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Arthur Marshall

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Everything posted by Arthur Marshall

  1. It's always been my intention to get a motorhome when I give up the boat. I'd have one now except my wife is still too busy to get more than a few weeks holiday a year and if I'm going solo I'd still rather chug about in the boat. I've tried to fit my summer trip round musical obligations in the past and that has now, because of the maintenance problems, become impossible as there's no guarantee of being able to plan a journey with any accuracy. I tend to work out the "value" of the boat by comparing the hire charge with the time I spend cruising, and as I still get at least eight weeks a year I reckon I'm just about ahead of the game. There again, my pension only stretches so far and a combination of the boat and my kids has now demolished all my savings so a lot depends on this round of price rises, which I notice haven't been announced yet - no doubt due to disappointment at CRT that the inflation rate has gone down!
  2. I'm not convinced... The yard doing my blacking always did it in winter as his warmer months were always booked solid for stuff in the boating "season". So it was usually done in February or March, sometimes November . It seemed to last as long as I'd expect. I've just had it done again a few weeks ago and it's not fallen off yet... There again, even if you tried now, you'd probably not get it booked in anywhere until Spring - always worth ringing round and getting the dates you want. And do you really need a survey? When they clean the hull off for blacking, go and have a good look at it, and ask the yards opinion. They'll see more boats in more conditions than most, and they'll tell you if they think work might be needed. If they do, you can always book a surveyor then. Most surveys, however, are a waste of time and money and will miss as much as they find, and will exaggerate what they do find to cover themselves for what they've missed.
  3. You're right, of course . I'd forgotten the bloke who went into the bottom of Chester staircase, tied his boat to the bottom of the ladder and went up to the top lock filling as he went. Got back to the bottom lock, lock full, no sign of boat ... And your tuppence is worth a lot more than that. It is indeed the only way to keep safe.
  4. Presumably off grid. I don't recall that one, but I can't see why the builders not having facilities would negate the owner living in it, though I can imagine them stomping off the site and never returning if they were meant to be provided and weren't.
  5. A cruiser stern isn't really terrible in bad weather, you just have to wear the right gear. I like the opportunity to sit down while steering, for a start! I know you can sit on the roof on a trad, and that explains why they don't slow down to pass boats... and you can't get knocked off the back of a cruiser stern with a swing of the tiller. For a liveaboard, I suspect it's just the waste of space that matters. My 40 foot boat only has a 23 foot cabin, which wasn't ideal to live on. An extra ten foot would have made a huge difference.
  6. Unfortunately there's no other way to know anything at all. We all just pick the sources of info that we find either reliable or relatable. I quite value opinions by some people on here, for example. I learnt a lot from Tony Brooks stuff on the web. Gibbo told me how to phix my phridge. I don't read the Daily Mail, and I don't believe everything I read anywhwre else, but... Did you know you can't vote without ID? How did you find that out, or didn't you believe it? You've got to get information from somewhere. What you need to sift it is education, and the application of thought.
  7. A fair few of those boats would be better off without water under them!
  8. As far as I'm selfishly concerned, Marple being closed for a fair bit of the year probably means the Macc will stay open and there might even be enough water to keep the T&M open all the way up to Middlewich next year...
  9. The listing is probably the main cause of the delay, especially if the heritage bods insist on them using the same stone from the same quarry etc etc. I suppose while we all just want a working lock, everyone else wants something pretty to look at, in the same style as everything else on the flight. And there's more of them than us.
  10. It's the "design phase" that's interesting. Surely they can use some of the expertise built up in the repair of other locks on the flight - unless, of course , those designs were done by consultancies whose data is protected by commercial considerations... but CRT really ought to know how to build a lock by now. Though the existence of such things, I suppose, may well be a mystery to some of their staff.
  11. The bow of mine drained via a pipe to the engine bilge rather than down the length of the cabin bilge. Are you sure yours doesn't? The cabin bilge never got wet. The boat sank, though, when it rained so much while I had flu and couldn't get to the boat the rear bilge filled up and down it went. The auto bilge pump failed like they always do. I welded up the drain hole at the front and raised the deck above the waterline.
  12. It's a deliberate misunderstanding of what a charity is. It's also a known way of trying to win an argument by a statement that you know to be false - does she really think Eton is there to help the poor? In my experience, it was and still is a lot cheaper to live legally in a boat than in a house - or can be, depending on what extras you want. It does seem that often those claiming to want an alternative lifestyle actually want all the trimmings of a normal one, but for free. Having been more or less alternative for most of my life, it don't work like that!
