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Posts posted by Dave_P

  1. This is a large can of worms, residential moorers would in the main rather remain on leisure moorings as to invite the local authority to approve as residential is to invite a council tax bill, it would also invite other housing residents nearby to object. You can analysis your raw data and draw you conclusions but as your sample of boaters largely those who can afford Internet connections is so narrow it's good from an academic perspective towards qualifications but please don't pass to CRT as representative of the wider boating community.


    Thanks for the thoughts Tuscan. I agree with what you say about the 'can of worms', but... On the other hand, a land-living friend of mine came to me for advice recently as she was looking to buy a boat to live on. She had already contacted various boat-yards, marinas and the like and told them she would be residential. All of them told her she could not moor with them. Some of the places she contacted have people I know of who already do live there but keep their heads down and get away with this. I told my friend that she would have been better not to tell prospective mooring sites that she would be residential. I know I wouldn't if it was me! My results so far, indicate that moorers with an authorised residential mooring have better outcomes in terms of health, security and employment than those who don't, so are those boaters who 'keep their heads down' actually harming themselves by doing so? I'm one of them, so this matters to me too!


    On the issue of council tax, at my mooring site, to my knowledge, there are about 10 residential moorings of which I think only one pays council tax. This came about as a result of being hounded by the local authority. There is at least one other moorer who has tried to pay council tax but failed as the same local authority have been unable to set him up to do it! Other people with residential moorings, don't officially live there, but again, how is this defined? I have a land-based address where I do spend plenty of time and BW have told me that up to 4 nights out of 7 is acceptable to them on a leisure mooring although it's not clear where this figure comes from or whether it has any enforceable legal basis.


    A good question for this forum would be: Does anyone know of any prosecutions or sanctions against people living permanently on a leisure mooring? I'm aware of this happening to continuous cruisers who don't cruise very far but that's all.


    Finally, do you have any evidence that boaters with internet access represents only a small proportion? That's not my general experience, although I haven't properly investigated levels of internet access. I'd be more inclined to take the view that the people I've contacted through web-forum represent a narrow sample mostly due to being the types of people who like to get involved with web-forums. Either way, I am able to compare the data I have for the online respondents with the data I have for people I met face-to-face and I haven't been able to find any statistical differences between the two groups. The only difference I have found is that the online respondents were more likely to misunderstand the questions (partly a fault on my part), and this has forced me to discount some small portions of the data. For example there was one question which was about illegal drug taking and this was obviously not clear to everyone, leading to some people including prescribed drugs in their answer.

  2. Sorry Jackster but affect=verb (to have an effect); effect=noun. The suspect word in that sentence is a noun.

    Something affects (verb) something else or it has an effect (noun) on it.


    He could have said 'significantly affects' which would convey the same meaning, but he didn't.

    Affect can also be a noun but it means something else entirely.


    and effect can also be a verb. Thanks for the proof-reading chertsey.



    Shouldn't that be 'effect'


    And presumably elsewhe you have differentiated between permanent and residential moorings?


    Sorry, gone into supervisor mode.

    Thank you for the update, it is much appreciated.


    I have discussed the difference between residential and leisure moorings. They are both 'permanent' unless you know different. Trying to get BW/ CaRT to define the difference is somewhat tricky. They actually told me that it's not for them to define and that I should ask my local authority, which kind of begs the question - why do BW even distinguish between leisure and residential? If were them I would say that all BW moorings were potentially residential and leave it to the moorer to obtain consent from the local authority to live there. Surely this would save BW / CaRT from spending money enforcing something which isn't really their problem.


    I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on this as it directly relates to my dissertation.

  3. Hello again!


    I did promise to give updates and not just run away like previous questionnairing (sic?) types have done. I'm in the brain-melting data analysis section doing lots of exciting statistical tests including one-way-anova, wilcoxon, chi-square and kruskal-wallis for the mathematicians here.


    I've a little way to go but this is the last thing I wrote:


    "The analysis of the data so far shows that the lack of a permanent or residential mooring has a significant affect on health outcomes and on the individuals’ ability to access treatment, with elderly boaters at particular risk."


    I'm sure some of you will point out that this is stating the obvious but I'm just happy that I've got some valid results which stand up to scrutiny, not just a 'hunch'.


    Thanks again to those who contributed.



    • Greenie 1
  4. May I please edit my survey response to include another theft? Ta.


    Oh dear! As an early bit of feedback on results, I can confirm that whilst most people haven't had any issues with theft, vandalism etc., those that do, often report repeated occurrences. Perhaps due to cruising patterns, location or perhaps to do with security issues on the boat. As always, one survey begats another...


    I'll probably be stopping taking any more questionnaire responses in another day or two as I really need to start the data analysis.

