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nickhindle

Help with cruise alternatives please

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Hi everyone,

Being the new and proud owner of a boat, I am looking at the alternatives for getting the boat to my mooring in the East Anglian river network.

Transport is costly, especially as the boatyard where the boat is currently at wants to charge £500 to crane the boat out onto a lorry.

I checked on canalplan.eu for a route to sail her, and it suggested going west along the Trent and Mersey to the Coventry and Oxford canals before heading east along the Grand Union to the mouth of the Nene.

Looking at the waterways map, it seems a fair bit shorter to head east to the river Soar / Grand Union then south past Leicester down to the Nene.

Is there any reason I shouldn't go for the shorter route?

Thanks in advance!

Nick

Edited by nickhindle

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2 hours ago, nickhindle said:

Transport is costly, especially as the boatyard where the boat is currently at wants to charge £500 to crane the boat out onto a lorry.

 

From this, may we surmise you have a widebeam?

If not, they are monumentally taking the pish.

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman

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Assuming a narrow beam the suggested route on canal plan will be the one with the least locks, going via Leicester is a lot more locks. In Canal Plan you will see an Other Routes option at the bottom of the page which then shows you the alternatives.  5 miles and 33 more locks going via Leicester

If you have bought a wide beam then neither route is viable.

Edited by Rob-M

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Thank you all for your comments so far - the boat is a standard beam (6' 10")

Edited by nickhindle

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Some routes might look shorter but as said have more locks, lift bridges etc that hold up your passage, so canal plan find the fastest route for you.

Neil

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7 hours ago, Rob-M said:

Assuming a narrow beam the suggested route on canal plan will be the one with the least locks, going via Leicester is a lot more locks. In Canal Plan you will see an Other Routes option at the bottom of the page which then shows you the alternatives.  5 miles and 33 more locks going via Leicester

Canalplan finds the quickest route, based on the default speeds and lock timings. Click on the Preferences tab to vary these defaults, or you can specify one or more 'via' points to force it to use a particular route. 

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6 hours ago, nickhindle said:

Thank you all for your comments so far - the boat is a standard beam (6' 10")

 

Ok good. 

£300 is the typical 'going rate' to crane a boat off a lorry into the water, or vice versa. Some places charge considerably less.

I've never heard of a charge as high as £500 until your post, which is why I wondered if this was a widebeam. 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
To add a bit.

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Take a couple of days and cruise down to Newark, Its normally about £160-£200 for a NB lift out and drop onto a truck.

Saves you a 'couple of hundred £s' if you have time - guess it depends on how you value your time.

Phone if you want a quote :

http://www.newark-marina.co.uk/marina-services/hoist/

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Nick,

As has been said, canalplan will tend to suggest the route that takes the least time to do, allowing for a realistic amount of time per lock or per mile.

It's a bit of a trip if you don't have much boating experience, but look at it this way; it's fun to do, no craning and transport costs, and you'll learn about your boat on the way, and feel like a veteran by the time you arrive. Assuming of course that you have the time to do it yourself, although it doesn't have to be all in one go. People have been known to do long boat moves one weekend at a time, though that does involve a lot of travelling back and forth!

If you feel you need help, either for all of the trip or maybe just at first while you find your feet, just ask on here. There are several of us who regularly turn out, either for the odd day or longer, and are happy to help if fed and watered. I might be up for doing the whole trip if it fits with my schedule.

Peter

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As peter said its all good experience, I once bought a 32 foot dawn craft in Wolverhampton and cruised down to the river ouse via Denver sea lock, took us 7 days cruising long days but great fun, when I worked out road transport v diesel and time off work for 4 of us it worked out cheaper by road but not half as much fun so go for it and take peters kind offer up if you need help.

Neil

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Thanks all for your great suggestions and offer of support - it certainly feels like I'm joining a very friendly and welcoming community!

Sailing her back does feel like it would be a great adventure, and a way to get to know the boat well.

As soon as the survey is done I'll decide what works best and update this thread / contact folks.

Cheers!

