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  1. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  2. A different perspective. We were at the Bradley festival last weekend and I toured the workshops twice, once in the morning because the weather was foul and the workshops were dry, and once in the afternoon when my family arrived. I can't quite remember who the people running the tours were but I think they were the workshop manager and the head of lock gate manufacturing for CRT. CRT currently has 5000 lock gate leaves (each individual gate, so mitred pairs have two) and they last an average of 25yrs. They currently build around 140 a year so clearly not enough. They think they can increase productivity with the same number of staff by going to CNC manufacturing for some operations. Rounding the heel post was cited - this currently takes several hours on a rounding jig via multiple passes through a horizontal planer followed by sanding with a hand-held sander; change that to a CNC router and the job can be done in 12mins. The process of converting to CNC manufacture also results in full drawings which then only need updating when a new gate is required, rather than running the whole process again. There were various other operations which can be accelerated without changing quality and where the cost of the investment adds up. They think they can get 220 gates a year out of the same facilities with the changes they are planning. They also have requests to supply gates for other people such as the Scottish canal network, which they cannot currently meet because they can't build enough for the CRT network. If they can reach 220 they can start making small numbers commercially which generates profitable income. I hadn't realised that the gate paddles are already plastic. This saves money with no compromise on lifetime or performance. They are bringing cutting for the braces (angles and tees) in-house. The cutting equipment has become much cheaper and it allows them to make custom angles without delay or increased cost, to deal with gates where the brace is not actually at 90 degrees. There was a point where timber was cheap but labour was expensive (WW1?) and many gates were changed to solid heavy timbers right across as a series of vertical squares, bolted through, rather than frame and board construction as it took less labour. Timber is now expensive, so discussions are ongoing about which locks it is appropriate to revert to the original style as if the machining is automated it will substantially cut manufacturing costs. There is consideration of other materials, although this is more complex. Gates are being re-designed to allow changing of balance beams and heads of posts which are the most common points of failure. This can be done without removing the gate so the stoppage is minimal. Sometimes the balance beam fails a couple of years before the gate is renewed. The beams are now being re-used when that happens as they may well outlast a second gate. The metalwork below the collar is no longer being painted. The paint rubs or flakes off within three months and there is no life extension benefit. It saves about 2hrs per leaf to do this, increasing production rates for no loss of function and reduced cost of materials. None of the above will change the finances of CRT around, but the thinking is all in the right direction and I certainly did not leave with the sense that CRT staff were sitting on their hands and waiting for things to happen to them. Installation teams are making similar changes too apparently, but there is more of a challenge in achieving compliance with safety requirements there I suspect. Alec
    8 points
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  17. I would say they fell down the hole because from the outset of CRT, the strategy was to outsource as much as possible. Nearly all own plant sold off, many employees with decades of experience “retired”. Nearly everything transferred to external profit making companies who lacked employees experienced in the waterways. Unless you are pretty incompetent at running a business I can’t see how paying for someone else to do the work, and for their employers to make a profit, could be better value than doing it in house with people who know what they are doing. The whole outsourcing model routinely turns out to be a bad idea in practice, probably only benefitting some accoutant-produced documents relating to “virtual money” to make some KPIs look good in the short term. A more sensible approach would be to keep most of it in house and use contractors to deal with the demand peaks.
    6 points
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  20. Churning up the towpath into a mudpath, Little Bu****s Huh!
