Weed Harvester for our Waterway

Purpose built weed harvester procured

The recent purchase of a purpose built weed cutting boat means that navigation conditions are set to improve on the Cotswold Canals.

CCT’s Ken Bailey discovered the vessel in a boatyard at Maidenhead on the River Thames.

High spec – low useage

The boat was found to have had a very low usage having stood in the yard for some years following the death of a previous owner.

Ian Moody's three pictures show the boat being loaded in Maidenhead and its safe arrival in Stroud.

The craft has been purchased by the Stroud Valleys Canal Company and is as yet unnamed.

Technical specifications
  • Hull length 5.5m
     
  • Hull Width 1.9m
     
  • Weight – approx. 2200 Kg empty
     
  • Towable on a trailer
     
  • Floats in 0.2m of water unloaded
     
  • Max cut depth approx. 1.4m
     
  • Kubota Diesel engine provides hydraulic power
     
  • Powered main mesh conveyor
     
  • Two vertical cutters (fitted with yellow safety covers in photo)
     
  • Horizontal 1.5m wide cutter blade
     
  • Internal hold slatted conveyor
     
  • Large hydraulic powered bilge pump for hold 
     
  • One person operation via pushbutton controls
     
  • Hydraulic raise-lower helix screw turned by a hydraulic motor
     
  • The prop can be raised above the water for clearing
Click here to view a similar vessel in use
Partners to manage the project

CCT Volunteers Ian & Jo Moody will be managing the project to prepare the boat for deployment in spring 2014. The couple are well known for their enthusiastic and effective teamwork.

Ian explains…"It is a really interesting work boat. It works by cutting the weed and scooping it up on a conveyor which deposits the material in the boat’s open hold.

"When the hold is full the boat is steered to the bank. The conveyor is then reversed to discharge the load where it can either rot down to act as mulch, or be taken away for disposal.

“There are a couple of operational things to see to – so it's not going to hit the water just yet… the cutter motor requires a minor repair and will be refitted soon. There are also a couple of electrical limit switches that need replacement. We will be using biodegradable hydraulic oil supplied by our sponsors Morris Lubricants of Shrewsbury….  Oh! and it needs a new starter battery.

"Other than that it is a case of treating a bit of rust, servicing the engine, lubing it up and equipping it with the operational kit… life jackets, tool kit, fire extinguisher etc.

"We will also be creating a Training & Operations manual. When it is ready the boat will be capable of cutting weed to the full depth of the canal. It will also collect floating weed and rubbish. Jo & I and Ken Bailey are hoping to play a big part in its future use."

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