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Unicorn Stampede

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  1. As a continuous cruiser whose tried to directly avoid marinas I'd actually welcome a toll system. Gives more responsibility for the specific businesses to look after their patch. Might actually see some love for the canals up north as well with actual investment.
  2. Currently out of operation and has been for the last two weeks. Control panel won't turn on so assisted passaged is required via CRT (they have the master switch in the locked control box opposite). You'll need to ring ahead or just sit around and wait till they turn up. Currently there's no stoppage or notice on their website.
  3. We are currently using 60kg every 2 weeks when we don't have any wood. It helps that we have a large shed full of wood that we rotate through each year. We can last about 2 weeks at a time with it when our top box is full. The only down side is the labour, as it's pretty much a full day's work when we are there (to make the most of everything). I couldn't fathom going through that much coal however. In desperation last week due to weather I used some of those compressed saw dust bricks from B&M and they were surprisingly very good, especially for their price.
  4. That's pretty much how I sit and steer
  5. The one at Sowerby Bridge has a mooring at shire cruisers. That other one you mentioned has been lingering on the same stretch of the canal for over a year now. It turned up in Salterhebble around Nov/Dec 2019? And its gone from the middle lock to the bottom of Tuel Lane locks (next to Shire Cruisers...) In that time. According to canal planner that's 2 miles... Or an hour of time... In over 365 days. It hasn't gone up those particular locks for a reason I imagine. Covid certainly isn't the reason but somehow it's been allowed to hang around.
  6. We've had the misfortune a couple of times - Easy enough to fix but I'm under no illusions the system is out dated (and I doubt they are investing in it) Just the nature of organisations who make pushes for people to use their website etc. without making it very stable. CRT aren't the first, they won't be the last, but I would expect stuff to go wrong - just unfortunate it happens to people who mean to cause a fuss (like the chap whose boat was taken away)
  7. That seems pretty reasonable to me. Akin to CRT seeing it as 'back pay' - admittedly them having a creaking, IT system doesn't help their situation.
  8. Personally, I prefer it when we enter (and leave) the locks one at a time, rather than together. We've had a number of issues (mostly from leaving, admittedly) where there wouldn't have been issue when going in/out one at a time. However I appreciate that some boaters want to be more efficient. We've no issue roping up first and getting ourselves pulled over to the side - it's what we do when soloing so makes little difference to us when doubling with another. In terms of Bingley 3/5 Rise, we've come up and down there a number of times now and I'd say our experience i
  9. Last year we had the occasional annoyance, but nothing too staggering (our worst experience was someone driving head on into us in the dead of night!) However this year, as we've crawled up the Leeds & Liverpool we've encountered a whole range of hire boaters out in force. Unfortunately I'd say that the experience has been more negative than positive. I take more issue to the hire boat companies not training people, rather than placing the blame on the holiday goers, however they don't make it easy for themselves! We've watched two of them on full plough drive straight into a canal
  10. Our first boat is 50ft - we specifically opted for that because we didn't want to worry about any lock issues etc. Ultimately we'd like an extra bit of length, as it meant we couldn't fit something like a washing machine in, but because we have a car that's less of a problem (always launderettes nearby) Personally I'd say we would rather aim for a 55ft-57ft in the future (the next boat, in however many years!) We have no desire to go bigger because we don't want to mess with angling into locks!!
  11. I do most the lock work work, the girlfriend does most the steering. When we first moved the boat across the country and were doing it up, she clocked in more hours steering and I the same for working all the different locks. Also many of the locks we've come across have been hard going, which is simply where strength has been a factor! Thus she's just better at controlling the boat at me, especially in sticking situations!! We want to switch it around in the future so we're both experienced in both elements, but currently we feel 'safe' with the set up we have going.
  12. This is one example of a lock we encountered on the way down. Note, the paddles are closed ... Not that you'd think it based on the amount of water spraying in.
  13. We went down about a week ago, from summit and through Manchester and it was pretty appalling. I've sent an email onto CRT explaining the huge number of issues we found. Massive leaks in locks, pounds empty, certain paddles not working correctly, etc. We were coming down a lock and our boat got wedged by a trolley hidden in a lock. We had to stop and refill as it was threatening to capsize us. One of the scariest moments we've had. We pulled an absurd amount of rubbish out the canal and had to tug someone else along because the water was too low for them.
  14. We came down from Lock 65 a few days ago - we moored up night before just before it (past the bridge) and it was nice and quiet. Also meant we were ready to descend right away. Would recommend that as a mooring point on your ascent. Worth noting it took us (and another boat we duoed with) the best part of 8 hours to do it the stretch. The canal is a bloody mess and you're going to have to clear your prop a fair few times. There's also lots of low water pounds to contend with. Also note there's a trolley currently hidden in one of the locks. Believe it was 67, that almos
  15. They can barely maintain the current canals, can't see how they'd ever get around to installing electrical infrastructure. Even if they doubled the license I don't see them managing it.
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