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Oddly, I have hired other types of boat on various occasions over the years, and the last time I did so, it was a punt on the river Nidd in Knaresborough in 1994. Very different!

Edited by Peter X

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I'm here to post late to the party with Jack Bracken:

838317903_2020-09-0112_32_08.jpg.25fc95f8e001cef7d50909583f125852.jpg

 

 

Also, thanks to the Environment[dash]Agency having a very nicely formatted for email name, my registration is rather delayed. Somehow the "-" got swapped for a "‐". See the difference? Nope, me neither till I double checked carefully on the computer. One is slightly shorter than the other, so the email was getting sent to a nonexistent place.

I've no idea where the short dash even is on my keyboard, and only the long dash even types on this PC!!!

 

So, new to boating, and *very much* learning the hard way... I'll not even go into the repairs/failures/bolt heads snapping off I've had to deal with. But all the more fun! ;)

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Isn't the short dash the minus sign, normally the key to the right of the 0 on the top row?

Shift with that gives you the underscore, quite often used too in email names.

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32 minutes ago, Peter X said:

Isn't the short dash the minus sign, normally the key to the right of the 0 on the top row?

Shift with that gives you the underscore, quite often used too in email names.

Nah they seem to use the minus/dash. As said I cannot even type the shortened version so wondering if the Waterways own link was wrong for a while? I must have got the link with the typo from somewhere.

 

As soon as they give the go ahead... I'll try for my thirdish day boating. As last time the Morse cable end snapped off I seem to hit a snag every time I get a bit of confidence. Thankfully even at 30 foot the boat is so light I could just get out and paddle...

 

[Edit] Found the error!!! It was not me. It's their own forms! They must have autocorrect or an EU keyboard because the email address on their form has the typo. I will email them to get it corrected (I'd already noticed typos else where in the form...) And possibly post a PSA here later in one of the forums as it's probably not just me getting silence from them because of this.

Edited by Techy-Ben

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Techy-Ben, here are my thoughts on how to move your boat with no working engine,  depending on available crew and what they know. 

A paddle could help if  you have a big enough paddle. But: In a perfect world, go for option 1: borrow a horse (probably very difficult), plus someone who knows how to manage the beast; crucial I imagine! Or in the real world, option 2: get someone strong on the towpath to impersonate a horse, preferably pulling a long enough line attached in the best available place; that's towards but not at the bow, which is why old working boats have a mast there, but a centre line will do. While with either option, someone else steers carefully.

Ideally also combine one of the above with option 3: have someone who knows what they're doing using a pole. Trust me, that means preferably someone who learned punting at Oxford. They'll stand at the stern and use their follow-through action to assist with the steering. But a Cambridge graduate would be better than someone who hasn't done punting.

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12 hours ago, Peter X said:

Techy-Ben, here are my thoughts on how to move your boat with no working engine,  depending on available crew and what they know. 

A paddle could help if  you have a big enough paddle. But: In a perfect world, go for option 1: borrow a horse (probably very difficult), plus someone who knows how to manage the beast; crucial I imagine! Or in the real world, option 2: get someone strong on the towpath to impersonate a horse, preferably pulling a long enough line attached in the best available place; that's towards but not at the bow, which is why old working boats have a mast there, but a centre line will do. While with either option, someone else steers carefully.

Ideally also combine one of the above with option 3: have someone who knows what they're doing using a pole. Trust me, that means preferably someone who learned punting at Oxford. They'll stand at the stern and use their follow-through action to assist with the steering. But a Cambridge graduate would be better than someone who hasn't done punting.

I don't quite follow your distinction between Cambridge and Oxford. When punting at the former, one also uses the pole to steer  in the way you describe... Punting is a bit easier in central Cambridge as the bed of the river is a nice stone towpath (the horses used to get wet).  So you do need someone who can twist the pole, to extract it from the mud,

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12 hours ago, Peter X said:

Techy-Ben, here are my thoughts on how to move your boat with no working engine,  depending on available crew and what they know. 

