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What's it like, living on a boat?


LadyG

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43 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

 

Would it were so, Ms Jen. Would it were so. 

I harboured ridiculously murderous thoughts about a speedy hire boater who almost spilled my coffee near Tattenahall last week, and I went to the trouble of questioning my legal team about the potential snags involved in dismembering the gentleman (and if possible the entire crew).  They were surprisingly negative. 

I moored at Nantwich this afternoon, and more than 70% of the boats that passed have been travelling at full cruising speed of 3-4 mph. They don't seem to care- most were Anglo-welsh hire boats, but still- they will have been told about slowing down past moored boats.

I briefly dallied with 3mph past some moored boats near Barbridge earlier, and was greeted with sombre looks from the moored boaters. The sense of outrage was almost palpable.  

I slowed to 2mph, and suddenly all was sunshine and loveliness from the moored boaters.

I totally understand that difference in people's reaction to my different speeds, but why cant all these speeding boaters also get it?

Are they immune to the disaffection that radiates so strongly from the boaters they pass? 

 

 

When I first hired I speeded past moored boats. as I got to them I pulled the throttle leaver back a bit, the engine note dropped, I thought I was doing OK, when in reality the speed was probably just the same. Some things come with experience.

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24 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

When I first hired I speeded past moored boats. as I got to them I pulled the throttle leaver back a bit, the engine note dropped, I thought I was doing OK, when in reality the speed was probably just the same. Some things come with experience.

 

That's a fair comment, but only up to a point, and only for very inexperienced hirers. 

Common sense and visual observation give you a reasonable idea of how fast you're going, and you don't have to have been boating for 10 years to see how fast the objects on the banks are moving past you (so to speak). Judging your speed relative to static objects must be one of the basic human skills. 

And also, in many locations it is mostly privately owned boats who didnt slow down- not hirers. Its not a hire boat issue specifically

 

But to be honest, all of us have gone at a normal cruising speed of 3-4mph past moored boats.

Some of us don't care about that, and some of us do.

People are different. And I do get the perspective of boaters who only get the chance to take their boats out for a few weeks at a time. 

They want to see things, and cover some distance, and when they see a line of moored boats stretching intermittently for the next half mile, they start thinking that if they go down to 2mph, they'll never get where they want to go. 

 

I dont get cross if boats dont slow down- they have their own reasons, whether it be hire boat ignorance or a simply a need to cover some distance before they have to leave the boat and go back to work, etc. 

I think the issue is that some boaters still expect passing boats to slow down as a sort of rule, and that is simply not going to happen. I'm retired and live aboard so I can go pretty much as slowly as I want within reason, so I do slow down. But not everyone has that luxury of time. 

 

But I feel like the whole slowing down thing is not a moral obligation or duty, as maybe it used to be. It is entirely voluntary, and is subject to the individual needs of the passing boaters, and so we shouldn't get cross at people who don't slow down. 

 

I just wish people would stop frowning at me on the rare occasions that I dont slow down when passing them. 

 

 

Edited by Tony1
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1 hour ago, Tony1 said:

I moored at Nantwich this afternoon, and more than 70% of the boats that passed have been travelling at full cruising speed of 3-4 mph. 

The first 100 moored boats you pass at Nantwich you go slow. The second 100 you pass a bit faster.  The remaining 1000 you pass flat out.  (slight exageration may have ocurred here.)

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Just now, system 4-50 said:

The first 100 moored boats you pass at Nantwich you go slow. The second 100 you pass a bit faster.  The remaining 1000 you pass flat out.  (slight exageration may have ocurred here.)

 

This is the point though, isnt it? With a mile or more of moored boats (eg the so-called golden mile near Tattenhall), is it realistic or fair these days to expect passing boaters to slow down to say 2mph when passing? And then they slow down again for the moored boats at Tattenhall, and so on and so on. 

I have an innate aversion to pissing people off, but I'm wondering if the expectations of moored boaters are unreasonable? 

I am not exaggerating to say that almost every boat that passed me at the north end of the Shroppie kept up its normal cruising speed, but did that futile thing of going into tickover about 20 yards before they reached me.

It has become the norm that you don't actually slow down significantly when passing boats- you just go into tickover 30 yards before you reach them- so it all feels like a bit of a charade really. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The wither and die stare just isn't that effective. Shame really.

 

I failed to slow down over about 500 yards this morning near Barbridge (various reasons), and part of me definitely withered and died from the half dozen glares I received.

I do wonder how so many people can just casually plough on through all that overt disapproval, and not be affected in the slightest.

