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NB Willawaw

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Posts posted by NB Willawaw

  1. Out of interest, were you using the locate me/positioning on the e-canalmapp or were you just using it as a map, as you would the Nicholsons?


    I've spent a couple of days travelling up the South Oxford from Oxford to Cropredy and the emap seems to be up to date. It showed the winding hole above Somerton Deep lock which is not in my Nicholsans. That said I prefer the paper book for this job. It's easy to check with a quick glance and I can scribble my own notes for future use. I can use google maps on my phone to find local facilities etc. Don't think I'll be buying any more.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to answer that so thoroughly. Seems just about as accurate as the Nics then. Oh well, at least it allows me to make an informed decision about whether I choose to buy any more.




    No I'm afraid that's 10 years out of date which is worrying. This is a quote from the Teddington Lock site:


    Contrary to every guide book i have seen so far ( River Thames book , Imray guide etc. ) we do not have the flashing crosses and arrows any more (these were replaced about 10 years ago, so it shows how often the guides are updated!) We now have simple RED and GREEN traffic lights for each lock. Watch the lights and you won't go far wrong !!


    Web site


    Teddington Site


    Photo taken on approach. You can just see the traffic lights above the lock signs.


    Photo link

  3. The Nicholsons correction site stopped ages ago. There was an attempt to refloat it on a site called Nicholsons Updates about 2 years ago but I believe people weren't cooperating by reporting the errors so corrections could be issued on the site and it was eventually stopped. It only corrected the last published version anyhow.


    The e-canalmapps are not error free. I have just reported an error where two adjacent pubs had been transposed.


    It also shows a cinema that has been closed a couple of years.


    It seems that you have to-spend £130 for Eureauweb Waterways to get an error free map and you then pay £25 per annum for the update service.


    This is a bit rich for my blood as this mapping is useful but not essential on a canal and you can get similar by cross referencing many of the free or lower cost systems out there.


    In the destructions in the app, it suggests it uses the same Eureauweb database as Waterways, but with the errors, this must mean that either this isn't the case or the same errors are there too.



    This is something I keep meaning to look into, but I do like a paper map. We've got the full set of Nicholsons and have now started collecting Pearsons.


    BUT it;s bloody annoying when you arrive at a pub that no longer exists, walk a mile to a village shop that closed down a year ago or arrive for a pump out at what used to be a hire boat firm and is now a private basin.


    I know there was talk about updates to Nicholsons online at one time, is that still ongoing? I'm wondering if it's only relevant if you have one of the latest books rather than the 2004 version :rolleyes:


    They are 300-500Mb per map. I think the trick is to download them when using broadband wifi.



    I tried the map on my android phone, the map data download is HUGE. It will certainly eat a big chunk out of your download allowance. I read somewhere of a similar waterways product that is supplied on a usb memory stick.



  4. Is anybody using them on an iPad or iPhone platform with the internal GPS?


    If so, does the speed read correctly for you within the e-canalmapps app?


    ETA I find the maps are just about readable on the bigger screen of an iPad but as I said earlier they would benefit from one more level of zoom.

  5. One thing Ive learnt is that the heading readout on e-canalmapps is literally that. However, on my iThing it comes from the built in compass and depends on how you orientate the tablet.

    You have to point it at the bow of your boat, otherwise it makes the boat appear to go sideways down the canal.


    This was baffling me at first as I assumed wrongly that the app was using course over ground from my problematic GPS.


    If I point the tablet at the bow, it reads correctly now and the triangle that represents own boat on the map, points the right way.


    The speed is still wrong though.

  6. The other thing that is quite strange is that I thought the Eureauweb Waterways mapping which costs £25 per year for updates, used the same source as the e-canalmapp product (both products come from the same company).


    My e-canalmapp doesn't show Ellesmere Tunnel at all. Apparently "Water-ways" does show it.


    Unfortunately, you can't rely on users to correct all your mistakes - by and large, most people can't be bothered

    so at best, you will only get some corrections this way.

  7. Well I've only used them for a little while, but opinion so far.


    I like them but I've discovered that a tunnel was missing completely. I emailed Mr Kelly and he said it would be corrected.


    I've also found a few minor errors which I haven't reported yet. I guess it depends on how long it takes to get these corrected. If they are corrected even quarterly then it will be an advantage over Nicholsons.


    I feel the zoom scaling could be better as I find myself peering at the screen sometimes wishing I could zoom in another level.


    The interactive POI side of things is good and if you have a data connection you can click on links to access pub websites etc. Only being able to choose to display three types of POI doesn't really cause me a problem.


    Although trivial, I like the way the boat passes under the bridges rather than over them when you are moving on the map. For some reason there seems to be a software glitch when interfaced to my GPS. I don't get speed shown and I quite like having instantaneous speed over ground displayed. My bluetooth GPS works with all my other iPad apps including my Imray charting though so I don't think it's my Garmin GPS.


