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Everything posted by Dave_P

  1. I thought I'd share a small quote from my thesis since it amused me somewhat and i found it necessary to include it!: "There is, however, plenty of evidence that the canal boating community was viewed with some suspicion and concern by the general population. A good example can be found in a report in the Lancet in 1877, “It appears that the condition of morals as well as of hygiene among the canal population is very unsatisfactory. A case was brought before Runcorn magistrates some days ago, when the evidence adduced showed that the marriage law was often ignored, and that the buying and selling of wives occasionally occurred. We have frequently pointed out that, on sanitary and moral grounds, the inhabitants of the floating dens ought to be the subjects of some special legislation.”"
  2. Water is terrible! Sign the petition to ban the nasty stuff! http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ban-dihydrogen-oxide.html
  3. I have been involved in commercial filming on the canal in Birmingham and yes there are signs with a number to ring but I don't remember being charged anything. They just want to have a record of what you are doing. I don't have the number on me but a good place to start would be these guys who are always very helpful http://www.filmbirmingham.co.uk/ If it's for a wedding I'd give them a call and be sure of your position. You don't want some jobsworth coming down on the day and disrupting things.
  4. Yes I know it's two and a half months later but I made a promise so I'm going to keep to it. My thesis has now been marked and moderated and all that stuff so I feel it's ok to share my findings on here. With that in mind, I'm happy to send a copy of my thesis to anyone who p.m.'s me with a request to do so. I don't really want to post my findings on the forum as I think they are much better read in the context of the whole report, and in the light of previous posts on this thread, I have realised that small bits of information in isolation are often misinterpreted and likely to cause arguments. Having said that, I will say this: Some of my results were somewhat predictable, whilst some were quite surprising to me. Comparisons between the health outcomes of liveaboards with moorings and those without showed some important differences. Equally, comparisons were made with liveaboards of different ages, gender and living arrangements and these also produced some statistically significant trends. On a different note: I contacted BW and RBOA for their input, and was contacted by BSS offering theirs. BW responded with a very standardised set of replies, some of which were clearly untrue (e.g. claiming to not know how many B.W. moorings there are), and I gave up pursuing their input - very sad but, if I'm honest, not that surprising in the light of other's experiences. RBOA initially failed to respond at all (apart from to say that my email would be forwarded to the relevant people) and it was only after bumping into one of their senior people on the cut that they showed any interest and indicated that they were aware of previous research which had been done. It then took a fair amount of time and prodding to get anything from them. Ultimately, there turned out to be no actual previous research on offer but Ivor Caplan did send me a nice letter stating the position of the RBOA on various issues and some of his own thoughts. Thanks Ivor, I know you were very busy at the time. The BSS actually came to me, wanting to share data and information. To cut a long story short, I agreed to send some of my raw data as a gesture of good-will and to show my intentions. BSS did not then reciprocate and eventually stopped replying to my emails despite earlier assurances. In the end I had a hell of a lot of data to work through so it didn't affect my thesis too much. I suppose my experiences with the 'authorities' and their lack of help mirrored the findings in my thesis, namely that liveaboards aren't as well supported as house-dwellers. Interestingly, I found that many liveaboards quite like it that way, thanks very much! However, vulnerable people are at increased risk of suffering in a wide range of ways because they are 'falling through the net'. I suppose it could be said that this is a no-brainer, but without valid quantitaive data backing it up, it's far to easy for authorities to turn a blind eye to it. For this reason I will be sharing my findings with CRT etc. Thanks again to all those who gave up their time to contribute to this. Finally, none of the questionnairers came to claim their free pint. I'm in Huddersfield now, but the offer still stands! Dave
  5. Either he's jealous of your youth, in which case, take it as a compliment. or he's jealous of your boat, in which case, take it as a compliment. In my job I have to deal with people who make this guy sound like an angel. Meet one of them and the conversation might have started "do you f'ing own this f'ing boat you f..." On another point, I had previously considered myself a young'un when it comes to boating, but quite clearly I'm not!
