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Marinas/moorings north of Middlewich


IanD
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Come next year I'm going to be looking for a long-term non-liveaboard mooring for a 60' narrowboat, probably on the T&M north of Middlewich, and I'd appreciate any up-to-date advice about marinas there -- and yes, I've already searched and read the forum... 🙂

 

Boat will be used for extended holidays by family but will be moored and empty most of the time, hopefully decreasing year by year. Don't really need much in the way of facilities, power/water/pumpout nice but not essential, but secure car parking is so online mooring unlikely to work. Being near to a railway station would also be useful (but not essential) since not all possible users of the boat have cars.

 

Possibilities I can see include Uplands, Wincham Wharf (good for rail), Park Farm (I know Orchard is not open) and Oakwood, but before contacting them any advice would be useful -- for example no secure parking would put them out of contention. As would being 100% full with no space and a waiting list, or being run by absolute gits... 😉

Edited by IanD
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We have been in Park Farm for a few years ago and it suits us fine. Power and water at the pontoons and halsall calls every fortnight and does pump outs, diesel, coal etc. Car parking is secure (well we have had no problems) and the folk are fine to deal with. For us all we need is somewhere safe to leave the boat and Park Farm does that with no frills like tea rooms and bars 

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3 hours ago, IanD said:

Come next year I'm going to be looking for a long-term non-liveaboard mooring for a 60' narrowboat, probably on the T&M north of Middlewich, and I'd appreciate any up-to-date advice about marinas there -- and yes, I've already searched and read the forum... 🙂

 

Boat will be used for extended holidays by family but will be moored and empty most of the time, hopefully decreasing year by year. Don't really need much in the way of facilities, power/water/pumpout nice but not essential, but secure car parking is so online mooring unlikely to work. Being near to a railway station would also be useful (but not essential) since not all possible users of the boat have cars.

 

Possibilities I can see include Uplands, Wincham Wharf (good for rail), Park Farm (I know Orchard is not open) and Oakwood, but before contacting them any advice would be useful -- for example no secure parking would put them out of contention. As would being 100% full with no space and a waiting list, or being run by absolute gits... 😉

 

This is more general advice, but worth bearing in mind.

I moored opposite ABC boat hire at Anderton Marina (which is itself opposite Uplands marina) for a total of about 4 weeks last Nov and Dec, and both times I was there, there was a guy moored somewhere in the marina (I think they have some visitor/guest moorings as well as for the hire boats), and a couple fo times each week, he would start shouting and howling at the top of his voice, and carry on intermittently for a few hours, culminating with a load of shouted swear words and abuse to the world in general. 

I feel sure there was alchohol abuse and/or a mental health issue at play, so I don't want to be too flippant/derogatory, but it significantly spoiled the experience of staying there, and for paying visitors it must have seemed an outrage.

I could not for the life of me understand why none of the people living on boats on that little marina (there seemed to a be a few with lights on late into the evening) had complained and got this behaviour stopped, but there it is. 

Anyway, my point is the common sense one of not committing to a long term mooring until you've tried out a week or two there, and you've established who your neighbours are, and that there are no local nutters who are going to spoil the quiet evenings. 

I spoke to a few people from Uplands whilst I was in the vicinity, and to me personally they all seemed like really nice folks (and they were complimentary about the marina too), but for some people, a couple of them might be considered on the more 'rough and ready' end of the market. 

 

 

Edited by Tony1
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16 hours ago, Tony1 said:

 

This is more general advice, but worth bearing in mind.

I moored opposite ABC boat hire at Anderton Marina (which is itself opposite Uplands marina) for a total of about 4 weeks last Nov and Dec, and both times I was there, there was a guy moored somewhere in the marina (I think they have some visitor/guest moorings as well as for the hire boats), and a couple fo times each week, he would start shouting and howling at the top of his voice, and carry on intermittently for a few hours, culminating with a load of shouted swear words and abuse to the world in general. 

I feel sure there was alchohol abuse and/or a mental health issue at play, so I don't want to be too flippant/derogatory, but it significantly spoiled the experience of staying there, and for paying visitors it must have seemed an outrage.

