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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  6. After 30 years as a Police officer he would have a decent pension, so more then likely doing it voluntary just to get out the house and keep active and not for the money as HMRC quickly take it off you when you make extra. I don’t know why people are going on about PAYE or Employee, does it make any difference to the senseless murder of a decant man?
    18 points
  7. Point of Order.... Don't be too hard on these expensive local corner shops. They will be buying their stock at virtually the same price as the likes of Tesco et al flog it direct to the general public, and your perceived overprice will be their gross profit margin. If you begrudge them scratching a living by adding 10p to the price of their beans or 70p to a packet of bacon, then go directly to a Tesco superstore and buy it there. Yes I know that is inconvenient or impossible much of the time, and therein lies the value of overpriced corner shops. Rant over
    17 points
  8. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  9. Having to drop in and out of gear is ridiculous. Any boat should go fine at 2mph and I see no reason to go much slower past boats unless someone is actually in the process of tying up or, like here on the Caldon, the canal is barely two boats wide. Or it's six in the morning & I'm trying to be quiet, though I do wonder if they'd rather I went quicker and got further away faster... And if someone's permanently moored in the middle of a mile or two of linear moorings, tough. Set springs or buy a bungalow.
    16 points
  10. Yes, Jo is now safely at the boatyard. Massive thanks to @Chagall who very kindly lent me a boat to just tow Jo without having to mess about with a temporary rudder. And for the infinite coffee supply, the breakfast and most of all the company. It was a real pleasure to meet you in person.
    15 points
  11. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  12. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  13. I've been a member for years now. I've had one callout when the bloke just shrugged and walked away, another who did his best but failed to sort a broken fuel pipe, one who replaced a bust starter, another who sorted out a gearbox problem in half an hour. On top of that, they've contributed £2000 to gearbox repairs and their service engineer had a fallout with the owner of my mooring site which got RCR banned from the farm and for which they never apologised. So a mixed bunch, but as a person of a certain age and inflexibility with no expertise in engines, I wouldn't be without them as a safety net. When disaster strikes, panic sets in and an expert on the end of a phone call is very reassuring. And to know they'll always get you to a boatyard if necessary is also handy. And to slag off a new poster, who in good faith put a useful report on here, as some members have done, is a disgrace and they should be ashamed of themselves. Sadly, it's typical of some, but luckily not the majority.
    15 points
  14. Actually Arthur, you probably make good sense. We have both realised we were a bit out of order Saturday night, blame lockdown boredom, wine, parent illness problems etc, it all builds up and occasionally you need a blow out. Unfortunately, it happened and it wasnt pretty. Our apologies to the boat opposite for having to move.
    15 points
  15. Easy, focus on canals, navigation, boats, wildlife and history like wot you should, forget about wellbeens and cycle racing. "there are 1000's of miles of roads for cycle racing, but only one canal system, and that was built for boats, look after it" Watching a boat going through a lock makes people feel well, jumping out of the way of an abusive cyclist does not.
