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  1. A little list I made earlier on when I had some time on my hands and was feeling ponderful, about all of the little things that I have discovered and learnt since moving on board! 1. All of your clothes will smell faintly of ‘real fire’ or coal, regardless of how recently you washed them. Initially this is an inconvenience but eventually you come to rather like it. 2. If you own any white, cream, or pastel coloured clothes, they will soon take on odd black smudges, regardless of how careful you are about keeping them away from the stove, hod, or anything else coal related. This remains as an inconvenience and does not fade. 3. When visiting another boater, it is uncouth to ask to their toilet, unless you are at least a fifteen minute walk from another toilet facility (for women) or a wooded area/ bush (for men.) 4. If you have boater visitors over for more than four hours at a time, you will find yourself spending the latter half of their visit thinking that surely they must need to pee soon/ is your bathroom so nasty that they are too scared to want to use it/ how much more tea can you ply them with as a kind of pseudo-scientific experiment, just to see what they’ll do in an emergency. 5. Visits from other boaters will seldom exceed four hours without them either departing/ needing to go back to their boat for a minute/ having to ‘pop back to the car for something,’ see point four. 6. ‘Townies’ fill gaps in conversation by talking about the weather. ‘Boaties’ fill gaps in conversation by talking about water levels. 7. Pump out or cassette? Oh hells no. Don’t even go there. 8. It’s okay to insult a man’s wife, children, career choice, hair, or dress sense. But engines must always be coo’d over and spoken of in hushed approving tones, regardless of their size, condition, or maker. Shhhh! She’ll HEAR YOU! 9. If you are expected to go to work in anything approaching smart casual, you have likely got a pair of boots ‘for the journey’ that are generally covered in orange clay- like towpath mud, and also a pair of ‘smart shoes’ that are clean, patent leather, and walk less than ten steps a day. Plus a bag to keep each pair in, separately. 10. You become obsessed with what you can convince your stove to burn... Large, unwieldy or inflammable objects of rubbish will all be graded highly, according to your success in convincing the stove to eat them. 11. Ecofans. Having an opinion is mandatory. Having ever tried one is not. 12. If you have a posh new shiny boat, you are probably king of the marina. Conversely, that may also make you ‘king shit’ and/ or a N00b/ ‘more money than sense joker’ out on the cut. 13. ‘Online’ no longer just means that you have internet access, and committing the faux- pas of confusing the two meanings in conversation is verboten. 14. Portholes or windows? See point seven. 15. It seems perfectly normal to you to have both the stove/ heating going full pelt, and all of the windows open. 16. If you can’t manage to have a thorough shower, including shaving your legs, washing and conditioning your hair, and brushing your teeth in under four minutes/ four litres of water, you have failed as a boater and should probably consider moving back onto land. 17. Whenever you go to work in an office, visit a friend in a house, or have cause to use a hotel, you need an extra bag to haul along all of the things you want to charge up from their mains while you’re there. 18. Irons, microwaves, hairdryers and hoovers are all for posh people. 19. You used to own ten big thick jumpers for use in winter. Now you own two big thick jumpers, and a bottle of Febreeze. 20. And... You can make ten cubic feet of stuff fit into four cubic feet of space. 21. You keep a mop on your roof because everybody else does, but you’re not quite sure why... 22. When everyone else on the train home standing up is swaying about and clinging to railings, you are in the middle of it all freestanding, swaying with the flow and not falling down (until you do!) 23. Your mailing address is the same as your parents, for the first time since you were 16 years old. 24. Rosie and Jim are Bad People. 25. You probably started life on your boat with a novelty neckerchief, captain’s hat, pirate bandana, or “I’m on a boat, Mother F***er!” t shirt. By your third week therein, you have experimented with how that burns on the stove (see point 10) and roll your eyes and snort derisively at the fresh faced wannabe’s who have taken your place in committing aforementioned fashion faux-pas. 26. You have a beard. This is neither negotiable, nor gender- specific. 27. You can answer the question “is it cold on a boat in winter?” sensibly, only a finite number of times, before deciding to mess with people and saying “yes, it’s terrible, I have nearly died of hypothermia twice this year already, and I don’t know how I’m still alive...” 28. You thought you’d save money in winter by using the open bow as a fridge/ freezer for your food... Until you realised just how much alcohol you could actually store there if you stacked it all up right. 29. Upon hearing ‘man overboard!’ you reach for the camera first, and the life ring second. 30. When other people fall in, you are never there to see it/ photograph it. But you know damn well that when YOU fall in, there’ll be a group of Japanese tourists there, immortalising it on film and upping it to YouTube within the hour. 31. You can cook and serve a full Sunday roast for four, with less than two square feet of counter space to work on. 32. You stop thinking to yourself, “there’s some funny people on the cut” around the same time you realise that you are just like them, actually. 33. The 8pm engine/ generator off collective: You’re either with them, or against them. 34. You know that you have to disown any of your former friends who are apt to order “a pint of lager, please” in the pub, and you’re okay with that, actually. 35. Your hands and nails are NEVER clean, no matter how much you wash them. 36. You WILL have some kind of nasty toilet emptying related incident within your first few weeks away from mains plumbing. No one can teach you how to avoid your own personal initiation into boat toilet hell, you’re just going to have to grit your teeth and wait for it to happen. 37. When you started out with the boat, you had a little list of about five things that you needed to do/ buy/ sort out. However, due to a phenomenon I like to think of as ‘boat mathematics’ you learn that for every one item you cross off of said list, another two appear. Three months down the line, your list has about 30 essential and time sensitive things you need on it, and your earnings for the next two to four years are already committed to it. Oh well, spaghetti hoops for dinner again... Anyone have any they'd like to add?
    123 points
  2. I love Canalworldforum, I watched for a few years before I dared join. It was everything I needed, information, fun, ribald banter and pi$$ (genuine letters removed to protect the incontinent and easily offended) taking put downs. I was new to the internet and new to boating as an owner - but not to canals. I eventually succumbed in 2008 to the Log in as new member and tiptoed in, vibrant and sometimes raucous arguments carried on and were carefully managed by the moderators. The CWDF was my online existence for a few years, helping me adapt to my new environment, and soon it appeared that many others were a part of this vibrant community. The CWDF community not only helped me adapt to online banter, but also opened the door to the wonderful but unreliable chatroom, who's inconsistency became a source of fun and enjoyment to all who were subject to,or watching the entry, exit bells of Mike31 and everyone else come and go as we got booted in and out of the room while we were all in various parts of the canal network(or in a house next to a pub in Chesterfield Mike.) It's also where I first started to chat to Kathy. The forum has seen many come and go for a multitude of reasons, Gibbo was the most spectacular exit, and maybe the first of the new way of thinking. CanalWorld forum is a wonderful community of people from all ages which brings people together in the love of canal history, canal folklore, canals now and canals in the future, it is currently being decimated in both its inclusiveness but also its buzz. Since 2014/5, perhaps the moderators of old did not realise the new phenomenon of WUM had entered CWDF, perhaps they didn't weed out serial antagonists soon enough...but very soon the new breed of mods came in and laid waste to a free thinking site with sometimes unco-ordinated and often knee jerk moderation. These fell by the wayside eventually ,now to be replaced with a new kind of moderation policy, with a slap your hands and delete you approach. This is a long way from the site I joined. This is a massive leap from the fun, informative, fun, argumentative, fun, vibrant site I joined. It is still useful. It is still going, just. Let up, free up, allow some bite , it is still potentially by far the best Canalforum. Don't continue to drive away those folks who have made it the site it is today. (No am not on the other site, neither have I seen it.) I don't believe we should all just accept what happens to us, like sheep do.
    63 points
  3. Hi everyone. Just a quick post regarding the T&M breach. If you are stuck North of the Preston Brook Tunnel, cannot get back South and need to leave your boat somewhere safe, you are more than welcome to leave it at our base at Claymoore. We are building up a little collection of private boats as I type so you may want to ring ahead first (01928 717273). However we will do what we can to fit you in as we have quite a long stretch we can moor along and are allowed to moor several out. If you are on a hire boat with another company and are supposed to be heading back along the affected route, your hire company may ask you to stop at us as we will be turning round several of their boats that are stuck. Of course there is no charge to moor during this incident, I would just ask that your stop with us is due to a genuine need as you can't get South. I hope this helps. Paul
    56 points
  4. We have this article, the 'Off The Cut' film and the 'Boats Are Homes' demo about to happen. It does seem like a coordinated push. The film and this article, both focus on the same stretch of the Kennet and Avon but make their points as if they apply nationally. They don't. The film also implies that most boaters are continuous cruisers. They aren't. What we have is a specific issue to this stretch of the K&A. My interpretation is that, 10-15 years ago a few families took to living on this small stretch (remember the K&A only fully opened 25 years ago - so this is not an entrenched culture). The pioneers led the way for others who saw the benefits and BW did not take any serious action at the time. As time passed and the boating population grew on the K&A it simply became normal for the cc'ers there to shuffle about over 10 miles or so and get away with it, thinking it would be allowed forever. Occasional enforcement notices were dished out but no further action was taken so long as the boat then shuffled on a mile or so. Fast forward to today and we have more and more people taking to the canals and a growing problem for hotspots like the K&A. Add the problems with the housing market into the mix, pushing people to look for cheaper options and its easy to see how a 'critical mass' is achieved. Clearly, there's been a lot of families living on boats along there and they've become a community, which must have been lovely for them. The problem is that it's unsustainable in the wider context. As a Birmingham boater, I'm not aware of a single cc'ing family in the whole Birmingham area. All the cc'ers I know and see are either single or couples. So why has this family orientated community grown up on the K&A? Well, once you have one or two pioneers, it normalises the idea for other families, but also this area has a long history of alternative and travelling communities, from earlier Romanys to New Age Travellers and the Battle of the Beanfield etc. It seems fairly logical to me that the travellers of the area from the 1980s would move onto the canal when other options were stripped away from them. The harsh truth is that raising a family while cc'ing is difficult. That's why you hardly see anyone doing it in other parts of the country. Cc'ing for a single person with a fixed job takes a fair bit of organising, but I simply wouldn't attempt it if I had kids. I've said before, nobody has an automatic right to live on the canal, this family choose to do so, but they could also choose not to. I do feel sorry for them though because they clearly had it very good for a long time, while BW looked the other way. They must have seen this day coming for years though, they aren't ostriches.
