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Bike on a cruiser deck?

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31 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

the limitless horror of dealing with a malfunctioning pump out tank, for example-

Easily solved - DON'T HAVE ONE !!!!!!!!!

 

Would you keep 100's of litres of excrement under the bed if you lived in a house ?

No - then why do it in your 'mobile house' ?

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10 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Easily solved - DON'T HAVE ONE !!!!!!!!!

 

Would you keep 100's of litres of excrement under the bed if you lived in a house ?

No - then why do it in your 'mobile house' ?

 

I've heard there are certain social circles wherein being suspended above 100 litres of human waste is considered a thrilling experience, and commands a high fee. 

Personally I've never seen the attraction, to say the very, very least. 

But wait- are we talking toilets here? 

Do we really want to reignite the Great Internet Toilet War of 2018 again?

 

(And is it true that if I say the word 'compost' three times and spin anticlockwise at midnight, will I really be devoured by demonic harpies?)

 

 

  • Horror 1

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7 hours ago, Goliath said:

A dog is a perfectly good reason to go for a walk and then pick up your car or bike. 

Years ago I bolted a catbox on to the rack of my ZR1100 and put my jack russell in it. 

I collected him by bike when he was a puppy, so he knew nowt else. Until he was 12 months he pretty much slept when travelling. When he was older he would bark like crazy at other motorbikes. 

You're not 'son of Ogri' are you?

  • Happy 1

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On 13/01/2019 at 09:39, Alan de Enfield said:

Irrespective of the weight (1/3 rd of a ton) I'm not sure you could even get 4 adults (comfortably) in an 'average' well deck. (and that's without wheels and handlebars sticking out all over the place) The water tank (1/2 ton) and gas cylinder lockers are often built into the 'front of the boat' so further reduce the 'length available'.

 

But then, I'm not sure there is anything such as an 'average narrowboat'.

 

Image result for narrowboat well deck

Not an average nb maybe, but there does seem to be an average well deck (using the mode definition of average) which looks much like in the pic there - that's about how much space mine has and it seems fairly typical for a standard nb based on those I looked at - that being the only one of your pics showing the sort of thing I saw for sale - I don't think I saw any like the other pics (I wasn't looking at wbs). 4 would be comfortable in mine, I think I could fit 6 at a squeeze (though I don't have a storage box at the front like that does). I haven't had enough adults on board in daytime to try yet, but I have had 2 adults, 2 kids up there along with a (non motorised) bike and a unicycle!

 

It certainly doesn't seem that weight ought to be an issue on that basis - my water tank is also under there, and that holds over 500kg of water.

On 13/01/2019 at 16:22, Tony1 said:

I initially shied away from hiring partly for financial reasons.

My twice monthly trips would mostly be for ad hoc jobs, as a way of earning some extra pocket money and to keep me at least occasionally busy (and I need to take some kit that wont fit on a bike). Each day's job would only pay about £150-200 anyway, and to lose maybe half of that for the van hire would be a right pain, and would probably make it not worth my while.

Except that hiring twice a month is cheaper than owning a car, so you should be avoiding owning a car for financial reasons! It's just that the costs of ownership are more hidden so you're not counting them directly against the work. Especially the case if a van is suitable - I checked the nearest obvious rental place to me and I can hire a small van all day tomorrow for £30. That doesn't seem such a huge chunk of the money, and it's way more convenient than either shuttling a car or having to travel to your brother's to pick it up. The only obvious benefit of what you propose is for your brother if he needs a car.

 

Edited by aracer

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Ta;ling from personal experience: A suzuki GN125 is short enough to fit on a purpose made rack off the stern of a boat. It goes through narrow locks without problems, including single handed, providing you take the precaution of removing the rear light assembly first. You have you be aboard when doing wide locks. The bike weighs around 105KG I think. You need to be careful when exiting locks, always be aware that you have a couple of (vulnerable) extra feet behind you.

 

Several years doing this, no problems at all.

 

A few things:

 

The bike can do 70 but it's pushing it, any slight hill or wind has it bogging down, a downward gear change and thrashing it being the only way to maintain speed. You can use it on motorways, I have, but feel much more comfortable selecting an alternative route using A roads. Much less stressful.

 

This system suits a cruiser deck with a squarish back better than a trad. You might need to alter/ remove some of the guard rails on the cruiser deck for safe loading/ unloading.

 

Wouldn't recommend storing the bike on the rack. It's vulnerable, I get hit by other boats fairly regularly. Better to moor where the towpath is wide, put the bike on its side stand virtually touching the boat. Thick chain through the piling then the bike frame, then cover over it. No problems with thieves, very few with CRT because while it may technically be against the regulations it's not an obstruction other than to a pedant.      

