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We are looking at 57 ft for then New she'll we wish to have built, but before we fully commit to 57ft what are the pros and cons of going to 60ft.

We know we will be able to do just about all the canal system in 57 but has anyone found any restrictions in 60.

As this is going to be our final home we would like to get it right first time, well we HAVE to get it right first time, an extra 3ft can give us considerable more space, but is it worth it.. 

We would greatly appreciate the voices of experience. 

Thanks in advance, Rachel. 

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How much time do you intend spending in Yorkshire? and crossing the penines? Our first liveaboard was 56 feet thinking it was what was needed, now we live on a 68 and have had a 70, the difference between my 68 foot liveaboard and a 57 footer is huge and no way would I go back for something as short as 60 feet as full time liveaboard.

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We have managed nearly all of the system, including all of the trans Pennine routes in a 60ft boat. OK, in some places it is 'interesting' and care and pre-planning is needed but always do-able. adds to the interest for the most part.

 

The only exception was not getting through Brandon Lock on a branch off the Great Ouse but you would have to be less than 40ft to get through there!

 

I think you will find that the extra 3 ft (from 57 to 60) allows quite a bit of extra room. It does not add an extra cabin but it does allow better space in the main cabin. After all, that is where you will spend quite a bit of your time when  not cruising - and for the crew when on the move in rain!

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32 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

How much time do you intend spending in Yorkshire? and crossing the penines? Our first liveaboard was 56 feet thinking it was what was needed, now we live on a 68 and have had a 70, the difference between my 68 foot liveaboard and a 57 footer is huge and no way would I go back for something as short as 60 feet as full time liveaboard.

Thank for your reply, we intend to spend a lot of time in Yorkshire "ti's wier I wa born lad" and we also want to be able to do the whole of the system. 

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you could always spec 58ft?

 

also check with your shell builder on internal space, as type of stern and size of well deck will also affect this.

57ft sounds a lot, but i think the average internal space for that length of, for example, semi-trad is then about 40ft

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Midnight is 57ft (go anywhere) but if I had a new shell build I would settle on 55ft to give a bit more room in Yorkshire locks. If I was based in the Midlands/south with little intention to visit the north 60ft would be fine

Edited by Midnight
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52 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

We have managed nearly all of the system, including all of the trans Pennine routes in a 60ft boat. OK, in some places it is 'interesting' and care and pre-planning is needed but always do-able. adds to the interest for the most part.

 

The only exception was not getting through Brandon Lock on a branch off the Great Ouse but you would have to be less than 40ft to get through there!

 

I think you will find that the extra 3 ft (from 57 to 60) allows quite a bit of extra room. It does not add an extra cabin but it does allow better space in the main cabin. After all, that is where you will spend quite a bit of your time when  not cruising - and for the crew when on the move in rain!


This is Brandon Lock just after Christmas. (Not my photo).  I was quite tempted to take advantage of this to get my 57' boat up to Brandon,  but~

1) The EA issued a notice advising against navigating this stretch

2) I might have got stuck the wrong side of the lock.

3) Turning the boat at Brandon would have been "interesting".

 

There is now a rather large sandbank there (yes, I do mean sand), further restricting navigation.
133297783_156725052900309_703712220302226691_n.jpg.1b14c89faaaca4d815ec761e6b4a1752.jpg

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59 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

We have managed nearly all of the system, including all of the trans Pennine routes in a 60ft boat. OK, in some places it is 'interesting' and care and pre-planning is needed but always do-able. adds to the interest for the most part.

 

The only exception was not getting through Brandon Lock on a branch off the Great Ouse but you would have to be less than 40ft to get through there!

 

I think you will find that the extra 3 ft (from 57 to 60) allows quite a bit of extra room. It does not add an extra cabin but it does allow better space in the main cabin. After all, that is where you will spend quite a bit of your time when  not cruising - and for the crew when on the move in rain!

Just make sure exactly what "60ft" means and what is included in the measurement, because there's literally no margin for error...

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1 hour ago, Ironmaiden said:

Thank for your reply, we intend to spend a lot of time in Yorkshire "ti's wier I wa born lad" and we also want to be able to do the whole of the system. 

 

 

Then 57ft is a a wiser choice. Our boat was 60ft and when we first had it we were based on the Trent and Mersey and had a huge cruising range.

 

We then moved ooop North and although the big wide waterways of the North East parts of the system were no problem other bits were quite constraining. Even the Leeds and Liverpool (eastern section) was a faff sometimes eg Bingley Five Rise which has the shortest locks of the whole canal needed a 'jiggle' to get past the gates to get out. The locks along there leak like a very very leaky thing so in a longer boat you tend to get a lot of water on the counter (and the steerer) going down.

 

Having done that canal in both a 55ft Hire boat and our own 60ft boat the difference regarding ease of transit through the L&L locks. was noticeable.

 

The extra length helped the builder to include a small rear cabin with a bunk but over five years we had a 60ft boat it was rarely used for sleeping accommodation, on reflection it wouldn't have been missed as there was enough space in the lounge for a sofa bed for the occasional guests. Our boat didn't have a fixed dinette though which helped in this respect.

 

In short go for a length that suits the area you intend to do a lot of cruising in, which from what you say is 57ft, 58ft max.

 

 

Edited by The Happy Nomad
Edit to correct their/there faux pas.
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1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

3) Turning the boat at Brandon would have been "interesting".

You wouldn't have needed to in the current conditions. Just keep pointing upstream in tick over and let the current take you backwards downstream, and you can ferry-glide across to the lock entrance.

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9 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

You wouldn't have needed to in the current conditions. Just keep pointing upstream in tick over and let the current take you backwards downstream, and you can ferry-glide across to the lock entrance.

Bother, I should have thought of that.  It might even work. ....

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3 hours ago, IanD said:

Just make sure exactly what "60ft" means and what is included in the measurement, because there's literally no margin for error...

To be honest I have not measured our boat and just rely on the builder's spec! (Tyler Wilson) but on the tightest locks we go through with fenders up, especially bow fender.

 

In some of the C&H locks there is a walkway on the upstream side of the bottom gates which need careful attention when ascending to avoid getting the tiller caught underneath - you have to fit in the central v.

 

Generally, ascending is a tad easier for the beginner since, once you are in, you have cracked it but descending the tightest fit is when the water level has dropped - must have a steerer on board at all times keeping a close eye on the cill as it emerges and also with crew close to the paddles to stop in an emergency.

 

Once you have done it, and know what is coming, then it is not as scary as some like to frighten folk about!

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Have they fixed the leaky top gates at Salterhebble yet? Last time we went through there was a veritable fountain onto the stern deck, had to step inside the doors and close them to stop my shoes filling up...

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Our first boat was a 60' and we did all the Yorkshire locks in her, although the top two Salterhebble locks and the ones in Ripon we did backwards. When we were speccing our new boat we decided on 58'6". This gave us the necessary room to make those locks easy. We have proved this to ourselves by going through those locks again in the new boat but this time forwards. The extra 1'6" over a 57' makes all the difference in our lounge. I would definitely reccommend 58'6".

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