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Tue Apr 18, 2017 at 10:52am

Owning a narrow boat as a rule brings mainly, enjoyment and a lot of fun. But it also can have its down side. Things can, and do sometimes do go wrong just from time to time, but armed with some knowledge and a bit of experience you can overcome most problems yourself without too much trouble and expense.

The Problem 

One problem you may encounter is “Man Overboard” let’s look into this situation, highlight possible causes, and give you solutions and provide you with knowledge so it can be prevented.

The Possible Causes

More than likely this situation is an accident caused by a lack of attention, slipping on wet decks, loss of balance through hitting an obstruction or tripping over. However people messing about and crew members playfully pushing each other is also another cause, so at all times be aware of your surroundings and act sensibly.

The Solutions

General common sense and being prepared is the key to everyone staying safe on board. If this situation does arise the first thing to do is NOT to panic, don’t jump in and don’t let others jump in either. Why? The water is very cold even in summer and you will only be adding to the problem rather than solving it. Keep sight of the person in the water at all times.

On narrow canals and slow, shallow rivers. Put your engine out of gear. Don’t reverse the boat – the person in the water could be dragged into the propeller. Throw them a line or a lifebelt and tell them to try to stand up, if it’s a canal they might be able to walk out. Steer the boat slowly to the bank and get one of your passengers off to help the person get out of the water.  

On wider or deeper waterways. Throw a lifebuoy to the person in the water. Keep a constant watch to ensure your propeller is well away from them. Stop the propeller immediately by selecting neutral gear if there’s a risk of them getting close to it. If you are on a river you may need to turn so as to approach them slowly going against the stream. Pull them to the side of the boat and help them aboard with a ladder, rope or pole.  

How To Avoid In The Future

  • Keep lifebelt and rope available, and in good working order.
  • Keep the decks clean and clear of ropes and other obstructions
  • Wear non-slip soled shoes.
  • Use a non-slip surface on the gunwales. 
  • In tunnels and bridges keep within the form of the boat.
  • Skipper should make all crew aware of protruding branches where the canal narrows
  • Be prepared. Make sure everyone on the boat knows the drill – and knows where to find the lifeline or lifebelt.
  • If the skipper falls overboard another crew member should know how to stop the propeller and steer the boat.
  • Practice the drill. It's better to learn it before an accident happens.
  • Wear a life jacket at all times, especially in deep or tidal waters
Fri Mar 31, 2017 at 7:09pm

APRIL SHOWERS WON'T STOP US!

AT LONG LAST SPRING HAS SPRUNG AND WE CAN TRULY START ENJOYING OUR BEAUTIFUL WATERWAYS.

No matter what the weather us boaters are happy come rain or shine, it's basically a case of having to be, as you never know what the weather will throw at you in the UK. But lets keep our fingers crossed that we will indeed get some sunshine this year to compliment our Spring cruises.

GREAT WEATHER FOR DUCKS AND BOATERS!!

 A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO HANDLING A NARROW BOAT.

 

 

The biggest secret of boating is to TAKE YOUR TIME, think and plan your manoeuvres in advance. There’s no rush, don’t be pressurised into making a mistake, relax and enjoy your time cruising. It gets easier the practice you get.  

Speed  

The maximum permissible and safe speed on canals for a narrow boat is 4 miles per hour. Remember you are in charge of a vessel that has no brakes! If that doesn’t slow you down I’m not sure what will?  
Speeding on the canal system is very much a no no!

A few ripples behind your boat is acceptable, any thing more than that is frowned upon. If you need a measure then; if you are travelling at roughly the pace of a fast walker, you're at your maximum speed!  

Setting off  

When you are ready start your engine. Keep it in neutral allowing it to warm up before you venture off. Then you can ask one of your crew, or if you are on your own untie the mooring ropes. You should keep the ropes tied to the boat once you have released them from the bank; keep them in a coiled and tidy position on the boat ready for use when you want to moor later on.

Unlike in a car, you can’t just pull out from the bank and cruise off, this is because the boat steers from the back. Therefore you need to check the area is clear and there are no boats coming your way, then push the boat away from the bank getting the propeller into the deep water before you can move forward at a gentle cruising speed.  