    32 points
  5. Two years of boating and two years since my original forum post quite literally launched a new career for me later... I had wine with dinner again tonight. 1. People laugh at you for thinking that you can ever wear a dress/skirt while living on a boat. But they soon pipe down when circumstance catches you resplendent in a floor length party dress, fleece jacket, socks and yes, flip flops... Hanging down into the engine bilge and disconnecting one of your batteries in an emergency, while scowling at the fully Helly-Hansoned up Experienced Boater who is “helpfully” calling out distant advice to you while staying totally clean themselves. 2. You don’t think twice about asking someone you only met in the pub last night to watch your boat/feed your cats for you while you go away for a few days, and you also know after a half hour of talking to them that they will be safe and trustworthy to do so. 3. You can spot another boater in the pub at 50 paces, but you have no idea how. 4. So if you find a set of boater’s lost keys on the towpath, you simply walk to the nearest pub and home in on the two-three groups of boaters present psychically within 30 seconds of entering, without having to ask the bar staff to make an announcement, and invariably find your man. 5. Similarly, random diesel-scented strangers will seek you out in the pub, say “you’re obviously a boater” and ask you which boat is yours... Even when you have been in the shower for hours and have donned your best togs and a full face of make up and had planned to go out clubbing with the REAL people, leaving your inherent boaty-ness behind. 6. You can always spot the part-timer/ over-important “I own a boat” types at canalside businesses, before you even hear their voices, by the presence of their pressed “going to the pub” Chino’s, deck shoes and prominently placed brand new keyfloats on the bar in front of them. Before they even open their mouths, and loudly state something irrelevant about their engine, how often they clean the boat, or how nice the mooring they are on is, you just know that they are “boaters,” but only go to the boat twice a year and are just showing off. 7. You no longer look up in disbelief when you find someone staring into your kitchen window and passing a loud Attenborugh-esque commentary about “Oh look, she has a sink! She must have running water in there! Oh my word, she is WASHING DISHES! Do you think her water comes from the canal?” 8. You’re really careful about where and how you put things down so they won’t fall off the side when the boat rocks; but then remember that you’re in a house! 9. You stand stupidly in the hotel bathroom for 30 seconds looking for the switch for the shower pump before remembering how real life works, and turning the water on. 10. It seems perfectly normal to you to share your life history, hopes and dreams and secret fears with your new best friend who moored next to you for one night only, got drunk with you and whose name you can’t remember, who then set off in the morning before you woke up, because you “connected.” And obviously, you are best friends and pick up right where you left off when you run into each other again two years later on, unexpectedly, somewhere else far, far away. 11. Your Mother is completely flummoxed when you visit her by your propensity to turn off all unneeded lights and equipment the second you finish using them-When throughout your teenage years, you were never happy unless you left a light show to rival Vegas in all of the rooms you walked out of. 12. Both you and your Mother are equally flummoxed to learn that when you do visit said Mother in a house, you have literally forgotten how to get up a flight of stairs, other than on all fours, like some kind of retarded puppy. 13. You have no idea which side the land is on when you wake up, and trying to decide without cheating and opening a curtain turns into something of a “choose your adventure” game for you every time you wake up on a new mooring. 14. You always grab the collar of any dog before they leap to shore, just to make sure that they are not inadvertently jumping off on the wrong side. Again. 15. Comments from canal-side pub garden gongoozlers like “Oooh, do you live on your boat? How lovely! You are so lucky! What a lovely fairytale life you must lead!” Lead to fast invitations to spend a day on your liveaboard boat... The day that you need to empty the toilet and collect your 30 bags of coal from the road bridge 200 yards away from the cut. 16. Random strangers on the towpath out walking for the day regard you as the wildflower almanac, and ask you if those weird-looking mushrooms near your mooring are safe to eat. And then believe you, whatever you say, just because you live on a boat and so, are obviously akin to a herbalist, and never buy your edible fungi in Asda or anything like normal people do. 17. People spot you working on your computer on the bow of your boat in the height of summer, and automatically assume that you are an unemployable rabble-rousing “ anarchist writer” or political activist, and are either claiming the dole, living on Daddy’s money, or simply could not hold down a real job to save your life... Just because you are under 60, and not suited, booted and in an office, as there is no way on God’s green earth that someone can legitimately work in such nice conditions and actually get paid to do so, obviously. 18. When friends and family phone you, they get used to your response to “where exactly are you moored at the moment?” Being “Oh, Northamptonshire I think, or possibly Warwickshire... Or at a push, Oxfordshire...” 19. You start to feel like just living on a boat has caused you to become insular, single minded and disconnected from the rest of society to the point that simple shopping trips into town or meetings with non-boaters become something to psyche yourself up to, choose your outfit for and put your game face on for, long before you go out. 20. You go from feeling like the Messiah of living afloat and trying to indoctrinate people into the wonder of boat life at every turn, to actively deflecting people from realising that you live on a boat to avoid the never-ending same-y questions that this always promotes. 21. Aldi is your most favourite shop, ever. You plan moorings and stop-offs around it and everything. Oh, they also sell food? Who knew! 22. You start to answer to the name of your boat; in fact, you head turns faster when someone calls it than it does if someone says your own name. This becomes particularly confusing if you named your boat in honour of a long-dead relative, and you spend a few seconds after someone intones it thinking that the person in front of you is psychic, and about to deliver a message from your long lost relative, rather than simply asking you if that is your boat! 23. People nod approvingly and commend you for the low carbon footprint that you must have and the low-impact lifestyle that you lead... While you hang out of the open door talking to them and sweating like a pig because the coal stove is too hot despite all the windows being open, trying to make yourself heard over the noise of the engine running to charge your batteries. 24. 25. That dodgy, vaguely scary bloke with the prison tattoo’s that you moored by a while ago in desperation is now the most trustworthy and reliable friend that you know. 26. That Chino'd up Shiny Boater with the comb-over toupee and prominently displayed Aston Martin keyring was actually the first person who rolled up their sleeves and helped to dig the crud out of your weed hatch for you when you got proper stuck. 27. Gas ran out boiling the kettle, and not during a shower. I WIN this round of gas bottle roulette, thank you for watching, tune in next time. 28. The sound of the bow thruster is like the mating call of the Shiny Boat, because when I hear it, I know there's a 50-50 chance that said boat is about to start trying to hump my Springer. And apparently, shiny boats are really hot for Springers. 29. You have had a go with a bow thruster/ Girly Button. And you liked it, and are not quite sure how to deal with this, actually. 30. You’re not a Real Boater until you’ve spent at least one night on Tawny Owl.
    31 points
  6. Sorry to be harsh but this proposal is utterly selfish, I would have thought better from the OP. Lots of us would love to go cruising but we aren't. Non-essential travel has been ruled out by the government - this is quite clearly non-essential travel. This is a classic case of entitlement and 'the rules don't apply to me'. And you say you're an expert in disease control??? So let presume you already have the virus but don't know it - how do you propose to get yourself from Goole to Ripon without touching anything on the way or once you get there? Using the excuse that we've been told to stay at home and therefore you can move about like this because your boat is your home is appaling pedantry. You know damn well that's not what the advice means and you're using a technicality to try and dodge round the rules. The 14 day rule has been relaxed for a reason - it's to try and prevent all non-essential boat movements, but allow boaters to still access vital services. People are dying because of selfish attitudes like yours. I'm frankly disgusted.
