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Narrowboat living

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Narrowboat living

Old 13th Jun 2013, 22:44
  #61 (permalink)  

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My neighbour's parents had that happen to their brand new narrow boat on the day of its supposed handover/maiden voyage. They had just retired and sold their house to buy their "dream" boat to live on.

The builder had omitted to weld the bottom seam of a freshwater tank then stuck a hose in the filler and left it to fill up. When they came back to the boat it was full to the gunwhales and sitting on the bottom of the marina.

I think a more common way to sink a narrow boat in a lock is to let it rest too near the lock gates, resting on a sill when descending, so it tips up as the water is drained out.
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Old 13th Jun 2013, 23:08
  #62 (permalink)  
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500N - The story to go with that pic is in today's Times, it happened at a lock in Manchester. Nearly as shy torque surmised, but the reverse situation, it was the classic mistake of getting the end of the boat trapped under a lip of the gates when the lock was filling. The bloke, who has lived on the boat for five years had to pay 500 to hire pumps to pump it out, as the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service refused to attend as it was "not an emergency situation". Wonder if they refuse to pump folks' houses out in the event of a flood?

Too busy filling in their overtime sheets and compensation forms I should imagine

Last edited by Tankertrashnav; 13th Jun 2013 at 23:12.
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Old 13th Jun 2013, 23:15
  #63 (permalink)  
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Have spent many a weekend around the locks
(catching swans and geese as part of a study)
so can well imagine how it could occur.
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Old 13th Jun 2013, 23:26
  #64 (permalink)  
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It is important to keep an eye on what's happening. Nothing new, though - read Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three men in a Boat'.
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Old 14th Jun 2013, 10:02
  #65 (permalink)  
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Sorry, just got up. What TTN said.......The Times, yesterday. It seemed relevant to the thread.
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Old 14th Jun 2013, 11:54
  #66 (permalink)  
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read Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three men in a Boat'.


Still the funniest book ever written.....
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Old 14th Jun 2013, 13:30
  #67 (permalink)  
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Did a trip up and down the Oxford canal in 2011 - simply superb.

There were riots going on across the UK that Summer, but for us the world slowed right down to about 2 mph. Sent our two boys on ahead to get the locks ready and wife walked most of the way, picking raspberrys, leaving me as Master & Commander. Biggest concern of the day were reaching the evening pub in time. Loved every minute of it.

Would I live on a narrowboat though? Not in the English climate!
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Old 19th Jun 2013, 19:08
  #68 (permalink)  
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Wednesday 19 June 2013

Thanks Capot for the snap of the sunk narrowboat and ShyTorque for your recollections! "Water Ingress" is one of those things you are or should be always alert to. As is fire.

Right now er340790's last comment regarding English weather is weighing on my mind. A front page headline in The Times today read "Official: it never rains but it pours", with the first sentence reading "Sun lovers look away now: Britain, it seems, may be doomed to a decade of dull, wet summers."

Not that the weather has been BAD bad. For much of the last three weeks we've had what I consider perfect, a sunny sky with scattered clouds. But months and months of the sort of weather we've had this last week would, I know, dampen the ardour.

Some things about England, though, are priceless. Mrs B's daughter's MIA/LHR ticket was bought three months ago so we planned to be at Reading by the previous evening and take the bus to meet her 10:00 arrival, then get the bus back to Reading to be at the boat by 12:00 and push off to redeliver my brother and sister-in-law to their car at Goring in time for them to make a dinner engagement in Cambridge that evening. I would never ever think of scheduling anything so tightly in Sao Paulo. But it all went like clockwork.

We're now moored on the towpath just above Iffley Lock, south of Oxford. Very quiet except for the lawnmower at the pub upstream, and the smell of mown grass in the air. Cyclists and runners on the towpath and all manner of oared boats swish by, turning at the lock and heading upstream again. Now it's a Zodiac with an electric motor passing by. Mrs B and daughter decided to walk the mile and a bit to the town centre. And they're back as I write so, off to admire the purchases....
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Old 20th Jun 2013, 00:05
  #69 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the updates broadreach

A small note to anyone thinking of a life afloat on the bigger, blue, wobbly thing as opposed to canals (from one who has lived aboard on both) - never make time critical plans.

Last edited by Fox3WheresMyBanana; 20th Jun 2013 at 00:07.
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Old 20th Jun 2013, 18:13
  #70 (permalink)  
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Hi Broadreach
Sorry I seemed to have missed a lot of your planning and the associated decisions but it's good to read that you are, or were happy on the Thames in your hired N/boat.
Missed your correspondence as we too are out and about in our boat and at present are moored for the night a little outside Chester.

I am sure it would be teaching you and Mrs B to suck eggs but don't forget that whilst the Thames is a delight the true canal system is out there and of course is a little less, in fact a lot less intimidating in poor weather conditions than the Thames.

We are 25 days into our summer run about and Mrs Upgently is becoming fitter by the day having worked her way through 208 locks without a murmur, I lie just a tad but she is working well.

Enjoy yourselves and I hope that at the end of your canal/river experience you will be better placed to make a decision on the future.
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Old 20th Jun 2013, 22:27
  #71 (permalink)  
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Plumbing valves

I've been boating for over 20 years and have had my own 59' NB for the last three...and I'm still trying to figure out what plumbing valves I would have to muck about with that would result in the sinking of the boat. Mike-wsm I'm not sure what you're referring to there mate!