A paddle could help if  you have a big enough paddle. But: In a perfect world, go for option 1: borrow a horse (probably very difficult), plus someone who knows how to manage the beast; crucial I imagine! Or in the real world, option 2: get someone strong on the towpath to impersonate a horse, preferably pulling a long enough line attached in the best available place; that's towards but not at the bow, which is why old working boats have a mast there, but a centre line will do. While with either option, someone else steers carefully.

Ideally also combine one of the above with option 3: have someone who knows what they're doing using a pole. Trust me, that means preferably someone who learned punting at Oxford. They'll stand at the stern and use their follow-through action to assist with the steering. But a Cambridge graduate would be better than someone who hasn't done punting.

Thank you for the very precise and helpful advice. As I'm also from the Croydon area, I was able to translate your accent and lingo immediately. I do though worry that others in this forum would have difficulty deciphering your advice, and may end up accidentally using a bag of cats instead of a horse.

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On 08/09/2020 at 08:42, Scholar Gypsy said:

I don't quite follow your distinction between Cambridge and Oxford. When punting at the former, one also uses the pole to steer  in the way you describe... Punting is a bit easier in central Cambridge as the bed of the river is a nice stone towpath (the horses used to get wet).  So you do need someone who can twist the pole, to extract it from the mud,

The one time I punted in Cambridge, one afternoon in September 1974 going a little way up river out of the centre, I don't remember the bed of the river feeling unusual. I hired a nice punt similar to what I'd got used to when I began punting earlier that year in Oxford, used it the Oxford way, and had no difficulty.

The main difference between the rivers is that the Thames is relatively BIG; wide, and deep in the middle, and can have a lot of water going down it sometimes. And it  gets more traffic. I found that bit of the Cam I did to be much like the Cherwell; tame.

I think muddy patches, where twisting the pole to get it out becomes necessary, tend to be more common on canals than on rivers, but it varies.

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4 hours ago, Peter X said:

The one time I punted in Cambridge, one afternoon in September 1974 going a little way up river out of the centre, I don't remember the bed of the river feeling unusual. I hired a nice punt similar to what I'd got used to when I began punting earlier that year in Oxford, used it the Oxford way, and had no difficulty.

The main difference between the rivers is that the Thames is relatively BIG; wide, and deep in the middle, and can have a lot of water going down it sometimes. And it  gets more traffic. I found that bit of the Cam I did to be much like the Cherwell; tame.

I think muddy patches, where twisting the pole to get it out becomes necessary, tend to be more common on canals than on rivers, but it varies.

Sounds like you were on the upper river,  above the Mill at Silver St. The stone towpath is on the middle river,  between that weir and Jesus lock.  The upper river can get very sticky as you get closer to Granchester.

 

Here's a nice video of punting on the middle river, where you can take a nb.

 

 

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On 10/09/2020 at 05:59, Scholar Gypsy said:

 

Here's a nice video of punting on the middle river, where you can take a nb.

 

 

😃😃

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That's where they really go wrong in Cambridge, they tend to stand on the raised end of the punt, which I think must make life harder and increase the risk of falling in. Never fell in myself anywhere, or saw anyone do so in my brief experience of Cambridge, but I saw people fall into the Cherwell in Oxford 3 times, each off a boat I was on. Two of them tried to blame me, but it was their own silly fault!

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6 hours ago, Peter X said:

That's where they really go wrong in Cambridge, they tend to stand on the raised end of the punt, which I think must make life harder and increase the risk of falling in. Never fell in myself anywhere, or saw anyone do so in my brief experience of Cambridge, but I saw people fall into the Cherwell in Oxford 3 times, each off a boat I was on. Two of them tried to blame me, but it was their own silly fault!

You don't have a choice, on a Cambridge punt both ends are raised. Depending on your prejudices either: 

  • Cambridge punters are more skilled than Oxford punters, or
  • They are less intelligent, as they can't choose between two options.

The best way to fall in is for someone on a bridge to grab your pole as you go under a bridge (Clare and John's Kitchen are good for this), the punter hangs on to the pole, and then the person on the bridge lets go unless given a sufficiently good bribe.

