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Encouraging Canoes - Is This A Good Idea?


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Following on from an earlier announcement of plans to "invest £1 million in improving the city's canal network to boost health and tourism", "Stoke-on-Trent City Council and its partners have created a 20-mile route providing paddlers with a unique perspective of the Trent & Mersey and Caldon canals"
Story at http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/8203-20-mile-canoe-heritage-trail-is-launched-in-stoke-on-trent/story-29705624-detail/story.html

 

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand the more people can be encouraged to use the canals and towpaths, the better the chances for the network to survive. However, my experience of inexperienced canoeists over the years is that there is an accident waiting to happen.

 

Is this fear warranted?

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No.

Accidents happen to canoeists. The usual accident is that they fall in. Then they get out again. It's no big deal.

I have seen 2 two man canadian canoes very nearly crushed on a narrow part of the Staffs & Wotcs due to their having no concept of how a large narrow boat handles and how long it takes to stop/change course.

 

I tend towards accident waiting to happen.

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...as do I, but there's a flourishing canoe club within 200 yards of our mooring, the wee things dart around prolifically on Saturdays and Sundays, and they seem to have a good idea of when and how to get out of the bl**dy w*y when 20 tons of big steel thing is approaching. This applies to both adult and juvenile paddlers.

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I have seen 2 two man canadian canoes very nearly crushed on a narrow part of the Staffs & Wotcs due to their having no concept of how a large narrow boat handles and how long it takes to stop/change course.

 

I tend towards accident waiting to happen.

 

I could ask why the narrowboat chose to close up a canoe-sized gap, knowing there were canoeists in the area and then losing sight of them possibly (although your crushing scenario suggests it was at the side, where visibility is good compared to straight ahead). But then, they didn't actually get crushed....I've also seen many canoests not crushed. I think there would need to be strong evidence of a poor safety record to have any influence, rather than simply anecdotal stuff from other boaters.

  • Greenie 1
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I could ask why the narrowboat chose to close up a canoe-sized gap,

By opening up a canoe-sized gap on the other side so that canoeists can get past easily, perhaps. Most of them, in my experience, appreciate that they should pass on the wide side, but there's always one...

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I could ask why the narrowboat chose to close up a canoe-sized gap, knowing there were canoeists in the area and then losing sight of them possibly (although your crushing scenario suggests it was at the side, where visibility is good compared to straight ahead). But then, they didn't actually get crushed....I've also seen many canoests not crushed. I think there would need to be strong evidence of a poor safety record to have any influence, rather than simply anecdotal stuff from other boaters.

A number of points.

 

First unless they could see round a blind corner on a narrow section of the S & W they weren't aware that a family were out pottering about.

 

Second the route the boat needed to take round the corner would take it to the towpath (which incidentally was the correct side if you had to choose) side and the family also chose to go to the towpath side.

 

Why the narrow boat did this I have no idea not being on board and unable to discuss it with them.

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If an accident has been waiting to happen for decades but it hasn't happened then you can conclude that it actually isn't waiting to happen!

 

Having a foot in both camps I can tell you that the problem is entirely in the minds of the narrow-boaters. Canoes are very agile and their occupants have an in-built survival instinct!

  • Greenie 1
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There is a canoe club and rowing club close to where we moor in Lincoln. They generally get out of the way when a larger vessel is approaching. There is of course always the odd one who doesn't but it is easy enough to give them room where they need it.

 

Canoe clubs have as much right to be on the water as anyone else. Why shouldn't it be encouraged?

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There is a canoe club and rowing club close to where we moor in Lincoln. They generally get out of the way when a larger vessel is approaching. There is of course always the odd one who doesn't but it is easy enough to give them room where they need it.

 

Canoe clubs have as much right to be on the water as anyone else. Why shouldn't it be encouraged?

Because Harold Shipman lookalikes don't tend to go canoeing :)

 

Sounds good to me, after all - Theres nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.

 

We have a busy canoe hire outfit on our river http://www.canoe2.co.uk/

Not exactly difficult to avoid sinking one. They are on the whole a benefit to the river.

 

Couple that with Oundle Town Rowing club and the school rowing teams there can be a fair few unpowered craft to give way to or at least ease off.

 

After all, it's not a motorway, if you want to go fast and all that guff.

 

:cheers:

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Canoe clubs have as much right to be on the water as anyone else.

 

More right in parts of Scotland the Union in Edinburgh is closed at certain times for the canoe club or is it the school.

 

Canoes are never banned in favour of Narrowboats to the best of my knowledge.

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Because Harold Shipman lookalikes don't tend to go canoeing smile.png

 

Sounds good to me, after all - Theres nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.

 

We have a busy canoe hire outfit on our river http://www.canoe2.co.uk/

Not exactly difficult to avoid sinking one. They are on the whole a benefit to the river.

 

Couple that with Oundle Town Rowing club and the school rowing teams there can be a fair few unpowered craft to give way to or at least ease off.

 

After all, it's not a motorway, if you want to go fast and all that guff.

 

cheers.gif

There were lots of the canoe2 canoes on the Nene when we were there, as you say lots of people having fun in boats, good to see, Mind you some were not smiling so much lugging them round the locks.

