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Everything posted by Ewan123

  1. Someone on Reddit once told me about setting up their fire to light automatically on a timer (something to do with firework timers I think??) They confessed it to be a silly idea but I sort of wish I could find the post now to have a go...
  2. I do, though I think pretending it's a normal ladder with it braced against the boat hull is actually easier for the very short length of climb/getting from the ladder onto the boat in this scenario. The boat gets in the way a bit for the other method when the ladders not suspended in space. While the rudder can be of some use, it can do almost the same thing as the unsupported rope ladder and swing away from you when you try to stand on them, especially if you're in a bit of a fluster (in my experience).
  3. Yes rope ladders with nothing behind them can be a nightmare to climb.
  4. I've passed a couple of moored narrowboats with this sort of thing attached at one end of the boat. Seems a good idea to me. https://www.force4.co.uk/item/Osculati/Emergency-Ladder/DGQ
  5. So long as it sits snug below the widest part of the boat, I don't think it would snag in a lock (which would be my main concern). It could possibly get snagged on awkward branches that you pass... not sure though. I think I would have appreciated such a thing when I fell in last winter. I was daft/stupid/asking for it, so avoidance is best, but something extra in case it happens could be worth it. In my case, I was walking along the icy gunwales (in my slippers, yes really, wtf?) with boathook to smash the inches-thick ice around the boat (frozen in just above Foxton Locks), when I slipped and ended up in the wet. I'd got about 50ft along our 62ft boat, so the short route out (around the bow) was frozen and not an option. I had to wade (about chest deep) back along the boat, and I reckon it would have been a good deal easier (less likely to end up underwater) had I had even a small line to run one hand along (not hold with any fine control, just hook a frozen hand over)- not as a means to climb out, just to help with staying upright. That might have sped up my progress, which was almost vital. It was probably only a minute or two later that a boat came icebreaking past us... had I been in the canal still and they not see me in time, I could have been skewered by a thick sheet of ice between two boats. Very scary thought. As for getting out of the water, I suppose I'm fortunate that I'm fit enough that I'm strong/light enough to just haul my carcass out by grabbing the tiller stem. That won't be the case forever though. First things first though, don't be a tit, do your best not to fall in!
  6. Seems off to me. We only went to one broker when looking (Virginia Currer) before buying privately but they were encouraging us to take boats out for a spin. Modern engines in all, but still. Surveyors don't even necessarily try and start the engine as I understand it. The idea of putting money down before even hearing wheher the engine runs would be a big No Thanks from me. Maybe this engine doesn't really like starting...
  7. As I understand it, this is one of the advantages of a hybrid system of LiFePo4 with lead acid - when the LiFePo4 are full and disconnect, the alternator is kept happy with current going to the lead acid.
  8. If you don't mind lots of generator engine running, I'm sure it's possible.
  9. Wellbeing and cycling, amongst other things not directly related to maintaining the waterways, are a big part of the reason government agreed to fund them to the tune of previously mentioned millions. If CRT didn't engage with those things, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot and getting even less funding as a result. Note the government's priorities here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/canal-river-trust-grant-review/report-on-review-of-the-grant-agreement-between-defra-and-the-canal-river-trust#funding-benefits
  10. Yes. For instance, this leadership convinced the government to do this Instead of spending that money on, for instance,
  11. Smoke coming out of there does sound like it's struggling to get out through the flue and is finding the next best place to escape. I would think there should be enough draw normally that air is only coming in through a hole like that.
  12. Ewan123


    I bumped into the chap on Spey just now (Spey having been somewhat of a 'poster child' for HVO in narrowboats). They've stopped using HVO for the time being due to the higher costs, but hope to start again when the price comes down. Interestingly, he said that rail companies have got on board with HVO which must be a significant part of the high demand affecting prices. His supplier (Crown Oils) is apparently building a new and bigger production facility at the moment - once that comes online it might help the cost overall. I reckon we're going to see a few ups and downs just as demand increases and production volume lags behind but does catch up. Here's hoping!
