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  1. Wow - it looks like I might have to train my sea legs first whatever I choose! Harold - I have already considered all those points and resolved them, but thanks for your concern.
  2. So I've been thinking of getting a small cruiser to start off, to see if I like cruising the canals and find out if I might in future use my inheritance to buy a steel narrowboat or perhaps a larger GRP. I've been finding out about all the different waterways and which boats go where. One of my hobbies is amateur astronomy and I can't count the number of times a new forum poster has asked the question "What's the best telescope to buy for all uses?" The answer is "There isn't one - is you want to do everything, you need to buy more than one telescope" - I'm wondering whether I might be asking the boating equivalent of that question here... So far I like the look of canals where I'm going to need a short narrow beam, the Norfolk broads where you can't take a steel NB but everything else seems ok and the Scottish canals - particularly the Caledonian where I have no idea what you're supposed to sail on that apart from no steel NB. So I'm thinking, I can get a small GRP that I can tow around to the canals & broads but it's the Caledonian that might be the problem. What's the smallest recommended boat for the lochs? I'm thinking maybe a little NB GRP is perhaps not recommended? Thanks all
  3. Great! Have just booked a week in June but I think I will still pop there in January too - make the most of the lovely fire! Thanks
  4. Oh poop November just got booked up... Next mid week available is in January... I guess it'll be even quieter then?
  5. Hi All, I'm looking at a certain lock-keepers cottage for a short break in a few weeks to do a bit of gongoozling and maybe even lock operating (only if help is wanted of course!) however I was wondering whether I might be sitting there all week waiting for traffic that might never come... I've checked for stoppages and so far there are none scheduled but does anyone pass down the Stratford much in winter? I live near the Rochdale and it's quiet up here even in the summer and I never see boats at all on my local stretch in the winter. Don't want to get all excited by the idea and be disappointed. Thanks :)
  6. I don't wish to hijack the thread but I do feel I ought to stand up on behalf of us poor beleaguered good tenants. I had to move 8 in times in 15 years due to short tenancies and ended up having to settle in the only long term tenancy I could find which involved living with a 50 year old fuse box, a leaking roof and no heating. I managed to land a housing association property with an assured tenancy and finally felt safe for the first time in 8 years. It's not the same as having my own house which as I mentioned I also had once - but it's a world away from the hell of private rentals - which as far as I'm concerned should be for students and pre-marital couples only. No human can achieve anything in life without secure housing and adequate food. Anything any government can do to ensure healthy and stable living conditions for it's citizens is fine by me.
  7. Thanks - I didn't realise I had to take an extra test, is this a new thing? Having towed (and reversed - ugh) caravans and trailers before I must say it is part of the task that I am not really looking forward to so perhaps a few lessons and a test would be a good idea!
  8. Thanks for the replies all, anyone know what vehicle I need to tow a 18-20ft?
  9. I am several years away from being in a position to buy a narrowboat, not just for financial reasons but because I'm extra cautious about everything I do - sounds like nearly the opposite of you in fact! I am not yet looking at boats in person because I don't want to waste sellers' time, but I am doing everything I can online to learn about pitfalls, warning signs and I am creating tick lists and to-do lists and all sorts. I am also planning on learning other skills such as engine maintenance and basic boat repairs as I would rather be able to do some stuff for myself onboard especially in an emergency. I am thinking of getting a small GRP for next season and will be spending as much time on it as possible, travelling as many waterways as I can before making the commitment to liveaboard a narrowboat full time when I get my inheritance. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind! I don't own a property, never likely to. Did once, relinquished it in a divorce as I was worried I might not be able to keep up the mortgage, part of me thinks it was the worst decision I ever made in my whole life. However, there are lots of things that happened to me that wouldn't have done had I stayed so who knows... I wish you luck in whatever you decide, plan well - good plans are never wasted
  10. Funnily enough the steering wheel and cruising chair are big pluses for me in a GRP although I do prefer the design of the Wilderness boats. There's something about sitting at the wheel of a GRP that I really fancy. Don't know why, have yet to try it out
  11. Aaah - Ok so I found a local canal slipway that charges £30 one way or £45 for both, with paid help available so I guess they would help me get it off and on the trailer. So that's question 1 done! Cheers,
  12. Hi, after much to-ing and fro-ing about what boat I want & can afford I am currently thinking about dipping my toe in with a day boat or something with very basic overnight facilities, Max 20ft but probably nearer 17ft. I have tried googling the answer to these questions but to no avail. 1. How do you get a 17-20ft cruiser onto the canal or a river? Do Marinas have places to trailer them in or do they need craning? What are the logistics of launch from a road transport trailer? 2. How much would you say is the maximum weight sensible to safely self-transport and what kind of cruiser size would that be? Also what kind of towing vehicle would you recommend? I'm thinking it would be cheaper for me to hire said vehicle rather than pay someone else to transport the boat for me? I can't justify buying a large vehicle as I don't want a thirsty engine for daily use. 3. Finally, What kind of outboard HP would you recommend for both canal & river use? I've read that it can be hard to go slow enough in a GRP to steer effectively in the canal, does the HP make a difference to this? I would be on the canals to start with till I felt able to tackle a river but would want to make sure that I had enough oomph for the current when I'm ready. Thanks all :) Just thought I'd mention that I have a place to keep the boat out of the water - saving on mooring fees but obviously no use if I have to pay a fortune to get it in and out of the water all the time!
  13. Thanks for all your replies everyone. I went away and did a lot more googling into the wee hours last night and have picked up a few snags about GRPs that I shall have a ponder on - the lack of heating being one and the difficulty handling being another (and one rather terrifying one about being prone to leaks which I hadn't really anticipated). I really need to get some experience with both a GRP and a Narrowboat before I decide. Think I will leave the one in Norfolk for now until I've done that but thanks for the surveyor tips.
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