    6 points
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  22. So a picture of the finished article And another floating, my new moorings are about 20 yards away In the end the bottom was done in 2 tye coats as I couldn't clean everything off and then 4 counts of anti foul a black colour, the red above the waterline is an old tin that a friend had which was fast drying and hard wearing he said. We still have the upper steel works to do in cream I think with red highlights at the raised edges
    5 points
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  26. I live near to the link and have crossed it several times. I am also an avid yacht and dinghy sailor The tides and currents can be strong and the chop considerable . You’d have to be bonkers not to have a decent lifejacket and it would be stretching the saving lives at sea men and women’s patience if they found out you didn’t have one each. ( assuming they found you in time) if you want to risk frightening yourself and making an idiot of yourself feel free. Yes I know that more people die on the golf course than any other sport. Big deal if you are a glider what on earth has that got to do with the Ribble Link? sorry but I’m going to stick my neck out as I’m certain you know better and say you sound a bit of a plonker. I shouldn’t have replied to this post as I suspect you just want an argument surely if you can afford a narrow boat and run it you can afford a couple of lifejackets or even buoyancy aids. If you really are poor there are plenty of cheap ones on EBay. For the record this will be my only post on this thread
    5 points
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  33. On the subject of glitzy boats, my history was that I have been canal boating on and off since I was about 10. But until recently it was always in someone else’s boat, either my school chum’s family’s 2 narrowboats or hire boats. When we decided to buy a boat in 2010 I found it very hard to work out who to buy from. I was accustomed to the boats we had borrowed but didn’t really understand what distinguished a quality boat from a crap one. We went to crick and I rather liked the Orchard Marine offering, nice granite worktops and other sparkly things at a good price. We ended up visiting their workshops but were fairly horrified by the quality of the steelwork, which you could only really see when it was a bare shell. And everything under the glossy surface was flimsy, timber looking like it came from B&Q, MDF units etc. Fortunately we saw the light in time (literally, through a hole in the welding) and bought from a quality builder instead, who was not that much more expensive for a vastly better product. No sparkly granite worktops though! So my point is don’t be taken in by a glossy fit out, look for the quality of the build under the surface.
    5 points
  34. If you listen to everyone on here about builders and boats, your brain will be scrambled and you’ll never buy a boat. Collingwood/Liverpool are the biggest builders on the system. The people who have commented so far have probably never owned one and one has never had a Narrowboat before, so hardly in a position to be experts, unless they’ve visited all the builders in the country and seen behind their builds. The majority of boat builders/fitters do not build their own shells, so they too could get a good or a bad shell depending on the shell builder chosen. Collingwood do build the cheaper end of the market and there’s many happy owners and their boats sell on the used market well. It’s like everything in life you’ll get what you pay for. Look at Oakhams, Crick show winners, people saying how lovely their boats are, £200K plus. I hear the opposite through the trade. Shells imported from China in two halves, welded together and poured concrete ballast, lots of unhappy customers. Collingwood don’t do this. They build from start to finished boat. Yes there will be fettling work after the build but this is common with all builders, be it a £150k boat or a £350K boat. If you like the boat you saw and can work with the builder and are happy with them, the boat, the fitout and ultimately what you’re paying, then it could be the boat for you. Or you could spend stupid money for the same style boat and if your life plans change and you decided to sell it in a few years you could be left with a huge loss in value. Only yous can decide. Good luck👍
    5 points
  35. Sticking to provable facts and ignoring whitewash comments, some of which sound spiteful. C&RT is not a Housing Society. Buying a licence for your boat does not entitle you to live on your boat 365/24. The original boat people, although their boats were registered for domicile had to live away from their boats for a week every year. If you own a caravan, you can't just go and live in it without impunity. Living on a boat without having an additional address is very close to being a vagrant, someone without a fixed abode. If your issues are financial, health, child welfare etc. then Social Services and Welfare organisations are there to turn to (as hopeless as they may be) but not C&RT.
    5 points
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  38. Sunset last night at Crickhealth - as far as we could go on the Montgomery Canal. An end to the longest day of year.
