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Considerate Cruising
Some thoughts.
Wednesday,12 June, 2013
3:41 pm
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Some random thoughts whilst musing at the tiller.

Slow down when passing other boats. Perceived speeding past moored boats is probably the biggest complaint on the internet forums and when boaters get talking to each other. Speed is quite subjective and similar boats with different engines and prop sizes will travel at different speeds at tick-over. However, many boaters don’t even bother to slow to tick-over and, if they do, they leave it to the last minute. But it is speed through the water that causes the moored boat to move about so you need to slow some 2 boat lengths before you get to the moored boat. And, of course, the depth of water also makes a difference, so on the Thames or the Aire & Calder, there is not really any need to slow very much, but on the Stratford or the Ashby there is.

Tie up properly. One of the reasons boats move around so much when moored is that they are not tied up properly in the first place. If your mooring ropes are at 90to the boat and bank then your boat will move. If your lines are drawn back from the bow and forward from the stern then your boat will move. The proper way is to have your bow line run forward and your stern line running backwards. All you now need is for CRT to put the rings or bollards the correct distance apart.

Early Morning Starts. Each to their own. Years of waking at 6.30am and getting up for work means I am quite happy to stay in bed until 7 or 8am now. But I understand that others like to be up and off early. That’s fine as long as they remember that that moored boat in front might contain someone still in bed and asleep. I like to wake naturally, not being jerked awake by the boat being dragged forward and back by a passing boat. So, in the earlier hours, go even slower past moored boats.

Boating is not a race. We’ve all got to that point when having decided to untie and move, another boat comes around the corner. It’s not really the done thing to hastily untie and move off in front of them just to get to the next lock first. Wait for them to pass then gently follow them. That way, when you do get to the lock you can have a nice conversation rather than looking daggers at each other.

Go even slower past boats that are not securely tied. This brings me to when you come around that corner to find a boat just untying in front. Go past as slow as you can. The chances are that it is only being held on a centre rope at that point and you going past will cause his, or her, boat to move back and forwards. Too fast and they won’t be able to hold it.

Don’t be too quick to open the bottom paddles. You’ve entered the lock from above and another boat arrives below. He may decide to hover or he may decide to tie onto the landing. Make sure you know what his intentions are before you open those bottom paddles and send 100,000 gallons of water rushing towards him. Waiting a few minutes is no big deal.

Lock Etiquette 1. If it is your boat in the lock, you can do what you like. If it is not then don’t do anything until asked. I know you only want to help but opening the top paddles too quickly or too much at Etruria or Wardle Locks (other locks are available) will cause the boat to thrash about uncontrollably. I know from experience, I lost my mother-in-laws best tea service like that!

Lock Etiquette 2. You’ve arrived at the lock and it is occupied. Don’t just stand there. Go and offer to help. Have a chat. You might learn something. They might learn something.

Lock Etiquette 3. In long lock flights, go forward and have a look at what is happening. Try and meet an oncoming boat in the easiest pound. Don’t be too quick to empty/refill the lock for your boat. There might be another boat halfway up or down the next lock. Don’t end up in the position of having more than two boats in any one pound.

Lock Etiquette 4. You moored on the lock landing, or hovered outside, whilst waiting your turn. There is no need to be in hurry to get in the lock. Allow the other boater time to get out before you start moving. The poor man is trying to get out, he can’t turn too soon because his back end is still in the lock, and he is confronted by your bow pushing across where he has to go. So wait and receive a friendly wave as he passes.

Boat Poles. Never, ever put the end of your boat pole against someone elses boat. Not etiquette but don’t have the end of the pole in your stomach. They do break sometimes1

Engine Noise. It is not something you get told, except by some angry boater who is fed up with the noise, but the BW/CRT Bye-Laws forbid the running of boat engines or generators whilst moored during the hours of 8 pm and 8 am, when in the company of other boats or near housing. 

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Wednesday,12 June, 2013
4:32 pm
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Nice post pearly

I am sure most know this already but it never does any harm to refresh the old grey matter, and to those like me itching to get afloat seeing some of the basics written down help cement them into the memory banks ( well until the next pint of ale dislodges it :) )

Wednesday,12 June, 2013
5:28 pm
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It’s such a good post, I’ve pinned it. If you think anything’s missing, please add to it. If you’re new to boating, please read it.

