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Measured Mile


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Before I take my newish boat out on a serious river, I'd like to give it a heavy thrash, maybe an hour a full whack, just to see if the power plant is in good shape. Is there anywhere where

 

 

1. I'm allowed to go as fast as I can.

 

2. It is relatively easy to cope with problems that might arise.

 

?

 

If it offered the chance to measure the speed (a measured mile for example) so much the better.

 

I will not be surprised if the response is "no". But there is no harm in asking.

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Before I take my newish boat out on a serious river, I'd like to give it a heavy thrash, maybe an hour a full whack, just to see if the power plant is in good shape. Is there anywhere where

 

 

1. I'm allowed to go as fast as I can.

 

2. It is relatively easy to cope with problems that might arise.

 

?

 

If it offered the chance to measure the speed (a measured mile for example) so much the better.

 

I will not be surprised if the response is "no". But there is no harm in asking.

 

 

 

 

Hi

 

You can go as fast as you can on any river - if there is nobody about!!

 

I wouldn't want to go on a river and thrash a new boat until I had confidence that it will be OK, breaking down on an open river is dangerous.

I think you need to have short river sections like, The Soar or bits of the Trent, where you can thrash it for a few minutes where you are not to far away from a rescue.

Take a sat nav on the boat to give you the speed.

 

Alex

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Before I take my newish boat out on a serious river, I'd like to give it a heavy thrash, maybe an hour a full whack, just to see if the power plant is in good shape. Is there anywhere where

 

 

1. I'm allowed to go as fast as I can.

 

2. It is relatively easy to cope with problems that might arise.

 

?

 

If it offered the chance to measure the speed (a measured mile for example) so much the better.

 

I will not be surprised if the response is "no". But there is no harm in asking.

 

Whereabouts are you?? there are some pretty wide bits up our end where I'm sure even if you go flat out (in narrow boat terms) the wash wouldn't reach the sides.....as to whether you still should or not... well that's a different debate.

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Whereabouts are you?? there are some pretty wide bits up our end where I'm sure even if you go flat out (in narrow boat terms) the wash wouldn't reach the sides.....as to whether you still should or not... well that's a different debate.

I think its ok to speed if the banks are piled and campshedded otherwise the banks will be damaged on narrow waterways.

  • Greenie 1
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You can easily measure a mile off on Google Earth if you have no GPS.

A flowing river would give you false results though, surely?

 

You're supposed to do it in both directions. You might get some odd results if your top speed isn't a lot higher than the current, though.

 

Tim

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Or if you join the local ski club, and tow a skier, there is a ski zone just upstream of Newark.

Damn. I've just noticed that my insurance specifically prohibits me towing skiers.

 

Whereabouts are you??

...

Wolverhampton. Once the winter is mostly over, maybe I'll head in your direction.

 

 

 

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But since I know that Blisworth Tunnel is 3076 yards in length, I reckon that if I get through in 20 minutes, then I'm travelling at nearly 5.3 mph.

 

(Mind you, maths was never my strong point)

first time I went through the middle section was the fastest I'd been on my boat!!!!!

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If you go flat out, through Braunston, during the historic boat gathering, you'll be told several times how fast you are travelling, though you may struggle to convert it into usable units.

 

 

I don't think a firkin is a measure of speed? So shouts of two firkins fast might confuse.

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But since I know that Blisworth Tunnel is 3076 yards in length, I reckon that if I get through in 20 minutes, then I'm travelling at nearly 5.3 mph.

 

(Mind you, maths was never my strong point)

Someone we know did it in just over 16 minutes.........

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We went on the River Trent this year - nice and wide so you can open it up. Can't go far if you broke down but as little current (well not much I could detect) you might drift into the bank. I guess most tunnels would be OK (apart from Braunston) but I find you really have to concentrate to keep it going straight at speed.

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I believe some people test their boat's speed in Brayford Pool, Lincoln.....

And I've been so good, holding back, saying nowt! :lol:

 

Despite the steel narrow boaters doing the "I'm fastest through Blisworth" bit, from what I can recall I was able to put in better speeds with a 19 foot plywood cruiser and a 6HP Evinrude outboard, than I can with a steel boat.

 

Perhaps the memories play tricks, but I don't think so. The much smaller boat had far less water to push back past itself, and left far more space around it for the water to flow easily past.

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The closer you are to an object the faster you seem to be going, thus a tunnel would give an enhanced impression of speed. If my memory serves me right there is a measured mile (perhaps 1/2 mile?) below Godstow lock on the River Thames at Oxford.

 

Dashing through Blisworth at night can be thwarted by the passing of wide beam craft through in the small hours, (Less chance of meeting someone coming the other way). I once met someone who bought a dutch barge from Delta Marine Services at Warwick and they resolved to motor it all the way to the Thames. The BW advice at the time was to pass through Blisworth at the dead of night. Just hope no-one is trying to break the speed record that night too!

 

As Alan says n/b hulls are not built for speed, any Dawncraft will see you off AND make less wash!

Edited by tony collins
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This question of the maximum speed of a narrowboat is a tricky one. It'll depend on a whole host of variables, size of engine, shape of hull, displacement etc. I know, empirically, 5.3 mph is the fastest I can get. That's with a K2 Kelvin and a 70' josher weighing 28 tons. Any attempt to go faster than this simply causes the back of the boat to dig into the water. For example, when opening it up on the Severn, I have had the back deck awash, but there has been no increase in speed – just a waste of fuel. :(When trying to move as efficiently as possible – and that's not the same as moving as fast as possible, I look and see how far the uxter plate is under water. The optimum depth, for me at any rate, is 9”.

 

Incidentally, some of the fastest craft around on the Tring Summit are those strung-together tin can rafts beloved of the local pub team and the Berkhamsted School sculls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Greenie 1
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And I've been so good, holding back, saying nowt! :lol:

 

Despite the steel narrow boaters doing the "I'm fastest through Blisworth" bit, from what I can recall I was able to put in better speeds with a 19 foot plywood cruiser and a 6HP Evinrude outboard, than I can with a steel boat.

 

Perhaps the memories play tricks, but I don't think so. The much smaller boat had far less water to push back past itself, and left far more space around it for the water to flow easily past.

 

Doing the Gosty Hill Tunnel on the way to and from Coombeswood on the BCN is a classic example of that. No matter what you do you cannot increase your speed through there. You could almost let your nb stay on tickover and rattle its way through by itself. We were going through once and were rapidly caught up by a small BW working flat but there was nothing we could do to increase speed so they just had to wait.

Roger

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