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jimxtc

Best place to find someone up for an adventure?

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Can anyone please advise me of the best place / forum / publication / venue to find a travelling companion to undertake a narrowboat adventure around the UK for an extended period of time?  Someone with a boat would be good but I am willing to buy one myself.  I can crew but not able to skipper.  It has been a long held dream of mine to tour on a narrowboat and I want to make it happen!  I am a 62yo man retired with no commitments.

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May I ask what prevents you from being the skipper? 

 

If you are capable of crewing, which is a much more physically demanding task, you should be able to do the easy bit. 

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4 hours ago, jimxtc said:

 I am a 62yo man retired with no commitments.

5a11742a1e98a_Marilyn(small).thumb.jpg.3

 

???

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Just now, TheBiscuits said:

May I ask what prevents you from being the skipper? 

 

If you are capable of crewing, which is a much more physically demanding task, you should be able to do the easy bit. 

Easy for some but I only have partial sight and cannot see distance.  Not may boaters would be happy to see me holding the tiller and heading their way, although I am sure I would be more capable that some holiday baotaers!

2 minutes ago, RLWP said:

5a11742a1e98a_Marilyn(small).thumb.jpg.3

 

???

No commitments as in retired, no partner, no pets, nothing to stop me from going off for months at a time.

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5 minutes ago, RLWP said:

You have an interesting style for a 62 year old man. Nice dress

Thanks very much, I like my style and have a whole wardrobe of dresses but I dress in 'drab' (male clothes) most of the time.

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If you can't see very well then being either skipper or crew would be potentially tricky.  What you are looking to be is a passenger.  Good luck with your search but I'll be surprised if you find anyone.  Most people in your situation take a weeks holiday on a hotel narrowboat.

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11 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

If you can't see very well then being either skipper or crew would be potentially tricky.  What you are looking to be is a passenger.  Good luck with your search but I'll be surprised if you find anyone.  Most people in your situation take a weeks holiday on a hotel narrowboat.

Thank you for your good wishes, most people in my position are not as tenacious as I am!  If I can ride a motorcycle trials bike in competition both here and in Europe (albeit badly!) then I am sure I can crew on a boat.  I have done it before on a couple of narrowboat holidays and last year on a cruiser on the Great Ouse.  I recently sat in on the RYA Helmsman course where I paid for a couple of friends to be trained so I know I can do it.  The two skippers I have in reserve don't have the free time to go on a long trip unfortunately.  I am sure there is someone out there who would welcome the chance for an adventure but don't have their own boat - I just don't know where to look to find them, hence my post!

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24 minutes ago, jimxtc said:

Thank you for your good wishes, most people in my position are not as tenacious as I am!  If I can ride a motorcycle trials bike in competition both here and in Europe (albeit badly!) then I am sure I can crew on a boat.  I have done it before on a couple of narrowboat holidays and last year on a cruiser on the Great Ouse.  I recently sat in on the RYA Helmsman course where I paid for a couple of friends to be trained so I know I can do it.  The two skippers I have in reserve don't have the free time to go on a long trip unfortunately.  I am sure there is someone out there who would welcome the chance for an adventure but don't have their own boat - I just don't know where to look to find them, hence my post!

If your eyesight is good enough to ride a motorcycle,then I would think it good enough for a 4mph canalboat.I think you are being commendably cautious about boating,and think that you only need someone with better eyesight than you to be your lookout.Suggest you place an ad in your local paper for a travelling companion,[with or without benefits☺️]  Best of luck.

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3 hours ago, jimxtc said:

Thanks very much, I like my style and have a whole wardrobe of dresses but I dress in 'drab' (male clothes) most of the time.

Great response. If you have the bottle to wear a dress ( or not ) then you will certainly be able to Skipper a canal boat :cheers:

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2 hours ago, Furness said:

If your eyesight is good enough to ride a motorcycle,then I would think it good enough for a 4mph canalboat.I think you are being commendably cautious about boating,and think that you only need someone with better eyesight than you to be your lookout.Suggest you place an ad in your local paper for a travelling companion,[with or without benefits☺️]  Best of luck.

