Category Archives: Batteries

Fully Charged. 16th March

Above Lemonroyd Lock to Lemonroyd Marina

Thankful for just about a full nights sleep, maybe things were improving. I popped some painkillers just in case, which was just as well! As we had our breakfast Tilly was allowed shore leave, she went self catering and would have liked to join us at the table, however we turned her away at the hatch, our breakfast of blueberry porridge far less crunchy than hers!

Some feline comfort

Mick headed off on the Brompton to get a newspaper and a few supplies. He returned with news. He’d had a phone call from Alastair in Goole saying the part for our engine had arrived, he was on his way!

A short while later we had a knock on the roof, this was Sue and a friend (sorry I can’t remember your name) from the marina, they or another boat were ready to come out to give us a tow into the marina later in the afternoon. We updated them with our news, hopefully we’d be able to run the engine again soon and head that way under our own steam, we’d let them know.

Cleaner cabin side

It took us several days, admittedly slowly to reach Lemonroyd, it took Alastair 40 minutes! Mick walked up to the nearby car park to help Alastair find us. The sun was out, things were starting to look up. I decided to give the cabin side a wash down with canal water, get rid of the mud splatter we still had from Goole, a general covering of something pale washed off too, general Goole docks dust. A full on proper wash still awaits Oleanna, but this certainly made me feel better.

Smiling as ever!

Alastair sat in the engine bay chatted away, found a suitable tool to remove part of the broken fixing that had sheared off and been left on the engine side of things. The replacement part and pipe were put on. Mick was instructed how to tighten the connectors should he need to in future, they turn the opposite way to how you’d think. The engine was started up and left to warm up to check for any leaks, none. Jobs a good’un! Hooray!!!! Thank you Alastair for coming out to us as soon as the part arrived. We’ve still not heard back from RCR!

Lunch, then we untied, winded and headed for the marina. Yes we could run our engine now to charge the batteries, but with the new bully boys this would use a LOT of diesel as they were down to about 30% after three days of no engine. So instead we’ve opted to go into the marina for a couple of nights to recharge the batteries, fill up with water, do some washing and most importantly have showers!

Red flashing light ahead

Alex the marina supervisor was there to help us tie up. An ap needed for us to be able to have electric was donwloaded. Sadly a miss understanding had us thinking that the mooring fee included electric, it didn’t and the minimum we could add was £10. The invertor hummed away as the batteries charged most of the afternoon. The water tank was filled and we both had lovely showers. first load of washing done. By the time it was bed time we’d used more than £5, but the batteries were fully charged.

Oleanna, about to be hooked up and recharged

Pair 11 of my Sockathon came off the needles as we watched Traitors Australia. I managed a good evening, pain relieved by Ibuprofen taken with food. A return visit to the dentist most definitely on the cards.

0 locks, 0.5 miles, 1 wind, 1 right, 40 minutes drive, 1 small part, 1 cuppa, 1 engine mended, £10, 5 familiar boats, 1 bored cat, 2 full bully boys, 1 full water tank, 4 Ibuprofen, 4 paracetamol, 2 cocodamol.

11 pairs knitted

36 pairs spoken for

41 to go

£795 raised

It Just Came Off In My Hand! 14th March

Above Lemonroyd Lock

Time to pack some socks up. We wouldn’t be going anywhere today as the lock light was flashing red, the river had come up overnight. It may not have rained here very much but up stream on the Pennines it certainly had, down at Castleford the level had risen higher than when we’d been there.

River Aire levels at Castleford

Mick wanted to tinker in the engine bay. The new batteries are not doing quite what he’d expected, one charges more than the other. So whilst I did sock things he took the engine board up. Power was turned off for a while. I took photos of a couple of pairs of socks, then they were labelled and packed up. Postage paid, address labels printed and attached when the power came back on. I just needed to find a post box now.

Socks ready for the post

Maybe we’d go for a walk and shop after lunch.

Since having the new batteries, when we are stationary we’ve been running the engine whilst running the dishwasher, this gives the batteries a top up whilst the dishes wash and gives us hot water for showers. It’s been working quite well and a massive difference to last year when no matter how long we’d cruised during the day we’d need to give our depleted battery bank an extra charge before 8pm to have enough power to see us through the night. None of that now.

Such a small thing

Mick appeared from the engine bay. We had a problem. In his hand was a pipe/connector this was from where the engine connects to the calorifier. We once had a problem with this connection on the Thames. It’s position is where Mick finds himself sitting to do things in the engine bay. Today he’d noticed it was leaking, so he had a go at tightening it with a spanner. Instead of tightening it came off in his hand!