I could not for the life of me understand why none of the people living on boats on that little marina (there seemed to a be a few with lights on late into the evening) had complained and got this behaviour stopped, but there it is. 

Anyway, my point is the common sense one of not committing to a long term mooring until you've tried out a week or two there, and you've established who your neighbours are, and that there are no local nutters who are going to spoil the quiet evenings. 

I spoke to a few people from Uplands whilst I was in the vicinity, and to me personally they all seemed like really nice folks (and they were complimentary about the marina too), but for some people, a couple of them might be considered on the more 'rough and ready' end of the market. 

 

 

Thanks Tony -- wherever I go I wasn't going to take on a long-term contract right away, I'll start off with a shorter-term rolling one first.

 

I'm not going to spend time living on the boat in the marina which is why I'm not too bothered about facilities, or indeed what the neighbours are like 😉

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The people at Uplands are fine (I would say that,  I’m one of them - non-liveaboard). The operation has recently been acquired by ABC and is in the process of transitioning to their systems. 
 

I believe Oakwood is full, and Orchard is still a hole in the ground.

Edited by AndrewIC
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23 minutes ago, AndrewIC said:

The people at Uplands are fine (I would say that,  I’m one of them - non-liveaboard). The operation has recently been acquired by ABC and is in the process of transitioning to their systems. 
 

I believe Oakwood is full, and Orchard is still a hole in the ground.

 

Apologies Andrew, I didnt really intend to cast aspersions on the folks there.

As I said, I met a couple of them and they were really nice people. I made that rather ill-judged comment with those people in mind who prefer the boats around them to be shiny, and the boaters to be more well-heeled, but in retrospect I had no business saying it at all.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tony1 said:

 

Apologies Andrew, I didnt really intend to cast aspersions on the folks there.

As I said, I met a couple of them and they were really nice people. I made that rather ill-judged comment with those people in mind who prefer the boats around them to be shiny, and the boaters to be more well-heeled, but in retrospect I had no business saying it at all.

No umbrage taken! 

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On 17/09/2022 at 16:10, haggis said:

We have been in Park Farm for a few years ago and it suits us fine. Power and water at the pontoons and halsall calls every fortnight and does pump outs, diesel, coal etc. Car parking is secure (well we have had no problems) and the folk are fine to deal with. For us all we need is somewhere safe to leave the boat and Park Farm does that with no frills like tea rooms and bars 

Thanks, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for 🙂

3 hours ago, AndrewIC said:

The people at Uplands are fine (I would say that,  I’m one of them - non-liveaboard). The operation has recently been acquired by ABC and is in the process of transitioning to their systems. 
 

I believe Oakwood is full, and Orchard is still a hole in the ground.

Uplands looks like another option then 🙂

 

Anyone know about Wincham Wharf? They look more boatyard-y than marina-y from what I can see...

Edited by IanD
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4 hours ago, IanD said:

Thanks Tony -- wherever I go I wasn't going to take on a long-term contract right away, I'll start off with a shorter-term rolling one first.

 

I'm not going to spend time living on the boat in the marina which is why I'm not too bothered about facilities, or indeed what the neighbours are like 😉

 

If you're stuck, Anderton marina is worth a look- they have a few visitor moorings, and the poor disturbed guy who was making all the racket last winter must have been moved on long ago.

No marina would allow someone like that to stay very long, there would be too many complaints from others. In fact I mentioned him to someone I spoke to on the Shroppie, and he said he was sure he'd moored near this same guy somewhere else on the T+M, and of course regretted it. 

There would have been no possible reasoning with this chap- he was howling and whooping along with his music, and later on he was just shouting and swearing presumably at the world in general. My impression was that any attempt to reason with him could well end up in a physical confrontation. 

Part of me was trying to sympathises with whatever events in his life had led him into this state- getting so drunk that he whoops and swears at nobody (at the top of his voice) on a very quiet stretch of canal. But at some point your annoyance takes over, and you just end up being very resentful- he has probably made many an evening miserable for hundreds of boaters, and will no doubt carry on doing so until he runs into someone who is prepared to get physical with him.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Tony1 said:

 

If you're stuck, Anderton marina is worth a look- they have a few visitor moorings, and the poor disturbed guy who was making all the racket last winter must have been moved on long ago.