Cruising in a straight line  

The trick is to aim the boat rather than trying to steer the boat. The boat responds slowly, so when going in a straight line small movements and patience is all that is required.

Aim the boat in the direction you wish to go and follow this direction.  

Stopping  

Just in case you didn’t know, and its totally OK if you didn’t there are no brakes! The only way to stop a narrow boat is to put it into reverse, use the power of the engine to work against the forward motion of the boat. So think and look ahead, start to slow down before you need to stop and don’t over rev your engine.  

When you are ready ease off the throttle, move into neutral and then use reverse gear to slow down and finally come to a halt.            

Mooring  

If you have a crew prepare them in advance to help you out. Make sure everyone knows what he or she is doing.  

Slow down almost to a stop and carry out all your manoeuvres as slowly as possible.   Just before you want to moor, with your boat straight in the water point, the front of the boat towards the bank moving very slowly, then use reverse to stop the boat going forward into the bank. Put the engine in neutral.  

Your crew should then step ashore – not jump. They can either take the mooring ropes with them – making sure there’s plenty of slack and that one end is still fixed to the boat as we advised at the beginning – or you can pass them the ropes once they’re on the towpath.

KEEP FIT INSPIRATION

If we are going to potentially get wet in APRIL then let's get really wet! If you are looking at taking up a new exercise hobby then how about swimming (but not in the canal!) being low impact it is great for those of you who may be new to exercise, or are currently suffering from a injury that doesn't allow you to do your normal regime.

Another great past time that can be enjoyed this time of year and on the canal is kayaking a great choice for families and couples. Nearly two million people already go canoeing in the UK, do you think you will be joining them this year?

7 Great Reasons To Start Kayaking!

1. Keeps you fit
2. Gets you closer to nature
3. Isn't an expensive sport to start
4. You get to meet some wonderful new friends if you join a club
5. It's great fun
6. Perfect for kids and adults alike
7. Makes you feel good

Happy paddling.

Note: You will need to buy a licence before you use the waterways, please find more details about this on the Canal and River Trust website

*Always seek your doctors advice before starting any new life style change.

APRIL HEALTH TIPS

Spring Clean Your Health And Try Out Our Top 5 Tips;

  • Choose in-season, local produce
  • De-clutter your medicine cabinet
  • Go wheat free for a month
  • Throw away old makeup
  • Replace old workout shoes

FOODIE IDEAS FOR APRIL


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April's seasonal ingredients will come and go quickly, so make the most of them before they disappear!              

broccoli, jersey royal new potatoes, lettuce & salad leaves, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, rocket, samphire, spinach, spring onions, watercress, wild nettles  

bananas kiwi fruit rhubarb  

basil, chives, dill, sorrel               

lamb, wood pigeon  

cockles, crab, langoustine, lobster, plaice, prawns, salmon, sea trout, shrimp, whitebait  

Our recommendation this month is a simple roast lamb dinner with jersey royals & home made mint sauce with spring onions.

THIS MONTHS TOP BOATING TIP


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             This month if you are new to narrow boating or even if you have been boating for many years consider treating yourself to a boat handling course. 

A training course from the RYA will teach you new tricks and help you make the most of your time out on the water.

Find out more here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE MONTH OF APRIL WE CELEBRATE..

April, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

What’s special about April?  

1 April Fool's Day 1 International Tatting Day 1 National Walk to Work Day 1st Friday 9 Palm Sunday 10 Passover begins at sundown, lasts 8 days. 14 Good Friday 15 Income taxes due (most years it is due on the 15th) 16 Easter Sunday 17 Patriot's Day Third Monday 22 Earth Day (U.S.) 26 Administrative Professionals Day formerly "Secretaries Day" 27 Take Your Daughter to Work Day 4th Thursday 28 Arbor Day always the last Friday in April

Hope you have a fabulous Easter and the Easter Bunny pays you a visit!

