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enigmatic last won the day on August 22

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  1. The important bit is it's not a tall boat so you should be fine under the bridge at Oundle and in Upwell/Outwell, maybe even some of the Middle Level side channels narrowboats can't manage. Next test would be how deep it is for Upwell/Outwell but it looks like it's probably OK. Width is fine for anywhere on the Nene and Great Ouse system Would definitely prefer to move it in a truck than along a wintry coast though. Just be aware some locks will be closed for repairs until spring, so your ability to move around this winter might be limited. Have you got a mooring yet?
  2. Tbh if I had a product that defied the law of physics I'd charge more than £6 for it. Especially considering all the hundreds of quid it's saving people on their energy bills...
  3. Boat shows don't exist to make it convenient to buy boats, they exist to make money for the show organiser. Someone hoping to make £1m+ in new build orders will consider it worth booking to spend a few grand on space, ads etc. for next year's show at the place for boatbuilders to fill their unsold build slots. Someone hoping to offload their only boat for £50kish isn't going to spend a few grand for the privilege of mooring in Coventry Basin one particular weekend next year, especially not when they can ask a local(ish) broker to do all the work for them for however long it takes to sell for under £3k, paid only if/when the boat is sold. I did have that thought when exchanging messages with someone who was really keen on my boat but reluctant to add the extra hour each way to see a second boat in a day or to do any more driving until the following weekend I like boating a lot more than driving too, but just wait until that 2hr round trip is how long it takes to get halfway across town to empty a toilet cassette...if you're lucky
  4. He could probably start by asking to speak to the guy that apparently got part way through a project at a boatyard that charges £600 per month to keep it there and is now happy to get £1000 max back... Did speak to a chap casually looking at my narrowboat the other day who mentioned he was a year into a lifeboat conversion. He did say was the people at the boatyard he was trying to avoid rather than the boat itself though
  5. The easiest way to establish whether a boat is suitable for continuous cruising is to buy a boat from someone who's already done it. Like mine which has been all over in the last three years (within your budget, if you'd like to send me a message, will probably go to a broker at the weekend otherwise). Other boats which have been continuously cruised also exist! - 40 feet or 57 feet is really a matter of personal taste. I know one guy that prefers his 40 foot Aintree Beetle to his house; I much prefer having a bit more space to spread myself around, especially when the weather is not inviting me to go outside. Having a dinette to eat at and space for a sofa and a bit of outside space is good. Smaller boats cost less and are marginally cheaper to license and marginally easier to find moorings in crowded areas and places to turn the boat around, but larger narrowboats really aren't any more difficult to physically handle. All narrow boats are very very heavy, and all of them sit in water, which means that pulling them in isn't actually that hard work. Above 57' the Pennine canals become more difficult or impossible - Engine rooms with shiny vintage engines and traditional style back cabins are definitely personal taste! - I don't think washing machines are a good indication of being a suitable boat for continuous cruising at all. Lots of us manage with twin tubs, and proper washing machines are often fitted to boats that spend all the time attached to landlines and may not even work properly on batteries/inverter - you might be able to get away with a boat without a stove (I don't have mine on between April and October) but they are useful things to have, and things future buyers look at. You might actually use a diesel webasto/eberspacher heating system with radiators more if you get a boat with both though. - buying a "cheap boat" as a first boat isn't a good idea, unless you know why it's cheap. Lots of them are cheap because they need expensive work done or are difficult to sell, and if you stick to the plan to sell a good secondhand boat a couple of years after buying it, you'll probably get your money back anyway. To be fair solar panels are a significant omission on a boat spends most of its time away from moorings now that they're cheap and easy to fit, unless you plan on running your engine every day in summer anyway. Just most people don't realise they're cheap and easy to fit... I love this idea, but the tricky bit is always getting them dry again. Maybe I could replace my engine flywheel with a tub! For the record, the spin dryer on twin tubs is very good, but only because you can only fit a handful of clothes in at any one time
  6. My sacrificial link got snapped by a thick reinforcement beam on the inside of a gate designed by an insane person that hates boats on the River Great Ouse. Overhang was so big it still didn't release the fender and bow. (fortunately, I was able to wind both paddles down in time)
  7. I remember last winter one was so heavy (following snow and rain) that it slammed shut under its own weight unless tied down I would've thought some sort of catch that held the bridge in the open position would be a better solution than hydraulics for most of them
  8. Day trips where you can watch her and talk to her at all times sound easier than being on a canal overnight. I would suggest looking into charity boats in your general area as a first step: there are quite a few of them specialising in taking small groups of people who are elderly and/or have disabilities on day trips. That way, you can see how she reacts to the canal with the support of a crew (who quite possibly have some very relevant experience of their own)
  9. 1) The Fit Out Pontoon used to offer independent advice on boat designs (now they sell boats too). Mostly they seem to sell internal layout plans to people that just want a boat that looks pretty inside, but they must have worked with fabrication drawings too https://www.thefitoutpontoon.co.uk 2) Consider buying an existing boat and using your fabrication skills to modify it. Putting in hatches, different windows, fancy decorative steelwork touches etc on a boat that's already built back when steel was cheaper can work out quicker and cheaper than fabricating an entire hull and starting the interior from scratch. 3) There's always more interior stuff that needs doing than you think. Lots of people buy fabricated metal shells to DIY the interior; some of them end up with boats they can actually use couple of years later!
