Coralita as bought May 2017

Seren Goes to Crick

 

Coralita as bought May 2017
Coralita as bought May 2017

Seren is an 8m long 40 year old Trentcraft canal/river cruiser. We bought Coralita as she then was in Pershore about a year ago and brought her back to Great Ouse. She wasn’t in great condition and the previous owner had tried to change the layout then given up and tried to re-instate the original plan so he could off-load it and buy something better. But we bought it anyway because DIY work is nearly as much fun as cruising and it was the best thing we could afford.

 

I’ve done some DIY this spring but avoided the boat owner trap of completely gutting the interior and having an unusuable boat that takes so long to fix one runs out of time/money/energy. One of the bodges performed by a previous owner was to remove a window (with a jigsaw, roughly) and fill the gap with plywood and car body filler in order to make a private WC cubicle. I’ve replaced the bodge with a GRP panel and extended the compartment to make room for a shower and washbasin. No hot water yet, blog that when it works.

Recycled kitchen units for clothes storage and improved WC in the background
Recycled kitchen units for clothes storage and improved WC in the background

I’ve moved the leisure battery to make it easier to connect to the engine charging system so now both batteries are charged by the engine when the boat is in use, and kept charged by the solar panel when not in use. Put a fridge and an inverter to power it in the galley too, though long term that’s all going to get re-done.

So it’s nearly ready to go. The Crick Boat Show is held over the May Bank hols(26-28th May) but Crick is a long way from Tempsford Bridge by water so I plan to set off on Tuesday 15th. I also plan to blog the trip but you’ll have to wait and see how that goes.

Atkinson & Miller

Not a comedy double-act, Atkinson and Miller were engineers, one British and one from the US who each invented methods for improving internal combustion engines. Both types were pretty much forgotten until recently when variable valve timing and electronics have made it possible to emulate the operating principle either style of engine in a conventional design. In fact it’s possible to have the same engine operate in conventional (Otto or Diesel) mode then switch to Atkinson or Miller operation to suit the conditions and load.

I’ve written a couple of pieces for Diesel Car, one on the history one on the modern interpretation of Atkinson and Miller’s designs. So if you ever wondered what Toyota are on about when they praise the simulated Atkinson engine used in the Prius, now’s your chance to find out.

Atkinson & Miller Engines (history) (PDF)

Atkinson & Miller Engines (Modern emulations)  (PDF)

Recent Diesel Car work

Just got PDF files for two recent pieces I wrote for Diesel Car magazine’s EcoCar supplement.

VeryParticular deals with arguments about where particulate pollution comes from and whether or not hybrids and electric vehicles are as bad as has been suggested in some publications.

UsedEVs is a look at the rapidly developing market in secondhand Electric Vehicles.

Back to work

Just finished a piece for Diesel Car about KERS and got plenty more ‘ghost blogging’ to do for a certain IT company. Hoping to get a regular column on Diesel Car / Eco Car, and yesterday at Yr Wyddfa met a guy who’s a lecturer in Environmental Science at UCL, and expert in hydrogen as a fuel. Should be useful…