 

Here's another fun video to prove narrowboats can get along this stretch. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Here's another fun video to prove narrowboats can get along this stretch. 

By punting along part of it...

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32 minutes ago, WotEver said:

By punting along part of it...

Yes, I forgot to mention that shallow part to the skipper of the second boat.

 

I was vaguely thinking about reversing upstream through the bridge, to give them a hand, but that would not have been straightforward !!

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4 hours ago, WotEver said:

By punting along part of it...

 

3 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Yes, I forgot to mention that shallow part to the skipper of the second boat.

 

I'm not surprised the Springer got stuck. I can remember grounding punts there when going to the Granta pub.

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Grounding a punt is quite an achievement. Only did it once myself, while exploring a little side channel off the Cherwell in Oxford, some way up from the city centre. It took a little time and effort with the pole to get back out onto the river.

My apologies for steering "Are you new to boating??" rather off topic into an in-depth (or not so much depth!) discussion of punting. There's probably a topic for that somewhere.

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Hello fellow boaters!

We are newbies looking for a house boat. Our plan is to have either a narrow boat or wide beam/ Dutch barge. After "studying" and learning about boats a little bit and saving money of course, these two would be optimal choice for now. 

As we are also very new to this forum, I'm not sure where to ask, so you can you lead me to the right place.  My questions is: Which boat would you recommend for Scottish canals for two main ones and northern area in general. I know there is a lot of different type of boats, however we have gotten informed that cruisers are not very good for winter...... 

Many thanks

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1 minute ago, Peonymoon said:

Hello fellow boaters!

We are newbies looking for a house boat. Our plan is to have either a narrow boat or wide beam/ Dutch barge. After "studying" and learning about boats a little bit and saving money of course, these two would be optimal choice for now. 

As we are also very new to this forum, I'm not sure where to ask, so you can you lead me to the right place.  My questions is: Which boat would you recommend for Scottish canals for two main ones and northern area in general. I know there is a lot of different type of boats, however we have gotten informed that cruisers are not very good for winter...... 

Many thanks

I would post this in the General Boating or New to Boating areas as a new thread.  It will be seen more.

 

By the way, you're muddling up terms.  A house boat usually means a stationary boat with no engine.  I assume you mean a boat which you will live on?

 

Cruisers are poorly regarded by some for winter because they are usually less well insulated and usually don't have a solid fuel stove.

 

Most people on here will simply recommend the type of boat they have.  So in that spirit, you should get a narrowboat.

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On the Scottish canals there is absolutely no need to get a cramped sewer tube (AKA Narrowboat)

 

Narrowboats are simply a money saving development (its cheaper to dig a narrow ditch than a wide ditch) and no one in the right mind would build a narrowboat system - it is a peculiar English thing - nowhere else in the world would build boats so long and thin.

 

The Scottish canals are 'proper' wide waterways designed for proper sized boats so why use something not designed for the waterway you will be using. If you are plannning to be liveaboards then you want to maximise the space - any boat is going to be a huge 'step-down' from even a flat.

 

Just as an indication of the difference in (not only width) but 'volume' here is a picture of our widebeam cruiser moored alongside a 'narrowboat' cruiser.

Our 'fat boat is 36 feet long and the 'narrowboat' is 33 feet long.

 

GRP Cruisers can be used all year around , many are not designed for 'Winter' use, but ours has been lined with reflective 'giant' bubblewrap which keeps her snuggly

We do not have a dirty coal fire (that narrowboats have) instead we have a thermostatically controlled diesel fired heater which is just the same as a house, Set the temperature you want on the thermostat and it stays at that temperature all year - just like you house central heating.

 

 

 

CAM00020.jpg

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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2 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Narrowboats are simply a money saving development (its cheaper to dig a narrow ditch than a wide ditch) and no one in the right mind would build a narrowboat system - it is a peculiar English thing - nowhere else in the world would build boats so long and thin.

 

I have this mental image of a bunch of 18th century engineers meeting up in the back room of a pub in Staffordshire and after a few bottles of port too many deciding that 70' long and 7' wide would be the ideal dimensions for boats on their new Trent and Mersey canal. Unfortunately they remembered this decision the next morning and that is how we ended up with sewer tube boats.

