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Everything posted by Dave_P

  1. 1. I didn't say they should, just that it would be simpler if they did it rather than anyone else. 2. I have argued previously that living on a boat is much cheaper if you choose it to be, see my posts on other threads, or just take a wander along the more remote parts of the network and make friends with the dwellers of some of the less flashy boats. 3. They are more vulnerable for numerous reasons, including those I've mentioned in this thread. This subject was part of some post-grad research on boat living I did earlier in the year and to which many forum members contributed. At first there was a great degree of scepticism here and people predicted that I would disappear and wouldn't share my results. When I had finished, I did offer to share my thesis with anyone who wanted a copy. Just 3 people asked for one and of those 3, only 1 thanked me... I wonder if it was me who should have been sceptical
  2. You raise a good point because no Navigation Authority in the country acts as a landlord in any way. The question is: should they? Vulnerable people living on land have a safety net: the local authority who have a duty to house local people. Especially if they fall into a vulnerable group. Do continuous cruisers have the same safety net? How easy is it to get housed by a local authority if you don't already permanently live in that authority? To my mind, the simplest solution to this inequality is to require navigation authorities to take more responsibilty for the people who live there. Or course there are many other solutions.... It's just not good enough to wash your hands of a vulnerable group by simply blaming them for their own situation. Apart from anything else, it's uncivilised.
  3. Oh no! not grumpy people! I leave interior lights on in tunnels so I can see the tunnel walls better. It helps with keeping a straight line and spotting potential hazards. Plus I'm a bit a tunnel geek so I like having a good, up-close nosey at the brick or stone. A head torch helps with this too. I reckon whatever you do, it will be wrong for some people and so the grumpys will shout about something. Perhaps, that's all these people get up for in the morning?
  4. I can't agree with you. If they have identified 2000 continuous cruisers as 'the problem', this clearly implies that they don't see other continuous cruisers as a problem. That would include anyone who covers more than 10km per year. To put it another way: if I was a continuous cruiser and did around 100km per year (which isn't really very much), I would be thinking that I would be far, far off th radar of enforcement officers. Or do they mean something different when they say 10km? Maybe they're talking about cruising within a 10km radius, but they don't say that.
  5. These minutes are full of important and interesting stuff, and yet this forum chooses to start a debate on what colour our mooring licenses should be! Get a grip people! It doesn't matter a jot! There's a proper debate to be had on non-compliant cc'ers and the identifing cc'ers differently on their license is of little relevance to it, especially since CaRT believe most cc'ers are compliant.
  6. Sally Ash's report was most enlightening. She sees non-compliant cc'ing as a problem caused by 2000 boaters but in John Dodwell's introduction he says 2000 cc'ers do less than 10km per year. To me, this reads as: If I were a cc'er and I did more than 10km per year, I wouldn't be included in that 2000 and therefore I wouldn't be classed as causing a problem. If I was being prosecuted by CaRT for non-compliance, I'd be using this information in my defense. Have CaRT finally, but inadvertantly, defined 'bona-fide navigation'???
  7. Now if we could only persuade CART to increase recycling facilities on the canalside... I think I'm gonna learn how to be more insulting! Will I be hounded off these forums if I don't?
  8. and to stir the pot even further... if we all burned wood, we would have to cover a greater proportion of our planet in trees. This causes global warming in two ways: first, forests trap heat compared to open land, second the dark colour of a tree canopy absorbs more heat than deforested areas, which tend to reflect more solar radiation back into space, especially in northern latitudes where the ground is often covered in snow.
  9. Oh, and of course, burning smokey fuels puts lots of dust into the atmosphere, which has a global cooling effect. So maybe we should all be doing it.... (just stirring the pot )
  10. I work in an Environmental Health department and occassionally get the odd comment in jest about us boaters not being subject the the smokeless zone. So, yes, boats ARE exempt from the clean air act and can't be prosecuted for smoke unless it's 'dark smoke' which is highly unlikely to come from anything you'd want on your stove. On the wood vs coal debate, it's a lot more complicated than some of you are saying and a wealth of factors could be considered. Global warming is just one. In reply to 'Keeping Up', coal burning would be ok compared to wood if you could find a way to ensure that an equivalent amount of dead wood was turning into coal. Clearly this is nonsense. Most wood, if not burned, rots down aerobically in woodlands naturally or when it reaches the end of it's usefulness. When this happens, some CO2 may become locked-up in the soil but plenty ends up returned to the atmosphere. So the CO2 produced by burning coal doesn't bring an equal saving in CO2 emmissions which would have resulted from burning wood. Overall, burning fossil fuels results in a higher amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is accepted even by climate change sceptics. But there's more to it. If you burn wood you are putting a lot of particulate matter into the air. Often the smoke particles are quite harmful, causing a variety of respiratory conditions. Also consider where the wood is from? If it's gathered from the towpath then fine but there was a recent thread about cheap logs from Aldi? Where are they from? Wood is bulky and heavy and the carbon footprint of producing and transporting it is high. Of course, the same is true of coal. I'm just pointing out that wood is not carbon-neutral in many cases. Of course, as has been pointed out, the 1956 clean air act was introduced to combat the problem of smog. It seems to have been a good bit of legislation because our smog problem is far,far better than it was. Excluding boats was, I suspect, a pragmatic decision to do with difficulties of enforcement. Finally, if you're moored in a smokeless zone, it's unlikely you'll have easy access to fuel other than smokeless anyway. I've not seen it being sold in Huddersfield anyway (apart from the logs at Aldi!) Which is the same point I was trying to type at the same time. It's also why 'carbon offsetting' by planting trees is utterly futile. It only works while the tree is alive, or you find a way to ensure those trees turn into coal when they die!