  5. Just a thought might not your sample of he survey be slightly biased towards the web enabled and therefore maybe slightly wealthier live aboard, who as a result might be also be healthier, apologies now if I have offended anyone by suggesting they are healthier or wealthier than others !


    Absolutely right. This is something I will discuss in my write-up. On a general note, any survey of this type is likely to exclude, to some extent, the most negatively affected and vulnerable people. This doesn't just apply to boater surveys but consider a boater who suffers from serious mental health issues, has learning difficulties, is illiterate, has difficulties with social interactions, is depressed, is a continuous cruiser, has a scruffy and unappealing looking boat, is shunned by other boaters, who tends to moor up in isolated locations and doesn't answer when his door is knocked. I was recently chatting with a RBOA representative about these sort of people (who do exist on the canals). It would be reasonable to expect that their health is at a greater risk than most but are also likely to be be unrepresented in any general study of boaters.


    Of course it would be possible to specifically seek out these sorts of people, but how hard should you try? If you try too hard, then they will be over-represented. A survey such as this should be as random as possible, but, in practise this is impossible. The best you can do is to be aware of the shortcomings and discuss the possible effects of those shortcomings.

  6. Scottish gin is a new one on me, but why do many arty-farty artisanal products adopt an impossible to read style?


    BTW, although other students asking for info have come across as 'outsiders looking in', Dave appears to be an 'insider looking around'. Did you take part in your own survey, Dave?


    Good question. I haven't yet, because it doesn't feel right.

  7. I was bound by client confidentiality from reporting my results back...


    I'm not sure what form your results took, but I certainly won't be publishing the specific answers given by each person. What I will do is report back on my general findings. For example, I might find that 15% of people below 30 have had a fire on their boat recently while only 5% of people over 65 have. This is the sort of things which I would be happy to share on this forum. For me, this side-steps any concerns over client confidentiality.


    I'm not sure what kind of study would only produce results which might compromise client confidentiality.



  8. Thank you to everyone who has completed this questionnaire so far. I've had loads of good responses. I promise I will share my findings with you guys on here. Looking at the data, I have collected so far, I can see some clear differences between the experiences of continuous cruisers and those with permanent moorings. Fire safety and accident rates also look interesting but of course I need to do some statistical analysis before I can be sure of anything.


    Interestingly, in the light of the discussion on this thread, I can't see much in the way of obvious differences in the responses I have collected online when compared to face-to-face. This might change as I get more responses.




    p.s. please make it clear on the questionnaire if you aren't answering seriously. There are some I have received which obviously fall into this category.

  9. If you're heading for Stratford but time is looking short or the weather discouraging you could stop at Wilmcote where there are good pubs and touristy things like Mary Ardens house. Consider a visit to Stratford by train from there. It gets you there in about eight minutes as opposed to a full day by boat and gives you a chance to restock the larder. You will have done the most attractive part of the South Stratford anyway. Consider a side trip along the GU to the top of Hatton Locks.


    That's a great idea!

  10. Well yes, but how can he prove that the response group meets his research criteria? I completed the survey (albeit with uninteligble answers) in order to read through the document. Anyone could complete it and Dave would not have a clue whether it was a genuimne response or not. If that is acceptable to Birmingham University, their standards have certainly slipped since my student days.


    David - although you are right in what you say, there are still issues with 'tramping the towpath' as people could still pretend to be liveaboarders when they weren't, just as they could online. Or are you saying that people are inherently dishonest online? Equally, when face-to-face with people, they may be more reticent to be honest about their health issues or lifestyle choices which would actually make the online results more accurate. There may be a few people who seek to subvert the results but I will discuss that in my analysis. Ultimately a questionnaire is a game of trust because in either situation I am relying on people to be truthful.


    Hopefully that explains my position.



  11. No Martin, our friend Dave is taking the easy way out by trying to conduct an unverifiable survey over the internet. What he should be doing is tramping the towpath and conducting his survey by interview, with people who he can demonstrate actually live on boats, that is what a serious academic researcher would do. Believe me, I have done it in the days before computers, and it is slow and hard work.


    David - And tramping the towpath is what i've been doing for the last three months, from Birmingham to Llangollen. However, it does no harm to look for data in more than one way, so I came on here. Interestingly, lots of 'serious academic researchers' (of whom i'm not one) collect data online. It's fine, provided you recognise the potential limitations when writing up.


    I'm not sure why you're repeatedly making assumptions that I haven't done things which I have done? You could have asked about the various other ways in which I have been collecting data rather than making unfounded accusations that I'm taking the easy way out?


    I don't want to start an argument though, I was simply asking if people could take part in this survey, I had no idea it would be so controversial!



  12. 'Supervisor' is an appropriate term for an academic overseeing a MSc dissertation David - it is a role I have fulfilled on many occasions. A Masters dissertation is generally a relatively limited piece of research, intended more to demonstrate the student's research skills than to provide shattering new insights into the subject, so it is not odd not to have a control group in this instance. I am sure that Dave will be setting out the limitations of his research in his Introduction.


