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Everything posted by Dave_P

  1. I hate to ruin your day, but I'll be moored in Huddersfield this winter.
  2. Good question. I haven't yet, because it doesn't feel right.
  3. Tea is fine by me. I do have a weakness for gin though. Specifically this right now http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-botanist-islay-dry-gin/the-botanist
  4. 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. Dave.
  5. 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. Dave. 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.
  6. 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. Dave
  7. 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! Dave.
  8. 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. Dave
  9. 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.
  10. 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! Dave.
  11. 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, Dave.
  12. 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.
  13. 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, Dave. Nb Beau, Gas Street Basin, Birmingham.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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!!!"
  17. You could try this company. I haven't bought from them so I can't comment on quality, but you can't argue with the price! http://www.kogan.co.uk/shop/category/12-volt-tv/
  18. I'm a student at Birmingham University. I lived on a boat before I became a student. I moor at Gas Street Basin in Brum so very handy for getting to uni.
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