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Philip

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  1. It feels very pleasant emerging at the south end into peaceful countryside and birds singing. The middle shaft had a fair bit of water coming down it when I went through yesterday morning. I could see both ends at the mid point of the tunnel yesterday, but for some reason there was a lot more light at the northern end.
  2. Does anyone else find Wast Hill tunnel a really eerie one, particularly entering from the north end? Compared with Blisworth and Harecastle, there's something a bit foreboding about both the portals and the tunnel itself, perhaps the deep and gloomy cuttings on the approaches as well as the fact it's often misty inside; the far end is sometimes either not visible for ages or a very faint chink of dull light.
  3. We are paying for it; the total sum of the mooring, license and insurance costs (as well as everything else) isn't trivial. I said that an increase in funds for maintenance should be balanced; maybe a small increase in license fee, but not so that it becomes unaffordable for the less well off. I mentioned specific canal tolls for visiting boats, also lock gates lasting for 40-50 years rather than 20. The blue signage is a waste of money but I know this wouldn't hugely reduce the costs by not doing it.
  4. I don't think the canals should become unaffordable for all but the rich or very well off, they are a very healthy past time both for mind and body and it would be a shame and the wrong way to go to make it only a rich person's game. The cost of upkeep is important but if more funds need to be raised then it should be balanced across many areas, without great hikes in license or mooring fees. It won't just be non-enthusiast liveaboards you'd be pushing away, but also a lot of people who go canal boating for their own enjoyment. Rather than mothballing restored canals of which hard work has been put in to restore them, would a better idea be to charge a toll to use the ones which are currently costly to maintain (maybe only for visiting boats), like the trans-Pennine canals?
  5. Yes widebeams should pay proportionately more for the license fee just like longer narrowboats should, however I think £5000 is very excessive even for a long boat. If the license fee was to increase then I think double would be a reasonable increase and then review every year or couple of years.
  6. A couple don't need a boat of 57ft in length to go boating with in the majority of circumstances. However, if people in a small party wish to buy such a big boat then that's fine, but it's only fair that they pay a license fee proportionate to the length of the boat, rather than a flat license fee as suggested upthread no matter what length the boat is. You come across as another judgemental character with your latter sentence.
  7. Blame the cost of housing for that. It feels from a couple of posts on this thread that some here want the canals to be only available as a hobby for the wealthy, and the cost of maintenance is being used as an excuse with ludicrous proposals such as a £5000 licence fee.
  8. For some people a canal boat may be the only affordable way to live and not necessarily through their own poor choices. On the other hand, does the retired couple really need a great long 57ft-65ft boat to go boating with, with the massively oversized engine? If the license fee was to go up, it should be looking at this kind of situation, rather than forcing young liveaboards off the canals.
  9. The cost of the upkeep can be reduced by not replacing lock gates so frequently; try to get 40 years out of the wooden ones rather than 20 and don't replace steel gates unless they're beyond repair.
  10. That's very judgemental and quite crass, you're in no place to presume or comment as you have done on why someone might be drinking or eating by themselves in a pub.
  11. Any increase would have to be based per the length (per foot). It wouldn't be fair for someone with a 30ft boat to be paying the same license cost as someone with a 60ft boat. So if £5000 is the starting point, those with a long boat would be paying around £10000...probably enough to push most people away who aren't rich...
  12. What are the respective queues like now here both uphill and downhill?
  13. I like the look of these ones: https://www.bimblesolar.com/solar/small-panels/victron-90w-mono-solar-panel https://www.bimblesolar.com/solar/small-panels/12v-bimble-100w These are both rigid aren't they? They do look a bit cheap for 90w/100w, are victron and bimble solar panels known for being 'cheap and cheerful'?
  14. Thanks for the link, I have come across similar to this and it looks like a quality product, but the cost is a bit out of range and there isn't enough clear roof space to accommodate the length; there is about 26 inches by 54 inches spare to play with. Ah, so not the most secure arrangement.
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