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Wednesday,3 July, 2013
1:13 am
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One more for me….

 

Slow right down on blind bends. It’s amazing how fast 3 knts is when you are about to hit another NB !!

 

We ‘met’ someone recently on a very tight bend on the Droitwich. Both of us were admiring the view and not each other. Fully stopped in time as we were slow on approach but 20 tons takes a lot of reverse!!

 

We both had a laugh… but it reminded me of the need to watch ahead :)

Monday,4 November, 2013
4:39 pm
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A good post. Lots of good sense.

 

As one who is often found on the tow path with my two youngest boys, and still planning my own future afloat, can I add;

Do be friendly to the “Gongoozlers”  you meet at locks! (I read the dictionary of terms! Love it…only us Brits could come up with such a nonsensical but descriptive word!)

My boys love to help work the locks (granted age appropriate tasks and parents present) it does wonders for boaters PR, saves your back and in my case “Train up a child in the way he shall go and when you get your own boat you wont need to depart from it [in the locks]!” (From the Gospel according to St.Lyon! Laugh).

 

Paul B Shows posted a good tip from personal experience. Perhaps we could have a topic like the CAA Airmiss reports. No names no pack drill, but if a “friend” shares his “foobah!” (from “F***** Up But All Right”) that he survived we could all learn from it!

“Never give up, never leave anyone behind!”

“Life is NOT a dress rehearsal !”

” I am NOT a 'civilian'…I am ex-military!”

“Once I was , young, handsome and immortal ! These days… I think immortality is overrated!”

 

Monday,4 November, 2013
8:58 pm
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Hi St.Lyon

We could have badges?

“Love a Goongoozler”

“No throwing Gongoolers in the cut”

“A Gongoozler is not just for Christmas”Laugh

 

No doubt I will have some faux pas to post in a few weeks’ time.

“New boat owner reverses 50miles up the Grand Union after taking a wrong turn!”

“New boat owner spends Christmas stuck in his first lock”

 

Good luck hope you find a boat.

Monday,24 February, 2014
11:27 am
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Friday,26 October, 2012
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I found a nice little website about considerate boating, called, um…Considerate Boater. Has a great little canal ‘map’. When you click on it it gives the boating etiquette for that situation. Thoughtfully written, a great point of reference for new boaters and old hands alike.
http://www.considerateboater.com/how.htm

Baddie the Pirate – (travelling light)
http://www.baddiethepirate.co.uk

Tuesday,25 February, 2014
11:44 am
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great advice Pearly for a novice like me who is still in the process of moving aboard to lead a new life in retirement I love reading all posts on the site in anticipation of being a contributor very soon.Kiss 

Wednesday,26 February, 2014
12:36 pm
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“Boat Poles. Never, ever put the end of your boat pole against someone elses boat”

What about when the wind has caught you and despite good intentions, you know you are going to whack another boat no matter what you do with the engine/tiller.  Happened once to me when turning in a marina when I misjudged the wind speed – I used the boat pole.  I have also fended off another boat (under poor control) which was definitely going to hit me.

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Wednesday,26 February, 2014
2:07 pm
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Alan

If the wind is going to take you against another boat then if the two hulls hit, no damage is done. If you use your pole against the other boat, where do you put the end? Against the hull below the gunnels in which case the angle means you run a risk of the pole breaking or slipping down. Or against the upper works? I know that angular bit caused by the gu nnels and the upper works looks inviting but with the paint job of most boats costing look over £1000 do you want to pay for repairing any damage. And one slip will cause damage.

Whilst I don’t go along with the line put out by lots of hire firms and other boaters that boating is a contact sport, the fact is that 2 boats hitting each other glancing blows is very unlikely to cause any damage other than a scrape to your blacking.

 Regards

Pete

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Wednesday,26 February, 2014
5:18 pm
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Fair point, Pete and I have no objection to a “glancing” blow.  I cannot remember exactly where I placed the pole.  In the marina it would not have been a glancing blow as I was going sideways and could have caused objects inside their boat (and mine) to fall and break.  The boat about to hit me was a hire boat with a completely clueless crew who did not speak English.  I surely have a right to use reasonable force to defend my property – I wonder what the insurance co’s would make of it.

