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Thomas C King

Reversing for about a mile, likely to raise objections?

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I'm thinking that rather than travelling many miles and through a few locks to get to a winding point, that instead I just reverse the boat in under a mile to the nearest one. I've reversed for a fairly long distance before (less than half a mile) for reasons, but I just wanted to know if this kind of thing is frowned upon? I'd do it when it's most quiet, and with at least a boat's width from moored boats (but still travelling on the right). So I think it would be okay, but maybe there's a reason not to do it that I've not thought of. Thanks!

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I don't see an issue with it as long as you are able to control your boat and don't end up blocking the canal for ages. When I reverse any distance I try to stop and let other boats pass it needs be although I don't think I've gone as far as a mile.

I recently came up to a guy reversing through a bridge hole as the moorings were better where he had just passed, he ended up broadside across the canal and made a right mess of it then almost feel in as he tried to jump off to pull the boat in.

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Don't see why not,

 

as long as your in control and not bouncing of things I don't see a problem.

Edited by waterdog

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I can't see any problem, I've done it myself a few times. I do remember a moored boat telling me to slow down once though 😉

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Done it a few times in a 70 footer. Once from Stanground Sluice (which deep drafted boats have to go down backwards) to the first winding hole about a mile away. Passed a moving boat without any problems. On another occasion I reversed half a mile plus with moored boats both sides to pickup up new batteries from Uxbridge Boat Centre - I didn't fancy carrying them that far!

The trick is first to get the boat in the middle and pointing in the right direction, then stand facing backwards use the rudder as a bow rudder, frequently looking over your shoulder to ensure the bow is still in the middle if the canal. Make course corrections all the time, as once you have lost it.....   And don't try it on a windy day.

 

 

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remember if you pass a boat whilst reversing that strongly smells of Wizards Cabbage, don't forget to speak and shout greetings backwards too, that'll really freak 'em out :D 

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Whether or not you reverse for a long period without a break might depend on which gearbox you have.

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How about a nice pair of wide wheels both sides near the bow?  I find the stern reasonably controllable but the bow less so. As has been said, even a slight wind complicates matters. I'm not bothered when people do this past me provided I get no more than slightly brushed.

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Just now, bizzard said:

Whether or not you reverse for a long period without a break might depend on which gearbox you have.

Some gearboxes don't like long periods in reverse. Others don't care. Check what you have. Also a risk of loosening the prop and even losing it entirely if the nut that holds it on isn't adequately staked.

I once had to reverse 6 miles out of the Kyme Eau navigation when I found the winding hole at the current end of navigation was silted up. Took all day.

Boats seem to vary in their ability to track in reverse. Some are better than others.

Jen

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This is one of those rare occasions when a bow stove is better than a centrally mounted stove. Just direct your Ecofan as necessary to control the bow. A bizzard arrangement may be required if you're solo.

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32 minutes ago, Thomas C King said:

I'm thinking that rather than travelling many miles and through a few locks to get to a winding point, that instead I just reverse the boat in under a mile to the nearest one. I've reversed for a fairly long distance before (less than half a mile) for reasons, but I just wanted to know if this kind of thing is frowned upon? I'd do it when it's most quiet, and with at least a boat's width from moored boats (but still travelling on the right). So I think it would be okay, but maybe there's a reason not to do it that I've not thought of. Thanks!

 

Have plotted your reverse course. 

 

 

wave.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Thomas C King said:

Thanks all, we'll just go for it then!

The "we" is an important factor: a bod at the other end, armed with the boathook or the pole, is a useful aid to navigation.

4 minutes ago, jenevers said:

I would think dragging a chain off the bow, would help keep the bow under control.

I have hard of steerers suspending a bucket from the bow on a rope. I don't know if this was a working boat people's trick or whether it dates from more recent times.

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20 minutes ago, Athy said:

 

I have hard of steerers suspending a bucket from the bow on a rope. I don't know if this was a working boat people's trick or whether it dates from more recent times.

Seen it done but towing a bucket from the stern. The Riqueval Tunnel in France, An electric tug (overhead wires so don't thrash around with a hookshaft) hauls a train of boats through with engines off, we were tied behind a Belgian boat and behind us were other boats so the Belgian boat must have had 50 tons on its bollards . As soon as we entered the tunnel he flung the bucket off the back on a rope presumably to keep it going straight. Can't imagine it made a lot of difference somehow. As for dragging a chain along from the front I've never done it but I must try it sometime as Bee goes backwards like an omelette in a pan.

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One thing to watch is that it can confuse the hell out of people and cause much reving and panicking reverse, in fact that can cause more problems than your hopefully controlled reverse 

:)

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1 hour ago, Thomas C King said:

I just wanted to know if this kind of thing is frowned upon?

 

Undoubtedly, by some people, but don't let that stop you. It's only the people who have nothing better to do than interfere in others' lives.

As with all things boaty, just relax and be considerate of others.

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51 minutes ago, Thomas C King said:

Thanks all, we'll just go for it then!

Which gearbox do you have?  If its epicyclic with planetry gears which only come into use when in astern gear can overheat and damage the box if used for prolonged periods without breaks to allow it to cool down.

Edited by bizzard

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6 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Which gearbox do you have?  If its epicyclic with planetry gears which only come into use when in astern gear can overheat and damage the box if used for prolonged periods without breaks to allow it to cool down.

Yes, good point, need to check that out first. We'll possibly go for it then...

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16 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

One thing to watch is that it can confuse the hell out of people and cause much reving and panicking reverse, in fact that can cause more problems than your hopefully controlled reverse 

:)

It confuses the volockies at Fradley when I reverse down junction lock. Last time the lady off the boat coming up looked very confused and asked if we were going down or up.

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51 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

It confuses the volockies at Fradley when I reverse down junction lock. Last time the lady off the boat coming up looked very confused and asked if we were going down or up.

I had the same question asked of me by a tourist at Stratford on Avon as I reversed out of Bankroft Basin down to the river. I simply answered "Yes"

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