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sociable_hermit last won the day on September 3 2011

sociable_hermit had the most liked content!

About sociable_hermit

  • Birthday 03/31/1975

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    an office near you
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    Philosophical drinker
  • Boat Name
    Nb Amanda

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  1. This is getting more and more ridiculous. The NBW article is laughable in many ways. I spoke to a BWML Marina Manager in the pub last night and they were furious that Paul Lillie is saying BWML Managers get paid half as much again as Paul's £60k a year salary, when in fact they get significantly less than he is paid. Similarly BWML Marinas have to pay the same taxes as every other business whereas he alleges they get special treatment. The business plan for Pillings Lock Marina has never been right. Because they got it so wrong, the Lillies signed up to a deal with BW which they couldn't honour. Perhaps the business plan would have been better if they'd actually read and understood what they were signing and factored the details into the plan? To sign something and then whinge that "it isn't fair" is childish and pathetic. Why did you agree those terms if you didn't like them, then, you idiots? Paul is very good at jumbling up costs and profits. A £60k salary is a cost, oh look we never made much of a profit and BW took a lot of it. Funny, that. My heart bleeds. Paul is also very good at jumbling up responsibility for his business failing between BW / CRT and the management of Pillings Lock Marina, including himself. One of the main reasons the Marina has never done particularly well is because Paul is a shifty, two-faced, money-hungry dodgepot with the morals of a hyena. Pillings didn't need any help from BW to get into trouble, they were quite capable of doing that themselves. It's also interesting to see how John Lillie is reinventing himself as the innocent party, boater's best friend and general Mr. Nice. Come off it. If you ran a successful boatbuilders for many years how come you got involved in this fiasco without thinking to check the figures? Ooh I never knew. Really??? And once the Marina was built what was your job spec exactly, other than wandering around moaning at people? Don't forget this is the same guy who demanded the toilets and showers were closed at 9pm so the people walking up the stairs to use them (who were paying for the privaledge in their mooring fees, don't forget) wouldn't disturb his peace and quiet. The same guy who insisted that liveaboards were unofficial and shouldn't disclose their status to the Council, but then wanted to impose hefty 'service' charges on those same liveaboard boaters. Err, they're either official or they're not - can't have it both ways. Oh and let's not forget the fist fight with his own son and the Police helicopter chase..... The whole thing is very MarineEnders.
  2. Has he still got the VW Karmann Ghia as well?
  3. ....especially when the business has a flawed set of figures from the outset. £180k is a fair sum to overlook in a business plan, isn't it?
  4. So its BW's fault if a Marina doesn't achieve 90% occupancy? What about the quality of the management that runs the place? The friendliness of the staff, the quality and care taken over the facilities, the value for money? The ability to deliver promised improvements on time? Having a managerial style that is consistent and fair rather than shifty, erratic and petty? As usual I suspect Paul is seeking to blame others for problems of his own making.
  5. Agreed there are some spaces at Mercia, but I think it's very much dependent on the size of narrowboat you have. From memory, moorings in the most popular 50'-60' range are pretty hard to come by. Strange that you say there's a waiting list for residential moorings - as far as I'm aware there is no distinction between liveaboard and part time boaters at Mercia at present, but they are negotiating with the local authorities to set something up. Pillings Lock to Mercia Marina can be done in one day in the height of summer, though it does mean being up with the morning chorus and getting in at dusk. In the winter it's a two day trip and heavily dependent on the good behaviour of the Soar and the Trent. By car, Loughborough to Willington takes about 40 minutes. Mercia is a well-appointed Marina but consequently not the cheapest. However, unlike Pillings, you do get what you pay for.
  6. Quite. I think most other Marinas in the area ARE oversubscribed, mainly because they're full of ex-Pillings Lock boaters.
  7. Good question. Because using boats generally creates maintenance costs for CaRT, in terms of bank erosion, wear to lock gates and paddle gear etc.. to a far greater extent than, say, cycling or jogging or feeding the ducks does. The Council Tax contribution covers the general "access to the towpath for leisure" aspect which is currently free (and would be a very small sum per head) whereas the boat licence is very specifically for the use of a boat on the waterways. Agreed there would have to be an arbitrary way of dividing the two cost groups (probably "whatever we think we can get away with most successfully") but I doubt if there'd be any reduction for boaters in the short term, as licence revenue doesn't cover anything like CaRT's basic maintenance costs. But yeah, it could, depending on the ratios used.
