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LondonRascal last won the day on May 21

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About LondonRascal

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    Social Media Guru
  • Birthday 07/06/1979

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    Broadcaster, Blogger and Technology Evangelist from London. Enjoys a good coffee, Ale an boating.

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  1. LondonRascal

    My Day

    You've been having a terrible time by all accounts, but you are at least using up your bad luck tokens in one large go rather than spreading them out over time.
  2. LondonRascal

    Somerleyton Bridge Not Operational

    Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth are sizeable towns - and they deserve a railway. I have noticed in recent months just how many people use the trains from Norwich to commute to be it to local stations along the line (like Brundall) or to the likes of Great Yarmouth. You've also got a lot of school children use the line during the week as well, this is a real overall community need. The problem is not so much the bridges, it is the overall franchise for the region. These lines have always lacked investment even under British Rail it was the 'hand me down' stock that filtered onto it be it local or main line trains and it is only in the next year new trains will come on stream - imagine that actual new trains for the region. What I think would make a ideal and innovative model is a bit of copying what happened down in London with what were a miss match of lines and services which are now known as 'London Overground' which was brought into the cusp of Transport for London. With improved stations, trains with a higher frequency of service and a simple fare structure (being included also into the Oyster payment system) passenger numbers sky rocketed. I would prepose a part public/private partnership where Central Government along with Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Council's, Network Rail and Abellio invested into the connecting of three major areas more seamlessly. New rolling stock be introduced which provided longitudinal seating so there was more space for cyclists, luggage and other users who require ease of access, a simple fare structure be utilised - possibly with a 'tap and go' style of payment, that services were more intensive - even if this meant that a single carriage train was the norm but running at twice the current frequency of a two car unit - and with less seating overall more capacity would result. That services run longer into the night both on weekdays and weekends providing easier connections for workers between to three areas and bringing more cross 'socialisation' where people are able to travel between Norwich and Great Yarmouth for example for an evening out and return later and easier than currently you can. As more people use the lines and revenue from such is allowed to be invested into the actual line rather than the overall pockets of the parties involved you can then help address things like the bridges. It needs a real push to get people who may drive between places to use the trainknowing they will be frequent, reliable and cheap - you can't have increased demand without increased investment. Now I know we are talking about jobs here and all that goes with that but, really having out dated situations like several signal boxes and as with Brundall a crossing keeper along with guards on each train is just not viable these days. A line has to be drawn at some point to say 'that is it' these trains will now be one person operated just like so so many are without issues - this is not just about this region there are masses of services that have Guards left over from bygone days who really do very little other than open and close train doors (especially in London where they are not required to check or issue tickets even). Such changes would have enormous opposition from Unions and effect many but it is another stream of money going out currently that you get very little back from. The same issues would come in terms of business and jobs if the bridges were changed to fixed types - people like me would need to relocate their boats - possible off the Broads system while that is easy the loss of these boats being moored would caused big big problems for the sudden losses in Toll income to the Broads Authority to Marina's having less boats in them and less income - since even if they let the moorings out it would be to shorter boats bringing in less revenues, local businesses, brokers and service agents would likewise begin to loose out with experienced staff used to dealing with large engines and complicated marine electronics now earning their bread and butter on small river boats with basic systems. One change has a big knock on effect to another industry down the line. It is one thing being delayed by a bridge that cannot open in hot weather, but what happens when something big breaks and very large amounts of money are needed to keep it working? It seems to me as if everyone is putting off that thought and thinking someone else one day will have to worry about it but not us here and now.
  3. LondonRascal

    Speeding Didnt Do These A Lot Of Good Did It???

