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Narrowboat training on a trad stern with speed controls.


Felshampo

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I would like to do a helmsmans course and my OH a beginners course. We want to use our boat as it has a trad stern with speed controls. Most companies that run courses seem to do them on their boats with morso controls. If they do offer courses on your boat they seem to either not do them if you have a trad stern or speed controls. 

Does anyone know of anyone who will do them on our boat? We are happy to travel to them anywhere on the system. 

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The limitations of a trad stern for instruction will make this unlikely. The predominance of single lever control in boats will make it unlikely that any other system would appeal to the usual trainees.

 

There is no problem with rod and wheel, its just a different way and you have to remember to speed down before changing gear. You will soon get used to it.

 

Presumably you have or will have such a boat?

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When I and a brother in law took our inland helm's certificate we did it in my boat. It does however have Morse type control.

 

The instructor / examiner worked for Willow Wren Training Welcome but came to our boat.

 

For some reason I have never worked out this was more expensive than using their boat! *

Ours was moored about a mile away from the training center at the time.

 

* This has now changed: 

 

Decision 1: Do you want to come to us and use our training boat? Or do you want us to come to you and train you on your boat?

Carrying out the training on your boat has advantages including getting to know how your own boat handles. However, everything you learn on our training boat will be completely relevant.

If there are two or three delegates then the cost per person is the same whichever you choose, but there may be a small charge for travelling costs if you are based a long way away from us.

Decision 2: Do you want just one day of training or two?

The One Day WWT Experience course uses the same high quality instruction as the Two Day RYA Inland Waterways Handling Course but on the two day course there is more time for you to perfect your skills and to get you to a stage where you no longer need much guidance from the instructor.

Most insurance companies have a condition that the steerer must be "competent" and the one day course will satisfy that need. However, many insurance companies offer discount if you have a more formal RYA certificate.

Decision 3: If your role is simply helping another helmsman to steer the boat then the One Day RYA Crew Course may be enough. The course concentrates on crewing duties such as using locks but also includes basic skills for steering a narrowboat.

See the table below to make your choice or just call us on 07970 770565.

Edited by Ray T
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3 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

 

 

There is no problem with rod and wheel, its just a different way

Doesn't it help to have three hands?

(I've never used this type of control).

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13 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

The limitations of a trad stern for instruction will make this unlikely. The predominance of single lever control in boats will make it unlikely that any other system would appeal to the usual trainees.

 

There is no problem with rod and wheel, its just a different way and you have to remember to speed down before changing gear. You will soon get used to it.

 

Presumably you have or will have such a boat?

 As they all claim to have years of experience I am surprised that none of them have any experience of trad controls. 

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13 minutes ago, Athy said:

Doesn't it help to have three hands?

(I've never used this type of control).

No, because you use the same hand to wind down as change gear, one after the other.  It helps to wear a hard hat to avoid splitting your head open on the rods on the ceiling!

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22 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

 

 

There is no problem with rod and wheel, its just a different way and you have to remember to speed down before changing gear. You will soon get used to it.

 

That's easy for you to say but being my OH she ignores all my advice which is why I want someone with experience of these controls. 

 

You have to be more subtle with trad controls, especially in locks and when coming in to moor. 

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Do not think "Health and Safety at Work" are keen on helmsman courses are keen being run on traditional sterns because of the number of people and the extra risk. So to find one with trad controls makes it harder. I know "livingonanarrowboat.co.uk" run introduction courses on a Hudson boat with a Jp3 so has trad controls but they are not RYA so he gets away with it

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I was also looking at some RYA training on my own boat to get me out of any bad habits and improve my boat handling. However, I specifically want to improve my single-handed skills and I'm not convinced that many instructors have much experience in how to move a big barge single-handed. 

 

The training isn't cheap and I'd hate to find myself with someone with less experience than me for my particular requirements.

Edited by blackrose
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9 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Do not think "Health and Safety at Work" are keen on helmsman courses are keen being run on traditional sterns because of the number of people and the extra risk. So to find one with trad controls makes it harder. I know "livingonanarrowboat.co.uk" run introduction courses on a Hudson boat with a Jp3 so has trad controls but they are not RYA so he gets away with it

Ah, that's Paul Smith from Calcutt Marina. I've followed his blogs for years, h sounds as if he knows what he's talking about.

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15 minutes ago, Felshampo said:

 

That's easy for you to say but being my OH she ignores all my advice which is why I want someone with experience of these controls. 

 

You have to be more subtle with trad controls, especially in locks and when coming in to moor. 

Sorry but I disagree,  there is little difference when coming in to moor.

The same reduction of speed and precision of steering applies as does the allowance for the bank effect with any reverse applied. Perhaps you are trying to come in too fast and using lots of reverse? I moor with no reverse until parallel with the bank and close enough to step off, a little tick over reverse just as I leave, and stop the boat with the centre line by pulling it into the bank on the fenders I have flipped down.

 

I see no difference when using locks either especially as most with rod and wheel are full length trad boats where they fit the lock better in most cases.

 

Its just the same with rod and wheel, I have used both over the years.

Edited by Tracy D'arth
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17 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Sorry but I disagree,  there is little difference when coming in to moor.

The same reduction of speed and precision of steering applies as does the allowance for the bank effect with any reverse applied. Perhaps you are trying to come in too fast and using lots of reverse? I moor with no reverse until parallel with the bank and close enough to step off, a little tick over reverse just as I leave, and stop the boat with the centre line by pulling it into the bank on the fenders I have flipped down.

 

I see no difference when using locks either especially as most with rod and wheel are full length trad boats where they fit the lock better in most cases.

 

Its just the same with rod and wheel, I have used both over the years.

