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Everything posted by Grassman

  1. I think one of the issues is that for a while now people are recruited at management level who have never done the job, sometimes straight from university but not always. For example at a well know junction on the Trent & Mersey the manger recently retired and the person who took overs only experience of canals was as a gongoozler! So how would these kind of recruits know how long a job will take? My guess is that they ask the workforce who inevitably will tell them it will take much longer that it really would. No doubt there are all sorts of task related criteria, method statements, job descriptions etc on record for them to refer to but given the diversity of much of the work carried out, no two jobs are always going to be the same. Also when those job/task descriptions were originally put together the time allowance for each task was probably inflated anyway for the reasons I've mentioned.
  2. As the plastic boat that was struck wasn't displaying an index number or licence I wouldn't have bothered reporting the collision. There's no excuse for not displaying an index number, and to me this indicates that the owner was attempting to keep under the radar and that his/her boat probably wasn't licenced. There seems to be an increasing number of boats with no index number these days and a lot of which have no boat name either. I wonder how CRT manage to check if they are licenced or trace the owners in these instances?
  3. A few weeks ago we struggled in those places, especially Bakers Lock, and we only draw 2ft. Regarding the Thames, we did Limehouse to Oxford in July and all the lock keepers were saying how unusually quiet it had been this year, and the chap collecting the mooring fee at Hurley said he was 50% down on usual years. When we passed Le Boat's place at Benson I counted 19 of their boats in there. I don't know how many they operate but it looked as if only a third of their fleet was out. It was a Wednesday so not one of the common changeover days so I doubt it was because of changeover that they had so many boats in there.
  4. I loosen mine a little by banging the mooring pin in various directions with the mallet and then use one of these bale hooks to pull them out. Mine is all steel and more heavy duty than the one in this photo though. With the wide handle you can use both hands and really get some purchase on them.
  5. I recently contacted CRT about an occurrence of vandalism at a lock on the South Oxford Canal and was told that it was boater abuse, but they now always refer to it as vandalism in their stoppages notices. Barmy in my opinion but I presume this is because they think if they blamed a boater it might upset their customers!
  6. When we hired a cabin cruiser from Cally Cruisers in Inverness we were made to sit in a back room and watch a 20 minute video before they'd let us have the boat. After watching it there was the usual type of handover and any questions we had were answered. I know this doesn't guarantee people will take it all in but at least being captive and with no distractions there's a very good chance people will pay attention. I think all hire companies should be encouraged to do this.
  7. This thread reminds me of a boat on some offside moorings on the Staffs & Worcs Canal northern section. The signwriting on the cabin side says Michael & Vacancy I cannot remember if it was actually Michael but you get the gist. I do remember though, that it's been like that for years so it obviously hasn't worked!
  8. Getting back on topic 🙂, the southernmost stoppage of those notifications is at Lock 37 Dashwood Lock. Attributed to 'vandalism' on the CRT stoppage notification it is actually a badly bent paddle bar, something which sounds as if it was caused by a boater. I'm in Oxford and haven't actually seen it but this is what a boater who came through there has told me. CRT were supposed to be working on it on Friday but I haven't seen confirmation that it's been sorted yet. I suspect the problems further north are also probably down to boater abuse and with all 3 issues the water shortages have made the situation worse, hence the closures.
  9. I was under the impression there was a problem with this remote control concept in that the insurance won't cover you unless you are actually operating the boat whilst on it. Presumably things have changed now?
  10. The moorings by Cadburys give a false impression of Bournville, and it's more Selly Oak/Stirchley. Bournville is very nice, especially the village green, the church, a few shops and school with it's bell tower and carillon just the other side of Cadbury's, but apart from that there's little else except some nice parks. Possibly worth the short train journey from those nice moorings by the university though.
  11. I think the issue is as much to do with a shortage of decent mobile boat mechanics as the amount of people wanting their services. Most are self taught (nothing necessarily wrong with that though), and are people who have a 'boaty' background. Most general mechanics and repairers I'm sure prefer to work in a nice heated workshop than crawling around in the confined space of an engine bilge of boat cabins.
  12. It's the other way round. It's about £5 a night to moor there, but if you buy a museum ticket you get 1 night's mooring fee included.