    Find out the the real facts here: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/lake-of-the-ozarks-boat-crash Synopsis About Lake of the Ozarks Boat Crash refers to a viral video in which seven speedboat passengers are violently thrown about the deck after hitting a large wave at high speed. On YouTube, many remixed variations of the video have been created featuring electronic dance music tracks dubbed over the background audio. Origin On August 31st, 2012, the Lake TV YouTube channel uploaded a news segment containing footage of a boat crash at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, where seven people were thrown back-and-forth across a boat's deck after plowing into a wake at dangerously high speed (shown below). While all seven boaters were injured, five were taken to a hospital to be treated for "minor to moderate injuries." In three years, the video gathered upwards of 4.5 million views and 1,100 comments. Original Video
  4. LondonRascal

    Rnli Online Shop

    In this day and age charities are and need to be run like large corporate companies. A lot of this goes into being able to hold themselves up and stand proud looking good out there. It is about getting well educated and passionate people to run their online division, build the brand and look as professional and well run as a company with many more millions of pounds to spend on such activities. All this does not come cheap, and the type of people who can help bring this about come from 'the wild commercial west' and so despite how one may be financed being very different, I can see why these days charities are run as competing businesses almost. But, that does not and should not take away from the 'coal face' of, in the case of the .R.N.L.I saving peoples lives and helping those in need in our inland and coastal waters. If you give more to them it could be argued that being better than making their latest advert campaign as glossy. But I am surprised how many younger people believe that the Lifeboats are just part of the Coastguard all paid for somehow (e.g. the government) and not donations. This is especially so in areas many many miles from the coast and I remember only finding out more about the Lifeboats through Blue Peter! The fact is I donate to them, I also hold their hard working 'men and women on the ground; with such high regard. Shaun at NYA has a pager on him at all times and could be called out at any moment - down tools and rush off to an incident that could be nothing or might be the difference between someone living or not - what dedication, pride and sheer selflessness. It might leave a bitter taste to some, but without out continues donations things could drastically change and what worries me perhaps more than anything is that the overall amount of funds raises comes from legacies - as our society changes and I wonder will the Millennials of today be as willing to give in their legacies as the older generation today do so if it takes a lot of money to raise awareness and spend out elsewhere than just at the coal face to get the message across, I say so be it. And if that means some people in the head office getting a bit of cushy number and pension pot, well I don't see how it can be any different in the times we live in.
  5. LondonRascal