My sight is just about good enough to ride an off-road trials bike at 4 mph (it is a sport of control and balance not speed) but a trials bike is only 7' long and you steer from the middle.  I don't some how think you would be happy seeing me holding my white cane stood 60' from my prow and heading for your boat!  I have tried the local papers and Gumtree for travelling companions for foreign holidays and I have had some interesting offers but very few seem to involve travel!  With or without benefits are optional ;-)

2 hours ago, Furness said:

If your eyesight is good enough to ride a motorcycle,then I would think it good enough for a 4mph canalboat.I think you are being commendably cautious about boating,and think that you only need someone with better eyesight than you to be your lookout.Suggest you place an ad in your local paper for a travelling companion,[with or without benefits☺️]  Best of luck.

 

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2 hours ago, Furness said:

If your eyesight is good enough to ride a motorcycle,then I would think it good enough for a 4mph canalboat.I think you are being commendably cautious about boating,and think that you only need someone with better eyesight than you to be your lookout.Suggest you place an ad in your local paper for a travelling companion,[with or without benefits☺️]  Best of luck.

The other difference between riding a trials bike and skippering a narrowboat is that on a bike you don't have 25 tons of steel boat coming at you also doing 4 mph!

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15 minutes ago, jimxtc said:

My sight is just about good enough to ride an off-road trials bike at 4 mph (it is a sport of control and balance not speed) but a trials bike is only 7' long and you steer from the middle.  I don't some how think you would be happy seeing me holding my white cane stood 60' from my prow and heading for your boat!  I have tried the local papers and Gumtree for travelling companions for foreign holidays and I have had some interesting offers but very few seem to involve travel!  With or without benefits are optional ?

 

So you are concerned about your ability to see over a 60ft boat but not with with your ability to see the detail of what is happening the other end of a 72 ft. or much longer (150ft?) canal locks.

 

Naturally its you who knows your limitations but when it happens you need to tell at a glance that the boat is hanging up and act accordingly. Based on what you say I am far from sure I would be happy to let you operate locks with my boat inside.

 

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7 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

So you are concerned about your ability to see over a 60ft boat but not with with your ability to see the detail of what is happening the other end of a 72 ft. or much longer (150ft?) canal locks.

 

Naturally its you who knows your limitations but when it happens you need to tell at a glance that the boat is hanging up and act accordingly. Based on what you say I am far from sure I would be happy to let you operate locks with my boat inside.

 

I understand what you say but would be directed by the skipper.  I won't offer to operate the locks for you!

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9 minutes ago, jimxtc said:

I understand what you say but would be directed by the skipper.  I won't offer to operate the locks for you!

 

So we are back to you not crewing but just going along for the ride. Canal boat crews are expected to operate the locks so you may do better to ask for someone to take you on holiday - or, as has been suggested, go on a hotel boat.

 

When locking it requires both the skipper and  crew to be very alert and know what is going on, not just on your boat but any others you are sharing a lock with.

 

As an example. Coming up a lock in Nottingham town centre and sharing with another boat I noticed the single hander we were sharing with had a riding turn on a bollard. This started to pull his boat over and if left would have jambed both boats and possibly sunk them. All I could see from my side was a slight increase of list. I had to run across the lock while yelling for the paddles to be dropped and luckily I was able to free the rope. You can do hundreds of locks without incident and then you get the one that presents real danger so in my view you need well functioning faculties.

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Good luck with your venture, I am sure at your age you've probably got a good idea what your limitations are and can talk about that with anyone offering to travel with you. ?

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4 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

So we are back to you not crewing but just going along for the ride. Canal boat crews are expected to operate the locks so you may do better to ask for someone to take you on holiday - or, as has been suggested, go on a hotel boat.

 

When locking it requires both the skipper and  crew to be very alert and know what is going on, not just on your boat but any others you are sharing a lock with.

 

As an example. Coming up a lock in Nottingham town centre and sharing with another boat I noticed the single hander we were sharing with had a riding turn on a bollard. This started to pull his boat over and if left would have jambed both boats and possibly sunk them. All I could see from my side was a slight increase of list. I had to run across the lock while yelling for the paddles to be dropped and luckily I was able to free the rope. You can do hundreds of locks without incident and then you get the one that presents real danger so in my view you need well functioning faculties.

Thank you for your advice and concern, I am sure you come across many inexperienced and probably incompetent boaters in your travels.

3 hours ago, Meanderingviking said:

Good luck with your venture, I am sure at your age you've probably got a good idea what your limitations are and can talk about that with anyone offering to travel with you. ?

Thank you, I am undeterred and will fulfil my dreams - where there is a will there is away!

