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Just back from Llan!

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Well we had great weather for a weeks hire from Anglo Welsh. I started at Trevor, turned left across the Ponty, got as far as the Monty and diverted for two days to Maesbury. Re entered the Llan and went to Ellesemere, then back up to Llan itself for a very nice overnight before turning round and returning to Trevor.

 

Impressions.

 

Anglo Welsh: Pretty good. The boat, Lacewing, a 65 footer, was not bad at all. Everything worked and worked fine. Couple of niggles: the potable water pump was a "fortnight" pump (too weak!) and the ropes provided were risible. Three lines, fore, mid and aft, of about twenty foot each. They did the job but no more. I'd use AW again though, and thats the final arbiter.

 

The Llangollen itself...I think I'll steer clear in future. The bit into Llan was great and e enjoyed it, and the basin, but the stretch from Trevor to the Monty is populated by rude nutters. I was overtaken three times on the first afternoon by some very clever Number 1s who oh so clearly knew that I was utterly incompetent because I was hiring. At one point I was coming round a blind corner that was too tight for my boat so I was, I admit, straddling the centre of the canal. Because of this I made sound signals and proceeded dead slow in accordance with the colregs. Around the corner came a smart Number 1 doing flank speed! He slammed it into a canal churning reverse, lost all steerage and rammed the bank. He then lectured me on the rules of the road. I said something like "sorry mate, cant hear over the noise of your engine" and drove away. Even if I was doing it all wrong (I wasnt), his speed was daft. He lost control, not me.

 

On another occasion I came through the ellesmere tunnel which ends in a blind corner. Once again, sound sigs and dead slow ahead. As I was halfway through around pops another Number 1, slams into reverse and gives me a dirty look. When in ear shot he says "didnt you hear my sound signal???" I replied, "No, sorry. Didnt you hear mine?" He mumbled no and prepared for another go. I could have had some sympathy if he was single handed but he had a surfeit of crew and and could easily have sent someone ahead for a look.

 

There's no escaping the fact that hirers are treated like dirt on the llan!

 

Then there's the Canal Boat Club! Stories for another day.

 

All in all, I am glad I did the Ponty and would recommend anyone to do it, after that do the Monty, which is lovely. Then do another canal, the Llan isnt worth the hassle in summer. I have a feeling it might be bliss in the winter though.

 

 

David

  • Greenie 1

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its like marmite you either love it or hate it.

best time of year is Nov - Mar when only the hardy go out, Chirk in the snow is lovely and sailing above the clouds across ponty is a sight to see.

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its like marmite you either love it or hate it.

best time of year is Nov - Mar when only the hardy go out, Chirk in the snow is lovely and sailing above the clouds across ponty is a sight to see.

Love it - going again in a few weeks.

 

David - if someone wants to overtake I just let them past, unless I am approaching a lock :rolleyes:

I think you will find that a lot of boaters are ignorant of the colregs and sound signals and that most boaters steer into the tunnel mouth to see if anyone is coming and then reverse if necessary.

 

A few "rude nutters" won't put me off as you will find them on all the canals.

 

Steve

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Tend to agree. We first did the Llan in October and it was marvellous. Did it as a necessary evil in August and it was awful.

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Im sure I was over sensitive as I was trying to de-stress!!

 

 

Im already looking at next years trip: I would love to do the Huddersfield and go through the Standedge Tunnel. Anyone got any thoughts on this? (mods, Im happy to start a new thread if you think thats best)

 

David

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Love it - going again in a few weeks.

 

David - if someone wants to overtake I just let them past, unless I am approaching a lock :rolleyes:

I think you will find that a lot of boaters are ignorant of the colregs and sound signals and that most boaters steer into the tunnel mouth to see if anyone is coming and then reverse if necessary.

 

A few "rude nutters" won't put me off as you will find them on all the canals.

 

Steve

 

I'd hope most boaters are able to look into the tunnel (and spot the headlight, if a boat's in it and coming the other way) without needing to enter the tunnel and reverse out again. I was told to sound the horn just before 'the point of no return' entering the tunnel, then just after the boat's in it (being in it helps the sound travel a bit further) then just as you are at the end. That should cover most of the likely places you'll encounter another boat. We turn the cabin lights on but then turn the circuit breaker(s) off, then these and the headlamp on before entering.

 

I know what you mean about the Llangollen, the section from before Chirk to Trevor was incredibly busy when we went in Easter, and the other areas are definitely busier than any other canal. Encountered plenty of inexperienced boaters (mainly other hirers) but only a small handful of what you might describe as "rude nutters" - a Black Prince boat and a dayboat. Also, to balance things, encountered many friendly boaters, both hirers and unmarked (private) ones.

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Yes in fairness there were some lovely people, notably the owner of Eleventh Heaven and Mick of Enchanted, whom I led both ways through the narrow sections to save him having to run around like a blue arsed fly. Nice blokes, both of them. Nice boats too!

 

D

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The two boats you met head on wouldn't have known you were on a hire boat until after the event. So private boaters would have got the same treatment.

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The two boats you met head on wouldn't have known you were on a hire boat until after the event. So private boaters would have got the same treatment.

 

With a bit of practice, you can recognise an Anglo Welsh hire boat from quite far away - they have a corporate colour scheme including a distinctive design on the bow. Still no excuse for poor seamanship from the other boats though, especially on a busy canal where you're likely to meet oncoming boats regularly etc.

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With a bit of practice, you can recognise an Anglo Welsh hire boat from quite far away - they have a corporate colour scheme including a distinctive design on the bow. Still no excuse for poor seamanship from the other boats though, especially on a busy canal where you're likely to meet oncoming boats regularly etc.

 

But the OP says both head-on encounters were on blind bends, so no opportunity to see the other boat in advance. That's why they were such close encounters.

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I was overtaken three times on the first afternoon by some very clever Number 1s who oh so clearly knew that I was utterly incompetent because I was hiring.

 

If it was me who was chugging along slowly and a faster boat came up behind me I would pull over at the next suitable place and wave them past. I would probably be thanked by the faster boat.

 

If on the other hand I refused to let the faster boat get past and carried on for miles I would not be surprised to get a rude look from the faster boat.

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i found on the llangollen travelling later in the afternoon,was quieter,particularly the evening, my favourite time,most boats had taken the safe option and found there mooring.I travel at a reasonable pace, so why let a speeding boat pass and harm the ecology,the little white ones fair enough but not a narrow boat.

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Im sure I was over sensitive as I was trying to de-stress!!

 

 

Im already looking at next years trip: I would love to do the Huddersfield and go through the Standedge Tunnel. Anyone got any thoughts on this? (mods, Im happy to start a new thread if you think thats best)

 

David

I did the HNC last month, I don't think we saw a single hire boat anywhere on the canal, (apart from the one we were on!) I love it but it is a bit of a love it or hate it canal. I think I walked most of it as the locks are so close to each other there is not much point getting back on the boat between them. It does seem to have had a lot of stoppages this year with various locks being broken at various times,

we just got lucky and managed to get straight through. We came back across the pennines on the L and L ... another lovely quiet canal!

Nick

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We've just got back on the Shroppie after going up to Llangollen and back. I must say it was quieter than I have ever known it to be at this time of year, and most of the hire bases had the majority of their fleet lying idle.

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