    Dave, I can't complete your survey (or indeed pass an opinion on its design) at presnt as I am having awful internet access difficulties but I will look at it as soon as I can.


    It might perhaps be interesting for people to be able to see your proposal, if it's not to long, or at least an abstract.


    Well said Chertsey - thanks. I'm slightly surprised that people are assuming that there's no control group but obviously I wouldn't be asking for contributors for the control amongst liveaboarders. In this case the questions have often been chosen to mirror data which is already available for the general public. Having said that, there are numerous limitations with this study, as with every study. If I wanted to drill down into every aspect of the subject, the questionnaire would take 6 hours to complete and I would get no responses apart from a very, very skewed sample of people who really, really love doing questionnaires. Not very useful! However, if others wish the investigate factors which I have chosen to ignore, go for it! It's a woefully under researched subject and I'm sure there's plenty of room for others to get involved.


    I could have posted up my initial proposal but it's around 3500 words long and various aspects of the dissertation have been modified somewhat since then. I also think it might be counter-productive to have 100s of different critical analyses of it at this stage since I have been getting responses for some time now from other sources and again, everyone has their own ideas of what I should be asking. I should be able to put the abstract up when I've finished.



  13. sorry to say but its a poorly thought out survey, doesn't even skim the surface of the subject you are trying to cover

    personally i would start again along the lines of:


    personal hygeine:

    how difficult is it to find suitable water points/elsan disposal

    do you have a shower on board

    do you have hot water on board

    do you have running water (from a tank) or just rely on cans


    Personal safety

    I moor close to others for security

    I moor in a secure boatyard

    I moor on a towpath

    I am sometimes afraid when tied up away from others



    i find it difficult to gain work because of no fixed address

    i find many employers won't employ boat dwellers

    i never have problems (over & above the normal) finding employment



    I find the damp environment affects my health

    i never have medical problems

    I have problems seeing a doctor

    i often visit hospital about my health



    just some ideas that may tell you more about the subject you have chosen.


    very few have drug issues (probably less than the general populus) in my experience

    i have done it based on my previous boat living as currently not boating.


    Thanks for the suggestions but there are good reasons why the questions are worded as they are and leading questions such as you have suggested would go down very poorly with the academic staff who will be marking it.

  14. That's very kind of you. How can I redeem this offer?


    Knock on my door in Gas Street Basin (nb Beau), say "I did your survey". I promise a beer (tasty home-brew) to anyone who does this. Wear a mask though, if you wish to preserve your anonymity! If I'm out, try again later.


    I can't say fairer than that, can I?


    Right now, I need to get back to revising - I have an exam tomorrow morning. eeek!



  15. Thanks for the feedback so far, and massive thanks to those who have done the survey - I owe all of you a beer!


    Yes, health and safety issues are a big part of the survey because that was the original intention. However, my university supervisor (who is not a boater) insisted I included some other issues too. As far as confidentiality goes, I can assure everyone that it is impossible for me to know who you are, unless you tell me. It asks for a first name to give me a bit of help in organising the responses. I'm not sure how a first name would tell me much anyway (unless you have a very unusual first name!) Feel free to make up a wacky first name if you want. Don't worry too much if you can't remember details from years ago, just put what you think is best. I'm looking for general trends and these sorts of surveys are not an exact science by any stretch. If anyone wants to have a nose through the whole survey out of interest, just make it clear somewhere that you're not answering for real or i'll end up using your data!


    Tam & Di - Don't worry that some of the questions didn't seem to apply to you. For example - the fact that you don't drink is just as relevant as any other answer. Say there was an unfounded perception that all boaters were drunks? Your data would help to dispel that myth!


    Starcoaster - My study is in response to a government commissioned review called 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives'. This review proposed a number of markers for determining health inequalities. I am looking at certain aspects of that review and finding out whether the needs of boaters were appropriately considered and whether the experiences of boaters differ significantly from the experiences of land-lubbers. I hope this makes sense of some aspects of the survey. Each question was carefully developed and tested before I was happy enough with it. I still have some reservations about some aspects of it and inevitably there are some compromises on length and wording but nothing which will prevent any significant outcomes from emerging - I hope.


