I’m afraid that there isn’t a huge amount in the newsletter this week. I’m sorry, but I’ve been busy on two different areas of the site.
Firstly, I’m on holiday at the moment, doing what I enjoy most of all; cruising aimlessly around the canal network without a care in the world. We’re currently moored about three miles away from Market Harborough on our way back to the Grand Union Leicester Line at Foxton locks.
A canal route planner will tell you that the journey from Napton Junction to Market Harborough takes about twenty hours. We’ve taken a week to get here, but we haven’t been in a hurry. We’ve stopped often along the way, usually on very peaceful moorings, eaten regularly and very well in village and canal-side pubs and generally just chilled out.
I’ve written about our trip so far here. I hope the account makes up for this week’s content poor newsletter, and I hope you’ll find this followup to last week’s announcement interesting too.
Last week I told you that for a while now I’ve been thinking of offering a new service to both potential and new narrowboat owners. I said that the intended service would be part helmsman course and part discovery day. I asked for feedback on the proposed service here. If you haven’t yet given me your feedback, there’s a very short form to complete. Filling it in will take you less than a minute and will still help me tremendously.
The response I’ve had so far has been phenomenal. I have received emails from over one hundred potential boat owners and several existing boat owners expressing an interest. I have decided to offer the service, starting within the next month.
The service will include…
Boat Function And Design
To comply with RYA safety guidelines for training carried out on traditional stern narrowboats, each training day will be limited to two singles or one couple. The day will begin at 8am and finish at 6pm. Helmsman training will take place on the Grand Union and Oxford canals where there are both wide and narrow locks. The discovery days will be on my boat, usually on our beautiful mooring at Calcutt Boats Meadows marina.
I’m setting the booking process up at the moment. Once that is done I’ll detail it in the newsletter. I will be running the discovery days around my current full time work commitments so the slots will be limited to one day each week. Given the number of people who have emailed me so far, the slots will go very quickly. If you are interested in the service, and you haven’t filled in the feedback form yet, please complete it now. Everyone who has completed the short survey will be notified as soon as the availability calendar is live. You can complete the survey here.
There are a wide variety of lock styles and operation, far too many of which I know very little. Once more I’ve turned to widely travelled continuous cruiser Peter Earley for the information I need. Here’s what he has to say about the different styles you’ll come across in your travels.
“I’ve always been interested in industrial archeology, especially railways and motor vehicles, but canals tick all the boxes for me. There are so many variations of lock gear across the country that it is almost possible to tell where you are just by looking at the paddle gear and other lock furniture.
First there are the lock gates. Narrow locks can have single gates at both ends such as at Walsall, making for hard work pushing those heavy bottom gates. Single gates at the top and double at the bottom or double gates at each end. Obviously, these are much lighter and, theoretically easier to push but, unless a bridge is provided, a lot of walking round is involved. Some locks, like many on the Oxford, are shallow enough to allow you to walk across the roof of the boat to access the other side but some boaters will jump across the gap between a closed and open gate. Something Jeannette has forbidden me to do. Other boaters say the steerer can pull the bottom gate closed with a boat hook on entering or exiting a lock, a trick I tried and failed. The working boatman used a strap or rope to pull the gate closed as the boat entered the lock and you still see locks on some canals with strapping posts, often with cast iron caps on them.
You will see steel gates as well as wooden with nasty, thin balance beams and some wide locks may have wooden gates but steel balance beams that, from a distance, look like wooden ones. Those on the GU are one piece but on the L & L they are made from two pieces of wood bolted one to the other give a nice, hefty appearance as befits a Northern canal.
But, it is really the paddle gear where the regional differences show. Even the names change across the country – paddles, sluices, slackers, cloughs – all names for the thing that lets the water in or out. We are all familiar with the rack and pinion gear but if British Waterways had had their way in the 80s these would have been consigned to history in favour of those horrible hydraulic gear you still see on some locks. I don’t know whose idea this was but I’m glad common sense prevailed in the end. But even that rack and pinion gear changes depending on the canal. The most common being the ones mounted to a cast iron frame but on the Southern part of the Grand Union they use a large wooden post and in other places a steel frame pleasingly curved such as the Rufford Arm or unashamedly utilitarian as on the Wigan flight.
