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Another moan about speeding boats


jeddlad

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Social media is awash with boaters moaning about other boaters speeding past moored boats. It's been going on all summer. I've been keeping quiet on the subject until now....

 

Yesterday as I was going past a long line of moored boats (on line moorings for both a boat club and an adjacent marina) a private boater came speeding up behind me and overtook me creating a massive wash and his counter was "riding the wave",  as he passed, I casually asked him if we didn't need to slow down for moored boats any more, he just accelerated more and now at full speed, continued his over taking manoeuvre.

 

I still had a great day but did shake my head at the amount of idiots out cruising at the moment.............

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It may be a private boat, but the person at the helm may not be the owner or a member of thier useal crew, They maybe a boat mover who has to deliver by a set date or staff from a marina or broker. In both case many of them are in a rush. I was passed on the Nene, two or three year ago by a boat mover in rush. went stright into the next lock slamed the gates shut just as I arrived at the lock and proceed to rise the bottom gate. Claimed that he had to delvier the boat to St Neots  and only had four days left to do it.. . 

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7 hours ago, nbfiresprite said:

It may be a private boat, but the person at the helm may not be the owner or a member of thier useal crew, They maybe a boat mover who has to deliver by a set date or staff from a marina or broker. In both case many of them are in a rush. I was passed on the Nene, two or three year ago by a boat mover in rush. went stright into the next lock slamed the gates shut just as I arrived at the lock and proceed to rise the bottom gate. Claimed that he had to delvier the boat to St Neots  and only had four days left to do it.. . 

 

Though, not a reasonable excuse, in my opinion. Should give themselves more time to do the job. 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, nbfiresprite said:

It may be a private boat, but the person at the helm may not be the owner or a member of thier useal crew, They maybe a boat mover who has to deliver by a set date or staff from a marina or broker. In both case many of them are in a rush

 

No excuse for any of them, either the speed or thrashing someone elses boat.

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Been out since May and only seen one speeding boater *new hirer didn't know) and just a handful of maybe a little too fast. Tying the boat with a spring line definitely helps so maybe I just don't notice or care anymore.

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Definitely a non-problem for us too. The only problem we had was a couple of people shouting angrily at us when we passed having been at tickover for some time without creating so much as a ripple on the water. In one case the boat was tied up properly and as far as I could tell, didn’t move at all. In the other case the boat was tied up stupidly with centreline taking most of the load. Some people seem to feel empowered to shout at slowly passing boats just because they are in a bad mood and want to take it out on someone.

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12 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Definitely a non-problem for us too. The only problem we had was a couple of people shouting angrily at us when we passed having been at tickover for some time without creating so much as a ripple on the water. In one case the boat was tied up properly and as far as I could tell, didn’t move at all. In the other case the boat was tied up stupidly with centreline taking most of the load. Some people seem to feel empowered to shout at slowly passing boats just because they are in a bad mood and want to take it out on someone.

There are just a few people who enjoy shouting at passing boats to slow down. Not sure how they get their kicks but . . . since most boaters do not actually know what speed they are doing, nor to the moorers either, then the immediate reaction is more often than not one of embarrassment. Perhaps that is what some folk enjoy . . . 

 

In our case, I generally have a GPS speed display given the inevitable lack of accuracy, for what it is worth!) I can rebut most claims. In any event it is not the raw speed that is important but the disturbance created for the moored boat. This is a function on many things, in particular the hull shape and t4he be,ow the water canal bed shape. As has been pointed out many times before, it is also a function of how the boat is tied up. It is also worth noting the surprising effect of a canoe being paddled past - often more than a driven narrowboat. A passing vessel does ta least two things - it creates a surface wave (or two!) and also displaces water under the surface. Both affect a moored boat in their own ways.

 

Another beef - those who shout that you must drive on the right - no, you only have to pass on the right. 

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I'm sure a lot of it is perception of speed based on noise. This year we travelled with friends - us on a hireboat, them on their own boat. On the last morning their engine wouldn't start so we gave them a tow to the yard where we were returning the boat. Obviously more revs than usual and less speed. We had a lot of head popping out that morning to complain, as we went past at under 1mph... The counter to this was ~15 years ago when we moved BW's publicity boat Waterscape. We had a fairly tight schedule, so although we were well within sensible speeds the number of linear moorings on the route made it very difficult to get where it needed to be if we dropped below the 1mph that some people seemed to want. The boat was an early hybrid with an electric crossover which could be run with or without the engine. We found that if we switched off the engine and went past on battery only, nobody even noticed we were there at 2mph (measured by GPS).