BOATING EVENTS IN APRIL

IWA towpath walks, Regents Canal: Little Venice - Camden 2nd April 2017, 2:30pm to 4:30pm Warwick Avenue Tube Station Get your walking boots on as you walk from Little Venice to Camden.  

Everything comes from the egg 3rd April 2017, 10am to 14th May 2017, 5pm Stanton Low Park Head along to Stephen Taylor's 'Everything comes from the egg' exhibition.

Sawley Marina Spring Market 8th April 2017, 10am to 9th April 2017, 4pm Sawley Marina Spring Market Head along to Sawley Marina for their annual spring market, with over 30 stalls booked this one is going to be bigger and better.

Rag Rugging Workshop at the National Waterways Museum Gloucester 9th April 2017, 10:30am to 3:30pm National Waterways Museum Gloucester Interesting in making a traditional narrowboat rag rug with a modern twist?

Easter Treasure Hunt at the Anderton Boat Lift 14th April 2017 to 17th April 2017 Anderton Boat Lift Head to the Anderton Boat Lift for an Easter treasure hunt this April.

Ellesmere Port Easter Boat Gathering - 40 years on 14th April 2017 to 17th April 2017 National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port We are welcoming the return of colourful boats to the museum this Easter for the Easter Boat Gathering. The festival brings to an end our 40th anniversary celebrations. Heritage and great stories will come alive throughout the weekend with boat trips, musical performances and workshops, behind the scenes tours, crafts and activities for everyone.  

Bollington Easter Floating Market 14th April 2017, 10am to 17th April 2017, 5pm Head along to the Bollington Easter Floating Market for a weekend of family fun.  

Linslade Easter Floating Market 14th April 2017, 10am to 17th April 2017, 5pm This Easter, head along to Linslade Floating Market.

Fishing taster day 21st April 2017, 10am to 3pm Canal Head off the A1079 Come and join coaches from The Angling Trust will show you the basics of this enjoyable hobby.  

National Boat Share Show National Boat Share Show 22nd April 2017, 10am to 23rd April 2017, 4pm Braunston Marina Head along to the National Boat Share Show at Braunston Marina.

National Canal Boating Open Day 23rd April 2017, 11am to 4pm Locations across the England and Wales Come along to the Drifters National Open Day and try canal boating for free at 19 narrowboat hire bases across England and Wales.  

IWA Canalway Cavalcade 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 6pm Little Venice Head along to Little Venice for the IWA Canalway Cavalcade.  

May Bank Holiday Floating Market 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 5pm Head along to the Market Drayton Floating Market  

Berkhamsted May Bank Holiday Floating Market 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 5pm Head along to the Berkhamsted Floating Market for a weekend of family fun.

St Richard's Canal Festival 29th April 2017, 10am to 1st May 2017, 5pm Droitwich Spa, Vines Park Head along to Droitwich Spa to enjoy a canal festival for all the family.

 DON'T LET THE WEATHER STOP YOU, COME AND SEE US SOON!


Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 2:15pm

Advice On De Fouling The Propellor On A Narrowboat

There is often a lot of debris in the canals, particularly at this time of the year after winter winds have blown twigs, leaves and general rubbish into the water. This can cause problems with rubbish and debris getting caught up in the propeller of your narrowboat, which in turn can cause stress to your boats engine.

As the propeller on a narrow boat turns during cruising, any leaves or debris that are floating or suspended in the water can collect on the propeller blades and get stuck in a lump on the propeller. As a result, the narrowboat will be loosing drive and this can potentially make the engine overheat, putting a strain on the engine.

If you are experiencing loss of drive and engine stress and you think that you have something caught in your propeller, first of all try putting the boat into reverse and back again a few times, to see if this clears the problem. If this fails, you need to stop the boat and moor up in a safe place. For safety reasons, make sure that you isolate the batteries and take the keys out of the ignition so that no-one can start the engine. Get down into the engine room, remove the weedhatch and have a look down into the propeller to see if you can see anything. You can then try to get the blockage out using your hands. If this doesn't work, you can buy a tool which is called a 'prop mate' this is basically like a knife on a the end of a long metal handle. Push the tool down into the weedhatch and move it around making sure that it's all tightened and sealed down properly. De-isolate the batteries and start the engine, hey presto! Away you go!

