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Everything posted by DandV

  1. Boat Lease / Hire?

    Whilst there might be some Arthur Daley long term private hire deals about, they come with considerable risk to all parties. Most advice to all would be avoid. When ever you buy a boat you must also budget on selling it again some time later with the considerable work, and generally fees that implies. Brokers fees are typically 4-6% of the sales price with VAT additional, say another 1%. A significant expense if over a short period. The only creative way I have heard of of bypassing this expense for a defined short / medium term boating experience is a privately arranged, buy, buy back arrangement (which can include vendor financing) Thousands of Non EU residents use such a scheme to get new cars from Renault and Peugeot complete with red french tourist plates to tour Europe each year for up to six months. (the money is made in that such cars avoid VAT) The legal agreement and insurance are comprehensive. We have heard of one Antipodean couple who had a narrowboat for two summers using a buy, buy back agreement that seemed to work for both parties. Boating is never cheap and it can be seriously expensive. That said we had an absolutely wonderful five summer six months narrowboating and we could have easily spent a lot more money and had a lot less fun. Don
  2. DandV

  3. Anyhow, it's Happy Christmas to you all

    Merry Christmas all and Matty and Kathie. We have a thirteen hour head start on you here in Auckland where it is currently 24degC. Still though trying to fill the void next northern summer, our winter, now we have sold our beloved canal boat. Don and Val
  4. Buying a new boat

    When I was involved in underground steel fuel system storage it was well documented that in a mixed system of old and new tanks that the new tanks would fail first. Something in the steel aging process made the old steel more anodic (or was it cathodic) so the new tanks ended up being sacrificial anodes to protect the old. Don
  5. NB

    Agreed. A dictionary is not inclusive of all usage Conversely, it is difficult to argue that, a significant type of English flat-bottomed boats for built for carrying freight, typically on canals and rivers, either under their own power or towed by another require a special exclusion from the barge definition. Don
  6. NB

    I think some enthusiasts can get overly precious on "correct" terminology The first ship I was on was the TEV Rangitira (Turbo Electric Vessel). The second the GMV Aramoana (Government Motor Vessel). I came to England on the RHMS Britanis) Royal Hellenic Mail Ship. NB seems a good way to designate barges built specifically to operate on the narrow canals of England, and the new recreational boats based descended from them. And yes, working narrowboats are barges, as defined in the Oxford Dictionary A flat-bottomed boat for carrying freight, typically on canals and rivers, either under its own power or towed by another. Don
  7. Last Sunday it was our last trip on Whio. A few hundred yards down to Rugby Boats. This Sunday an Auckland Harbour race on Waitangi. A restored 1894 built gaff rigged racing cutter.
  8. March of the Wide Beams

    Yeh Obesety is normally justified as comfort over functionality
  9. March of the Wide Beams