  10. The free moorings at the top are an option as well, although the one with the view has a very noisy electric car charging thing next to it
  11. tbf, wasn't he a completely separate business? Though I do recognise the office in the picture...
  12. So that's how they manage relatively low brokerage rates!r
  13. The worst 'nonrefundable' terms I'm aware of are Alvecote's who told me they keep £300 'admin' fee to themselves when returning the rest, even if the surveyor tells you the boat is irredeemably awful. It occurred to me between this and the lift out fee, they were actually financially incentivised to keep crap boats that kept failing surveys around. I think it was Boatfinderbrokerage selling a boat I went to see at Tattenhall which to be fair was priced on the basis it needed a repaint job. Someone else was on board, but all the marina staff could tell me was exactly how long their waiting list for repaints was, how much it would cost, and that they suspected the odd peeling coating was to cover up poor quality finishing on the hull which might need further remedial work. I moved onto the next broker without looking inside (which worked out brilliantly because I saw my boat just before closing time at the end of the day). This was actually more useful any information any actual broker provided. The only broker that made any attempt to actually actively sell a boat by talking about its good points and its history was Chris at David Mawby Ltd in Nottingham. Most of the rest just gave keys. - This thread on brokerages is not making me look forward to going and talking to them about selling. But one of the few advantages is somewhere to actually moor the boat when you're stuck on a river system not suited for continuous cruising for the winter...
  14. I once navigated part of the Thames on reds simply because the EA's online info was wrong. Upstream passage past islands was slow at full throttle and seeing the red boards when I got to the lock wasn't a surprise! I found the Thames okay on yellows (anchoring in the middle when my drive plate failed wasn't fun, but the anchor held!), but really didn't fancy Marlow on red... The other thing to be aware of about travelling on red boards is that sometimes locks are actually physically locked or electronics switched off. Sometimes, for very obvious and sensible reasons, sometimes as a precautionary measure and/or because staff are jobsworths. Great Ouse has been shut since Storm Babbet. That included several days of beautiful cruising conditions with relatively normal water levels (I wouldn't choose to navigate it now the second storm hit), and a small army of EA staff calmly opening and closing a lock to test its functionality without even letting the boat stuck on the lock landing below through before the next storm...
  15. Depends a lot on what your mooring requirements are. Not just general area, but whether you have very specific requirements or whether it's much more general like "somewhere in the Midlands, don't need facilities or public transport" and whether you're happy paying a marina a nightly/monthly rate or moving occasionally before you sort the mooring Alan brings up the example of Cambridge, and yes if you want a mooring in Cambridge itself, the wait might be longer than the boat lasts! On the other hand, there are marinas within a reasonable drive of Cambridge you could move into tomorrow (a few others would say no), and if they didn't suit you longer term, then finding an official or unofficial residential mooring somewhere in a farmers field in the Fens would be quite feasible. Lots of marinas that aren't residential and won't let people live there long-term or use it as a home address are happy with short term people on monthly contracts spending all their time on board - especially in winter.
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