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  1. We will be in Stoke next week and looking to moor by or near to the Red Bull pub which is by Lock 43 and the CRT depot just past where the Maccy goes off. Are there any suitable overnight moorings there and is it reasonably safe to leave our boat for a couple of hours while we go to the pub? I know it's amongst a flight of locks but there appears to be reasonable gaps in between them. I've taken note of all the other moorings mentioned in this thread, and may well opt for one of them, but we have a specific reason for wanting to moor near the Red Bull if possible which is too boring to explain here. Another question - Someone has told us that we need to pre-book our transit through Harecastle Tunnel but I think they are wrong and that from this weekend if we arrive before 4pm we will get a passage through. Am I right?
  2. What an amazing trip. It brings back great memories of last year when we did Limehouse to Teddington which was made so much more relaxing and enjoyable thanks to all the help from SG. We hope to do it again next year but this time go down river to the barrier.
  3. I should be fine with that then as I've read on this forum that it's only the River Douglas section where you have to really push the tide and that the wider Ribble isn't quite so intense.
  4. I have one of those rechargeable motion sensor lights. Our door to the cabin is on the starboard side and has 2 steps down to it so it's quite difficult in the dark seeing the keyhole on the door lock. Most of these lights come with a magnetic strip so after charging I just attach it below the gunnel next to one of the steps. Being magnetic gives the scope to mount it such that it doesn't light up every time somebody passes on the towpath, although some might prefer it to do that. I suppose it's down to what you want it for. If you do opt for one of these I recommend you don't buy the very cheap ones because they can be unreliable and the charge doesn't last very long. I have a strip one but the round ones are just as good. It cost around £15 - £20. Certainly don't buy any which are less than a tenner.
  5. Not quite the same but last year when we were at a water point a trip boat full of school kids pulled onto the water point just in front of us. The kids alighted and proceeded to excitedly run up and down the canal edge. A few minutes later I was horrified to discover that the hose was no longer in the well deck water tank but was sat in the doorway expelling water into the cabin. Thankfully I'd discovered it quite quickly but the water still damaged some items that were inside the steps and the cabin floor was awash with water. The unruly kids had obviously dislodged the hose and I made my feelings very clear to their leader about keeping them under control. Regarding which hose is the best, I've tried the flat ones and those which you can 'bunch up', but I still find the conventional ones are best despite them taking up more room to store. They are still by far the most common in use and that IMO says something.
  6. Thanks for the information Neil2. I think I've read that the river parts takes about an hour. Is that about right? It's just that I'm a bit anxious about running my old BMC 1.8 at high revs for too long. Last year going up river on the Thames from Limehouse it was on high revs for a couple of hours and performed okay and didn't overheat so hopefully I should be alright. Regarding the depths of Savick Brook and the Lancaster, I only draw 2ft so that should help.
  7. That's useful information thanks. I'd read that initially after leaving Tarleton it was pushing the tide for the first mile or so. Seeing your comparisons with the other tidal waters gives me more idea of what to expect along the way. I'd be prepared to stop in Preston but I'd prefer to do it in one hit. Does anyone know roughly how long it takes from Tarleton to the entrance to the Savick Brook?
  8. I will be interested to see the answers to the OP's question as well as another thread that's on the go about things to do and see on the Lancaster. We are booked on the Ribble Link crossing on June 17th and will be on the Lancaster Canal for 17 days. I've done tidal waters before (Trent, Yorkshire Ouse, Thames Tideway, River Severn from Tewkesbury to Gloucester) and from what I've found out it looks like the Douglas/Ribble won't be much different. Is that the case or is there anything different I should be aware of except for the obvious one of making sure I negotiate the Astland Lamp correctly and don't end up on a sandbank or out into the estuary? I anticipate the Savisbrook Cut may be a bit of a pain in my 62ft nb though, especially the locks at the far end, Not so much the turn into it from the river as I've previously experienced other difficult ones like West Stockwith, Keadby, and Selby but I'd be interested in your opinions as to how it compares. As for the Lancaster I think 17 days would be about right especially as we don't do long days cruising, and we will probably do the Glasson Branch.
  9. The problem with those 'deer ramps' on the Fossdyke is that many of those piles of rocks have slipped under the surface. Boaters can see the warning notices and avoid them but the poor deer that have fallen in cannot see them as a way of getting out because they're below the water and therefore not visible. Last year we came across a deer swimming about frantically trying to get out. A few minutes later we came across some EA chaps in a small boat with an outboard and asked if they could help. They said they'd given up trying to rescue the deer because it happened so often they'd be spending most of their time doing it instead of working. Two days later on our return from Lincoln to Torksey we came across it floating in the water. Very sad.
  10. The vollies give up their own time volunteering for free. Why the heck should they work out in the pouring rain for hours if they don't wish to. Would you? Or do you?
  11. My lock wheeler has one of these, she loves it but like yours does, she gets mixed up about setting the ratchet direction. The same size as a conventional windless it doesn't have the extra long handled leverage that those mentioned in the OP have, but the ability to be able to use it as a normal windlass then switch the over to the ratchet whenever she encounters a stiff paddle gear has made such a difference for her. At just under a kg it's virtually the same weight as an iron one so it's not heavy and cumbersome like those other ones. We've used it for around 500 locks so far and it's showing no signs of wear. The only negative is that it won't fit locks with the non-tapered paddle gear but thankfully those have been in the minority so far. At £80 it's a bit pricey but well worth it IMO if it keeps her happy!
  12. I pass moored boats on just above tickover but if they are on pins it's down to tickover. While we're on a 'grumpy' thread, something that p*ss me off are those coming from the opposite direction who when waiting on a lock landing just stand and watch instead of coming and 'mucking in'. I know they aren't obliged to, but most boaters help each other when working through a lock. Yesterday a crew of 4 on a waiting boat just stood and watched my wife struggle with some stiff paddles. So we deliberately took our time so as to keep them waiting longer.
  13. There was a very good article in last month's Canal Boat magazine about the paranoia of some boaters and how they are fearful about coming to grief when they venture into some of these areas. The only place in Stoke where I've had a bit of bother is on the Calden in Milton when a few bored kids decided to chuck stones at us as we passed by, but that can happen anywhere.
  14. Thanks, that's reassuring to hear Sam. I religiously change to oil and filters every 200 hours and keep up with the other maintenance too, and I do about 500 hours a year including the occasional 'thrashing' on rivers. You're right about the oil leaks, it comes with the territory. I once had a share syndicate boat with a BMC 1.8 and when I sold my share it had done 18,000 hours and was still going strong. Am I being paranoid or merely prepared in case 😊. More the latter really.
  15. I've heard and read (on here I think) quite a few stories of people having their BMC's reconditioned and many of them have had bad experiences. I love my 22 year old BMC but it has done 12,000 hours and although it's running well (touch wood) and has been well looked after throughout it's life, I am taking an interest in what boaters say about other engines just in case it gives up and I need to replace it. If or when this happens I will get in touch in case you still want it, but naturally I hope it isn't for a long time yet.
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