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There is a large segment of the English system that has powered locks, either keeper operated, or self operated with a key. River Trent from Nottingham down stream, Fossdyke and River Witham to Lincoln and Boston. Then the Yorkshire waterways, with the exception of one manual lock and a few swing bridges on the Stainforth and Keadby, it is all push button operated up to Leeds, Wakefield and York. A lot of distance, but there are tidal river stretches to deal with. Another possible is the River Thames, again push button boating and paces to hire from.

Jen

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On 02/11/2020 at 06:03, Sue Smith said:

Hello, 

We really want to figure out if we can work the locks. We are senior citizens, but we have been boating for all of our 53 years of marriage. We are used to boating in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, but we understand how different a narrow boat is. The canals are unique. Handling the boat is not a concern. The locks are the main concern. Are there many areas with no locks? Are there any disabled people who live on a narrowboat? I have arthritis in my spine , hands, knees, hips, etc. Walking distances is a problem for me. I use a mobility scooter when we travel. My scooter has been to England twice, Sweden, Scotland, Alaska, all over the US, and most of the Caribbean Islands. I can walk around our house OK. But I see a lot of people walk from one lock to the next without getting on their boat.  I could not do that distance. We are trying to sort this out. Any help, suggestions, ideas, insight, etc. will be greatly appreciated. Please be kind, though. 😇

Some of the posts replying have not really replied to your post but to other posters. 

From your post it suggests you are thinking of 'living' on a narrowboat, and cruising the system or part of it. With a mobility scooter, on the towpath, an without the support of an able bodied crew. 

This is a challenging lifestyle choice, not a leisure option. It can appear attractive on telly but in reality it is a hard life choice. 

It may be you are just thinking of a holiday cruise, but that's not clear. 

Theoretically there are areas of the system that might just about work but the key thing to appreciate is that the canals were built for horses on the towpath, and strong men were paid a pittance to work themselves to an early death once their backs went, transporting heavy boats and working the locks. If you've a back issue lock beams are pretty much the worst thing you can think of. 

Even though it's now a leisure park, neither the narrow boat nor the infrastructure is amenable to disability.  The boats are heavy, cumbersome and lock beams are by their very nature heavy moving objects. The canals themselves do not pass through the convenient areas for buying supplies etc. 

I am sorry if this sound negative. 

Putting coal, gas, water and disposing of waste is physical, and in winter muddy. on uneven surfaces. 

Of cours if you have a really good mooring all this is different. But that's not cruising. 

I make this post having had the experience of travelling with my ageing father and his mobility scooter/wheelchair on various parts of the system - without the support fo an able bodied crew it would have been a nightmare. Frankly it was occasionally awful, simply trying to get him off the boat on long planks at awkward moorings. 

as I said upthread - The broads is a completely different world and perhaps a much better option. 

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I'd agree. My posts were on the assumption that they were talking of a long term stay. If it is just a short holiday on a hired boat that would make quite a difference, but they might have difficulties finding one that's set up to  accommodate wheelchair etc. requirements.

 

Tam

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On 02/11/2020 at 15:10, booke23 said:

while transporting 50lb bags of coal/gas bottles/full toilet cassettes. 

No way.  Stick to diesel heating (delivered to your door by a fuel boat), have the fuel boat stick the gas bottles in the locker for you (but you will have to connect them up yourself), and go macerator pump-out for totally effortless pooing.

 

Find a travelling companion boat if you are using canals where you operate the locks yourself.

  • Greenie 1

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12 hours ago, Tam & Di said:

I'd agree. My posts were on the assumption that they were talking of a long term stay. If it is just a short holiday on a hired boat that would make quite a difference, but they might have difficulties finding one that's set up to  accommodate wheelchair etc. requirements.

 

Tam

 

The Lyneal Trust have a 70 foot narrow boat set up for disabled passengers.

 

I hired this with a friend to take his disabled friend for one last canal holiday back in 2015. Excellent value for money and a great company to deal with.

 

https://www.lyneal-trust.org.uk/the-lass/

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17 hours ago, Tam & Di said:

I'd agree. My posts were on the assumption that they were talking of a long term stay. If it is just a short holiday on a hired boat that would make quite a difference, but they might have difficulties finding one that's set up to  accommodate wheelchair etc. requirements.

 

Tam

There are actually quite a few outfits that cater for disabled holidays.

 

Here's a list, there could be more!

 

Accessible Boating Association (Basingstoke)
Baldwin Trust (Leicester)
Bruce Trust (Wilts & Berks)
CanalAbility (Essex / Hertfordshire)
Ethel Trust (Doncaster)
Chesterfield Canal Trust (Chesterfield)
Hargreaves Narrowboat Trust (Coventry)
Heulwen Trust (North Wales)
Lyneal Trust (Shropshire / North Wales)
Mary Sunley Canal Boat Trust (Cheshire)
Nottingham Narrowboat Project (Nottinghamshire)
Pamela May Trust (Worcestershire)
Peter Le Marchant Trust (Leicestershire)
River Thames Boat Project (South-West London)
Rivertime Boat Trust (Thames Valley)
SCAD (North Yorkshire)
Seagull Trust (Scotland)
Somerset Boat Centre (Somerset)
South Staffordshire Narrowboat Co (Wolverhampton)
Stockport Canalboat Trust (Greater Manchester)
Swansea Community Boat Trust (South Wales)
Truman Enterprise Narrowboat Trust (Staffordshire)
Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust (North Wales)
Waterways Experiences (Hertfordshire)
WCNT (Cheshire)
Wildside Activity Centre (Wolverhampton)
Willow Trust (Gloucestershire)

  • Greenie 2

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On 02/11/2020 at 07:03, Sue Smith said:

Hello, 

We really want to figure out if we can work the locks. ....... Any help, suggestions, ideas, insight, etc. will be greatly appreciated. Please be kind, though. 😇

Hello Sue Smith. We've been pretty kind, but one-way traffic gets boring  - can you hear us over there?   🤷‍♂️

 

Tam

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