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How restricted are you with a 70 ft narrowboat?
I have been told that when the canals were first built most of the boats were about 70 ft long.
Thursday,19 March, 2015
7:53 pm
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Colin Ashby
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We are looking at all the options but had been told not to go over 58 ft as anything over that size would mean being restricted to where you can go. However, I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day who said that in “the olden days” , most of the boats bringing in goods were 70 ft long and they managed the locks fine.

What are the disadvantages of having a boat of this length?

Friday,20 March, 2015
6:36 am
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Southam, Warwickshire
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You won’t be able to navigate on a few of the northern canals because of the length. If you buy the Waterways World annual you’ll get am excellent free waterways network map. It’s a really useful tool to help plan your watery exploits. All of the canals with short locks are marked on it but all of the lock dimensions are also listed on Jim Shead’s web site here.

Possibly more of an issue than navigational restrictions  maintenance costs and navigational difficulties. The longer your boat, the more you will pay for hull and cabin painting, mooring fees and heating.

By navigational difficulties, I mean handling the boat at junctions, bends, marina entrances etc, finding a long enough space on popular visitor moorings, and turning your boat at winding holes. Many winding holes marked as suitable for 70′ boats would be very tight indeed.

The benefit of having more living space may be more important to you than the issues I have raised. Each to his or her own, but at least now you know.

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Friday,20 March, 2015
8:37 pm
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Colin Ashby
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Thanks Paul,

Food for thought.

Looking forward to meeting you in June!!!

Tuesday,24 March, 2015
12:58 am
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This is a map of the canal system:

 

JyiJCkZ.pngImage Enlarger

 

This is a map of all the places you can go in a 70′ x 6’10” boat:

 

wa6jqeG.pngImage Enlarger

 

The key is:

 

  • red – unnavigable (or difficult to navigate)
  • blue – river
  • black – no dimensions known, assumed broad and long
  • dark teal – broad canal
  • light teal/cyan – narrow canal

The data is scraped from Jim Shead’s site, with some errors corrected and some junctions munged so that the canal system is continuous (the software can be used to plan routes given rules like “I’m in a 55′ narrowboat, starting at Nantwich, wanting to get to Bristol, avoiding BCN and the Severn” or “Get me from Bath to Birmingham by the route with the fewest locks”, so junctions where waterways meet need to be at single, consistent points). The background map is copyright Ordnance Survey. The software which generates these maps might one day get released, but right now is very difficult to use.

 

(I’m afraid that may be a little difficult to follow — the forum and I disagree with how everything should be laid out, and I’m afraid I’m losing)

Tuesday,24 March, 2015
1:22 am
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Southam, Warwickshire
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Thanks for a great resource John, but is there any chance of uploading larger images? I can’t see any detail in the post above.

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Tuesday,24 March, 2015
9:17 am
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Paul Smith said

Thanks for a great resource John, but is there any chance of uploading larger images? I can’t see any detail in the post above.

Yes, but I need to get larger map images from an old disk first which I won’t be able to do a few days a i’m away with work right now.

(I assume you are aware that the tinny images are thumbnails and you get something slightly larger if you click on them? Still not great, of course)

Tuesday,24 March, 2015
10:46 am
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Yes, I’m aware that they’re only thumbnails, but the full sized images aren’t much bigger. They’re no good for someone of my advanced age and deteriorated eyesight. I can only just tell that there are any images in the post at all!

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