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Deanhopefullboater

Continuous Cruising In London With Full Time Job. Can it be done?

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Hello, 

 

I am seriously considering buying a boat but i only want to be a CCer as mooring is not affordable for me. 

 

I currently work in Central London. All i want to know is...is it actually possible to be a CCer and hold down a full time job in Central London? 

 

Can someone with experience actually explain how it is for them? 

 

Thanks Dean 

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May be worth joining the London Boaters Facebook group if you do Facebook.

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Either join FB or talk to Bloke in Pub, he knows what you don't have to do.

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Due to there being 3x more CC boats in London that there is space to moor, you will need to apply to go onto the 'rotation waiting-list'.

 

This is where everyone who has managed to get a spot to moor all phone each other so that they can do a co-ordinated move - all of a sudden at (say) 13:00 hours you'll see 1000 boats untying and all moving 500 yards to the spot that has just become vacant, due to the 'big shuffle'.

 

The whole thing falls apart when a 'visiting boat' is just approaching a mooring spot as the 'big shuffle' happens and it quietly slips into the vacant spot.

The knock on effect reverberates throughout the capital for many weeks.

 

You will need to get your application in as there is currently a 2 year waiting list to get onto the waiting list.

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23 minutes ago, Deanhopefullboater said:

Thanks. I don't do facebook but i guess I'm going to have to now. 

 

 

The suggestion from Rom-M is your best bet as London boating is, although the rules are supost to be the same, effectively different to the rest of the system. 

Edited by reg

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31 minutes ago, Deanhopefullboater said:

Thanks. I don't do facebook but i guess I'm going to have to now. 

There are some people here who are from or working in London. Unfortunately because there are a lot of people in London who just want to use the canals for cheep housing, which has a tendency to clutter up the canals and because this is a problem there are members here who will decide that any London boaters are not "one of us" 

 

@ivan&alice live and work in London, they are really kind and honest and I'm sure they will be happy to post on this thread once they see it. 

 

 

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I did it for 2 and a half years, cruising range was from Leighton Buzzard to Hertford/Bishops Stortford. It was busy in the centre even then (escaped 2011)but has mushroomed with boats since. Wintering in the centre area and moving outwards March to November should keep you out of enforcement range.....shuffling around Ha Kent and Camden will not.

Facilities are short and oversubscribed, queues for waterpoints are common at weekends, broken elsan points are a regular occurrence and finding somewhere to empty your cassette on your one day off may take all day!!

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Depends how close to central London you want to be. Kensal Green to Hackney is more or less wall to wall moored boats wherever you can moor, but if you are prepared to go further afield it is easier e.g up the Lee and Stort towards Hertford and Bishops Stortford or up the GU to Tring. Your never that far from a rail or tube station and services generally start early and finish late.

I've never worked full time in central London, but last summer and autumn I CC'd around the wider London area, moving the boat at weekends, evenings or on the odd half day off. No real problems. Although if you are living aboard full time you will need to fill with water and empty the loo more often than I did.

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Careful planning on size & type of boat is a good start, if going for a NB consider fitting extra water tank capacity and not having pump-out but cassette toilet instead. You can always buy extra cassettes but when the waste needs a pump out there's no option but to join the que & you have to pay for the privilege 😫. FB london boaters will point you in the right direction but beware it's not a cheap option.

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If you are in London, pop down to your local canal at the weekend and have a chat with people living on boats there.

 

Richard

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This PDF link is taken from the London Boaters intro page, which is worth you reading in full, hope they don't mind as intended to point a potential new user to them. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yyyrs1vbolir0t4/Beginners Guide to enforcement on the London canals and River Lee.pdf?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR25dL6bS7G6ahAFsNDIQ0FK2uJllrlHJtHCxxTTrjGrSY2RoYcfae2p0Yc

 

N. B  doesn't mean you are not welcome here as wealth of general and technical info available, I believe a number of members are on both sites. 

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I worked in King's Cross for the first couple of years after we moved aboard. We cruised between the Tring summit pound and Cowley Peachy during the winter (occasionally getting trapped behind winter engineering works for a month or two) ... and headed out onto the Thames, with some venturing onto the K&A, from March to October. I commuted by train from all these places - either through Euston or Paddington. It wasn't particularly difficult, but you have to be up for the journeys. Find something interesting to do on the train. 