 

But as I said above- I would ideally like all boats to slow down, but with more than half of the boats its just not going to happen ( and in some cases they have reasons that are hard to argue with)- so there's no point getting cross about it these days. 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, system 4-50 said:

The first 100 moored boats you pass at Nantwich you go slow. The second 100 you pass a bit faster.  The remaining 1000 you pass flat out.  (slight exageration may have ocurred here.)

That is Golden Nook you are talking about

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3 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

That is Golden Nook you are talking about

 

The farm that (I believe) owns the moorings I was talking about is called Golden Nook.  Not sure about Nantwich.

 

The fuel boat that cruises that stretch every month calls it the golden mile, so I'll take their word for it.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

 

This is the point though, isnt it? With a mile or more of moored boats (eg the so-called golden mile near Tattenhall), is it realistic or fair these days to expect passing boaters to slow down to say 2mph when passing? And then they slow down again for the moored boats at Tattenhall, and so on and so on. 

 

 

 

I do.

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1 minute ago, ditchcrawler said:

I do.

 

Good for you. 

As it happens, so do I.

My point is to ask whether it is reasonable to expect everyone to slow down over such long stretches. 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, system 4-50 said:

When I moored (with big wheels) at Henhull, passing boats hardly affected me.  

I'm guessing the near absence of water under many moored boats has a big influence or how upset they get? I have a novel solution - make the canals deeper?

 

I got a pair of 6 inch wide inflatable fenders to hang from the roof and ease the bumps when I'm moored in windy conditions, but they are also great for busy stretches with lots of boats that don't slow down. 

Realistically, the money just isnt there to make the canals deeper, much as I'd like it. But a pair of fat fenders for 30 quid is a great help in some situations. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

How did you keep warm in the winter :D

I didn't quite frankly, I spent a winter in a small caravan in the side of a Welsh hillside, it had a small gas heater but it made everything damp, so I spent as much time in other people's houses and went to bed fully dressed with the next days clothes in bed with me and slept under a thick duvet and many many blankets.

 

I'm not moaning because it was a cheap solution at the time but I wasn't particularly keen on waking up and finding condensation frozen on top of the blankets I was sleeping under made me very reluctant to actually get out of bed :)

 

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When people have travelled past my moored boat at speed I usually dont notice, occasionally a slight rocking or pulling on the lines, or a creak of the fenders as the boat gently presses into them.

 

I have never been on another moored boat getting passed at speed, so perhaps my boat is unusual, but in most conditions the issue of passing at speed is wildly exaggerated. I think it is mainly just unpleasant people looking for something to grump about. I have noticed that the shouters often have their mooring lines perpendicular to the bank so perhaps the inexperience works both ways? In some canal conditions there is no harm at all in going a bit above tickover, in others a kayak will make your boat rock. The blanket tickover rule is just silly.

 

I have considered getting a version of that popular, obnoxious fitoutpontoon sign with "pass at tick over" in a red circle, saying "pass at whatever speed you like" instead.

 

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11 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

If you want disapproval, try single handing a motorised swing/lift bridge with a lengthening queue of traffic on both sides with drivers beaming hate at you.

If you want real disapproval, try single handing a motorised swing/lift bridge with a lengthening queue of traffic on both sides with drivers beaming hate at you, then going hard aground when the boat is half a length from the open bridge, and too far out from the side for you to be able to go ashore and close the bridge while you get unstuck!

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1 hour ago, jupiter1124 said:

I have noticed that the shouters often have their mooring lines perpendicular to the bank so perhaps the inexperience works both ways?

And the bizarre habit of tying a centre rope from the cabin roof tight to the ground. Perfect for introducing a rocking motion as another boat, duck, or floating leaf goes by.

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34 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

And the bizarre habit of tying a centre rope from the cabin roof tight to the ground. Perfect for introducing a rocking motion as another boat, duck, or floating leaf goes by.

Saw a video just the other day, couple moored boat up, said back was stuck out a bit but its ok we’ll put a spring line on. Chap then knocks a pin in the bank and ties the centre line to it nice and taught. There, they said, thats now going nowhere. 🤷‍♂️ madness.

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2 hours ago, jupiter1124 said:

When people have travelled past my moored boat at speed I usually dont notice, occasionally a slight rocking or pulling on the lines, or a creak of the fenders as the boat gently presses into them.

 

I have never been on another moored boat getting passed at speed, so perhaps my boat is unusual, but in most conditions the issue of passing at speed is wildly exaggerated. I think it is mainly just unpleasant people looking for something to grump about. I have noticed that the shouters often have their mooring lines perpendicular to the bank so perhaps the inexperience works both ways? In some canal conditions there is no harm at all in going a bit above tickover, in others a kayak will make your boat rock. The blanket tickover rule is just silly.