    14 points
  16. Col, tie your boat up properly, sit back and enjoy the weather.
    14 points
  17. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  18. As a single-hander- and a rather lazy one- I have become quite shameless in cajoling both civilians and other boaters into helping at locks. Anybody standing nearby and watching is generally given my most charming smile (which to be fair is still not very charming. I start with a wave, and an uber-friendly "Hello there! Yes, nice day/awful day <insert banal weather comment as appropriate>" If they are civilians and they start asking questions, their fate is sealed. After a few minutes of small talk, I start my pitch: "You know, I hate to be a bother, but I don't suppose I could ask a bit of a favour? The thing is that when I drive the boat out, I normally have to tie it up over there, and come back to close these gates. Yes I know, dreadful system... Cant think how it caught on... Now if only there was somebody around who could perhaps close these gates for me, I could just drive away..." At this point I look wistfully back and forth along the canal, as if searching for assistants. "Yes, all on my own. Yes, I know. It's quite tragic really... Oh, you'll close them for me? How very kind of you! Oh, and you're walking along to the next lock, you say? Well, that's very lucky, I must say...." By a mixture of bombast, slick sales talk, and a downcast expression that Gollum would be proud of, I usually secure the services of a gate-closer, as a minimum. On occasion I will have a whole team of gongoozlers working away with windlasses under my supervision, all as keen as mustard. My greatest success came just a few weeks ago, when a group of about 40 walkers were roped into helping me down through the lock at middlewich, where it joins the T+M. The ringleader was an outspoken gentleman of uncertain vintage, who clearly fancied himself to be the group comedian. He became a tad unruly, but I kept the mob in check and sailed through the lock with the minimum of effort- which as any lazy boater knows, is what its all about. A bit later on, as luck would have it, one of the gates on the big double lock wouldn't close after I went through it. The first family group of gongoozlers I roped in were unable to close it, despite some very vigorous efforts. I struggled to hide my disgust at this poor show, and the subsequent treason of leaving me alone with a jammed lock gate. There were only a few hours of light left, and I needed to make progress, but I couldn't leave an open gate. I was trying to look up the CRT phone number when who should happen by, but the 40-strong gaggle of hikers from earlier on. I waved them down as one might a cab, explained the problem, and stressed that I needed the strongest and most able-bodied of them for this job. These were specimens of advanced years, it must be said- but all were hale and hearty, and in not time the gate was shut, and I was on my way again. The price of their help was a fair bit of ribbing about them being my ground crew, and them needing to follow me around the canal system. I took their banter with typical good grace (i.e. secretly hoping that one or two of the louder and more jovial characters might fall in). I am starting to view civilians as essentially an unpaid volunteer force, who just don't realise it yet.
    13 points
  19. Many forum members will remember Alan, a magnificent example of the Scottish race who came to join us on the canals in 2013 and brought laughter, fun and good banter along with a willingness to learn as much as he could whilst guffawing at his and everyone elses mistakes. He didnt just do the canals, he also travelled the world with his love from America, Dona, sending updates from places that are well outside the Continuous Cruising guidelines! He was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, but was hitting it head on, however, yesterday he passed away suddenly even though all stops were pulled out to keep him from visiting somewhere new. Alan was a massively good friend, one of those that you dont have to see every week, a year could pass, meet up and it was like you hadn't been apart for more than a couple of days. His enthusiasm for trying new things and going it alone in 2012 after his wife passed away were unboundless, but carefully investigated as well. He also gave a home on the boat to the mad, boisterous collie James, who certainly made Alan's fitness regime start up again. Alan will be sadly missed, warmly remembered, and I'm damn sure an few glasses of some decent malt will be downed in his memory if a banter ever happens again.
    13 points
  20. "Woke", "politically correct", "playing the race card", "white lives matter".... all examples of what's sometimes called "playing the shell game". It allows people to dismiss the serious concerns of others about the systematic racism, sexism, homophobia etc that other people encounter in their day-to-day lives. Anybody who expresses empathy with the less fortunate or the oppressed; anybody who expresses concern with the state of the world, whether it be about climate, refugees, poverty etc; anybody who speaks up for the downtrodden, marginalised, dispossessed and exploited can be dismissed and their concerns ignored by using one of the above phrases.
    13 points
  21. Can i just say... What a great site this is, I've been a member for a few years now. Any questions or worries re boating are answered with enthusiasm and quickly too. Theres nothing that can't be addressed here. Stark contrast to a certain boat owners club I've just joined 'at cost' ;-( Thank you Canal World 😅
    13 points
  22. To answer your question, I think it is the 'state of mind' of the boater that differs. Supposed "genuine boaters" like boats and boating, and live aboard specifically because they like boats and boating. People who are perceived as not "genuine boaters" are those who bought a boat because they see it as accommodation cheaper than a house or flat, who avoid boating whenever possible, who prefer to stay put in one place in perpetuity, and who only move their boat under duress.
