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Jim Batty

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Jim Batty last won the day on October 30 2017

Jim Batty had the most liked content!

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    The Deep South
  • Interests
    Photographing the inland waterways.

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    Author/Photographer/Graphic Designer
  • Boat Name
    Little Wing
  • Boat Location
    Continually cruising

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.jimbatty.com

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  1. I've heard good things about BoatMail. Over 12 years now we've used two private mailbox services -- presently with MBE. They are very friendly, efficient, will forward you stuff, let you know if a special package you're waiting for has come in, etc. They can take delivery of parcels, sign for things ... and we even have a key to a separate postbox room as well as our box for out-of-hour use. (We usually get there once every month or two.) Their address becomes your address ... and your box number becomes 'Flat 123', 'Suite 123' or 'Studio 123'. For us, everything goes through here. Except the NHS, where we have a different private address and regular local GP surgery where we often over-winter. Voting is done via a local council where we declare our live-aboard status and association with their region. Contact is via email and updated on an annual basis.
  2. Having not eaten in a restaurant in 18 months, I find myself with some pennies saved and a notion to get a decent bicycle that can handle all manner of towpaths (gravel, earth, grass, roots, ...) and wayward day trips up backroads and wooded pathways. Plus getting in groceries. I reckon I need some kind of hybrid bike that would be fun to ride with the following: Hardtail with good front suspension with modest travel Medium width tyres with a bit of grip (wider than road tyres, but not as wide as full mountain bike ones) A 1x11 or 1x12 set of gears (to keep things simple) Mudguards Rear pannier fixing points (so I can hang my old Ortliebs on a rack) Any thoughts? Bonus points for any bike that is actually in stock and available to buy somewhere!
  3. A bunch of years ago we found ourselves tied up on those wild moorings below Cliveden when the Thames went into red boards. We hung out there for about 4 days until we became desperate for water and headed upstream to Cookham Lock against a terrific flow. (It's the only time I've run the engine at 2400 revs for half an hour - in order to progress at a crawling pace.) The lock keeper pretty well insisted we stay in his lock (with four other boats trapped there) until the flood conditions were over, and as incentive said there would be no charge and that there were free showers in a nearby block. We wined and dined with the other boaters for a for a few more days - until everything went to yellow - then everyone carried on their way. I find it hard to believe anyone would throw you off their moorings and into obvious danger during red boards due to lack of payment.
  4. Just searching for new insurance and came across this. If you live aboard (and the OP lives on a wide beam with space to store lots) it's surprising how much the value of your stuff can mount up: laptops, radios, phones, tools, clothing (boaty clothing, work clothing, good outdoor gear, walking boot and shoes), bedding, kitchen utensils, books (for us this = £1000s), craft items/art, masses of removable boat equipment ... If a boat is your home ... and you've decided NOT to store stuff at family and friends and self-store warehouses ... and everything you've ever bought, loved, needed and kept is on board ... and you want to cover yourself from a worst-case complete loss of everything ... then £10K+ contents is easy to hit!
  5. Interesting. Quoting from the above: ... and the NBTA's response: I don't know, the bit in red seems another indicator of DE's attitude towards boaters. (Yes, I know there are some serious p*ss takers along the Reading bank.) If you're going to threaten boaters with legal suits regarding mooring, you should at least have the decency to turn up in court on the day. So much for DE's 'facilitating behaviour change for the betterment of society'.
  6. I was speaking ironically! Take their statement: “District Enforcement’s existence is to facilitate behaviour change for the betterment of society as a whole. We are a profit-making business but not at the expense of the core beliefs we operate to." If a business says its existence is to facilitate behaviour change for the betterment of society, I take this to be a core belief. If they immediately follow that statement by essentially saying that they're out to make money but not at the expense of facilitating behaviour change ... that suggests their priority is behaviour change for the betterment of society. But, of course, I don't believe a word of this. I don't think you do either, right?
  7. Interesting. This is what DE says of taking over the Henley Mooring payments: I didn't realise DE were such positive-spirited social benefactors. Imagine, deploying staff on educational visits ... to provide cleaner (really?) and safer (really?) spaces. I think claiming all this as their 'core beliefs' is laying it on pretty thick!