 

Alec

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1 minute ago, Mike Todd said:

There are just a few people who enjoy shouting at passing boats to slow down. Not sure how they get their kicks but . . . since most boaters do not actually know what speed they are doing, nor to the moorers either, then the immediate reaction is more often than not one of embarrassment. Perhaps that is what some folk enjoy . . . 

 

In our case, I generally have a GPS speed display given the inevitable lack of accuracy, for what it is worth!) I can rebut most claims. In any event it is not the raw speed that is important but the disturbance created for the moored boat. This is a function on many things, in particular the hull shape and t4he be,ow the water canal bed shape. As has been pointed out many times before, it is also a function of how the boat is tied up. It is also worth noting the surprising effect of a canoe being paddled past - often more than a driven narrowboat. A passing vessel does ta least two things - it creates a surface wave (or two!) and also displaces water under the surface. Both affect a moored boat in their own ways.

 

Another beef - those who shout that you must drive on the right - no, you only have to pass on the right. 

Canoes vs passing narrowboat: canoes create ripples / a wake that make moored boats rock (a bit, but so what). Passing narrowboats make moored boats want to move back and forth but not rock. Moored boats only rock when other boats pass, when the natural fore/aft motion is translated into rocking solely as a result of the way it’s tied up.

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2 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Canoes vs passing narrowboat: canoes create ripples / a wake that make moored boats rock (a bit, but so what). Passing narrowboats make moored boats want to move back and forth but not rock. Moored boats only rock when other boats pass, when the natural fore/aft motion is translated into rocking solely as a result of the way it’s tied up.

Thanks  for the additional detail but I think that is what I was saying . . . even if it is probably a tad more complex than you suggest. (eg shape of canal bed underneath the boat on a mooring)

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2 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

Thanks  for the additional detail but I think that is what I was saying . . . even if it is probably a tad more complex than you suggest. (eg shape of canal bed underneath the boat on a mooring)

Yes I wasn’t disagreeing with you! Agreed that if a passing boat drops the water level such that the moored boat touches bottom, it’s going to rock,

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Boats rocking a bit is just what happens when another boat passes. Shouldn't be a problem. Boats moving backwards and forwards shouldn't be a problem, just tie to a 3rd pin, not with the centre line, that doesn't help.  The thing that really is a problem though is shallow edges and even when a passing boat is trying its best it is easy to pull a couple of inches of water away from under a moored boat and the thing grinds and tips. Its just canals, far too shallow at the edges and narrow boats, if they were built with a chine it would help but that would cost more. Anyway some people are just fools so whatever you do there will always be problems.

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The last few years I've noticed a significant increase in the number of boats not slowing down and I used to get quite annoyed by this, but decided that as I couldn't do anything about it I would change my ways rather than getting stressed.

 

For years I used to just tie up with a rope fore and aft but I now always include a spring, and have changed from using nappy pins to goat chains. Or if using mooring pins I've added extra ones to form a cross. It takes a few minutes longer to moor up but so what.

 

It means nowadays although I still deplore discourteous boaters speeding past me my boat remains stable, and I no longer get stressed about it.

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1 hour ago, nicknorman said:

Definitely a non-problem for us too. The only problem we had was a couple of people shouting angrily at us when we passed having been at tickover for some time without creating so much as a ripple on the water. In one case the boat was tied up properly and as far as I could tell, didn’t move at all. In the other case the boat was tied up stupidly with centreline taking most of the load. Some people seem to feel empowered to shout at slowly passing boats just because they are in a bad mood and want to take it out on someone.

When you passed me at bridge 78 on the Coventry canal, I was tempted to shout out "You're going far to slow!! " :)

 

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6 minutes ago, Grassman said:

The last few years I've noticed a significant increase in the number of boats not slowing down and I used to get quite annoyed by this, but decided that as I couldn't do anything about it I would change my ways rather than getting stressed.

 

For years I used to just tie up with a rope fore and aft but I now always include a spring, and have changed from using nappy pins to goat chains. Or if using mooring pins I've added extra ones to form a cross. It takes a few minutes longer to moor up but so what.

 

It means nowadays although I still deplore discourteous boaters speeding past me my boat remains stable, and I no longer get stressed about it.

I don’t understand how, if your boat remains stable, the passing boaters are somehow discourteous and deplorable and speeding.  Could you explain?