    13 points
  23. Everywhere I go I see piles and piles of ash dumped along the hedgerow, Even in Braunston, where the towpath is narrow in places, lazy itinerant boaters dump their ash. Ash is two of three things. If its coal based ash it is TOXIC waste! and fly-tipping. Nothing grows through it. If it is wood based ash it is rubbish and constitutes fly-tipping. Yes I know wood ash is good for the garden and in your own garden you can do what you like. Either way all ash should be disposed of properly, that is to say cooled, bagged, and binned. Last Sunday as we walked across the main road bridge, in Braunston to the car, we saw flames and palls of smoke coming out of the hedgerow at the back of Vegas Racing. This will be the third time I have witnessed a fire in that short line of trees, and a lazy itinerant boater is to blame. I am sure it has happened more times than that. Fortunately another boater was arriving on the scene to deal with it. I wonder how many small creatures get baked alive in these circumstances. There are those who suggest putting it in the puddles on the tow path, stupid idea, fine ash and water mixed together makes gooey sludge! What is so hard about bagging it an binning it? There is no reason to dump your ash. When using coal, at the end of a 25 kg bag of coal, you have an empty bag and its FREE! Put your ash in that! You will bin the bags anyway. Now I know some here will talk about hot ash in plastic bags and they are almost right, but you can alleviate that problem. Try one of these Clarke CHT848 12 Litre Stainless Steel Bucket With Lid - Machine Mart - Machine Mart £19.19 is nice shiney Stainless Steel and will last for ever, ( there is a 16 litre size) If you cant afford one of these you could try one of these Draper 12L Galvanised Steel Bucket - Machine Mart - Machine Mart £7.98. it's Galvanised so not so shiney, and should last 6/7 years or more. I have one on my roof. It stands on an old piece or Hexboard to stop it damaging the paint work. I burn solid fuel from September to May so there is always a plentiful supply of bags. Place ash into the bucket to cool and when cool empty into the plastic bag. If you are not sure its cool put some water in it, it will soon tell you. (mind your eyes). Fly-tipping is a despicable thing to do. It damages the environment. and kills wildlife. We as boaters should be looking after the environment we live in not burning it down! Word of warning, if you do get a bucket please do not store hot ash on your front/rear decks. Until the heat is gone the ashes will still be producing Carbon gasses that could get in through your ventilators. I leave mine on the tow path!
    13 points
  24. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  25. Unless you have been on a different planet to the rest of us, over 100k UK human beings have now lost their lives to this horrible virus. On a daily basis, my sister watches many people die in front of her(QEII Birmigham), holds their hands and talks to them as their relatives cant come near. She talks to me when she can, when she feels able to, and cries because people will not follow the rules or guidance. Does this make me angry, yes, more careful , yes. You say..Going to lengths to justify their movements...and even then you question why they went up Napton for water... STAY HOME-SAVE LIVES-PROTECT THE NHS That's all it was for 99% of people during the first lockdown. ....not working out how far they could cruise knowing that MrPlod wouldnt have a car on the corner of the canal to turn them back. Even on 23rd May, this was the official guidance.. Key boating milestones This week you can: Undertake short boating trips only– avoiding using locks and any staff-operated structures if possible If you also remember, most media stopped along with all sport, including Countryfile outside broadcasts, Eastenders filming, even the bloody Archers...until safe practices were put in place and Government restrictions were softened. This thread had died until the Foxes complained to the Forum that apparently there were inaccuracies and falsehoods. With your kids both being in the NHS, I cant understand your attitude, other than you being the permanent devils advocate you love to be. The Covid caught up with the Foxes eventually hospitalising one , did they deserve it, NO, nobody deserved it, but how many people caught it from them on the towpaths local shops and maybe boatyards whilst they were moving before they knew they had it??? How many people could they have transferred it to up and down the canal if they had it asymptomatically the first lockdown??? Sorry for a bit of a rant, but yes, this IS about Covid19 and 2 Vloggers that just dont get it, even after having suffered it. https://twitter.com/BylineTV/status/1354124849053052930?s=20
    13 points
  26. The OP is the highest bidder on the boats eBay listing and hasn't seen it yet. I won't be taking any money off anyone until they have viewed the boat and understand the works required. I quite enjoy sleeping at night... 😉
    12 points
  27. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  28. I suspect most old boaters with many years experience would not see a crisis at all but be impressed by how well maintained the canals are. Last summer we went from the Rochdale summit to Lechlade and back. We had two minor delays on the South Oxford whilst CRT came to sort out lock problems, and a really grim couple of days coming up the Rochdale due to lack of water. Only once did I have to dive into my toolbox (to get through a stubborn swingbridge). Its 200 years old, its not a theme park (yet), its full of boaters who are no longer self sufficient and have unrealistic expectations of customer service, it could be much better, but it works.
