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enigmatic last won the day on April 7

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  1. There are also moorings at Day's Lock (£10, with a privately owned field if they're full) and Clifton Lock (£10), Mapledurham (£5) and Iffley lock (maybe better to continue to Oxford by that stage). The big advantage of the locks is relatively knowledgeable lockies and telephone numbers so you can ring ahead and ask. The non EA moorings at Pangbourne and Abingdon are close enough to the locks for lockies to tell you if they're busy and point out you've gone past them too. I'd probably aim to arrive in late afternoon at Goring and stop there (free for first night... if lots of other boats haven't got there first) but I'm aware it's going to be busier in summer than when I visited. My understanding is that the lockkeepers at places like Benson and Culham lock would probably let you overnight on the "layby" for a fee in summer if you'd been through Wallingford (nice, obvious public moorings not next to a lock) without finding a spot and run out of time to get to Abingdon too. I do think this is a good idea, as the Thames is nice (also makes finding mooring in Oxford easier)
  2. Moorings are usually found at locks and usually either charged for or free for first night, charged for second, paid to the lockkeeper. Might be a lot busier in summer than when I was there. The locks on the Kennett and Avon are harder work than the Oxford, but you'll likely be able to share the work with another boat passing the same way as you. The Oxford canal is nice and you should do it yourself Fobney Lock outside Reading is another one where help is useful, as it's very leaky so you might need quite a bit of force to open the lock gates. Thames locks are dead easy, with powered gates and usually a lock keeper in summer.
  3. Not being able to just get the stern in and sort the rest of the boat out with a centre line must make mooring and stopping at lock landings a lot more hassle, especially on windy days or less-than-perfectly-straight banks
  4. This route is fine in general for narrowboats (and in fact I'm about to do it in the opposite direction!), with the caveats others have mentioned that if he's doing it in late summer there might be water shortages preventing passage or making it really shallow on Hudds Narrow and Macclesfield. It's also a lot of locks, although he'd probably get help at this time of year at Marple and could book it on the Hudds Narrow. At 58' he should fit the locks on the Huddersfield Broad, he'll just have to be careful and getting the gates open as a single hander might be annoying... The Trent route is easier if the scale of the Trent (including the non-tidal bit) isn't too intimidating and he trusts the reliability of his engine. At this time of year he might be able to find another boat to travel in convoy with on the Trent, which is a good idea too.
  5. The point was that the charts advise you of a number of fixed hazards which might be non-obvious throughout the entire length of the tidal journey and also give you a reasonable idea about journey times to indicate whether you're on course to arrive as planned, which might be considered more essential than real time voice updates on commercial vessel movements of which only the short stretch near Keadby before you leave it is a concern, where the river is wide and any commercial traffic planned in advance and extremely visible. Trentlink's unofficial guidance to boaters suggests that if you're going to Keadby and no further (and you wouldn't go any further taking a narrowboat to Leeds) you should be able to get vessel movements above Keadby bridge by calling Humber VTS. https://trentlink.wordpress.com/comms/. The Keadby lockies, who are actually good, will also advise.
  6. But in reality, many people make the trip without. Don't ask me how I know?! Trent charts more useful than VHF unless you plan on transiting lots of rivers anyway...
  7. Straight up the Leicester line via the Trent would be the shortest route. More likely to be delayed by a brief flood on the Soar than water shortages going that way. Timing also depends on your tolerance for long days which are definitely possible in most parts (Trent tide times and restricted hours at Foxton/Watford flights might limit them in others) but should be comfortably do-able in two weeks The Trent is big for a narrowboat, but it's safe enough if your engine is reliable, you can follow instructions and you have a suitable anchor fitted
  8. I have woken up to find myself moored on the bottom of that long pound before, which locals suggested was not unusual because local youths do like to tamper with the bottom lock. Although that cruiser does sound a tad suspicious...
  9. There's also a ballpark figure provided by Finesse in the linked article. I'm sure if you said "so what bells and whistles do they have apart from the electric propulsion and what do they cost and sounded like a customer rather than a competitor, they'd give you an answer
  10. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  11. To add a bit more detail: GOBA membership is definitely worth getting if you plan on spending time on the tributaries, as there are virtually no other viable moorings there. It also gives you the best mooring for the Hemingfords and Houghton (beautiful villages but the EA moorings have a dangerous gunnel overhang or are on an island), useful extra space if the popular moorings in Ely and St Ives are full and a few other rural moorings on the main system Friends of the Nene have beautiful rural moorings, most useful ones in between Northampton and Wellingborough which is a long stretch to cruise otherwise. Pear Tree farm one looks lovely Both are pretty basic grass bank moorings compared with the EA straight edges and bollards. FWIW I've cruised both rivers happily without the memberships because the EA moorings are good, but people I meet that have them think they're great and I have occasionally felt envious when cruising past. The weed on the Middle Level is truly horrendous in late summer, especially when wind has bunched it altogether. I've opened my weed hatch five times in the space of a mile before (but most of the other 26 were fine!). It's not a major issue on the rivers. I wouldn't worry about levels dropping too much unless youre very deep draughted, you're more likely to have a journey delayed by a day or two for strong stream alerts.
  12. A GRP/fibreglass cruiser would be more affordable (both cheaper in the first place and because there's less professional help you need because the hulls don't rust away and the engine is normally an outboard) and allow you to focus on the bits you probably find more interesting like interior decoration Narrowboats are prettier (when rstored) and better for living on, but the cost difference is huge. One other thing: if you end up finishing the boat and using it to sell your art to passing people, you will need a commercial license for it, which costs more than a normal boat licence. But this should be possible for you to purchase when you are ready (you may have seen other boats selling art)
  13. Only time I've ever had difficulty stepping across my regular bow was when I forgot that I'd left the anchor out on it This is actually a brilliant idea I now want to see someone on YouTube try. Would need to be a tug to have enough space, I think
  14. That's the thing, I reckon some people genuinely would quite like it, just hard to appreciate good engineering when you're having to speed through it and rush to tie up whilst a queue of cars appears. A friend of mine living near the Heyfords mentioned that his kids absolutely loved opening the small lift bridge in the village. After the second beer, he added that he also liked the idea of the CRT key for himself so he could half-open it and use it for bike jumps!
  15. Lets face it, most boaters find locks quite interesting but nobody likes jumping off the boat for swing bridges, which unlike locks aren't for our benefit but that of ungrateful drivers and the sort of farmers that erect barbed wire fences on the offside to make it more difficult to step off and shut the gate for them. Especially not whilst single handed, and especially not on the Leeds and Liverpool where they seem to have been designed as some sort of obstacle course or the New Junction which would be a lot less tedious if you could speed through the flatness with someone else moving the road out the way every few hundred metres Are CRT recruiting volunteers for the wrong thing
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