    31 points
  7. Will you come back again on Monday??
    28 points
  8. LONG AND SHORT OF IT, FREE REPAIRS. After the worst of storm Ciara, many elderly, physically impaired, students or low income people, can't afford to replace their covers when they are storm damaged, leaving their boat less secure and colder. So for the rest of this week we are offering FREE small cover repairs, to anyone in this demographic who may be struggling, and have to decide between bills or safety/warmth. This shouldn't be happening, so we will try and get as many covers repaired this week as possible. All we ask is you call us to arrange and then bring the cover to us. Our company is at a size where we can just afford to give a little back, and that's what we intend to do. Please spread the word as we will financially and physically only be able to do this for about a week, while we are unable to get out onto the boats due to the conditions. After that the bad weather should start to decline and we can get back out on the road making new covers. Would also like to thank Midland fencing and aggregates who initially gave us the idea. If you like our page on facebook then more people will also see this post. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE LIKE, LIKE, LIKE. www.kinvercanopies.co.uk 01384 394469
    27 points
  9. Today as we have been doing a few jobs on the boat on our mooring we have had boats from 5 different hire fleets come past. Viking Afloat, Anglo Welsh, Countrywide Cruisers, Napton Narrowboats and Canal Cruising Co. The sun is shining and families are relaxing as they move along the canal. Everyone is smiling and happy. It is wonderful to see so many boats moving again after the cold winter months. To see so many hire fleets out makes me smile. Those people who are hiring the boats are the ones who will be buying meals out to keep the pubs we like to drink at open, visiting the little shops along the way and puuting some cash in their tills. It is because they are there that BW have to keep maintaining the infrastructure of the canal. The majority of the boaters I have seen on these hire boats appear to be relaxed and competent on the tiller. If they are repeat hirers then these might be the people who will soon be bringing some much needed business to boat builders or brokerages when they can resist the draw of the canal and the desire to own their own boat no more. If they are hiring for the first time then how likely is it they will get off that boat at the end of their hire period and never set foot on another boat again. Yesterday we took the car down to get some coal from a coal boat which we knew was moored nearby. As we trundled the trolley with coal back up the towpath to the car there was a share boat waiting to enter the lock. A man was standing holding onto the rope while a Viking Afloat boat was in the lock coming down. It was one of the fleet that operates from just above the lock. A family on board with smiles as wide as a widebeam as they set off on their adventure. The man holding the rope on the share boat muttered something about how long he was going to have to wait because "there was a Viking Adrift" on it's way. I know if we were sharing wide locks I would much rather do so with the cheerful family of hirers and their inexperience than the sour faced share boat steerer! We noted that above the lock the coal boat owners joined us in grabbing a bow line to help turn a hire boat round and we all chatted to the happy family on board while they waited to enter the lock chamber - the same lock chamber which now had the share boat in. The one who was not getting any assistance to open or close gates to ease his passage through by the 4 boaters standing talking to the hirers. I know there will always be tales of things that happen to inexperienced steerers. Many of them will be hirers. This season I hope we can all remember we were all novices once upon a time and give a friendly smile to those people spending their hard earned cash on a holiday on the canals. Perhaps we can impart a little of our experience in a friendly way which will assist them in their onward journey? It is great to see them all out and about. Here is a toast to all hirers everywhere
    27 points
  10. 1. Wake up one morning in March and think, “painting the boat! Epic idea, and I’ve got that long weekend in April.” 2. Decide on a complex and highly convoluted colour scheme that involves lots of panels, coachlines, stripes and contrasts, because that dude in the marina did his boat last year and it looks awesome. 3. Buy tins of paint, brushes and sheets of sandpaper, optimistically congratulate yourself for being ready to start as soon as the long weekend in April comes around. 4. Eye up the outside of boat appraisingly every couple of days, thinking about how that rust will just sand right off and how easy it’ll be to follow the existing coachlines. 5. Tell everyone you’re painting the boat next month, and stand basking in their impressed if slightly sceptical mutterings. 6. Get advice from ten different people on how to go about it. Wonder at the maths that says ten people times boat painting advice = 15 answers. 7. Realise you might have been over optimistic in your belief that you could just wave a bit of sandpaper at the rust and slap some gloss on top. Buy paint scraper, Fertan and undercoat. 8. Nod sagely at your foresight in realising the potential problems with your original idea, draw out running order of how painting will go and how simple it all seems now that you are so much wiser. 9. Eagerly await long weekend in April. Should be able to get the bulk of it done over the three days, right? 10. Long weekend in April dawns to torrential rain, biblical flooding and tornado-style winds. Keep picking up paint scraper at every break in the weather, put it down again muttering angrily. Read the forum for a bit instead. 11. End of April. Scowl at people who ask how the boat painting is going, while your tins of paint and new brushes collect dust. 12. Mid May. OMG! Sunshine! Paint all of the things! 13. Figure you can sand and undercoat at least the roof and one side in one day, get to work. 14. End an eight hour day of blood, sweat, rust and tears with one gunnel just about acceptable enough to put undercoat on. 15. Wait two weeks for the next break in the weather. 16. Scrape, sand and generally beat the crap out of the boat, until it’s no longer fighting and all of the rust and remaining paint is cowering in fear. 17. AWESOME! Now you can do the undercoat. It’s a bit grubby from all of the shed rust though, so hire a pressure washer to clean it up with first. 18. Have an amazing time playing with the pressure washer, then aim it at the sanded, smooth keyed paint remaining after you prepped it. 19. Watch in abject horror as the pressure washer lifts whole strips of previously stuck fast paint off in layers. 20. Spend a long time crying in self pity, then even longer drinking the pain away. 21. Re-sand and prep the worst parts. 22. Re-pressure wash now that you are absolutely positively certain that there is NO loose paint left to come off. 23. Repeat points 20 through 22 a couple more times, before deciding that you’re never going near a pressure washer again and you’re just fecking well painting it now, regardless. 24. Undercoat boat to within an inch of its life. Smile tightly at passing boats that all, to a man, say either “you’ve missed a bit!” or “you can do mine next!” 25. Wake up following weekend planning to put on first layer of gloss. Observe undercoat isn’t actually dry, and really, should it be both the thickness and consistency of chewing gum? 26. Survey says “no.” 27. Wait another week for the undercoat to become more putty than chewing gum. Decide to paint over it anyway. Know that this is Incorrect but stick fingers in ears and hum, studiously avoiding eye contact with anyone who looks more closely. 28. Wonder how in the name of all that is good and holy you’re supposed to paint the underneath of the handrails, when however convinced you are that you’ve covered them, they are still clearly not done from certain angles. 29. Realise how shitey the roof looks due to your painting technique best being comparable (unfavourably) to a finger painting toddler, resolve to do better on the rest. 30. Paint sides and gunnels with surprising ease, due to surface being less pizza-like than the roof. 31. Measure out in precise distances how far the average person with reasonable eyesight has to be from the boat to miss the shocking workmanship and flaws, address areas that particularly stand out from eight feet away in dim light with no glasses. 32. Wonder why two weeks later there are still very slightly tacky patches of wrinkled paint on the roof that appear to be at least a couple of mm deep. See the light that paint shouldn’t be slapped on at the same consistency as glue. Too late. 33. Cover roof in plants and solar panels, then half-heartedly sand back and re-paint any areas not now covered in boat tat. 34. Decide against the painting in of panels and contrasting colours, start secretly wondering how ashamed of yourself you will be if you get vinyl stick-on coachlines. 35. Try masking up a tiny bit of coachline to paint. Observe result. Decide, not that ashamed of vinyl at all, actually. 36. Buy vinyl coachlines, apply, stand in shock at how well they worked out. Start eyeing up particularly bad patches of paint, wonder what else comes in vinyl that can be stuck on to cover it. 37. Acquire set of stick-on decals, apply artistically to various points on the bow and front of the boat where the paint is the worst. 38. Realise this actually looks ten times worse, but oh well, they’re there now. 39. Lose will to live and become increasingly frustrated at how however many times you undercoat and then paint contact areas (such as where the cover goes on or where the mooring line passes over the bow) and leave them to dry, the paint just rubs right off within days. 40. Decide to concentrate on the tiller, because it looks shocking and an elaborately painted tiller will really draw the eye. 41. Use all acquired wisdom of paint prepping, thickness of paint and technique to paint fracking AWESOME stripes on the tiller that impress even your neighbours, in the middle of the driest week of the year so far. 42. Hear rain two hours later. Learn what paint “blooming” is. Consider getting tree branch and going a bit Basil Fawlty on it. 43. Run out of ideas as to how to reach and prep/paint the tunnel bands. Leave the job there for a considerable amount of time, while “thinking.” 44. Decide you’ll actually just black up to the gunnels. One day. No, it still has not been done.
    27 points
  11. The dominant group will always feel victimised by minorities doing things that don’t include them. Being pro gay isn’t anti straight. Just like being pro Black isn’t anti white. They feel left out. I call this a taste of their own medicine. A group of gays is seen as a slight to them in some way hence the need to say “why can’t you just do what the rest of us do” (aka conform and submit). We aren’t the rest of you. It is types like this who make us make a point of our differences. I recall once someone saying to me, as though I should take it as a compliment that “you’re not really super gay” as though being gay were a bad thing. I’d be happy never to mention who I sleep with or what I do behind closed doors ever again. I agree, I don’t think we are special. I have heterosexual friends and mix with them and never does who we sleep with come up in discussion (probably how many heterosexuals prefer it). But they understand and empathise with why I need to find others who are gay. Because guess what? Most people aren’t. I could misinterpret a situation with a man and end up in hospital or worse, dead. Attacks on gays are on the rise. I don’t attend Pride or get involved in the politics of the LGBT. But I don’t, continually, proclaim my lack of understanding of such things as though it contributes any value to the discussion which is being done in this very thread. Calls of “I don’t understand X, Y or Z” just highlights your ignorance. It is 2023. You have all the information at your finger tips. How about we drop the “I don’t understand why they congregate” façade and say what you really mean? Gays want to meet other gays and have sex, surprise surprise. Clutch your pearls elsewhere. It’s so bloody tiring. I hope OP does find other boat folk who are gay and gets a chance to connect with them. I know I’ve thought about it on my travels as a solo gay vagabond boater. Seeing a rainbow flag sticker in a boat window makes me relaxed because it signals to me they’re my sort. I know this may be novel to other people who dONt UnDeRstANd but it’s small gestures and signs like this that make me feel comfortable in a world that wants to shut me up, hide me away or, worse, blend in.
    26 points
  12. It is very sad that this chap lost his life and I think it shows up the forum in a bad light that the thread has degenerated into a discussion on his status and pension income . The guy has lost his life let's show some respect Haggis
    25 points
  13. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  14. If we take this to its logical conclusion we would be saying that for those people with similar issues, who live in bricks and mortar,dont need pay their Council Tax / electricity / etc and they dont need to tax their car which they use to take the children to school. Who are we to say that they may not live their lives in such a manner ? Just because someone "WANTS" to liveaboard doesnt mean that they should ignore the rules obeyed by the rest - if they did have bricks and mortar they would probably get a great deal more financial assistance to help them. I "WANT" lots of things that would make my life more pleasurable but if I cannot afford them I dont have them. There is a big difference between want & need.