No marina would allow someone like that to stay very long, there would be too many complaints from others. In fact I mentioned him to someone I spoke to on the Shroppie, and he said he was sure he'd moored near this same guy somewhere else on the T+M, and of course regretted it. 

There would have been no possible reasoning with this chap- he was howling and whooping along with his music, and later on he was just shouting and swearing presumably at the world in general. My impression was that any attempt to reason with him could well end up in a physical confrontation. 

Part of me was trying to sympathises with whatever events in his life had led him into this state- getting so drunk that he whoops and swears at nobody (at the top of his voice) on a very quiet stretch of canal. But at some point your annoyance takes over, and you just end up being very resentful- he has probably made many an evening miserable for hundreds of boaters, and will no doubt carry on doing so until he runs into someone who is prepared to get physical with him.

 

 

I don't think I'll be stuck, there are plenty of marinas around if all you want is somewhere to park your boat when you're not on it and your car when you are, especially if location and time are not critical -- I've got six months or so to sort this out. North of Middlewich looks like a good option because it's central to the parts of the network I like, and very rarely affected by stoppages -- you can always go *somewhere* from there.

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22 hours ago, AndrewIC said:

The people at Uplands are fine (I would say that,  I’m one of them - non-liveaboard). The operation has recently been acquired by ABC and is in the process of transitioning to their systems. 
 

I believe Oakwood is full, and Orchard is still a hole in the ground.


If I understand correctly, with ABC you can use any of their marinas for a short period of time if you pay for a permanent mooring somewhere with them. 
This could be an advantage if one needs to break up a long cruise and leave the boat somewhere else for a week rather than return to the home mooring. 
Makes me wonder if you got fed up with an area whether you could transfer the home mooring more permanently to another of their bases?

 

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Goliath said:


If I understand correctly, with ABC you can use any of their marinas for a short period of time if you pay for a permanent mooring somewhere with them. 
This could be an advantage if one needs to break up a long cruise and leave the boat somewhere else for a week rather than return to the home mooring. 
Makes me wonder if you got fed up with an area whether you could transfer the home mooring more permanently to another of their bases?

 

 

That's a good point in favour of Uplands/Anderton. I know ABC allow shorter-term stays at any other marina in the group, I'll ask them about transfers -- I would expect this to be OK so long as there is space, after all the money ends up in the same account 😉

 

https://www.everythingcanalboats.com/moorings/

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37 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

That's a good point in favour of Uplands/Anderton. I know ABC allow shorter-term stays at any other marina in the group, I'll ask them about transfers -- I would expect this to be OK so long as there is space, after all the money ends up in the same account 😉

 

https://www.everythingcanalboats.com/moorings/

Yes, I met someone heading for Fazeley for a week who moored elsewhere at an ABC. 
Could be a good way to travel without worry of mooring, but yes it relies on space and booking ahead. 
 

An advantage of having a boat 60’ or less is they can usually squeeze you in. 
 

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We had a year at Park Farm and would endorse Haggis' comments. We only left because we sold the boat. Our use was similar to yours and our needs were a safe park for the car when on the boat and a safe mooring for the boat when we weren't. It was very handy for diesel, we had texts from Halsall when they were coming and would fill the boat when we wren't there, good service. Dave, the caretaker, would warn you if you were running out of leccy and top up for you as required.

It was also better value than most although that may change as they are due to build a clubhouse and more facilities. That shouldn't be a problem in the short term as look how long Orchard has taken and they are the same owners.

One thing which have never found at any other marina, they don't keep a boat key for emergencies. Fortunately we never had such needs and Dave would have contacted us if need be but we were over 200 miles away

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1 minute ago, WhiteSuit said:

We had a year at Park Farm and would endorse Haggis' comments. We only left because we sold the boat. Our use was similar to yours and our needs were a safe park for the car when on the boat and a safe mooring for the boat when we weren't. It was very handy for diesel, we had texts from Halsall when they were coming and would fill the boat when we wren't there, good service. Dave, the caretaker, would warn you if you were running out of leccy and top up for you as required.