Jen, who has a narrow boat.

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3 hours ago, Peonymoon said:

Hello fellow boaters!

We are newbies looking for a house boat. Our plan is to have either a narrow boat or wide beam/ Dutch barge. After "studying" and learning about boats a little bit and saving money of course, these two would be optimal choice for now. 

As we are also very new to this forum, I'm not sure where to ask, so you can you lead me to the right place.  My questions is: Which boat would you recommend for Scottish canals for two main ones and northern area in general. I know there is a lot of different type of boats, however we have gotten informed that cruisers are not very good for winter...... 

Many thanks

For the Scottish canals, wide(ish) beam is best, as the canals are all wide. The only real advantage of a narrowboat is that you can share the Falkirk wheel with a trip boat, which often speeds up the passage. I suppose mooring is easier as well. The Edinburgh and Glasgow Union as 12' beam, although that may be pushing it a bit, as there isn't a lot of clearance on the new bridges, some of which have bends on the approach. 10'6" beam works well. Could go a bit wider, but expect some contact at bridges!

 

For the Highland canals, you do need reasonable sea going capability to get to them. Narrowboats are actively discouraged from the Caledonian, following a few hairy incidents in the past. A trip from the Forth and Clyde to the Crinan should not be underestimated. A friend tried it in a wide beam, and got as far as Rothesay before turning back, having had assistance twice from the RNLI :blink:

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1 hour ago, Iain_S said:

A friend tried it in a wide beam, and got as far as Rothesay before turning back, having had assistance twice from the RNLI

Was that a 'fat' narrrowboat, or a wide beam 'boat'  (Dutch barge, GRP cruiser etc etc)

 

The problem with just saying 'widebeam' is that it covers pretty much every type of boat except a 'narrow boat'.

 

Under that definition, my 23 foot wide Catamaran would be a 'widebeam'.

 

 

4 hours ago, Peonymoon said:

Our plan is to have either a narrow boat or wide beam/ Dutch barge.

 

As you may have gathered whilst a 'narrowboat' is a specific type of boat under 7' 6" wide, a 'widebeam' can be anything over 7' 6" wide,

 

You have already identified one 'type' (Dutch Barge) but there are many others available.

 

This was us in a previous 'widebeam' heading up the West Coast from Wales :

 

Troon

Rothsey (washing day)

Rhu (in the tender heading back to the boat)

 

 

A2.jpg

A3.jpg

Rhu.jpg

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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Thanks everyone!

This forum is very good and we have learned so far that there is lot of experienced people sharing good photos as well. Many thanks for all the support!

I will definitely look into the GRP Cruisers and Dutch Barges. We will keep our eyes open for many other type of boats, and I just wanted to add here that Lock Ness doesn't freeze in the winter, correct me, If I'm wrong. 

Dutch Barges is the first option. When I started to look boats, it was the first thing that really caught our eyes , however, the price range is somewhere between £50k+

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21 minutes ago, Peonymoon said:

Dutch Barges is the first option. When I started to look boats, it was the first thing that really caught our eyes , however, the price range is somewhere between £50k+

So are 'good' narrowboats and a 'bottom end price' for a "Wide narrowboat" will start at £80k.

You will get a very good GRP Cruiser for £30K +

 

What sort of budget are you considering ?

 

Just a word of advice (warning) 

If you buy a (say) £20k boat it will almost definitely require a lot of money spending on it in the first year or two. Buy the best that you can push your self to, but remember you will need to keep £5k in reserve for emergencies & running costs.

 

A gear box can fail - cost £1000

An engine can fail, maybe repairable but replacement cost £5k - £10k

Your boat will need painting every 5 years (maybe 10 if you are prepared to let it get really bad) - professional repaint cost £10k

Overplating a 'thin' steel hull can cost £250+ per foot

 

You can either maintain your boat and maintain its value, or do no maintenance and let its value steadily fall to zero (or less) Different people take different tacks.

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