  11. Crikey! I'm not used to people agreeing with me. Least of all on here! Another way of looking at it is to decide what's really important/special to you. Having my own "cave" to retreat to - tick! Listening to the rain on the roof/ ducks squabbling/ ripples lapping - tick! Knowing and caring for my neighbours, and knowing I'm cared for back - tick! Being warm and dry - tick! Having the latest and greatest satellite tv system - doesn't matter. Having an inverter which is 'pure sine wave' - don't care. Having a boat where everything works - where's the fun in that? Having a 'shiny' boat.... well actually, I secretly covet one of those
  12. My take on the expensive/cheap debate is that it's as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. There are folk who spend £100,000 on a top spec brand new boat and then another £3000-£4000 on a top-of-the-range mooring. BUT... you don't have to do this. I know a fellow liveaboard boater who, a year ago, spent £6000 on their boat which they are very happy with. Since then, they have spent around £1000 on remedial work and now the boat is perfectly ship-shape. They continuously cruise so no mooring fee. License + insurance + RCR is under £1000pa. Fuel for heating is mostly wood gathered from the canalside which is free. Could somebody please explain to me how anyone could possibly have their own space and live more cheaply on land? The only options comparable would be a caravan or something similar, but I'm not sure how well you'd do living in laybys!! The other would be a small (single) room in a shared house in a relatively cheap part of the country paying around £60 pw, which still comes to over £3000 pa. I spent a year as a mature student, living on little more than fresh air! Boat-living affords thrifty living far more easily than land-living.
  13. Just watching it now. It really puts some of the arguments on this forum into perspective doesn't it? These people were fighting for the very existence of the canals. Everyone on these forums should be grateful to them!
  14. I would say your expected costs are on the expensive side somewhat! There are always cheaper options. Moorings actually can cost anything from around £500 - £10,000 pa. Depending on the length of the mooring, the facilities and the location. If you have a smallish boat and arent worried about shore-line electrics and you arent in London you should be able to get something for well under £2500. I've always paid between £1500-£2000 and I've got full marina facilities for that on a 55' boat. The license will only cost about £1000 if you have a 70' boat. £900 for blacking sounds very expensive too! I wouldn't pay much more than £500 for that. And, of course I could do it myself and save even more. Painting on a boat 50' or more will probably cost around £6000 for a decent job, but, unless you want the shiniest of shiny boats, 5-6 years is a very short interval. I've known boats who have gone 15-20 years with the occasional touch-up and still look fine. Insurance - again, shop around. £350 would horrify me, if I were quoted that! In fact I'd be unhappy paying half that figure! £500 a year for repair and maintenance fund isn't far off I guess but it all depends on how much cruising the boat does etc... The advice I'd give to the OP is that there's many different ways to skin a cat! If you want to join the shiny boat brigade and pour all your savings into boat, you can easily do so. But, if you want to live cheaply, boating offers that too, in ways that house owners can only envy!
  15. It may be right o'clock, but the moon's out! I can't bear having to wait to try this out. Maybe if I creep into a deep, dark wood instead of a hill-top, it will still work? I'm currently half way through a night shift so it would be lovely to spread a little dark around my boat at about 7.00am when the sun's coming up and I'm going to bed... And I'm not skiving, I'm on my 2.00am lunch-break!
  16. Amen to that Brother! Sounds like you and the cut will get on famously. You have my envy. Whenever I get a bit of time off to cruise, I tend to set myself ridiculously ambitious targets which end of with me racing against time to get back to my home mooring before I have to return to the dreaded work! Amen to that Brother! Sounds like you and the cut will get on famously. You have my envy. Whenever I get a bit of time off to cruise, I tend to set myself ridiculously ambitious targets which end of with me racing against time to get back to my home mooring before I have to return to the dreaded work!
  17. i dont mind a slanging match. I assumed you were planning to cc? if so, pump outs are far more spaced out then elsans.
