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Two questions for liveaboard boaters


MichaelG

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I've only been living aboard for 16 months or so, so not very experienced, but for me personally, the best thing is that after living in bricks and mortar all my life, I can experience a more mobile/nomadic lifestyle. 

 

That has some unique and interesting aspects- every week or two I move to a new location, and visit villages, small towns etc that in many cases I haven't seen before- and even those I have visited before can take on a different aspect when viewed/visited from the canal. 

There will be local restaurants, pubs, bakers, butchers etc that I've never seen before, often with all sorts of locally sourced foods (that of course have to be tried out).

Or there might just be a crappy little corner shop with a small selection of goods, and all overpriced.

But the uncertainty and variety make it all very interesting.

Plus of course the navigation itself - the novelty of going around a bend in the canal and seeing a new view that you've never seen before, and might never see again. 

 

The worst thing for me personally is the need to manage water carefully (assuming you want to avoid visiting water points every 3 days).  As it is I can make the tank last for up to 14 days if I'm extra careful.

The restricted storage space on a 50ft boat comes in as second worst.  

 

However, from January I will be using a cassette toilet, and I have a strong suspicion that even with my very impaired sense of smell, emptying the toilet cassettes at an elsan point will become my new worst thing. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Point of Order....

 

Don't be too hard on these expensive local corner shops. They will be buying their stock at virtually the same price as the likes of Tesco et al flog it direct to the general public, and your perceived overprice will be their gross profit margin. If you begrudge them scratching a living by adding 10p to the price of their beans or 70p to a packet of bacon, then go directly to a Tesco superstore and buy it there.

 

Yes I know that is inconvenient or impossible much of the time, and therein lies the value of overpriced corner shops. 

 

Rant over :) 

 

Could also point out that any meagre profit from the corner shops goes to the shopkeeper, not shareholders or executives, and that they don't use massive buying power to sh*t on their suppliers like the supermarkets do...

Edited by IanD
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7 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

Point of Order....

 

Don't be too hard on these expensive local corner shops. They will be buying their stock at virtually the same price as the likes of Tesco et al flog it direct to the general public, and your perceived overprice will be their gross profit margin. If you begrudge them scratching a living by adding 10p to the price of their beans or 70p to a packet of bacon, then go directly to a Tesco superstore and buy it there.

 

Yes I know that is inconvenient or impossible much of the time, and therein lies the value of overpriced corner shops. 

 

Rant over :) 

 

 

A fair point well made MTB.

I will say that although its not ideal having to shop from a very limited range, I dont have a major downer on the small shops (although many of them these days are part of chains anyway (such as Premier, with the purple and yellow signage). 

It just is what it is. Sometimes its more interesting and challenging to try to put together meals from a narrow menu of items- and it would ultimately get boring if we had a full Waitrose food hall in every village. 

I'm not trying to slag them off as such, and in fact there's been many a time they've come in really, really handy

The independent local shops are often really good.

I found one in a village near Rugby last year that sold amazing sausage rolls, upon which I dined exclusively for about a week! 

 

 

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Best thing:  If I scamper from side to side in the cabin, I can make the boat rock to quite an alarming degree, which makes passers-by wonder what I'm doing in there.

 

Worst thing: When guests don't listen carefully to how the toilet works and create something truly unspeakable.  (Thank you covid for giving me a reason to refuse visitors).

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4 hours ago, doratheexplorer said:

Best thing:  If I scamper from side to side in the cabin, I can make the boat rock to quite an alarming degree, which makes passers-by wonder what I'm doing in there.

 

Some suggestions.

Tie up a bit tighter.

Don't scamper from side to side wearing walking boots.

Add more ballast.

Reduce the wine and chocolate consumption.  

😜

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6 hours ago, Tony1 said:

 

I will say that although its not ideal having to shop from a very limited range, I dont have a major downer on the small shops (although many of them these days are part of chains anyway (such as Premier, with the purple and yellow signage). 

 

 

 

 

 

Only part of a chain as in use of a brand name. The shops are owned by independent retailers who pay a fee for the use of name.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 17/12/2021 at 12:47, Tony1 said:

 

I've only been living aboard for 16 months or so, so not very experienced, but for me personally, the best thing is that after living in bricks and mortar all my life, I can experience a more mobile/nomadic lifestyle. 

 

That has some unique and interesting aspects- every week or two I move to a new location, and visit villages, small towns etc that in many cases I haven't seen before- and even those I have visited before can take on a different aspect when viewed/visited from the canal. 

There will be local restaurants, pubs, bakers, butchers etc that I've never seen before, often with all sorts of locally sourced foods (that of course have to be tried out).

Or there might just be a crappy little corner shop with a small selection of goods, and all overpriced.

But the uncertainty and variety make it all very interesting.