    25 points
  15. I thought I would share my experience trying to improve my internet and phone communications whilst out on the cut. For a number of reasons it is essential that I can have a reliable connection, especially internet wherever possible. As a CC for at least six months of the year the need for something more reliable than the standard ‘3’ Mi-Fi offering (as good as it is) quickly became apparent. The forums search facility will bring up many useful threads on the subject of improving both internet and phone communications. There are many ideas bandied about, some more worthy than others, such as dongles wrapped in plastic bags or yoghurt pots and dangling by bits of string from chimneys and such like. They work with varying degrees of success. I know, I’ve tried most of them at one time or another. Having experimented with different ideas over the past couple of years I have come to the inevitable conclusion that in order to have the best chance of receiving a reliable signal for both phone and internet you really need to invest in some serious equipment. Of course there are those that the ‘Heath Robinson’ approach is more than satisfactory and indeed may well give excellent results in the right location. But those who travel the system extensively and need reliable internet/phone connection for business say, will probably need something more ‘fit for purpose’. Internet I think it’s well recognised, and it’s also my experience, that the ‘3’ network has the most extensive and reliable coverage of the canal system. I had one of their standard Huawei ‘Mi-Fi’ units that didn’t have the external aerial socket and found that, although generally quite good, it did have limitations as to reception and performance. I then purchased via Amazon the Huawei E5332 which did have an external aerial socket (TS9 connection). I initially tried connecting that to a 12 inch magnetic mount aerial placed on the roof and that improved reception a great deal. But there were still many locations I found it gave no reliable signal reception. In those locations I found taping the mag aerial to the top of my boat hook raised vertically did indeed generally improve the reception. I did a lot more research and eventually decided on a demountable 2 metre mast with an aerial from Connex Technologies. http://www.connextech.co.uk/3g-external-high-gain-omni-antenna-bundle---600603-253-p.asp Their aerial comes fitted with 5 metres of cable and the TS9 pig tail required to connect to the Mi-Fi unit and costs about £120 This proved to be the ‘bees knees’ and with this aerial mounted atop the 2 metre mast I got reliable internet connection on ‘3’ just about everywhere we go. I installed this ‘enhanced’ system in the Spring of 2013 and has proved its worth during our extensive cruise last summer. As we try and use 12v wherever possible I also purchased an in car charger unit for the MI-Fi from Maplins which saves having to use the inverter. Although the Mi-Fi unit has about a 5 hour battery life, if we are moored up for a couple of days or so, using as much 12v equipment wherever possible is preferable in my opinion. We also have 530 watts of solar panels which provides all our electrical needs in the summer when not cruising. Recently we had a need for a second Mi-Fi unit and rather than go for another E5332, as good as it is, I thought technology may have improved and the latest offering from ‘3’ is the Huawei E5756. It is more expensive than their standard unit but it does have the external TS9 socket. Apparently this also has two internal aerials and is more sensitive to signal reception and can in fact use two cell masts at the same time if they are both in range. I gave it a try, first without the external aerial and alongside the E5332 and it is definitely faster opening identical pages on two identical laptop computers. Then I connected both to the external aerials (I now have two mast aerials, see later in this report) and again the E5756 was noticeably faster than the E5332 opening identical pages on identical laptops. Technology has definitely improved in the two years since I purchased the E5332. E5756 mifi with patch lead and 12v power lead Phone Although our requirement for phone communication is not as pressing as our need for internet, there are occasions when it is necessary. I have a contract with Vodafone which gives me loads of free minutes, but on the cut it has proved a pretty useless network. We also have a couple of cheap Nokia phones on ‘Pay-As-You-Go’, one on ‘3’ and the other on O2. Unsurprisingly the ‘3’ network is quite good, but for some unknown reason the ‘3’ telephone signal is usually weaker than the Mi-Fi signal. The O2 signal is also generally quite good, certainly better than Vodafone, but can be very patchy in coverage. It is quite irritating to have to move around the boat to find an area that has the best signal strength, often having to go outside to have any decent call quality. Even then, often speech communication can be quite difficult if not impossible. I did at one point invest in a mag aerial from Boaters Phone Co, with a Velcro, wrap around, ‘passive’ patch lead for my iPhone 4S and found it made absolutely no difference to my signal quality. The iPhone doesn’t have an external aerial socket. In fairness I have spoken to others who use that system with the Velcro and they say it does make an improvement. It just goes to show that everyone’s experience can be very different. Following on from the good performance of the Mi-Fi and the Connex aerial I decided to see if I could improve telephone performance by the same amount. Very few, if any, of the current offerings of handsets that I have come across have an external aerial socket. However on investigation I did learn that the Samsung S2, S3, S4, and quite possibly the new S5 do have an external aerial socket. However this is not generally publicised and is installed primarily for Samsung service technicians during maintenance. It is hidden away behind the battery cover and has its own small round plastic cover concealing the actual socket. On the S3 it’s marked by the code ‘W1’ next to it but, depending on model can also have a second one marked ‘W2’. Generally ‘W1’ should be used. The cover can be prised off using a very small screwdriver. Some models of Samsung the aerial cover is I believe also marked ‘R1’ and ‘R2’. But that’s where it got confusing, my eyes started glazing over and I lost interest! I was thinking of treating myself to a newer phone so opted to buy a used Samsung S3. So all reference is made to the S3. It only has just the one socket, hidden under the ‘W1’ cover. Pic of rear of Samsung S3 As far as I am aware, there is only one supplier of patch leads for the Samsung, they are Telco Antennas in Australia. www.telcoantennas.com.au They do cater for other phones so if you are thinking of modifying yours, it is worth checking their website to see if your phone might be suitable. Some patch leads they offer though, including for the iPhone, are of the ‘passive’ type. Although I have never used the ones from Telco, I personally have found that, in general, the performance of the passive type disappointing. That was based on an iPhone 4S and a basic Nokia and Samsung phone. I also tried the passive patch lead on my original Mi-Fi unit and found it made no discernable difference. I purchased a couple of patch leads from Telco and also a rear battery cover pre-drilled in the correct position for the socket. http://www.telcoantennas.com.au/site/samsung-galaxy-s3-patch-lead-and-back-cover-combo The plug and socket connection is very secure, but I would be wary of continually removing the patch lead from the phone as it seems a little fragile and might just damage either the plug or socket. I have decided to keep the Samsung just for the boat when we are aboard. Sort of like a home phone. The patch lead comes with an SMA female connector on one end and the Samsung plug on the other. Altogether it’s about A$65 (two patch leads and a back cover drilled to fit) plus A$32 shipping (in addition I was stung for £19 customs duty when it arrived in the UK!) Very impressed with Telco though, and DHL the shipper. It was in my hand just 36 hours after ordering it! Someone of course will now point out that there is a supplier of patch leads in Braunston and/or at the Crick show and they cost £5 each! Frankly, I don’t want to know! I wish to remain in blissful ignorance, thank you! Caution. If you try and use a DIY approach by pushing a thin wire into the centre hole of the aerial socket you could seriously damage its internal aerial which won’t work again without major and expensive surgery back at Samsung. It is important to use a purpose made patch lead. The connector supplied with the patch lead (SMA female) also fitted the connector on the Connex external aerial (SMA male) which I had been using for the Mi-Fi, and it worked perfectly. Inside the boat, before connection I was getting one or two bars of signal strength, occasionally losing signal altogether. Once connected, the signal jumped straight to a solid five bars. Call quality is superb! I have been operating this now for a couple of months and I am very pleased with the set up. I purchased a second dedicated aerial from Connex to use for the phone and that is also mounted atop the mast next to the Mi-Fi aerial. I did think about the possibility of running both the Mi-Fi and the phone from the same aerial, but that might affect the quality of the signal to both so thought better of it. The Mast I mount the mast, which is a 38mm diameter, 2 metre high stainless tube, in a couple of brackets fixed to the forward face of my roof top box, which also incorporates four 100 watt solar panels. The mast can be lifted in or out of the mounts in just a few seconds. It can be removed entirely for secure stowage inside the boat when left unattended. The cables run across the roof and in through a saloon hopper window to the various adjacent receivers. They can be unplugged or reconnected in just a couple of minutes when erecting or removing the mast for storage. mast mount on top box TV Having gone to the trouble and expense of fitting the mast, it seemed an ideal place to put my Avtex ‘figure of eight’ omni directional freeview TV aerial. http://www.midlandchandlers.co.uk/Catalogue/ProductDetail/aerial-avtex-12v-digital-sth1000?productID=a23362c3-cbf1-40b0-aca8-2eaf41aea332&catalogueLevelItemID=a4a42a16-1cad-4748-90d3-70ba5a71f73e It generally works very well most places we go. As we prefer to moor in out of the way places there are occasions when we can’t get a good signal for the TV. Last year, at the Crick show I bought a ‘Toura Plus’ antenna with a mount that can convert quickly from vertical to horizontal polarity, and has a built in amplifier powered by the TV’s 5v powered aerial socket. http://www.midlandchandlers.co.uk/Catalogue/ProductDetail/aerial-toura-plus-uhf-antenna-7db-22db-?productID=3ca5b2cb-8aee-4582-b250-b828c0978841&catalogueLevelItemID=a4a42a16-1cad-4748-90d3-70ba5a71f73e Most new TV’s have the 5v facility, usually buried away in the settings menu. I have found it a superb aerial and is allied to the excellent ‘Antenna Aligner’ app on my iPhone which points to the nearest transmitter. As the mast can be rotated easily, I just turn it until the TV aerial is pointing towards the transmitter. A few seconds and the jobs done! When not required, eg cruising, the mast lays in a couple of purpose made wooden blocks on the forward roof. The mast can be erected or removed in about 20 seconds! Great if it’s raining! As I have an interest in meteorology it seemed an obvious place to mount a small wireless weather station on the top. Interestingly, (and off topic, I know, - well it is my thread!) as a result of fitting the weather station, specifically its windspeed readout and historical data record over the last two years, it has become quite clear that mounting a wind generator, in our experience, would be a complete waste of time and money. The number of days that it would have produced any worthwhile power was in reality, very few. And several of those days were of the ‘bright and breezy’ type where our solar was performing well anyway. Of course there are those who swear by their windgens, but I think they are few and far between and must be moored in very exposed places Conclusion Prior to embarking on this little project it seemed that, in general, I got a good Mi-Fi signal about 25% of the time, a barely usable signal about another 25% of the time and the rest (50%) no useable signal when out on the cut. The mobile phone was not much better which is why I had three networks to try and get at least one useable signal. I guess, between the three networks, I was successful about 70% of the time. Since fitting this equipment I have improved the score on the Mi-Fi to I would say, well in excess of 80% although in practice I can’t think of anywhere that I haven’t got at least a useable signal. More usually, I get a good to excellent signal. Even in Braunston, a ‘black hole’ for me when it comes to phone signals, I can get a useable signal. On the phone network side, it seems a toss up between O2 and ‘3’ with the Samsung on the external aerial. The balance so far I think just favours ‘3’. The jury is still out on that, however signal reception is much better using the Connex aerial regardless of network. Vodafone still languishes in third place! Typical, as all my free minutes are on Vodafone! I won’t change contract though as when I travel abroad, which I do regularly, Vodafone is far superior! The waterways I’ve used them on so far are the River Thames, North/South Oxford, Grand Union Main Line and Leicester Line, Coventry, Ashby, River Soar, Erewash, T&M, River Trent and Bridgewater Canal. These are just my thoughts and experience with playing around with various items of equipment. I hope some may find them useful. Others may well think my ideas are ‘overkill’ and find the ‘plastic bag and yoghurt pot’ approach more than adequate for their needs. It’s ‘horses for courses’ at the end of the day. I required something more suited to my needs. Previously I have searched the forum for a ‘Bizzard’ solution but can’t seem to find one, which is truly surprising and disappointing! I would have been very interested in that, and may well have saved me a lot of effort to say nothing of a small fortune! Ken
    24 points
  16. If you are travelling down to Uxbridge, I would recommend that you forget about using marinas to refuel and instead make use of the excellent fuel boats. These are operated by real enthusiasts, the majority of them on that stretch trading under the umbrella of "Jules Fuels" after Julia Cooke who started the business but is herself I gather Semi-retired, (not that that stopped Jules from refuelling our two boats at Braunston recently!) Different boats ply different stretches, but whether you encounter Ryan, Nick, Andrew or anybody else you wll get first rate service, and a decent price. Keep them trading - they can often get to you in poor conditions, when you would not ant to be venturing out yourself. They deserve our support!