  18. How would this work? Would the operator have to self-pump-out into elsan points?
  19. I'm far less qualified to comment than some of the posters on this thread but I do have one thought: If it's the oldest engine your engineer has ever seen when in fact it's a relatively 'new' BMC 2.2, I would question your choice of engineer?? Before looking at shelling out thousands and thousands, I would be trying every avenue to get your current engine back up and running. There are engineers out there who would be highly skilled at repairing your engine, having worked extensively on various old BMCs. Even if you have the unit craned out and fully stripped down and re-built, it would surely still be much cheaper than looking elsewhere. Or have I overlooked something obvious? My boat has a BMC 1.8 and if I hit a brick wall with getting it repaired, I'd probably be talking to Calcutt Boats, since they probably know more than most about them. Maybe they can advise on a 2.2 also?
  20. What's your thinking here? The only time I'd consider a pump-out would be if i was in a marina and could therefore guarantee that pump-out facilities were accessible to me?
  21. Try Alvechurch too. Bear in mind that a 40-50ft boat at £20,000 is likely to need a bit of work doing to it. They're out there but it's definitely the cheap end of the market. When I was buying, I originally set a budget of £25,000 for around 50ft and was consistantly dissapointed by what I found. Ended up paying over £30,000 for a boat which was leagues better.
  22. Hope I gave you some good advice the other day! Was my boat too narrow for you then? If you get anything wider than a narrowboat, then you can't cruise around a lot of the network (see: http://www.jim-shead.com/waterways/mwp.php?wpage=Inland-Waterways-of-England.htm) but don't forget that wider boats often find things more tricky even on wide canals. There's plenty of places where you need to book in advance with a widebeam (tunnels, narrow cuts, floating towpaths) which add to the complexity of cruising with a wide-beam or dutch barge. Also, theres no way through from south to north in anything wider than a narrowboat.In my experience, people who want to continuously cruise in England and Wales buy narrowboats. People who want somewhere spacious to live and arent concerned about moving around too much buy widebeams. Of course you were asking about something seaworthy. But why? Just to get across the channel or because you genuinly want to 'sail the seven seas'? If you just want to get across the channel, then a narrowboat is still a perfectly good choice. You have 2 options: 1. Do lots of preparation and cruise your nb across when it's calm. There are people who have done this. Read 'Narrow dog to Carcassonne' if you don't believe me. 2. Put your boat on a lorry, as has already been suggested. And cross the channel that way. If I were you, that's what I'd do. That way, you get to cruise the whole network over here (a lot of the best canals are narrow) and you get to have some continental adventures too. Even with the cost of lorry transport, it will probably still be much cheaper than a proper cat c barge. Remember anything wider than 7' (and in practise often 6'10") and you will be severely restricted in your UK cruising. Finally, i don't really know enough about grp boats to comment fully except to say that the size restrictions still apply so I'd recommend something which would fit on narrow canals, in which case get a narrowboat (which is much nicer anyway)!! Finally: Geoff - when you finally get your boat, I'm expecting a tour and a cuppa!
  23. Couple of points: 1. Haggle, haggle, haggle - try in the shops and on the phone. A year ago I got an iphone 4 on the one plan with no upfront charge for £32 a month. I'd expect at least a 4s for that price now. The one plan is far and away the best phone deal if you want mobile internet and free tethering. 2. Although I can tether by wifi or cable I find the best compromise for speed and flexibility is to tether with bluetooth. Don't samsung phones allow this? I seem to get a faster and more stable download rate than with wifi and I can leave my phone on charge and put my laptop wherever I want. finally - 100gb a month? what the hell??? I would consider myself a regular user, watch a lot of iplayer, 4od etc, download plenty of music and films and i still rarely go over 15gb a month. You guys need to get out more!
  24. If it was up to me, I'd prioritse keeping warm in winter above most other things. I'm aware of boaters with no toilet or no shower or no sinks or no fridge etc. etc. but ALL of them have a decent source of heat even if they're 'bucket pooers' 'stand in a tub showerers' or they only buy powdered milk! (no fridge) If you're getting cold in October, believe me you're gonna be a LOT colder in January. As others have said, your boat wasn't really designed for living on. Doesn't mean you can't live in it but you have to be prepared to make sacrifices. Isn't their anything on your boat which could make way for a small stove? With some of the smallest models shown on here, even once you've properly boxed it in with a tiled surround or similar you could probably get close to a footprint of 1-1.5 square foot. Look at it this way, being a bit smelly wont kill you. Hypothermia could. I've known people living in caravans and motorhomes which would have similar interior space to your boat and they all managed to find space for a small stove.
  25. Possibly the latest reply ever,but I hadn't been on this thread in a while and I must protest! What I said was - "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." I was talking there about trying to be as efficient and frugal as possible with power in a general sense. Of course using power from a different source is still likely to involve burning fossil fuels but there's a lot more you can do to reduce the energy demands on a boat than just that! Having said that, I'd be pretty confident that charging a laptop from the mains produces less CO2 than running an engine to charge batteries, then converting the 12v to 240v via an inverter to power a laptop on a boat!
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