Winter 2017/18

Published: Thursday, 14 December 2017

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Chelonian was built in 1994 and is now 23 years old so I thought it was about time it had some tlc to extend its life and improve some of the facilities. These works are being carried out over the winter in a number of stages.

Phase 1 November 2017 

Hull and Fabrication works.

This included zinc coating the hull and several welding jobs to improve the hull life, as well as adding a new skin tank for engine cooling and a new flexiable drive coupling.

Hull zinc

Full details here

Phase 2 January 2018

Exterior painting and internal Joinery

Full details here

Hybrid Upgrade winter/spring 2018

Upgrading the Hybrid system with a new Control Box and a new water cooled motor.

Full details here

Other works

Internal Painting, some woodwork and changes to safety system including fitting a Man Overboard System.

Full details will appear here

2017 The Year in Summary

Published: Monday, 16 October 2017

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 This year we started in May with a short trip from Fenny Marina to Crick for the Boat show over the late May Bank Holiday weekend before heading north through Leicester to explore the Erewash Canal to Langley Mill. Returning to the River Trent and continuing north on the Trent and Mersey to Middlewich and then West to Barbridge and join the Shropshire Union and continuing north to Chester and on to Elesemere Port. From Elesemere port returning south via the Shropshire Union to Autherly Junction and the Staffs and Worcs Canal to Great Haywood, South to Fradley to join the Coventry Canal all the way to Coventry then onto the Oxford Canal to Braunston and return north via Crick to the new mooring at Debdale Wharf.

2017 overview 

In total we completed 445 miles and 296 locks in 250 hours of cruising over 76 days, averaging just under 3 lock MPH and just under 10 lock miles per day. We used The 435liters of diesel fuel, with an estimated 75L being used by boiler and the remaining 360L by the engine for propulsion. The engine ran for 114hours (3.1 L/hr for engine hours,  or  1.4 L/hr overall) with the rest being on the electric drive. Also during this time we used 500KWhr of Domestic Electricity with 150KWhr coming from the Solar Panels and the balance generated by the hybrid system.

Winter works 2016/17

Published: Sunday, 04 December 2016

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tmp 21004 IMG 20161203 WA0001 603863549So now back know the home mooring and I can start the list of jobs over the winter. One thing you can be sure off is nothing ever fixes itself so over the summer I have accumulated a list of around 20 jobs that need doing thus winter. As next year (April) is also time for the boat safety inspection some of the jobs will need to be prioritised.

It is also time for the boat to be blacked, and after investigating options I have put a deposit down on a slot to have the hull "zinc sprayed" at Debdale Wharf next November this should reduce the ongoing maintenance on the hull for up to 10 years and save money in the long term.


Two weeks ago I visited the boat to make a start on  the jobs,  by replacing the exhaust on tmp 21004 IMG 20161203 WA00042059525415the deisel boiler, only to find that there was a leak into one of the lockers and cupboard in the engine room. As both the engine and central heating pipes how through thus area it was not immediately clear which was leaking,  or how the water could have spread as far as it did rather than just dropping just to the bilge. The wet locker has been emptied and left open to dry out ( a slow process at this time of year) and I ran the engine for an hour without any sign if a leak.


This weekend I returned to the boat and managed to get the boiler exhaust replaced and the air intake installed.  The original exhaust was supplied as part of the boiler "kit" and includes a long silencer tube. This meant that the exhaust looped around in the engine compartment and sat on the top of the counter where it soaked up any water or oil, which then burns off the exhaust producing lots of potentially flammable fumes. The new exhaust is much shorter with a compact silencer and is mounted so that is held clear of the counter and lining. This along with the new air filter/intake now mounted inside the engine compartment rather than the bottom if the locker,  means that the boiler is quieter in the cabin. One last bit is to lag the silencer and aluminium tape over the lagging to keep any splashes of water oil etc off.

1 job down 18 to go.

End of 2016 season

Published: Sunday, 04 December 2016

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Cliveden 27th Aug 2016
So as you can probably tell we made it back to the home mooring in Fenny. after the last post in Teddington we travelled all the way to the head of the Thames at the junction with the Thames and Severn above Cricklade. With an overnight stop in Cliveden deep for a spot of freestyle swimming and canoeing. Then back down the river to Oxford to rejoin the Oxford canal via the Sheepcot chanel and Isis lock.

A quick trip up the south Oxford saw us back in Fenny  a few days later.


I have all the cruising details for this year so at some point I will collate together and post some stats.


Now to start the winter maintenance.

24th August 2016 Limehouse to Teddington

Published: Thursday, 25 August 2016

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Limehouse to TeddingtonSo yesterday we braved the tidal Thames from Limehouse to Teddington through the heart of London under Tower Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament. The first bit of the trip sharing the river with the high speed ferries (Clippers) the construction traffic for Crossrail and the waste barges was the most challenging, and the water through the pool of London supprisingly choppy as you can see from the video.

Further up the river at Richmond we pass the Royal Parks and through the half tide barrage to eventually arrive at Teddington.

We locked out of Limehouse at just after 15:00 and arrived at Teddington at 19:00 to find the place rammed with boats waiting for Thursdays morning tide to travel down to a rally in the East India docks.  We eventually found a mooring on the outside of three other narrow boats, and when we arrived back after dinner found another widebeam moored on the outside of us so 5 abreast.

Video below.

This morning (Thursday) we were woken at 6:30AM by the boat inside of us wanting to leave, so have to shuffle boats around to let them out.