  13. From what I've seen, pram hoods are more often used to create extra "inside" space when the boat is moored - they're usually (but not always) taken down for cruising because of low bridges etc., whereas a bikini would be more about cruising comfort... so I think they mostly address different needs. Personally if I were to add collapsible structure it would be the pram hood for its value when moored - I can always wear a hat while cruising!
  14. Yes, and if you do find some spraint, dont be afraid to give it a sniff - it's remarkably inoffensive, honest! If it's very offensive it's more likely to be mink. Otter spraint is even likened to the fragrance of jasmine tea by some...
  15. It's true that CRT aren't obliged to offer bins and toilet waste disposal, but they would likely end up with a big mess if they did just say "We can't provide these" with rubbish and toilet waste just getting dumped instead (not that it would be right to do so, just somewhat inevitable that some people will behave that way). So the pragmatic solution for CRT is to provide those facilities, as cleaning up the big mess would likely be more expensive.
  16. I think it's a shame CRT aren't explicitly saying that the increase directly related to access to utilities (or are they? Maybe deliberately non-committal?). I think it would be better for us if they did - there would be a much stronger case for complaint when facilities are broken down/removed, rather than the "Facilities are an extra service provided, you don't actually have a right to expect them" response they currently give (which to be fair, is accurate).
  17. True, there are a lot of variables. We've usually taken them down to 50% every day or two (two people working at home on laptops and usual miscellaneous chargings, most things run through the inverter) and they probably only get the Full Charge once or twice a week when solar reduces, otherwise just a couple of hours of charging each time. Which I'm not advocating as best practice for maintaining healthy batteries, it's just the compromise we've tended towards. So these have probably done an approximate 500-700 cycles over 4 years I reckon, with a few "whoops!" heavy discharges in that time. All that to say, I think we sometimes over-egg the idea that batteries Will die in a year or two.
  18. That's a bit extreme... I doubt we're an outlier and our batteries were on the boat for at least a year before we bought it and have now done about 3 years for us on top of that - including our "learning period" where we definitely didn't treat them perfectly. I'm just starting to notice them declining in health now though they still give us a full day of power so aren't totally knackered yet.
  19. Ignore if already shared, this is what NABO have put up on Facebook today, received from CRT presumably:
  20. I'll check out canal societies cheers. I do like picking up litter when I'm bobbing along in the canoe since I figure it's inaccessible to many. Especially when I can womble a fender or two! Likewise 👍 I don't need recognition, I already do some litter picking and tend to cut back things like bramble and rose dangling at face level. It's not always obvious what jobs would be most useful though - I might spend an hour trimming vegetation only to find the planned maintenence cut comes by a week later anyway. There are benefits to an organisation coordinating efforts. Interesting suggestion... I prefer moving on but that might be good for a one-off. Presumably to no avail?
  21. As came up in another thread: I know I could look harder, but as a CCer liveaboard I do wish it were a bit easier to find canal related volunteering tasks to join in with. Constantly moving around does make it challenging to find volunteering 'events' to get stuck in with, short of tailoring my cruise pattern to arrive in a location for a scheduled event. Maybe there could be "roaming volunteers" with a list of available tasks around the network that could be claimed by them as and when they come across one nearby. (Edit: I've shared this idea with CRT, will see if there is any response...) Does anyone have experience of being useful while constantly on the move?
  22. I know I could look harder, but as a CCer liveaboard I do wish it were a bit easier to find things to join in with. Constantly moving around does make it more challenging to find volunteering 'events' to get stuck in with. Maybe there could be "roaming volunteers" with a list of available tasks around the network that could be claimed by them as and when they come across one nearby.
  23. As a CCer I can't help but somewhat agree - even if I'd like to continue enjoying the lower cost, these suggested numbers are really remarkably palatable for me. Perhaps being a liveaboard it seems more reasonable, considering what I get in return for that licence fee. An extra grand a year isn't nothing, but in the context of everything else it's not too dramatic. If these figures are indeed realistic, it seems a very softly-softly approach to reduce the likelihood of people dodging payment or leaving the waterways - after all, you probably don't need many fewer boat licences to make a higher licence fee counter-productive.
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