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keithgell

Gloucester to London by canal

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3 minutes ago, keithgell said:

We will both be togather.  But neother of us have handled a narrow boat before.

If Gloster is open go by boat, thats your sticking point. Once off the Severn then moorings are easy. The locks on the Severn are manned, not sure of the hours this time of the year so you will need to check on the CRT website in the same area as the Glouster Lock stoppage. Make sure the headlight works as you have some tunnels to do and if the boat has only been on the G&S it may not have been used in a long time.

 

Edited by ditchcrawler

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18 minutes ago, keithgell said:

We will both be togather.  But neother of us have handled a narrow boat before.

There is a Canal Rescue service, you will need the Gold Standard imho. http://www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk/

They are very helpful, but it's a commercial organisation. You may be lucky and persuade them to organise a full service of your boat with instruction.

I am assuming it is not a vintage engine in it's own engine room.

Edited by LadyG

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2 minutes ago, keithgell said:

We will both be togather.  But neother of us have handled a narrow boat before.

If you can get through Gloucester lock the lack of experience, especially on a semi-tidal river at this time of year might make it a good idea to see if any experienced local members are willing to accompany you to the canal where handling is much more straight forward. Not that its not simple enough on a river but get it wrong with a  bit of flow on and you could easily spin round.

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33 minutes ago, keithgell said:

Thanks.  I might be panicking, but my daughter is not worried in the least.

What is wrong with this route:

 

The route you require is Gloucester - Worcester - King's Norton (Birmingham)  - Lapworth - Napton - Braunston - Grand Union Canal  to Bull's Bridge (Southall) and depending upon where in London probably turn left on to the Paddington Arm.

 

Other than road transport, this is the only practical and safest route for your journey.  But it will depend on any CRT closures en route as to how long it will take you.

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11 minutes ago, Sally Grim said:

And remember you need an anchor before you venture out on a river - an anchor that is correctly fastened in the boat!  :)

Yes deffo. Also I reckon unless the true condition of the engine etc are known at very least a check on fuel condition and certainly replacement of all fuel filters before the river section is done and drive belts etc.

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19 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

As we dont know how old the boat or condition is we cant realy be sure, however I would put my bottom dollar on it at the very least needing new batteries as they are what get murdered on a regular basis by miss use/inexperience. I am not available much over the next fourteen days but some days I am and after that I am available more. I will happily come over to the G and s canal, I am near Banbury so its only about hour plus and take you up the severn onto the canal system as thats the only bit that could be problematic this time of year. Its up to you I am experienced in rivers with various MCA licences and I will not require payment only the petrol and feeding during the trip. Up to you pm me if you think I can help ? Meanwhile join RCR today so you will be covered before you move the boat.

 

Tim

Very grateful for your offer Tim, I may well take you up on it.  I have spoken to my daughter, and she tells me to stop panicking!

 

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Just now, keithgell said:

Very grateful for your offer Tim, I may well take you up on it.  I have spoken to my daughter, and she tells me to stop panicking!

 

? She is right lol. We have five kids four of whom are daughters one went to uni in London several years ago now so I deffo know how you feel though. ?

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34 minutes ago, keithgell said:

Very grateful for your offer Tim, I may well take you up on it.  I have spoken to my daughter, and she tells me to stop panicking!

 

She has a lot to learn; Grasshopper, you are already on the first step towards enlightenment ?

Edited by LadyG

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There isn't really a clear passage into London until about the 17th March due to winter stoppages. Lock 47 at Dudswell (that's near Hemel Hempstead) is closed from 4th to 15th March. In any case to arrive by then will mean setting off around this weekend or soon thereafter but that depends upon Gloucester lock and the river levels. Realistically you will be looking at a couple of weeks transit time and that's if everything works. It's not just the engine that matters but all the on board services because you'll need to cook and wash and keep warm. I really would be testing the boat out on the Gloucester & Sharpness if you can, unless you are confident in all those things. Otherwise you will keep needing to stop to sort things out while you're trying to get to London. With the best will in the world there will still be some unforeseen stuff.

 

Don't be put off though, it'll be an adventure.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg

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1 hour ago, keithgell said:

Very grateful for your offer Tim, I may well take you up on it.  I have spoken to my daughter, and she tells me to stop panicking!

 

She may well be right.  So far we have no idea of the age or condition of the boat.  However most single people going to London buy a boat costing £20K or less and then wonder why everything keeps going wrong.  You will almost certainly have to buy a new set of batteries - budget £3-400.  Servicing properly, plus checking condition of fuel, belts etc will cost many hundreds of pounds.

Of course it may be a £50K+ boat that has been well looked after by a conscientious owner in which case your problems will be far less, mostly just down to getting to know the canals and how to handle the boat and work out how you will deal with diesel, water, battery charging, licence, mooring etc.

She may well think you are panicking, but there is no place for complacency.   People die on the canals, even experienced boaters.

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Given your lack of experience, there is a lot of useful information on the Canal & River Trust website.  In particular, under "Enjoy the waterways", "Boating".  Start with th Boaters Handbook.

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1 minute ago, dor said:

She may well be right.  So far we have no idea of the age or condition of the boat.  However most single people going to London buy a boat costing £20K or less and then wonder why everything keeps going wrong.  You will almost certainly have to buy a new set of batteries - budget £3-400.  Servicing properly, plus checking condition of fuel, belts etc will cost many hundreds of pounds.