And then there are the windlasses. You’ve probably got one of those double ended ones for the tapered spindle and the GU square but they are no good for the Middle Levels or Great Ouse. And if you visit the River Wey, that too requires a different one. A lot of Leeds and Liverpool boaters carry a special double ended windlass which is about 18 inches long and has two sets of eyes, one at the normal length and another at the end to give the necessary leverage required for their hefty gear.
Speaking of the Leeds & Liverpool, it has probably the greatest variety of gear. Ground paddles that are huge square boxes with a spindle stuck out of the top, sometimes with a handle permanently fitted and a chain to drop over it to stop it dropping. There are simple wooden sliding cloughs that are opened by grasping the handle and heaving it upwards. There is a gate paddle at Burnley operated by a long rack and pinion. This same lock has gates that are opened by winding a handle on the side of a big gearbox. This was necessitated by the adjacent road bridge being widened and encroaching on the lock, meaning conventional balance beams would be too long. This shortening of balance beams is not restricted to Burnley. There are several other locks where road widening takes scant account of the boats ability to open the lock gates. They may be cranked, have a chain and windlass or just be left shorter meaning you need to exert more effort to open them.
Having wound your paddle up, you need some means to keep it there. The most usual is the pawl and ratchet. Never lift these off when winding the paddle up. If you leave go of the windlass and the paddle drops it can cause you a nasty injury. When winding down, only lift them enough to clear so as to be able to drop it quickly if your windlass comes off. Of course, there are as many methods of keeping the paddle up as there is lock gear. Those massive ones on the Northern part of the GU have a shaped bit of steel hanging on a chain to drop over the square spindle though looking at the casing I suspect that when new they had a piece that slipped into place. If you’ve attempted the Rochdale 9 they too have a bit of steel dangling on a chain. This time however, you just jam it into the gear. They end up covered in grease so some now have a cable tie in an attempt to stop the grease getting onto your hands.
It is an unfortunate sign of out times that much lock gear is now fitted with the nicely named ‘water conservation locks’ known by most of us as anti-vandal locks. Mostly these use a square ended socket or handcuff key to unlock but some need the BW Watermate key. Which you find the chances are it will be stiff to use or broken. I find the handcuff key will often slip because the square has been worn away due to over-tightening by boaters although, having said that, the keys are a pretty loose fit even on new locks. Placing the end of the key on a mooring bollard and a few smart whacks with your lump hammer will usually flatten it enough to ensure a better fit.
I’ve missed a lot of variations out but I’m sure you will find it great fun finding them for yourselves.”
These bridges are a pain in the neck for solo boaters. The usual operation involves the helmsman dropping off a crew member on the towpath next to the bridge and waiting, whistling tunelessly and counting clouds, while the hard working crew crosses the bridge, discovers how it works by either trial and error or a set of written instructions pinned to the bridge, moves the bridge, waits for the helmsman to wake up and take the boat through to the far side of the bridge before lowering and then crossing the bridge to rejoin the boat.
Of course this method of operation doesn’t work if you are a lone boater.
An often effective solution is to simply wait for another boat to arrive and ask the crew to help with the operation. This option is less likely to work of course in the winter, in bad weather, early in the morning or late at night.
An alternative is to try to tie your boat up on the offside before the bridge, making sure that you are not going to obstruct it when it swings, raise or swing the bridge, pull the boat through the gap, tie the boat up again, replace the bridge then continue with your cruise.
A variation of this, and one which is guaranteed to produce a steady stream of boaters on an otherwise empty canal just at the time when you want them least, is to tie one end of the boat to a towpath bollard and the other to a point on the offside. Although it’s slightly more difficult to get on and off the boat on one side or the other because you’ll have to hop on or off your boat at the bow, you’re more likely to find a single point to tie your boat to on the offside rather than two points and a straight stretch of bank to moor against.