Mon Mar 6, 2017 at 12:49pm

SPRINGING INTO MARCH!

AT LONG LAST SPRING HAS ARRIVED!.....

With over 2,000 miles of inland waterways to explore in the UK and Northern Ireland are you ready to set sail? Well after the long winter we are sure the answer is YES! but before you cast off onto our liquid highways, you need to make sure your narrow boat is in tip top condition before you embark on your first adventure.

 THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH

 

 

Its time to de-winterise your narrow boat

It doesn't seem two minutes ago we were telling you how to Winterise your narrowboat! But now is the time to put things in reverse and get your boat ready for cruising. Hopefully if you left your boat over the winter months, you took our advice on how to winterise your narrow boat and you are now ready to get her prepared for some amazing cruising.

Simply Follow Our 5 Step Guide:

1. Water. In the winter you would have left the taps open, drained down and turned off the water system. Now is the time to turn off the taps and switch on the water pump. Once the water pump is back on, turn on each tap to let the water run through it. Start with the tap closest to the pump this will help push out any air locks. Check for leaks at each stage. Drain the tank and then refill it before you use the water.

2. Engine. Visually check the engine and surrounding pipework for any obvious leaks or frost damage. Check the oil and coolant levels in the engine. Change the gearbox oil.

3. Electrics. Turn on all electrical appliances and close all opened doors. Ensure the supplies on board are functioning correctly before use.

4. Stern and Prop. Check the stern gland and grease as necessary. Check the weed hatch rubber seal, for debris round the prop and make sure that the prop nut/split pin is secure.

5. Interior. Replace all your soft furnishings and other items that you removed over the winter to stop them getting damp.

KEEP FIT INSPIRATION

Hopefully we will now start to enjoy some better weather and we can embark on some new/old outdoor activities. If you are looking at ways to get fit then have ago at running. It's totally free and can be enjoyed at any time of day with friends, with your dog or on your own. If you haven't run before or for a while then build yourself up to running any sort of distance, don't try and take on long distances in the early stages this will only put you off and potentially you could injury yourself.

Jogging and running tips;

  • Set yourself a goal. Don't set the bar too high to begin with you can always set harder goals in the future
  • Buy a decent pair of trainers!
  • Keep a diary to record your progress
  • Run with a friend to keep you motivated and company
  • Mix it up with interval training and different routes
  • Join a running club to find new running buddies   

*Always seek your doctors advice before starting any new life style change.


MARCH HEALTH TIPS

To compliment your jogging/running regime make sure you have a balanced diet, stretch before and after your workout and get plenty of rest. 

Tracking devices are a great way to monitor your progress, so if the running becomes part of your regular routine consider purchasing a sports watch. Download some running apps that set training goals these are a great tool for newbies!

Cut down on Alcohol... Quit Smoking... Maintain a Healthy Weight... Stay Positive!

FOODIE IDEAS FOR MARCH


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why bother eating  seasonal food?
Seasonal food is fresher and so tends to be tastier and more nutritious.It's also cheaper so be smart shopper and buy seasonal and locally produced foods.

Seasonal ingredients you will be able to source this month include; Cockles, Oyster, Sardine, Venison, Winkles, lamb, wood pigeon, crab, langoustine, lobster, plaice, prawns, salmon, sea trout, shrimp, whitebait.

Fruit and Veggies include; cauliflower, kale, leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, salsify, spinach, spring onions, swede, wild nettles, bananas, blood oranges, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pineapple and rhubarb

So lets start cooking...

THIS MONTHS TOP BOATING TIP

This month we strongly advise you to organise blacking, engine service and any maintenance work needed with your local engineer or marina as soon as possible.

At this time of year you will find that every man and his boat is wanting something doing, so get in there quick and book your boat in!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE MONTH OF MARCH WE CELEBRATE..