    Independence - Updates | Maintenance & Care

    Another successful trip out and a lot learned - but before we talk about the social side of things, lets talk about the continued work side of matters. As you are aware Picca the RIB was sorted out finally and now runs smoothly with her new oil, and spark plugs fitted. It was now a case of getting a bunch of things ticked off the list for Independence herself. Friday 8th June: To begin the remaining 240v electrical sockets needed to be changed from the previous un-switched single or double 'small marine' versions to domestic type models in brushed stainless steel. The issue being that every old socket that came out meant some work was required to make the physical hole larger in the Teak to accommodate the new socket. Pete (our Wizard Carpenter) got on to this but with about 9 to go it was going to be a long task. While Pete was on with that,Charlie and I were going about at the top of the list with the most pressing items. This began with changing the float switch in the aft sea chest so the sink and shower from the master cabin would drain correctly and automatically overboard and not require me to keep manually turning on the pump at the DC distribution board. Once that was done it was up with the forward cabin deck plates to inspect and clean and change the float switch in the forward bilge (which worked) but in rough seas would stick in the 'up' or on position - this was both a worry when a bilge pump comes on and stays on and then when you realise it is a stuck float switch the hassle of getting to it to reset it - something Charlie got used to during the delivery trip. We replaced the wipers and springs - but these continue to frustrate us not being quite the right type and not putting quite the correct pressure on the wiper arms as should. There was a host of other small tasks to complete but the one that was most bizarre was the test to see how small of a hole you can get a Yorkshireman into. If you look at the outside of a Trader you will see the flybridge area has a steep slope just ahead of the helm - this is a large area you can get into but along the sides of this are tiny voids - and Charlie managed to get into these to clear debris from water drains, and tidy up cable runs - something no body had touched no doubt since she was built. As the day wore on we met with Shaun from NYA who popped over to top off the hydraulic tank and helped us locate some 4mm diameter flexible hose to replace the washer jet hose from the centre wiper arm which was the only casualty from our last very cold winter. By about 8:00pm Pete had completed the sockets and cleaned, sanded and coated some corrosion on the centre fuel tank outlet in the engine room, Charlie had found the primary oil filter was a quarter of a turn loose, and we had identified what size and type batteries to replace (230Ah each) so you can imagine they are big things at over 55Kg each. Andy (LondonLad) duly arrived as did Shiela and I called time on works to get to the Yare before last food orders. By 10:46pm Howard had also arrived at the Pub and we had our full compliment of 6 crew. Saturday 9th June: The chaps we up and eager to get going, so off to Co-Op for booze and food and shortly after returning we readied for departure. Having successfully turned and proceeded down the fairway in the Marina we should have perhaps headed to Brooms for fuel (something we still need to do as we are now showing just into the white areas of the gauges this means we are into the hundreds of pounds worth of Diesel used category) but I had imagined being the season they would be open till a good hour on Sunday so did not worry. We instead headed downstream, for Reedham with the outgoing tide. Upon arrival at Reedham we found a pretty empty quay so turned to come in agaisnt the tide and moored up. All secure, the lads set about on the task of paying all of the anchor chain out - then measuring it all before paint a mark every 6 feet (or Fathom) on to the chain. Turns out not including the anchor itself we have 216ft of chain. This weights in at 133Kg with the Anchor another 27Kg on top of that. This is serious stuff and would not want to think the cost of that alone and another indicator just how big everything on Indy is. With this done it was time to head off to the Nelson for beers - after all, we had to wait for the tide to turn. I walked up later to the fish & chip shop where I found them very reasonably priced and all the chips and fish fried in Beef dripping. Not to everyone's taste, but it was to ours and we loved it. We headed back to the boat and waited a little longer until I was happy with depths and departed Reedham Quay, having had the bridge swing for us it was a case of heading down the New Cut with the tide helping us gentle along. 2.2m depth reducing to 1.2m just past the Hadiscoe Bridge where there is ridge. But it was not the depth we had to worry about this time, it was the height of the bridge. 25ft was indicated on the height gauge, something only sailing boats need really concern themselves with, but not with us. We would have to lower our three aerials and this brought out airdraft down to 23ft 6" - Charlie took to the top of the Radar arch/structure (a bit like the crows nest) and proclaimed with had about two and half foot of clearance as we passed under the road bridge at Hadiscoe. Onward we travelled and I was surprised now on the Waveney we had more water under us than on the Yare. However, once on Oulton Dykle this began to reduce and by the time we were crossing Oulton Broad we had between 1.8 and 1.5m of depth. We came to the Yacht Station to find the pontoons all taken up with what I think was a gathering of the Broom Owners Club - certainly a lot of boats there were Broom. We came in for a stern moor with a difference. Drop the anchor some way out, then go astern paying out chain as we did. This was the first stern on mooring I had done and without use of the thrusters too with a bit of a cross wind I was so pleased at how sure footed and predictable Independence is. She has masses of windage but also her sheer weight and amount under water helps counter that. One we were about a foot from the pontoon I stopped and held the boat while the anchor chain was pulled in taught. Lines were then secured on the pontoon and between them it held us securely with our swim platform and fendering never touching the pontoon, having completed what was effectively a Mediterranean style mooring we naturally used the Passerelle for the first time. We then spent the evening in the Commodore Pub - nice food there, great place with a real vibe and I must choose my words carefully, but you might get a stiff neck keep looking at more and more very fine ladies wearing rather less than one may expect turning up. Back to Independence for a night cap and a classic Bond film. Sunday 10th June: We decided to head over to the Wherry for breakfast, all you can eat affair for £8.95 which turned out to be very nice with fresh brewed coffee. By the time we got back on the boat and readied for departure it was a good time after 11:00am. While this meant we had more water under as Oulton, the tide would be ebbing at Yarmouth and soon at Reedham. By the time we entered the New Cut we passed over the 'bar' with 0.7m depth and we had an orange bath tub meander about ahead of us. Independence suddenly handled very 'oddly' and I had to concentrate a lot for this stretch just before the road bridge, not helped having to go in and out of gear and then run most of the cut itself on only one engine. It has a 5MPH limit but the boat ahead was at times in just tick over. They knew we were there, it would have been helpful had they let us pass but with respect to them and the 'rules of the road' they did nothing wrong and it would have been wrong of us to have asked them to do anything contrary. I just worked with what we had and on one engine at tick over Indy will do about 4MPH. We had between 1.6m to 1.8m of depth along the Cut once past the 'ridge' at St. Olaves end. Emerging at Reedham the bridge was shut, 20 minutes wait for next swing so we moored at the waiting pontoon, with now what was a fast ebbing tide. The bridge duly swung and we got under way once more - passed the quay in tick over still on one engine as now with this current rushing past her hull even keeping to the speed limit caused an enhanced wash. At each mooring we would do the same and this was appreciated by several people - unlike the boat ahead of us who carried on regardless and we noticed a boat moored grab their camera film them and make note of their registration number passing Cantley. I got a wave and Thumbs up from a passing Ranger later as we neared Rockland. We made it back to Brundall which seemed to come all too soon, and found Brooms closed. Oh well, back to the Marina and by now it was low water - at places less than a metre of depth and since Indy displaces so much water as we passed boats down the fairway all you hear is mooring lines creek as they take up the slack. We came into moor and another outing was successfully over. Time for my guests to pack up and head off for their respective homes, having all thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I think I have found one major problem with Independence though, it is the fact that people come and don;t want to go and wish had more time in their diaries to spend longer exploring places lol.
  6. LondonRascal