Of course it may be a £50K+ boat that has been well looked after by a conscientious owner in which case your problems will be far less, mostly just down to getting to know the canals and how to handle the boat and work out how you will deal with diesel, water, battery charging, licence, mooring etc.

She may well think you are panicking, but there is no place for complacency.   People die on the canals, even experienced boaters.

So, add on two automatic lifejackets.

  • Greenie 1

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38 minutes ago, LadyG said:

So, add on two automatic lifejackets.

Also add on two boat handling courses, but best of all, learn all you can when Tim joins you! 

 

Please give us a clue about the boat!

 

Howard

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3 hours ago, Sally Grim said:

You can use https://canalplan.eu to plan your journey. It's quite some trip for a first time. Are your daughter joining you, or are you single-handing?

 

Gloucester Docks to the River Lee via the Warwickshire Avon is over 200 miles and 200 locks, and will take an average boater more than 15 days at 7 hours per day. As newbies you are likely to be slower to start with, especially through locks. But you will be experienced boaters by the end of the trip!

 

  • Happy 1

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10 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

Gloucester Docks to the River Lee via the Warwickshire Avon is over 200 miles and 200 locks, and will take an average boater more than 15 days at 7 hours per day. As newbies you are likely to be slower to start with, especially through locks. But you will be experienced boaters by the end of the trip!

 

Route via Warwickshire Avon not available until after 15th March due to stoppage at Wilmcote. Also it's another £50 for a licence and two more days on a river when it's more reliable to be on a canal (well at least it normally is at this time of year). Canal Plan will be pessimistic about times via Worcester & Birmingham because the defaults for locks are slow and W&B locks are amongst the easiest and quickest on the network.

 

JP

 

 

 

 

Edited by Captain Pegg

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2 hours ago, dor said:

She may well be right.  So far we have no idea of the age or condition of the boat.  However most single people going to London buy a boat costing £20K or less and then wonder why everything keeps going wrong.  You will almost certainly have to buy a new set of batteries - budget £3-400.  Servicing properly, plus checking condition of fuel, belts etc will cost many hundreds of pounds.

Of course it may be a £50K+ boat that has been well looked after by a conscientious owner in which case your problems will be far less, mostly just down to getting to know the canals and how to handle the boat and work out how you will deal with diesel, water, battery charging, licence, mooring etc.

She may well think you are panicking, but there is no place for complacency.   People die on the canals, even experienced boaters.

So, add on two automatic lifejackets.

PS buy Tim the best bottle of Red available, and I don't mean  @Lidl

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I would recommend joining the London Boaters facebook group.

 

There are various pinned documents there that explain the CC rules, and give lots of other relevant advice from people who do what your daughter is planning to do. I would also recommend following the group a bit before asking questions.

 

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On 26/02/2019 at 13:19, keithgell said:

Hi

 

Mr daughter has bought a canal bout and I have to get it from Gloucester to London by canal.  What is the best route?

 

I have never handled a narrowboat before, will I pick it up as I go?

 

Thanks for the answers,

 

Keith

 

We did this journey in reverse  a few years ago via the Grand Union/Stratford/River Avon route, It took us 16 days, we were not pushing it but we were/are experienced boaters so as inexperienced boater I would allow at least this amount of time. if not longer.

 

This trip will soon turn you into experienced boaters! Steering a boat and using locks is not rocket science. Don't be afraid to ask other boaters advice, they are generally a good bunch but expect sneers when saying that you are taking the boat to London.

 

The Avon and Worcester and Birmingham routes are about the same in miles but the Avon route has 189 locks as opposed to the 213 of the W & B Route, to Little Venice, add another day and 12 Locks to get to the River Lee. The disadvantage of the Avon route is having to buy an additional licence (£50) and that the first couple of days will be all River Locks which take a bit more nous. This route might not be the best when you are still learning about your boat. There is also a stoppage on the Sothern Stratford until 15th March but as the stoppage at Gloucester Lock shows no sign of coming off this may not be a problem!

 

As has been mentioned your daughter should join the London Boaters Facebook page ASAP as it is an excellent source of information and a good self help group.

 

There is a tremendous boating community in London and is a very cheap way of living here but it does come with 'inconveniences' such as having to find a new mooring every couple of weeks and having to empty toilets, buy fuel etc. Getting maintenance/repairs done outside of marinas can also be problematical. Trying to continuously cruise just on the River Lee will be problematical. Not only will you be expected to move every two weeks but you will also be expected to cover a rage (20miles?) over the year so shuffling from one mooring spot to another nearby one will soon get you into trouble. 

 

Enjoy

 

 

Edited by Tim Lewis

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28 minutes ago, Tim Lewis said:

Not only will you be expected to move every two weeks but you will also be expected to cover a rage (20miles?) over the year so shuffling from one mooring spot to another nearby one will soon get you into trouble. 

Just to clarify the meaning of 'range'.

 

It is not the total distance travelled in a year, it is the distance travelled 'away' from your start point, 

example : start at point A, move 2 miles to point B, move 2 miles to point C, move 2 miles to point D and so on and so on until you have achieved 20+ miles, turn around and do the same again in reverse., even go 20 miles (in steps) the other direction then you have achieved a 'range of 40 miles'.

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For a first journey I wouldn't recommend going up the Avon as the locks can be fierce if not operated carefully. Going up the Severn the wide locks are operated for you so will be no problem, the only wide locks to do yourself will be when you come off the river at Worcester, but these are ok, and then you are in to plenty of narrow locks.

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