    Obese boats marching around aren't great. But just floating around, they're ok. Still don't look any good.
  10. In 2009 Val had her first experiences narrowboating, the first on a hire boat from Foxhangers to Bristol return and the second with friends on their own boat, Whio. We went from Cambridge to Littleport via Judes Ferry on the River Lark. On this trip Val declared that a boat like this, was where she was meant to be, and then was promptly told if that was the case, to get on with it! Liz and Bill were in their 70’s when they had Whio built and had her for seven years including three trips across the Trent and Mersey. Well over the next four years, one thing continually led to another, resulting in us purchasing Whio in April 2013, for an intended five year, plus or minus a year, ownership cruising to the maximum six months allowed on our UK visitors Visas . The handover was bedside in a hospital in New Zealand and we took delivery of Whio on the wrong side of an expected long term stoppage due to major lock chamber failure on the Aylesbury. We had a week onboard provisioning Whio at the Aylesbury town basin where we were made so welcome by the Canal Society. They invited us to continue the winter mooring arrangements they had with Liz and Bill. These served us really well in their new home. Our escape from Aylesbury was a major undertaking organised by the Aylesbury Canal Society and CART for a mass “truck around” of forty boats to Milton Keys. So our first trip, Whio got up to fifty miles an hour on a truck with us following in a friend’s car, and all stopped for a bacon butty at a roadside cafe. Then it was up through Milton Keynes intending to drop our chauffeur at Wolverton from where we would be alone. On this first trip on our new boat I confess, at times, forgetting to slow some of the moored boats and I justifiably upset at least one. I now must apologise to Big Coll and to everybody else when on other occasions too I did travel at an inappropriate speed.. A couple of days later we were extremely unexpectedly hailed by name, it was Matty40s who we had engaged from afar for boat spotting before Whio had suddenly became unexpectedly available. Our second tunnel was Braunston. Approaching we admired the steam tug Hasty that had just emerged and then as we entered I was alarmed by the change in engine sound, but the sound did not change when I took Whio out of gear. It was like sharing a tunnel with an approaching, but unseen loaded diesel freight train not helped because the tunnel was full of smoke. It was not until we were really close to approaching boat we saw lights, the forward light was obscured by the headboard. We bounced past, relaxed back towards the centre and then spotted the butty! Our worst ever tunnel,but last year we were grateful to escape into the same tunnel during a blizzard. Well the plan was to tour a different quadrant of the network each year, with the final year, this year, armed with a gold licence, a repeat trip on the Thames but this time joining the St Pancras Cruise for an absolutely memorable Thames Barrier cruise and then via the Oxford Canal onto the Cambridge Fens. This where our cruising on Whio had started way back in 2009. We had considered this area to be somewhat of “the left overs” We were wrong, The fens are not without interest, The water level of the navigation is at about mean sea level, that is about 10ft below mean high water. I never expected to be locked up not down into the tideway. The rivers are however stunning, similar but even more beautiful than the Thames above Oxford and just so lightly trafficked. Ely and Bedford have such beautiful waterfronts. Last weekend we made it back up to Rugby Boats and on Monday we left Whio stripped of our “stuff” and there was plenty, far too much for an airline baggage allowance. Matty40s lent us a welcome hand in cleaning and polishing her, and more importantly, staging her, ready for sale, and in return he and Kathy accepted some surplus goods and foodstuffs. Whio looks gorgeous; we had even reflagged her with the Union Jack replacing the New Zealand Ensign she has worn for the last twelve summers. We then, had a taxi direct for Heathrow and after a 24 hour flight have now arrived home tired in Auckland. Matty was the first of many forum members we have met and who have helped us as well as enjoyed their company. We managed to resolve a compatibility problem between our Victron Combi and a cheap Chinese generator here on our off grid holiday property in NZ with advice from this forum and found Tacet for our pilot and radio operator for our first Thames foray here. It is a wonderful resource, and great source of amusement and time killing. Thank you. One of the many unique things we found on your canal system is that it is an incredibly unstratified society, we have met so many wonderful people and some real characters. We had some great towpath barbeques. On the waterways and adjacent to them there are some prats, but really considering how many people we encountered, they are noticeable because there were so few of them. Mostly we thoroughly enjoyed the wildlife with the exception of just some of the humankind. It was wonderful to take our own accommodation into the very heart of so many major cities and tourist towns The system is magnificent in its diversity. Nobody here believed us, when we told them that just on our first year we spent twelve miles on a boat underground. Hill top boating, up north must be unique in the world. We would like to thank those activists and hard workers that voluntarily reversed the canal closures and restored and are continually restoring more canals and historic structures. We found fascinating the links and artefacts between our industrialisation and the waterways. It is lovely also to see so many historic boats, and engines being so lovingly maintained and restored. As well as “colour” to the countryside they are important historically, That’s the people and the boats! Treasure them. We enjoyed the challenges of the tideways, the tunnels, not so much, some of the heavy swing bridges and locks. Fortunately we never had any real problems with high river flow conditions on the rivers although the last two bridges into Bedford we had as much spare headroom as through the Standedge tunnel but a lot more gongoozelers! Our experiences with CART were all positive, many exceptionally so. We found the boatyards we dealt with friendly, competent, and fairly priced. Whio herself as been exceptionally reliable. We were never immobilised and never were without any of her auxiliary services. Only three times did we need boatyard services, once to change engine mounts, another to rectify a high resistance connection on the starter alternator evident after the six months unpowered layup this year, and once to change a worn coolant hose and full coolant change. We did however use boatyards for the bigger scheduled engine sevices. There are regrets leaving but we are now at an age that further time and good health is now becoming an increasingly precious resource and there is so much else in this big world we want to see and do. The money released will come useful too. Val tells everybody that for our canal boating adventure the reality was even better then the dream. Farewell and good boating. Don and Val
  11. Thanks for that wet vac. It was a challenge mooring in those huge gusts between the high rise buildings. Two people on the centreline and the bow thruster could not stop us blowing across the dock. No damage except the bow thruster batteries never recovered from the exertion and were sent ashore at the beginning of this year. There is more then one WHIO and I can assure you all the people we had on board this year would be extraordinarily flattered to be mistaken as our off spring.Must have been WH11 you saw!!! Don and Val
  12. Boat length measurements