It was also better value than most although that may change as they are due to build a clubhouse and more facilities. That shouldn't be a problem in the short term as look how long Orchard has taken and they are the same owners.

One thing which have never found at any other marina, they don't keep a boat key for emergencies. Fortunately we never had such needs and Dave would have contacted us if need be but we were over 200 miles away

Thanks for the feedback. Park Farm looks like a good bet, and it's certainly considerably cheaper than the ABC marinas like Anderton -- yes with fewer facilities, but then like you I won't need or want them.

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19 minutes ago, WhiteSuit said:

 

One thing which have never found at any other marina, they don't keep a boat key for emergencies. Fortunately we never had such needs and Dave would have contacted us if need be but we were over 200 miles away

If Dave contacted us that there was an emergency, we would tell him where the key is secreted and he could get access if required.  Like you we live over 200 miles away ! 

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2 minutes ago, haggis said:

If Dave contacted us that there was an emergency, we would tell him where the key is secreted and he could get access if required.  Like you we live over 200 miles away ! 

Did you ever have such an emergency? It's difficult to see what it might be, no flooding/boat-moving risk there...

 

I guess if the boat sprang a leak and started to sink (or the adjacent boat caught fire) that might count, hopefully not a frequent occurrence though... 😉

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31 minutes ago, IanD said:

Did you ever have such an emergency? It's difficult to see what it might be, no flooding/boat-moving risk there...

 

I guess if the boat sprang a leak and started to sink (or the adjacent boat caught fire) that might count, hopefully not a frequent occurrence though... 😉

No, we have never had an emergency although it is perhaps tempting providence to say that 🙂 

One thing we would prefer is more space between moored boats. On the long middle pontoons it is fine as there is room for a boat to go between the boats on either side but we are moored (our choice) on finger pontoons with a boat on both sides. When we went there at first the berth along side us was either empty or occupied by a non liveaboard, like us and that was fine. Now however, the marina is pretty full having taken the refugees from Orchard marina and we have liveaboards on both  sides.  No problem as we have got to know the folks in that area over the years BUT  there is only a few inches gap between us and the boat along side. We moor nose in and he moors stern in so we don't look into one anothers boat but the proximity of two boats permanently hooked up to shore power did worry us a bit.  However, when we were last out for bottom blacking all was well.

Apparently where  we are moored was built for widebeams hence the width between pontoons. 

We could move elsewhere in the marina but we like where we are. 

 

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55 minutes ago, IanD said:

Did you ever have such an emergency? It's difficult to see what it might be, no flooding/boat-moving risk there...

 

I guess if the boat sprang a leak and started to sink (or the adjacent boat caught fire) that might count, hopefully not a frequent occurrence though... 😉

 

One advantage with the marina having a key is if you have travelled 200 miles to get there then realise you have forgotten the key its a bit of a nuisance to have to drive back to get it? 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, haggis said:

No, we have never had an emergency although it is perhaps tempting providence to say that 🙂 

One thing we would prefer is more space between moored boats. On the long middle pontoons it is fine as there is room for a boat to go between the boats on either side but we are moored (our choice) on finger pontoons with a boat on both sides. When we went there at first the berth along side us was either empty or occupied by a non liveaboard, like us and that was fine. Now however, the marina is pretty full having taken the refugees from Orchard marina and we have liveaboards on both  sides.  No problem as we have got to know the folks in that area over the years BUT  there is only a few inches gap between us and the boat along side. We moor nose in and he moors stern in so we don't look into one anothers boat but the proximity of two boats permanently hooked up to shore power did worry us a bit.  However, when we were last out for bottom blacking all was well.

Apparently where  we are moored was built for widebeams hence the width between pontoons. 

We could move elsewhere in the marina but we like where we are. 

 

All sounds good to me. How full is Park Farm at the moment?

 

(don't need a berth until next spring)

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18 minutes ago, IanD said:

All sounds good to me. How full is Park Farm at the moment?

 

(don't need a berth until next spring)

No idea but we are going down next week. I know that earlier in the year there was only room for one 40 foot boat. A lot depends on when (if?) Orchard marina reopens. Might be an idea to get your name down just in case. 

