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magpie patrick

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Everything posted by magpie patrick

  1. A feeling of deja vue edited to add there are hire boats at West Stockwith that are available for the Fossdyke And Bones, you had this trouble last year, is there a reason why you have to go in October?
  2. And my reply was similarly tongue in cheek! It'd take a hell of a James Bond Special to jump that gap, it's not even a straight line
  3. For "exceedingly shallow draught" don't you mean hovercraft? or trailable perhaps?
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  5. Yes, but motor cyclists were, and still are, getting killed in their hundreds every year, and are statistically far more likely to be killed (per vehicle kilometre) than car drivers, and crash helmets have saved countless lives. The same can not be said of canal boaters. In addition, it isn't easy to change drivers in a car while it is moving, and when hiring one(seeing as we are still adressing hirers) you name the drivers. Woe betide you if you let another person drive when you haven't informed the hire company, or at least if you have an accident while they are driving. the point has been made that hiring last year doesn't mean that you are well equipped this year, and certainly that having hired once two years ago means the hirer has forgotten everything. Decent instruction every time (but not two hours) and ride the first few hundred yards with them is the way forward. Dave suggested that the quality of instruction should be monitored. Looking at your passport proposal, just suppose I hire with five male friends, and it's me that get's the passport, next year, I decide to go again, only this time, it's with my wife and another couple. I'm potentially with three people who've never been before, and five people who had exactly the same experience as me haven't got passports. In the hire car scenario, I would be the only driver on both occasions, but not on a boat. Your proposal is paper for papers sake, and as has been pointed out by others, potentially counter productive. Sadly some fatal accidents do occur, but the inquest awaits the MAIB investigation if there is one (and in fatalities there nearly always is). So far the MAIB have stuck with making recommendations as to the navigation authority should monitor near misses and design out the risk. This even occured after the dreadful incodent on the L and L where four disabled people died, in which to my mind their should have been a recommendation on crew procedure at locks.
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  7. Sounds simple but vigilance! When descending, keep an eye on the cill marker (painted on the lockside and make sure the boat is a foot or two downstream of it. A lock that can take a seventy foot narrow boat is nearer 80 feet long when the bottom gates are closed, so there is room for manouvre
  8. Your OH says that sort of thing too does she? I too am tempted with a banjo, to add to the three guitars, one mandola, one ukulele, one didgeredoo, one trumpet (awaiting refurb), one tibetan mouth harp... actually, Val may have a point
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  10. That's a good point actually, because M and M's passport would still be valid with a two year break, possibly making The behaviour Allan observed even worse.
  11. It often isn't the newbs that are the "problem" the worst you find is that they apologise and are happy to ask for advice, it's the ones who think they've seen it all as they've done this ten times before, or owned the boat for ten years. Of course if you don't like giving friendly advice when some one is looking for help newbs can be a pain I suppose
  12. Mick and Maggie, whichever of you it is... You're the one that started a thread asking if it was always like this, well it seems you can give as good as you get. You have been presented with countless arguments and even some analysis that your suggestion would add expense (even your own proposal suggests the passport might cost £25) to operators and hirers, then change you tune to the effect "the good yards are this already". If that is true then the charge for your blasted piece of paper would be nominal, but I would venture that no yard is issuing 2 hours of instruction to anyone, because that would mean you'd have to have a member of staff per boat on turn round day. fine if you've only got three boats, the cleaner, the mechanic and the boss can cover it, but not on if you've got twenty. You have basically decided that you would feel more comfortable (or more smug) with a piece of paper in your hand, and you are refusing to listen to anyone who says it's not a good idea because... You have not come up with any credible evidence of there real benefits to this idea, and freely admit that a boat owner doesn't need one. Why not? If it's such a good idea, because they use their boats more and have more experience? dream on, people buy boats who've never hired and use them infrequently, and except for stag party type hirers I would day most of the worst boatmanship I have seen has been from private boats. Never mind have you hired boats, have you any idea of the economics of the industry? I have, as part of my job is to analyse the economics of tourism, and suffice to say the profits are borderline, that's why no hire boat companies are in themselves plc's, and Anglo-Welsh's attempt on the alternative market went belly up. Do you even realise that, if a company takes a booking through one of the big agencies, the see little more than half the booking fee? of that estimated £1k, £175 disappears in VAT (and yes they can claim VAT back on other things, but being labour intensive their biggest cost labour, is non-vatable) and a significant slice then goes to the agent (typically another £200). The big groups have economies of scale, the smaller companies last on fairly thin profit margins and are often in if for the love of it, and don't tend to use agencies. In response to your other thread we don't pick on newbies per se, but we do tend to have major irritation (on both sides) with people who stick lear like their view no matter what arguments against it are presented.
