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LondonRascal last won the day on July 13

LondonRascal had the most liked content!

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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

    That First Coffee

    It seems pretty posh stuff, automating the art of coffee.. Basically, stick an iPad on a coffee machine.
  2. LondonRascal

    That First Coffee

    I love a good coffee, but I must admit I also like things pretty simple. White, no sugar not too strong. I wonder why millions of us can do just that at home every day without much thought, yet go out to some places and ask for a 'white coffee' and it all goes horrible wrong and they look at you with shock and surprise. I am not talking about fancy places either, Zizzi only the other day - I was told "Well I can make you an Americano with milk" the mind boggles. I have not been so taken by the pod machines, simply because while they make a good coffee, there is never enough of it for my liking, then you have to detach and fill the water tank and I just revert back to good old fashion instant coffee. What I do like most though and takes me back to 'dinner parties' my parents used to have, is the simple filter coffee. We did the whole grounding with our own machine but that lasted a couple of goes - again too much messing about. So it was personally imported pre-ground foil vacuum packed stuff my Dad got from trips to Italy. It was lovely. These days coffee machines can cost you the earth - I was amazed that the machines in all the Weatherpersons around the country cost them a cool £20,000 each and that is not including the installation and running maintenance costs through their supplier - having got speaking to a chap who was putting a new one in my local pub. I then found this filter coffee machine that makes me think you are in an American Dinner - or, an old Bernie/Beefeater who always used to have something like this with a pot of coffee likely brewed in the morning but still being kept warm come eight at night. Enough brewing capacity for a small army, and about as simply as it gets. Just add good ground coffee :)
  3. I have seen this myself for a couple of weeks now, and my conclusion has been that there are a pair of Swans that live there. I moored up just ahead of the tape (right by the entrance to Barton Broad) and walked back - masses of down from where the Swans preen themselves - tape has faded a little suggesting has been there a fair while. I think it is a local boater/resident who feels the need to preserve a little area for the Swans and nothing else, it is attractive to as a wild mooring since it has a good area of grass and less tree roots than the next mooring along right by the entrance to Barton Broad.
  4. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    The stripe colour is actually too bright - a Cherry type of red, not a deeper Burgundy colour so it is one of the items that is being changed to better match with the canopy. I am also having the boot topping re-applied in a darker red using a far harder wearing paint and that will be brought up just a couple of inches as currently when fully fuelled and watered with two people onboard the waterline can be above the current boot line which has caused muck to accumulate on the white gel coat of the hull. While I have no blue fender, I always carry one onboard as a spare to be used at certain moorings, the grey fenders break up the colours and I have yet to see another boat with this colour - it has a metallic finish wish lots of small reflective particles much like a metallic paint.
  5. LondonRascal


    I have never thought about tipping for a pump out, but to be honest I also see the pump out as one of the biggest annoyances in costs in boat ownership on the Broads. It is inescapable though, just as paying your Tolls are, or getting fuel - but need it you must. What causes me the greatest unhappiness is the variation in charges for the same thing and how high some of those charges can be. When Independence was moored in Plymouth all the berth holders had a free to use, self service pump out service on a jetty in the Marina. I have seen videos from people living on their boats over in America where a pump out point is installed along the pontoon for every two berths, so people may use it when they need to and again it is included in their mooring fee. I know not all boatyards are connected to mains sewage, and this means that they have to cover the costs of literally getting rid of other peoples waste , but where they are connected you are basically sucking out waste and putting it down a pipe into the sewage system. They are not billed on a per litre amount of effluent they put into the system so then I wonder, honestly how much 'wear and tear' does the pump actually take and need in maintenance? How much electricity does it really use - I could go on, but to charge say £15.00 or £18.00 to remove less than 100 litres of waste water I think is over the top, even more so when there are a self service systems that costs almost as much. I wish there were places that you could just tie up to and get a pump out whatever the time of day or period in the season and pay a realistic price, tap your card and be back on your way again.
  6. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    I just had a look on Graig's Database and find I did not need to send in photos - already listed on there is Trixie. I am not sure why, but this feels a kind of achievement to see the same registration and boat as she was and now as she is. It is also nice to see my Mum at the helm when they were taken and not me!
  7. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    I remember a boat with one of those massive filters in it, I am pretty sure it was either Distant Horizon or Sunlit Horizon - I remember at hand over being told if anything gets blocked don't try and touch it and call us. I also have just been alerted to a 'bargain' in Belgium. A 1991 Sheerline 1070 (Centre Cockpit) for £46,000 but very negotiable on price, Fitted with an electric canopy, bow thruster, in all original gel and just over 2,000Hrs on her engine. Lovely but don't worry there won't be a Rascal heading over the Channel. Seems a decent price for this boat having seen these pop up on the Broads before out of hire attracting more than that.
  8. LondonRascal

    Where Might?

