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philjw

single handing on the non tidal Trent

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Just looking at doing a trip up to Lincoln in June this year. It looks like I would be on my own for much of the trip so are there any particular difficulties in single handing the non tidal section of the Trent?  It's about 25 years since I've travelled the Trent but that was with a second crew member.  No issues on that journey.  I don't do a lot of single handing but have been down to Oxford, to Warwick via Hatton and plenty of the Grand Junction solo.

I think it would be essential to have a decent lifejacket for the trip so could I have recommendations for a good one please.

 

Phil

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The only issue you might have with single handing the boat through the Trent locks is if it is busy and the lockie on duty insists you secure both ends of the boat rather then just using the centre line.

It may seem like a pain but it is for everyone's safety.

We have seen what happens when someone decides they know better. Luckily not too much damage sustained in this instance :rolleyes:

DSC_0826.jpg

Also don't be tempted to just moor with the centreline on lock landings below the locks. The flow of water will tilt your boat over. Took one chap three locks to figure this out :banghead: Dread to think what mess his cabin was in with the angle it was tilted at!

As for life jackets. Get a proper one not just a flotation device and most importantly wear it.

We currently use these:

http://www.yachtingsolutions.co.uk/seago-olympic-plus-180n-navy.ir?cName=safety-life-jackets

which we find more comfortable to wear then our old ones which were these:

https://www.force4.co.uk/seago-classic-190-lifejacket-manual.html

 

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It's very easy as most of the big locks are manned. Make sure your ropes are long enough to reach the bollards or runners and back to you .

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10 minutes ago, philjw said:

Just looking at doing a trip up to Lincoln in June this year. It looks like I would be on my own for much of the trip so are there any particular difficulties in single handing the non tidal section of the Trent?  It's about 25 years since I've travelled the Trent but that was with a second crew member.  No issues on that journey.  I don't do a lot of single handing but have been down to Oxford, to Warwick via Hatton and plenty of the Grand Junction solo.

I think it would be essential to have a decent lifejacket for the trip so could I have recommendations for a good one please.

 

Phil

Biggest problem is if you intend to cruise 'outside working hours' when there are no lockies in attendance.

Single handed operation of the locks is not easy (well operating the lock is because you just have to press a button) managing to secure the boat climb up and down the walls and watching the boat thrash about and there is not much you can do is a little worrying.

It can be done but personally - travel between about 9:00am and 4:00pm

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To reach Lincoln you'll have about 4hrs of tidal Trent from Cromwell Lock to Torksey. Have single handed this without problems. Further to what Naughty Cal says, when locking up try to have your boat towards the rear of the chamber, away from the strong currents by the top gates and a centre line will be fine.

Jen

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Also make sure you have checked and re checked your boat ,oil ,water, belts, impellor if it has one etc ... also make sure your engine is happy to work continuously at a higher speed .... I was moored at sawley and shardlow for many years and out on the Trent all the time both the Tidal and non Tidal , the biggest difference with the canal is , if something goes wrong there are few places to moor and the flow will take you back the way you came and without power you have little steerage.

Rick 

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Just now, dccruiser said:

......the flow will take you back the way you came and without power you have little steerage.

Not if you are heading from Nottingham to Lincoln it won't.

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Thanks all for the replies so far.  I will of course make sure that the engine is in as good state as it can be. It doesn't tend to overheat - it was fine on the Severn last year - but it does like to eat drive belts.
I generally keep the anchor in the fore end. I'm wondering if it would make sense to bring it back to the (cruiser) stern to make it easier to deploy .  The issue then would be what to fix it to. The upstands for the rail around the stern would be the simplest but would that be strong enough?  It is tube welded to plate.  Next easiest would be a shackle around the deck drain channel.

1 hour ago, matty40s said:

Make sure your ropes are long enough to reach the bollards or runners and back to you .

Do all the locks have drop wires now or are there some that only have bollards on the lockside?

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4 minutes ago, philjw said:

Thanks all for the replies so far.  I will of course make sure that the engine is in as good state as it can be. It doesn't tend to overheat - it was fine on the Severn last year - but it does like to eat drive belts.
I generally keep the anchor in the fore end. I'm wondering if it would make sense to bring it back to the (cruiser) stern to make it easier to deploy .  The issue then would be what to fix it to. The upstands for the rail around the stern would be the simplest but would that be strong enough?  It is tube welded to plate.  Next easiest would be a shackle around the deck drain channel.

Do all the locks have drop wires now or are there some that only have bollards on the lockside?

All the locks from Holme to Cromwell have the wires in the wall.

It matters not which end your anchor is attached for the stretch from Cromwell to Torksey as if your engine stops you will most likely hit a bank or shoal before you have deployed it from the stern and expected it to swing around into the tide assuming it sets and holds.

