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Canal Runner

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  1. Hi, I've only just found this part of the board, having already posted a couple of queries elsewhere. I've been a dinghy sailor for years but not floated on water for about 5. In the meantime, I have spent many a happy hour running up and down the Paddington arm of the GU and even venturing as far as Brentford when I've been feeling fit (hence my username). I've found that a cheery wave to the other canal users usually ellicits a similar response, which somehow dulls the pain of the miles in my legs. In October I hired a boat with Mrs Runner and the youngster for a pootle around Rugby / Braunston, having never been in a narrowboat before. Apart from wonderful weather, I was struck by how friendly and helpful you canal boaters are, even forgiving the odd mishandling or faux pas by us newbies. I'm looking forward to doing it again, but my son and I are also building a canoe in the garage. I hope you lot don't mind the odd paddler sharing the water ...
  2. Well, I couldn't see what the water was doing, being blinded by his headlight and concentrating on not hitting the walls. However, I got the distinct impression from looking at the brickwork that our boat slowed when he came close. The irony was that he complained about the fumes as he passed us out of the tunnel. As for being in a hurry, it turned out that he was returning to the same boatyard as we were. I was happy not to be going down through the locks with him. Sorry, I didn't really want this to turn into a moan about another boater. More a query about my canal etiquette and the best way of making way through tunnels.
  3. Thanks for the replies. I did check the prop once out of the tunnel and there was nothing snagging it, but then I guess any leaves fell away when I pulled in to the bank. Also, I'm glad that your views on the following skipper match mine! With this one exception, we were welcomed, helped and our newbie errors forgiven with ready smiles the rest of the time. Overall, we finished our little cruise with a very positive view of canal folk.
  4. Hello! My first post as I've just discovered this forum. In October I had the great pleasure of narrowboating for the first time when we hired a 50ft narrowboat for a long weekend. On our first passing through Braunston Tunnel, I just chugged along a discrete distance behind a boat in front. On the way back, I had a clear view all the way through. I set the throttle reasonably low for a quiet life and found I was making reasonable, if not amazing progress. However, there was a boat coming up from behind at quite a pace and it had caught me by the middle of the tunnel, in spite of my moving the revs up a notch. If anything, I seemed to lose boat speed relative to the tunnel, especially when the following boat came within a few metres of my stern. I'm not sure what was happening to my speed through the water though. I then heard a somewhat impatient shout telling me to "get a move on!", to which I replied that this was my maximum speed. I pushed the throttle forward more, but just got a louder noise. A couple of questions: 1) As a matter of etiquette, should I have tried to let him past? I would not have been confident in steering the boat tight alongside the wall for the amount of time it would have taken, accounting for his wash etc. I pulled over as soon as we were out of the tunnel. 2) Is there something hydrodynamic going on, which means I lose boat speed when another boat is close behind. Something like generating a local counter-current so the boat squats down in the water more and has to climb a steeper bow wave? Or could it be that the prop was not suitable for the higher revs and was just churning the water or cavitating?
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