    Shows How much I don't know as I believed is was already all converted into flats and how well it had been done. I hope when it really is converted (and not pulled down) they make the real windows look this nice.
  9. LondonRascal

    Fuel Prices, Northern & Southern Broads

    I should read things more carefully, sorry I did not see in Ian's post he mentioned Unleaded.
  10. LondonRascal

    Fuel Prices, Northern & Southern Broads

    Blimey, Independence ain't there again at those prices then.
  11. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    It's okay, a lot of people think that is why I wanted such a capable boat - in truth I am personally perfectly fine using Independence as an enormous day boat with a cruise to Reedham and back. while it is quite an amazing feeling to explore an area and arrive at a new destination by way of sea, and I am more than happy to do such, if the opportunity never presented itself again I would not be upset. Being brutally honest, the only boat I have an emotional attachment to is Broad Ambition, I care about her and work on her and help keep her looked after in a deeper way. Independence and Trixie are very different, with most of the works being carried out by Boatyards. I am having the works I am on both boats done because it is how I feel boats should be - in perfect order and looking tidy with the smallest niggles being sorted before they become bigger issues. As to ex- hire boats... I am not too sure myself why some boats come up for sale out of a hire fleet and others do not. I guess firstly it will be down to how well that type have let in the proceeding season or two. What is clear is it is not a rash decision taken at short notice, but often a year in advance which is why you will find many hire boats for sale come with the point of being available 'at the end of the season'. Now, I may be a little cynical here, but if you've identified boats that you are going to retire will your level of maintenance on these be the same in the proceeding years? In some circumstances you can really get a good deal - a boat which might have had a reactively recent re-engine, new hob and oven along with a new fridge and maybe some newish upholstery comes up on the market this is more attractive than one of the same class which has not had such improvements. Some ex-Hire boats may come with a full inventory of utensils, cutlery, crockery etc others will not. The reason I am personally put off a hire boat as a purchase is because there is no getting away from it they have had a hard life. Many hundreds, maybe thousands of people have spent time on them - and so everything will have had a lot of use, not just mechanically, but things like windows being scratched, catches not working as once did, berths and seats being a bit less 'supportive' and so on. I am not going to go into detail but suffice to say some of the things I have seen having a look under the floors and in engine bays on hire boats over the years have made me pleased it was only a short period I was on the boat - but equally, some others have genuinely surprised me with their upkeep. Something as simple has having navigation lights put in and the wiring will cost a fair bit, that said if you want to have a 40 foot plus boat as a canvas to work on and you are going to live on it and the original cost is say £40,000 it could be considered a bargain compared to a bricks and mortar home. I think Richardson's are the most fair and reasonable going - countless people have bout their ex-hire boats some have spent big to make them into lovely craft with partial or full re-fits and painting, others have simply removed the logos and re-named them and short of the usual remedial works here and there they have stayed as were from the day they came off hire. Other yards seem to charge a real premium for their boats and won't negotiate much if at all on the asking price.
  12. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    The Haines 32, to me just reminds me of Brinks Omega - admittedly the interior fit out is exceptional, but the look and the fact sadly she is only 32 feet long and has one cabin so this and boats like these will always be a no for me. I wish there was something out there like a Bounty Sedan (San Remo/Melody) where you have width, outside accommodation, and two cabins. When I say like a Bounty Sedan I mean in a new boat with such accommodation, not waiting for a Melody to pop up on the market. That said, one of my main gripes with ex-hire boats has been the general external wear and tear they get through their lives and thinking how it would be almost impossible to get things back to factory condition. However, Sutton Staithe achieve such with their re-paints being relatively rare in so far as they spray paint everything and it is a complete job - windows out and sent for refurbishment, rubbing strakes off - everything is taken off and right back, filled, faired and then 6 coats of two-pack paint is sprayed on. The fact it costs over £20,000 for a superstructure and hull repaint for an average sized boat, shows the effort and time this sort of finish takes. As far as videos go - I did a big update talking over things generally, took out the memory card to bring back to edit and upload and can I find it..? No. But yes it is long overdue - especially the fact I have not introduced You Tube to Trixie and done a full walk through and showing what is what onboard her. I have taken a step back from filming, mainly because it was only until I stopped did I see how much it took over anything I did so far as boating went but also because it was getting very much the same old again and again and anybody can talk to a camera and take some scenic shots on a boat. I have begun to get the creative ideas coming back though and it would be nice to produce a new series so watch out for new content coming.
  13. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    A very rare one that has no issues, and actually costs nothing to keep lol
  14. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    So did my Mum, but then I never asked her for any contribution in the end. Everything from bedding to utensils to the works that have gone on has been as a result of me. It means the boat will be a lovely example of this type for her to use with Simon or not as the case may be and for someone else one day. If she had her way the only thing to have been done would have been the canopy as that was an actual need.
  15. LondonRascal