    24 points
  17. Poster A: I'm thinking about getting a narrowboat, and I was wondering- will it be ok if I do <X> thing? Poster B: What? You want to do <X>?? What a ridiculous idea! Ridiculous and stupid. You're such a newb that you dont even know how stupid and ridiculous you are. Bah. Poster C: Well we've been doing <X> for the last 5 years, and we saved a fortune on llama food- we wouldn't do it any other way. Poster B: Then you're as ridiculous and stupid as him, and its literally a miracle that you're even alive. Bah. Poster D: Now look here, I've been boating since 1825, and my old skipper made us do <X> twice every day- never did us any harm, I can tell you. Poster E: What nonsense. We've been boating since before they invented boats. We only thought about trying <X>, and the boat sank immediately. Poster F: I can guarantee if you dont do X twice a day, you will be kidnapped by aliens and probed in all sorts of places. It definitely happened to an old mate of mine on his way back from a New Years party. Poster B: Bah. Poster G: Look at the typical entitled newbie, coming here telling us he wants to do <X>. How bloody dare he. Poster H: OMG, he only wants to go and do <X>. Poster G: Look here sonny, I've been living on narrowboats since the Cretaceous period, and I never heard of anyone who did X without having major problems afterwards. But no, you know better dont you? Well you just go ahead. You do <X>. Go on. I dare you Poster I: <X> is for losers. You should try doing <Y> instead, it will be much cheaper and easier, and you wont end up on an alien mothership. Poster L : I think you'll find <X> is no longer permitted under the Official Regulatory Regulations Act, section 75 para 403 (Oct 2021 edition), since the precedent set by Squiff vs Terrapin in 1707, thus: Any boater who does <X> will be liable for a fine of twenty squillion pounds and horrible painful death by alien torture. Poster M : Well I'm not stopping doing <X>, sod what the rules say. Poster N: Well then you're no better than the rule breaking newbie, coming here posting your fancy posts, thinking you can flout the rules that we've all followed since the birth of the Universe. Poster A: Did you say Llamas? <End of thread>
    24 points
  18. Strange I read it as C&RT explaining and informing what is required and if you try to bend the rules, you only have yourself to blame when your boat is removed.
    24 points
  19. You may remember me posting a couple of weeks back about a local boat catching fire and sinking on the Southern Oxford at Enslow. The boat owner lost everything in the fire and the local boaters have been great in helping out. For my part, a mate and I raised the boat at the weekend. Two days hard graft, but it was refloated and has subsequently been taken out of the water pending a decision on its future If you’re interested, this is how it went. The basic plan of attack was to board up the windows and doors with ply, pump like mad from the cabin void and up she should come. Simple. So we set to in cutting the ply boards to the appropriate size and screwing them over the door and window apertures. An obvious issue became immediately apparent. The fire had badly distorted the superstructure and the cabin sides (especially around the windows) where no longer flat. Not a problem, stuff the gaps with rags. Eventually, we sealed the cabin (or so we thought), fired up the pumps (1 x 3” and 2 x 2”) and stood back waiting for her to bob up. After 20 minutes or so, we were making no discernable headway with regard to the level of water in the boat. We could see any flow in around the windows and stopped them up. I had been in the canal (dry suit with one leaky leg) and had sealed the sink wastes and a couple of other outlets, so where was all of the water coming from? I true British fashion, we shut the pumps down, made a brew and had a think. The water had to be getting in at low level from the front cockpit and/or the rear engine bay. Time to don the wet dry suit and get back into the water for further investigation. Due to the estimated age of the boat, our money was on that the boat had a wet bilge. This meant that water from the front cockpit would drain in to the bottom of the boat, run down the cabin bilge to the rear engine bay and get pumped out via a bilge pump. This would mean that we had some biggish holes right at the bottom of the front and rear steel bulkheads. Once in the water, I confirmed that, what I thought was the cockpit deck was actually the top of the water tank and that the wooden cockpit floor had burnt out in the fire. The rear cockpit floor wasn’t much better. Plan B was devised and, in fading light, we retired ready for the next days onslaught. Day two saw plan B mobilised in to action. It started by getting another 2” pump to increase the pumping power. The first point of attack was the bow. We reconstructed (as best we could) a new cockpit floor out of ply. This would then be covered with a large tarp’ so that as the pumps started to draw water in, the floor would sink down (with a bit of help) and the tarp’ would seal around any missing bits to stem the water flow. At the stern we boarded all around the hand rails to make a coffer dam. We then cut some tarp’s in to 4’ high strips and skirted around the stern and the sides of the boat. The boat was now pretty well wrapped up in ply and sheeting. It had to come up! We fired up the pumps again. This time, we could almost see the water level in the cabin space dropping. We’d cracked it. Every thing was going well. We knew that we had a few unaccounted for holes in the hull (exhaust, bilge pump, gas lockers) but the net effect was that the pumps were getting the water out faster than it was getting back in. The mud held on to her as long as it could but then it released its grip and the boat bobbed up in the water by about a foot. Result. We got her up to the gunnels. Success was in our grasp. It was then that the pumps started to block! There was the charred detritus of someone’s life still floating around in the cabin and it was now being drawn in to the pumps. We started to loose the in/out battle and the cabin started to fill! Prompt clearance of the suction hoses and then keeping a watchful eye on them regained our ground and eventually she was fully afloat. It was only when we stripped all of the tarps off the stern and sides of the boat that we discovered our main unknown adversary. The engine bay had two 10” x 6” ventilation holes cut in to the side of the hull. Luckily, our sheeting of the hull sides had managed to cover these holes and stemmed the inflow of water. It was only once we had got it afloat and tied up to the bank that we took a look at our achievement. There was the elation of success of a job done, but this was marred by the vision of the burnt out hull and the thought that this was once someone’s home. This was doubly so when, as we were packing everything up, the owner arrived. He was overjoyed that we’d managed to float it, but you could also sense the sadness of seeing what was his home in such a mess. I wish him well in the future and was glad to be able to do my bit to help him out. Photo's to follow in a bit
    24 points
  20. And most profuse apologies to the person who retied the grey/red/black boat near Brinklow, presumably after it came adrift while I was away last week, leaving one of their own pins to cross-pin my bow line. It's a fairly new boat to me and I hadn't got round to buying another couple of pins to supplement the mooring hardware that it was sold with. No excuses, I knew it was iffy mooring on such a shit bit of towpath, and I shouldn't have on just two lines and two pins. It was stupid of me to chance it. If you're on here and read this, can I: Give you your pin back? Offer you a beer/whisky by way of apology? Little things like these are one of the things which make the boating community so special, in my humble opinion. Thanks again.
    23 points
  21. How very arrogant of you to think you can decide whether people are allowed to be in a rush or not. People are sometimes in a rush for all sorts of reasons that you would be ignorant of. Many people have a fixed period for their trips/holidays and sometimes things transpire to upset schedules - for example we have just lost 2 days from our trip due to unnecessarily lock closures. It is also very arrogant of you to think that anyone who wants to go faster than you must be "rushing". People wan to go at different speeds, GET OVER IT. You are not the God of canal speed. By all means go at the speed you want to, but equally don't force others to go at your chosen speed. That is plain selfish. If you are so incompetent as to find allowing following boats to overtake difficult, may I suggest some tuition?
    23 points
  22. How bloody patronising!!! No wonder you piss so many people off
    22 points
  23. In case anyone is interested... Just over a week after leaving hospital with 7 days of antibiotics I am still not 100%, don't get me wrong I am not ill as such just tired and not quite right, at least I am able to do a the normal day to day stuff as long as I take my time, anyway I've been signed off for another week and hopefully that should see me right. I have been spectacularly unlucky considering how many people live, work and play around canals but it's certainly worth keeping in mind if you get a fever after contact with the water
    21 points
  24. As many of you know my 7 year old rescue GSD died unexpectedly early last month. Having tried unsuccessfully to get another rescue dog from various rehoming centres, always because they are unhappy that my garden backs onto a canal without a 6 foot plus high fence, we bought a 9 week old red fox Labrador pup. Welcome to the wonderful world of boating Sam, you have BIG pawprints to fill.
    21 points
  25. Woke is a term used in an attempt to denigrate anyone who has any empathy or sympathy with those in less favourable circumstances than oneself. It had to be invented after the term "political correctness" became correctly understood to be an attempt to slander anyone who tried to speak or behave with concern for others, rather than behaving as if the only worth any person had was equivalent to their economic function, or the advantage that could be gained from using them as a thing, rather than a person.. Such mealy mouthed euphemisms are used by those who are so ashamed of their own attitudes that they need to find incomprehensible language to cloak them in, realising that should they actually voice these views, they would be correctly subject to universal condemnation. You normally find them used on the internet by those hiding, quite understandably, behind pseudonyms.
    21 points
  26. Would it help if I drove to you tomorrow A.M. FOC and tried to help? I will need to know if you have a jump lead or a pair of them aboard. Ring 01189874285 today if you want to accept.
    21 points
  27. Using a horn at every bridge or blind bend would be, pardon me for saying it, ridiculous. The noise would be endless , and if anyone expect me to hear somebody's horn over a Lister thundering away six feet from my ears they're just daft. You just bear in mind you may meet people at these places, though you rarely do, and are prepared to whack the thing into backwards. At a sensible speed you've got all the time in the world without making a great din about it. And sometimes (usually, in fact) the correct side of the canal is in the middle, so you're bound to be fairly close to a moored boat. If you've got a problem with passing boats, you're probably moored up too close to a bridge or a bend yourself (not you personally - generic you). And sometimes, if someone is moored up in the middle of a three mile line of boats (eg Golden Nook on the Shroppie), you lose the will to live at tickover and think that anyone who is daft enough to moor in that kind of place should expect people to pass at a normal cruising speed!