  6. I'm still living on the first boat I ever bought. I love it. It's perfect. I've never seen another I'd sooner have for less than twice the price I paid. I did a LOT of research before buying. Oh, and wading into the old, old toilet debate... with much trepidation... it seems to me that if you can happily afford the charges, and moor close by to a place where you can be pumped out, and never (or hardly ever) cruise anywhere, then maybe, just maybe a pump-out would be ok. For every other scenario, you'd have to be stark raving mad to have a pump-out, in my humble opinion. There have been a few occasions where I simply would have been up the proverbial creek if I had a pump-out. Exactly! The cassette in car option is annoying but much better than the pump-out situation. Yes a big tank should see you through but consider November 2010. What first appeared to be an early cold snap turned into one of the coldest winters in a long time. Where I was moored you couldn't move your boat more than a few feet until early February due to ice. In this case the cassette in car or cassette on wheely trolley option is there. But what of cc'ers who had let their pump-outs tanks get rather full earlier in November, not expecting the big freeze that followed, and more than a few feet away from a pump-out?
  7. Thanks. I'll try Shepley Bridge first because theyre much closer to me.
  8. Does anyone know of a good place to take my boat for blacking on the C&H, Huddersfield Broad, possibly Aire & Calder? I don't really want to do it myself and I'd prefer to get a recommendation on here. Prices people paid too would be good to know. I'll be back down in Birmingham next summer and I know I can get some cheap deals there. The trouble is it really needs doing before then. It's been 3 years (I think) already....
  9. Gazza - Although I've often been known to go round in daft circles, on this occasion it seems we're singing from the same hymn sheet, doesn't it? What part of what I've said is in conflict with what you've said? In fact I think you've made a series of perfectly valid points.
  10. You put it perfectly. Boating IS f'ing awesome! I love that you just went for it with no previous experience. Learn by your mistakes I say.
  11. All I can say is that you're wrong. Not just because i say so but because the law and those who judged this case also say so. I don't want to repeat what I and others have already said which point out the ways in which you're wrong so I'll end my contribution here.
  12. I think you've missed the point here. It's not the responsibilty of the dry dock to supervise him or ensure that he works in a safe way. It's the responsibility of the dock to ensure his safely, as far as is reasonably practicable. In this case they didn't make any effort to do this. They could have done simply and cheaply by providing a suitable platform. A supervisor isn't needed. When I go to the supermarket, I'm not allocated a supervisor to protect me from objects falling off the top shelf! I'm sure the supermarkets generally find it much simpler to not overstock the shelves and cause a 'falling object' hazard. This really isn't rocket science. Like I've said previously, it's just common sense. Personally, having read this, I feel a certain amount of shame from remembering occassions when I've seen platforms like this being used in dry docks and not spoken to the owner about it. I will in future.
  13. At the risk of repeating what others have already said: 1. Because the owner is far better placed to assess the risk. 2. Because the law is very clear on this (it has nothing to do with any 'mentality') and a good owner/employer would have at least some grasp of what is required under the law (which has been in place for nearly 40 years!). If anyone is playing the 'someone else is to blame' card it's those people who would seek to pass the blame from the owner to the customer. This is what unscrupulous employers have tried to do over many, many years and it is exactly what our Health and Safety legislation has largely stopped. The correctness of this approach is clearly proven by the continuing decline in workplace accidents over the last few hundred years. When I go onto someone else's business premises, they have responsibilty for my safety, it's as simple as that. This doesn't mean that I don't also have to play my part but I simply can't be expected to do a site risk assessment each time I enter a premises. In the same way, Richard Ferris would not have been as well placed as the owner to judge the suitability of the access platform. It's pretty normal that a customer would trust the owner that the equipment provided was suitable. If you read Steilsteven's previous post you can see that it wasn't suitable and that: 1. The owner should have known that. 2. It could have easily been made suitable. The law is so clear on this, I'm amazed that it's caused this amount of debate.