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I think accidents happen more because of the people concerned than because of the pastime they follow.

So long as they have insurance to cover any damage they cause I don't see a problem. Although, I can't fully predict what damage a canoe could do to a boat ...... apart perhaps from getting itself wrapped around a prop shaft.

I'd have thought they'd be more of a pest to the fisher-people.

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There were lots of the canoe2 canoes on the Nene when we were there, as you say lots of people having fun in boats, good to see, Mind you some were not smiling so much lugging them round the locks.

That's the drawback for them, although a lot of money was badly spent by the EA installing portage points - often in the wrong place!

We have a running battle with them at Titchmarsh, they are not supposed to use our slip, you may have noticed the signs at the lock saying it's a private club, most ignore this then claim they didn't know/see the signs.

It doesn't help the EA won't fix the landing stage so when you have boats on the 48 hour mooring, they take the path of least resistance and use our slip.

 

It is a very regular occurrence :)

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Had a canoe shouting at a boat yesterday was a hire boat as they met at swing bridge narrow. From seeing where i did i can pretty much garentee the old guy on the hire boat didnt / couldnt see the canoe. The canoe guy did nothing but try and stop was more insistant in not affecting his pace than anything. Then started shouting at the boat for not stopping. I have no probs with canoes or rowers but they must realise the can stop by putting an ore in and stop almost asap a 20+ boat or even a fiber thing a cant see as easly or be stop or manover even half as quick. Se fiberglass can more than metal or wood but still not as quick

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I fully accept the comments made relating to canoeists who are club members, school groups, etc., as generally, they know what they are doing and in the case of young adults/children there is normally at least one adult watching/supervising.

 

But the article suggested to me that they want to encourage families (presumably with younger children) who mostly won't have much idea about anything related to narrow canals and will probably be concentrating on getting the canoe to go where they want.

 

Quote from the article :

"Canoeists of all ages and abilities will be able to take to the water at Westport Lake and travel as far as Froghall Wharf."

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More right in parts of Scotland the Union in Edinburgh is closed at certain times for the canoe club or is it the school.

 

Canoes are never banned in favour of Narrowboats to the best of my knowledge.

It is rowers, not canoes, who train on a stretch of the Union canal in Edinburgh and at times, when the schools are rowing, boats are asked to wait. I think the clubs and schools who row on the Union were the only people not in favour of the canal being reopened :-)

 

haggis

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Quote from the article :

"Canoeists of all ages and abilities will be able to take to the water at Westport Lake and travel as far as Froghall Wharf."

 

To be fair, currently narrowboaters of all abilities are able to take to the water, since there is no proficiency test or driving licence for a (pleasure) narrowboat on UK canals. I'm not sure if there should, or will be, a minimum age for starting canoeing, I guess the "all ages" line is not suggesting that babies etc are put into canoes and floated around etc.

  • Greenie 1
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There are some issues with canoeists in and around Limehouse marina (up the Regents and around the Limehouse cut up into the Lee). Not seen a serious incident as such, just lots of inner city people, first time in canoes trying to work it out and often getting it wrong, going roud in circles and generally snaking along. Lukcily the water space is quite big for them to get to grips to with it and eventually they work it out.

 

The stretch into and around the Limehouse cut is the bit that always worries me when I see a flotilla of them going out. A long widebeam coming round the blind almost horsehoe bend even at slow speed and having made appropriate horn signals might struggle to avoid hitting either the canoesits or a moored vessel. However it hasnt happened and I dont see why restrictions should be put in place on waterway users. We even have a massive insurgence of SUP (stand up paddleboarders) on the Regents and the Lea apparently.

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To be fair, currently narrowboaters of all abilities are able to take to the water, since there is no proficiency test or driving licence for a (pleasure) narrowboat on UK canals. I'm not sure if there should, or will be, a minimum age for starting canoeing, I guess the "all ages" line is not suggesting that babies etc are put into canoes and floated around etc.

A much more sensible post.

 

Have a greenie and one of these :cheers:

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To be fair, currently narrowboaters of all abilities are able to take to the water, since there is no proficiency test or driving licence for a (pleasure) narrowboat on UK canals.

Yes, it is perhaps surprising that one has not been introduced (thinks: would I pass?)

I believe that in France it's still the case that hire-boaters don't have to pass a test to use the canals and rivers (we certainly haven't had to on the four occasions that we've hired over there), but owner-drivers do. The French are known as logical people, but this has always seemed arse-about-face to me. Perhaps one of our overseas correspondents could comment.

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That's the drawback for them, although a lot of money was badly spent by the EA installing portage points - often in the wrong place!

We have a running battle with them at Titchmarsh, they are not supposed to use our slip, you may have noticed the signs at the lock saying it's a private club, most ignore this then claim they didn't know/see the signs.

It doesn't help the EA won't fix the landing stage so when you have boats on the 48 hour mooring, they take the path of least resistance and use our slip.

 

It is a very regular occurrence :)

Rather put up a sign why not just welcome them? A bit of friendly mingling might encourage one or two to try boating; a big 'keep off' sign won't.

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