    Trixie (Rascal's Fleet)

    A great deal of information is being shared here about batteries and charging them (thank you) but I must say I don’t take a great deal of it in because it’s not me who is the one embarking on doing works, I just have ideas and talk to those who do know and are doing the works. They tell me the things that can be done and I procure the items - in this case looking at Battery to Battery chargers verses fiddling with an Alternator. At the end of the day, I have an issue that turns out not to be an issue. I have been told the issue is actually my impatience. I’d like a way to reduce the time I have to run my engine for in order to re-charge my batteries and it goes on from there. I think the very fact that my little battery charger IS bringing my batteries up to float charge in a relatively short space of time proves how much of a non-issue I really have going on here. This is because I had already run the engine for several hours during the day before I plugged in the battery charger. I know that after a period of heavy discharge the dinky charger would take a good long while to bring things up. Some confessions and truths: I have had a great deal of experience with hire boats and bad batteries. Open the fridge in the morning and find it wet having defrosted overnight, or most recently not able to start the heater on Western Light 1 without the engine running and once it was going and the engine was turned off getting about three hours use of the heater before it shut down due to low voltage. I was not going to have this happen to a boat I own. Having also had electrical issues part caused by the previous owners and part by paid professionals I was itching to get the whole thing started over and as a result much of the wiring to the batteries from the Alternator has been replaced regardless of need. A new regulator has been put on along with a ‘smart’ combiner and new batteries too. I find myself mooring on a Broad out of the way, or on a wild mooring so I can always have the freedom to run the engine should I need to and this goes back to my hire boating days and worries about loss of power at night. Old habits die hard. Much of this makes no logical sense but I am not ‘most people’ and I would imagine most people finding the joy of boating ruined if were constantly running an engine or lifting up the floor and taking hourly meter readings of the batteries and recording them. So let me go over things again - there is nothing really wrong, and due to the sheer amount of time I have run my engine and frugal use of power the batteries are never depleted that much. But I would like to be able to have something that would mean a little less engine running and moreover an intelligent, multi-stage charging process be used. It’s not good for things really to spent more than 8 hours a day running and spending £103.00 in fuel every five days. It’s also been commented on that perhaps this is all a bit pointless to worry about such things on a small boat. To a great deal of people that would be very true. You buy a boat, let’s say 20 years old for £20,000 and it’s ok and in good order. You change a few things to make it your own but generally speaking unless something goes wrong you leave well alone. I can’t settle. I want to do a lot of these things for no other reason than for being happier in myself and some pride. Take the next round of works - she is coming back out the water and a new, harder wearing boot line painted. Also the raw water inlet on the hull is to be changed for a ‘grated scoop’ type. This will help water flow and also help prevent as much weed getting into my Vetus water strainer. Small things on their own, but bigger when you factor the lift out required. I have decided to save elsewhere though, so I am not having the head lining changed (which would have also required the windows to be removed to have the side lining changed to match the new headlining) just So I could have some new down-lighters put in. Instead, I’ve just got some new individually switched lamps, but they are wrong as I want a 5” diameter lens fitted to a Teak base making a total diameter of 6”. The five lamps I’ve already bought are now surplus to requirements. That’s just water poor planning - until I found they can go in the wardrobes on Independence to replace the small lamps that use festoon bulbs currently in situ. Always a way to make a loss seem a gain. To make matters even more puzzling to some is the fact that in real honesty my heart is not in Trixie. She is a little too small but she is also very cute - I’d love a vacuum cleaner on board but even the smallest rechargeable would take up valuable space and that is what annoys me about her. It’s a constant issue with space, right down to only being able to store a frying pan and a single saucepan. Despite this though the show must go on...

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