Plus of course the navigation itself - the novelty of going around a bend in the canal and seeing a new view that you've never seen before, and might never see again. 

 

The worst thing for me personally is the need to manage water carefully (assuming you want to avoid visiting water points every 3 days).  As it is I can make the tank last for up to 14 days if I'm extra careful.

The restricted storage space on a 50ft boat comes in as second worst.  

 

However, from January I will be using a cassette toilet, and I have a strong suspicion that even with my very impaired sense of smell, emptying the toilet cassettes at an elsan point will become my new worst thing. 

 

 

Tell me where is this Utopia where you can move where you like.

I assume you are not on the L and L?

Worse thing is having to stay where the unscheduled stoppages dictate. 

Best thing is sitting beside a solid fuel stove with infinite suppies of food, fuel, and water,plus intrrnet

Plus other forumites will come to your rescue if in need. 

Tx guys, and sometimes, gals. 😉

Edited by LadyG
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Worst thing about living in a 7’ wide tube in a ditch is tripping up over all the shit I think I need but I ain’t got room for. 

 

Best thing is drinking whisky in the early sunshine. 

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6 minutes ago, Goliath said:

Worst thing about living in a 7’ wide tube in a ditch is tripping up over all the shit I think I need but I ain’t got room for. 

 

Best thing is drinking whisky in the early sunshine. 

Where is this early sunshine, you need to stop drinking. 

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You’re in the grim North you’ll have to accept you will never see it. 
 

Had some lovely sunny mornings here in the Midlands

 

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On 17/12/2021 at 11:27, MichaelG said:

Hi all, what would you say is the best thing about living aboard and what is the worst?

Good question

On 17/12/2021 at 14:15, doratheexplorer said:

Best thing:  If I scamper from side to side in the cabin, I can make the boat rock to quite an alarming degree, which makes passers-by wonder what I'm doing in there.

 

Worst thing: When guests don't listen carefully to how the toilet works and create something truly unspeakable.  (Thank you covid for giving me a reason to refuse visitors).

1)

And I thought my life was boring?

2)

Get a cassette.

🎉

Edited by LadyG
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48 minutes ago, LadyG said:

Tell me where is this Utopia where you can move where you like.

I assume you are not on the L and L?

Worse thing is having to stay where the unscheduled stoppages dictate. 

 

 

Well, for family reasons I opted to stay in general area of Cheshire/Shropshire for the Winter, so the cruising range is not that bad at the moment.

I was up near Preston Brook a couple of weeks ago (and could have gone via the Bridgewater and done a few bits of the L+L, but I grew up in Merseyside and I know that region very well, so it doesn't appeal at the moment- I prefer less familiar territory. 

 

I'm moving back up towards Chester, and could go on to Ellesmere Port, or I could down the Shroppie as far as Audlem with stoppages due soon. If I'm prepared to move with the stoppages I could also do a lot of the Llan, but I was there all summer so I'm not overly keen to go back yet.

 

I think I'll be ok to go down the T+M and onto the Macc in a few weeks time, so that's not bad. If there's a route, I might even press on down to the Sharpness for the summer, but I'm no fan of huge lock flights like Tardebigge, I must say

 

But where I am, there are enough options that I dont feel too constricted at the moment, especially as I'm not in a big hurry to move south due to family reasons. 

 

But I totally sympathise with your situation, being stuck between two long closures that are not far apart. I think the thing to do for Winter is to head for a general area where there will be options to move a bit when the fancy takes you. 

 

I hear the L+L isn't crazy busy even in summer, so I think my preferred time to do it will be Spring or Summer 2023, and then get off it again before those winter closures (especially unscheduled) that seem to blight it. 

 

 

Edited by Tony1
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45 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

 

Well, for family reasons I opted to stay in general area of Cheshire/Shropshire for the Winter, so the cruising range is not that bad at the moment.

I was up near Preston Brook a couple of weeks ago (and could have gone via the Bridgewater and done a few bits of the L+L, but I grew up in Merseyside and I know that region very well, so it doesn't appeal at the moment- I prefer less familiar territory. 

 

I'm moving back up towards Chester, and could go on to Ellesmere Port, or I could down the Shroppie as far as Audlem with stoppages due soon. If I'm prepared to move with the stoppages I could also do a lot of the Llan, but I was there all summer so I'm not overly keen to go back yet.

 

I think I'll be ok to go down the T+M and onto the Macc in a few weeks time, so that's not bad. If there's a route, I might even press on down to the Sharpness for the summer, but I'm no fan of huge lock flights like Tardebigge, I must say

 

But where I am, there are enough options that I dont feel too constricted at the moment, especially as I'm not in a big hurry to move south due to family reasons. 