    12 points
  29. Scruffy boats are one thing, but when the scruffiness spills onto the towpath it is unacceptable. The same scruffiness often goes hand- in-hand with breaches of the rules and antisocial behaviour. It's hardly surprising that this creates resentment from not only the general public but responsible boaters too.
    12 points
  30. Not quite, the owner has owned the boat for 8 years, she has known that it is in need of hull works for some time and her move to land has prompted her to sell the boat. With this in mind she approached me about doing the works on the boat to get it ready for sale. I suggested she had the boat surveyed to understand the extent of the works required, which she did. The works needed are extensive and I advised the owner that the cost would be in the region of £12-15k. Based on this she made to the decision to sell. Both the owner and I have tried to be as upfront and honest about the condition of the boat as we can, which is why we have made the full hull survey available online so that potential purchasers can make a decision with a clear idea of what works are needed.
    12 points
  31. Did you actually read this post before you pressed “submit reply”? Whilst I will freely admit Lady G and I have frequently seen opposite sides of an argument, posting such a negative post to a female of a certain age, alone, singlehanded, with a broken boat (which is her home) is beyond the pale. If she was stressed, frightened and not sure where to turn this could have tipped her over the edge. I hope you’re proud of yourself. Alternatively you could apologise and offer some advice.
    12 points
  32. Maybe they could be even more radical and mothball London and transfer some of the resources to the Rochdale and Huddersfield.
    12 points
  33. Most people on this forum appear to have voted, several times, for a type of government that is committed to low taxes and a small state. As a result, the once nationalised waterways have in effect been privatised and government support is diminishing every year with the aim of getting it to zero (unlikely). There is no profit, not even a social profit, in maintaining navigation for a few well off individuals so they can have a couple of weeks playing on a boat. There is a social argument for recreational use for fifty times the number of runners, walkers, fishermen and a green argument for maintaining it for cyclists. You get what you pay for, you've got your boat, you've obviously managed to navigate the Leicester chunk, even if you whinge about it. Bits of the system are three hundred years old. Let's see what state you're in after that time...
    12 points
  34. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  35. Dear LadyG, I have this morning collared the previous owner of your boat, who by the way is one of the kindest most helpful gents in the marina. First of all I asked him about the bow batteries. They used to drive the bow thruster but when the bow thruster was removed they were connected to the inverter situated by them, and cabin 12v circuits, and could also be charged from the stern with solar and engine. There was a fuse adjacent to the bow batteries and also an isolator. There was also a small mains charger there as well. There are hefty welding cables going from the stern to the bow for charging those bow batteries. There is also a massive earth cable ringing the entire cabin to "t" into if needed (his words). He also had a small 300watt inverter to just run the telly to save using the big inverter and so saving power. There was a voltage meter up by the bow batteries. In the galley somewhere near the fridge was a white unit and in it was an automatic switching relay. As soon as you unplugged shore power the fridge was on 12v cabin batteries. When on shore power it powered the fridge without using the 12v batteries. That way the fridge didn't use the cabin batteries when on land-line. Now the stern. You have mentioned 3 isolators in a line. 1 - Engine Starter Battery. 2 - Domestic Batteries 3 - Bow Batteries ALL batteries could be charged via solar or engine if necessary by using the isolators. Or prioritising the charging of the different batteries using the isolators if necessary. Once again there are hefty cables going from stern to bow for charging. By the way he said everything was labelled. That's about as much as I can remember. It is unfortunate that you couldn't get a better, more direct explanation from him when you were both living in the marina. I am aware that you have had umpteen electricians on the boat so alot of this info might be a waste of time. Hope this helps. Joe
    12 points
  36. A little late but we have made it so that users with less than 10 posts can't send PMs at least for now. Can't be having this as not only is it unwanted from a user perspective, it also has implications on the site as a whole. Appreciate the mods have done a great job keeping on top of this as always. Just as a FYI though - if enough people report a spammer, the forum system will take corrective action automatically, in most cases. Obviously we can't give full details as to how this works exactly but please bear this in mind. That said, the risk of this attack happening again in this particular form is now reduced. Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this
    12 points
  37. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  38. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  39. What is needed now is a movable width restriction at the A45 bridge just north of Braunston Junction, which is only unlocked when a wide boat passage is scheduled.
