Monday, 27 August 2012

The Big One (20-5)

Monday 27th August 2012.

Riddleston to Bingley Five Rise.

The weather is predicted to be very changeable. So we decided to have an early start. In reality we were quite a bit later getting under-way than usual. When the rains arrived in the early afternoon saw us moored up. Apart from a few private boats already in the five rise. The stalwart hire boaters were the only ones still on the move. 

I went into Puffer Parts and came out again much lighter in the pocket. This time a Sterling Alternator Charger was under my arm. Installs in place of a standard alternator to battery isolator. This is a 12 volt version with a 160 amp output. That enters into a float mode when charging is complete to protect against overcharging batteries.

The Sterling alternator-to-battery charger is a marine grade, high performance, four step, alternator powered battery charger. By monitoring and then controlling the voltage level of the two alternator connected the the boats engine. The alternator-to-battery charger is able to provide a charge rate that recovers your batteries up to five times faster than a standard alternator. Also ensures the start battery is properly charged, but also prevents the starting battery from being overcharged and damaged. So the output of our two alternators will be combined together to charge the leisure batteries after the starter battery has reached a full charge level.

I had a walk down to the top lock and watched as a couple of boats came up the staircase. Even though there was a constant downpour the Gongoozelers were out in force.

In effect the 5-rise consists of five locks connected together with no intermediate "pounds". The lower gate of each chamber forms the upper gate of the chamber below. There are therefore five chambers, and six gates. The five rise is the steepest flight of locks in the UK, with a gradient of about 1:5 (a rise of 59 ft 2 in (18.03 metres) over a distance of 320 ft). 

The intermediate and bottom gates are the tallest in the country. Because of the complications of working a staircase lock, and because so many boaters are inexperienced, a full-time lock keeper is employed, and the locks are padlocked "out of hours".

Wildlife: We observed three Kingfishers in the heavily wooded sections of the canal.

Daily Total
Miles: 2.6
Locks: 0
Swing / Lift Bridges: 4
Tunnels: 0
Pump Outs: 0
Engine Hours: 1.3

Accumulated Totals
Miles: 1135.0
Locks: 811
Swing / Lift Bridges: 144
Tunnels. 22
Pump Outs: 13
Engine Hours: 2395.8


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