 

But I totally sympathise with your situation, being stuck between two long closures that are not far apart. I think the thing to do for Winter is to head for a general area where there will be options to move a bit when the fancy takes you. 

 

I hear the L+L isn't crazy busy even in summer, so I think my preferred time to do it will be Spring or Summer 2023, and then get off it again before those winter closures (especially unscheduled) that seem to blight it. 

 

 

I would have moved if I had been aware that this canal is pretty much un navigable,

I would not have bought a boat if I had known it was in such a state that bona fide navigation is impossible, yet the Ts and Cs require that I do bona fide navigate. 

If you look at the CRT propoganda, there is no mention of infrastructure not fit for purpose. 

Do you think I can get a refund on all my costs to date, approx  £20,000?

I will be writing to the CRT demanding they refund my costs, or provide access to their 2000 miles of navigable waterways. What else can I do? 

If you bought a package holiday and discovered the hotel did not exist, would you just shrug your shoulders, buy a flight back home and do nothing more? 

You might have to, but to I have to? 

PS CRT NW have been very helpful recently, five stars for effort. 

 

 

 

Edited by LadyG
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31 minutes ago, LadyG said:

 

 

I would have moved if I had been aware that the canal is pretty much un navigable,

I would not have bought a boat if I had known.

If you look at the CRT propoganda, there is no mention of infrastructure not fit for purpose. 

Do you think I can get a refund on all my costs, approx  £20,000?

If you bought a package holiday and discovered the hotel did not exist, would you just shrug your shoulders, buy a flight back home and do nothing more? 

You might have to, but to I have to? 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not mean to imply that you chose to get stuck between stoppages (which was why I mentioned unscheduled stoppages), and even the most cunning winter cruising plan can go astray if there is a major issue, as in your case.

You've had really bad luck getting stuck, but for me personally, I do not regret the decision to buy a boat, even though the planned winter stoppages are more widespread than I initially thought they might be. 

It is certainly the case that large stretches of canal become very difficult or impossible to get to (or out of) because of the scheduled stoppages during winter, and the unscheduled ones just add to the difficulty. 

But at least in terms of the scheduled works, the repairs have to be done some time, I guess- and it makes sense to do those when there are very few people cruising. 

I think winter stoppages are just one of the routine issues that year-round CCers have to deal with- I dont like it at all, but I can understand why they do it all now, rather than the summer.  

For me personally, I would say the hotel I booked and expected is actually in place, and is open- but some of its facilities are not available, as I had hoped. 

To extend the analogy, in your case the entire roof of the hotel has now collapsed.  So yes, I think it would be reasonable to expect some kind of partial refund of your license fee, because you have been prevented from cruising and enjoying the waterways because of unplanned stoppages. 

I dont want to either defend CRT or play devils advocate, but to be fair the timing and the positions of the scheduled closures is all published information, so we cant blame CRT for fixing things when they say they are going to fix them. 

Its the unscheduled work that really screws us over. To me the lesson here is stay clear of the L+L in winter, if you dont want to risk getting trapped. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

 

I did not mean to imply that you chose to get stuck between stoppages (which was why I mentioned unscheduled stoppages), and even the most cunning winter cruising plan can go astray if there is a major issue, as in your case.

You've had really bad luck getting stuck, but for me personally, I do not regret the decision to buy a boat, even though the planned winter stoppages are more widespread than I initially thought they might be. 

It is certainly the case that large stretches of canal become very difficult or impossible to get to (or out of) because of the scheduled stoppages during winter, and the unscheduled ones just add to the difficulty. 

But at least in terms of the scheduled works, the repairs have to be done some time, I guess- and it makes sense to do those when there are very few people cruising. 

I think winter stoppages are just one of the routine issues that year-round CCers have to deal with- I dont like it at all, but I can understand why they do it all now, rather than the summer.  

For me personally, I would say the hotel I expected in actually in place and is open, but some of its facilities are not available as I had hoped. 

To extend the analogy, in your case the roof of the hotel has now collapsed.  

I dont want to either defend CRT or play devils advocate, but to be fair the timing and the positions of the scheduled closures is all published information, so we cant blame CRT for fixing things when they say they are going to fix them. 

Its the unscheduled work that really screws us over. To me the lesson here is stay clear of the L+L in winter, if you dont want to risk getting trapped. 

 

 

I can't disagree with your summary.

I did expect winter stoppages, I planned my routing around the stoppages. 

I really want my money back so I can resume a normal lifestyle. 

To be honest that is where I now stand.

I am unable to bona fide navigate on my terms, I do not think that any shuffling to and fro only to comply with CRT interpretations are going to coincide with my interpretation of bona fide navigation. 

On 17/12/2021 at 19:57, nbfiresprite said:

 

 

Edited by LadyG
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