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starman

We've got to Llangollen in our 3ft draught tug

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I know it's been done before and I'm not posting to boast about our efforts but just to reassure those who are anxious about the ridiculous  21" draught limits suggested in the guides.

We had no serious problems - a lot of bridge holes are silty, the tunnels and Chirk aqueduct slow but it was all perfectly doable. 

The only caveat if you are 30" plus is to check the levels - these can vary by several inches. They were an inch or two above normal for us. The horse boat operator at Llangollen has the best local knowledge. 

But for most people - just do it is my advice. 

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36 minutes ago, starman said:

I know it's been done before and I'm not posting to boast about our efforts but just to reassure those who are anxious about the ridiculous  21" draught limits suggested in the guides.

We had no serious problems - a lot of bridge holes are silty, the tunnels and Chirk aqueduct slow but it was all perfectly doable. 

The only caveat if you are 30" plus is to check the levels - these can vary by several inches. They were an inch or two above normal for us. The horse boat operator at Llangollen has the best local knowledge. 

But for most people - just do it is my advice. 

We did it at 32.5" static, but it was a struggle on some of the narrows bits where the canal bed is solid rock. We ground to a halt a few times despite creeping on tickover to avoid locally lowering the water level. Having been stationary for a while in neutral, perhaps the boat blocked the flow enough to raise the water level slightly but anyway we could start moving again. Mostly though, it was fine, just a bit of bumping the bottom in some bridge holes and struggling to pass opposite direction boats.

I don't think I'd have liked an extra 3.5" but as you suggest, perhaps the level was a bit higher for you. Certainly the 21" is BS.

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1 hour ago, starman said:

We had no serious problems - a lot of bridge holes are silty, the tunnels and Chirk aqueduct slow but it was all perfectly doable.

The tunnels are pretty slow at 2 foot...

But glad you made it up... and coming back down you'll just stem the flow up behind you and then fly through the tunnels (we certainly found that when we were coming downstream).

 

 

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13 hours ago, starman said:

We have yet to get back of course!!

You'll be OK the wind & tide, will be behind you on the way back ( The current is a big help. I have no idea how much the Welsh cut has changed since I hotel boated with a full length pair in the late 60's early 70's my motor needed around 3ft 4ins of water to float Slow going against the current but we did it 3 times a season for 5 years Less traffic in those days ,  odd pounds we had to fit the 2"x 2"strips on the bywash run off to bring the water level up a bit

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We used to go up a lot, being based at Chirk, but that was before they made the basin and one spring the winter rains had silted up the last bit to the winding hole, so we failed to reach it.  Being 70ft reversing down to the previous turning point took some time, as it is well over a mile.   Certainly upstream through the tunnels was usually the slowest part and had to be done on tickover,   I removed quite a lot of the ballast bricks fitted by SMH to make things easier.

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Went up to Trevor with the butty 2 weeks ago, and did the last bit motor only, and are now on the way back up again 'cause i'm a bit daft like that.

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2 minutes ago, paddy r said:

Went up to Trevor with the butty 2 weeks ago, and did the last bit motor only, and are now on the way back up again 'cause i'm a bit daft like that.

We got some good advice from you at Whitchurch during the boat rally if you recall. 

The trip hasn't been as hard as we feared but I wouldn't fancy doing it as regularly as you - some of those silted up bridge holes are hard going. 

Hope to to see you on the return trip. 

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2 minutes ago, starman said:

We got some good advice from you at Whitchurch during the boat rally if you recall. 

The trip hasn't been as hard as we feared but I wouldn't fancy doing it as regularly as you - some of those silted up bridge holes are hard going. 

Hope to to see you on the return trip. 

Glad you did it,and enjoyed it!Hope you had Breakfast up the top makes it all worth while. See you on the way.

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8 minutes ago, paddy r said:

Hope you had Breakfast up the top makes it all worth while. 

???

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On 08/09/2017 at 18:23, nicknorman said:

I don't think I'd have liked an extra 3.5" < dare I put snip here? >

Wow!

You big boy you. Or are you boasting again Nick?

Who says size doesn't matter?

:D

Edited by Victor Vectis

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26 minutes ago, paddy r said:

In the cafe run by the trip boat.

 

First thing we did when we arrived - and a brilliant breakfast it was too!

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On 08/09/2017 at 19:10, starman said:

We have yet to get back of course!!

Plenty of water. Sue needed a step ladder to get back on the boat at Press junction. Level was 2 inches below the top.

 

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Only problem up here is the Sunday rush hour traffic in and out of Llangollen. We left at 7 and were the head of a line - facing another line coming in once we'd crossed the Ponty. 

