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6 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Is this in Belgium?  Are the locks large, manual, self operated? Or automated and keeper operated? I know nothing about Belgium locks.

We find locks in Belgium so much easier, well kept, keeper operated..................

UK stick to the narrow canals and Thames

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9 hours ago, CompleteNewbie said:

I'm 72 years old. Am I too old to start cruising on the canals? Just how hard is it to operate locks - my wife is convinced she would not be able to manage. Anyway, what do you think?

Age is not important,but physical condition is.

Followed an elderly couple for a few miles on the Calder and Hebble,and Huddersfield Broad before they stopped for the night.

Guessing their age I think the bloke looked well into his seventies and his wife looked even older.

The wife did the steering while he did the locks.Chatting with him,they were continuous cruisers and did about half a dozen locks a day.They had been doing this for several years and so were quite used to the work.

I think you need to try it to see how you cope with the locks.

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Won't be a problem with a hired boat, but if you are thinking of buying  a boat of your own consider your ability to lift and change a 13 Kg Propane cylinder or to fill a coal scuttle if needed.

 

We have an elderly friend who boats, singlehanded, on the principle that if he goes at his own pace when locking either other folks will help, or there will be no one there to be inconvenienced.

 

N

 

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10 hours ago, BEngo said:

Won't be a problem with a hired boat, but if you are thinking of buying  a boat of your own consider your ability to lift and change a 13 Kg Propane cylinder or to fill a coal scuttle if needed.

 

We have an elderly friend who boats, singlehanded, on the principle that if he goes at his own pace when locking either other folks will help, or there will be no one there to be inconvenienced.

 

N

 

I have not yet found out when one is too old to go boating but I can tell you that is is >77!  It was not as planned or from choice but earlier in the month we did 12 locks and 19 miles in one day. It was our shakedown cruise after a long break to find out what was not working. We did! Hence the speedy return to the marina which was planned for two days.

 

That said, the question is about starting boating on the canals. As with anything, experience gives one (or should do!) ways of doing things that minimise the effort input. Much of it is about knowing how to get things to work for you rather than against. How to use your own weight (whatever it is) Taking the right amount of time. Getting know how to tell when a lock is ready to open rather than pushing fruitlessly.

 

Give it a try. Some hire companies do short breaks, just a few days. Not really long enough to learn a lot but it could at least tell you if that was enough to answer the original question. You could then book a longer trip. Even better is to have a friend who can take you out on a day trip.

 

Just don't hand around trying to make a decision . . . 

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21 hours ago, CompleteNewbie said:

I'm 72 years old. Am I too old to start cruising on the canals? Just how hard is it to operate locks - my wife is convinced she would not be able to manage. Anyway, what do you think?

 

If you are too old to start then we are in deep trouble.  :D

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Ive just hung my windlass up aged 65 and wife who is much fitter is 68. Its me thats the crock so moving very reluctantly back to a house. My dear friend Bruce still ventures out with his heavy sixty footer single handed aged 80. This is a piece of string question.

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As Mad Harold said, it's not age its physical condition.  I sold the boat last year at 76 because a rheumatic and lower back plus the CaRT goes on made boating a chore rather than pleasure and maintenance was also getting difficult. I would however hire a boat for a week or so on a relatively lock free canal.

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23 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

As Mad Harold said, it's not age its physical condition. 

So the real question may not be whether you are too old, but rather about whether you feel you are. I don't think the numbers involved are a particularly reliable guide.

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I'm 72 in a few months,  still comfortable boating solo. Maintenance is getting harder, got to paint the boat this year and scrambling round the roof is hard on the back. Lock ladders are still ok, so is pulling the boat out of the lock. I'm slower than I was, and don't rush to please impatient people at locks - they can help or wait. And I stick mostly to narrow canals, do four hours a day and have a kip in the afternoon!

And I've switched to cornet from trombone, though obviously there's both on the boat.

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2 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

And I've switched to cornet from trombone, though obviously there's both on the boat.

Careful there Arthur - that's quite a leap! I know there's limited space aboard, but maybe you should've gone Flugel first... ;)

 

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