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Boatless members


Neil2

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I haven't been active on CWDF for quite a while, one reason being that we sold our boat a while ago.  But when I did start looking at the forum again I notice that quite a few members are now boat-less, and others who seemed committed to the liveaboard lifestyle have now returned to dry land.

 

I know why why decided to leave the cut, but I'm interested in the reason(s) why others have done so.

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11 minutes ago, Neil2 said:

 

I know why why decided to leave the cut, but I'm interested in the reason(s) why others have done so.

 

I moved off the boat when a cute little thatched cottage here came on the market, and it made me buy it. 

 

Curiously, visitors often comment that the cottage is quaint and just like a boat inside... i.e. stupidly low ceilings, tiny windows, smells of rotting wood, etc etc....

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We had done all that we wanted to do with the boat. It was time for a change of scenery. We had become fed up of chugging up and down the same waters and had become increasingly disappointed in the rapidly declining state of our local waterways.

 

We had also become increasingly aware that NC had done a lot of hours for the type of boat and although well maintained if we were to continue using her in the same manner there would be some very large bills on the horizon.

 

We took the desicion that while she was still in good order now (February this year) was the right time for us to sell. We have every confidence that she will be a good boat for her new owners in her semi retirement on the Norfolk Broads. 

 

We do of course miss her terribly. She was a massive part of our lives for 13 years. But equally we are very much enjoying our new venture with the motorhome and are very much enjoying exploring new places that the boat couldn't physically take us as well as visiting favourite places in a different mode of transport.

 

We were, perhaps understandably, very concerned whether we had made the right choice or not. I think any fears have now been disproven as we are very much enjoying our new passtime and with every passing journey and place we explore we are growing more and more fond of the van. I think she will be well travelled by the time we have parted company 😃

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We left more than 20 years ago three kids on a 62` boat was getting a bit much but to be honest it became too expensive. Driving HGV's for £3.50 an hour could never cover the costs and as our mooring was residential we fell foul of Poll tax too. A small house was cheaper and so we left. We built a boat as a retirement project though and it is at present in Belgium. (sometimes France or Holland)   - still cannot afford the costs of the Brit canals so it will stay there.  We don't live on it and I don't really want to live on a boat again but I do look at bigger boats quite often. Ironic really - politics pushed us off the UK canals and politics might push us on to the French.

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18 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

I moved off the boat when a cute little thatched cottage here came on the market, and it made me buy it. 

 

Curiously, visitors often comment that the cottage is quaint and just like a boat inside... i.e. stupidly low ceilings, tiny windows, smells of rotting wood, etc etc....

 

That sounds acutely familiar... 

 

Many decades ago we bought our first house, an early 19th century mill cottage.  Four years late when we sold it I said I would never, ever, buy an old house again.  Now we live in what was a late 18th century former coaching inn, usually surrounded by scaffolding and is one of the reasons we don't have a boat anymore...

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We gave up and sold our boat after five years of ownership as I found I just wasnt enjoying everything associated with boat ownership in particular the need to constantly fix something. We also where around 90 mins from the boat even mooring it as near to home as was practical. We noticed we were using the boat less and less and found it hard to justify the cost of licence, mooring etc. (

 

We do miss it occasionally but to bring me back to reality I remind myself of being contorted in the engine bay trying to reach some hard to reach bit to fix.

 

So we still hire again (or rather we will next year having postponed due to you know what) fixing a hire boat is not my problem its somebody else's.

 

I describe it as we fell out of boat ownership not boating.

 

Since selling up we returned to caravanning something we did when the kids were smaller through to their early teens.

 

Since we then have travelled extensively through the UK,  France and Italy and enjoyed it much more than our last year as boat owners, in fact we have now been 'born again' caravanners longer than we were boat owners and health permitting we wont be giving up any time soon.

 

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3 hours ago, Naughty Cal said:

We had done all that we wanted to do with the boat. It was time for a change of scenery. We had become fed up of chugging up and down the same waters and had become increasingly disappointed in the rapidly declining state of our local waterways.

 

We had also become increasingly aware that NC had done a lot of hours for the type of boat and although well maintained if we were to continue using her in the same manner there would be some very large bills on the horizon.

 

We took the desicion that while she was still in good order now (February this year) was the right time for us to sell. We have every confidence that she will be a good boat for her new owners in her semi retirement on the Norfolk Broads. 

 

We do of course miss her terribly. She was a massive part of our lives for 13 years. But equally we are very much enjoying our new venture with the motorhome and are very much enjoying exploring new places that the boat couldn't physically take us as well as visiting favourite places in a different mode of transport.