    4 points
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  43. O well I have no need to duck I just don’t like getting dragged down silly rabbit holes. I sailed in the Falmouth Classics this weekend During a steady F 4/5 on Saturday there was a 15 minute squall and a Falmouth Working boat filled with water and sank like a stone. All 4 crews life jackets inflated and they were ok. Other boats were dismasted.. There have been a number of helicopter accidents in the North Sea. I was a Semi Submersible Rig Roughneck and was glad of the immersion suit and lifejacket even if in my day there was no training in their use The Ribble Link was built and is operated by the “Nanny State”. If you had chose to abuse it and have an accident it could well be closed or its operation restricted or the very helpful CRT wallas get in trouble so I am glad you have seen sense. Enjoy it. Nobody else will laugh at you for wearing it. If you are travelling in July I may well see you going in the opposite direction. Nick I do take the Link seriously as do most people who cross it
    4 points
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  45. The River Douglas is very fast flowing when you go out at Tarleton and the River Ribble is not quite so fast but a lot bigger and I presume deeper than the Trent or Severn. I certainly wouldn't do the link without a life jacket. As Matty says, a failed engine in the middle of the Ribble and you are likely to end up out at sea On the way back, when you go out onto the Ribble there is a strong current driving you towards Preston and a failed engine here would see you pushed swiftly up stream. When we did it, all the other boats were swept ( with engines at full power) quite a distance up stream before they managed to turn across the flow. A wee bit of a boast here, Iain went out and did a perfect turn
    4 points
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  50. Im not sure if this is allowed or if i need to start a new thread but its been ages and thought id do a update of the boat and its progress, as its as good as done now. i had some rather negative feedback regarding the bath on a 34foot ( thats a point i thought it was 30 foot and its not its 34 haha) buuuuuuut bath is installed and fits well it is a small bath admittedly ( only a 4 foot with seat bit in it) and the water tank storage worked out really well too, i was hoping for 1000 litres but had to settle with 900 litre water bladder in a ply box thats been fiber glassed and lined with carpet underlay and carpet. i was still concerned about condensation (put it down to my job) but to remedy this i have a built in dehumidifier built into a cubord in the bathroom that can reach under the floors behind and under all the cuboards as well as around and in the water tank box via vents. and a big "worst case senario bilge pump" granted its just run when plugged in or running on a jenny but the pump works from the 12v system. i decided againced the under floor storage too due to the pain in the ass it would have been to do that through stone flags and the advice on here but have got 12 brass vents on the floor for checking under the floor and venting under the floor again due to my fear of damp and condensation i decided not to put balast under the floors and rather lay a flag stone floor in the boat so the floor now is both the balast and the floor itself. was brought up in a house with flags, lovley and cool in summer and once warm they hold the heat in the winter. the windows i went with are double glazed upvc ( i know hated by the traditionalists) but they are warm....... maybe too warm but no condensation and the windows are easily buy passed when walking down the gunnels and if the window pane breaks its a £40 fix to change the glass, seems like a no brainer to me. and the eyebrows welded over the tops and down the sided are amazing!!! they work really well but again probally not for the traditionalist i also decided againced the skylights in the end, the boats roof is too small and didnt want to loose all that roof smace for skylights when i may do solar panels. the de rust was a nightmare but a weirdly enjoyable one in the end inside was re rusted vaktaned red oxideded and 3 coats of cromar acryl poly roof fix gear we use on the roofs. outside was de rusted and back to metal. the hull had 3 epoxy primer and about 6 jotun, the top has been 2 epoxy primer and about 4 epoxy top coat. there was a hell of alot of welding, and i learnt that you can get sunburn from a welder hahah....... learnt the hard way. admittedly it has taken longer than expected mainly due to having to work away alot, but it has been fun and im not in the market to buy another boat in a similar condition if not worse to play with now but bigger. But i can say i have honestly enjoyed every minit so far, dispite the horific welding sun burn loosing my thumb in a table saw doing the windows, being coverd in epoxy paint and chemical burns. but all in all thankyou for all the helpfull comments they did help, i did take notice and i really appreciate the help. to all the less than helpfull comments................... i pulled it off, and im doing another one. hahahah will upload photos at some point ......... hopfully sooner than a year for a update this time too. and sorry for the spelling. hahahhaa
    4 points
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