 

I was lucky in having a fairly flexible employer so could travel off-peak and work 11am - 7pm, which made it affordable. We tend to tie up in the middle of nowhere, so it would be about an hour to hour and a half walking/train/tube to and from north of London ... and sometimes three hours from far-flung places like Great Bedwyn (Wilts.).

 

Moving onto a boat was the key to a dream for us: to live in the countryside ... in a moveable home ... on a human scale. As a result, I can't imagine CCing this way in and around central London as it is so crowded. Last summer, on a nice day, I walked along the towpath from Paddington Basin to Mile End ... and in that entire length I saw only two spaces free and large enough to tie up a narrowboat - both near Victoria Park. And one spot was taken by a cruising boat while I dawdled. Of course, many boats in the heart of London are tied up two, even three, abreast. 

 

I think it really depends on: i) how much you want to live on a boat, and ii) how you want to live on that boat when you've got it.

 

 

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Until I retired three years ago I spent most of my career working in and around London, but the financially sensible way living in bricks and mortar out in zone 4 in my home area Anerley/Beckenham/Croydon where property prices are high by national standards but low compared to inner London. Lots of boring commuting, everywhere is crowded and busy, but there's a lot of money to be made in London, always has been and always will be. And therein might lie your solution; to do it while cc'ing on a boat, keep the boat somewhere else and travel in. You work in central London, you can afford the fares! If not, you're underpaid.

 

How about cc'ing around the BCN and having a season ticket from Birmingham? Could that work?

Back in 1980 I was working near King's Cross and one of my colleagues was commuting daily from Wigan, such was the difference in what he could earn.

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21 minutes ago, Peter X said:

Back in 1980 I was working near King's Cross and one of my colleagues was commuting daily from Wigan, such was the difference in what he could earn.

A London Fireman used to live in Cumbria and commute.   Don't ask me how it was my Bro (a fireman who knew him.)

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1 hour ago, Jim Batty said:

I worked in King's Cross for the first couple of years after we moved aboard. We cruised between the Tring summit pound and Cowley Peachy during the winter (occasionally getting trapped behind winter engineering works for a month or two) ... and headed out onto the Thames, with some venturing onto the K&A, from March to October. I commuted by train from all these places - either through Euston or Paddington. It wasn't particularly difficult, but you have to be up for the journeys. Find something interesting to do on the train. 

 

I was lucky in having a fairly flexible employer so could travel off-peak and work 11am - 7pm, which made it affordable. We tend to tie up in the middle of nowhere, so it would be about an hour to hour and a half walking/train/tube to and from north of London ... and sometimes three hours from far-flung places like Great Bedwyn (Wilts.).

 

Moving onto a boat was the key to a dream for us: to live in the countryside ... in a moveable home ... on a human scale. As a result, I can't imagine CCing this way in and around central London as it is so crowded. Last summer, on a nice day, I walked along the towpath from Paddington Basin to Mile End ... and in that entire length I saw only two spaces free and large enough to tie up a narrowboat - both near Victoria Park. And one spot was taken by a cruising boat while I dawdled. Of course, many boats in the heart of London are tied up two, even three, abreast. 

 

I think it really depends on: i) how much you want to live on a boat, and ii) how you want to live on that boat when you've got it.

 

 

 

I get the feeling the OP is imagining keeping his boat in London near work, rather than CCing far and wide and commuting like you did. But perhaps the fact you illustrate it can be done this way will be an edumacation. 

 

I am acutely aware he asks for answers only from people who have actually CCed and worked in London though... so I am not qualified to comment. 

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9 hours ago, ivan&alice said:

This is all total nonsense, @Alan de Enfield might mean this tongue-in-cheek but I'm not sure. I've never heard of nor seen any coordinated move. Perhaps this is something that used to happen, but I believe the enforcement of the rules has become much stricter in recent years. If there is such a thing as a rotation wating list I've never heard of it. Evidently it's not possible that there are 3x more boats in London than spaces, otherwise two thirds of the boats would be moving at any one time. That's not the case. I only see 5 or 6 boats pass on any given day. That said it is crowded and you'll be lucky to ever get a visitor's mooring in the most popular places like King's Cross and Little Venice. And there are definitely people who are gaming the system but I don;t think they last long.

