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Tony1

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Tony1 last won the day on October 8 2021

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    CCer, currently in Cheshire
  • Boat Name
    All That Jazz

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  1. Ed might not be the cheapest you'll see, and he's mad busy, but worth waiting for. He'll do it properly and safely, and he has a lot of knowledge and experience with lithiums- which many marine electricians are still wary of, as I found last year.
  2. It would be typically perverse for a local authority to stop the electricity at the time of year when its most needed. I wonder if they are concerned about people plugging in fan heaters or hairdryers, and basically extracting the maximum possible power for their full stay? Do they not know boaters don't wash their hair in winter?? Or is that just me? Oh dear, that's embarrassing..... Their stinginess does not matter- I have a decent charging system, so I can get 100Ah of charge into the batteries in about an hour of engine running, and the other 20 or 30Ah I might need will come from solar. But I beg you Mrs Haggis, do please throw a few more coals onto the fire this winter. Poor Mr H looked so pale and wan when last we met- I fear he may suffer the same fate as the famous Captain Oates. If you hear him say 'I'm just going inside for a while- I'll be back soon', then its time to panic.
  3. I'd love one for the worst winter months tbh. It seems so much more efficient to heat only the water you need. Could it be there is a perception that the BSS people are making it more tricky? They seem to have made gas fridges less popular by stating that a new gas fridge has to be marked as being 'suitable for marine use' (or something similar)? I would guess the other thing that makes people pause is the install cost- with a flue, cutting a hole in the roof (or a vent), and the gas piping, which I would imagine has to be done by someone who is qualified gas safe specifically for boats?
  4. I must admit I'm not looking forward to buying coal this winter. I think I use about 10 bags per month in Nov-Feb, which last winter cost about £12-13 per bag. So the coal bill was maybe £130 per month, plus a litre of diesel most days for recharging and hot water. I think its around £1.60 per litre, which will mean a bit over £40 per month for recharging and hot water during winter. But if the coal doubles, say, that's going to be £260 per month, and take the overall total to maybe £300 per month. As bad news as that is, its still much less than householders will be paying. If coal goes up much more than that, there will be many more boaters out scavenging wood this winter. One wonders whether there will be a possibility of coal being nicked from one's roof, if people get desperate enough.
  5. I think it would definitely be worth some sort of trial run before committing the money, and a shed sounds as good as anything else, if only to get an idea of the space. The very long-term liveaboard I met had one of these shorter boats, but as in this example he had built up a rear cabin, and I think he could almost stand up in it, although there wasnt room to take more than one pace in any direction. I think he had the basics- a coal stove made from an empty gas bottle, a basic two burner hob, a bowl to act as a sink, and a 20 litre water container with a tap on it. It sounds unlikely, but it must all have gone through at least one BSS exam. Nevertheless, it struck me as being a pretty brutal experience, and not one I would willingly endure myself, but I guess sometimes a super-tight budget and a very thick skin will steer people towards making some hard core lifestyle choices.
  6. Thanks a lot, I'd totally overlooked that stretch, although the map does show a mooring spot, which will be good for 14 days. Using street view and moving along the towpath, it looks like there are only enough rings there for maybe two boats, so it's not a spot you can count on being available even in winter. But it looks like it has a much more open and pleasant aspect than the online CRT winter moorings further on towards the basin. Those seem to be overshadowed by trees, which I'm not a fan of in the winter months. What I've noticed so far is that on the quiet sections of canal in winter, CRT do not enforce the 14 day rule quite so strictly, but I would expect in that spot they will be right on the case 365 days of the year. But I'd be happier spending 2 weeks there (and spend maybe £2 each day on diesel to recharge batteries), than spend £255 per month to moor a couple of hundred yards further on. What I found last winter was that any normal/free mooring spots near towns tend to be fully occupied by liveaboards for most of the time, so I wouldn't expect those 2 or 3 spots to be available, especially given they are the only free spots for a few miles. The budget-conscious liveaboards will be all over those spots from mid-Oct onwards, I would guess.
