.

Your only option is to take the whole burning unit and throw it off the boat which I am sure you can appreciate is an action requiring instant attention.


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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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Breakdown On Rivers.
Breakdown On Rivers.jpg
Leaving Beccles after my first winter I was about to experience my first engine breakdown.

Travelling across Bredon Water I noticed my engine temperature was higher than normal.

120 miles of navigable waterways on the Norfolk Broads and the one and only place you don’t want to have a breakdown is Breydon Water.

My learning curve was about to straighten out and go vertically.


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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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Engine Overheats.

I had managed to get across Breydon Water whilst my engine’s temperature crept up. Turning into the ebbing River Bure I was faced with a decision.

Do I attempt to moor up at low tide at Great Yarmouth by myself with the river flowing like rapids? The only way this is going to happen is if I can grab the safety ladder as the mooring heading is now about 8 feet above. That may be possible but I had my mast down which was hanging off the stern of my sailboat. This would mean the mast would be excessively damaged and probably ruined. Not to mention all the navigation lights are on the top of my mast.

My only option was to get up the River Bure and find a safer and calmer area to make an emergency stop.

I limped up to the very first wooden marker. This was a large wooden post driven into the river bed to stop boats running aground. It was on my starboard side and I got a bow rope over it.

I immediately turned the engine off and let it cool. That was my second time through Great Yarmouth and the second time that I had found myself in a situation.

The problem turned out to be the thermostat housing. It was corroded, pitted and above all else leaking.

Fortunately for me, I had an old car inner tube with me, which a friend had recommended carrying as an emergency gasket. I fitted this and went on my way.

Half an hour later it was to fail again. At least this time I was able to stop immediately. The problem was the thermostat housing was uneven and it needed to be filed. Just like a cylinder head needs to be skimmed when a head gasket blows.

I had to stop and change the gasket about 5/6 times in order to get back to Stalham. At this location, I would be able to get parts delivered. I required a new thermostat housing and cork gaskets. It is remarkable that such a bulletproof engine can fail because of a small piece of cork.
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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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It’s A Dog’s Life.

I was feeling the pressure a bit as nobody likes to breakdown, however, my little Jack Russell crew member was as relaxed as could be. Little things like this help in times of stress.
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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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New Parts Arrive.

Replacement engine spares were delivered and in no time at all the BMC 1500 diesel was running again. I made sure I had spare cork gaskets now. I realised that if you spend a couple of pounds and keep some spares, it might just save you and your boat. That might sound a bit dramatic but it is quite simply a fact.
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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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Solving My Energy Crisis.
Solving My Energy Crisis.jpg
The solar panel above is 100 watts. Personally I would describe my first time using solar panels as like finding the arc of the covenant.

Just how effective these simple devices are is awe-inspiring.

I could now wake up every morning with fully charged batteries before I had even had my first bacon sandwich.

This was a major improvement, in fact, it was a quantum leap in producing energy. I was converted.


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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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More Power Means More Toys.
More Power Means More Toys.jpg
Now I had renewable energy I was able to start experimenting with refrigeration. I had to keep my beers cold somehow. The bilges had been my beer cooler up until now.


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Re: Tales Of A Liveaboard

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Warmer Weather Begins To Return.
Warmer Weather Begins To Return.jpg
The winter had been a challenge. One I enjoyed for simply that reason. I was not diminished by the winter as it had enhanced my endurance. However, wearing just shorts for three months is much more up my street and now it was on the horizon.


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