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Friday,5 September, 2014
9:22 am
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Would just like to add to pearley’s OP the following especially as I’m a single hander:

Lock Etiquette 5. Always check if another boat is coming the other way before shutting lock gates behind you even if this means peering around a nearby bend. Very frustrating despite the kindly wave from the passing boat if they have just shut them especially if you have had the forethought to leave your gates open for them within a flight. Lets face it, its a win win situation for both parties.

Regards – Richard –
Ecky Thump

Tuesday,20 January, 2015
2:55 pm
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Would like to add an extra tip based on previous experience.

If traveling towards a pedestrian bridge and you spot 3 teenagers dropping what appears to be an old engine block in the canal, just before you arrive at that spot and crunch, scrape and judder over it, please be sure to have someone else with you to remind you that it’s socially unacceptable to kill people. ;)

Thursday,14 January, 2016
5:30 am
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A very informative post Pearley. I know to slow down when passing boats, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded, and some of the other stuff although common sense got me thinking “oh yeah, of course”. Definitely a post to keep. Laugh

Friday,15 January, 2016
7:34 pm
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Excellent post P. 

I take pride in slowing right down past moored boats knowing how irritating it can be when somebody doesn’t.

I watch the moored boat’s ropes for movement, and am happy if there’s none and I’m barely moving the water. Of course depth of water and available space make a difference, but it hardly takes any longer than thrashing past and annoying people.

Saturday,16 January, 2016
5:50 am
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Hi Pearly

Only just read this post don’t know how  I missed it as a subject close to my heart.

The only issue I would raise is with point 2 Tie up properly.

As an ex yachtie I have always been taught and when I used to teach, that the correct way to tie up is to use what are known as spring lines as well as breast ropes.  Spring lines run alongside the boat ie the forward one runs back and the stern one runs forward and then have a fore and aft breast rope not at 90 degrees but take slightly forward for the bow line and slightly aft for the stern line say at 30 degrees or thereabouts.

This is a very secure way of tying up to prevent surging and yet still allow for any change in water level.  Certainly it is the technique I use if I can and it ensures a very quiet and peaceful night whatever speed a passing boat is travelling at.  To do this I had to add a couple of T cleats one on each side towards the bow, now they could be a slight trip hazard but they makes it far easier to tie up the bow.

The one thing not said is never use a centre rope to secure a boat other than temporarily, a sure way to get a boat rocked and if it is tight, violently rocked if any deep draft boat goes past in a canal no matter what speed they are doing.  I have recently seen some suggesting the use of centre ropes again, oh well if they want a rocky night and like to abuse others, have crockery broken, it is their pleasure.  Mind you I think I was only abused once this last year and I was not going fast.

Of course in all this it is important to have the right selection of mooring devices to enable a secure attachment of the mooring rope as rarely are their CRT rings and if there are their spacing is never designed for your boats length.  So, I carry spare lines so can lengthen a line if needed.  As well as spikes, chains, armco hooks, and we have some screw in anchors that work very well in softer banks.  Maybe some would say overkill, but we have something that will work securely almost everywhere.

As most have no doubt done, have had to stop and drag an abandoned, well, boat with nobody on board, back to the side to get past when one of their mooring pins have pulled out.  Mooring pins just do not work in the many softer banks we seem to have now days or where CRT in their wisdom have widened/repaired the tow path without putting in Armco or properly compacting the fill.

No matter what, with the number of moored boats and the number of hire boats people will go past faster than they should and some don’t even attempt to slow down in their rush to the next pub.

John

Saturday,16 January, 2016
10:55 am
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Hi John. I didn’t mention springs only because I didn’t want to confuse people. As you say, not all boats have the necessary ropes and/or bollards/cleats too be able to use springs. I do use them some times but not that often and when I do it is often just at the stern. We are at present in Birmingham with deepish water so not even the ‘Away to Dine’ trip boat worries us but but if I was on the Llangollen we would be tied up more securely.

I never use a centre line other than for controlling the boat or a quick tieup at a lock. However, it always seems to arouse such emotions amongst boaters on other forums which is probably why I didn’t mention them either.

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

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