Broadreach - glad you're enjoying it. Our boat spends much of its time in a marina as its a pied-a-terre for me during the week. Light years better than living it of suitcases in crappy hotel rooms! That said, we are looking forward to our second boating holiday of the year...this time we will turn right when we get to the Severn....
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Old 20th Jun 2013, 22:51
  #72 (permalink)  
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Thursday 20 June

Fox3 entirely agree re time-critical plans! The magic last Sunday was buses and aircraft being on time.

Time sensitivity also has sometimes to bow to others, e.g. the olefactory type. Discovered last night that we required a pump-out: nearest stations Abingdon, a day astern, or Eynsham Lock, eight miles up the Thames from Iffley Lock. There and back, plus a walk into Eynsham for shopping at the CoOp and a sandwich lunch put paid to today's plans for the Ashmolean and Oxford Moma but, so what, there's tomorrow and the days after. So now we're moored in front of The Punter and grateful to have found both - the mooring and the pub. The sun finally made its appearance around 19:30, as per recent custom.

Upgently, thanks and no worries, we're on the egg-sucking learning curve all the time, every day. And you are where we'd like to be were it not for all the visiting friends and relatives. And good on Madame upgently; Mrs B likewise is uncomplaining, and well she might be after over a week of all these sissy locks on the Thames and being chatted up by the lockkeepers; one south of Abingdon spent some time in Brazil so it was a rather slow lock. If we do decide to buy a boat it will be in the northwest, not down south, and my last week of our holiday will be spent looking at boats and marinas up there. Agree re the Thames; occasional visits ok but not to stay.

I am itching to see some differently designed boats. The 58' we're on is well laid out for a week's outing for four to six people and it's provided the right taste of living in close quarters. For extended cruising, though, much more storage space and a more spacious, stretch-out sitting area needed. And a few more inches of headroom in the shower: trying to control the shower head in one hand and a new back-scratching shower brush in the other last night resulted in a god-awful clatter, step-daughter said it sounded as if the boat was being re-riveted. In the wobbly blue things I think Fox3's referring to we used to use salt-water shampoo all over, dive overboard for the first rinse and climb back on board for a final fresh water rinse. Not likely here!

Decision time still being pushed forward but I'm beginning to realise there's no problem in that. Everywhere we stop we peer into estate agent windows with their pretty pictures of spacious sitting rooms, king-size beds and real stand-up shower booths. But geographically static. So many of the small towns we've walked through for shopping or just gawking, seem deserted, like towns in a spaghetti western. Eynsham this morning the same, no movement in the streets other than a lady with a pram, a few builders and cars passing through; the small cafe we lunched at sported a picture on the wall of the proprietor alongside the PM - oh he lives nearby.

Edit: crossed with AF03's post re plumbing. Ecchh, pump-out's bad enough.

Last edited by broadreach; 20th Jun 2013 at 23:12.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 07:16
  #73 (permalink)  
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If there is no mooring space available, is it etiquette to tie up alongside another boat?
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 07:34
  #74 (permalink)  
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The reasonable approach is:
Ask first.
If not aboard and there's no "No mooring Alongside" sign, then yes.

Bear in mind.
Will your mooring position cause problems to other boats?
Have sufficient warps & fenders to do the job properly
Moor independently - not only does this enable the other boat to leave whenever they like, it means you are not relying on their warps/mooring skills.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 12:42
  #75 (permalink)  
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"No mooring Alongside" sign

Would that work in the supermarket car park?
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 13:59
  #76 (permalink)  
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well, you could try it, but car owners don't seem to have the same level of courtesy as boaties.
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Old 25th Jun 2013, 21:59
  #77 (permalink)  
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Mooring alongside another boat

Double banking = last ditch situation I think. You might expect to do that at boat rallies but not during normal cruising. Even less so if you're on a hire boat which would not normally come equipped with fenders (and on which many seasoned owners tend to look down on, sometimes with good reason!) And, as Fox3 says, ensure the inside boat can get away without too much fuss.

Tuesday 25 June and we're moored at Thrupp, alongside the Greene King Jolly Boatman, under new management since last week and all for the good. The four-week hire ends Friday; comparing our so far secret pro/con lists begins 2nd week July back in Brazil.
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Old 27th Jun 2013, 21:12
  #78 (permalink)  
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 00:51
  #79 (permalink)  
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The seven-week UK trip is over and we're back in Brazil. Four of those weeks were on a hired narrowboat on the Oxford Canal and the Thames. It was a marvelous holiday and a good test for longer term narrowboat living. Ms B and I have both made up our pro/con lists but will only compare later this week and post the results.
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Old 8th Jul 2013, 08:00
  #80 (permalink)  
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I've enjoyed this thread and just wanted to add something. I realise this is about narrow boat living in the UK of which I have no experience, however, I've done extensive cruising in France both in Brittany and last year further South on the Canal du Midi down near the Camargue. Have you considered mainland Europe as that really opens up your horizons? Facilities are very good and you could follow the good weather according to season. I could spend years exploring Europe by narrow boat, just think how many of the world's greatest cities straddle navigable waterways. There is a tremendous choice of craft and I've seen some beautiful conversions from industrial barges for example. The Germans and Dutch seem to lead in this genre.
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