    Independence - Updates | Maintenance & Care

    I can power limit the engine with a key. But it is completely pointless if you were going to buy such a thing but as a package with the boat it’s worth keeping. I still would like to at least give it a try now and then so it’s important to have it ready to go. I’ve also decided today to have all the fasteners and hose clamps changed to stainless steel as the current are mild steel and beginning to corrode. New spark plugs going in today too.
  7. LondonRascal

    Private Or Hire?

    Same has happened with Broad Ambition on Breydon - there was not enough clearance at the bridges, so we opted to head off down the harbour for a bit to kill time (having got permission from Yarmouth Harbour Master on VHF). We were duly shouted at from the old fishing trawler that is now open to the public and moored at Town House Quay "Hire boats are not allowed down here" - we should have shouted back thank you but we are off to the continent for duty free lol
  8. LondonRascal

    Independence - Updates | Maintenance & Care

    You may recall that some time ago I was preparing the Willaims RIB (now named Picca) and was shocked to have found it was devoid of oil. I duly therefore bought some more oil and put it in until it showed on the dip stick. Having posted such here some engineering savvy members pointed out I should on no account try and start the engine for I had now massively overfilled the engine. I duly then attempted to remove this excess oil myself without luck and so before I did any lasting damage got in touch with Norfolk Yacht Agency to help. Today they popped over to do this, saying it would be a quick and easy job. How wrong we all were...For it was so overfilled with oil when they tried to turn over the engine (with the coil pack removed to prevent it firing) and to pump oil from the sump into the oil tank - the engine hydro locked. Oil was full in the cylinders! There was talk of maybe having to take the head off to resolve the issue, but several hours later and after much work and a lot of hoses having been removed almost all the oil was removed. It should have a maximum of 3.5 litres and we removed over 7 litres! With the engine back together again it was time to add fuel and try to start, she fired up - the smoke was terrible as the oil was burned off and ejected from the exhaust. One thing I did find out is at some point the spark plugs had been messed about with - one was the original Iridium Racing plugs, and one was a completely different one which looked like what would be in an outboard. I have ordered two new Iridium ones from Panks in Norwich so she will soon be firing very well. Oh and one final note, I also found out the engine she has is the ungraded turbo charged version priding not 80HP but 100HP! Video of initial start up
  9. LondonRascal

    Why Does Reedham Have A Quay Ranger?

    ... I have no problem with him - as I said he was helpful on two separate occasions to me so I cannot talk of any other persons experiences or observations. I also only noted that he was formally at Beccles Yacht Station since he told me this during a chat we had. I think though having someone there is helpful as it is a 'go to' point for a large amount of the day should you have any questions about tides, buy an electric top up card or just get some 'boating advice' he is very approachable.
  10. LondonRascal

    Fuel Prices, Northern & Southern Broads

    Simpsons Boatyard (formally Moonfleet) charge £1.20/Litre for diesel (I was told maximum purchase amount is 100 litres) and £12.00 for a pump out or £18.00 for two tanks. This as of 5th June
  11. LondonRascal

    Why Does Reedham Have A Quay Ranger?

