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Posted By Discussion Topic: Narrow boats ?

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zacthedog
Feb-16-2010 @ 4:17 PM                           Permalink
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this may seem a stupid question as i own a boat on the best waterway in the world BUT the wife fancies doing a narrow boat, what would be the best waterway, scenery wise to start with, and what are narrow boats like to handle ?

Gary
1hr 45mins 66mls away

DanHorner
Feb-16-2010 @ 5:34 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Gary

Well!  On a Norfolk Broads forum... you are brave!

I have been known to dabble with the odd narrowboat.  Steering them is OK, though quitedifferent and generally slower to respond (and particularly to stop) than a Broads cruiser, butdont go for anything massively long to start with and I dont think you'll struggle.

The canals are a bit hard work with just two due to the locks, so definately research that well when choosing your location.

All canals are pretty scenic, with the Llangollen, Mon & Brec, South Oxford being amongst the best in my opinion.

If you follow the link to my boaty website below (not the Caribbean one) then you can see the holidays I've taken but probably more usefully can use the links page to find all the hirefleets

All the best

Dan


http://www.fbwilds.horning.org.uk (My website on the Caribbean bathtub!)
http://www.dhorner.horning.org.uk (My General Boating Website)

16E
Feb-16-2010 @ 5:47 PM                           Permalink
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Gary

First of all to get this bee out of my bonnet, it is a Narrowboat (all one word) lots of boats are narrow such as canoes, royal navy destroyers and rowing eight but narrowboat accurately describes a boat built navigate the narrow canal system.

As regards canals it depends on what you want. Most of the 'Heart of England' ones can be busy with delays at locks.  There are also some holiday maker who try to dah round a canal ring route to a timetable that is all boating and no leisure time.

The Llangollen canal is spectacular but popular.  Care needs to be taken when coming downstream as there is quite a flow because it is used to feed a reservoir.

The Chesterfield canal is rural, isolated from the main network and beautiful, just like they used to be.

The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal (South Wales) is again isolated, clings to a hillside and runs partly in the Brecon Beacons national park.

The Ashby canal has no locks for your wife to operate.

There are all the same bits of kit except for a cosy wheelhouse/cockpit.  Of course you have to live in a straight line.

There is not a lot to say about handling a narrowboat, you are at the back and see all the boat ahead of you.  They have a pivot point just behind the centre of the boat.  Canals are shallow at the edges, keep to the middle and only go to the edge to pass, port to port (red to red) just like proper sailors.  Turning round can be a pain, unless you have a small boat (like ours) you have to go to a turning point (called a winding hole) and then shunt round by putting the nose in the hole and using forewards and reverse to move the stern round..

Mal
16E

..Get on and do it!!  Adventure before Dementia.

Rondonay
Feb-16-2010 @ 5:50 PM                           Permalink
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It's the Llangollen for me every time! It was a truly magical journey, and not too many locks.

Pennine is good but don't go when it's windy, we got pinned to the bank for hours! Playful

The Grand Union and South Oxford are interesting with locks and tunnels  pubs etc. Waterways Museum at Stoke Bruerne and a pub that has been in the same family for so long that the old landlord is buried under the bar.

I would avoid the Avon Ring if you are at all shy, the lock at Stratford upon Avon is worse than Potter Bridge on 3RR day. Evil Grin  Scared

Pauline

“The wonder is always new that any sane man can be a sailor.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unintentional Forum Girly Swot 30.10.09

Dibbler
Feb-16-2010 @ 6:02 PM                           Permalink
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This is not from personal experience but my son went on a narrowboat holiday a few years ago...

The Cheshire Ring is a bit daunting as there are hundreds of locks and you have to keep to a rather strict timetable if you want to complete the ring in the time you have. It is possible in one week but not recommended. Additionally, it does get seriously urban, and scary, through Manchester and there are some, shall we say, less than salubrious areas through which you need to pass. Having said that, there are some fantastic views to be had and you do pass near to the Anderton Lift which is a marvel of engineering.

For a really relaxing time, you could try the Ashby Canal. No locks, but it isn't a very long waterway. Nice scenery though. Smile

Oops sorry, Mal...just seen your inclusion of the Ashby Canal Blush

John

This message was edited by Dibbler on Feb-16-10 @ 5:04 PM

Pandora-3
Feb-16-2010 @ 6:34 PM                           Permalink
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The Kennet and Avon has it all if you aren't fond of tunnels and aquaducts Smile .

16E
Feb-16-2010 @ 7:15 PM                           Permalink
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John (Dibbler), no apology needed, we are all going to repeat a number of things, particularly on a newish thread.

Your comments on the Manchester/Ashton area are welcome.  One of my wife's interests is a micro-publishing business that produces waterways histories and guide books.  The latest book is part one of the South Pennine Ring, covering the entire Rochdale, and Ashton canals.  Some areas are daunting and have a bad reputation.  A bit like Riverside Road on a Saturday night.  But the powers that be will also say that was in the past and we have improved things.

As stated elsewhere the Pennine waterways, particularly the Rochdale are not for the inexperienced.

Mal
16E

..Get on and do it!!  Adventure before Dementia.

Dibbler
Feb-16-2010 @ 9:26 PM                           Permalink
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Mal, I may have some video footage and photographs somewhere relative to the Cheshire Ring. You're welcome to them if they'd be of any use to you or your lady wife?


John

imax
Feb-16-2010 @ 9:33 PM                           Permalink
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Llangollen for me. Excellent views. Fed from the river Dee above Llangollen at Horseshoe falls. Lovely walk, well worth it. River input maintains good flow and levels. I thought that they had had a breach near Llangollen recently though. Worth Checking. A friend of mine used the Mont and Brec last year and had a lovely time.

Ian

Tim
Feb-16-2010 @ 10:57 PM                           Permalink
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gary
If you fancy more broads like cruising you can hire narrowboats on the fens at March
If you want  hills try the Leeds and Liverpool not as far away as the Llangollen and it's just as scenic

Many Thanks Tim

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