    12 points
  40. Having completed the Black Country Ring over a two-week period in early October, I thought it might be helpful to post some reflections on our trip for the benefit of others thinking of narrow boating but lacking any experience. I have boated most of my adult life, almost all coastal or ocean sailing and power boating. We hired our boat, Leo II, from Anglo Welsh in Great Hayward. The boat was spotlessly clean and well equipped. They mistook my boating experience for the ability to handle a 62 ft narrow Boat! I was OK going forward, but reversing was a challenge with our boat. I would strongly suggest that you allow the hire company folks to walk you through the whole going backwards (off at tangent: I quickly realized that using nautical terms like going astern drew disapproving looks from other boaters … narrow boating terms are more akin to a car than a sea going boat!). I knew I needed advice, so one day in, I asked an experienced full-time cruising boater for advice: he told me to get the boat going backwards, and once under way, move the tiller as if going forward and goose the throttle in forward gear briskly in a short bursts: this will move the bow in the desired direction! Repeat as often as needed! He did add that he had owned a boat for 20+ years and still had the odd difficult reverse that tripped him up. I planned the trip in advance so I knew roughly where we would be most nights. The two primary sources of information that I used were CanalPlanAC (what a superb tool! Give generously if you use this free resource), and Waterway Routes maps (not charts!). Since the maps are PDFs I was able to print the full colour pages that I needed on A3 paper and had them laminated back-to-back. I used the maps all the time! Once underway, I also used Open Canal Map app on my iPhone. Another great tool for confirming exactly where you are at any time. We had planned to get a Tesco delivery to the boatyard but left it too late to get a slot. Luckily, our first stop in Rugeley was very close to a big Tesco’s. Book your slot 3 weeks in advance! When planning our stops, I used Google maps to ensure that there were nearby pubs/restaurants and if possible, a supermarket. We mostly ate out for dinner, apart from two nights on board. I used CanalWorld extensively to work out safe moorings. If you search on the area you plan to stop, you will find very good advice on safe moorings. Rugeley was very busy and we ended up mooring south of the visitor moorings on the bank with pins. Since we were on our way to Gas Street basin in Birmingham, I was very conscious that we needed a safe mooring before we tackled the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal flights (13 + 11). I came across a post that mentioned Star City CRT 24-hour moorings: that meant a half mile reverse from Salford Junction on the Grand Union to the moorings. Thankfully, there was no boat traffic and with help from my first mate (daughter) on the tow path with the centre line, we pulled off our marathon reverse. The mooring was clean and safe, and could accommodate 2 or 3 boats. Access to the restaurants in Star City was via a CRT gate. I highly recommend this mooring! We found a 48-hour mooring in Gas Street Basin. The first night was very quiet, but since we were outside a night club that opened on Fridays from 8:00PM to 2AM, we moved to the moorings on the BCN near the Lego Centre. Both moorings were very quiet at night, although the early morning traffic on the BCN did rock the boat a lot! (Must have been hire boaters who never slow down for moored boats!) Our next stop was at the Black Country Museum. There are a couple of 24-hour moorings inside the CRT gated area, but it was busy, so we moored on the 24-hour mooring back along the canal near a park. Once again, quiet and safe. It was too much to try and complete the Wolverhampton flight (21 locks) after leaving the BCM, so we moored in the centre of Wolverhampton at the CRT 24-hr moorings. I was very nervous about mooring here, but a couple of solo full-time cruisers were moored nearby and they said it was generally OK on week nights, and it was! Once we cleared the Wolverhampton flight, our return journey was very leisurely, and the Staffs and Worcs is a lot quieter than the T&M. We stopped at Autherley Junction, Gailey and Penkridge. All very safe and near good pubs and food. I’ll finish with an anecdote: although Brits, we live in North Carolina now, and we have become used to US style central heating, which is on 24 hours a day! The boat was equipped with a gas fired central heating, but without a thermostat: control being the adjustable vales on each radiator. We would leave the heating on once we moored through the night with the valves turned down … we burned through our Calor gas very quickly, and so went back to just wrapping up warmly each night! Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend to others, but bear in mind, narrow boating can be hard work. There are a lot of locks on the way to, and from, Birmingham, so you need a fit crew to handle all the work. Luckily, I had two able helpers: wife and adult daughter!
