Sublime to Ridiculous
About a year ago the single lever control on Gecko jammed whilst maneuvering at Reedley Marina in Burnley and it was repaired by a local marine engineer. A couple of weeks ago it jammed in neutral whilst I was winding in Padddington Basin. (for the non-canal folk, winding is turning the boat around and does not rhyme with binding)
A little alarming and inconvenient. Fortunately we were able to drift across to rest against a moored boat and more fortunately I eventually managed to get it working again. As we are planning to go down the Thames and K&A sometime soon I was very nervous of any recurrence in less peaceful waters. And so dig into the bank account again for a new control.
Bought the control from Denham Yacht Station who offered a very good price and benefit from being on a bus route. We arranged for Ed Boden to meet us at Winkwell on Thursday and the deed was done.
I now have a level of control not experienced hitherto on Gecko. The old control was always very clunky and impossible to execute anything subtle in the way of boat handling. No more will I have to enter a lock in a series of jerks!
Talking of jerks, we shared the locks between Berko and Cowroast with a hire boat from Lower Heyford on the Oxford canal. Crewed by two retired engineers and three ladies of a certain age they were demonstrating a remarkable level of inefficiency in operating the locks and the boat. When they explained that they had to get to Fenny Stratford that night in order to return the boat in time I wondered whether they were on holiday or a punishment of some kind. We logged 16.7 hours between Winkwell and Fenny Stratford which was their intended journey for the day.