    If you want to look at a different part of the canal from where you are, it's quite difficult to do this as its sometimes hard to get your bearings and the place search isn't as good as it could be.


    In summary, I like them but they still need some work. I would rather buy these than new Nicholsons but they need to put some effort in. I imagine this is dependent on numbers sold so its a bit chicken and egg.


    I get the impression that not many people are using them yet.


    I haven't tried them yet as I have a full set of Nicholson. However, I'm getting frustrated with the amount of out of date info even in the recent reprints. I would apprciate your views on the emaps system.

  8. Is anybody using them with GPS to show boat position and movement?


    Specifically, is anybody using them with an external GPS feeding their display device?


    I'm using a wifi non 3G iPad and external Bluetooth GPS and was interested to learn if anybody has a similar arrangement for the e-canal mapps.


    The Eureauweb Waterways product is a different product and much more expensive. The canalmapps are more in line price wise with books like Nicholsons.

  9. The original question was:


    Do You have VHF Onboard ?

    Would You Like Marinas To Use It ?


    It was a question directed at those who already have VHF - I thought I'd already explained that before.


    If a boater doesn't have VHF, I wouldn't expect them to fit it purely for this - I thought I'd mentioned this before as well.


    You don't have a VHF and prefer to use the internet, which is your choice but not really relevant.


    It's a bit like me having an opinion on what colour they paint the ladies lavatory at the marina.


    You made your opinion clear in an earlier response - fine.


    I don't use a smartphone when steering so wouldn't be able to google it without mooring first - also fine.


    It would be nice to hear other less vocal members opinions on these topics, rather than the same overbearing personalities. Maybe even people who have VHF already.


    I've tried to post different aspects of the subject to make it more rounded and interested.


    I'm not trying to force anything - it was just an idea.


    I wonder how much of this is people hijacking a thread to prove they have made the right decision in not having VHF on their canal boat.


    I don't think I've ignored or discounted anybody - there is no right or wrong answer as some will think it could be a good idea for some marinas and some will think its not necessary and is already covered by being able to phone them up, knocking on their front door and asking or even never going inside marinas at all.

  10. This is a prime example why I would like to see some marinas fit Channel M VHF in their office. A tight entrance and no telephone number on the signage at the front door. The ability to make a quick call to the marina office to ask if they have a berth for a few nights would save a wasted approach through that gap !!



  11. Oh I see what you mean.


    In this case, the PO berth was only one boat length long. The boat finished their PO and moved off.

    The waiting boat was over on his own pontoon mooring, watching. He was a local boat and I got the impression this

    is what he does regularly. We were midstream having just come in to use the facility and we were sitting with engine running and

    tiller in. As we were closer, we got there first, unaware of the other boats existence.


    Its possible the marina staff knew he was coming in next - we didn't, having just arrived.


    A warning on the VHF from the office or marina staff walking around, i.e. you're after "X" would have prevented the rise of blood pressures.


    So, does the narrowboat that's been on the water point with his tiller in for the last 24 hours mean that he still taking on water ?? :lol:

  12. I think that is a valid and sensible point.


    Although I think some marinas will benefit from having VHF, it doesn't mean they all would.


    If their office isn't usually manned, then it would make no sense to employ somebody just for VHF - none at all.


    Similarly, if the boatyard was on the side of the canal and had an easy-to-stop berth, then it's likely people would just hop off their boat and ask for the service they want. It's debatable whether they would benefit from having VHF.


    I've never suggested that boaters fit VHF just for this or that every marina should adopt it.


    However, I believe that there are definitely some that would benefit.


    For example, some marinas where you have to make a long detour to visit them to ask a question - Whixhall Marina up on the Llangollen, where you have to go through two lift bridges to get into their basin, Roydon Marina on the Stort where you have to go through a lock to get into their marina basin.


    Occasionally I've experienced a situation where you phone a marina, agree that they have a visitors berth available for you and they give you a berth number.


    Sometimes, you enter the marina and it's not clear which way to go (especially on the larger ones), sometimes you end up at the wrong berth and although the marina staff can see you from the office going the wrong way, they have no way of contacting you.


    We have been in to a marina to use their pump-out to find there is a queue - it's not always apparent who is in the queue or where you should moor whilst waiting for your turn. We had an argument once because a narrowboat moved off the pump out berth, having finished their business and we motored in to take their place.


    We were approached by a very irate boater who said we had jumped the queue - "we didn't see you" I said. I was over there on my berth he said, waiting for that boat to finish..


    Handheld VHF on M would be very good for a bit of marshalling by marina staff in the busier marinas during peak cruising times.