Now we can’t run the engine, now we can’t move, now our water reserves are getting low (we should have topped the tank up to the top the other day rather than being eager for breakfast!). Add to this the lack of sunshine, solar being the only means to charge our batteries without the engine. Economy mode engaged and a phone call to RCR.


Stephanie called him back, Mick sent photos, a new part would need to be ordered then an engineer would come out to fit it, hopefully it would be that simple. However something had sheered off so there may have to be some drilling involved too. Oleanna’s W.O.C. number was required so the correct part could be ordered. Mick pointed out that we would run out of battery power without the engine, there was talk of hiring a generator should we need one.

After lunch I headed off to do some shopping and post socks. We are half way along one side of a triangle to the nearest shops, the rail line making a direct route impossible. I walked up towards Woodlesford then up the main road, past the Co-op and on to Lidl. A top up shop of essentials, a bigger shop could happen another day, after all I’m still hobbling.

The road back to Lemonroyd Marina

Back at Oleanna Mick was still waiting for RCR to call back. They didn’t. Electric saving measures were implemented although we did allow ourselves to watch the first episode of Traitors Australia Season 2 (you are a bad influence Adam!).

The last few days I’ve had a bit of niggling tooth ache. For years I ignored such pain quite successfully, my relationship with my teeth wasn’t good for many years. Today the pain increased. Paracetamol was doing nothing. Thankfully Paracetamol and Codeine gave me a few hours of relief, something would need to be done. Was it a tooth that is on the cards for a crown? Could I get to Birmingham to my dentist tomorrow morning? Was there somewhere in Leeds I could go?

Oh what a day!

0 locks, 0 miles, 0 engine running, 1 gas boiler, 0 showers, 1 hour TV, 1st sock of pair 11 finished, 1 broken bit,1 painful tooth, 3 miles walked, 1 camera suggestion.

Shed Day. 6th March

Sykehouse Junction

Back where she belongs

Whilst we had breakfast, all cosy inside, Tilly was given freedom of the towpath, she went self catering rather than tucking into her morning biscuits. 8 hours! I’m never going to be able to use all of those! It’s good to see her being active again although the local rodent population wouldn’t agree and I was on edge much of the time as running around, jumping on and off the pram cover could have ended with a very soggy cat. Hopefully she’ll calm down soon.

Time to reclaim the dinette and sort The Shed out. Mick’s wood cutting he felt would not be up to scratch so I dried off the saw under the pram cover and used the seats as a saw bench. 1 length at 12″ and three at 6″ would do us, ends sanded. The 12″ and one 6″ were fixed in around the battery so that it wouldn’t be able to move more than 10mm, this would now meet the BSS requirements.

The other two 6″ lengths were used to support the front edge of the shelf which would be used to cover the battery (another requirement) and also give us a new base to The Shed cupboard. The shelf slotted in perfectly. Now to sort out where things will go.

Looking organised…ish

There used to be a hanging rail, but this was only ever used to hang coat hangers on, not even coats. The hangers are used when drying cloths in the pram cover, so it’s handy to have a supply of them at the stern. A hook above the power socket will do that job. A deep hook accommodates all four life jackets and the spare fan belts tucked in behind the fire extinguisher.

Another two hooks were positioned high up on the tumblehome to hold the window vac. Now where to put the bag for the hand held vac? In the corner behind the power socket. I found my bag of heavy duty poppers and proceeded to attach two, the hard edge to the canal handy for flattening the rivets onto the fabric side. Two poppers were okay, but the vac is quite heavy so a second two were positioned further down. Far more secure. Just need to tidy the cables, now where did I put the spare black net with lots of small cuphooks?

A tidier Shed, just a shame there was still a lot more to go in it. The Brompton cycle bag, bag of hats, gloves and scarves plus coats. Hmm? I might make a couple more bags to go on the walls of The Shed to accommodate gloves etc, the bag contents also need rationalising. Somewhere for Mick’s coats was next, a flip out hook was added to the bedroom bulk head, just about the only bit of wall we have. We are nearly there.

Wonder where this path leads to? Too late to explore

During the afternoon a boat arrived across the Went Aqueduct. They obviously made a late discission to pull in and moor in front of us as it took them quite a while to back up and position themselves to be able to moor. Space for a little one between us, only just.