The downside is that there is a fair amount of messing around maneuvering the boat into position in the first place, getting off the boat to operate the bridge, getting back on to the boat to bring it through the gap and then going through the whole procedure again. The good news though is that you can get through on your own.
Please note that this won’t work with short boats and wide canals!
Each time I write a newsletter, I tick another subject off the list of things which those new to boating have told me that they want to read about. The hardest part of the process isn’t the writing itself, it’s constantly thinking of new content for each issue. The trouble is, I don’t know what you want to read. I think I keep the newsletters reasonably interesting but I don’t know for sure. That’s where I need your help.
Can you let me know what you would like to read in the future? Are there any areas of narrowboat life you don’t think I’ve covered enough or areas which I’ve missed completely? Please let me know what you want to read about. Thanks for your help.
I created the site just over three years ago to provide a source of information for anyone interested in narrowboats and the possibility of living on one full time. The site has grown to encompass a comprehensive listing of inland marinas in England and Wales, dozens of articles, a forum and regular newsletters. I’ve already created (below) indexes of the site articles and the more popular forum posts. I thought it was about time I created an easy to use index of the newsletter content. Here’s the index so far.
Boat handling – Swing and lift bridges
Single handed boating – Negotiating locks.
Single handed boating – Choosing the right type of boat for single handed cruising and equipment to make your solo journeys safer and more enjoyable.
How to avoid common narrowboat accidents. They happen far more often than you might think. Here’s what you need to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
If you want to live on your boat and don’t want to, or can’t, cruise full time, you must have a residential mooring. Here’s how to find one.
What makes a perfect live aboard narrowboat. Two experienced boaters discuss layout, size and essential equipment
A cautionary tale if you are considering buying a wide beam boat to live on.
A further update to the site content index.
The A -Z of everything narrowboat – With over 5,500 posts and pages on the site now, quickly finding exactly what you want can sometimes be a problem. For this newsletter I started creating and A-Z index of all the site content.
How do you continue to earn money to support your boating lifestyle as you cruise the network?
Sharing your narrowboat space – The practicalities of sharing living accommodation the same size as a large shed.
Paying for a narrowboat – What practical steps can you take to ensure you’ve established legal ownership and how do you deal with the transfer of monies between buyer and seller?
Narrowboat Knots – At my first lock on my first cruise I watched my boat drift into the centre of the canal along with my twelve year old son. If you want to avoid the same embarrassment and potential damage to both your boat and your self esteem, you need to know how to tie your boat securely in a number of different situations.
Toilets is a subject often discussed by narrowboat owners but they usually talk about either pump out or cassette toilets. There is a third type though and it’s one which is both environmentally friendly and cheap to run. Here’s all you need to know about composting toilets.
Boat owners who live on board are considered to have a pretty simple and basic life by many living in bricks and mortar homes. Compared with the lifestyle of the farmers I’ve been staying with in the Philippines though, my UK life seems overly materialistic and expensive. Cou
Here’s an account of my very first winter on board and that of one of the site’s subscribers, Nigel Buttery. They’re very different experiences. My first winter was the coldest on record. Nigel’s is one of the mildest winters we’ve had for a long time.
I’ve also included to links to my Philippines blog. I spent the whole of February living in a rural farming community on the island of Negros.
Have you ever wondered how a narowboat is built. Here are the first two parts of a very detailed account of the building of a Sea Otter aluminium narrowboat. You’ll be particularly interested in Sea Otters if you don’t fancy the constant battle with rust that you have with traditional steel narrowboats.
Condensation is something all boat owners have to deal with. Here’s an explanation of why it occurs and what to do about it. I also tested a remote boat monitoring application in this issue.
Cold floors, cold air above the floors and cold hull sides. It’s a combination which can cause your bottom half quite a bit of discomfort. Here’s what I do to deal with the problem.
Weil’s disease – It’s an often talked about and often feared aspect of living, working or playing close to inland waterways but just how dangerous is it and what can you do to keep yourself safe?
If you’re on a budget maybe a self fit our sailaway is the way to go for you. Here’s the story of a wide beam self fit out to give you inspiration (or put you off completely)
Planning for the year ahead – Written plans and goals have always been important to me. They help me see into the future. Here’s what we’ve planned for our lovely floating home in 2014.