 

We were, perhaps understandably, very concerned whether we had made the right choice or not. I think any fears have now been disproven as we are very much enjoying our new passtime and with every passing journey and place we explore we are growing more and more fond of the van. I think she will be well travelled by the time we have parted company 😃

Just packed up after 20 years for much the same reasons, except we have not got a motorhome. The "declining state" was worrying  in say far as you never know where you are going to be stuck and for how long.

Will be spending £5k per year on less stressful activities.

The final straw was that CaRT took over a month to refund the balance of licence because their "cheque signing machine was broken" ! Still deducted £30 administration fee.

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Just worth saying -- it's a canal forum, not just a boating forum. I'm sure lots of members are aspiring boat owners, besides the boaters, ex-owners and other waterway users/enjoyed.

 

Sorry if that is veering :offtopic:.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Machpoint005
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24 minutes ago, MartinC said:

Just packed up after 20 years for much the same reasons, except we have not got a motorhome. The "declining state" was worrying  in say far as you never know where you are going to be stuck and for how long.

Will be spending £5k per year on less stressful activities.

The final straw was that CaRT took over a month to refund the balance of licence because their "cheque signing machine was broken" ! Still deducted £30 administration fee.

We had quite the opposite with our refund. It was in our account the day after we cancelled the license 🙂

 

About the only thing CRT got right🤔

 

For much the same reasons we are finding the van far less stressful. We know we are going to get home every time. 

7 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

Just worth saying -- it's a canal forum, not just a boating forum. I'm sure lots of members are aspiring boat owners, besides the boaters, ex-owners and other waterway users/enjoyed.

 

Sorry if that is veering :offtopic:.

 

 

 

 

 

I think we are using the canals as much now, just for other purposes as we did when we had the boat 🙃

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In our case, my old age was making maintenance not so easy and the way CaRT seems to mis-record/not record legitimate boaters, the increasing employment of car parking sharks (EA & CaRT), limits on return to legitimate mornings (Banburty), and ever-increasing numbers of bridge hoppers making mooring near facilities more difficult tipped the balance.

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8 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

 I think we are using the canals as much now, just for other purposes as we did when we had the boat 🙃

 

Not as much for us but yes we still find ourseleves drawn to waterways when in the UK and France. In the UK you are often never that far away from one.

 

I often walk towpaths when on holiday in the 'van and will help boaters with the locks if they want assistance.

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After 40 years,both us and the boat are getting old. Unfortunately,sold before prices of second hand boats took off, Also,poor state off the waterways made planning a route imposible. Work involved in maintenance and increasing costs did not help. Back to caravaning.(Still like to walk the towpath.)

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30 minutes ago, Machpoint005 said:

Just worth saying -- it's a canal forum, not just a boating forum. I'm sure lots of members are aspiring boat owners, besides the boaters, ex-owners and other waterway users/enjoyed.

 

Sorry if that is veering :offtopic:.

 

 

 

 

 

 

No that's a fair point, I could have chosen a better title I suppose.

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After 30,000 miles on Keeping Up (plus a fair few thousand before that on previous boats) we had been everywhere that we wanted to go many times - on 2000 miles of waterway that's 15 times each place on average. We had in fact covered all but 6.5 miles of the waters that we could reach, and realised we were getting bored! Add to that our increasing sense of frustration with CRT's growing contempt in their attitudes both towards boaters and towards the need for maintenance to keep canals navigable, as well as our frustration at the increasingly crowded state of the canals which made mooring in our chosen places more and more difficult, and we were strongly driven to sell the boat.

 

CRT were very quick and efficient in giving us our licence refund, but spoiled it by then setting their debt collection department on to us for owing them that exact amount!

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As a counterpoint, we're both ex-boaters and current boaters! Our first boat together was an 18' sailing 'pocket cruiser' on the Bristol Channel in the mid-90s. As we spent 90% of possible boating time confined to berth due to wind and/or tide, and the other 10% scared to death, this pretty much put me off sea, tides, charts etc. From 1998-2000 we owned and lived on a 57' narrowboat on the Bristol Avon near Bath. It was a lovely time, but we outgrew it and moved back to dry land and 2 years later to Scotland where the liveaboard life seemed less practical. Now back in England we have a small but perfectly-formed Springer which does us nicely for weekends and possibly longer trips next season. Who knows what's next? I've occasionally quite fancied sailing dinghies on a reservoir, but now I've passed 50 it might be a bit late. We keep talking about a motorhome but frankly the roads seem to be worse than the waterways.

