Old fools and Bolinders.
Something that those of you who know me really well will have heard me say before is that a Bolinder’s engines are great, in someone else’s boat! It is certainly a love hate relationship. Sunday we had a great day with the Bolinder skipping along all day and with Minnow flying through the deep water of the BCN and down the twenty one then along the twelve mile pound. Day two, again we were flying until we hit the problems I’ve already blogged about with low pounds. Hovering about mid channel at Shutt Hill lock for ages while other boats were fannying about and the Bolinder went out. Jumping down into the engine ‘ole to re-start it and it finally had its revenge and kicked back and copped me good and proper. This is the first time it has copped me properly in the whole of the four years we have had Minnow. As I have had a full knee replacement about five years ago, this was very painful and I was really struggling to bend my knee to lift my foot onto the flywheel pin to kick it off. Dawn tried but to no avail. She has made several attempts over the last three years to kick start the Bolinder and she just can’t start it. For one she is quite short and struggles to get her leg up high enough to get her foot on the pin and also she is frightened of it and one thing you can not afford to be is scared of a Bolinder or they will kick back and have you every time. (This time it kicked back on me because I think it was very hot and I probably should not have primed it before kicking it over again) we spent the next two hours below Shutt Hill lock after me bow hauling Minnow through and waiting for the pain to subside in my right knee. Dawn’s topic of conversation (and for the next couple of days was all about Minnow. The result of these long and drawn out conversations are that certain things have now been agreed about Minnow’s future and some of the salient points to come from these discussions were:
1. Dawn can’t master the change of direction of the Bolinder and get it to come over in reverse.
2. Dawn can’t work boat through locks etc because of above
3. Having a titanium replacement knee it’s getting too painful to just kick it over.
4. Silly old farts like me should realise I’m too old for all this palaver.
5. Dawn wants something that starts with a key/button!
And so this brought Dawn and I to an agreed decision on Tuesday night as to the future of Minnow.
We have had the boat for 4 years. It took me the first year to get the Bolinder running something like (with a little help from Joe Hollinshead of cause) but in the last three years we have thoroughly enjoyed four to six weeks boating every year covering well over 500 miles and 400 locks each but now the time has come to pass her on to her next custodian. I have already said that I will never be without a boat again and so we are on the lookout for something suitable and we are going to be putting Minnow up for sale. Dawn thinks something suitable will have cookers, shower, flush toilet etc. etc. when in reality it will most likely be a Grand Union, as I have always wanted a pair of Little Northwich boats, but I also like Woolwiches as well Big and Little!