5 minutes ago, Laurie Booth said:

When you passed me at bridge 78 on the Coventry canal, I was tempted to shout out "You're going far to slow!! " :)

 

Oh dear, didn’t notice you, would have said a proper “hello” otherwise. Or maybe Jeff was driving?

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1 minute ago, nicknorman said:

I don’t understand how, if your boat remains stable, the passing boaters are somehow discourteous and deplorable and speeding.  Could you explain?

 

Because they are going past faster than the generally accepted/recommended speed of 2mph. 

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I suspect the clue is in the fact that the OP is passing a long line of boats. I've followed boats doing the same, crawling so slowly that I spend half the time out of gear and losing steering. And have often felt the urge to overtake them and carry on at a sensible speed, though have only done it once.*

As the only way to get past a crawler is to wind the throttle up, that might explain the speed,  the wash, and the frustrated uncommunicative nature of the overtaker, who had probably lost his cool ten minutes before.

Of course, none of this may be relevant in this case, and the overtaker may just have been an idiot.

 

*On the Llangollen, when the hire boat in front was stopping dead at every bridge while a bloke on the front poked the nose in with the pole. He then hit each bridge as he had no steering and had already hit three moored boats. First wide bit I surfed past him on full revs, making no eye contact. Passed him again next morning at 6am, moored on a lock landing.

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1 hour ago, nicknorman said:

Canoes vs passing narrowboat: canoes create ripples / a wake that make moored boats rock (a bit, but so what). Passing narrowboats make moored boats want to move back and forth but not rock. Moored boats only rock when other boats pass, when the natural fore/aft motion is translated into rocking solely as a result of the way it’s tied up.

 

In addition to the surge back and forth, the most disturbing and odd-feeling aspect of being passed by a boat moving quickly is the way one's boat drops vertically by about 2" to 3" as the passing boat draws level, then rises again after it has passed. This I think, is what causes many people to yell at speeding boaters and there is nothing one can do in terms of tying up securely to stop it happening. 

 

Once one recognises the vertical drop and and why it happens (watch the water level fall against the piling in line with your boat, as you cruise along), it is less concerning. 

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8 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

In addition to the surge back and forth, the most disturbing and odd-feeling aspect of being passed by a boat moving quickly is the way one's boat drops vertically by about 2" to 3" as the passing boat draws level, then rises again after it has passed. This I think, is what causes many people to yell at speeding boaters and there is nothing one can do in terms of tying up securely to stop it happening. 

 

Once one recognises the vertical drop and and why it happens (watch the water level fall against the piling in line with your boat, as you cruise along), it is less concerning. 

 

I often wonder if this is what is behind folks complaining the level is down. The water line on the piling will also show the peak of the bow wave so will naturally look as though the water has been higher even without a passing boat.

 

A few weeks ago I moored overnight at Stoke Pound (bottom of Tardebigge) and a boater returning from walking his dog up the flight reported that there were paddles left up, top gates left open and there were numerous empty pounds. I then undertook a completely fruitless three mile walk to find there were indeed three offside paddles left up and some open gates (the top gates have a tendency to float open when the pounds are full) but that every pound (bar one near the bottom) was running on weir. I have no idea what this guy was using as the measure of where he thought the water level should be.

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13 minutes ago, Neil2 said:

It's a slightly depressing aspect of the modern canal environment that many users now seem to think their floating home with all the comforts of land based living should be immune from the slightest disturbance.  When I started boating, an awful lot of canal craft were grp cruisers or lightly built Springers - the first steel boat I had would rock from side to side if you sneezed.

 

Of course at the same time the new breed of canal boater can't be bothered to learn how to tie their boat up properly.  

 

I'm waiting for the day that someone yells at me from the towpath at Tixall.  It's only a matter of time.

 

I have never been told to slow down in six years of ownership, although I had been previously on a hire boat. That in itself tells you something.

 

The closest I think I got was at Tixall last year where upon reaching the wide section I moved away from the inside bank along which boats were moored and accelerated. Some bloke gave a quizzical look out of his window.

 

I'm pretty sure that on the southern GU last week I passed lines of moored boats at something akin to what would constitute full cruising speed on say the Staffs & Worcs. It's a very different canal and so are it's users.

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1 hour ago, nicknorman said:

I don’t understand how, if your boat remains stable, the passing boaters are somehow discourteous and deplorable and speeding.  Could you explain?

Oh dear, didn’t notice you, would have said a proper “hello” otherwise. Or maybe Jeff was driving?

It was Jeff :)

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