  13. It was a holiday wrecker for me last year so I sympathise. The two week stoppage meant I couldn't risk going where I wanted to as I had obligations when I got back and had to be prepared for a ten day detour to get home. Next year I'm going to have to turn musical commitments down in order to be able to relax. How you can get that relaxation when paying a couple of grand for a hire with so little certainty of getting back to base defeats me.
  14. "Why do you distrust estate agents at first sight with no evidence?" "it saves time". " Once you define NHS Charities Together and all their little friends as part of the NHS structure, I'm sure it did . What none of it did was reach the front line, which I suspect is what people wanted. But then, people are easily fooled when they want to be - see all the regular moaning about the CRT not being a real charity because it doesn't behave nicely to people who don't want to pay their way.
  15. Well, not exactly to the NHS itself, but to "NHS Charities Together", which is a charity that, rather like fleas and littler fleas, supports other charities that in turn support the NHS - each one, no doubt , with suitably grateful highly paid executives. None of it went, as most contributors would have naively expected, purely and simply to the NHS itself or to its staff.
  16. Anyone know of a national charity where the person who runs it doesn't make a fortune? It's just human nature, same as complaining about price rises.
  17. Because it's a damn stupid thing to do, that's why. Perhaps you haven't noticed the state of the gates? Enough snags and rubbish to catch the front fender, and there you are paying RCR to refloat your boat. Also, in most of the locks I use, whether you bang your boat up front or not, the wash will take you back from it, and then you go full whack back into the gate. Sliding down the gate going down is even dafter. You may have seen people revving the nuts off their engines (unnecessary with a bit of care), but they haven't sunk. I'm sure this was a perfectly good thing to do when everyone was experienced, had full length boats so they couldn't move much and the locks were maintained. Now, it's a recipe for disaster. The only time I let someone run my boat and they ran the gate they would have sunk it if I hadn't drained the lock fast. I know I'm a beginner at this, only had the boat 35 years, and I'm sure the "experts" on here will tell me why I'm wrong in a minute. The fact remains, there's only two ways to sink a boat in a lock, and both of them are because you're too near a gate.
  18. As far as possible, I try to stay at the back of a lock going up. So if it gets picked up on the surge rebound of water coming in, you have a chance of stopping it before you smash into the front gates. If you're alone, there is always the chance it gets pushed back and jammed in the swung open gates before the water inrush shuts them again. It's happened to me a few times. In a small boat, you have very little control over where the boat goes in a lock if you're working it. I would never, ever, ride the front gate for the same reason - you have simply no control. I try to tie mine up so it stays in the middle, but due to the eccentric bollard placings you can't always do it, and I usually end up using the ladder handrail. And, if ciurse, it does mean it can drift or get washed to the back. It's hitting the front gates you have to avoid. That lock fills (and empties) quite fast and if you bang both paddles up there isn't much time to correct it if there's something wrong. I've nearly sunk in it going down and a friend did sink, both of us singlehanding with years of experience.
  19. Must have been, otherwise I can't see how he can have gone off - even if you had a heart attack on mine, the rail would keep you on the deck, which, as you say, is a cruiser stern. Are trads really that much higher? I'd have thought they'd be about the same, just shorter.
  20. I took the baffle plate out. It just cuts the draught down too much - be fine if you had a twenty foot chimbley as per manufacturers instructions. All that happens with a baffle plate is that the gunk that condenses and comes back down the flue sits on it, sets like rock and cut the draught down even more. They're a menace.
  21. Probably. I don't think the one who told me that story was employed there at the time. I think I'd heard originally that they'd gone back and forward in the tunnel trying to find him, probably just as mythical. There must have been an inquest where the facts came out. I still find it hard to work out how you can hit your head on the roof in the Harecastle, I'm 6 foot two and I don't have to duck. Maybe my back deck is lower than most boats.
  22. Amazed you may well be, but that's what I was told by the tunnel keeper a few weeks ago. The smoke was so thick when I went through last week you could only see few yards in front of the boat until, when the eighth boat went in, the fan started. Going south , they forgot to put it on a year or so back and the coal boat said his engine hated the air so much he thought he wasn't going to get to the end.
  23. It's had the boat there as long as I've been going through, well before the death. Maybe because of the need for the fan? The coal boat engine nearly packed up with the fumes when they forgot to turn the fan on. Are the other long tunnels double width? No, it was the Harecastle. Apparently the family only realised when the boat emerged without him. You'd have thought they'd hsve noticed it crashing into the walls.
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