    The current 'Ranger' - for I am not sure if he is actually one - but is a chap who used to work at Beccles Yacht Station which of course is not owned or run by the Broads Authority. I am guessing that he took up the job at Reedham being very used to the work that goes into the boats coming and going at a busy mooring but as I say am not sure if he is a qualified Navigation Ranger I got on with him well, both when I stopped over night with Trixie bringing her north after purchase (he took her lines) and with Independence when we waited at the pontoon for the bridge while he moved two day boats along to make room for us to moor.
  12. LondonRascal

    Robin's Plate/plaque

    I was indeed, and it is now onboard Independence - waiting for a more permanent home since it would need moving from the current place everything we moved the boat.. It was a very thoughtful gift and thanks to Stuart who did took so much of his time to create it.
  13. LondonRascal

    Advice On A Trip To Great Yarmouth..... Help!

    It is not very easy to get to Yarmouth by train from Potter Heigham - for there is now train station - but there is at Wroxham... You seem to want to head to Yarmouth itself, not perhaps to go on to the southern rivers after crossing Breydon Water - so, if I am correct in that assumption my advice is leave Potter Heigham and head to Wroxham - depending on your boat choice you may get under Worxham Bridge to some handy moorings, or since you are in a hire boat you might find space in one of the boatyards in Worxham. It is then a short walk to the train station, and easy to get to Norwich and on to Yarmouth. If you do go by boat though you really should not see such as being a scary of challenging trip. I'll use Thursday as an example - low water will be 1t 10:26am so if you wanted maximum clearance under the bridges, or were heading south over Breydon Water between half ten and half eleven in the morning would be ideal times to pass through Yarmouth - if you were leaving Potter Heigham therefore you should leave at about 7:30am - for it takes about four and a half hours to get from Potter Heigham to Great Yarmouth. Now let us presume you did this, you would find there would still be some 'ebbing current' that is to say the tide is flowing out slowly and so as NorfolkNog above said, you should turn and come into moor against this current - to be extra safe do such a turn having passed under both bridges and passed the yellow post - then come back through the bridges and moor up. Don't forget the Yacht Station staff are really helpful and you can give them a call on 01493 842 794 between 8am and 8pm and they will give you a some good advice.
  14. LondonRascal

    Gathering Gazebos Appeal

    I have donated to the cause too
  15. LondonRascal

    Boat Electronics

    Well I can only offer the opinion of myself Matt, but this is on the list for independence which has a mish mash of original SImrad equipment that is trying to work with Raymarine equipment and a lot of the stuff is ether broken (upper helm) or not in good enough shape to trust it alone. Boat navigation and general electronics were for a long time vastly expensive stuff based over a Windows operating system on things you might well expect to find in an average laptop. It even came in the same old grey colour schemes Laptops of the day used. Then Apple came out with the iPhone and iPad and people began to supplement their marine electronics with these and as time went on and as Apple improved the devices and developers made more and more powerful Apps it made the expensive marine electronics seem archaic. First it was touch screens, but people wanted ease of use and speed and so today while they cost relativity speaking the same, all the kit is so much improved and is so much more like using a tablet. Now you won't go wrong with Garmin, Simrad or Raymarine they are all very good at what they do but it is how they do it and what they offer and because it is a costly experience I advice to get some hands on use with each manufactures kit to see how it performs Personally I don't like Garmin because it is all touch screen based and a lot of the mapping and overlays is proprietary to Gamin - but they are simple and look very similar in look and use as a modern sat nav in a car. Raymarine has some good units out now too, but regardless of what people say in my experience they are not as fast to pan, zoom and use as the Simrad kit. The Simrad stuff may cost a bit more, but it has both touch and physical controls which is so much easier to use when you are in a rough sea than trying to keep your finger on a screen to move or select an item. My idea is to have a central MFD on the lower helm and then a couple of small colour screens that can network to it and provide things from depth to speed to course etc. I then would use my iPad Pro as a secondary roaming screen that will tie in to the SIMNet system and allow me to have full control over the main MFD anywhere onboard - and with a suitable protective case also from the upper helm. I also recommended having things like an iPad because Garmin, Raymarine and Simrad all have Apps for these and these can act as great backups. Have a look at You Tube for Simrad they have some great videos showing the power of their kit, as does Raymarine but not quite in the same way. Raymarine: Simrad: Garmin v Simrad Routing:

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