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What's it like, living on a boat?


LadyG

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5 hours 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.

Why on earth do people do this? I have seen boats that are clearly owned by people who know enough about boats to have a very pretty one, moored with nice 45 degree bow and stern lines, and then inexplicably with a centre line for good measure.

 

Full disclosure, I actually use my centre line for temporary mooring quite a lot, at a lock landing, need a quick cup of tea, or a pee. I take it down to a nappy pin or bollard and then back up to the cabin roof with a quick pull-to-release knot. But then I best believe that the boat is not secure in the slightest, and I wouldn't dream of having a moan at someone passing by at normal cruising speed!

1 hour ago, agg221 said:

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.

Hear, hear! Hence why I am considering a "please don't slow down on my account" sign. My impression is that the slow down brigade is a vocal minority who just by the nature of the request has somehow gotten their way written into boating etiquette. Perhaps the way to combat it is for those who would like to actually see more of the network to speak up more?

 

4 hours ago, Tony1 said:

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.

What it really comes down to is whether your boating is causing an unreasonable amount of nuisance to your fellow boaters. Sometimes if you are on a particularly shallow canal it is fair to crawl past at tickover. But when on a deep stretch of canal or even river, with several miles of moored boats, where passing at 3mph or even faster doesn't cause so much as a wobble, it is a completely unreasonable amount of nuisance to shout at the cruising boat to slow down because you haven't the sense to tie up your boat properly, or because you are under the impression that floating objects oughtn't move, no matter how slightly or harmlessly.

 

Which really is the crux of my bafflement. Why do people care if their boats rock? Is it spilling their tea, waking them from their nap, or causing some kind of damage?

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16 minutes ago, jupiter1124 said:

Full disclosure, I actually use my centre line for temporary mooring quite a lot, at a lock landing, need a quick cup of tea, or a pee. I take it down to a nappy pin or bollard and then back up to the cabin roof with a quick pull-to-release knot. But then I best believe that the boat is not secure in the slightest, and I wouldn't dream of having a moan at someone passing by at normal cruising speed!

I do this too. Very useful when single handing and mooring up to Armco, especially with an off shore wind blowing. Lets you deal with the mooring ropes at one end, without the other end being blown across the cut. I even have a short rope to the centre ring, separate from the centre lines, with a nappy pin on it ready to use.

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17 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.

And the first car waiting has the bride in it, then the electric lift bridge fails in the open position so it can't be closed.  Fortunately when this happened it was at the drawbridge where there is another route across the canal a bit further on so cars eventually reversed back and went the other way.

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I like the idea of a permanent short rope with a nappy pin, might steal that one. Without doing this it would be very hard to moor up single handed i feel. Since the centre line is very long, I normally put a loop of line through the eye, then back up to the roof, take loop three times round the handrail and then tuck the end of the rope through it. That way once you have the bow and stern lines secured, you just pull on the end, and the whole arrangement unravels itself.

 

I met a boater who owned a butty, converted to electric power with a pod on the rudder, whose boat lacked centre lines entirely. I have absolutely no clue how I would manage. But he said it was the way the working boats did it. I didnt want to question him so no idea if that is true!

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1 hour ago, jupiter1124 said:

I like the idea of a permanent short rope with a nappy pin, might steal that one. Without doing this it would be very hard to moor up single handed i feel. Since the centre line is very long, I normally put a loop of line through the eye, then back up to the roof, take loop three times round the handrail and then tuck the end of the rope through it. That way once you have the bow and stern lines secured, you just pull on the end, and the whole arrangement unravels itself.

 

I met a boater who owned a butty, converted to electric power with a pod on the rudder, whose boat lacked centre lines entirely. I have absolutely no clue how I would manage. But he said it was the way the working boats did it. I didnt want to question him so no idea if that is true!

When I was first on the canals boats didn't have centre lines.

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1 hour ago, jupiter1124 said:

 But he said it was the way the working boats did it. I didnt want to question him so no idea if that is true!

Butties when working were normally attached to a motor, not an independent electric motor

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1 hour ago, Jerra said:

When I was first on the canals boats didn't have centre lines.

 

Not all that long ago - at least in geological time. I asked our long experienced builder for an attachment - and he fitted a gi-normous D-ring a nd equally large reinforcement, sufficient to lift the boat out of the water... (methinks he felt affronted that I - as a southern customer who (by definition knows nothing about prper boating etc - so we'll give him something solid.)

Over the years it's been very usefull....

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1 hour ago, Jerra said:

When I was first on the canals boats didn't have centre lines.

 

 

Same here. in fact my first ever narrow boat came with the beginnings of the idea, bollards welded onto the side decks about amidships which turned out to be staggeringly useful with a line attached, in the same way that a single centre line is useful. 

 

This was a brand new Hancock and Lane boat in about 1983 and I didn't ask for them. They just put them on and they were brilliant for boat handling, although an appalling trip hazard! 

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On 23/09/2022 at 15:04, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I do this too. Very useful when single handing and mooring up to Armco, especially with an off shore wind blowing. Lets you deal with the mooring ropes at one end, without the other end being blown across the cut. I even have a short rope to the centre ring, separate from the centre lines, with a nappy pin on it ready to use.

 

I do this as well.

I don't have a roof rail, so my solution for a 'quick-mooring' device was to use a length of rope attached to the centre line ring with a rolling hitch in it, and a nappy pin on the end of it.

The rolling hitch means I can adjust the length of rope leading to the nappy pin, so I can hook it onto the armco then tighten it up as needed. 

It's brilliant if you need a quick stop, or when you're trying to moor and the wind is blowing the boat away from the bank.

 

 

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1 hour ago, OldGoat said:

 

Not all that long ago - at least in geological time. I asked our long experienced builder for an attachment - and he fitted a gi-normous D-ring a nd equally large reinforcement, sufficient to lift the boat out of the water... (methinks he felt affronted that I - as a southern customer who (by definition knows nothing about prper boating etc - so we'll give him something solid.)

Over the years it's been very usefull....

I haven't suggested centre lines aren't useful, I was merely pointing out that  they weren't always standard fitments as the largely are today.

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17 hours ago, Jerra said:

When I was first on the canals boats didn't have centre lines.

 

I first recall seeing one on a boat I hired in 1988.

 

Before thatif the boat I was hiring had raised hand rails (not integral handrails), I used the boathook hooked around the raised handrail to hold the boat whilst waiting at locks etc.

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1 minute ago, cuthound said:

 

I first recall seeing one on a boat I hired in 1988.

 

Before thatif the boat I was hiring had raised hand rails (not integral handrails), I used the boathook hooked around the raised handrail to hold the boat whilst waiting at locks etc.

I must be getting old I had totally forgotten doing that.

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1 hour ago, cuthound said:

 

I first recall seeing one on a boat I hired in 1988.

 

Before thatif the boat I was hiring had raised hand rails (not integral handrails), I used the boathook hooked around the raised handrail to hold the boat whilst waiting at locks etc.

 

 

Ah now that's interesting. Maybe the advent of solid handrails led to the need for centre lines. 

 

The H&L boat I mentioned earlier in the thread had them newfgangled solid style handrails, hence the sidedeck bollards to tie some lines to.

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1 hour ago, MtB said:

 

 

Ah now that's interesting. Maybe the advent of solid handrails led to the need for centre lines. 

 

The H&L boat I mentioned earlier in the thread had them newfgangled solid style handrails, hence the sidedeck bollards to tie some lines to.

 

Possibly, also around that time the average boat length began to increase from 35-45 foot to 50-60 foot  which may also have played a part.

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