  13. Because it used to be the board of trade for passenger vessels with more than 12 passengers,and the navigation authority (which generally wasn't interested) for other boats, and another body (can't remember which) for merchant vessels. When everything was combined the vast majority of the duties were to do with seagoing vessels, hence the term Maritime and Coastguard Agency. However the agency has four categories of water, which are one way in which the need for regulation is determined, and most inland waterways are category A, non-tidal waters generally less than 1.2m deep. They are not that interested in theseas they perceive the risks to be low. The problem with navigation authorities being responsibe is they are likely to make decisions which suit them, hence things like bollards fiasco. Someone at BW should have noticed that neither the MCA nor the Marina Accident Investigation Board had ever suggested the need for these bollards
  14. It has, look at BW licence figures, the number of hire boats registered has fallen 10% in ten years, no research but at a rough guess it's too expensive assuming you have written the capital off (which we have, because "we" didn't spend it, I did when I was single) it is now cheaper to pay the running costs of a boat than to hire one for two weeks and a weekend. And it's now Whit half term which is the busiest period, due to competition from cheap foriegn holidays for the summer break. Wake up, this is not a growth business and the survival of the canal system depends on it. No I don't hire, but thankfully other people do otherwise the waterways I love will be closed. More people die swimming and cycling than on canal boats, so why the hell do you want to charge more to regulate it.
  15. okay, I can't comment for your engine, but here is how to go about it Fill your tank to the brim, wince at the cost, and live with it. Assuming any reasonable size tank you've just parted with £100 plus after two days, dip the tank. I find some kind of wooden stick best as anything steel or plastic doesn't get "wet" enough to show the level Chances are you've used a tenth at most of what you bought. Keep dipping, and, for costs planning purposes, make a note of engine hours. I thought Ripple's BMC was very thirsty until I fitted an engine hour meter, at which point I found I'd been way underestimating the hours
  16. I still don't think you get it. Boat hire is frickin expensive already, and also is not that profitable, it is far cheaper to have a holiday cottage. What you are proposing is to put another barrier into the market, so not only does newbie who is considering first hire find that a week is £1000 plus (by way of comparison, Val and I are spending less for ten days in Sark and Guernsey, including flights, ferry, accomodation and hire car) this will add to the cost of the first holiday, and it won't be £25, the guy doing the training will be paid £8 an hour, plus on-costs which mean his salary cost alone will top £25, and the scheme would have to be self funding so his or her training, the administration of the scheme (there would have to be a central register for example) etc will easily double this. So there you go, newb rings booking agency, finds £1000 plus hire fee, £150 damage waiver, fuel deposit £75, oh, and as you haven't got a "passport" another fifty. Newb puts phone down and goes back to the Centre Parcs brochure...
  17. Froghall would be relatively easy in a week, about seven hours a day which allows some latitude for hold ups etc. Places to Stop? The Star at Stone is a must, on the Canal itself the Foxley Arms was welcoming a year or two ago, the Boat at Cheddleton and the Black Lion at Consall Forge are unmissable, and the scenery on the run down is among the best on the canal system We also like mooring in the open countryside just above Sandon Lock, which might be doable for your first evening You're boat may not fit through Froghall Tunnel, in which case you'll have to turn about 100 yards short of it.
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  19. Looks like one for the trailable when we finally get it!
  20. In answer to your question, there are many differences First, driving is generally regarded as a life skill, many people learn to drive long before they own or hire a car, whereas handling a narrow boat is not regarded in the same light, no one learns how on the off-chance of a boat holiday years down the line. Second, the danger, real and percieved. The driving test was introduced as a response to carnage on the roads that was put down in part to lack of driver training. By carnage I mean twice the death rate of today with only a fraction of the vehicles on the road. You can drive a car into a bus stop queue and kill ten people, not something that is practical in a boat. While some people moan about inconsiderate hirers no regulation would stop this. What proportion of people who break speed limits and drive over the legal alcohol limit have passed a driving test? nearly 100%. So it's about safety, and where is the carnage that must be stopped? How many people die or are seriously injured on canals in a year? and what proportion of these would have been saved by a passport or driving test? And in any event, would a passport issued on the Monmouth and Brecon really equip a hirer for a trip down the river Trent next year? Not really, to be a business opportunity the training would have to make a profit and the extra cost not put people off boat holidays, which are already eye wateringly expensive
  21. I think there were probably several elements to the logic, one being that Birmingham has a lot more canal bridges than most places, and in many instances you can't see where a canal is. This was even more true in 1940, as in recent years the canals have been more opened out. Also, they are not all in bridges, somewhere near Hockley Port there is one in a canalside wall, as there is next to Worcester Bar from Gas Street. If you look a bit further along Gas Street, the site of a lost branch can be discerned by a hump in the footway and bricked up openings which once housed red doors. I think it was a matter of convenience, a bit like marking fire hydrants I don't understand why they put them on modern bridges with railings that are only about four feet high, and suspect, in an emergency, the fire brigade wouldn't use them in these cases, as the time to open the door would offset any advantage.
  22. yes they have, more than once. Also, if those moorers do what many do, like putting up picnic tables etc then they will be in breach of the SAM status and BW as landlords will be responsible re: Foxton, (for whoever asked) the moorings predate the scheduling.
  23. Buckby, as you've hashed your quote I can't quote you. It was certainly not "nationwide" and only in Birmingham is the practice still standard. Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Bath are four cities that don't and never have. The original idea was that, with high parapets, the fire brigade couldn't tell where the canal was (it is still possible to cross a canal in Birmingham and not know it) and thus a red door indicated water the far side. It was thus imperative that any canal that closed had it's red doors removed and the site of old canals in Birmingham can still be traced with bricked up doors. Birmingham still have them, even on modern bridges with railings and low parapets where the water can be seen. Other towns and cities used them, but not to the same extent as Birmingham does.
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