    21 points
  28. Given that most people who claim HB are actually in work, I suggest that the snide comments be better aimed at those who have created a society that allows somebody to work a full week and still not be able to pay their rent.
    21 points
  29. It is with great regret that I have got something seriously wrong, and as a result falsely accused a forum member of doing something that have not done at all. I genuinely believed that words of mine that have been quoted in a forum post today were taken from a private Facebook conversation in which approximately 7 forum members took part, including GoodGurl. That conversation had already been raised by GoodGurl, and when I saw words quoted today I firmly believed were taken from it, I wrongly believed they had to have been supplied by someone taking part in it. After a private exchange of messages GoodGurl has corrected me that the words quoted today were not from that conversation, and that in fact I have said something similar, (but not identical), but in the public domain. I genuinely don't know exactly when or where I posted those words, (Facebook is claimed), but I fully acknowledge now they are not the words in the private conversation. Unfortunately the very long original conversation was back in March, and I was having great difficulty in accessing the earliest part of it via Facebook I now realise I made a grave error by not persisting until I could compare what it said to what got posted today. I have already apologised without reservation to GoodGurl in private, and suggested to her that I should also make a full public apology. This can't, of course, put right what I have got so badly wrong, but unfortunately I can offer no more in addition than trying never to make such a bad mistake in future.
    21 points
  30. Firstly I would just like to say (and not defending KANDA) Sally did make it fairly public yesterday by sending an email to a number of people. In my own case I did not feel it was my place to make it public and felt sure someone soon would make it public. One of the reasons I did not make it public is that I was not sure what to say. I have personally been working with Sally on a number of issues and have always found Sally to be a very good person to work with. On a number of issues we agreed and and certain other issues we strongly disagreed but Sally was always able to keep issues separate in my opinion a very rare quality. I think Sally will leave a legacy of always trying to do what was best when trying to work with so many different groups with so many different views an almost impossible job as whatever she did some group would not like it. Sally will be a very difficult person to replace. As we all know we all have very strong opinions and ideas and more often than not the buck stopped at Sally's desk. Sally did more than most to improve communication between CRT and Boaters and she was one of the driving forces of the meetings between boaters and CRT that have resulted in the meetings that Richard Parry now has with boaters all over the country. I wish Sally a very happy retirement and I think she can look back at over 30 years of dedicated service to the waterways, well done Sally and thank you.
    21 points
  31. I really don't know what to say. There are some people on here who really do know what they are talking about on matters "boat" related or "canal" related, or "canal history" related etc etc etc. There are a few less who know about boat electrics, but they are still here. There are some competent boat electricians here. Some very competent ones. The problem is that there are more people on here who actually don't know about boat electrics than those who do. So those who actually do know what they're talking about get shouted down by a load of "know nothings", who will give you incorrect, and possibly highly dangerous, advice. Very difficult position to be in. On matters "canal history" or "boat operation" you cannot fault this forum, but when it comes to matters technical, you have a serious dilema! There are one or two absolute buffoons on here who think they are experts, and experts they are far from being. Sorry, but that's just the reality. Be very careful who you listen to. This post probably sounds highly insulting, and in fact, it probably is highly insulting to those who don't know what theyre talking about, but those who know exactly what I mean. will undersatand that this post is not aimed at them, but at their adversaries.
    21 points
  32. Welcome to the forum. I can say this without knowing you as everyone is welcome to the forum! If you are asking about a problem, the following thoughts may be useful: There are some very good technical experts on here who are usually happy to offer advice, but they do need sufficient information to work on. After you have typed in the basic details, sit back and ask yourself, "what have I assumed they know?". For example, if you are describing an engine problem, have you said what type of engine it is? Our experts not unreasonably get tired of saying please give us the whole picture not just the crisis element, over and over again to each newcomer. Pictures are usually helpful where possible. Ok, you've communicated the problem. You will get a variety of responses. Some will just be welcoming you. Some will offer simple suggestions of the obvious - they are keen to help because they feel for you, but they don't have the technical knowledge. Some will be experts and will offer precise advice. And, rarely, somebody will respond who is technically au fait but wrong. The other experts will usually help to identify these. And some will make fun of your problem, or the solutions offered, or anything really. This is likely if you accidently drop an amusing typo into your text. This is an attempt to lighten up the forum and not aimed at you personally. Don't take it to heart, just ignore it. You will probably take some action in response to the suggestions, which doesn't completely resolve the problem. Now is the important bit. The temptation is to relay lots of new information about the problem without answering the questions raised by your helpers. This hacks off the helpers who get tired of saying "tell us about the …" repeatedly to the same poster. Don't get offended, many newcomers do and then leave the forum. Just provide the information or explain why you can't. If you are working on getting the info, say so. Finally, you will solve the problem, possibly with the help provided on the forum, possibly with 3rd party help. Please come back to the forum and let us know how you did it. We do like to know the outcomes, and sometimes the forum learns from the result. The forum is not overly judgemental and will not jump on you if it was something silly you did. We have all committed that sin on our boats at one time or another. Happy boating!
    20 points
  33. Yesterday we handed over our beautiful boat to her new owners. A very sad day as I am not ready to accept that I am no longer a boater. Regretfully, busy jobs and increasingly frail, unwell and dependent parents meant that we were not going to be able to get away on the boat much (or for long periods as we have been), and we could not justify hanging on to such an expensive luxury if we weren't going to be able to make use of it. It is not an exaggeration to say that I have had the happiest times of my life on the boat and it has renewed my love and appreciation for the UK. I know the network is not perfect, and is in need of quite a bit of TLC, but I have enjoyed every single day of my boating life - have seen the most extraordinarily beautiful scenery and made some wonderful friends. Boating has enriched my soul like nothing else ever could and I am so grateful that I had the chance to experience it. Last month I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my bowel cancer diagnosis and I hope the next decade will see me back in my true home on the water. Hubby is giving the new owners a day of cruising/helming training today and if you see NB Aventine out and about with her new owners please make them feel welcome. I just wanted to say a big thank you to all on here for everything I have learnt about boats and boating.
    20 points
  34. There seems to be a growing number of people who contribute to this site who express the view that certain canals should be closed, and maybe are a waterways equivalent of Doctor Richard Beeching. All those people who campaigned for waterways restoration schemes are having their combined voices drowned out by those who say "why bother?" as well as "close down the expensive waterways and return them to the decaying world of the disused navigation." The latter option may suit ecologists whose primary concern is the preservation of the habitats of endangered creatures. The modern reality of keeping open navigations, where repair of the infrastructure is part of the problem. Costs for staff, materials, and maintenance have been part of these equations since the time of the navigations being built. however. It is now part of the challenge to find sufficient funds to keep. the network in order. The growing interest in getting more miles of waterway back into use has been a goal of many enthusiasts. Those that gave their time to restore waterways such as the Ashton and the Caldon were part of a generation that cared and there is now another generation of those that care giving their time to help restore the Lichfield and the Montgomery. So there a battalion of those that DO bother and hopefully will continue to do so!
    20 points
  35. Corruption is a serious allegation, and on the basis of what you have said here you don't appear to be able to substantiate it. On the first point, the parking of the van in apparent breach of lease conditions is not a matter for CRT, neither is the verbal assault by a CRT employee in his own time. The former you should take up with whoever manages the roads and parking round your apartment, and the latter is a police matter. On your second point you have no idea what action CRT may (or may not) be taking against the owner of the now sunken boat. It may have been abandoned, in which case CRT could be having difficulty tracing the owner. In any event they have procedures to follow, and if the owner does not reclaim it, CRT will eventually remove it from the water. An admin charge to refund the balance of your licence is normal, and no way fraudulent. CRT incur admin costs in refunding which they wouldn't have incurred if your licence had run its term, and it is reasonable for them to recover these. If you had bought a shorter duration licence in the first place, knowing you were going to sell the boat, you would have paid a higher unit cost anyway.
