Maiden Voyage

Having agreed a handover date of Friday 15th July, we had week to bring Earl back up to our mooring at Lemonroyd Marina on the Aire & Calder just outside Leeds.

We finally left Pillings Lock Marina just before 4pm on the Saturday after getting everything aboard, repositioning the car and James getting back to Loughborough by train. With only a week we had to tackle the tidal Trent but were blessed with probably the best week of the year for weather. So other than a bit of a bump coming off the Trent into Keadby Lock we had a great maiden voyage, although Terina is still not keen on the Trent.


Final Location

Engine Hrs


Start time

End time


Pillings Lock Marina


Handover. £120 fuel put on board = 3/4 full.


Zouch Cut


Exited marina without incident. Boat handling beautifully, seems to do a reasonable pace on 1300 revs. Idle gives good speed for passing moored boats and plenty of steerage.




Nottingham 48hr moorings (nr Castle Marina)

NB Earl in Nottingham

NB Earl in Nottingham July 2016


Stop at Sawley Marina 13:00 to 14:25. Chandlery supplies collected – boat pole etc. 1400 revs giving 4.6 mph on Trent with flow, 1300 giving 4. 1200 revs giving 3.4-3.5 in canal section. Weather – scorchio with clear blue skies.




Newark, The Kiln Visitor moorings

On to the Trent

Out on to the mighty Trent at Nottingham


Got up late at 8am, no alarm on. Shopping in Sainsburys adjacent to Nottingham 48hr moorings. Out onto the mighty Trent by Trent Bridge & the football stadiums. Seems to want to run at 1400 to 1450 revs giving over 5mph downstream. Super scorchio 28C blue skies, river flat & smooth. Locks on Trent manned except last at Newark Town on self service. Note to self – make sure sluices closed once gates open. Had to spin 180deg to pick Teri up then 180 again to moor.




Torksey Lock (on transit pontoons)

Torksey mooring

Moored on Torksey transit pontoons


Left at 9:00, Wind again to go downstream. Leave Cromwell Lock approx. 10:45, arrive Torksey 14:00. Had noted water leak under Calorifier over last couple of days – traced to jubilee clip on one of engine feed/return. Clip tightened slightly seems to have solved it.




Keadby Lock Visitor Moorings

Approaching Keadby

Time to get off this river!


High tide 08:30 – depart 09:30. Just over 5.5 hrs to Keadby Lock. Punching last of incoming tide for first hour and bit at 1400revs. Soon overhauled by later leaver. Pushed up to1500 revs and sat there for rest of trip, making 6mph on ebb. Very boring trip as so little to see. Wind over ebb tide forming waves under Keadby Bridge then strong wind down to lock. Didn’t go far enough past lock to make smooth entrance – hit button on upstream wall, but silt bar on downstream corner is offputting. Watered at services.




Sykehouse Lift bridge

Vazon Railway Bridge

Waiting for the Vazon bridge to slide


Pottered down to Vazon Rail bridge at 9:15 & signalman came to us after 9:20 train. Expected 30min wait for engineer due to sticking problems over last few days. Not allowed to move without engineer in attendance. 9:55 Bridge opened no problem, more problems getting next swing bridge to close properly & release key. Day of swing and lift bridges, some manual swings and some automated swings and lifts. Through Thorne the gentleman at Nationwide Narrowboats went to open the bridge for us kindly. No visitor moorings at Bramwith so turned right to go up New Junction Canal. First attempted stop @ 18:00 just past Sykehouse Lock (with swing bridge across it), with stakes hammered in (marked as good moorings), but realised the boat was full of flies. Moved on to marked 24hr Mooring past next lift bridge (on end of bridge mooring). Tried to clear flies out of boat and wipe down surfaces with varying degrees of success. Found out that grill has to be operated with door open.




Castleford Cut – Barge Moorings (Bulholme Lock end)

Allinsons Mill

Allinsons Mill at Castleford


Couldn’t get rid of flies overnight but quite alot departed during day. Gentle day pottering along with only a few automated locks. Interesting going past the sites we know well but normally see from the road – the ugly silo on the A19 at Whiteley (Eggborough), Ferrybridge Flood Lock and Power Station with the old A1 & A1M. Busy trying to get moored in Castleford Cut – had to wind twice. Dipped tank – 1/2 full, so 1/4 tank = 62.5l in 43.3 hrs = 1.4lph. Suggest more normal usage of 1.25lph.




Lemonroyd Marina, Berth 95


Pleasant amble up from Castleford to Lemonroyd. Lemonroyd Lock is deep and quite vicious (even outside when emptying!). Winded inside entrance and reversed, only touched one back button, next time will try forwards past mooring and then swing and reverse.