Having been inside just about all day, unlike Tilly, we headed off for a walk. Along the New Junction Canal to the first road bridge and back along the other side, crossing back over on the footbridge at the Went Aqueduct.

Winter sunset over the Went

The hazy blue and pink light with the sun setting highlighted the amount of extra water there is around at the moment. A lovely walk on the way out, a touch less so on the way back.

Discussions on our cruising plans. Earlier this year we’d made a plan, this has been then amended due to an event we’d like to attend in the south in May. However! We originally thought we’d be away from Goole a week earlier and had plotted an open route across the Pennines. This route is currently blocked at Woodnook Lock on the Aire and Calder for another ten days. There is still time for us to reach London, but it might be quite a dash. Now when I say quite a dash I’m meaning 4 plus hours a day, there will also be a couple of return trips to Scarborough for us. If any more stoppages happen ahead of us then our plans will be thwarted.

What do we really want to do this year? Which things are more important to us? Are we happy rushing? Or would we rather be more sedate? We now have a back up plan, plan C. Hopefully we’ll not have to put it into operation, but you never know.

0 locks, 0 miles, 8 hours! 4.5 taken, 2+ friends, 1 shed, 4 hooks, 4 poppers, 1 dinette corner nearly reclaimed, 4 valentines chocolates mislaid, 10th pair of socks frogged, 2 complicated still, 4th version left for tomorrow, 1 folding coat hook, 1 sunset walk.

Is That ‘Daisy’ On His Cheek? 2nd March

The last couple of weeks have been busy for us.

Shore leave permitted for another year

Tilly’s annual vaccinations. A years supply of wormer and flea treatment was sought. Sadly a misunderstanding regarding her flea treatment (they don’t know how much of a thug she is!) has meant a delay in obtaining the good strong stuff. But we will be getting a prescription, at some point, to be able to purchase it online, far cheaper than the other options.

Making sure it dies!

Test the new rug out for murderability!


Order spare parts and spare taps for the galley. The mixer tap we have is being discontinued, so we’ve bought two spares and spare cartridges for them, these should out last our boating days.

A slipper for the vac

Make the bag for the handheld vac out of sturdy fabric to go in The Shed cupboard.

The Shed on Oleanna fully sorted. I’ll come back to this in a bit!

See you later in the year Scarborough

Collect new glasses and purchase a protective phone case. Phone case not so good as it inhibits fingerprint recognition, but it is extra strong should I drop my phone. Also not waterproof! *The Power button on side of phone case has now been cut away so fingerprint recognition is possible.

Mick’s medication approved by the GP. An up in dose and a blood test in a few weeks, but nothing to stop us returning to Oleanna thankfully.

Final Sunday walk in Scarborough

My calf muscle to improve. GP surgery still not given me a date for an appointment, been waiting three weeks now. I keep hobbling and am trying to keep up my step count. Here’s hoping the doctor doesn’t want to see me!

Bathroom sink and mirror sorted in the house. Well…. This job had to be abandoned a few weeks ago due to too much plumbing in the way. Then we changed our minds on the solution. Duncan, not THAT Duncan, came round and fitted an extension to the stupid box above the sink instead of removing it all together. Only problem was the backing board didn’t want to stick too well, so had to be left overnight before the clamps could be removed. New flooring was laid. Now Duncan (not THAT Duncan) needs to finish off and then I’ll be needed to touch up the decoration over two days.

Clerk of works inspecting the job

A leaking water pipe into a toilet was fixed, but we now have a noise three minutes after flushing the toilet!

Socks knitted and sent off. I got ahead of myself so have given my sock knitting hands a bit of variety and knitted a few blanket squares for Boaters Blankets. Once back on Oleanna I’ll be back on with socks.

Gardener organised, FAILED yet again. We tried a chap who’d been recommended, but he didn’t call back.


Builder/roofer to sort leaks, FAILED. We tried a chap who said to call him in a couple of weeks, then he didn’t answer his phone!

Weather to improve for transit on river sections which can’t be avoided. Out of our control sadly.

New stoppages being added to the list. Will we be able to escape Yorkshire before April? Also out of our control. Current stoppages mean we won’t be able to cross the Pennines for a few weeks. A new stoppage at Bank Newton has closed the Leeds Liverpool, Woodnook Lock on the Aire and Calder is closed til mid March cutting off access to both the Rochdale and Huddersfield Canals. But thankfully two locks near Manchester, on the Rochdale which had been suffering from subsidence have reopened. So once we can get through Woodnook we’ll be on our way.