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25 minutes ago, Marbling said:

As a counterpoint, we're both ex-boaters and current boaters! Our first boat together was an 18' sailing 'pocket cruiser' on the Bristol Channel in the mid-90s. As we spent 90% of possible boating time confined to berth due to wind and/or tide, and the other 10% scared to death, this pretty much put me off sea, tides, charts etc. From 1998-2000 we owned and lived on a 57' narrowboat on the Bristol Avon near Bath. It was a lovely time, but we outgrew it and moved back to dry land and 2 years later to Scotland where the liveaboard life seemed less practical. Now back in England we have a small but perfectly-formed Springer which does us nicely for weekends and possibly longer trips next season. Who knows what's next? I've occasionally quite fancied sailing dinghies on a reservoir, but now I've passed 50 it might be a bit late. We keep talking about a motorhome but frankly the roads seem to be worse than the waterways.

Don't believe that. We fully expected to have a nightmare year with the van this year with everyone saying how busy it is. 

 

Well if this year is busy then we can only look forward to quieter years. We have had no trouble parking where we want and when we want and in the odd occasion we have decided to book a site we have got in where and when we have wanted.

 

Only once have we hit traffic and that was August Bank Holiday Monday when every man and their dog was on the road. We had expected it so it wasn't any great surprise. 

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After owning and living on a boat for the last 9 years, and prior to that, 30 years of hire-boat and share-boating, we are seriously considering moving back onto land.

 

We have ‘done’ most of the system but it’s not that which will drive us away. It’s mainly because our waterways are becoming so congested. I accept that queuing at locks is inevitable at busy times, but not when you have to regularly wait for 1-2 or more hours at a lock. 

 

It may well quieten down a bit once international travel restrictions are ended, but there have been so many people who have now discovered this boating life due to Covid and all the exposure by TV and Vloggers, I fear that it will remain much busier for a long time to come. We like winter cruising when it’s quieter, but even that is severely restricted due to the amount of stoppages.

 

As well as this it’s the increasing lack of consideration from other boaters, the complete disregard by many for adhering to mooring and licensing regulations, the increasingly poor maintenance issues and unplanned stoppages, and CRT’s obsession with looking after the public at the expense of boaters, even though I understand to a certain extent the reasons as to why they are trying/having to do so.

 

We've had some wonderful times, but feel it maybe time to give it all up now.

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16 hours ago, Machpoint005 said:

Just worth saying -- it's a canal forum, not just a boating forum. I'm sure lots of members are aspiring boat owners, besides the boaters, ex-owners and other waterway users/enjoyed.

 

Sorry if that is veering :offtopic:.

 

 

 

 

 

I'd love to have  boat but I'm into the history of the waterways and how they where built as well, not just boating.

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1 minute ago, buccaneer66 said:

I'd love to have  boat but I'm into the history of the waterways and how they where built as well, not just boating.

 

Excellent! 

 

I've seen it written that when they dug Blisworth, they tunnelled into the hill from both sides and met in the middle. This bit about this that astounds me is they got the levels right. As a historian of the canals do you know how they synced the levels on each side of a hill as they dug? 

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5 hours ago, Grassman said:

After owning and living on a boat for the last 9 years, and prior to that, 30 years of hire-boat and share-boating, we are seriously considering moving back onto land.

 

We have ‘done’ most of the system but it’s not that which will drive us away. It’s mainly because our waterways are becoming so congested. I accept that queuing at locks is inevitable at busy times, but not when you have to regularly wait for 1-2 or more hours at a lock. 

 

It may well quieten down a bit once international travel restrictions are ended, but there have been so many people who have now discovered this boating life due to Covid and all the exposure by TV and Vloggers, I fear that it will remain much busier for a long time to come. We like winter cruising when it’s quieter, but even that is severely restricted due to the amount of stoppages.

 

As well as this it’s the increasing lack of consideration from other boaters, the complete disregard by many for adhering to mooring and licensing regulations, the increasingly poor maintenance issues and unplanned stoppages, and CRT’s obsession with looking after the public at the expense of boaters, even though I understand to a certain extent the reasons as to why they are trying/having to do so.

 

We've had some wonderful times, but feel it maybe time to give it all up now.

That's largely why I'm considering packing it in, though I don't live on any more, I usually spend half the year on  the boat. But...

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We gave up our share boating when I started working on the railway and we weren't able to fit our weeks into my holiday entitlement, so ended up loosing weeks and money. We've looked at hiring but are waiting until the Covid situation becomes more settled and hopefully prices might fall a bit. 
And we've still got windlasses, nappy pins and goat chains in the garage ready!

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46 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Excellent! 

 

I've seen it written that when they dug Blisworth, they tunnelled into the hill from both sides and met in the middle. This bit about this that astounds me is they got the levels right. As a historian of the canals do you know how they synced the levels on each side of a hill as they dug? 

 

This isworth a read https://www.blisworth.org.uk/images/Tunnel Story/Tunnel-Story.htm theBlisworth website has loads of history on it.

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