Sunday 15 September 2013

Bedded down at Bugsworth Basin

As everybody in the UK must know, with the possible exception of those working underground, today has not been a day for boating, unless you have to get somewhere. We stayed put. It's been the first significant weather test for the new hood for our cruiser stern, and so far it's done really well. It's meant we've been able to leave Erin Mae's stern door open for fresh air, so that the wonderful fire we've had going didn't create too much of a sauna in the cabin. The wind has been directly on to the boat's stern, and I suppose a greater test of the hood's stability will come when it faces a serious cross-wind.

Bugsworth Basin has seen its fair share of visitors, in spite of the appalling weather. It's much more impressive than we realised before we came – a relic of the local lime industry, surrounded by more than a dozen lime-kilns and, at its peak, loading up to 80 barges a day with the stuff. Today, following a dedicated restoration project it combines a fabulous boating destination and mooring spot with an educational historical site. It's formally designated as an "ancient monument".

Last night's photos (today is not a day for getting the camera out) show it in the still of a September evening.


  1. It's a great place, isn't it? We we there a week ago - although it already seems like much longer ago than that!

    1. Thanks, Adam. It is remarkable – the guides tell you about it, of course, but don't really prepare you for quite what you find.

  2. Pity you do not respect the "ancient monument" by not running your engine in gear. It is in the terms and conditions of your licence (schedule 5 paragraph 4 subsection c.
    You must not:
    (c) run the Boat’s engine in gear when it is moored as this can damage the waterway walls and
    cause a nuisance to other people.

    1. Thanks for your comment – though I would rather you had left a name. Following our conversation this morning I did, as I promised, check out the CRT website. There was nothing under "bylaws" but I came across the relevant bits elsewhere, and I confess I had missed it.

      The initial advice I received when we started boating was to let the engine idle in reverse when running it to charge the batteries, in order not to have it running cold, "polishing" the bore. Reverse gear to minimise water flow. Thank you for pointing out CRT policy on this. Tonight I've been running it in neutral.

  3. Hello Martin

    My name is Keith and it was a pleasure to cruise with you this morning.

    Apologies for giving 'duff' info as to where the requirement was stated.

    I notice you say that you charge the batteries in idle, may I suggest that you actually run your engine a little faster, about 1,000 rpm or above, this will improve your charging rate as an alternator needs to run at over 3,000 rpm to give an effective output. Engine and alternator pulley measurements will give the ratio for alternator rpm. to engine rpm.

    The difference in fuel consumption will be zero or negligible, to running in idle.

    All the above assumes you have a 'modern' engine.

    Enjoy your adventure.

    1. Keith, thanks for this.

      The engine is an Isuzu marine 42 bhp, with a PRM 150 gearbox. I have only the one control, and as soon as I increase the revs, the drive kicks in. So I have no way of running it faster than idle, while leaving it in neutral, unless there is some trick I haven't learned.

      Maybe you or someone else might have a suggestion?

  4. Hi Martin

    The 'trick' is, depending on your control, there will be a button that disengages the drive.

    The control must be in the middle position, ie neither forward or reverse to be able to disengage the drive, it will automatically engage when moved back to this position after running the engine in neutral.

    Mine is in the centre of the pivot of the control and is coloured orange.

    ps. you have a 'modern' engine and it will be designed that the alternator rpm. will run at about three times the engine rpm.

    1. I finally found what I needed, Keith – it surely must have been in the instructions somewhere. To put the boat into drive, I don't have a button – I have to lift the handle, and then push or pull for forward or reverse. But to increase engine speed without going into gear, I have to pull the lever out half an inch before rotating it. I knew there had to be a way, even if it took me three and a half years to find it. Thanks for your help.