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jradley

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  1. Somethings not right with the maths here..... If you ran them both flat out all day, 300W = 0.3Kw * 24h = 7.2Kwh per day * 15p = £1.08 - you are being robbed somehow given you run them a lot less
  2. In light of Toddbrook you have to laugh at "Inspecting a reservoir £100–£2,000" 😁
  3. Nah, I think she may have already blocked the nay-sayers
  4. I don't think the general site membership is ignorant and/or abusive - however I can see there is an element of regular posters who could be seen that way.. I hope you do stay around as I think you have a lot to offer, if you want to. I can't help with your original question though as I really don't have a clue what to offer that hasn't been said already. Gas combi would have been my obvious choice but not very alternative and obviously involves gas, which you don't want. The solid fuel boiler I think is the best and most practical answer so far, and is at least a bit alternative. John
  5. This article has been linked to in another thread on this forum just recently. I mention it here as the comments on it lend weight to my thought/suspicion that the boats in that section of canal don't move quite as far and often as they should, and that perhaps the rules aren't as strictly enforced as they perhaps should be.
  6. Bearing in mind I have very little to compare it with (other than hours and hours of watching youtube canal vloggers) , we didn't find the shallowness and overgrowth too bad. That said, we had to use the gang plank 3 of the 4 nights we were moored. It was ok, just, but I do wish they would make the planks wider than they are - twice as wide would give me more confidence. We also almost had an accident when mooring with the plank when trying to pull the boat in by the centreline. The stern started to drift out and almost dropped the plank in the cut, which would have created a bit of a difficulty !! Also, after the breach some years ago west of Avoncliff they have lined the entire section to Dundas with concrete. It creates a shelf at the sides which I guess is a bit like the shroppie shelf. We didn't know about that until we tried to moor there. That was one of the nights we had to use the gang plank, but not the scariest or longest walk over water. Perhaps not surprisingly this is the only section that is not packed with moored boats - in fact there are very few. We will definitely do another canal holiday - my wife loved it and I know I would too with a different approach. Totally agree. However, I have many years experience sailing yachts and dinghies, including tiller steered yachts. Although I have never driven a narrowboat before I found it very easy to handle. My wife has never driven a boat of any kind before and was struggling with steering. With practice she will get there, but on this occasion she was not confident and would very likely have got into difficulty, which would have brought on a full blown panic attack and ended the holiday there and then. She was happy to steer under my supervision when there were no other boats around to hit, but due to the circumstances already discussed that didn't give much opportunity for practice.
  7. I agree that the scenery is truly spectacular. That aspect we loved about the trip. The issue was in lack of making progress, when on a schedule, making for long and tiring days. That is entirely my fault and is due to being a first time hirer with unrealistic expectations. I had based those expectations on the CanalPlan website, which seems to base its cruising time on an average of 3mph. I'd thought that might be reasonable, but was wrong. For the trip overall I reckon we managed 2mph, with some sections at probably 1.5mph average or even less. As an example, we were following a widebeam from Avoncliff to B-o-A - about 1.5 miles and it took well over an hour. It was so slow that I had to keep engaging neutral as in gear tick-over was too fast for the boat in front much of the way. The lack of available visitor moorings, despite being (just) outside of school holidays was a worry too. Like I say above, we got damn lucky at Bath and also got the last available place at Semington when we stopped for lunch, but other than that we had to press on to less desirable places than we had wanted to moor. It's not the lack of progress that would put me off doing the K&A again, but the lack of mooring at places does somewhat. There was just the 2 of us and my wife really struggled with the lock at B-o-A and also the couple of swingbridges we had to open (she is very slender person). We had help on all occasions otherwise things would have been more tricky. I think any stretch of canal with a lot of locks would have to be done with friends, which we would consider. I do wonder if narrow locks might be a little easier though - at least I could prob climb on the roof to hop onto the side of the lock to help with the gates (not ideal I know). Rochdale would be a bit far - ideally we would like within 2 hours or so of Reading.
  8. I'd bet more than a fiver that you're right TBH, I stumbled on this forum a bit late in the day, after we'd already decided it would be really cool to visit Bath by boat. The opening question was therefore more a case of "if we are to visit Bath by boat where can we set off from". We would both love to do another canal holiday and the Heyford base is a very likely contender.
  9. OK, many thanks for that - I wasn't aware of that
  10. I'm in east Berks, so the Oxfordshire or GU would be convenient. I'm not sure if the GU would open a whole new can of worms though, but just guessing the Oxfordshire would be nice.