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49 minutes ago, starman said:

Only problem up here is the Sunday rush hour traffic in and out of Llangollen. We left at 7 and were the head of a line - facing another line coming in once we'd crossed the Ponty. 

Even at this time of year?

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We are currently 6 deep waiting to go down the Hurlston locks. Not sure why yet too far back in the queue.

 

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A couple of years ago we arrived at Grindley Brook second Saturday in September (or was it Sunday?) and had to wait 3.5 hours to go up. Lockie said that was always the busiest day of the year, schools back so everyone comes out thinking it will be quiet!

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Friday when we arrived the Llangollen basin was half empty; by last night virtually every slot there and up the towpath was full. Several 'party boats' - 'French' with berets, striped tops and onions; 'Mexicans' and 'Bavarians' (the girls in a nice line of white stockings and blowing trumpets). A boat of Aussies too with inflatable crocs and snakes - and a great pile of empty tinnies and bottles on deck this morning. 

All good fun and all of them pretty well behaved (in public anyway!)

You don't get that up Tardebigge :-)

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Contrary to popular view, the journey back is so far proving a lot worse than the journey there! All went fine until after the English side of Chirk Aqueduct and then we went comprehensively aground exiting Bridge 19W (Poachers Pocket). We had to be pulled through from the bank – the usable channel is very narrow and was partially blocked  by a boat on the visitor moorings.

That set the tone - a lot of passing traffic put us off course 2-3 times and left us poling out of bridge exits before we stopped at Maestermyn. This morning we were comprehensively stuffed again exiting Bridge 3W and we took 20 mins of poling and pulling to get ourselves through; bridge 68 wasn't a lot better. Finally tried to moor on the VMs opposite the water points at Ellesmere and found myself stuck two feet off the edge. Now in the Arm, tired and damp. At none of these spots were we seriously stuck going up.

Yes, the boat does follow the channel if left to track its own route but the channel sometimes barely exists and a foot off line sees you stuck. (That's even with us using a boat draught marked shaft as a depth sounder).

I think the levels may be a couple of inches down and that's clearly made a lot of difference.

Bring on the dredgers.

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We've been to the Basin and back twice this year, once a couple of weeks before the school hols (took daughter out of school as she'd done SATs and they were not teaching them anything just endless PE and quizzes/films, still got fined £120 though :() and then again in the last week of school hols.

The first trip was way busier with far more moving and moored boats and a very strong flow heading upstream, only 3 + dog onboard. No lock delays though.
Second trip way quieter than we were lead to believe it would be but majority of boats were hires (lots of South Africans & Germans), flow seemed a lot weaker and levels lower, 5 + dog onboard.

Biggest holdups were the return leg to Overwater first at New Marton and then at Hurleston on the Friday. We were lucky with timing at Grindley Brook, it was just starting to get busy as we got out of the staircase onto the lower locks.

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On 9/9/2017 at 22:04, paddy r said:

Went up to Trevor with the butty 2 weeks ago, and did the last bit motor only, and are now on the way back up again 'cause i'm a bit daft like that.

Shouldn't have quite as much "Hassle" with a "Dustbin pair"they were built shallower & narrower " Dustbin" is not a dorogertry term its all they were ever referred to in the working days either "Northwich" or "Pimblott "dustbins due to their light build & wrinkles between the knees/frames.

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12 hours ago, starman said:

Contrary to popular view, the journey back is so far proving a lot worse than the journey there! All went fine until after the English side of Chirk Aqueduct and then we went comprehensively aground exiting Bridge 19W (Poachers Pocket). We had to be pulled through from the bank – the usable channel is very narrow and was partially blocked  by a boat on the visitor moorings.

That set the tone - a lot of passing traffic put us off course 2-3 times and left us poling out of bridge exits before we stopped at Maestermyn. This morning we were comprehensively stuffed again exiting Bridge 3W and we took 20 mins of poling and pulling to get ourselves through; bridge 68 wasn't a lot better. Finally tried to moor on the VMs opposite the water points at Ellesmere and found myself stuck two feet off the edge. Now in the Arm, tired and damp. At none of these spots were we seriously stuck going up.

Yes, the boat does follow the channel if left to track its own route but the channel sometimes barely exists and a foot off line sees you stuck. (That's even with us using a boat draught marked shaft as a depth sounder).

I think the levels may be a couple of inches down and that's clearly made a lot of difference.

Bring on the dredgers.

I was up there during the winter and just below the Jack Mitten apart from the edge the canal bed is just about flat as the water was clear and I sounded it with a pole, a tad over 3 feeet

 

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