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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/18/21 in all areas

  1. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
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  3. Evening, The people who develop the forum software (Invision) released a critical security patch which needed to be applied. This was applied and there is no security risk. However, we got a little more than we bargained for in that the upgrade script updated Invision to the next major release... This was obviously not intentional or planned and explains the differences you see on the site. I had a choice of keeping the site offline for an extended period while we work to fix this, or bringing it back online in its current state so that members have some functionality at least while we continue to iron out the anomalies. We will work over the coming hours/days to fix things, particularly to the design/layout. Really apologise for this as it wasn't planned and probably my mistake. I trust some good will come of this though and I will keep you updated. Thank you for your patience/understanding. RichM
    5 points
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  5. Animal haulage, again. On the upper Loire sand barges float down on the current from a dredger, then with a finely-judged tweak, alter course for the lock giving access to a branch of the Lateral Canal. For years the tweak was delivered by Rene Guichard, who tapped on the towline with his stick, then tapped again for his charges to stop pulling. It all worked like magic. When Rene passed away a tractor had to be used instead and it was never quite the same.
    5 points
  6. I think that I am qualified and experienced enough but do not consider my skill level as particularly high compared with some here. To be totally open I did used to run courses for boaters, RCR staff, and even a large hire company as a contractor, not as an employee. I ran many courses inside RCR's headquarters and have witnessed them dealing with customers and directing staff engineers and contractors to the jobs plus the availability of advice to their staff. It has been a number of years since I stopped training so things might have changed but my impression was that they were trying to do a decent job and in most cases succeeding. Any organisation will have jobs that go wrong and its to be expected, its how that is dealt with that matters.As I have not experienced how RCR have dealt with any I can not comment how effective they are in this. What I do know is that technical questions coming direct to me or via the magazine about RCR jobs that have gone wrong are probably less one a year and in more than half the cases the correspondents hid RCR's involvement so I am far from sure they were straight and honest. In one case the person involved had ignored the engineer's advice and in another they failed to adhere to the engine manufacturer's instructions (although I felt those instructions were unreasonable). On the basis of this I was happy to take out Retained Membership when we intended to cruise far from home. I will advise my son to take out membership if and when he buys a boat. RCR are not perfect but they seem pretty good to me.
    4 points
  7. Completely agree. as someone who has cruised extensively between Ripon and Bristol and all points between I find for the peanuts cost they are invaluable for peace of mind alone. My drive plate failed with zero prior warning just after coming through a lock off a fast flowing river onto a canal cutting. It was early afternoon on XMAS eve so I rang the number knowing full well I would get no reply. It rang for a few seconds and a lady replied!! I gave symptoms and she said I would be contacted by mechanic later, yeah right I thought. Thirty minutes later he rang and agreed it was drive plate and asked if I didnt mind waiting tomorrow ( xmas day ) and he would come boxing day morning with plate and fix it. Lol I thought and agreed, he turned up after driving 100 plus miles boxing day and left 1 and half hours later with my new drive plate fitted. Zero cost iirc or some miniscule amount for turning up or something, I didnt even pay for the plate it was covered. First class and worth every penny.
    4 points
  8. Good luck with that when you're stuck in the middle of "nowhere" on a wet Sunday afternoon.
    4 points
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  10. I would guess putting the animals side by side is far easier to arrange- provided the towing path is wide enough. The French system used a yolk, which provided a kind of gearing. On difficult stretches, or when starting from a standstill, one animal stayed still, providing a pivot for the other. The loads they had to pull were up to ten times the weight of a loaded narrow boat. Hence the preference of many bateliers for larger mules or, sometimes, horses.
    3 points
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  22. Cable snapped entering a lock near Greenberfield. 6.00pm last Good Friday. "Sorry, I'm in Manchester - be with you asap." 3/4 of an hour. Sorted and left.