Indeed it was - it was (I hoped) written with sufficiently large numbers that anyone would realise it is an 'eggsageration'.

 

Although C&RT do say that there are over 5000 boats registered with them within 'London'

With the Total UK C&RT registered boats being about 30,000 (some quote 34,000 but that the numbers are falling) London has more than its fair share.

 

The licence evasion in London is 5.5% (the highest in the country)

C&RT registered boats in London in 2016 were 3,662

C&RT registered boats in London in 2017 were 4,001

C&RT registered boats in London in 20168 were estimated at 5,000 (awaiting final figures)

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9 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Indeed it was - it was (I hoped) written with sufficiently large numbers that anyone would realise it is an 'eggsageration'.

 

Although C&RT do say that there are over 5000 boats registered with them within 'London'

With the Total UK C&RT registered boats being about 30,000 (some quote 34,000 but that the numbers are falling) London has more than its fair share.

 

 

How are you counting 'fair share'.  London population 9m of 56m in England (1/6) - so 5,000 of 3,0000 seems not out-of-line.  By length - indeed so, but then the immediate Braunston/Napton area presents a far larger spike....

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9 hours ago, ivan&alice said:

This is all total nonsense, @Alan de Enfield might mean this tongue-in-cheek but I'm not sure. I've never heard of nor seen any coordinated move. Perhaps this is something that used to happen, but I believe the enforcement of the rules has become much stricter in recent years.

 

When I took our last trip through London on two successive Saturdays mornings (One on way out and the other on the return) I witnessed convoys of three or more boats moving at high speed. They gave me the very strong impression they were making a weekly or fortnightly change of place

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7 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

When I took our last trip through London on two successive Saturdays mornings (One on way out and the other on the return) I witnessed convoys of three or more boats moving at high speed. They gave me the very strong impression they were making a weekly or fortnightly change of place

You were lucky to spot such convoys on the move ... since that fortnight's journey could have been just one mile. 

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They should get rid of this much misused term continuous cruisers. I accept that some people have the time/money to 'cruise' that is to boat around the system most of the time for pleasure which is fine. It seems to me that the vast majority of CC licence holders are not in this camp. Rather they are avoiding the costs of owning a boat by abusing CaRT’s liberal attitude to towpath mooring causing a nuisance to everyone else on the system. No doubt that in years to come as many of these old boats become abandoned 'normal' boaters will end up picking up the cost of the removal of all these old boats. Having paid mooring fees for some 30 years I am beginning to reset the attitude that it now seems acceptable to work the system to avoid paying under the guise of doing something they are not.

CaRT should alter their licencing system to one where you have to show you have a proper mooring before you get an annual licence or demonstrate that you have been genuinely cruising for at least a year or only be offered a one month licence.

 

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6 minutes ago, Mike Adams said:

They should get rid of this much misused term continuous cruisers. I accept that some people have the time/money to 'cruise' that is to boat around the system most of the time for pleasure which is fine. It seems to me that the vast majority of CC licence holders are not in this camp. Rather they are avoiding the costs of owning a boat by abusing CaRT’s liberal attitude to towpath mooring causing a nuisance to everyone else on the system. No doubt that in years to come as many of these old boats become abandoned 'normal' boaters will end up picking up the cost of the removal of all these old boats. Having paid mooring fees for some 30 years I am beginning to reset the attitude that it now seems acceptable to work the system to avoid paying under the guise of doing something they are not.

 

CaRT should alter their licencing system to one where you have to show you have a proper mooring before you get an annual licence or demonstrate that you have been genuinely cruising for at least a year or only be offered a one month licence.

 

 

 

There is a lot of sense in what you say, but as the law stands it would be difficult for C&RT to apply.

Although the law does not say for what 'period' the licence is issued - maybe 'boats without a home mooring'  and 'fat-boats' only get monthly licences ?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mike Adams said:

They should get rid of this much misused term continuous cruisers.

Broadly speaking, there are three types.

 

1. Those who cruise extensively for pleasure - typically but not exclusively the comfortably well-off retired.

 

2. Liveaboards who do the minimum required to be close to a school or place of work.

 

3. Towpath dumpers who are essentially leisure and holiday boaters. They don't use marinas, instead moving their boat at least every 14 days to a new bit of towpath.

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