    Thanks again,



  16. If you're starting from alvechurch then it's 110 locks there and back to stratford. I would say that that's a fair bit for a novice boater but if you're up for that why not consider doing the whole avon ring which is 129 locks? it's a bit further but you tend (in my experience) to make quicker time on the rivers anyway. i would agree with some previous comments about mooring issues. in particular when heading north from alvechurch, watch out for unruly kids just north of the wast hills tunnel (a notorious problem spot) and i wouldn't moor up anywhere along the stratford canal until you at least get as far as the shirley lift-bridge, or better still, earlswood boat club. after that, the journey down to stratford is lovely all the way. plenty of locks, if you like that, nice pubs at lowsonford, wootten wawen and wilmcote, a couple of good sized aqueducts and safe moorings everywhere. i know you have to get a licence for the avon but i really can't see the point of getting to stratford and not going onto the river - it's brilliant fun!


    adam's option would take you to the black country museum but you'll lose a lot of rural cruising. in particular going down farmer's bridge and out through east birmingham also presents mooring issues until you get to catherine de barnes. Also i've heard recent reports of shallow water and slow going in this area, along with parts of the worcester and birmingham around bournville and selly oak, although I guess holiday boats have pretty shallow drafts.


    if i were you, i'd head to stratford and see how you do for time. if you get to stratford in 3 days or less, go for the whole ring. if by 3.5 days you still haven't got to stratford - turn round and head back or you'll end up over-running.

  17. Hello good people of the Canalworld forums.


    I am a liveaboard boater, MSc student and Birmingham University and occasional poster to these forums.


    I am studying liveaboard boaters for my MSc Environmental Health dissertation. My study includes health, safety, education, employment prospects, lifestyle choices and boaters' own perceptions of life afloat.


    I am looking for as many people as possible to take part in a survey I am doing for my dissertation. The only rule is that you must live on a boat.


    The survey is completely confidential - even I won't know who you are, so you can be as honest as you like with your answers.


    The online link to the survey is: My link http://www.smart-survey.co.uk/v.asp?i=53788ocqnl


    If you would prefer to do the survey face-to-face then I'm moored in Birmingham usually but will be going down to Stratford-on-avon for a week or two towards the end of june so I'd be more than happy to meet with people.


    Please, please, please please, try to find time to do the survey, it should only take about 10 minutes and it might even be fun - you never know! Also feel free to share the link with any other liveaboard boaters you know.


    If I come away with any significant findings, I will be sharing them with BW, CaRT, RBOA etc so hopefully some benefit will come of it.


    Kind Regards to all,




    Nb Beau, Gas Street Basin, Birmingham.

  18. Oh come on - charging phones and laptops at the pub - must be saving 100% of sod all.

    Now if you was using an hair dryer or boiling a kettle that would be a good saving.



    And as far as using having showers whilst moving - first any electric power you are using is stealing it from the charge to the battery and the hot water you have reheated will still go cold overnight.





    To properly charge my phone I need to leave it charging for a good few hours. If I have to leave my inverter running that long, it will use quite a lot of power. incidentally I also have a 12v charger which i also use to save power - but it will still use some (not 100% of sod all). The reality is, if you don't have mains electric and you're not moving around much EVERY single little thing you can do to be more efficient with your power consumption counts. And you get to feel good about reducing your carbon footprint at the same time.

  19. It certainly saves us a lot of power on the boat, in the same way that stealing waste wood from skips saves us money on heating.


    I regularly take my laptop into uni to charge it up there. and i take my mobile charger just about everywhere with me and you'd be amazed at the places you can charge it. Sitting in the pub, having a pint - charge up the phone!

  20. On narrow locks, I never bother with ropes. In my 55' boat, going up I always leave the boat in tick-over as people have already mentioned. This keeps the boat from moving around too much (open the paddles slowly though). Then the gate starts to move, I know the lock is full so I open the gate, jump back on the boat, drive out, then hover just past the gate, jump off and close the gate behind me. If in doubt here, take the stern line with you when you close the gate. Easy!


    Going down I leave the boat right at the front of the lock to be absolutely sure that I'm well away from the cill (the flow of water down will keep your boat at the front of the lock when it's emptying). Once empty, I open the gates, hop back on and drive out. Again, I hover in the jaws of the lock while i pop back up to close the gates. This has always worked fine for me until a couple of weeks back going down hurlesdon bottom lock. It was 6.30am and I hadn't noticed that there is only one ladder, right in the corner of the lock. And of course my boat was in the empty lock with the stern about 15' away from the ladder!


    If it wasn't so early, I would have had the bright idea of refilling the lock and looping a rope around the bollard before re-emptying. However, in my head I'm still 21 so I opted for lowering myself over the side of the lock John McClane style. It worked fine if you don't count the pulled muscles and bruised ribs!!! Still managed another 27 locks that day, finishing the other side of the tyrley flight. And they say boating is all peace and relaxation!


    For any newbie wondering about single-handing - don't worry about locks too much, it's mostly common sense (I just wish I had some!). The real annoyance is the lift bridges. The problem is simple - the winding gear is on the wrong side. It always amazes me how many boaters simply hadn't considered the problem this causes for single-handers. Many a time I've been scrambling through the bushes on the wrong side of the canal, clutching the bow-line while people on the tow-path are asking "why don't you moor up on this side?" "Because then I couldn't get back on the boat once the bridge is up!!!"

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