    As a BSS examiner I visit quite a lot of Inland waterway Marina's. About half of them have unmanned offices when I visit. I usually have to wander around looking for an owner or manager who is often not even on a mobile phone. The manager of the marina I went to last week for instance was driving a lawnmower and could not even hear his mobile phone ringing he claimed because of the noise. (I could hear it ringing, he'd left it in the office!). For a Marina radio system to work someone has to man the office,or carry a hand held set around all day, I can't see that happening. He he is very busy with maintenance work and general duties around the marina. and boatyard He employs a "Girl Friday" for two hours a day (His daughter I suspect). To pay somebody to permanently man the office I believe to be beyond his budget. I doubt if there will ever be any advantage whatever in him by installing Marine VHF

  13. I was also a marine radio officer and still work in the industry.


    I have no interest in listening to static and white noise all day and if you read the thread you will see that is not the objective.


    As you say it is good practise to use only as much power as necessary. There is no automatic power reduction programmed in to modern sets for the Ch M Marina channel.


    I didn't mention this high power/low power thing as many people are already struggling with the concept and I didn't want to over complicate things.


    If I were berthed in the marina and wanted to talk to the office because I was too lazy to walk there or couldn't be bothered to get dressed etc, I would use the 1 Watt setting. If I were cruising a few miles out and wanted to contact them to ask them something, I would use high power/25W.


    I usually switch down to the low power setting once I have established contact as a matter of course, because I don't like transmitting any further than I need to, but I doubt this is a widespread practice amongst users.


    I don't feel this is an inevitable move at all - quite the opposite. It will never be compulsory and marinas will still have phone numbers. This topic has never been aimed at those who don't have VHF and have no intention of getting one.


    I just believe it is a useful and legitimate use of VHF equipment that many of us seem to already have.


    The bottom line is that we can talk about it all day until the cows come home and it won't make any difference, unless a few of the marinas can see some mileage in it and start fitting VHF in their offices. If that ever happened, we might see some momentum where more boaters might fit, more marinas might fit because the boaters were and the use of Ch M might become widespread in inland marinas as M and Ch80 are in the coastal marinas and in selected areas like the upper reaches of the Thames, Liverpool marina and so on.




    Partly right. It is a requirement to use low power whenever practicable. (Most marine VHF's have a low power setting). A marina would most certainly be a location for that requirement. Some channels do have automatic power restrictions programmed into the equipment. do not know if this applies to "M" (I have been away from seagoing environment for so long I'm loosing touch!)

    I also feel if Marine VHF becomes in greater use on our inland waterways, that ALL inland waterways VHF communications should be on low power so as not to cause congestion and interfere with real shipping.

    Also, I wish to add, that as a Marine Radio Officer for many years one of the most relaxing things about the "cut" was to "get away from it all" I personally do not desire this development, though agree it might be inevitable.

  14. No, there is no requirement to use channel M at reduced power to my knowledge.


    Channel M2 is usually used for racing etc. Ch 80 is an international channel and operators need a full VHF operators licence so this would be a more costly option with no real gain.


    I suspect range over land would be reduced against a sea path. Also, narrowboat aerials tend to be short and low down, so performance would be affected.


    That is why I tend to work on an estimate of 5-10 miles, but it will depend on terrain of course - two boats on different lock summits might get a good range..

  15. At the end of the day, I bought my VHF a long time ago. I have no ongoing costs - the licence is free.


    If marinas and the like aren't interested, it doesn't really cause me a problem. We can continue to ignore the ones that involve a heavy detour off the main canal that we can't contact easily or we can phone those that we have the number to hand for.


    When we are continually cruising, there is usually enough marinas that we can afford to wait until the next one for whatever service we need. Another day or two usually doesn't inconvenience us.


    It will never come into play to radio other boats about bridge holes. Although we use VHF, we have no interest in having it on all the time and would normally just switch it on for specifics e.g. calling a Ch.M equipped marina, approaching a staircase lock where a lock-keeper or group of volunteers were using VHF, etc.


    If I were an off-line marina operator, to my way of thinking, the merit in this idea is two-fold.


    Firstly, I might get more customers visiting me off the main canal if those with radios knew they could call my office on Channel M and find out if we had visitor berths, if we had wifi in the marina, if our pump-out was working today etc.


    Secondly, for a spend of £175 for 12 months, I would get a lot of publicity - the first canal marina or two that fit Channel M will get a lot of publicity on the towpath telegraph, forums, Facebook groups, the waterways magazines and so on. People reading this publicity might not be interested in VHF as such, but my marina name would be everywhere for a while - great exposure for small out of the way marinas that struggle to up their profile.


    I would try it for 12 months and if it didn't work out, I wouldn't renew the licence.


    I spoke to one marina who fitted it and had no volume of users.


    "Did you tell anybody I said ?"


    "Well we told people in the marina" was the reply.


    "How ?"


    "By putting a letter on the noticeboard" was the reply.


    Some of these marina operators are amateurs when it comes to marketing - you only have to look at their attempts on Facebook.

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