    20 points
  36. I wrote this elsewhere but as the same questions pop up regularly I thought it might be an idea to post it here. I don’t intend this to be an exhaustive in-depth ‘instruction manual’ which covers all aspects of marine battery charging, there are already many web sites and books which attempt to do that. Rather, this describes, in pretty broad brush strokes, my opinion of how to approach the matter while taking into account your boating style. It’s also not written with substitute examples (like buckets for batteries) but with real products that you may have on your boat.While I’ve tried to avoid being overly technical whilst describing what is a highly technical subject, there are nevertheless mentions of volts and AmpHours here. Despite that, I’ve intended it to be reasonably light reading for those with a little knowledge of the subject yet possibly containing some nuggets of useful information for those who know the subject quite well. It's also worth pointing out that there is no such thing as 100% charged; by the very nature of its chemistry a battery can never get there. You can always squeeze just a tiny bit more in. However I will refer to 'fully charged' as meaning "as charged as practical" !Please read the couple of safety points at the end of this post. It’s more than possible that I’ve overlooked something or made errors in which case I’m sure you’ll let me know . So, here we go.Battery charging is a topic that generates almost more discussion on any boating forum than anything else. This article tries to set out the basics for keeping your batteries healthy and happy, but can only be an introduction to such a complex business. Let us first understand the problem. When sitting in the cabin with no engine or generator running, you are consuming power from your batteries. TV, radio, lighting, pumps, phone chargers etc. all use power. Now, if you cruise for a number of hours the following day then it is possible, depending on how many hours that your engine is running, that your alternator will have replenished the lost charge by the time you moor up for the evening. Then you start the cycle again.In the summer a good solar installation can take care of some or even all of your charging needs (depending on the sunshine and the size of the solar panels). In the winter solar will not achieve this. In fact you will experience days or even weeks where the solar contributes virtually nothing at all. Wind generation is of even less value.If you require extra battery charging then the solution is therefore a mains battery charger. What type, how it is used, and how it should be configured is covered in the following sections.Before we get to that, let us first understand what a modern, microprocessor controlled battery charger does. All modern battery chargers have three basic stages. Marketing departments will sometimes advertise 4, 5, or even 6 stages of charging but that is purely so they can make their charger appear superior to the competition. For a straightforward recharge of discharged batteries there are only three stages. (Equalisation or Desulphation are not a charge stage, they are a maintenance stage). So, what are these three stages?1. Bulk Stage. This is when the batteries are at their lowest SoC (State of Charge) and will 'demand' the maximum output from the charger. All chargers are categorised by their maximum current rating (20A, 40A etc) and during the Bulk Stage the current will be at this maximum while the voltage slowly rises up to the preset maximum (typically 14.4 to 14.7V, depending on battery type and internal chemistry). This stage is sometimes called "Constant Current". Note that the size of the charger (its maximum current) should be chosen to suit your usage, the size of the battery bank and the battery type. How this is arrived at is outside the scope of this post.2. Absorption Stage. The batteries have now reached a higher SoC (typically around 80-85%) and are gradually demanding less and less from the charger. The voltage remains at the preset level (typically somewhere between 14.4v to 14.8V) whilst the current slowly reduces. This stage is sometimes called "Constant Voltage". This stage should continue until the batteries are very close to 100% charged.3. Float Stage. Depending on your charger's float voltage this can be considered to be similar to the Absorption Stage inasmuch as the voltage is constant, but the voltage is now reduced to around 13.6V (again, preset according to battery type and internal chemistry) in order to treat the battery gently and to slowly bring it to a fully charged state whilst simultaneously countering self-discharge. Some chargers, however, have a much lower float voltage of only around 13.25V. If yours is one of these then float should be considered as a maintenance stage because it will not charge the battery, only keep it at its current state of charge.Self-discharge is where a charged battery will slowly lose its charge if left unattended.How a battery charger should be used and configured depends largely upon your boating style, which is discussed below.There are three main scenarios for using the batteries which will be taken in turn.If you are off-grid with no access to shoreline If you never have an opportunity to plug your boat into a shoreline and solar/wind is insufficient then you are reliant on either the engine alternator or a TravelPower or separate generator to feed an on-board charger. Whichever of these two methods you use (engine or generator), you will be limited in how long you can run it. CRT licence conditions do not permit the running of engines or generators for charging purposes outside the hours of 8 am to 8 pm and in any event, it is highly inconsiderate to spoil the peace of an evening on the cut with engine noise. Besides, why add wear to the engine and use fuel any more than is essential?Note that thanks to something called Charge Efficiency (don't worry about it, just accept this), more energy needs to be replaced when charging than you took out when discharging (by a factor of around 10-20%). It is impossible to tell from a simple volt meter when the bank is fully charged. In brief, you will need to monitor either the specific gravity (relative density) or an ammeter to know when it is safe to stop charging. This is particularly pertinent to off-grid boaters who for reasons of noise and expense of fuel do not wish to charge for hours on end when unnecessary.If using the SmartGauge to monitor your batteries, be aware that it is not as accurate when charging as discharging and therefore continuing charging for some time after it shows 100% may be advisable. If using a monitor that contains an ammeter, you need to watch the current flow into the battery bank. It will start very high during the bulk phase, then tail off during absorption. When it has either stopped reducing over a period of an hour or reached 1 - 2% of the bank's capacity, then little will be achieved by continuing charging. So for a 400 Ah bank, for example, you should aim for a "tail current" of 4 - 8 amps if it is achievable.There is however a problem with most (if not all) battery chargers. When charging with a generator and 'mains' battery charger it is very important to note that many chargers switch to float voltage much too soon. This is because the designer was imagining them being used on a never-ending household mains supply, and switching to float early treats the batteries gently at the expense of charging time. An off-grid boater needs the opposite; he needs the batteries to charge as fast as possible so that he can switch off his generator as early as possible. Ideally, an off-grid boater doesn't want the charger to ever switch to float; simply continue at absorption voltage until the tail current indicates that the bank is fully charged. Note however that this requires the boater to be vigilant. Continuous charging at the Absorption voltage once the batteries are charged will irreparably damage your batteries.Some chargers permit the user to configure the settings to a large degree, and I would advocate, where possible, that an off-grid boater should set the float voltage to be the same as the absorption voltage - somewhere in the order of 14.4V depending on the make of battery. It is important to repeat the advice that if you do this you must be vigilant and stop charging once the batteries are close to 100% SoC.Although somewhat inconvenient and requiring experience, it is possible, once charging has finished, to use an accurate voltmeter to estimate the state of charge, but only once the surface charge has been eliminated. One way of doing this would be to turn the tunnel light on for around 10 minutes. This table shows the relationship between resting voltage and charge state of a typical 12V bank:12.65V - 100%12.45V - 75%12.24V - 50%12.06V - 25%11.89V - 0%The highly accurate way to check the state of charge of individual cells is to use a hydrometer or refractometer to measure the relative density of the electrolyte but many boaters will not wish to go to those lengths and those with sealed, AGM or gell batteries will not be able to do so anyway.You should aim to fully charge the batteries daily for maximum life. If that is impossible, then every few days, certainly every week, to avoid sulphation permanently reducing the bank's capacity.If you are off-grid with occasional access to shoreline If you are able to get into a marina occasionally and plug into a shoreline, then you can give the batteries a much more thorough charging. Leaving the charger on until it goes into float mode, turning it off for a while then back on, will result in the batteries being brought to a much better state. Ideally, leave the charger on overnight.If you have configured the Float Voltage to be high as described above for off-grid boaters then it is essential that you change it back to a suitable float voltage for your batteries when connected to shore power.If you have regular access to shoreline If you regularly moor in a marina or somewhere else where you can use a shoreline, then in addition to all of the foregoing you can routinely leave the bank on float charge. Most modern chargers will go back into absorption mode from time to time to ensure that the batteries are kept in good condition.During the summer, a decent solar panel array will achieve the same effect, keeping a float level of charge across the bank, as long as your power usage is less than that which the bank is producing, but the weak UK winter sun will not be adequate for this purpose.EqualisationYes, I know it's not a 'charge mode' but I thought I'd add a little about it here anyway. Some chargers will enable you to give an equalisation charge at a much higher voltage than usual, probably above 15V for a 12 volt system. This has the effect of ensuring that all the cells in the bank have been fully charged and that as much sulphation as possible has been removed from the plates. Some warnings about equalisation: 1. Sealed, AGM and gel batteries should not normally be subject to equalisation. If you are considering doing so, take expert advice first.2. Some items of equipment in the boat may not be able to handle the high voltage and should be disconnected. The safest way is to isolate the bank before proceeding.3. Hydrogen gas will be given off during the process. The bank should be well ventilated and must never be left unattended. During equalisation, check the temperature of the batteries from time to time, say every 15 minutes. They may well become warm to the touch but serious heating is a bad sign and the process should be stopped at once. It is not unknown for batteries to boil or even explode if a cell has failed.4. The cells will need topping up with distilled water after being equalised.A couple of general bits of safety advice should be added here:1) A permanently installed charger must never use crocodile clips to connect to the battery. 2) Temporary chargers should only be connected with the input (230V mains) power turned off, and only disconnected 3 minutes after turning off the charger input power to minimise the risk of explosion from hydrogen gas generated during charging.
    20 points
  37. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  38. I mark mine by tying a narrowboat to them with thick ropes. It really helps to draw attention to the small bits of metal if you have a colourful boat, with obvious decoration on it, left near the path in the wet bit ...
    20 points
  39. Say what you like about CRT, but name one other large, national organisation you could expect to phone up and have a customer service experience like the one I had yesterday: "Hello, Canal & River Trust, how can I help?" "Is there any chance you could get hold of somebody at your Etruria yard? I think I might have left a set of keys in the shower at the service block before we left this morning." "Hmm... hold on and I'll see if I can get hold of the Area Supervisor, Alan Whitehouse, for you" [Brr brr… brr brr…] "Hello, Alan Whitehouse speaking." "Oh hi, I was just explaining that [bla bla bla]…" "I'm just at Etruria now actually... Hang on... I'm just walking round... in the shower? Yes I've got them. Where are you now?" "Barlaston, but we've only stopped for lunch really, we were hoping to head towards Stone." "That's okay, we can bridge hop. Just give me your number and I'll phone and check where you are when somebody's able to set off." Half an hour later Alan quite cheerfully hands the keys to me by my boat at Barlaston after all, explaining that he was planning to do a job down that way on Friday anyway and decided he might as well just do it then instead. Top marks I'd say. And they were already in my good books for offering to dispose of all my contaminated bilge water from Monday for me (see my earlier post) if I just left the containers out by the skip.
    20 points
  40. 20 points
  41. I've not been a member on here for long, but it rapidly became obvious that there was a hardcore of "long standing members" who regularly descended into personal abuse and wrecked the topic. Personally I don't think that is probably their intention, but I do think they lack the social skills to appreciate how repulsive others see their rantings. The trouble is though, I find these same people have a great deal of knowledge and experience which I have found extremely interesting and valuable. So I don't know what the best answer is except to encourage them to learn how to respect others who take a different view or have less knowledge than them. They have a lot to offer, but they also have a lot that's not wanted. Sort out which is which and we'll all benefit. Now watch me get slagged off for that !!!!!! Love you lots! Brian
    20 points
  42. Yes I read it - non-story the Daily Mail of the canal world. I'm also fed up with the CRT baiters in this forum. We're soon going to have a fight for the survival of the canal system and all some people want to do is pick holes whilst the whole edifice (the canals,not those running them) collapses. There you go, battle line drawn.