 

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18 minutes ago, haggis said:

No idea but we are going down next week. I know that earlier in the year there was only room for one 40 foot boat. A lot depends on when (if?) Orchard marina reopens. Might be an idea to get your name down just in case. 

 

Thanks, I've contacted them to ask about space. If I can't get in there at first, I'm sure I can find a short-term space at one of the other marinas nearby.

Edited by IanD
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Some experience which is outside of the range you are currently considering, but may contain some points worth bearing in mind.

 

We have an online home mooring near Market Drayton but after the Audlem festival we fancied heading north, so rather than going back up the flight only to turn around and go back again we preferred to be able to get further and had a month at Venetian. No complaints as such, but some observations, as this is outside of our normal experience.

 

Whilst we didn't have any problems getting in, the moorings did turn out to be very shallow. The staff were helpful, but we couldn't get right back on the pontoon and when we returned to the boat we had real trouble getting it off as the level had dropped a couple of inches and it wouldn't even rock. A fellow moorer added some weight to the equation and we eventually got away about an hour after we had intended.

 

The site is rural, which is nice, but it turns out that the railway line that goes right past it does run pretty much all night. Although very much not being a marina dweller, if you pitch up on a Friday evening you are likely to spend the first night in the marina, and maybe the last before heading home, so it's a consideration.

 

Venetian does not allow any work at all on boats in the marina. We aren't talking about major refits and cutting holes with power tools here - there was a boat which had pushed across to the towpath to repaint the hatches. I can understand the thinking, but some places are more flexible than others and, depending on how you would want to get things fixed when needed, this may have a bearing. I am aware that some marinas do not allow certain people on site to work on boats - e.g. you need to use their engineers rather than your own. This is probably less of an issue if you push out of the marina, but if you have an unconventional drive system and it packs up, you could find yourself stuck in the marina at an impasse.

 

There is a real issue with taxis in that area (Uber - forget it). In the end, we got back to our car courtesy of a lift from a vlockie. Otherwise it would have been a 3hr walk. If a marina is within walking distance of public transport, that's great, but if not it could be very challenging getting back to your car if you are not completing an out and back trip in one so worth checking the reality of the situation, and not just with the marina (Venetian gave us three cards for taxis - none of them even answered!).

 

Would we do it again? Definitely, and certainly no particular issue with using Venetian if it was in the right place, but these weren't things we had taken into account before we did it.

 

Alec

Edited by agg221
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5 minutes ago, agg221 said:

Some experience which is outside of the range you are currently considering, but may contain some points worth bearing in mind.

 

We have an online home mooring near Market Drayton but after the Audlem festival we fancied heading north, so rather than going back up the flight only to turn around and go back again we preferred to be able to get further and had a month at Venetian. No complaints as such, but some observations, as this is outside of our normal experience.

 

Whilst we didn't have any problems getting in, the moorings did turn out to be very shallow. The staff were helpful, but we couldn't get right back on the pontoon and when we returned to the boat we had real trouble getting it off as the level had dropped a couple of inches and it wouldn't even rock. A fellow moorer added some weight to the equation and we eventually got away about an hour after we had intended.

 

The site is rural, which is nice, but it turns out that the railway line that goes right past it does run pretty much all night. Although very much not being a marina dweller, if you pitch up on a Friday evening you are likely to spend the first night in the marina so it's a consideration.

 

There is a real issue with taxis in that area (Uber - forget it). In the end, we got back to our car courtesy of a lift from a vlockie. Otherwise it would have been a 3hr walk. If a marina is within walking distance of public transport, that's great, but if not it could be very challenging getting back to your car if you are not completing an out and back trip in one so worth checking the reality of the situation, and not just with the marina (Venetian gave us three cards for taxis - none of them even answered!).

 

Would we do it again? Definitely, and certainly no particular issue with using Venetian if it was in the right place, but these weren't things we had taken into account before we did it.

 

Alec

All the marinas I'm considering are within reasonably easy reach of a railway station, because not everyone likely to use the boat has a car 🙂

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