March, 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:
1 Ash Wednesday - date varies 1 National Pig Day 1 Peanut Butter Lovers' Day. 2 Old Stuff Day 3 Caregiver Appreciation Day 3 Employee Appreciation Day first Friday in March 3 I Want You to be Happy Day 3 If Pets Had Thumbs Day 3 National Anthem Day 3 National Salesperson Day - first Friday in the month 3 Peach Blossom Day. 4 Holy Experiment Day 4 Hug a GI Day 5 Multiple Personality Day. 6 Dentist's Day 6 National Frozen Food Day. 7 National Crown Roast of Pork Day. 8 Be Nasty Day 8 International (Working) Women's Day. 9 Panic Day 9 Popcorn Lover's Day second Thursday. 10 Middle Name Pride Day. 11 Johnny Appleseed Day 11 Worship of Tools Day - (guys, you can relate). 12 Girl Scouts Day 12 Plant a Flower Day. 13 Ear Muff Day 13 Jewel Day. 14 Learn about Butterflies Day 14 National Potato Chip Day 14 National Pi Day- Why today? Because today is 3.14, the value of Pi. 15 Dumbstruck Day 15 Everything You Think is Wrong Day 15 Ides of March. 16 Everything You Do is Right Day 16 Freedom of Information Day 16 Incredible Kid Day - date varies. 17 Corned Beef and Cabbage Day 17 Submarine Day - (the hero sandwich or the boat??) 17 Saint Patrick's Day 18 Goddess of Fertility Day 18 National Quilting Day - third Saturday of month 18 Supreme Sacrifice Day 19 Poultry Day 20 International Earth Day 20 Extraterrestrial Abductions Day 20 Proposal Day 21 Credit Card Reduction Day 21 Fragrance Day 21 National Agriculture Day - date varies 21 Tea for Two Tuesday - third Tuesday in March 22 National Goof Off Day 23 Melba Toast Day 23 National Chip and Dip Day 23 National Puppy Day 23 Near Miss Day 24 National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day 25 Pecan Day 25 Waffle Day 26 Make Up Your Own Holiday Day 26 National Spinach Day 27 National "Joe" Day 28 Something on a Stick Day 28 Weed Appreciation Day 29 National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day 29 Smoke and Mirrors Day 30 National Doctor's Day 30 I am in Control Day (great day to buy a boat!) 30 Take a Walk in the Park Day 31 Bunsen Burner Day 31 National Clam on the Half Shell Day 31 World Backup Day
Looks like we are going to be VERY busy!

BOATING EVENTS IN MARCH

IWA towpath walks, Limehouse - Thames – Docklands 5th March 2017, 2:30pm to 4:30pm Westferry DLR (by cycle hire point) Get your walking boots on as you walk from Limehouse to Docklands    

Turnerwood Feeder Lock Open Weekend 11th March 2017, 10am to 12th March 2017, 4pm Turnerwood Feeder Lock Come along to Turnerwood Feeder Lock Open Weekend and see what works are happening around the site.  

Tringford Pumping Station Open Day  11th March 2017, 11am to 4pm Head along to Tringford pumping station Open Day and meet the experts.  

Stourbridge Lock 3 Open Day 12th March 2017, 10am to 4pm Lock 3 on Stourbridge Canal. Come along to Stourbridge Lock 3 Open Day, and take a look at the works happening around the site.    

Afternoon Tea at Standedge Tunnel & Visitor Centre Mother's Day afternoon tea and boat trip 26th March 2017 Standedge Visitor Centre. Treat Mum to something unique this year with a guided boat trip into Britain's longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel followed by a delicious afternoon tea overlooking the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

CRUISE, JOG, RUN OR DRIVE. IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU GET HERE JUST COME AND SEE US SOON!


Wed Feb 22, 2017 at 2:56pm

Owning a narrow boat as a rule brings mainly, enjoyment and a lot of fun. But it also has its down side. Things can, and do go wrong from time to time, but with some knowledge and a bit of experience you can get over most problems yourself.

The Problem

One problem you may encounter is “The engine won’t start” so let’s look at this problem, highlight the possible causes, give you the solution and provide you with some knowledge so hopefully it doesn’t happen again in the future.