  7. Oh, I seeeee.... So in the winter, maybe the basin becomes 14 day mooring like most other short-stay spots (subject to not being evicted by a mob of pitchfork-wielding locals). I can see the beginnings of a plan- I could stay in the basin for 2 weeks, then move onto an online winter mooring for a month, and then scarper. Great news for the local pasty shops, which can expect to treble their sales during my stay. But the dreaded closures loom large, and one must plan these ventures with military precision. There are a number of closures appearing on the CRT list. Grindley Brook is closed between 9/1 and 20/2, and bridge 31W at Trevor is closed from 3/1 to 20/1, and Hurleston from 3/1 to 3/2. They also mention a stoppage near Frankton from 16/1 for 2 months, but then say that not all of that time will be actual closure. So the intrepid boater has to get out of the basin area and past Trevor before 3/1, and then past Frankton by 16/1 (which allows a stay near both Chirk and St Martins). Our dashing hero might then spend a week or two near Ellesmere, and perhaps the same near Whitchurch, before cruising through the newly reopened Grindley Brook locks in late Feb. I love it when a plan comes together.
  8. I've met a few guys who were CCing full time on craft of about 20ft, in fact one of them had been doing it for more than 7 years. It would be way too hard core a life for me, or indeed for most people, but there are a few hardy souls who are prepared to suffer the major discomforts and inconveniences, just to live afloat. I'm sure most of them would really like something bigger and more comfortable, but I guess for some people that's not an option, and if your budget will only stretch to a few thousand or less, you can exist on one of these small boats, at least on the canals anyway. You could install a small stove, a basic water supply/sink etc, and even a solar panel or two, but it would be wrong to sugar coat it. I would never want to tread upon someone's dream of life afloat, but the truth is that It's got to be a pretty tough existence, especially in the winter, and especially for someone elderly. If there was some way the OP's buyer could try out a few days on board something this size, it might really help to clarify his thoughts about whether its really worth all the major sacrifices he'd have to make to live this way. Perhaps he could ask the current owner if he could spend a couple of night aboard, to get a feel for living in such a tiny space.
  9. Thanks Arthur, if I do have the moral fibre to winter on the Llan, it shouldn't be too hard to coordinate with Mountbatten's route so that I can pick up a dozen bags of coal before I get to Trevor, and then I'm good for at least a month in the basin if the fancy takes me. If I were as hardy as our Mrs Haggis, a dozen bags would see me through the entire Winter, but alas I am a rather nesh sassenach. I'm not a big fan of mooring broadside-on alongside boats for weeks on end as you do in marinas and basins, but it'll probably be quiet in December or Jan, so its probably worth paying CRT for a month's worth of Winter mooring, if I like the place. They tell me there's even electricity there (although they don't talk about the cost), so it may be time to break out the jacuzzi. Good times ahead, methinks.
  10. One of the jobs on my ever expanding list is to install a shallow tray underneath my water pump, with a water leak detector/alarm inside it. I think I pinched the idea from one of your posts. My water pump is sited under the front steps, and it started leaking about 2 weeks after I got the boat. I only found out about the leak because the water spread along the plywood floor, under the steps, and into the carpet I had at the time. The carpet was due to be replaced anyway, but I've put vinyl plank flooring down instead, and unlike the carpet, it will not show any signs of water leaking underneath it. The water pump will have been less than 6 years old (as was the boat), and it seems that kind of period is not uncommon as a lifespan for these pumps. It might be under more stress because I don't have an accumulator in my system, and I do usually run the water at a slow rate, which means the pump goes on and off every second or so. My other job will be to install an accumulator and perhaps reduce the stress on the pump, but I think installing a tray and a leak detector is something that will at some point in the future save me from a lot of mess and hassle, lifting the floors, sucking the leaked water from the bilge, and all the other unpleasant hassle involved with a leaking water pump that goes undetected for a while. After that, I'll be putting leak detectors in the bilges.
  11. This forum is so informative. Next time I book in for a blacking I'm going to ask specifically about how the boat will be supported, and whether there will be a support under the engine. If they say only two supports, I'll probably give them a miss.
