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Jim Batty

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Jim Batty last won the day on October 30 2017

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    The Deep South
  • Interests
    Photographing the inland waterways.
  • Occupation
    Author/Photographer/Graphic Designer
  • Boat Name
    Little Wing
  • Boat Location
    Continually cruising

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  1. In another lifetime I had a job installing various security systems -- in doctors' and dentists' offices, modern apartment buildings, factories and well-heeled homes. We installed a series of CCTV cameras in the low-ceilinged car park of a tall apartment block. By necessity they were mounted on 90-degree brackets about 7-feet up. The thing I remember most about that job was the fact that it took about half an hour to drill each bracket mounting hole in the reinforced concrete walls. The second thing that comes to mind is that every camera was stolen within a week!
  2. Red diesel from our local fuelboat was £1.45/ltr today. Never thought I'd appreciate paying sub-£1.50 for the stuff!
  3. This is what bothers me. A retrospective change to a service agreement, that can come at any time, by any amount deemed a fair profit by a business. Perhaps we'll have another type of, or increased, levy in 6 months time. It all seems pretty Wild West to me. What other subscription providers will add a levy into their service? Magazines costs more to deliver, so a 10% levy might be added to your subscription. Broadband ground support is more expensive, so a fuel levy needs to be added to that subscription. Add another levy to your bi-monthly veg-box delivery. Even digital subscriptions could make a case for a levy, as every business relies on fuel in some way or other. I think when you agree to pay x in advance for a particular package, the fee should remain x for the duration. How can you decide on the value of the service otherwise? I think RCR should be modifying the cost of their service/membership packages, not adding ad hoc charges as we go along. Let the customer decide what is fair and what isn't. For balance, this was RCR's follow-up email after they decided how much to levy:
  4. I can see the use of these cameras if you're inside and want to look outside -- if you hear something unusual or threatening. I prefer the periscope idea if you want to look outside out of simple curiosity or are sort of in a lazy mood and don't want to put your shoes and jacket on to go outside, or because it's bucketing down, or don't want to disturb the kingfisher on your roof. But do people install these to record burglars/intruders when they aren't at their boat? Isn't someone intent on breaking your windows or taking a steel pole or angle grinder to your locks probably going to pull the brim of their hat down and chuck a cloth or bag over your cameras before proceeding? Or just steal the cameras into the bargain?
  5. I think flaccid periscopal users can be accommodated ...
  6. I like the low-profile WWII tank periscope that a fellow boater down here on the K&A has mounted into his roof. Just stand erect, have a peek, and you get a great sweeping view across the roof and sides forward. Sort of like this on the inside: And perhaps more like this overall:
  7. I haven't googled anything in years ... but a few moments on DuckDuckGo discovers this nice bit of info: And: Red sounds positively dangerous when it's put this way!
  8. A caveat to your caveat. The best network is going to depend on where you're cruising. We gave up on Vodafone after a couple of years -- absolutely hopeless all across NW and W London GUC, great swathes of the Thames and the eastern end of the K&A. Curiously, to this day, the Vodafone signal is terrible in and around Newbury ... home of Vodafone HQ. In all those places I cited above, we've had no problem on the 3 network. Last autumn I 12v hardwired a Huawei B535 router on the boat. Where I used to get 1-2 bars signal with just a dongle plugged into my laptop, I then got 3-4 bars on wifi with the Huawei mounted at head height inside the boat. A few months after that I hooked up the router to a Poynter arial on a 0.5m pole on the roof ... and got 4-5 bars signal in the same spot. (I know 'bars' aren't precise, but they can be a general indicator, especially if you're tied up in the middle of nowhere and not sharing the signal with many other users.) All that said, sometimes the (Three) phone signal is stronger than the (Three) router signal ... but I'd say 80% of the time the router signal is stronger than that of the phone. Our experience, for what it's worth.
  9. Does that mean the Abbey is flooded? The only time I visited that stretch was by bike years ago ... and Tewksbury Abbey appeared as an island off the edge of town.