The Possible Causes 

1. The engine makes no attempt to turn over; it may be a faulty starter motor solenoid, starter motor or no electrical supply to the solenoid. The latter can be checked with a multimeter. If a click is heard from the starter motor, but it doesn’t engage with the flywheel it may be a faulty gear mechanism, similarly if the starter motor can be heard rotating but the engine doesn’t turn over. If the batteries are completely flat, it will show up on the battery condition monitor.

2. The engine turns over slowly but won’t fire; probably a low battery, confirm this by using a battery condition monitor. It could also be caused by general damp or a faulty alternator. Or lastly it could possibly be a discharged battery.

3. The engine turns over at normal speed but won’t fire; could be that the glow plugs are not energised for long enough or a failure of one or more of the glow plugs or their power supply, this can be checked with a multimeter.

4. It could also be a fuel problem; (no fuel, blocked filter, air lock in fuel system). The general opinion here is, if a diesel engine has a correctly timed fuel supply to the injectors and it’s heated by either the glow plugs or residual heat in the cylinders, it will fire.

The Solutions

First allow at least ten seconds for the diesel plugs to heat up before starting  in neutral with high revs.

For a damp engine use a dry cloth over any damp surfaces then spray area with WD-40. The recurring problem is more likely to be caused by a alternator, faulty leads, plugs etc. which may need replacing. Once started make sure the battery gets a full charge, leaving it to run, in gear and under load, until the battery condition monitor shows a full charge.

Check battery charge levels with a multimeter.

Clip your meter across the battery terminals and take an immediate reading. If the reading is more than 12 volts the battery is probably okay, but if it is less the battery may be undercharged.

If domestic batteries are discharged but starter battery is OK switch to starter and start engine. Then switch to "charge both" with engine running until batteries recover. If they do not recharge and hold their charge, replace ASAP.

If all batteries are discharged try to get a start from another boat by connecting their battery to yours with heavy duty jump start leads.

If mains supply is available use a mains battery starter.

How To Avoid In The Future

  • Install a permanent battery level indicator and check this regularly.
  • Always switch between starter battery and domestic batteries, charging both together but using the starter battery only for starting the engine.
  • Keep the engine compartment dry and well vented.
  • Clear the drains.
  • Clear the bilges with a pump.
  • Wipe out the engine compartment to limit condensation.
  • Start the engine from time to time throughout the winter season and leave under load in gear for a while to recharge the batteries.    
Tue Feb 7, 2017 at 9:44am

The UK’s largest narrow boat brokers, selling over 250 narrow boats a year, Whilton Marina based in Northamptonshire and Venetian Marina in Cheshire has appointed Burton-based diesel injection firm Key Diesels engine supplier and repairer. The deal will see Key Diesels providing remanufactured and refurbished units to the respective marinas.

Whilton and Venetian marina became frustrated at the lack of reliable specialists on the waterways. The two marinas chose Key Diesels as their preferred supplier of re-built engines as they are professional, efficient and will refurbish any narrow boat engine within a short space of time.

Further more the two marina’s are also offering two months free River Canal Rescue breakdown and recovery membership as an additional perk for new owners with every boat they sell, this will enhance the overall buying experience. RCR acquired Key Diesels in 2014 and since then has built its reputation for excellence. Managing Director, Stephanie Horton, comments: “We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Whilton and Venetian Marina; they were looking for a company they could trust to support the on going refurbishment of customers’ boats and we were looking to develop our business-to-business relationships in this area. It’s a win, win scenario for all involved”.

Whilton Marina’s workshop manager, Mathew Emery, agrees: “We started using Key Diesels in 2016 and after a recent visit to their operation early in 2017, decided the firm would be our preferred supplier.  We look forward to a long and beneficial relationship that delivers unrivalled after-sales service to our customers.”

Mathew Emery at Whilton Marina

Wed Feb 1, 2017 at 10:27am

LOVE IS IN THE AIR!

IT MAY BE THE SHORTEST MONTH OF THE YEAR BUT, THERE'S STILL PLENTY TO DO.....

So we survived January and we are heading into the month of February, also known as the month of love. Lets spread the love this month amongst our friends and family and not forgetting our beloved narrow boats too!

 THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH

 

 

Carry Out These Simple Safety Procedures

This month is as good as any to give your boat a little TLC. Maintaining your vessel is not something you should keep putting of. If you don't want to deal with this yourself speak to your local marina and see if they offer a maintenance service.

This month check the following to keep you and your crew safe;

Ventilation. Your boat needs proper ventilation to help prevent the build-up of mildew and carbon monoxide poisoning. Clean out any build-up of dust and grease to allow them to work correctly.

Buoyancy Aids. Life jackets are now much more comfortable to wear especially the self-inflating ones. We strongly recommended that life jackets are worn when out of the cabin by: single handed boaters, children, and non-swimmers. Traditional lifebuoys should also be kept on board for back up.

Have An Annual Gas Appliance Check. Organise for a Gas Safe registered engineer to come and check your appliances. Things you can do yourself; make sure all joints are tight on the pipes & regulators. Ensure the hose connections are protected as much as possible.

Smoke and CO Detectors. If you have these devices on board already check they are in good working order if you don’t then you should fit and test them regularly. Replace drained batteries immediately. These devices could save your life make sure you are protected.

Fire extinguishers and blankets. It is advisable to have a powder extinguisher on board. The small 1kg extinguisher will last about 6-8 seconds; larger ones will last longer but take up more space so smaller ones may be easier to store. Also have a fire blanket these are very useful and they create less mess than a fire extinguisher.

First Aid Box. A well-stocked first aid kit is a basic essential that every boat should have on board. You should be able to treat minor accidents like cuts, bites, burns and sprains. Make sure the box is re-stocked after use.

Hand Gel. Weil ’s disease can occur from canal water and it isn’t always practical to get to the sink to wash your hands. So keep a small tub of hand gel in your pocket to help keep your hands clean and minimise risk.

Safety Demo. For anyone new to boating who is going to be traveling/staying on board with you, its advisable that they know a few things about the boat which will keep them safe whist with you. Give them a tour of the boat and show them where the equipment is kept and how to use it. Also go through things they should and shouldn't do whilst cruising.

KEEP FIT INSPIRATION

If you didn't get on the fitness train last month don't worry you can jump on board right now. Try and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to keep you fit and healthy.

Look at doing some daily exercise that will raise your heart rate, if you are just  starting out start with taking a brisk walk each day this is a good starting place. Then work yourself towards more energetic exercise like boxing, body combat, badminton, tennis, running, HITT, trampolining. There's plenty of sports on offer to help keep you fit and healthy.

*Always seek your doctors advice before starting any new life style change.

TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY

Schedule a Yearly Checkup. Your heart is in your hands... Get Physical...Eat Healthy...Control Cholesterol... Cut Down on Salt...

Cut down on Alcohol... Quit Smoking... Maintain a Healthy Weight... Stay Positive!

FOODIE IDEAS FOR FEBRUARY


Want to know what to eat in February? Warming winter vegetables like squash and sprouts are still in abundance, as are apples and pears and juicy oranges - delicious in baked desserts. Game is on the menu for one more month, or if you prefer something a little lighter, there's many a fish swimming in our seas including skate, salmon, cod. The glut of spring's seasonal foods may not have arrived yet, but February's seasonal ingredients are plentiful enough to ensure a month of delicious seasonal dishes.

So lets start cooking...

THIS MONTHS TOP BOATING TIP

We recommend creating a personalised handbook for your boat. This will serve you well whilst owning the boat and will be a useful if/when you come to sell the boat in the future. In your hand book you can include;

  • Contact details for your; surveyor, marina, chandlery etc.
  • Maintenance issues
  • Winterisation jobs
  • Service Information
  • How to use the plumbing system
  • Insurance and other boat documents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY WE CELEBRATE....


It may be the shortest month of the year but there is plenty going on... Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Valentines Day, World Nutella Day, Lame Duck Day, Boy Scout Anniversary Day, National Read in the Bath Tub Day, National PTA Founders Day, International Mother Language Day, National Margarita Day, International Sword Swallowers Day, National Pancake Day

Looks like we are going to be busy!