  12. Last summer I was a regular visitor to the large and small shops in Whitchurch, Ellesmere and St Martins, and of course Chirk, and I occasionally popped into places like Oswestry, Wrexham, Wem and even Prees for a bit of a change. Its not that I dont know where the various places are, but more that I'm not sure what life would be like there in winter, and relying on a bike for transport. Its one thing to visit a nice rural spot in summer, with lots of boats going past and the odd one stopping, and with late nights and warm weather etc. But it's quite another thing to stay in a more remote rural place when its dark at 4pm, its too cold/windy/wet to be comfortable outside for very long, and there's not a soul about. The places I wintered around last year were very quiet (apart from Chester), but there were always a few people about, and at least half a dozen boats each day. I'm guessing it might be a bit quieter on the Llan. That means you can more easily find places to moor closer in to the towns whenever you want to, I guess. Re the overstaying, I think lots of people took the mick a bit last winter as the lockdowns were only starting to fully lift, and plenty of people stayed put on 48 hour moorings for a few weeks because of covid. I dont agree with any boaters hogging a mooring spot for the entire winter- that's totally out of order. But I've noticed that CRT do not chase people even after 14 days during the winter. They definitely seem to relax the normal rules a bit. I spoke to one GRP boater who was only asked to move on two weeks into March, after being in the same spot for 4 months. You have to ask what's the point of living on a boat if you don't want to go anywhere, but that's a different issue. The point I'm making is that they definitely turn a blind eye to overstaying a bit, as long as the location is not busy. Hopefully the Llangollen teams are not too zealous during the winter months.
  13. Does anyone know if the fuel boat goes all the way to the basin? I think its Mountbatten, the one that moors near Swanley Bridge. Unlike last year, it looks as if most of the Llan will remain open for most of the next winter, so I'm pondering whether to spend 2 or 3months there when it gets a bit quieter, maybe starting early Nov. But I might have the old rose-tinted glasses on. It was lovely being in those quiet rural spots (e.g. around Whixall Moss) during the summer, what with the warm and late evenings and the general 'holiday-camp' vibe with all the hire boaters, but I'm not sure my 13 mile grocery ride to Whitchurch and back will be so much fun when the roads are potentially icy, and with it getting dark around 4pm. That said, the winters are getting less severe, and the number of truly icy days seems to have reduced, so I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's a spent a few months there during the winter. Last winter the closures restricted things a bit, but I moved between Nantwich, Middlewich, Northwich, and back around to Chester and Ellesmere Port a few times, so there were plenty of towns and facilities. But I'm conscious that on the Llan, the towns are fewer and the shopping trips can be longer, unless you stay close to the towns. And on a general note, are the full time liveaboards starting to give some thought to what might be a good cruising area for the winter?
  14. Of course, yes. I'm forgetting that I do these trips on my bike which makes it much quicker and easier, but if the OP hasn't got at least one bike, that would be a tidy walk into Bunbury.
  15. Ellesmere Port is a teeny bit drab if I'm honest, but the museum basin is a nice peaceful place to moor for a couple of days- although its now £10 per night and you book online via the CRT website. Bear in mind there might be a party/function on at the Holiday Inn if its a Friday or Saturday, although personally I've never found the noise level unpleasant. The station is only 500 yards away and its a 40 min ride to Liverpool city centre, if that appeals for the shopping etc. A couple of miles south of Ellesmere Port you can stop near Cheshire Oaks shopping outlet (which has the Blue Planet aquarium close by), and a mile or two further south there are some very quiet mooring spots near Stoak, with the Bunbury Arms nearby, which is quite decent. The truth is that the 7 or 8 mile stretch between Chester and Ellesmere Port is not that interesting in terms of local places of interest, but if you moor at bridge 134 (pretty bridge), its a short walk uphill to Chester Zoo, but I think its almost £30 entry now, so bear that in mind. If you do stop there, the suburb of Upton is less than a mile walk from the canal, and the Wheatsheaf pub there does a reasonably decent full english (not sure about the rest of the menu). Arthur is right about Christleton- there are a few nice spots to moor between Waverton and Christleton, but there's pretty much bugger all of interest from a touristy point of view (apart from that pub a bit further to the north- I think its called the Cheshire Cat)- although it is a short bus ride from Christleton into Chester. Unless its peace and quiet you are after, I'd push on and stop somewhere above the staircase locks for a day or two, then go down those locks into the basin for another couple of days. Basically, maximise your time around Chester as its the most interesting location. If you're really enjoying it, you can then moor outside the shower and toilet facilities next to the basin for a another couple of days, before heading north. There are plenty of clumps of floating weed once you pass bridge 134, but just cut the revs as you pass through them and you should be fine. I've done that stretch a few times recently and not had the prop fouled yet (touch wood of course). To the south of Chester, some people stop at bridge 109 for the well-known pub there (whose name I can't remember!) I remember there was a local deli/butcher/food shop in Bunbury (Burrows I think), that seemed to be frequented by local people in Range Rovers and the like, so it was quite posh, but I recall the food from there was very very nice.
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