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2 hours ago, jimxtc said:

Thank you for your advice and concern, I am sure you come across many inexperienced and probably incompetent boaters in your travels.

Thank you, I am undeterred and will fulfil my dreams - where there is a will there is away!

Don't be put off by the naysayers,there are many people with various disabilities who have fulfilled their dreams.

Douglas Bader with artificial legs was a WW2 fighter ace.

The blind girl who won a winter Olympic medal for speed ski-ing.

Blind Jack of Knaresborough the famous engineer.

John Askew paralysed waist down after falling from a horse and became a leading competition aerobatic pilot.

Beethoven became totally deaf and still wrote music that is often played today.

There is always a way,and those who say something can't be done are frequently interrupted by someone doing it.

The people I have named above [and there are many,many others] have overcome their disabilities to achieve their goal.They have shown what can be done,and where they lead,others can follow.

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33 minutes ago, Furness said:

Don't be put off by the naysayers,there are many people with various disabilities who have fulfilled their dreams.

Douglas Bader with artificial legs was a WW2 fighter ace.

The blind girl who won a winter Olympic medal for speed ski-ing.

Blind Jack of Knaresborough the famous engineer.

John Askew paralysed waist down after falling from a horse and became a leading competition aerobatic pilot.

Beethoven became totally deaf and still wrote music that is often played today.

There is always a way,and those who say something can't be done are frequently interrupted by someone doing it.

The people I have named above [and there are many,many others] have overcome their disabilities to achieve their goal.They have shown what can be done,and where they lead,others can follow.

Thank you for your words of encouragement Furness, if I were they type to lay down at the first hurdle I would not have been in full time employment all my life and now in the position to retire early and afford my own boat. You have listed many great examples to follow but I don't want to set he world alight - just to follow my dreams and enjoy the retirement I have earned.  I will achieve my goals by hook or by crook as I have done all my life.  I have an eye condition called Macular Degeneration which is the most common condition in the world and affects one in thirty people in the UK over the age of 50, unfortunately for me mine started at 19.  It is a nuisance but no more than that, I have no central vision and my most accurate vision is the same as yours out of the corner of your eye.  It does restrict me from some things (driving a car for instance) but I refuse to let it rule my life and hold me back.  We only get one life and it would be very easy to sit in a corner and say 'I can't do' but I am made of sterner stuff!  I have considered a number of options using a variety of visual aids to skipper my own boat but they are not practical and would not be sensibly safe so I have to settle for being crew in the same way as I have to settle for being passenger in my own sports car.  I am a competent mechanic (trained by Suzuki), chef, launderer, bottle washer and rope coiler even if I may not be able to handle multi-boat large locks, I can still do the smaller ones or be an effective crew member on my own boat if not on someone else's.

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Good on you, hope you find someone who you can assist. Im sure there are people who would jump at your assistance.

my best friend is registered blind from birth,.

has worked all his life in spite of being registered disabled . he cycled to work until last year ( now 60) as couldnt get licence.

owns his own home, bought from 40 years of manual labour, in spite of relentless bullying at work.

won the  national veterans age group in cycling time trials twice, in open class.

represented his country in disabled class

did triathalons.

once steered my boat solo from bottom of buckby to stoke bruerne following me on another boat.

 

he never bought a boat because of his fears over an accident or harming others because of his eyesight. He tried to describe his vision to me one day and the adaptations and compensations he made to get by every day were exhausting.

as you are aware its others perceptions of you that cause doubt , you simply maximise your potential like my friend.

 

unfortunately for you  i am firstly partnered up and secondly have too many commitments, to meet your requirements.

 

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Thank you Roland, like your friend I am also registered blind and have always worked despite the difficulties and obstacles presented by others.

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On 18/07/2018 at 14:04, Tony Brooks said:

So you are concerned about your ability to see over a 60ft boat but not with with your ability to see the detail of what is happening the other end of a 72 ft. or much longer (150ft?) canal locks.

 

Naturally its you who knows your limitations but when it happens you need to tell at a glance that the boat is hanging up and act accordingly. Based on what you say I am far from sure I would be happy to let you operate locks with my boat inside.

 

I suspect we have a case of macular degeneration which leaves the sufferer with a lack of central vision but their peripheral vision is fine and the sufferer will have over the years learnt to compensate and would be perfectly capable of using a lock.

Phil 

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