The practicality of hosting Christmas afloat – How do you achieve a floating festive event (and do you really want to)?
Liveaboard case study, The Pearl – Tony and Jane Robinson believe in forward planning. They stated their narrowboat fund thirty years before buying their own boat. Now the two retired education workers moor in a marina for the winter then explore the waterways during the warmer months.
Narrowboat Storage Space – How much space is there to store your worldly goods on board a narrowboat? Here’s a video walk-through of my own boat James.
Roses and Castles Canal Art – What is it and why do boaters spend so much money decorating their boats with it?
Fitting secondary double glazing – Fitting the panels is a simple operation for those with the most basic DIY skills, something which I sadly haven’t developed. As you might expect then, the fitting didn’t go as well as it should.
Narrowboat videos – I launched the Living On A Narrowboat YouTube channel
Secondary double glazing for your boat – The pros and cons of double glazing on a boat and why secondary double glazing is a much better bet and a fraction of the cost.
Living on a narrowboat vidoes – My first hesitant steps into the world of video production for site content
Can you either live or holiday on a narrowboat if you have a disability? – Here’s what you need to know.
Winter fuel allowance – Do you qualify for one if you live on a boat?
Case Study – NB Progress. Kim Wainwright recorded her journey on the forum from nervous anticipation to current liveaboard boat owner. Here’s her story.
Narrowboat central heating – I don’t have any. All that is about to change. Here’s the system I’m going to install and why I’ve chosen it.
Narrowboat running costs – I compare my own running costs to those of a prominent YouTube video blogger and detail my exact costs for October 2013
Popular narrowboat terminology – Hundreds or words or phrases used to describe parts of boats and the waterways they cruise through.
The wind chill factor – How strong the wind is blowing and which direction it’s coming from can determine how difficult it is to heat your boat. Here’s what you need to know.
Case study – Another couple from down under living the dream on the inland waterways.
20th October 2013Condensation. It’s a common problem on boats. Here are a few suggestions how to keep your boat’s interior dry.
A new organisation for liveaboard boaters
On demand water heater problems – Discover a common fault with these water heaters and what you can do to resolve the problem.
Know your firewood – Not all timber burns well. Find out which is best and which to avoid.
Managing your boat’s water supply. You can use your water supply as and when you need it when you live in a house with all mod cons. You can pretty much do the same when you’re on a marina mooring with a water supply just a hose length away. It’s a different kettle of fish when you’re on an online mooring.
Liveaboard case study – A prime example of mooring without a water supply on tap.
The folly of using unseasoned wood as a fuel – Here’s essential information if you plan to use logs you find to heat your boat for free
Creating lasting memories of your cruises – Slightly off topic, but please bear with me. You’ll have some wonderful adventures as you travel throughout the network. They’ll be adventures worth remembering but will you remember them? I have a very poor memory but instant and total recall of all my cruises is just a click away.
A tragedy at Calcutt. Sudden Oak Dieback hits our 1,500 twenty year old oak trees
Forum private messaging – Now you can email other forum users from within the site
Managing your water supply
An American blogs about his travels
Solving engine room leaks – A simple solution to a dripping stern tube
All about the weed hatch – Removing debris from your propeller
A disaster – I inadvertently deleted this week’s newsletter and there wasn’t a backup on the server. What a shame. It was all about the damage you can do to your boat if you don’t watch what you’re doing in a lock. You would have loved it!
Effective fly killers for boats
The downside to living on a narrowboat
Liveaboard Case Study – American Richard Varnes has taken a year out from work to cruise the canal network and write about his adventure. Here’s his case study and a few stories from his journey so far.
CART Guide Approval – The waterways’ governing body is now promoting the information packages available from this site. Yippee!
Narrowboat Insurance – A summary of insurance quotes from the major narrowboat insurers
Liveaboard Case Study – Keith and Nicky downsized their property in Jersey, used the released capital to buy their 57? “go anywhere” narrowboat and now live on their boat full time while they continuously cruise the canal network. They’re ridiculously young to retire, and I’m very, very jealous
Downsizing from a 3 bed semi to a narrowboat – What do you do with a lifetime’s accumulated possessions?