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If you've got the time then sail it home, we bought a boat from Mercia some years ago and cruised up to Skipton, had a great time

Dave

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The route via the Soar is interesting. The locks up to Foxton are broad and can be heavy to operate - narrow locks are easier if you are single handing. Going via Fradley, Fazeley, Hawkesbury, Braunston, Gayton there are more narrow locks than broad. There are also long lock free sections to practise steering on. Above all relax and enjoy the journey.

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We bought our boat from Middlewich, Cheshire and came down over last summer to Stratford upon Avon. Like you we thought about shifting her on a lorry and we had NO experience at all but everyone was so friendly and helpful we soon got the hang of it. I am so glad we did that journey. :-)  Good luck with it and enjoy.

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I wonder whether when you said "the mouth of the Nene" you meant the point in Northampton where the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union meets the Nene?

The mouth where the Nene empties into the Wash may not be a great place to keep a narrow boat, if you don't mind me asking, whereabouts is the mooring you're going to?

It would take about 6 days of 7 hours boating each to get to Northampton from Mercia Marina, but other approaches are possible. Some people with time on their hands just potter along a few hours a day, others who maybe can't get a lot of time off work for it put in more hours. If you get up before dawn each day in June when there's plenty of daylight and have enthusiastic crew who'll do the same, it's quite possible to move for 12 hours a day. Three years ago I did that same trip as crew for two experienced boaters in three and a bit days.

Anyway, please let us know how you get along with your plans; first you'll be wanting to make sure the boat works. If you want crew, the first half of June looks like a good time for me.

 

 

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The Nene Middle Level and Ouse are interesting waterways, the Nene is spectacular (but don't tell anyone). My favourite waterpoint is below.  If  you do decide to go by water then come back for advice, there are a couple of extra things you need to know about (river alerts, keys for the locks, etc, nothing major).

 

dscf3472.jpg?w=584&h=438

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8 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

My favourite waterpoint is below.

Mines the Kings head at Wadenhoe:)

 

2016-06-08 18.33.06-1.jpg

Edited by rusty69

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Thanks Peter for pointing out that the mouth of the Nene is in fact the scary end that goes into the sea!

My final destination is the River Lark in Cambs. I am planning to head for Oundle Marina initially, who will clean and black the hull, before heading out to the Lark.

Thanks Scholar - sounds like I need a few pointers for my trip up / down the Nene.

 

Cheers all!

 

  • Greenie 1

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On 30/04/2018 at 07:24, nickhindle said:

After a longer than expected wait for a surveyor (busy time of year for these guys) and the paperwork etc. I'm finally on my way and *really* enjoying it with the help of a willing son. I'm a few days from the Nene, and @Simon - you suggested I check back here for advice as I have never been on this river.

 

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Good stuff. A few thoughts

 

* unless you have a gold licence you will need an EA licence. I think you can buy at Northampton    marina. 

* You need a special key (Abloy) to unlock the control cabinets at the locks. Ditto Northampton,  and Gayton.

* friends of the river Nene (on Facebook) run some nice moorings.  Only £10 I think

* worth contacting EA to subscribe to strong stream alerts.  If there's a lot of rain river can flood quite quickly. 

* here's a good guide. Pearsons have also just published one. 

 

http://noproblem.org.uk/blog/nene/

 

Edited by Scholar Gypsy

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My suggestion would be to go the Coventry/N Oxford route, it is all canals and narrow locks so will let you get used to the boat in easy going.  Then at Braunston you will switch to wide locks, and then you will get all the river experience you want on the Nene.

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Thanks Gents.

 

I'm on the Coventry at the moment and will move to the grand union at Braunston at the weekend, so looking forward to experiencing double locks!

 

I got an EA licence as my home mooring will be in EA waters, and got a 1 month CRT licence to cover me from Mercia to the Nene, so I think (hope!) I'm covered there. I ordered a lock key for the Nene when I applied for the EA license which should arrive soon but I wasn't aware I need a different key for the middle levels, so thanks for the link to FOTRN where it tells me where to get one :)

 

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