    2 points
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  27. OK as far as it goes but RCR do cover more than just the call outs. However, if your resources are such that you feel happy to cover any of the part replacements yourself, both cost and supply, then it is a reasonable decision. But that is not the position of nearly all other boaters who do not have the comprehensive skill set that you believe that you have. In which case you should make it clear that your opinion of RCR is only valid for someone who is boater and a skilled mechanic. You should also indicate what methods of business you consider to be underhand, again so that others can understand the basis of your opinion. As for the skill of the staff it is manifestly libellous to suggest that all of their staff are unskilled as that is tantamount to accusing the company of misrepresentation in their contract with the boater. I am sure that any organisation will have both some staff with blank spots in their knowledge as well as some who do not maintain the standards expected of them. The acid test is not so much that all and any of the staff of an organisation are perfect but what does that organisation do in the even of a failure (as well as some indication of how frequently that occurs). It is a while since I needed to call on their services but when I did I was impressed when chatting to them to hear of the extent to which the company sends them on training courses to develop their skill sets and that quite a number start from scratch. In general the reaction was that they were a good employer. Your critique might make more sense if all other 'local mechanics' were fully skilled. I have had some pretty poor service from some individuals - although in one case it was a newcomer who claimed some very high level training which turned out to be relevant to very different scale of equipment than on a narrowboat and the company concerned dealt with the matter quite well. Sadly they were not a large enough business to rectify the mechanic's shortcomings by re-training. If you had said that because you rate your personal skills and knowledge in all aspects of canal boat equipment above that of anyone else such that you do not see the need to employ those of lesser skills then you would have a logical case but you spoil it by making such extreme allegations about RCR that could potentially get you into legal trouble.
    2 points
  28. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  29. I strongly suspect not: the reason that the public sector do not insure all risks is because of their size. They have sufficient assets to be able to cover the consequences within the total premium they would otherwise have to pay. The maths is fairly simple: insurance is not about removing risk as much as about smoothing it out over a range of risk situations and for everyone to club together to meet those claims that do materialise. On a sufficient sale, if the actuaries have got it right then you will be saving the admin and profit elements of your premiums. I doubt very much if you have the advantage of scale but, as I do not know you other than what you reveal on here, that assumption may be wrong. However, for your statement to have any value you would need to add that caveat.
    2 points
  30. i've seen those, they're Hipster traps you put a piece of homemade bread and a craft ale on the paddle board which will coax any nearby beardy, man-bunned buffoons onto it. then, whilst they endlessly waffle on about the rustic and artisinal nature of the provisions, you quickly loose the ropes and drop the tent thus trapping them. you can then proceed to lightly kill them with a suitable piece of 2x4, or hobnail boots if so attired, before they escape and open a cereal café or vegan microbrewery. jobs a good 'un
    2 points
  31. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  32. Mary Shafer of NASA Dryden has explained that it is all caused by lift demons ( and thrust pixies for powered aircraft). There are probably aquatic sub-species too, for sailing botes. Lift demons appreciate beauty, and will not readily go near ugly aircraft, which is why they do not fly well. N
    2 points
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  34. This was an issue raised last year, when there was little opportunity for much cruising. But if people don’t renew, they may not be there when cruising does get going again. For this reason we renewed last year, and will do so again this year. Look on it as supporting a local business, and with a bit of luck as things improve, they may return that loyalty with an extra 5% increase on the no claims discount.
    2 points
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  37. I'm sorry, you are right and I apologise Alan. I realise that giving out advice here might make it sound like you're endorsing the idea that novices go out into dangerous boating situations with little training, and that could be potentially deadly.
    2 points
  38. Save the money, use a local fitter if and when you need one and have less aggravation from RCR telling you that you need a new engine/gearbox/alternator/starter motor/heat exchanger/prop shaft/kerfuffle unit/howitzer bearing etc. when its just a flat battery.
    2 points
  39. I did try Ice-fishing once, but never again. I cut a hole in the ice and dropped the line in, a few seconds later this ghostly voice said "there are no fish here", I looked around and there was no one around, reeled in and rebaited the hook, dropped it back in and again the ghostly voice said "there are no fish here", I looked skywards with trepidation and said "Lord, is that you sending the message" to which the reply came ............................. No, "Its me, I am the Manager of the Ice Rink"
    2 points
  40. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  41. That's the beauty of electric drive, max torque & silence from zero revs so just choose your speed, add a speaker to give a comforting old world steady thump if you want.
    2 points
  42. If you look at the foot of the main it has no conventional boom. The foot brushes the deck and follows its contour. This I believe is so no wind power is lost round the foot. The outhaul is attached to the track and it appears it is not possible for the main to be released further than the width of the boat or less. Also if you watch the points of sailing there is never a run. It all appears to be close hauled or close reaches. One particularly blowey race at Bala, sailing a Fireball, I made much better progress reaching up the beat rather than luffing all the time, sailing close hauled. Still needed to play the main however. All fascinating stuff.
    2 points
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  49. And yet a working narrow boat pair had a diesel engine of 18 hp capable of propelling two boats, each over 20m long, and with a combined weight of 60-70 tons. Surely if electric power needs to be used economically to make best use of limited energy storage, then we shouldn't need to specify almost twice the engine power to move a fraction of the load that we could do 80+ years ago!
    2 points
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