    19 points
  43. I totally agree, Balloon. I rarely recommend the forum to newbies anymore., I'm am sad to say. I joined in 2006. I hate hearing myself say to people not to take it personally when (not if) one or two grumpy people on CWDF come across as arrogant, dismissive or unkind. It's a handful of people, but of course they're the most vocal, and it makes the whole forum seem unapproachable. I don't understand why anyone would want to give advice to a newbie by cutting them down cruelly. That's not advising, sometimes it seems like bullying, or "you're not in my club" belittling. Utterly unhelpful, and makes all boaters seem like arseh*les. I think that If the forum had been like that when I first researched boat-buying, and i frequently came here to ask questions about everything from technical problems to boating etiquette, I would have gained the impression that a lot of canal boaters must be unpleasant people, must hate outsiders, and act superior. I could easily have decided not to want to be part of all that pomposity, not to buy a boat, and not to become part of the canal boating community. Fortunately, 15 years ago this forum felt much more welcoming and was much more representative of the open, friendly attitude of most people on the canals. And i soon met many of the old skool forum contributors in real life on my travels and at banters, and have remained firm friends ever since. In fact, i actively wanted to meet the new friends I had made online at CWDF. I wonder how many newbies don't get to experience that, because of dismissive or patronising responses to their first posts making them think: "what a bunch of tw*t's," turn around and never come back. When the forum became more politicised and so comparatively less boaty a few years ago, there was a lot of online unpleasantness and bullying publicly and in private across here. We lost a lot of previous members (especially women) who added some balance, and several of those who remained on the books, just stopped posting. (I didn't post on the forum for a long, long time. It's still a fairly rare thing for me these days). Those people will never come back. They've moved to Facebook, in all sorts of groups, fracturing the rather special CWDF mixing-pot community that once it was. And CWDF has a negative and unapproachable reputation among some Facebook groups, which is a shame. We made our bed, now we lay in it. But I do think it does this place good when someone relatively new holds a mirror up to our faults, and reminds us that we can do better for the next generation of boaters, as well as for our existing canal friends and colleagues. (Nice one, Balloon) 👏 Let's think before we speak unkindly on someone's post, especially to newbies going out on a limb to try and educate themselves. It is possible to give honest advice while still being supportive; to at least sign-post specifically to where they can find out what they need to know if it seems like a naive question; and to resist the urge to act like a keyboard warrior or, to put it plainly: to not be a scornful nobhead. 🤔
    19 points
  44. “…looking for boaters to share money saving tips” “Don’t buy a boat”
    19 points
  45. To be honest if someone can't afford a mooring and are staying in one place then they shouldn't be on a boat. We all have to comply with the very few very relaxed easy rules, I have managed full time for over 30 years. I can't afford a bugatti vayron so I don't have one. Having children has been happening since day one but today is sometimes used as some sort of specialist excuse to flout the rules. No I am not having a go but as Matty says at present we are faced with too many new liveaboards flouting too many rules rather than playing the game and staying under the radar, this in the fullness of time will ruin many peoples way of life as further rules will be weeded in. ?
    19 points
  46. Indeed I do - its come along way since I coded version 1.0 back in the early 1980s Don't forget that if data is missing then you can add it. There's long term plans to introduce "Pinch Points" but like enhanced POI (which I'm currently working on) its something that will need good data to make it work
    19 points
  47. 1. Consider if you might perhaps not prefer a glass of coke, decide against. Put the coffee in the pot, and prepare spoon, sugar and mug. 2. Put on sensibly soled shoes, climb off the boat, walk round to the front cratch, retrieve cream from the ‘cool box,’ return inside, remove sensible shoes and put slippers back on. 3. Turn on system water, attempt to fill kettle. 4. Are you sure you wouldn’t really rather have a glass of coke? 5. Put on sensibly soled shoes, climb off the boat, attach hose pipe to tap, climb onto front of boat, fill water tank, return inside, remove sensible shoes and put slippers back on. 6. Fill kettle. 7. Turn on hob, light gas, place kettle on to boil. 8. Play on the internet for ten minutes while kettle boils. 9. Glance at hob after 15 minutes when it occurs to you that the kettle has not started to whistle yet- Get up and check why there’s no flame on the gas ring. 10. Turn gas ring on and off a couple of times, thinking of the fact you’ve been smelling that ‘end of gas bottle’ smell for a few days now and wilfully ignoring it. 11. Curse gas ring, kettle, cold water, the cost of bottled gas, and your own lack of foresight at replacing the empty spare bottle yesterday when it occurred to you. 12. Bet that glass of coke’s looking pretty good right about now, no? 13. Put on sensibly soled shoes, go onto stern deck, and heave the unconnected spare but empty bottle out of locker, put on pontoon. 14. Unfold wheely trolley that’s been good for the whole winter at carrying the cassette, 25kg bags of coal and all your rubbish with room to spare, and realise right away that gas bottle is too big to fit into it. 15. Wander down pontoon to boat that always has a wheel barrow in its well deck, knock and ask to borrow it. 16. Dither for five minutes wondering if they’d mind if you borrowed it anyway as they’re clearly not in and would very likely not mind at all. 17. Can I interest you in a glass of coke? 18. Decide to err on the side of caution and leave wheelbarrow where it is, pick up empty 13kg bottle and carrydragpushcurse it the ten minute walk to the marina office. 19. Return empty gas bottle, buy new one, put it in communal usage office wheelbarrow, start trip back. 20. Curse the wheelbarrow, its forbearers, its future offspring, and whoever used it last and neglected to mention to the office that the tyre is as flat as a pancake. 21. Push Satan’s wheelbarrow the ten minute walk back to the boat. 22. Try to control facial expression when running into the owner of the aforementioned privately owned wheelbarrow who is now on her boat and merrily calls out to you “oh that one from the office is awful, you should have just taken mine!” 23. Unloaded heavy-arsed full gas bottle from Satan’s wheelbarrow, wheel Satan’s wheelbarrow back to the marina office. Walk back to boat. 24. Turn on deck light, fight heavy-arsed full gas bottle into the (above deck level) gas locker, bang head on gear lever, think again about relative merits of a glass of coke. 25. Turn open/ close dial on empty- but connected- gas bottle in order to remove it. 26. Look askew at connected valve, vaguely remember being told when shown how to change the bottle a few weeks ago that you don’t have the correct spanner for it. Remember thinking to self back in the mists of time ‘I must buy one of those’ and curse self, repeatedly and with some colour. 27. Dig in tool kit for the spanners you do have, try all three of them, Get mightily pissed off. 28. Walk to neighbouring boat, acquire loan of appropriate spanner. 29. Smile in short- lived satisfaction at comfortable fit of the correct spanner, try to turn nut. 30. Frown a little bit, vaguely remember being told that ‘something’ on the boat needs turning the opposite way to normal nuts and bolts, try both ways repeatedly without success. 31. Climb back onto boat, remove sensibly soled shoes, boot up laptop. 32. Search YouTube for video guidance of how to change a gas bottle. 33. Source eight minute clip called “how to change a gas bottle,” sit down to watch. 34. Buffering... 35. Buffering... 36. Skip through first few steps as they are all about manual handling and have feck all to do with changing a gas bottle. 37. Buffering... 38. At 7 minutes 33 seconds into the eight minute video, blink and miss five second clip where the guy disconnects the empty bottle. Rewind, watch again, be assured of correct direction to turn spanner. 39. Put sensibly soled shoes back on, climb back out to gas locker, attach spanner and give it some welly. Call self various unflattering names and resolve to work on some wrist strengthening exercises. 40. Look at clock, observe it’s ten to five. Hover at back of boat for ten minutes, wait for one of the marina fixy men who finish work at 5pm to walk past and flag them down. 41. 5.05pm, Bat eyelids at unimpressed marina fixy man who good naturedly agrees to help remove the stuck fast, impossible to remove, tighter than a duck’s arse valve release, and indeed manages to do so in under three seconds. 42. Tell marina fixy man to ‘ask another day’ when he queries in passing how you are liking living on a boat so far. 43. Finally connect up new bottle. 44. Return borrowed spanner. 45. Try to light gas ring. Lose will to live. 46. Remember turning off all the internal gas line switch thingies at the advice of the earlier YouTube video, turn them back on again. Finally ignite gas. HALLELUJAH! 47. Realise how much fecking hard work this whole procedure was and how much running around it entailed. Realise that you are actually quite dehydrated now and don’t really fancy a hot drink. 48. Get glass of coke.
    19 points
  48. 18 points
  49. A quick rundown of events, yesterday afternoon when it became obvious that we were going over we went through the moorings releasing boats and putting them on long lines, only one sank due to being chained down! We had to cut loads of lines because people insist on using crap polyprop rope which the then knot so that it cant be undone, they also have centerlines on why? the river broke its bank opposite me it was also over the locks at Rotherham so we had a very substantial current running past us. At about 2 ish in the morning we hit the top and were floating well over the bank, I had a scaffolding pole tied to the rear stantion on the boat and a step ladder at the bow, both these stopped the boat going onto the bank, at 5 ish I went out as the water was receding Carolyne a neighbour came out as well [we did this in 2007 as well] and started pushing boat of the bank back into the canal, it was freezing and to be honest foolhardy as the bank was full of debris! At about half 6 we had all the boats sorted out and retired to have a shower as we were filthy and stank [sewage station up river from us] now its a glorious day washing machine is on mug of tea and breakfast gone, and all is well in my world.
    18 points
  50. Hi Jason, I'm afraid that I missed the shenanigans when the forum was (rightly and wrongly) telling you that you must be mad. Rightly because your project was a hopeless case, and wrongly because given your circumstances it was absolutely the right thing to do to pursue the hopeless case. The reason that I missed it, is the reason that I am exempt from your restrictions on what people can say, namely that I had recently lost my Wife to Cancer after 17 years together, and wasn't following the forum as avidly as usual. Time doesn't heal. Time cannot make your life what it was before. Time can and does slowly carry away the worst of the grief, and enable you to go on with your life and to build a new life within the new reality. The point to make is that whether the hand that we are dealt in life is good or bad, it is what we have. It is the new reality, and we can only try to make the best of it. When Bev died in August 2017, this wasn't our first trip on this particular roller coaster. We'd been there before in 2010 when her son was killed in Afghanistan, and in 2000 when her first husband took his own life. Bev and I had the pleasure of owning a boat for 15 years, and making many happy memories, but the happiest memory is the last one where she overcame kidney problems for long enough to join us on one final trip to Ellesmere Port before the Cancer took hold and she had to leave part way through for what proved to be a final spell in hospital. I'm not in the same situation as you, as I have a job, I'm not ill, and whilst I don't have children of my own, I do have a stepdaughter, son-in-law and two grandsons. I count my blessings there. I also make sure that I get out of the house. Friendship won't find you. You must find it. Go looking for things that you can do out of the house. I also have every intention of continuing to boat. Bev and I enjoyed it together. It sounds like you an Paola did too for the limited time you shared it. If that is still a dream for you, then go for it. If it is a dream that isn't constrained by the timescales of a terminal prognosis, do try to do it sensibly :-) Anyway, I know that I'm not the first to offer, but if you fancy a trip out for a widowers' cruise, I'm not a million miles for SoT and I would certainly try to make you welcome for a mix of sad tales and forced merriment. Dave
    18 points
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