A free download – Living On A Narrowboat: 101 Essential Narrowboat Articles
Narrowboat tips – Handy hints from experienced narrowboat owners
The cost of a continuous cruising lifestyle – How one liveaboard boater manages on a shoestring
The perfect narrowboat washing machine? – It’s low cost and doesn’t need plumbing in, but does it actually clean clothes?
The cost of a continuous cruising lifestyle – How much does living the life of a water gypsy really cost?
The cost of living on a narrowboat – An article in the Daily Mail… and why most boaters disagree with what they said.
Hire boat expectations – Fully understanding what facilities will be available to you is essential if you’re going to enjoy a narrowboat holiday. Here’s what not to do.
Fenland river cruising – Another boater’s maiden voyage to whet your appetite.
Anticipating winter weather – You may well be enjoying unusually warm winter weather but the winter will be with us all too soon. Now is the time that you need to plan for the cold weather ahead.
Keeping your stove glass clean – Maybe you think it’s an odd subject for the summer but you can’t trust the English weather. Late June and the stove was still on now and again. At least now I have a crystal clear view of the fire I shouldn’t need to light.
Traffic chaos caused by Braunston’s historic boat rally – On a day with high winds and a canal full of working boats returning home after the rally, I had the pleasure of taking some very nervous hirers out on the cut.
23rd June 2013 – The cost of a two week cruise. If you live on your own boat, what’s the real cost of taking it away for a two week break?
Case Study – Mary Anne swapped dry land home rental for floating home ownership. Now she loves life afloat and works from home.
Life as a continuous cruiser – The Holy Grail of narrowboat ownership. The ability to travel where and when you like. Peter Early tells all.
The Ashby canal cruise part two – We spent a bit more time on the Ashby before heading south again, joining the Coventry canal, this time following it into Coventry’s rather depressing and disappointing city centre, then retracing our steps back to Calcutt
Most popular narrowboat names – Here’s the definitive list of the top 200 most popular narrowboat names and a resource you can use to find out if any other boat has the same name as yours
Considerate boating – An article prompted after a near head on collision with another boat trying to avoid a fallen oak.
I was on holiday for the first two weeks of June. Sally and I cruised from Calcutt to Braunston, north along the north Oxford where we joined the Coventry canal briefly before taking a very sharp right turn onto the Ashby canal. Here’s a daily report of the first week of our holiday.
An encounter with two poorly prepared holiday boaters and my own impending two week cruise encouraged me to put together a pre cruise check list
Laptop hacking – An update on the problems I encountered after buying a brand new laptop which I suspect was tampered with before I bought it.
Diary of a new narrowboat owner – Frequent forum poster “Our Nige” finally moved on to his new floating home. Here’s his story
My comments about an encounter on the Oxford/GU section between Napton and Braunston sparked a debate about the pros and cons of wide beams on the cut.
Keeping dry – You don’t really need to limit your cruising to sunny summer days. There’s something very special about standing on the back deck in the pouring ran protected by a set of bomb proof waterproofs.
Do you really need a car? Living on a narrowboat is all about enjoying a simple and stress free life. Sally and I had a car each. Mine cost £2,000 to run in the previous 12 months so I decided to get rid of mine to see if I could manage without one.
An encounter with a wide beam boat and why they aren’t suitable for much of the canal network
An interview with the Trust’s head of boating. Sally Ash talks about the Trust’s approach to the thorny issue of residential moorings
Narrowboat fuel tanks – How much do they hold
Meet one of your legless canal side companions
The canal network’s largest floating hotel
Narrowboat blogs – My own first cruise, Our Nige takes his new home on its maiden voyage and a chance for you to have your very own blog section on this site.
The Trust target illegal moorers but just what does the Trust consider to an illegal mooring?
Identity theft – The ongoing saga of my hacked laptop
RCR engine servicing – River Canal Rescue (RCR) are well known as the waterways equivalent of the AA but did you know that they will also come to your mooring to service your boat?