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8 minutes ago, philjw said:

Thanks all for the replies so far.  I will of course make sure that the engine is in as good state as it can be. It doesn't tend to overheat - it was fine on the Severn last year - but it does like to eat drive belts.
I generally keep the anchor in the fore end. I'm wondering if it would make sense to bring it back to the (cruiser) stern to make it easier to deploy .  The issue then would be what to fix it to. The upstands for the rail around the stern would be the simplest but would that be strong enough?  It is tube welded to plate.  Next easiest would be a shackle around the deck drain channel.

Do all the locks have drop wires now or are there some that only have bollards on the lockside?

Keep the anchor attached at the front and keep the rope along the roof channel with anchor by you. This way you end up facing upstream when it catches.

I think all have drop wires. 

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9 minutes ago, philjw said:

I'm wondering if it would make sense to bring it back to the (cruiser) stern to make it easier to deploy

Must admit to keeping ours at the stern when we went on the Trent and Severn.

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1 minute ago, matty40s said:

Keep the anchor attached at the front and keep the rope along the roof channel with anchor by you. This way you end up facing upstream when it catches.

That's the correct way to do it.

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32 minutes ago, philjw said:

Thanks all for the replies so far.  I will of course make sure that the engine is in as good state as it can be. It doesn't tend to overheat - it was fine on the Severn last year - but it does like to eat drive belts.
 

If its a regular thing take the belt or belts off and try cleaning up the pulleys ... i had a BMC in a previous boat that did the same, once i sanded the edges of the pulleys and cleaned them of the detrious left by previous belts i never had a problem again but i always carry 2 spares as a matter of course.

Rick

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Lots of people are put off by that stretch but would like to learn it( myself included having an old deep boat with an old engine). Im sure if you adverise for crew someone will come along. After all its the best way to learn. I did it once on wooden motor walton but having broken my scafoid starting her my memories are impacted by painkillers....

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9 hours ago, philjw said:

 

I think it would be essential to have a decent lifejacket for the trip so could I have recommendations for a good one please.

 

Phil

 I don't think it is necessary to spend  a fortune on lifejacket  for inland waters use .

More expensive may mean more comfortable - but  you will presumably not be wearing it when on the canals.

I suggest an automatic lifejacket  with a crutch strap ,something like this .............

http://www.lifejackets.co.uk/products/34/dwr-harness-automatic-lifejacket-150n-with-crutch-strap

 

The Trent requires respect but the nontidal section is not hazardous . Do not cut the corners .  I have seen a  few narrowboat skippers caught out by unexpected power of the flow - be aware of that.  There is a a chart available for the non tidal river  if you feel it would add comfort.

For the tidal section the chart is essential - while under way we still have it open now after 10 year s experience .

http://www.kildalemarine.co.uk/search?keyword=trent+chart

A vhf radio is strongly recommended - I would not be without it . However you can use  a mobile phone to call the lock keepers .

Do not attempt to self operate the non tidal locks while single handed. Non tidal lock keepers should be on from Good Friday .

 

.

 

.

 

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8 hours ago, MartynG said:

I don't think it is necessary to spend  a fortune on lifejacket  for inland waters use .

More expensive may mean more comfortable - but  you will presumably not be wearing it when on the canals.

I suggest an automatic lifejacket  with a crutch strap ,something like this .............

http://www.lifejackets.co.uk/products/34/dwr-harness-automatic-lifejacket-150n-with-crutch-strap

Sound advice I'd say. A 150n is quite adequate for the waters likely to be encountered in a Narrowboat, but note that a crutch strap is essential to prevent the jacket riding up around your ears where it's virtually useless, so do ensure you get one with that fitting.  Go for a reputable manufacturer, which are not usually much more expensive - the one above is 50 quid and there are many around that price point which would suit, so there's your ballpark price.

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At £50 the lifejacket in my earlier post is the same price I paid ten years ago so must be good value. 

 

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Just now, MartynG said:

At £50 the lifejacket in my earlier post is the same price I paid ten years ago so must be good value. 

 

The Seago Classic ones I linked too in my first post are actually cheaper then we paid 10 years ago!

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We bought some seago life jackets approx 10 years ago, but didn't realise until a couple of years later that there had been a recall notice on them. Glad we didn't need to use them in anger. 

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3 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

We bought some seago life jackets approx 10 years ago, but didn't realise until a couple of years later that there had been a recall notice on them. Glad we didn't need to use them in anger. 

Life jackets don't help you when you're angry Rusty - that's a job for tranquillizers. Or perhaps you should try the calming influence of a pet duck?  Try to stay calm - the Doctor will be along shortly... 

  • Haha 3

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10 hours ago, MartynG said:

There is a a chart available for the non tidal river 

Thanks for the lifejacket recommendation. I appreciate that it is neccesary to use the crotch strap. This style of vest looks far superior to the jackets provided by the hire company when we did the Caledonian last year and as such I would be less likely to take it off at the first opportunity.

I have the chart book from my previous trip back in the early 90s.  I suppose the shoals could have moved about a bit in the interim.

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17 minutes ago, philjw said:

 

I have the chart book from my previous trip back in the early 90s.  I suppose the shoals could have moved about a bit in the interim.

The non tidal is no different. The present tidal chart is better than the old version.

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