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  1. Philip

    Where should we go from Norbury Wharf

    Depends on how "leisurely travel" is defined. I would say 8-9 hour cruising days in June is fairly leisurely given the amount of daylight at that time of year. I know the Stourport Ring from Norbury could comfortably be completed over two weeks with those timescales, with an extra week there to explore the Stratford or the Droitwich. Also the locks aren't exactly hard to work in that part of the system.
  2. Philip

    Where should we go from Norbury Wharf

    Would imagine you could do the Stourport Ring with a return trip to Stratford included in that time. Alternatively to Shardlow via Birmingham then return via Great Haywood with an extended tour of the BCN, or a detour down the Coventry and Oxford canals. Going north you could head to Middlewich then do the Cheshire Ring, or even go to Wigan and then head down towards Liverpool (going on the link and into Salthouse dock would depend on availability). The other obvious option is the Four Counties and in 3 weeks you could include a couple of detours with a choice of the Caldon, Bugsworth Basin via Macclesfield/Upper Peak Forest, Chester, Llangollen, Preston Brook and Manchester via Bridgewater Canal, or the River Weaver via Anderton lift. All very worthwhile routes, though I do have a soft spot for the Stourport Ring; it's very pretty and has a good mixture of nearly everything, plus it feels to me like 'proper' canal country, but that's just my opinion. Never done the Stratford but it sounds like a fascinating additional canal to explore, and Stratford itself has plenty to see.
  3. Philip

    Tardebigge Times

    I did Tardebigge single-handed September 2017; timed it from the top lock down to the bottom of the 6 Stoke locks since I didn't stop in-between and barely any distance between the two flights. It took me approx 5 hours 15 mins in total. Was very pleased with that, but my good work was undone by a ridiculously long wait for some lunchtime grub in the canalside pub at Stoke works! (forgotten the name)
  4. Philip

    Propeller size for Beta 20 engine

    For most of its life it was based on the Norfolk Broads, so I guess this arrangement was done so with this in mind. I guess it isn't the best arrangement for shallow water use but, the whole structure of the stern would have to be changed to incorporate something different, so probably more cost-effective to buy a new boat! I don't often get things round the prop and the drive and prop are both in good nick. If I'm honest I quite like the slightly quirky (if that's the right word?) side to it!
  5. Philip

    Propeller size for Beta 20 engine

    To update, the above-mentioned 14x8 propeller was fitted a couple of months ago and the result is it just isn't the same boat! I'm getting the performance I should be getting from the engine with 2000rpm now allowing approx 4mph running and thus it's not guzzling the fuel anything like it was doing. Seems to be handling better too, particularly in reverse. Surprising how an inch in the propeller pitch can make such a difference! The engine also runs a hot water calorifier and an extra car heater-style blown-air heater, using the engine cooling water - rather pleased with this. No need for the 'must-have' solid-fuel stove! Thank you for the help from this forum btw when I asked about the installation of this system a year or so ago.
  6. Philip

    Where's this?

    Think it might be on the Trent and Mersey south of Middlewich, between Rumps Lock and the Booth Lane locks.
  7. Droitwich route has 16 locks including the shallow barge lock in the town. It's I think one extra lock and a lot more mileage via Worcester. Also I would say the Droitwich Barge Canal is prettier than the bit between Worcester and Hanbury Junction, as well as the Severn. The M5 culvert is the main issue via Droitwich; headroom varies depending on the level of the River Salwarpe, but when I went through in Sept 17 the clearance was approx 6'3-6'5 (although it had been a wet summer!).
  8. Or via Droitwich from the Severn to the Worcester and Birmingham to cut the corner off.
  9. Philip

    Boxing day cruise

    When I had a trip along the southern Shroppie last week (B&LJ), I passed about 7 boats going the other way and that was within travelling from Nantwich to Brewood and back to Nantwich. Are there a few more boats about this week along that stretch?
  10. Philip

    Middlewich Branch breach - Shropshire Union

    Seems like it's on target for reopening next Friday afternoon. There's going to be a bit of a ceremony as well, with the local mayor in attendance. Think I'll all let all the reopening razzmatazz quieten down before exploring it myself..
  11. Philip

    Restoring the Montgomery Canals

    It's a shame that it won't become a through route for many years yet, as the Welshpool section is a fantastic stretch - dramatic hill scenery as it winds through the valley and very pretty closer to the bank. The locks are very picturesque too. When deciding what to do with my cruiser a couple of months ago, the fact that I know I can get my boat onto this stretch by using the slipway at Welshpool was a factor in sticking with it. The weed isn't as bad as you might think either; there are places where it is clogged up (mainly around Pool Quay and Brithdir), but in the main the channel is still fairly clear.
  12. Philip

    Ribble Link Query

    I know there are variables in this passage, but what would normally be a safe number of days to reserve in order to go from Lathom top lock to Tewitfield and back, with time to allow a detour to Glasson dock? I'd love to do it but, since I keep my boat on the Shropshire Union, it might be difficult to find the time. Would a Beta 20-powered cruiser cope in the tidal section in normal conditions?
  13. Philip

    Stenson Lock

    I went up this lock for the first and only time in June '16 and ended up receiving a rather patronising lecture from the volunteer lockkeeper on duty then (sounds like your helper was a different person). It was because I opened the centre paddles before the ground paddles. Since my boat is a 24' cruiser and I wasn't sharing with another boat, it was safer to open the gate paddles first before the ground paddles with my boat well back from the top gates and tied to the bollard. The ground paddles cause stronger turbulence and currents in the water so they knock my boat around and against the lock wall more in the wide locks and in some narrow locks they pull the boat forward fiercely - the gate paddle currents are much weaker. But the keeper on duty that day didn't grasp this and rambled on by the protocal.
  14. Philip

    Fierce gate paddles...

    Wheelock bottom lock (the bottom paddles) is similar, because the sluices are only just below the water line.
  15. Philip

    Jam Ole Run 1995 - the first one!

    Ah right, well to be fair I only knew the Shroppie, Llangollen, northern Trent and Mersey and Bridgewater Canals in the mid 90s and these haven't changed much, except for more marinas etc (and grey replacing black for Shroppie lock gate balance beams!).

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