  8. Great news. DE simply don't have the right attitude towards boating and boaters IMHO. Just read their signs. Lingering malingers (?) will sit on a mooring however long they like, whoever patrols it. They will tolerate abuse from officialdom, fellow boaters and the general public to stay as long as it suits them and will only leave when actual removal (as opposed to the threat of removal) is imminent. If you don't give a toss about others, you can get away with quite a lot. There's the rub: most of us abide by the rules because we can place ourselves in others' shoes and perceive what is fair. We don't like confrontation, or threats, or the possibility of being fined. We shy away from hassle. As a result we can become easy targets for the attention of overzealous enforcers like DE. I think that's why most boaters prefer to pay their fiver to lockkeepers. Personally, I found the Thames Visitor Mooring people nice, reliable, easy to contact with easy payment and an accurate site. And I'm not sure they were given a fair hearing in the 'procurement process'.
  9. OK, that's reassuring. Thanks. So, technically, when I shut off the line switch to the router ... it will continue to operate for a minute or so (at 12v to 10v, say). Maybe I should shut the router off at the router, rather than at the line switch leading to it.
  10. I have finally set up this 12v line to power my router - through the above Cocar Car DC 12V 4A Voltage Stabilizer Surge Protector. I'm at that stage where I'm checking polarity. When I put my multi-meter, set to volts, onto the line immediately after the Stabiliser it immediately registers 12.0v when I turn the line's switch on. Great! Now, when I turn the line switch off again, the multi-meter slowly starts to drop from 12v to 0v over the next 3 or 4 minutes. As you all know, I am no expert in this field, but it seems there is a residual voltage in the line. Is this normal? Or is there something not quite right here? (If I unhook the multi-meter the voltage immediately reads 0; if I hook it back up again within the 3 or 4 minutes, it shows the diminishing voltage again.) Thanks again for you help.
  11. Actually, I just went online and had a look. I see you do have to choose your full time from the start, but can choose one, two or three days. Also, the position markers for the moorings are not accurate. The Wargrave moorings are firmly located on the plush properties on the Lower Shiplake side of the Thames. It seems to give you the opportunity to book a particular mooring at a particular time well in advance. For example, I can book one of four places at Wargrave at 16.45 on Saturday, 24 July 2021. What could possibly go wrong there? Yes, you're right, the latest EA bulletin says: So, if you want to stay longer, you need to decide that when you arrive.
  12. So, I think you are saying that you can't stay spontaneously on these moorings -- you need to decide right from the start the total time you will spend there. And even to stay for 24hrs free, you need to go online and select that. Also, even if you travel in this un-spontaneous way, you cannot select 24hrs free + 24hrs paid ... you only have the option to select 24hrs free + 48hrs paid. Have I got this right?
  13. Indeed, in the summer I think we see the an EA patrol boat about once every month or two. So no massive presence there.
  14. I have seen some inspired and impressive cabin work built onto a converted 1930s Joey boat using double-skinned marquee canvas - in-filled with sheets of expanded foam-board for insulation. As I remember, the gunwales were sacrificed in order to attach the sheeting along the edges. At ceiling level was a wide top plank with a natural hardwood frame hanging down from it outwards at about 30-degrees, covered by a separate sheet of canvas (or translucent Monotex) the full length of the boat. The canvas walls dropped down to the gunwales from the edges of this hanging frame at an ordinary tumblehome, and were adjusted/tightened by ropes within the upper frame (nice, white, nautical looking ropes). This boater had even installed lead lined windows in wooden frames into the doubled canvas walls at various places where they were needed. All this stuff was recycled, bought inexpensively or pulled out of skips. Genius really, along with real craftmanship. But it shows what you can do with time and skills. It's a good time of year to begin this sort of project.
  15. I hope you're right. The experience I have in mind is at the Osney moorings. Two summers ago they were plastered all over with 'parking fine' signage. You could pay the lock keeper for Day 2 and Day 3 ... or you could pay the very welcoming and sympathetic Thames Moorings either online or via a phone call. To me this latest Boater Briefing suggests they are doing away with cash payments -- and DE is who is paid online or via phone. The whole affair is much friendlier when it involves the lock keepers -- who you often already know from locking and previous cruising. I guess a good example of a 'remote site' are the Wargrave moorings -- below Shiplake. But I find it difficult to believe that DE 'officers' with their 'body-cams' will be regularly patrolling those moorings, given how isolated they are. Surely it would cost them much more in wages and vehicle petrol to get people in there to patrol it every day or two than a boater's fiver here and tenner there. We'll soon see, when we get down there in June!
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