  8. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  9. Canals offer significant benefits for the communities through which they pass. As 'green corridors' for wildlife, as footpaths and cycleways, tourist attractions, places to sit and relax, and a source of revenue (trade from passing boaters and other users). While some of this might seem inconsequential, I bet it all adds up. For example how much do the Police and the NHS save if 100 people at high risk of stress or depression sit by the water and feed the ducks every day, rather than popping pills or jumping from bridges? There's also a desperate need to involve local people and local authorities to a greater extent, so the canals are "their" canals - to be promoted, looked after, and fully integrated into their surroundings. While some places are good at this, others are very much "us and them". For this reason I still think that the SOW proposal to establish a formal and binding framework for part-funding via local authorities (from Council Tax revenue) is a logical and perfectly valid suggestion. Particularly if it were based on route miles of CaRT waterway per County Council. No waterway = no charge. It wouldn't replace the boat licence, nor overlap with it. Nor would it replace the central Government funding (which recognises the national significance of the system), though it might reduce it. The Council contribution would simply be a payment for the aspects which are currently "free" and mostly the domain of local residents - walking, cycling etc.. I suggest that it would require the abolition of any charges from CaRT to angling clubs, as otherwise fishermen would end up paying for the same thing twice. Fringe benefits would include greater integration of services. For example towpath grass cutting, bin emptying etc. could be transferred over to local authority contractors in return for a reduction in CaRT subsidy. Local authorities would also be far more likely to think about the canals when granting planning permission, arranging tourism promotions etc. if they are actually paying towards their upkeep.
  10. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  11. This is correct. But only because the legal limit in this case is to be drunk enough to be incapable of handling a vessel safely. That's one of the most sensible rules I've seen in a long time. Yes, it's vague, and contextual. Good - so it should be. Alcohol affects everyone differently, so a more prescriptive rule would be unworkable. It's up to you to judge the situation. If you can't judge it correctly, you shouldn't be trying.
  12. No, this is tosh. If you, as a boatyard operator, know that an individual is staying in a boat in dry dock on site, it is up to you to check that the boarding arrangements they have made are safe. Or alternatively it is up to you to set up something safe in the first place, thereby negating the risk. Yes, the individual also has a duty to protect themselves, but they may not have been familiar with the staging and the risks associated with it, which is why a check is necessary. 5 minutes doing this is not going to cost a Marina very much, and should have been factored into the dry dock costs. The dry dock I use (Aqua Narrowboats, at Mercia Marina) provide a set of steps with a handrail to climb up from the dock floor into the boat. They also leave the lights in the building on so I can see what I am doing, and ensure that the steps are stable and I'm aware of the potential hazards of stepping across from the steps into the boat when I'm 6' above the concrete floor. Obviously it's never going to be 100% safe because of the environment the boat, by necessity, has to be in - but they really try their best, and I'm grateful for that.
  13. Make sure the pipe goes where it should, too. When I replaced my old fridge it transpired the pipe from the back had been routed down below the fridge and behind the drawer underneath it, to end up resting on the floor. Over time the intermittent dripping had rotted out part of the floor and the end of the kitchen unit, in a corner that couldn't be seen with the fridge in situ. Took quite a while to sort it out.
  14. Thanks - some good responses there. I'm pleased these are dependable units as searching the web revealed some horror stories about other Perkins models. By the sounds of things I should be looking for a fairly basic 15W40 rather than something loaded with additives. Alternatively if I decide to stick with Millers (who don't appear to do a low-tech 15W40) I'm contemplating a 50/50 split between their 10W40 "marine" oil and their SAE40 product for classic cars, which is a bit thicker and comes in smaller bottles. Is that good sense or a foolish move?
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