Totally disagree. It is different with traditional controls but it is not because of the controls. It is because if the boat has trad controls it probably has a slower engine with a bigger prop and this causes the difference 

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1 minute ago, Tonka said:

Totally disagree. It is different with traditional controls but it is not because of the controls. It is because if the boat has trad controls it probably has a slower engine with a bigger prop and this causes the difference 

Nuts, you mean like a Beta Tug engine? Its only a John Deere tractor diesel.  I used a 70' boat with a monster Ailsa Craig FR4 engine, 200RPM flat out,  for years, rod and wheel, and moored it no problem. A big slow prop stops you faster and with less bank effect than a spinning egg whisk does.

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1 minute ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Nuts, you mean like a Beta Tug engine? Its only a John Deere tractor diesel.  I used a 70' boat with a monster Ailsa Craig FR4 engine, 200RPM flat out,  for years, rod and wheel, and moored it no problem. A big slow prop stops you faster and with less bank effect than a spinning egg whisk does.

Can you check your facts. A Beta tug engine is not made by John Deere. 

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24 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Sorry but I disagree,  there is little difference when coming in to moor.

The same reduction of speed and precision of steering applies as does the allowance for the bank effect with any reverse applied. Perhaps you are trying to come in too fast and using lots of reverse? I moor with no reverse until parallel with the bank and close enough to step off, a little tick over reverse just as I leave, and stop the boat with the centre line by pulling it into the bank on the fenders I have flipped down.

 

I see no difference when using locks either especially as most with rod and wheel are full length trad boats where they fit the lock better in most cases.

 

Its just the same with rod and wheel, I have used both over the years.

 

Not sure why you think I am coming in too fast, surely it makes no difference. 

Where it is different is that the prop effect is different on the left compared to the right. Also the depth of water with a deep drafted boat is different to a other boats. 

I never use the centre line to stop the boat as it is already stationary when I step off, maybe you are trying to come in too fast...... 😁

9 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Totally disagree. It is different with traditional controls but it is not because of the controls. It is because if the boat has trad controls it probably has a slower engine with a bigger prop and this causes the difference 

Agreed the behave very differently. 

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13 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Can you check your facts. A Beta tug engine is not made by John Deere. 

Perhaps you should check yours? That's why it was called a JD3, standing for John Deere.

There was a an earlier model, the BD3, which was Ford-based. I rather think that Ditchcrawler has one, and forum member BD3 Bill certainly does.

Edited by Athy
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16 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Nuts, you mean like a Beta Tug engine? Its only a John Deere tractor diesel.  I used a 70' boat with a monster Ailsa Craig FR4 engine, 200RPM flat out,  for years, rod and wheel, and moored it no problem. A big slow prop stops you faster and with less bank effect than a spinning egg whisk does.

Exactly

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42 minutes ago, Athy said:

Perhaps you should check yours? That's why it was called a JD3, standing for John Deere.

There was a an earlier model, the BD3, which was Ford-based. I rather think that Ditchcrawler has one, and forum member BD3 Bill certainly does.

Correct, and Ford and John Deere share a common organisation and production facilities.

 

53 minutes ago, Felshampo said:

 

Not sure why you think I am coming in too fast, surely it makes no difference. 

Where it is different is that the prop effect is different on the left compared to the right. Also the depth of water with a deep drafted boat is different to a other boats. 

I never use the centre line to stop the boat as it is already stationary when I step off, maybe you are trying to come in too fast...... 😁

Agreed the behave very differently. 

 

42 minutes ago, Felshampo said:

Exactly

You seem too be contradicting yourself unaided there Felshampoo.

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5 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Correct, and Ford and John Deere share a common organisation and production facilities.

 

 

You seem too be contradicting yourself unaided there Felshampoo.

  

No but you are. You didn't read my original post where I said I had a boat with a trad stern and speed controls. 

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10 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Correct, and Ford and John Deere share a common organisation and production facilities.

 

.

One of them, either the Ford or the John Deere engine, also appeared dressed up as a Lister CRK3.

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Do the course on the trainers boat with a morse single lever control and likely a cruiser stern. 99% of what you learn will also apply to your boat and some experience of handling a different boat will be a very good thing.

Many single lever boaters are rather scathing of, or intimidated by, trad controls. By trying both you will soon find that trad controls are actually much nicer to use and with a little practice give you much finer control over the boat.

If your engine is a JD3/BD3 it will not have the Huge flywheel of a vintage job so the handling with trad controls is really easy. Just a shame they don't sound quite as good as a proper a vintage jobby.

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29 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Correct, and Ford and John Deere share a common organisation and production facilities.

 

Can you show the proof of this please.

 

18 minutes ago, Athy said:

One of them, either the Ford or the John Deere engine, also appeared dressed up as a Lister CRK3.

It was the Ford one that was also a Lister

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2 minutes ago, Tonka said:

Can you show the proof of this please.

 

It was the Ford one that was also a Lister

Can't be bothered but have used both and they are practically the same tractor. Lots of the mechanical bits interchanged at one time, don't know now its 27 or so years since I did any tractor work.

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9 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Can't be bothered but have used both and they are practically the same tractor. Lots of the mechanical bits interchanged at one time, don't know now its 27 or so years since I did any tractor work.

So you have no proof just a gut feeling. Even if bits on the tractor were the same does not mean the engine is. 

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16 minutes ago, dmr said:

Do the course on the trainers boat with a morse single lever control and likely a cruiser stern. 99% of what you learn will also apply to your boat and some experience of handling a different boat will be a very good thing.

Many single lever boaters are rather scathing of, or intimidated by, trad controls. By trying both you will soon find that trad controls are actually much nicer to use and with a little practice give you much finer control over the boat.

 

 

This is much more useful and practical advice relating to the original question than the pedantic and petty side arguments about who manufactured a JD3.

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