  14. I have to say I'm really shocked about some of the responses on this thread, trotting out the tired 'elfinsafety gone mad' rubbish. Please don't forget that a man died! This is a terrible tragedy and made worse by the fact that it could have been easily prevented by some simple common sense and consideration on the part of the person responsible for safety on the site. This is why we have legislation (in the case the Health and Safety at Work act 1974) and why risk assessments are required. Any fool can see that what was going on at this boatyard was dangerous and therefore posed a risk. It is up to the boatyard to take reasonable steps to mitigate that risk. If they decide that the best way to do this is to require the customers to provide their own access equipment then good luck to them but I can't see that standing up in court for one minute! Lets be clear who is responsible for health and safety on the site - the owner! It is up to them to deal with it, not to sidestep it. As previous posters have pointed out, it is the owner who is in the best position to assess the risks and find the best solutions, not the customers. Don't be fooled by silly tabloid storied about over-zealous individuals banning kids from playing conkers. The real story is that without adquate legislation we would still have tens of thousands of people killed in the workplace every year as used to happen in the past. Last year 173 people died in the workplace, each one of these is a tragedy but we should all be celebrating how low this figure is. If a fine of £50,000 sends a message to other boatyards to look at all their practices and look for ways to make things safer, then it's entirely justified. Most of the time, improving H&S is much more a case of applying common sense than spending lots of money. After all, how much does a secured platform with a rail actually cost? A lot less than £50,000!!! The HSE didn't cause a business to close, the owners did that for themselves, when they let a man die through negligence. Rant over.
  15. This is so right and so important. I'd say at least 2 ways for each as a minimum. Things break on boats more often than you'd want, and you always need back up. Solid fuel stoves are by far the most reliable way of heating your boat if you don't have mains hook-up. For the last month I've had mains electric (which is something of a novelty for me) so I now have: 3 ways to heat water (immersion, alde, engine) 3 ways to charge the batteries (hook-up, genny, engine) 4 ways to heat the interior (electric, squirrel, alde, engine) and when I finally get round to fitting a back-boiler to my Squirrel, I'll have 4 ways to heat water! When the Zombie-apocalypse comes, I'll be better prepared than most!
  16. It's all gorgeous, enjoy it! My 'must see' would be that you must go on the river. I just don't understand people who get all the way down there and then don't go past the basin. Much fun to be had dodging round the rowing boats and (my boat anyway) goes so well with a decent bit of water under the prop!
  17. that's not my experience but maybe it varies from place to place. there's quite a few good marinas on the shroppy so maybe that has an influence.
  18. I was advised that my ideal sample size would be between 60 and 100. Less than sixty and it's pretty difficult to derive statistical significance from the data. More than 100 and the complexity of analysing the data would increase to a point where it would become difficult to do it justice in the time-frame I have available. In the end my sample size was 91. Even with that, I'm struggling somewhat to fully analyse the data and keep my write up to the 15,000 word limit I am allowed. I'm not sure what you mean by percentage of the total? Do you mean the total number of residential boaters in the uk? The RBOA suggest a figure of 15,000 but this includes coastal waters. CRT are reluctant to make a guess. The reality is that nobody really knows. The figure is likely to be between 5,000 and 15,000 but defining a residential boater is not clear-cut. Many people keep a land address where they spend varying amounts of time, are they residential or not? To my mind, the problem is that the laws regarding housing and residential status were not written with boaters in mind so we, as a group, are an imperfect fit. I suspect you're right on that Chertsey but it doesn't mean that they aren't vulnerable people who need support and help from the authorities. The difference is that if they were living in a house, it's much more likely that vulnerable people would be flagged up somewhere and get the help they need. Similar boaters can more easily 'fall off the grid'. I'm sure that in many cases, that's exactly what people want. But, what people want and what they need are often two different things. For example, my survey has shown pretty high rates of depression amongst single occupancy continuous cruisers. These people may feel they just want to be left alone, due to their depression, but, perhaps with some more help, they could tackle their depression... Perhaps it's a vicious circle? It's really hard to separate cause and effect - are they depressed because they're isolated, or are they isolated because they're depressed? Again, I suppose I'm playing devil's advocate here... and I'm starting to ramble... must get back to data-crunching...
  19. Aren't BW/CRT the largest owner of moorings in the UK?
  20. 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.
  21. and effect can also be a verb. Thanks for the proof-reading chertsey. 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.
  22. 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. Dave
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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