The perils of exceeding your monthly broadband data allowance. Learn from my mistakes.
Narrowboat security – A spate of burglaries from boats and a break in at my former family home encouraged me to write this article
Case study – You need to committed to sell your home to fund the purchase of your narrowboat. That’s what Mick and Marlene have done.
Case study – Sarah lives on wide beam Antioch on the Leeds Liverpool canal. She can do man things with her hands. Here’s her story.
Be inspired – There are always reasons why you don’t make the move from bricks and mortar to steel and water. Here’s an anecdote which demonstrates once and for all that there really aren’t any worthwhile excuses.
Here’s an example of what happens when you really don’t understand how your narrowboat works.
Essential boating equipment – Here’s a low cost item which has paid for itself over and over again.
Whilton marina boat sales – Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be. This alleged fact about the boat sales at Whilton has come to me from several different sources.
Where can you find residential moorings? Here’s a great place to start
Getting rid of unwelcome visitors – Geese used to regularly disturb a peaceful night’s sleep where I moor. Not any more. Here’s my solution
Know your narrowboat costs – Detailed costs for my own boat for February 2013
Half a dozen boaters now have access to their own blog section on the site. You can too. Here’s how.
James’ upgrade – Adding solar panels and replacing carpets with oak effect laminate flooring
Stove fuel test – What works best; coal, wood, briquettes or something else entirely – Here’s my own take on a Waterways World test
Essential stove maintenance – Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your stove always performs well.
Internet connectivity – I use the internet four or more hours every day. This is the setup I have on my boat to make sure that I’m always connected.
Detailed running costs for my own boat for January 2013
The real cost of going cheap. An in depth look at the cost of my 36 year old boat, and how much I spent (and still need to spend) before it will be a comfortable full time cruising boat.
Case Studies – I put together 21 of the best case studies and analysed and summarised the data in this low cost guide. If you want ton save yourself hundreds of hours of research and costly mistakes, you need to read this guide.
Case Study – Mike’s circumstances are similar to my own. He moved onto his boat after a failed marriage. He’s upgraded from a 27? GRP cruiser to a 50? narrowboat
Narrowboat electrics part 2 – The concluding article from Tim Davis
I asked newsletter subscribers to send me detailed breakdowns of their bricks and mortar expenses so I could compare them with the cost of running a narrowboat. Quite a few subscribers obliged. I added the breakdowns to my narrowboat costs guide and the budgeting application.
Understanding narrowboat electrics – Another excellent article from Tim Davis
Satellite television for narrowboats – Information from a system installer
Low cost narrowboat ownership – A low cost solution to the problem of funding your first narrowboat
Solar power – All you need to know about installing solar panels on your boat. Written by the inland waterways most popular solar system installer
Case Study – Mr. Solar Panel Tim Davis writes about life on board his own narrowboat
First tests and reviews of the budgeting application
The best aerial for a narrowboat television
The first release of the new spreadsheet based narrowboat budgeting application
An unscheduled dip in the marina prompted me to write about safety on the waterways
Living on a narrowboat – Through the eyes of a young lady who would clearly prefer to be somewhere else
I started to develop the narrowboat budgeting software. This newsletter detailed the concept and the progress to date
Practical flooring for narrowboat dogs
Case study – Mike and Mags use a double redundancy payment to pay for their new floating home
The best tip for a wannabe narrowboat owner – Advice from existing boat owners
I published my guide Living on a Narrowboat: The REAL Cost of a Life Afloat. When this newsletter was published it was only available as a Kindle edition. Now it’s available in both Kindle and PDF format and is bundled with Narrowbudget, the site’s bespoke narrowboat budgeting application.
VAT on narrowboat sales
Dealing with pests on a narrowboat – spiders and swans
Posh boats – My personal favourite: S.M. Hudson
Repeat prescriptions, diesel heating systems and solar panels
Survey – Do you want a forum on the site? (You already know the answer to that!)
How to clean your stove glass – One of the real pleasures of a living fire is watching the flames on a cold winter’s eve. Here’s what you need to do to ensure you can actually see the fire.