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Thanks WC! Good bit of info there. Looking online, my Duke is only 3 inches longer but its about 45kg heavier, so might be possible with a bit of extra reinforcement on the rack. Have you got a square back?

 

I saw that tug on apollo, Ronnie. Its not too bad, but I'm not keen on only having portholes (I'm too fussy!)

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On 13/01/2019 at 18:24, Tony1 said:

 

 

Plus without a woman to keep me civilised, there is every chance my living standards and behaviour could deteriorate to pre-Neanderthal levels. I fear a grim future awaits...

 

 

 

No not a grim future,you will find lots Neanderthals both male and female on the cut. So you will have plenty of company.

Forget the woman, My old dad used to say, (and I can still hear his voice now) "Partnership is the worst ship you will ever set sail on son"

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That 3 inches will make all the difference, unfortunately! The thing is, Although boats are wider at 6 foot 10, much of that difference is taken up when the boat swings in a lock. I arranged the rack so the front of the bike comes closer to the lock wall, it virtually touches it when the boat swings. No problem, because it's a rubber tyre. The back of the bike is more vulnerable, there's around 2 inches clearance. I still need to be careful, survey each lock for any uneven walls or anything sticking out.

 

I think the only way something 3 inches longer would work safely would be with a 'cafe racer' style bike where the rearmost part of the bike is the rear tyre. Or, maybe, a bike where it's not too much of a faff to remove the rear mudguard/ light unit etc.

 

Another possibility might be to fabricate a removable guard mounted to the cruiser deck handrail and/ or fabricated rack. Constructed from aluminium scaffold tubing and fittings to precise dimensions this could protect the bike when going through locks. Whether it would have the required strength, I don't know, I'm not an engineer, and might be too much of a faff to put up and take down put it is something I've given some thought to from time to time.    

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15 hours ago, aracer said:

 

Except that hiring twice a month is cheaper than owning a car, so you should be avoiding owning a car for financial reasons! It's just that the costs of ownership are more hidden so you're not counting them directly against the work. Especially the case if a van is suitable - I checked the nearest obvious rental place to me and I can hire a small van all day tomorrow for £30. That doesn't seem such a huge chunk of the money, and it's way more convenient than either shuttling a car or having to travel to your brother's to pick it up. The only obvious benefit of what you propose is for your brother if he needs a car.

 

Whats become clear since this thread started is that my whole mindset will change when I finally move aboard. 

For one thing I will no longer be working full time, but I've still assumed I will always need to own a car or van- and its becoming clear that that's not necessarily true.

I will always want to have some sort of motor transport, partly because public transport is so awful- but on most occasions it is only myself that needs to move about. 

The number of times each month that I need to move bulky stuff about with me will be the decider. If it ends up being just twice a month, then owning a van makes no sense, and I might as well hire when needed.

At the moment the availability of work post retirement, and my willingness to travel to where it is, are both not 100% clear, so I will need to keep options open. 

But I do take your point, and I have dismissed the notion that a car or van is going to be essential. 

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2 minutes ago, Mad Harold said:

My old dad used to say, (and I can still hear his voice now) "Partnership is the worst ship you will ever set sail on son"

Try not hear that voice too much Harold - I'd think we'd have heard of your dad had he been a truly great philosopher! ;)

 

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WC, that is really helpful info and advice, but like VB, I have to say it be would great to find a way of getting a slightly longer bike on the stern. 

There are some fairly light 125s on the market that have 15hp, which whilst not powerful is enough to keep the bike at 70-80 despite headwinds etc, so that motorways become less stressful.

But the most likely thing for me will be a 250 or 400, because If I'm taking along any baggage for a long visit with family, most 125s will struggle. 

The Duke is a great combination of power and relatively light weight, but if possible I want something a but more retro.

My ideal choice would be the Moto Guzzi V7 or Ducati Scrambler, but at over 750cc and 190kg, I am worried that it might be too much to manhandle along a muddy towpath.

 

On the storage question, do you think it would be feasible to commission a custom-made platform that would hold it not quite across the stern at a right angle, but slightly offset at an angle? That way it might be possible to fit a slightly longer bike on the stern.

How about a complete rework of the stern? I.e  remove the existing stern rails, and build out a platform from the existing stern, then fit rails on the outer edge?

I dont mind splurging a few hundred quid on a good, safe and convenient solution, but if it starts getting up towards a thousand, it looks less worthwhile.