    11 points
  41. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  42. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  43. The biggest issue is that with the slow speed that boats can travel on the inland waterways you can't get far enough away while they are at school to guarantee that the children won't find you again.
    11 points
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  45. Hi Debbie. I am from the region, currently live aboard and am on the Ouse. However I only bought the boat last year with no family history of living on boats, and will be travelling to other parts of the country soon, so I'm not sure I'm exactly the sort of person you're looking to interview. Some relevant background detail to hopefully help your article Most of the UK's canal network was built specifically for carrying goods directly between industrial regions, which was undertaken by liveaboard boaters/bargees. In East Anglia, however it' mostly natural rivers (slightly altered for navigation as well as flood control) and drainage channels, so boat and barge traffic was never as important to it as other canals and it probably never had as many working boaters. Northampton is close to some of the most historically important canal routes, but getting there by boat from Bedford or St Neots is a journey of over 150 miles along winding rivers via Ely, Downham Market and Peterborough taking several days, instead of 30 miles up the road! The Norfolk Broads are connected only by sea. Related local issues for boaters are: - Unlike most of the UK's canal network, there is no automatic right to moor nearly anywhere along a towpath. The rivers and Middle Level are lined mostly by private land, and there are only a few designated mooring spots where itinerant travellers (and the many people taking their boat out of the marina for the weekend) have the right to moor. Also, the banks simply aren't as easy to moor up against, and there are fewer facilities like water points outside privately-run marinas. - The Cambridgeshire rivers are maintained by three different organizations (the Environment Agency, the Middle Level Commission and the Cam Conservancy) instead of the Canal and River Trust that maintains most of the UK's canal network. Each has their own rules and licenses, and the licensing situations have changed recently in ways which are complicated but basically increase costs for many boaters inside and visiting boaters outside the region (other people understand and are passionate about these details more than me!) - The rivers and Middle Levels are also much more involved in flood defence than most canals, and often aren't actually safe to navigate after heavy rainfall. - the traditional style of narrowboat common across most of the UK is not actually native to this region except parts of Northamptonshire (although people actually living aboard are likely to prefer modern variants of this design to the ubiquitous white plastic leisure cruiser) I suspect this will mean that finding multigenerational liveaboards who move around mostly or exclusively in this region more difficult, although obviously the river is very popular with leisure boaters and many people have in more recent decades chosen to live in Cambridgeshire marinas. The Great Ouse Boaters Association - goba.org.uk - might be able to help you too, Some more general points about boaters - although cost is often cited as a reason for living in boats, it's a bit of a myth that it's a cheap lifestyle. If you want to live somewhere expensive like Cambridge your only real option on a boat is join a years-long waiting list for very expensive rented moorings. Marina berths elsewhere might be more available and affordable, but once you've added maintenance/licence costs not necessarily cheaper overall than renting a [bigger] flat in say Peterborough. Moving around saves marina costs but has rules that you actually have to keep moving and not keep going back to the same place which are easier to follow in much of the rest of the country - Most people choose the nomadic lifestyle as an interesting way to spend their life rather than because of family history. Most boaters make a choice to live this way in their adult lives, without any background of itinerant travelling like gypsies or circus folk. Remote working and retirement obviously makes this easier, and more and more people are doing it everywhere - we're vastly outnumbered by the leisure boaters enjoying the sun on their boats or paddleboards at the moment, especially in Cambs Also, parts of the Cambridgeshire waterways are very nice indeed. Happy to answer further questions and chat if you want to message me (you can even visit me if you like- I'll probably be in St Neots for the next few days)
    11 points
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  48. That adds a new dimension to the question 'How much crap can you store on the roof?' Not only that, you will need to date stamp it with a best after date.
    11 points
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