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Big Bob W

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  1. Big Bob W

    Looking at a boat share

    As many others have done, we started off hiring. We then had a share for some 4 years or so before buying our own boat when our personal circumstances allowed. I would definitely recommend shared ownership. Its a very cost efficient way of getting around 4 weeks a year cruising and a stepping stone between hiring and owning your own. It helps if you have a good syndicate. As someone mentioned previously, you want members who treat the boat as their own, rather than like a hire boat. We were lucky in that respect. But generally, you don't know what they are all like until you have committed. In an earlier life, I did quite a bit of gliding. I joined a glider syndicate, but knew all the members beforehand. That's probably why I found joining an unknown syndicate a bit strange Shared ownership gives you a good insight in to what is involved with boat ownership. Maintenance, licensing, insurance, mooring fee's, budgeting for contingencies etc. These are all discussed throughout the year and at the syndicate AGM. The biggest drawbacks we found were having to lug everything on to the boat each time you used it. Then unloading and cleaning throughout ready for the next owners to come aboard. Also, obviously, you can't just go out for a weekend on a whim. But then, you get what you pay for!
  2. Big Bob W

    ASAP - Data Breach

    I placed an order on 21st Aug. Having found the order confirmation email, it is date-stamped at 12:02pm - 2 hours before they say the malware was present. Unfortunately, I don't trust these guys now and will be cancelling the card. Real pain though.
  3. Big Bob W

    To Dredge or Not to Dredge, CRT On the Level.

    Over the last few weeks I have noticed levels down about 4 - 6 inches on the other end of that pound (Bugbrooke - Stoke Bruerne). That explains it.
  4. Big Bob W

    First Frost

    We can get picking the sloes now! 🍷
  5. Big Bob W

    Car Park Stoke Buene

    Wait until TFL apply this to all the ex-Whilton boats moored down there!
  6. Big Bob W


    Self preservation is the answer to the first question. But what annoys me is when the Missus then apologies to the cyclists!! Why?? The second question is one I have asked for years! Its a side of human nature I don't understand. For some reason, people see a moored boat out in the sticks and seem attracted to moor adjacent, along with the generator and free roaming dogs, despite there being 100's yards of space behind you You can almost guarantee it. In a previous life, we used to do a lot of caravanning, more often than not staying on farm sites. Same thing - if you were to "moor" your caravan in a secluded corner of an empty 5 acre field for a bit of piece and quiet, some numpty comes along and parks himself 20ft from you. But then I am an antisocial old git.
  7. Big Bob W

    Canoes in Chirk Tunnel

    And clearly signposted as such. Someone moored just after the south portal told us that one of the group bottled out and walked over the top. The only sane one in the group. The rest clearly had some kind of death wish! This was the middle of the day too.
  8. Big Bob W

    Canoes in Chirk Tunnel

    3 weeks or so ago we met about 10 canoeists midway through Blisworth Tunnel. I couldn't work out what was happening at first. I could see these flashing dots of light but it wasn't until I was almost on them I saw the silhouettes of paddles. I slowed down as much as possible whilst still retaining some control to avoid crushing the idiots, but as I passed they were shouting about my speed.
  9. Big Bob W

    Rank these boat builders!

    ^^^ So True! Ditch the spreadsheets and get out there looking. End of.
  10. Big Bob W

    Rank these boat builders!

    I would also recommend to spend a day at Whilton. By no means am I recommending them as a broker to purchase from though - far from it! Most of their boats are well over priced in my opinion, and you'll find plenty of stories about them on here. However they have a huge selection of boats on brokerage. They are not fussy about giving you the keys to whatever boats you want to look over and you can do this unaccompanied in your own time. So you can get a good idea of what will work for you.
  11. Big Bob W

    Rank these boat builders!

    It was this time last year we bought for the first time. We too were (and still are) "noobs". We had been looking around for a year or more. I must admit at no time did we ever consider who was the builder of any boat! We were just looking for something that was right for us in the right price bracket. When we eventually found it, the offer went in, knowing that we would commission a survey that would not only (hopefully) find any serious issues, but also give a valuation. I would say Chill, relax a bit. Look around. As I said before, and it is true, the right boat will find you.
  12. Big Bob W

    Rank these boat builders!

    You will know when you find THE boat. And I guarantee it will not fall into any of the categories you have prioritised. We were looking for 60ft, semi-trad, probably 20 years old, etc. Then we found Dougal - 50ft, Trad, 33 years old, Peter Nicholls build. Annoying really as the Mrs decided the moment she saw it, this was it and told the seller as much!! No chance for negotiation! The right boat will find you.
  13. Big Bob W

    Whats going On ?

    Wigrams - Braunston certainly been cut in the last few days. The boat is full of dried grass cuttings!!
  14. Big Bob W

    Carefreecruising boatshare...

    I think the fact a syndicate is self-managed is actually a good indication its a good bunch of members. If they were not capable, enthusiastic and well organised, I would expect them to be part of a managed setup instead. Before we bought our own boat recently, we had a share for several years. Initially the boat was managed by BCBM. We decided to go self-managed after scrutinising how much we paid the management company each year. In the first year, we kept the monthly payments the same as when we were with BCBM, and within that year had built up a healthy contingency fund - enough for a replacement engine should it give up on us. That said, it was a good group of people who took pride in the boat. I guess one difficulty is that until you join, you don't know for sure how good the syndicate is. A few years ago I was an active glider pilot. A large number of private gliders are also owned by syndicates. The difference there though was that you knew the other members (and they knew you!) before you made the decision to join. I would certainly recommend shared ownership, and probably go for a private syndicate. It gives you a good insight into what's involved in boat ownership, maintenance and costs should you decide to purchase yourself in the future. As others have said, take a look at boatshare.co.uk .
  15. Big Bob W

    Welford Lock - Welford Arm

    The top paddle on Welford lock on the Welford Arm of the Leicester Line is currently broken. Reported to CRT who are on the way apparently. Looks like we have another night in the Wharf Inn!

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