Yet again we have been spending money in the local chandlers .We are now proud owners of coal inserts which we bought for our Fire . We did have bricks in the sides before , but we have been told by other boaters that the inserts work better. So now £37 lighter we have the inserts , I must admit it seems a lot of money for 2 pieces of metal. The idea is that they funnel the coal towards the bottom of the fire and the riddle thus making it burn more efficiently and making the fire more controllable….We will see what happens.
Its service time again for our trusty Beta 43 engine and after replacing all the filters and filling the engine with oil and changing the Gearbox oil its lubrication time for the Volvo stern gland. This has to be one of the best bits of kit on Inca. All that is required regarding maintenance is a very small amount of silicone grease squeezed in to the seal once a year. I use a straw from a McDonalds take away, and put about an inch of grease in the straw and then flatten the end of the straw then insert just under the lip of the seal, the grease can then be pushed through the straw and in to the seal. The seal has never ever leaked a drop of water and you don't end up with a wet and greasy engine bay like you do with conventional stern glands. Volvo recommend that they are changed every 5 years. but most seals last at least 10 years and in some cases a lot longer than that.
After I've finished performing down the engine ole my number one assistant who is a lot more nimble than me and can get in to positions that i am no longer able to get in to cleans up the mess that i have made.
As a reward for our hard work today we went for dinner at The Boathouse in Braunston. They do meal deals a bit like Wetherspoons. On Tuesday it was 2 steaks and a bottle of wine for £20 . We must admit it was a very good meal and we were a bit surprised to have a bottle of Hardy's Shiraz which is a reasonable wine and at 13% vol not bad at all, we thought it would be a cheap old bottle of plonk. PS I hope you like the picture of the food Stewart (nb The Boat) its just for you.
We have been promised snow and Carolyn was really looking forward to it , but so far we haven't seen a single flake. I can see her asking me to build her a sledge when the first flakes start to fall. I'm afraid she will be disappointed and will have to make do with an old plastic coal bag.