  10. Wish I could afford that brilliant peace of mind!
  11. Hi M. Welcome to the brink. You will love it. We did a Helmsman training course on our first outing after buying our boat (in Braunston). It was great, and gave us early confidence in cruising and manoeuvring. Two of the many things our trainer taught us, useful almost every day since, were: how to tie a boatman's knot ('This will never come undone until you undo it.'); and how to smoothly wind in a winding hole. I often see long term boaters who clearly haven't learned these basic and valuable lessons that make boating a lot easier. I would also strongly recommend you spend a full day with the previous owner -- whether you buy through a broker or privately. Offer to buy them dinner afterwards. Offer to pay their travel fare or petrol to visit you. Every boat is different, with a particular (and often peculiar) set of systems -- electrics, engine, water, heating, paint routine -- and handling characteristics. And you will probably never find someone who knows them as well or as intimately as the previous owner. (I think most of these people would be chuffed to pass on their knowledge ... and know their former pride and joy will be well looked after.) For a variety of reasons (some tragic) we never met the person who commissioned and owned the second-hand boat we made home some 13 years ago. And it has taken me years to work out how some of our systems operate. I still have no idea exactly where certain water pipe and wiring runs pass through the the boat (which would be jolly useful when things go wrong) ... and there is one switch on the wall that I've never been able to work out ... If the opportunity to meet is there, you could save yourself some real grief and worry over the years ahead!
  12. Expost looks interesting. My only hesitation would be their Handling Charges: Letter: 70p; Large letter: £1.10; Parcel (up to 20Kg): £3.50. This could add up pretty quickly. We have a small mailbox at MBE. Similar prices to Expost, but without the Handling Charges. It's a franchise business, with offices all over the country ... and over good chunks of the world it seems. Our MBE is very friendly and trustworthy, are happy to check if a parcel or piece of mail has arrived if you query them by email (to save a wasted journey), will scan and send you stuff, forward to anywhere in the world, sign for packages (passports, Amazon, Special Delivery, etc.). We even have a key to enter their lobby to access our mailbox outside of office hours, as well as the mailbox key. Our address looks like: Jane Smith, Flat 100 (or 'Suite 100' or 'Studio 100'), 44 Tupulo Honey Street, Big City, Postal Code. We probably pick up post every month or two -- sometimes making a day trip of it by train to visit the 'Big City'. A lot of applications for things these days are online, and that's great. Many algorithms prompt your address by first requesting a postal code -- to generate all the addresses for that code for you to select from. With our mailbox, it usually comes up with the MBE name and address. 97% of the time the algorithm allows you to simply override this and input your own proper address manually. No problem. There's been once or twice over the years where we couldn't input our own full address manually, so left it as the Mail Business address (which is the same as ours!) and post arrives normally. All banking, insurance, government, etc. is registered to our proper address and arrives without note.
  13. Yes, good idea. My box base is cut to the roof's camber, isn't too high, and usually the panels act as a nice fairing. But I painted the roof in the late summer, so raised it up a couple of inches - from rail to rail - on those planks you see in the photo to protect the paint. I discovered it was nice to have our alu-gang-plank layed alongside the solar box bungeed onto those planks ... and then found it was handy to lay our various poles on the gang-plank (under the bungees) when not in use. Anyway, the whole lot is what blew over the side. I guess I'm glad it blew onto the shore, rather than into the canal.
  14. Thanks. Yea, have bean looking online at these junction boxes, and most of the examples I see have those clips you describe. I don't remember mine having them though - just sealed boxes glued on. It's dark, still windy, and I've got it righted on the ground but under a pile of coal bags to anchor it overnight. Will check in the morning. For those weighting -- I relied on the weight of the wooden box to hold it down. Which it did nicely for 9 years. Through some pretty wicked and blustery winters. Obviously not enough weight in 80mph or whatever gusts.
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