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Messing about on the river / canal


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OK, being of a certain age I have finally got my way and booked a holiday on a canal boat. I have always been drawn to the water and whilst never having felt the desire to captain Titanic MK2 I felt confident that I could muster up and learn the ropes with a canal boat with a top legal speed of 4mph.

At least before I booked the holiday I felt confident, but this seems more complicated than I envisaged. You travel in the middle of the canal and pass other boats on the the right hand side?

Also, there are the locks which scare me a bit. I am sure that the tuition before I get let loose we will get will help a bit, but scissor locks? staircase locks?

Are there any other canal boaters out there on the forum please?

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I am a canal boat veteran. Which canal are you venturing out on?

I have done almost every single one in England!

You will get the hang of it really quick. I was piloting them aged 11 with no problems!

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Erm... up near Rugby I think!

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Never done canals, but have had three great holidays on the Norfolk Broads. Loved every minute of them. You'll have a great time. Enjoy.

Edited by David
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Locks arent as bad as they seem. Unless the pressure on both sides of the doors is equal (i.e. the water is the same height) then the design physically prevents them opening so unless you are the Hulk then theres no risk of opening the doors and creating a rapid rush of water.

Oh and dont worry about docking/manoeuvring - they've got bump buoys fitted for a reason :p

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Be interested to hear how it goes, Rocket. I've been wanting to do a bit of a boating holiday either on a canal boat or a broads cruiser for ages but I'm a bit unsure of what it'll be like!

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One of the best holidays I've ever had was on a canal boat. First time we'd been on one and we picked it up in Wigan (thats in the north in case you were wondering) and headed toward Skipton. It sounded like a good plan except the first day was spent going through 23 lock one after the other.

Hard work but after day 1 I was locks expert.

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This isn't going to help but I'd love to do a canal/barge holiday, so long as it was hot and sunny.

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you're not coming on my stag do are you? My stag do is a canal boat holiday from Rugby.... as it's something I've been saying I'd like to do to my mates for years and now that I'm getting married my best man has organised it. Near Rugby. In a couple of weeks.

I, too, actually know nothing of the practicalities involved...

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you're not coming on my stag do are you? My stag do is a canal boat holiday from Rugby.... as it's something I've been saying I'd like to do to my mates for years and now that I'm getting married my best man has organised it. Near Rugby. In a couple of weeks.

I, too, actually know nothing of the practicalities involved...

I think you have to get blindingly drunk and make a tit of yourself.....

Or did you mean the practicalities of boating?!

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you're not coming on my stag do are you? My stag do is a canal boat holiday from Rugby.... as it's something I've been saying I'd like to do to my mates for years and now that I'm getting married my best man has organised it. Near Rugby. In a couple of weeks.

I, too, actually know nothing of the practicalities involved...

I think you have to get blindingly drunk and make a tit of yourself.....

And have the novelty Captains hat!! :aok:

Pirate flag optional...

Edited by BroadsBeat
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That's one thing I need...a novelty captains hat!

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It's really quite straightfoward and you'll get a brief crash course from the hire company before you take the boat out.

One top tip they might not tell you, is to keep the ends of the boat well clear of the lock gates when raising or lowering the water level. Otherwise it's possible to snag the end of the boat of the gate as the level rises or falls, either holding you down at one end or lifting you up until either the boat or the gate gives way. I'm not sure if it's just an urban (rural?) myth or if there's a real danger of it happening, but I was warned against it once and have always kept my distance.



Also, try not to drop the lock key in the water ;)

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It's really quite straightfoward and you'll get a brief crash course from the hire company before you take the boat out.

One top tip they might not tell you, is to keep the ends of the boat well clear of the lock gates when raising or lowering the water level. Otherwise it's possible to snag the end of the boat of the gate as the level rises or falls, either holding you down at one end or lifting you up until either the boat or the gate gives way. I'm not sure if it's just an urban (rural?) myth or if there's a real danger of it happening, but I was warned against it once and have always kept my distance.

Also, try not to drop the lock key in the water ;)

The source of absoute paranoia when I was a sea cadet 'pulling' up and down the canals.

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