  13. A couple of years ago we were hit head on by an oncoming boat who'd failed to slow down on a blind bend. Thankfully no damage or injury resulted, but since this incident I mount my car dashcam in the cratch frame window. It hadn't occurred to me that it would capture some wonderful 'action film' of our travels albeit from just the one perspective though. It records for 4 hours on a loop, split into in 3 minute segments, plenty enough to cover each days cruising. I can trim any of the segments to a shorter duration, and pause one in a specific place to extract a 'still' photo from it.
  14. Wonderful. And a lot of bottle battling with those high winds!
  15. What an amazing experience. The size of those structures are awesome.
  16. Following my OP last week. The boat was dry docked today, which revealed exactly the damage incurred when I went over the hidden underwater obstruction. Thankfully a new assembly was sourced locally, and fitted so we're back cruising again. A special thanks to Joe of The Dry Dock Company in Greenham (Newbury) on the K&A. Knowing I was passing through and anxious to get on my way again, he managed to find me a slot in his busy dry dock schedule, despite being technically fully booked for weeks ahead. He did an excellent repair and at a much better price than the other boatyards and marinas in the area. Thanks also to everyone here for your valuable input with this thread.
  17. Thanks, yes when I made the dry dock booking I emailed them the same photo that I put on here.
  18. Thanks to you all for your feedback. I’ve arranged to have it dry docked next week which will reveal exactly what has become of it, and will report back. As for the rather bizarre design I will see if they can either replace the skeg with a longer one, or properly extend it, but because they are ‘fitting me in’ I doubt they will have time so it may have to wait until the next blacking in 2 years time. For the moment I’d be fine just having a like for like jobby done so I can get moving again.
  19. Yesterday we went over an unknown underwater object. The impact was such that it jerked the tiller arm right out of my hand. After that the tiller was quite loose but steered okay. The rudder was still in the cup and the play was minimal, except for an occasional 'clank', usually on revs higher than tickover, and the tiller arm would wobble and then settle again. It became steadily worse so I called out RCR. Their chap donned his dry suit and went in for a feel. His prognosis was that the cup on the skeg had cracket and split in half. so I've now got to find somewhere to get the boat out of the water to take a proper look and repair. To me it looks like it's a very unusual set up the way the bracket and cup appears to have been attached to the end of the skeg rather than welded onto it, and I was wondering what you others think. Whatever I went over has probably struck the rear of the cup bracket which as you will see in the photo is the weakest point. To me it looks a poor job which surprises me considering it's a Colecraft (built in 1995), and my highly reputable surveyor didn't comment on it when I bought the boat in 2012. Your thoughts would be appreciated please.
  20. On the western K&A I don't think they've cut the towpath vegetation for years. You northerners are spoilt compared to what it's like down there. Mind you at least you can get an overnight mooring!
  21. I have found this too. I've been impressed by the quality of the paper. After a thorough soaking I leave it closed but two or three times a day I carefully peel/turn each page. By about day three it's virtually dry with just the odd page needing separating. This has happened a few times over the years and it always works. It's worth the effort because the alternative of having to insert all my notes into a new copy would take much longer. In the event of a complete write off, as back up I have a spreadsheet showing all 7 editions of Nicholsons with each page number and the details of the notes I've made on each page of each book, so I still have the information if I need to buy a new one. If there's rain forecast I now house it in a small ring jewellery display case which cost be about £10 and works very well.
  22. How are you all getting on with obtaining diesel? Are there still shortages and have you come across anywhere refusing to sell you any? So far we haven't had the problems that there were a few months ago thankfully. This is meant as a general question out of interest, but also specifically we are currently in Devizes and need to get some in the next week before we reach Reading and the Thames. There are plenty of options but any advice from you regular users of the eastern K&A would be much appreciated, both in terms of availability of diesel and best prices.
  23. I once saw a heron devour a rat. Had I photographed it and put it on social media I doubt anybody would have objected.
  24. One of them said to me that as a rule they are told not to work below lock 5 but can make exceptions depending on how many of them are on duty, and individual boaters requirements or requests. On the subject of lock vollies not being around in poor weather, I doubt many of them would and I certainly wouldn't unless I was being paid for it.
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