  11. OK, so unless you pass by on a regular basis it is impossible to know the movement of boats. However, there were clearly abandoned boats - some sunk and some cruisers with no outboard or stern drive, so I doubt they are moving every 14 days, but to be fair, they're not being lived on either. There were more than a handful with blatantly expired licenses - my guess was that if they don't care about displaying a valid license then they probably don't care about moving, either, but maybe they do to reduce risk of detection and confiscation. Some boats had so much crap on the roof they wouldn't get through the low bridge just west of Bradford and probably not some of the other bridges further west either, so unless they dump the crap in the woods, move, come back and put all the crap back on the roof then I doubt they are moving far (the amount of crap on the roof on some boats equals the internal volume of the cabin space, so they can't put it there to move either). However, besides all that, it's just a feeling you get that these folk have lived there for a decent while. As an example, there was/is a very large camp set up just into the woods off the towpath. It has structures and looks like a communal area for cooking and sitting around. It looks very entrenched into the habitat and doesn't look like it was built in just a day or two - a lot of work if you're only hanging around for a week or two. I got a real sense that this stretch of canal houses a community, rather than a bunch of random liveaboards that just happen to have rocked up in that spot and have been there for anything from a few days to a couple of weeks max. I guess it's possible that there is a constant flow of boats arriving and leaving within the 2 week period, so at any one time the stretch is always full but with different boats coming and going, but if that were the case why would the CRT feel the need to increase monitoring and enforcement on that stretch, as highlighted here http://kanda.boatingcommunity.org.uk/crts-plans-for-the-ka-include-more-enforcement/
  12. To add some closure to this thread.... we just got back from our trip on Friday. Ultimately we didn't make Seend, but did make it to Bath and Semington. I have to say that whilst I enjoyed the trip I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. The fundamental issue was that we had set ourselves what we thought was a moderately ambitious itinerary, but turned out to be overly ambitious. making for early starts and late finishes, and not fitting in some of the things we would have liked to do. The missus enjoyed it, but she wasn't the one driving for 7 hours a day.... Fundamentally the western K&A sucks. The scenery is very pretty and Bath is lovely, but the whole stretch apart from Avoncliff to Dundas is littered with mile after mile of liveaboards, most of which clearly haven't moved in months or years. Some of them clearly can't move, others have expired licenses and one I spotted with what is evidently a scanned copy of a license with the date changed and printed on a home printer . Passing them all at tickover makes for slow progress - in fact every journey we did took 50% longer than what CanalPlan reckoned. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people who choose to live on board a boat, but they should respect the rules and when there are so many of them that clearly flout those rules it gets annoying. If time is on your side then that isn't a problem of course, but with a hire boat time is limited. I found trying to get to places, arriving late and having nowhere to moor quite stressful, which is not the point of a canal holiday. What was meant to be 4 or 5 hours cruising a day becomes 6 to 7.5 hours and as a novice I was having to concentrate more than what an experienced helm would and was knackered at the end of each day. We were damn lucky at Bath top lock that we could get a mooring, which worked only because we were 47ft - any longer and we would have had to go through the locks to find a mooring or turn and come back, but that would have written off what was left of the day by the time we had got there and written off any chance of actually visiting Bath. We almost certainly will do another canal holiday, but it won't be on that stretch of the K&A, that is for sure.
  13. It's rather apt that this thread has been resurrected in the last few days.... we got back from our holiday on Friday. As it happens we didn't turn after the lock - mainly because there was absolutely nowhere near to moor on either side of the lock so we turned at B-o-A marina instead and reversed into a spot just beyond the marina entrance. For those that don't know the area well it is total blooming mayhem. The first time we arrived, at 6pm-ish, there was nowhere to moor or wait for the lock except the water point. We waited there while 2 boats ahead went down, another 2 came up, one of which wanted the water point and another boat was already standing off waiting to go down with us, blocking the canal due to moored boats on both sides. Speaking to one of the vlockies when we came back later in the week he suggested that is not busy at all by B-o-A standards. There can be literally nowhere to moor for half a mile either side the lock, so people wanting to lock just bob around trying to get out of each others way. In that situation, if someone did turn then the best they could do is go back in to the lock and get out the way, or, as suggested above, don't turn and go to the marina to turn about 1 mile further on and come back to join the fun.
  14. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  15. Thanks for the info - Based on the spreadsheet of suggested cruising route I think it would be hard to justify part b), noting the "requires" them to travel from place to place.
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