    We found the pontoon at Leicester a great place to measure our actual length. The planks are installed totally square and beautifully even in both width and spacing. Sighting down the planks at each end of the boat accurately determined the boats linear extent on the pontoon which could be simply measured on the pontoon. Our 58ft, is hull only, not including fenders or rudder.
  13. With that information I suspect the problem is that the area above the burner, ie the bottom of the flue, is easily taken into a state above the upper flammable limit, that is too rich to support combustion. The lower and upper limits flammable limits for propane are 2% and 10% by volume so quite a narrow range. The limits for butane are even lower.
  14. We had two of them running on the NZ LPG mix (approximately 60% propane 40% butane) Lighting them after any prolonged shutdown was always a slow process. Ten minutes or more of holding down the top button then pushing the bottom button. After a while you would at least get a pop but several more attempts whould be required to get the top button to latch. I put it down to that, Ignition will not occur until every last vestige of air is eliminated from the supply pipework and secondly the heat sensing latch deteriorates with age requiring a longer heating period. Good luck. One 20yr old fridge had got to the stage when we doubted that it would ever light. Time then for a solar power installation.

    Actually I think coating maintenance is a like dentistry. About 50% to avoid further costly deterioration and 50% to maintain appearance. Both very valid. Like dentistry though it is expensive and sometimes painfull but is far preferable then any alternative.

    Why bother to paint it then?
  17. Advice - considering a year afloat

    We have heard of one commonwealth couple who did a couple of years boating by buying a boat under a buy and buy back arrangement. They bought the boat, (but I don't know whether they payed the full amount or just a substantial deposit), and then after two seasons the previous owner bought it back at a previously agreed amount, Worked for them and presumably totally legal
  18. Worth going to Ripon?

    Fountains Abbey is about 4 miles by bus from Rippon but the bus runs only on about 4 days a week. Absolutely worth a visit.
  19. Has it been a busy summer?

    Having just come off the Ouse no problems for a narrowboat all the way up to Bedford. The last two bridges into Bedford were tight after a little rain, with our 6'3" air draft. Didn't see any problems for any of the large multi hundred horse power cruisers except for some, any ability to stay below 7mph with both engines idling. As our last year cruising we had thought of this area as the "left overs" but the upper reaches of these rivers are stunning. Lovely towns, beautiful meadow moorings, otters etc, and very few boats.
  20. Plenty of 1500cc Beta 38s and 35s on boats up to 60ft. I think the only difference is the 38 is rated to 3000rpm instead of 2800rpm for the 35. With a 2:1 gearbox the 1500rpm shaft speed is not really sustainable. We have a 38 capable of pushing our 58ft Reeves hull at 6.5 mph at 2100 rpm. Stopping is a little leasurely at speed but never has been a problem using the maxim of never going so fast as to not be able to stop in half the clear distance. However if I was specifying a new build go anywhere boat I would seriously consider paying for the up rated engine.
  21. Canal & River Trust Licence

    Apart from licencing and insurance implications the demand for rentals only for the six winter months is I suspect neglibable hence the flotillas of hire boats at base from October to Easter.
  22. Winter moorings (unattended)

    We have left Whio afloat without a shore power connection for 5.5 months for the last four winters. The previous owners did exactly the same for the previous seven years. The domestic water system was always drained. Condensation has not been a problem for us but a small amount of mildue on a couple of the curtains was evident on the seven year old curtains was when we bought her. The previous owners did however replace a leaking calourifier after the cold winter of 2011? (frost damage perhaps?). We also found when we winterised her for our first time in 2013 that the ceramic water filter cartridge had previously burst probably because the drain down procedure had missed it. On the first year we did find minor amounts of superficial mould on shoes and jackets stored in the wardrobe so in subsequent years we hung the jackets within the cabin which worked. We were actually surprised by how dry the boat remained but with no internal source of moisture and the mandated high level and low level ventilation seems to work.
  23. Gloss paint on underwater hull

    If you are going to the expense of grit blasting then use a paint system produced by a reputable manufacturer designed for continuous immersion. They are expensive but ship and oil rig owners as well as mere narrowboaters find they are the most economic system over their life. Azko Nobel market the International brand Interzone 954 but other major suppliers will have comparable products as it is such a large market
  24. Incident bridge 101a T&M

    Stoned on a boat. With the amount of cannabis we have smelt not an unusual occurance, but I am glad it happened to you only as an ex policeman.
  25. Canal & River Trust Licence

    As a salt water boater also, fresh water is a remarkably benign environment. Ice is only a problem if you want to move. A floating boat will at least have some of its hull in contact with an above freezing environment in sub zero conditions. Security wise ok you may need a ladder to access a boat on the hard but otherwise a boat on the hard in a marina or afloat in the same is much the same. Weed on the hull is not really a problem the ducks and fallen willows seem to deal to it once underway. Most marinas have a core of residents and near residents that will keep a benign eye on neighbouring boats and will act if it appears to be settling.