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


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  1. On occasions when we've hired a steel narrowboat rather than use my cruiser, it's been very noticeable how sluggish the boat is when setting off from moorings and locks, compared to my cruiser and as you say your Sea Otter. Also even with a short 40-foot steel boat, it's so much heavier. Although the last time I travelled upstream on the Severn in my boat, I just couldn't keep up with the narrowboat I'd been sharing the Droitwich locks with! Are the Avon locks reasonably single-hander friendly?
  2. Wouldn't like to say on the latter! Although I'll be single-handed most of the way so maybe not as quick at working the locks. At normal cruising there isn't a huge difference, except not needing to slow as much past moored boats, due to shallower draft and less water displacement. About 2000 rpm is just a shade under 4mph. Where it does make up a lot of time is pulling away from the locks - sets off like a rocket compared to a typical narrowboat!
  3. I was thinking possibly Upton if stopping at Evesham the previous evening, that should then make for a straightforward run to Stourport the next day and hopefully with enough time left to get to Wolverley by the evening. I just prefer the Stourbridge route over Wolverhampton - prettier, more interesting and a big tunnel to make it a little more exciting. I think Merry Hill to Gas Street via the new road is something like 12 miles, so would guess about 4 hours.
  4. I've done Swindon to Merry Hill waterfront three times before and arrived at Merry Hill between 3-4pm, so if carrying on into the city centre it shouldn't be much beyond 8pm by the time I get there.
  5. It is my own boat, a GRP cruiser (Norman) with inboard diesel. To give a bit more detail, I've made a rough plan with some help from canal plan, if this seems realistic: Day 1: Barbridge-Cheswardine Day 2: Cheswardine-Swindon Day 3: Swindon-Birmingham centre Day 4: Birmingham centre-Hockley Heath Day 5: Hockley Heath-Wilmcote Day 6: Wilmcote-Evesham Day 7: Evesham-anywhere between Upton Bridge and Worcester on the Severn Day 8: Wolverley Day 9: Brewood Day 10: Audlem (top) Day 11: Barbridge I've done the Shroppie and Staffs and Worcester a lot so it's just the Warwickshire and river sections that I'm unfarmiliar with.
  6. Thanks for the replies. I don't mind 12 hour days since there will be plenty of light. Rough idea of a plan is stopping at Wilmcote the previous evening and then getting as far as I can to a mooring site and hopefully a pub on the Avon for the next night. What time is the Avon lock at Tewkesbury open from and to - read that it is manned? Also any idea about the journey time from Tewkesbury to Stourport?
  7. Thanks lol - made a bit of a murrayism of that!
  8. I'm looking at adding the Stratford canal to the list of canals I currently haven't done and would like to do it as part of an extended Stourport Ring in a few weeks. Being unfamiliar with this part of the network, can I ask which route from Stratford-upon-Avon to Hawford Junction on the River Severn is quicker please; via the River Avon to Tewkesbury and up the Severn, or would it be quicker turning round at Stratford and then back up to Kings Norton and onto Droitwich and Hawford via Tardebigge? And could I do either journey in say two full days? Thanks
  9. Simple question really; why do CRT not permit GRP boats to travel through Standedge tunnel? I've never been through so can't comment on what the passage is like but, with competent steering and taking it through gently, I wouldn't have thought the boat is likely to come out the other end a broken wreck? My worry is, will cruisers be banned from going through Harecastle and Saltersford tunnels too before long, because of their restricted headroom?
  10. When I went through them the other week I secured the boat with rope to the bollard and then opened the gate paddles first, later the ground paddles. It is better that way with a short boat like mine, as the flow of water from the sluice won't harm the boat when well away from the top gates and what's more by opening the ground paddles later when the lock is part-filled, the currents that come from them won't be as strong. With a long boat with the bow close to the gates then I'd say doing it the opposite way is the only safe way, for obvious reasons. Still get some boaters and even the occasional volunteer lock-keeper going all namby-pamby and lecturing me about the safe operation of a lock when I open the gate paddles before the ground ones - they can't seem to grasp that with a short boat the gate paddle flow doesn't come into contact with the boat, but the ground paddle currents ARE a potential problem (especially in wide locks and being GRP).
  11. Wasn't this pub notorious for long waits on expensive food and drink that wasn't particularly good value and also for ridiculously loud live music while people were trying to eat and chat in the next room, as long ago as 20-30 years? Seems it's long been a bit overrated due to its location; the prominent place on the wharf and also because of the 'narrowboat' bar.
  12. The final 'navigable' bit of the Welshpool section of the Montgomery, above the Burgedin locks, in a Norman cruiser.
  13. Norman and Atlanta 24s are both good solid cruisers with a decent internal layout (and more cabin headroom than a Shetland) and a nice amount of cockpit space, but just short enough to trail with a suitable vehicle and make use of most slipways. A good compromise and they'll turn just about anywhere. Example of a Norman 24: http://www.boatinland.co.uk/norman-24-miss-bonnie Example of the similar Atlanta: http://www.jonesboatyard.co.uk/boat-sales/atlanta-24-boats-for-sale.html I think Viking 23 is a similar model, but don't know much about it.
  14. Looking a bit further south, plan is to stop somewhere a bit north of Burton, maybe around Branston and then head for Derwent Mouth, with the aim being to stop around Willington on the way back the following night. I'm guessing this would allow me some extra time to explore beyond Derwent Mouth - are the first couple of miles of the Erewash Canal worth doing as an add-on, or are there better options?
  15. I've found it is a complex one to grasp, but I don't think the parable is to be taken literally, rather the broader meaning is to use the talents/gifts that you have wisely and to good effect, particularly for the help and benefit of other people.
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