Smoking on board – An alternative to smelly smoke
DIY narrowboat painting – I’ve broken down the complete cost of painting your own boat and
Dealing with wind on the river – A guest article from liveaboard narrowboat owner Alan Cazaly
DIY narrowboat painting – I spent three weeks in April painting my boat. Here’s the first of my progress reports
Life on the river Cam – A guest article on the pleasures of river life by wide beam liveaboard Luther Phillips
Case Study – Freelance writer Anne and her South African farmer partner John reveal all
Case Study – Toni cruises constantly with ex husband Allan. They cruise together but they live apart… on separate boats
As a result of the article about the downside of living on a narrowboat published in the 18th March newsletter, I asked liveaboard narrowboat owners to complete a survey to give a balanced view of the issues raised by Pauline. Here are the survey results and a much more positive article by liveaboard narrowboat owner and frequent forum contributer Peter Early.
The downside of living on a narrowboat – This was a very controversial post. Liveaboard Pauline Roberts wrote about the less pleasant aspects of life afloat… and attracted a storm of comments
Case study: The Woodsman – Pauline Roberts again giving an insight into the life that you may think she doesn’t like.
Reviewed: The Liveaboard Guide by Tony Jones. A great guide to living afloat
eBay Narrowboat scam (and a little bit of flack for me from another forum)
Case Study: Author Toby Jones on his own liveaboard narrowboat
A review of Debdale Wharf marina
Two more case studies. One of them waxed lyrical about life on the waterways and enjoyed every minute of her life afloat. Now (April 2013) she’s selling up to follow another dream in Spain.
The first four narrowboat case studies published
I’ll start with myself; Paul Smith, living on my own, moored in a marina and working full time. Narrowboat James case study
Meet Peggy. She has a husband and two small children, works full time and cruises the network during the summer months. Narrowboat Violet Mae case study
Fancy spending your retirement cruising the waterways of England and Wales? Meet Barry and Sue Horne. They’re living the dream! Narrowboat Adagio Case Study
Here are another working couple. Lina and Warren cruise the cut with their two cats.Narrowboat Olive Rose case study.
Article – Living on a narrowboat in winter
Dealing with the coldest winter on record
Digital reading – A detailed review of the Kindle, the perfect solution for book loving boat owners
There are dozens of helpful and interesting articles on the site, but have you found them all? I thought you might appreciate a list of the more popular articles that you can glance through and click on the ones that take your fancy. Here it is.
There’s a wealth of information on the site in general, but if you’re struggling to find the answer to a particular issue, the forum is the place to find it. I’ve listed some of the more popular posts below but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask your question on the forum. If you don’t know how to create a post, or if you can’t log in, please let me know. I’ll be more than happy to get you up and running.
Living on a Narrowboat: The REAL Cost of a Life Afloat – Narrowboat costs explained in detail. My own maintenance and living cost on narrowboat James for a full year. Use this information to work out your own costs.
CRT (Canal & River Trust) maintain the waterways. Here’s their site.
Find out what parts of the canal are closed and for how long. Essential cruising information for you.
Do you need to find a home for your boat? Here’s a comprehensive list of the narrowboat friendly marinas in the UK
Do you want to see where these marinas are on a map? Here it is.
Here’s a map of all the canals on the system to help you plan your route.
Newsletter Archive – Browse through a wealth of useful content in the newsletters over the last year.
Find out more about narrowboat central heating costs here.
Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”
After writing in the bit about lock and paddle gear, saying that the Leeds & Liverpool probably had the biggest variation of types, I thought that I might be wrong and that maybe the Calder & Hebble has the edge.
Whilst you won’t be confronted with any swing or lift bridges there are many variations in paddle gear and locks, for that matter. Although the blocks were probably all built in similar styles, the whole canal was leased the the Aire & Calder Navigation for some time and they embarked on a programme of lock rebuilding to enable bigger boats to travel. This resulted in some locks being duplicated and others lengthened and a lot of different types of lock gear.
The best of these are those operated with a handspike, this being a length if wood you put into a steel pinion which then lifted a wooden and steel rack to open the sluice. This is unique to the C & H.
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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