Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Friction at Foxton

With a couple of days left with the hire car Carolyn hit the shops in Market Harbourgh on Easter Monday and left me alone on Inca to catch up on a few little boat jobs.

back up foxton 002While at Debdale we had a walk around the marina and i must admit it is a very well run business and is certainly investing in equipment as can be seen by the massive extraction system .

back up foxton 004This boat was laid up in the yard. Most boats have anodes at the bow and the stern because if they were in the middle they would get knocked off or damaged in locks. But what a clever idea this is .Half way along side of the boat there is a recess and an anode inside it. There is obviously a lot more work involved in the build process but its got to be worth it.

back up foxton 001                                   A bag of clothes. Carolyn making room for her new clothes by throwing away some of her old ones…..Amazing

On Tuesday morning we were up early to take the hire car back, It had to be back by 08.30 and then we had to get a Taxi back to Debdale marina. And did i not enjoy the Taxi ,Just sat there watching that meter going up and up . 15 quid for a ten minute journey, unbelievable !!! Anyway we left Debdale at 09.30 and headed to Foxton locks. There were 2 boats in front of us waiting to go up and 4 boats coming down before we could go and we were told it would be well over an hour before we could move. We got talking to the guy on the boat in front of us and he was saying how he had the bottom of his boat metalized with zinc the same as what we have just had done. He had it done in 2005 and had no anodes fitted as the zinc is an anode in itself and he was so confident that he has not taken the boat out of the water since it was done. I think he is a very brave man as we will probably take Inca out in 3 years just to check everything is ok.

back up foxton 006While waiting for the locks we heard a lot of shouting from the bottom lock. A boat had dropped down into the bottom lock and opened the white paddles on the bottom gate but had not closed the red paddle first. This resulted in all the water from the bottom pound going straight out through the bottom gate. To make things worse the boat got caught on the cill and when one of the volunteer lockies got to him his boat was just about to start taking on water at the bow due to the angle of the boat. They closed the bottom paddles and got him off the cill but by then the skeg had been damaged and his rudder was jamming on the back of the boat plus it had damaged the bearings on the tiller shaft. The shouting was because the boater said that he had closed the paddle and reckoned someone had come behind him and opened it. But the lockies argued with him that it was his fault. I did give the guy a hand to try and move the rudder but it was solid and would not move. Anyway it could have ended a lot worse he could have sunk his boat. A few other boaters did comment that he was a single handed boater and it was his first time down The Foxton flight and that the lockies should have helped him. We are not sure exactly what the volunteer lock keepers are meant to do as some help and work the locks and are very good yet others just stand back and do nothing. There were 3 keepers on and in all the time it took us to go up only one of them was helping other boats and the other 2 were stood by the centre pound talking and doing nothing for the entire time it took us to lock up the flight.

back up foxton 007                                        We then had to wait for the boat to be pulled out of the lock and then for the bottom two pounds to be filled.

back up foxton 012                                             Carolyn explaining to some Gongoozlers (canal watchers) how Foxton locks work.

back up foxton 015                                                                                                 The view up the top 5 locks.

back up foxton 022  Eventually we got to the top and met this chap just the other side of Husbands bosworth tunnel…King of Fishers… Not a brilliant picture but the best so far.

back up foxton 027They have now started work on the new North Kilworth marina. It is being built by the same people that own Debdale where we had the work on Inca done . With all the money that we have just spent there they should call it The Inca marina.

back up foxton 034We picked up this lovely rural mooring about 2 miles south of Welford junction. This will do us for a couple of days to just chill and readjust back to the slow speed of canal life.

                                                                                       Happy Days


  1. we enjoyed the blog had a laugh about some of it.nice seeing the foxton locks as thts where we walked down & up xxx

  2. Ann nb Oakfield25 April 2014 at 01:51

    It was nice to meet you briefly at the top of the locks for a chat.
    Lovely shot of the kingfisher there, you were lucky to catch him!
    My attempts turn out to be pics of the bushes only.

    1. It was good to meet you both if only briefly . Did you come to a decision on your hull. We really struggled to decide what to do . Hope to have a longer chat next time we meet..