 

I have considered getting a version of that popular, obnoxious fitoutpontoon sign with "pass at tick over" in a red circle, saying "pass at whatever speed you like" instead.

 

 

If I understand it right, the issue is not boats speeding, but rather failing to slow down, and thus passing at normal cruising speed, say 3 or 4 mph. 

Although bad mooring is responsible for many boats rocking excessively, the truth is that the shouters are more usually long term or residential moorers, very securely moored and in long lines of boats stretching for up to a mile in some cases. 

But I do agree with your approach inasmuch as I am coming around to the view that slowing down to tickover should be considered completely optional, and should not be an expectation as it currently is. And thus the moored boats should not consider themselves the victim of impolite behaviour if you pass at say 3mph, which many of them do at the moment.

They don't all shout or make comments, but there is a difference in demeanour as you approach, depending on whether you've slowed down.  

 

 

Edited by Tony1
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Is it just me being a grumpy old man, but all the slow down signs annoy me, because either you would have slowed down naturally, because that is your habit or you aren't going to take any notice of a sign.  (I nearly said notice of a notice but felt that was over the top).

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52 minutes ago, Jerra said:

Is it just me being a grumpy old man, but all the slow down signs annoy me, because either you would have slowed down naturally, because that is your habit or you aren't going to take any notice of a sign.  (I nearly said notice of a notice but felt that was over the top).

The signs need to be stretched out, so they are only readable at speed and not annoying to persons of age challanged grumpiness going at 2mph.

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Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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4 hours ago, tree monkey said:

I didn't quite frankly, I spent a winter in a small caravan in the side of a Welsh hillside, it had a small gas heater but it made everything damp, so I spent as much time in other people's houses and went to bed fully dressed with the next days clothes in bed with me and slept under a thick duvet and many many blankets.

 

I'm not moaning because it was a cheap solution at the time but I wasn't particularly keen on waking up and finding condensation frozen on top of the blankets I was sleeping under made me very reluctant to actually get out of bed :)

 

Far too many moons ago, I attended a leadership course whilst in the Navy. At one point they send send you up into the Black Mountains. My time was in February. It was cold and very wet. Then snowed.nice. We had four blokes in a two man tent. Kipped in dry clothes. Next morning, back into wet clothes, to save dry clothes. That wasn’t pleasant I can promise you. The tent we couldn’t fold as it was frozen. Taught me a great deal about myself. I’m such a wimp!!

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3 hours ago, David Mack said:

If you want real disapproval, try single handing a motorised swing/lift bridge with a lengthening queue of traffic on both sides with drivers beaming hate at you, then going hard aground when the boat is half a length from the open bridge, and too far out from the side for you to be able to go ashore and close the bridge while you get unstuck!

I once asked a motorist to work the bridge, as there was a lot of traffic, he declined, so they all had to wait. I generally try not to inconvenience other users, but sometimes it's unavoidable 

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8 minutes ago, LadyG said:

I once asked a motorist to work the bridge, as there was a lot of traffic, he declined, so they all had to wait. I generally try not to inconvenience other users, but sometimes it's unavoidable 

 

What a miserable toad of a man, to decline a modest few minutes of assistance to a woman. 

I think in a similar situation I might be temped to ask someone else if the first driver refuses.

 

 

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I am increasingly coming to the view that I would prefer guidance on passing moored boats to change.

 

On our last trip out over the August bank holiday weekend, (Venetian-Chester-Market Drayton) we noticed at lot of boats moored during the day at widely spaced intervals, often in ones or twos, but apart from Chester to Beeston there was barely a stretch with no boats moored boats in sight. Realistically, to make a difference to speed, we are slowing down a couple of hundred yards in advance, and then it takes another couple of hundred yards after passing before we are up to cruising speed. The impact on overall journey time was about 2hrs, which makes a difference.

 

I would like to see a definition of the canals as a transport network. If you want to moor up anywhere you like, that's great, but expect that other boats will be moving. We don't all slow to a crawl when passing a parked car, and the same applies if that's a motorhome parked in a layby. Perhaps there could be some reasonable exceptions to that - say the hours of 8pm to 8am it is expected that you will slow down, and maybe even create explicit 'slow down' zones for visitor moorings. Anywhere else and you could reasonably expect boats to be passing during the day at up to 4mph and if you are choosing not to move that day, you need to moor appropriately. If you really don't want the movement, perhaps you should take an offline mooring in a marina?

 

Contentious - definitely. Will it happen, no. However, it's a thought.

 

Alec

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