 

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I could make a bracket that would make the tail tidy easy to pop on/off. As you can see, the rear wheel comes out much further than the 'body'. Removing the front wheel only takes a couple minutes, so maybe a combo of the two?

ktm-125-duke.jpg

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37 minutes ago, Tony1 said:

WC, that is really helpful info and advice, but like VB, I have to say it be would great to find a way of getting a slightly longer bike on the stern. 

There are some fairly light 125s on the market that have 15hp, which whilst not powerful is enough to keep the bike at 70-80 despite headwinds etc, so that motorways become less stressful.

But the most likely thing for me will be a 250 or 400, because If I'm taking along any baggage for a long visit with family, most 125s will struggle. 

The Duke is a great combination of power and relatively light weight, but if possible I want something a but more retro.

My ideal choice would be the Moto Guzzi V7 or Ducati Scrambler, but at over 750cc and 190kg, I am worried that it might be too much to manhandle along a muddy towpath.

 

On the storage question, do you think it would be feasible to commission a custom-made platform that would hold it not quite across the stern at a right angle, but slightly offset at an angle? That way it might be possible to fit a slightly longer bike on the stern.

How about a complete rework of the stern? I.e  remove the existing stern rails, and build out a platform from the existing stern, then fit rails on the outer edge?

I dont mind splurging a few hundred quid on a good, safe and convenient solution, but if it starts getting up towards a thousand, it looks less worthwhile.

 

Having looked at the picture that follows your post, I think you could be OK. How easy is it to remove the rear mudguard? You might be able to have the bike straight across, gain a bit more clearance by turning the handlebars to one side. My system has the bike dead straight, one of the front forks slips into a fork designed into the rack.

 

One thing to consider is the height of the rack above the waterline. Ideally you want to be loading the bike from a towpath that matches the height of the rack but of course, we don't live in an ideal world, these things vary. I've found that the average towpath is around 16 inches above the waterline. You don't want the rack too high as pushing that weight uphill on your own whilst controlling the bike, mud around, ice sometimes.... more so in your case, with the extra weight. There again, it's impossible to control a bike pushing it backwards uphill so having the rack too low is a big no no. Mine is set at 19 inches when the bike is loaded and I'm stood on the stern, 20 inches otherwise. 

  • Greenie 1

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1 minute ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

Having looked at the picture that follows your post, I think you could be OK. How easy is it to remove the rear mudguard? You might be able to have the bike straight across, gain a bit more clearance by turning the handlebars to one side. My system has the bike dead straight, one of the front forks slips into a fork designed into the rack.

 

One thing to consider is the height of the rack above the waterline. Ideally you want to be loading the bike from a towpath that matches the height of the rack but of course, we don't live in an ideal world, these things vary. I've found that the average towpath is around 16 inches above the waterline. You don't want the rack too high as pushing that weight uphill on your own whilst controlling the bike, mud around, ice sometimes.... more so in your case, with the extra weight. There again, it's impossible to control a bike pushing it backwards uphill so having the rack too low is a big no no. Mine is set at 19 inches when the bike is loaded and I'm stood on the stern, 20 inches otherwise. 

I can make it easy to remove. Nothing a spanner or an angle grinder couldn't fix, anyway. I'd just make it bolt on/off after that. Great idea having something for the fork slip into. I'll have to think about that once I have the boat and take some measurements. I thought about maybe fitting a small winch to help with loading/unloading in tricky areas. 

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The fork arrangement works quite well. My rack is built from 'u' section steel. I have some timber within it that's arranged so that when the bike's fork locates within the fork in the rack system the bike is facing slightly downhill, if that makes sense. It's then secure, I have my hands free to further secure the bike with straps.

 

I think in your case I would look at getting a steel plate perhaps 12 to 15 inches wide welded to the back of the boat at the height you choose. I'd then get probably 4 x 1" steel box sections welded at 45 degrees underneath for support. I'd design some kind of clamp system that can go round the upper part of one of your bike forks that enable the handlebars to be turned, and think about where you can fix the other end of this to your boat. Have a good think about which way you prefer to sit on your boat, as you will only be able to load your bike facing one way. Fabricate a ramp from 'u' section steel maybe around 2 feet long. This will need a round steel locator welding to one end, which will drop into a hole drilled in the steel plate welded to the boat. The locator will need a small hole drilling for a split pin. That should do it. Oh, you might want to extend the existing fender.

 

Check the steel dimensions though, I'm no engineer!           

  • Greenie 1

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Some excellent advice there, thank you WC! I don't suppose you have any photos of your setup, do you? I think its tough for me to figure it out exactly until I actually have a boat to work with (which should be soonish, at least). Does your bike sit below the tiller or further back? 

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