The house oven got a good clean, we got a man in to do it for us. The oven is only a few years old and wasn’t that bad, but now looks wonderfully sparkly. Mick asked if the chap would travel to Goole to do the one on Oleanna, sadly it was too far. Mick normally cleans the house oven, but he’s never felt the urge to get down on his hands and knees to do the same on Oleanna, neither have I!

Mick made a call to a company in Howden, they were booked up til May. But the chap might be interested in fitting us in so that he could clean an oven on a narrowboat. The lady rang back and if we could be at the boat Saturday morning he’d fit us in. Brilliant! We’d already booked a van for the weekend so moved the pickup to Friday afternoon.

Friday we continued to pack and got down to some serious cleaning in the house. Kitchen sink was resealed had new cartridges and was out of use for 24 hours so we had to eat out, Taj got our custom, their menus a touch tall for a romantic evening.

Up early Saturday. We loaded the van up with various bits and set off to Goole to meet the oven cleaner. On arrival we cleared the work tops, lit the stove, turned on the emersion. Our plan for today was to sort The Shed out so that things could go back where they live. The shelf above the new bully boy battery needed supports, however we’d omitted to bring the flipping drill with us! Oh well we’d not be able to do anything with The Shed whilst the oven cleaner was about anyway.

Nick arrived, took over the hole galley, as expected, and set to on the stove. Well you all know how much I like to cook and the oven has never been cleaned so I’m a touch embarrassed at how horrible it had got. Shelves, stainless steel trays and all the supports from the oven were popped into Nick’s caustic soda tank in his van, heated to 70C it does the job for him. In and out of the boat, his belt maybe needing to be tightened just another notch or two! Three hours later they just needed a spray down with white vinegar to neutralise the soda and they sparkled like new. Much scraping kept him busy with the double oven.

He certainly lived up to his companies name. The ovens look like new, the extractor hood pretty clean and the hob which I thought was pretty good before he started you can now see your reflection in. Well worth the money, we’ll not leave it so long next time.

The boat curtains were put on to wash, once spun they were rehung on their rods to dry in situ, avoiding shrinkage we hoped. The bathroom got a very good clean, some of the sealant could do with being redone but that can wait a little while.

Cutlery tray with obligatory section for handcuff keys and hose adapters

The van was emptied and most things stowed away. The kitchen was put back together the cutlery tray sorted out. New oven glove and saute pan, a treat for the clean cooker.

All very smart now in the galley

Then it was time to find space for all the donated yarn for my Sockathon. I’d just about cleared out the big drawer under my side of the bed a few weeks ago, today I emptied it completely. Full to the brim and a couple of bags of yarn have been found another home. Best get back to knitting socks soon!

Back across the Wolds to a hungry Tilly. Time to finish off bits and bobs of food with some pasta and a glass or two of wine whilst starting to watch the first series of Traitors USA. Yes we’ve been hooked on the English version, watched the Australian first season, now I think we’re going to get annoyed with the USA version.

Bacon, green beans, peas, onion, cabbage, two types of pasta

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 batteries with new owners, 2 sparkling ovens, 2 dripping taps, 1 bathroom sink still to finish off, 60% moved to Oleanna, so much yarn squished into a drawer, 1 clean bathroom, 1 stove backed up for the night.

Old LiFePO4 Lithium Batteries

Now SOLD! Thank you to those who were interested.

Before these go onto ebay I thought I’d offer our old batteries on here to see if there’s any blog reader that might be interested in aquiring them and putting them to use.

Two RELiON RB24V50 LiFePO4 lithium batteries for sale. Each battery is 24 volts, 50 Amp hours. They have been installed on our narrowboat as domestic batteries for 7 years. They were new when they were installed. The battery management system (BMS) is pre programmed by the manufacturer so the settings cannot be changed by the user.

They have worked fine on our boat for all this time, running in parallel with a 24v lead acid bank and being charged by the 24 volt alternator on the main engine as well as a 500 watt solar array.

They were replaced a few weeks ago because a third battery in the bank had gone faulty and rather than try to integrate a new battery into the old bank I decided to replace the whole bank with two much larger capacity LiFePO4 batteries.

I’d be open to offers of maybe £50 each plus deleivery costs. They were over £1100 each when new. Will split if you only want one. UK delivery only.

Please add a comment or use the “contact us” form if you are interested.