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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble


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  1. Ellesmere Port on Easter Monday

    Thanks all for the info. Do you need to go through the first 3 locks to access the secure lower basin for the museum, or is it the basin after the first 2 locks? Just as an alternative, is the mooring at Little Stoak for the Bunbury Arms safe enough nowadays? I vaguely remember mention of problems with gypsies along the rural stretch some years previously.
  2. I'm planning a trip for Easter which will include a trip to Ellesmere Port on Easter Monday, all being well. What is the mooring like at Ellesmere Port - where is the best place to go and is there usually space? I know about the historic boat gathering, have most of them moved off by the Monday evening? What time is the boat museum open until and are there any good pubs in the vicinity and places to eat? I'm aiming to arrive there for around 4-4:30.
  3. Middlewich Branch breach - Shropshire Union

    Is a quick temporary fix really on the cards for this?
  4. Middlewich Branch breach - Shropshire Union

    I would imagine both the Shroppie and Llangollen will be a lot quieter; other than the Four Countries traffic, a lot of people heading to the Llangollen and to Autherley and the Staffs & Worcester come from the Middlewich Branch.
  5. Aintree Beetle 25ft or similar - buying a first boat...

    Just looking at the plan of all the models of this range, it seems the 35 and 40 foot versions would be the better options for reasonable comfort levels; they have a double bed and as you say the single berths/seats on the '25 do seem very narrow.
  6. Aintree Beetle 25ft or similar - buying a first boat...

    I've been tempted by these things a few times; the lining looks solid and mellow and they look nicely compact and comfy inside, good use of space etc. Problem is letting go of my Norman cruiser...to be fair the back deck/cockpit space and comfort is a major plus point with my cruiser; on the Aintree Beetle the deck space looks a bit limited (relative to a cruiser stern).
  7. Are the Canals going to Last?

    Many who cruised the Llangollen Canal even up to the 1980s would probably disagree with this; as far as this one goes at least now the canal is well dredged, the lift bridges much safer than they were, and the feeder finally seems to have good stability to protect against a breach. That's not to mention the provision of moorings, marinas and facilities blocks and as I mentioned earlier regular lock maintenance. Then of course there is the Montgomery, which wasn't possible either until 20 odd years ago. Perhaps the Shroppie, Llangollen and northern T&M are more 'looked after' than others due to being popular, but things certainly are not getting worse around this area.
  8. Are the Canals going to Last?

    Just using my local canal (to where I keep my boat) as an example; during this current off-season there have been 4 locks along the cut which have had new gates installed at both ends and there are now very few locks along here with gates older than 20 years, aside from the steel gates. They do seem to like to keep on top of it to be fair on this one (it's popular!) compared to others, but I certainly wouldn't say standards are slipping in infrastructure. If anything wooden gates are being replaced too soon; 20-25 year lifespan currently and still mostly in reasonable nick when replaced, 10-15 years ago there were some gates from the 50s knocking around.
  9. London, escape rent, buy a boat

    Perhaps living on a narrowboat may even be more appropriate for non-enthusiasts? Living aboard means that the 'canal life' would likely become 'normal life' and I bet most of us enthusiasts see the canal (whichever way we use it) as an escape from the stress and dullness of everyday normal life. I've harboured thoughts from time to time about buying a longer steel boat to live on, but this has always been one of the main worries; that the whole concept of it becomes 'normal', or even worse a chore.
  10. Places with a bad reputation that don't deserve it

    I notice Liverpool hasn't been mentioned yet. Is the run into the city from Maghull still the 'proceed with caution' journey that it was 20-30 years ago? Wigan still gets a bad press; I don't know how 'safe' it is the leave the boat or moor for the night near the bottom, but the locks themselves are in a rather tidy and pleasant situation pretty much from top to bottom (apart from locks 21-22 maybe).
  11. Additional heating for cruiser

    Well I've bought a small hot water/car heater matrix from the website in the link above. I've gone for the one with the lowest power output at 2.2kw, since the engine is fairly small. I would think this should still provide plenty of heat and keep things toasty once the engine has been going for a bit. It's a small thing with only one outlet but the plan is to have this blow directly into the heater cupboard/wardrobe and then put a vent in the doors so that heat can also reach the cabin.
  12. Why a Narrow Boat or GRP

    Well a fairly long narrowboat collided with my cruiser at speed a couple of years ago and other than minor scratches the only real damage was an already weak shelf inside the boat snapping off. They are a lot tougher than many people think and what's more I would say mine is easier to handle in the wind than any fair-sized narrowboat I've tried to steer in strong winds, in fact the handling in general is good (albeit mine is well ballasted at the bow which improves handling). Can only speak for the Norman 24 model here but the other real asset is the cockpit; aside from the canopy protection there is so much space, comfy seats for both steerer and passengers and it's enclosed to waist height to provide reasonable protection from falling overboard. The wheel steering is also pretty fun (and responsive!) and lighter to work than a tiller is. It has weaknesses but there's a lot of wrong assumptions, even stereotyping, made against it and I guess most GRP boats.
  13. Additional heating for cruiser

    The car heater matrix sounds a great idea - thanks! I want this secondary source of heat mainly for drying the boat out from condensation formed overnight and to dry wet clothes but it would be nice to walk into a nice warm boat after a long day's cruising in the cold or rain! I'm frequently tempted by the somewhat more comfy and practical interiors of narrowboats, but on the other hand this thing now has an excellent new engine; new steering and throttle cables and a fairly recently refurbished saildrive so mechanically it's pretty sound. These works as well as hopefully a folding windscreen and a proper rewiring should bring it up to a good standard, with insulation and condensation being the biggest weaknesses, but not a huge amount we can do there, save ripping the interior out.
  14. Additional heating for cruiser

    I've ordered connections from Beta and a compact stainless steel 22 litre calorifier; should be ok for what I need it for, since I don't have a shower onboard! Would the radiator model in the link below be suitable for a small cruiser? http://aquafax.co.uk/product/n-29700-alde-aluminium-400mm-convector-radiator-inc-mnts
  15. Additional heating for cruiser

    Thanks for your help. How big would the calorifier typically need to be in litres for this arrangement? I know I'll need two copper coils in the cylinder in order to provide heating for the boat as well as water.