LOOKING FOR A VALENTINES PRESENT?
YOU WILL LOVE THIS APP!

WaterNav –  The essential waterways companion. River Canal Rescue’s WaterNav is available as a PC- based software or it can be downloaded as an App for your phone. This essential cruising companion combines an information system and route planner with sat nav, covering all of the inland waterways in the UK. Equally useful for walkers and cyclists, WaterNav’s comprehensive database contains thousands of points of interest, including pubs, restaurants, boatyards, places to visit, doctors, vets and many more.

There are eight separate cruising areas based on the cruising rings, simply download the one you want to cruise and start to experience the benefits of having key information at your fingertips.

You can also download the Apps for FREE when you purchase the PC version of WaterNav.Once downloaded, WaterNav requires NO internet connection as all maps are stored on to your device. Simply pin-point your location using in-built GPS, plan your route and use the intuitive filters to search for what you need

BOATING EVENTS IN FEBRUARY

Puppet Theatre Barge - The Red Balloon
14th January 2017, 11am to 19th March 2017, 5pm
Puppet Theatre BargeHead along to the Puppet Theatre Barge for their performance of 'The Red Ballon'Boats moored along towpath of canal

Chester Canal heritage trust talk: 'Industry and the canals, inclined planes, tunnels and shafts of Shropshire'
1st February 2017, 8pm to 9:30pm
Boughton Hall Cricket Club As part of a series of winter talks, head along to a talk hosted by Tony Hirst.

St Pancras Open Weekend
4th February 2017, 10am to 5th February 2017, 4pm
St Pancras Lock Come along to St Pancras Open Weekend, and take a look at the works happening around the site.

IWA towpath walks, Regents Canal: Little Venice - Camden
5th February 2017, 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Warwick Avenue Tube Station
Get your walking boots on as you walk from Little Venice to Camden.A restoration and repair open day

Stoke Bruerne Open Weekend
11th February 2017, 10am to 12th February 2017, 4pm
Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne
Come along to Stoke Bruerne Open Day, to take a look at the winter works happening around the site.

Lock 17 Fradley Junction Open Weekend
18th February 2017, 10am to 19th February 2017, 3pm
Junction Lock 17Head along to Lock 17 for the Fradley Junction Open Weekend.

Walking along the canal IWA Towpath walks - The Olympics, Bow Back Rivers
19th February 2017, 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Bow Back Rivers. Get your walking boots on as you take in a walk around the Olympic site and Bow Back Rivers.

Limehouse Social Market
25th February 2017, 10am to 29th April 2017, 5pm
Limehouse Social Market

COME AND VISIT US SOON, WE'D LOVE TO SEE YOU!


Mon Jan 23, 2017 at 10:24am

1 Will you like it?

It's a good idea for “boating newbies” to hire before they buy. This gives them a real feel of what it's like to spend time on a narrow boat. Spending some time aboard a variety of different style boats will help you decide if boating is for you, help you choose the right length and style of boat if you do decide to buy.

Talk to as many people as you can who have a boat, or have owned one in the past. This way you will gain an understanding of boating life from people who have experienced life on the waterways. Ask them about the pros and cons they have experienced, what they would do differently. You maybe able to pick up a few good tips.

Come and spend some time with us at our marina viewing boats for sale. get aboard the narrowboats and imagine yourself living on each type of boat. Check out the storage and facilities and become familiar with each boats interior. Unfortunately we can't let you cruise the boats away at this stage, however you could go on a boat handling course or a boat holiday to experience cruising a narrow boat.

Two Useful links:

Top-tips-to-help-you-buy-your-first-narrowboat

2 Can you afford it?

How will you fund the purchase of the boat? Will you need to take out a loan, if so how much can you afford to borrow? Will you be selling a house to buy? It’s one thing being able to afford to buy the boat, but have you considered all the costs involved in owning a narrow boat?

Here are some examples of some costs you will incur, based on a 57 foot narrow boat.

Please note that this is just some estimates and each boat depending on its age and condition may cost more or less.

*Broad estimated yearly costs;       

  • Mooring fees  -  As a rule of thumb, from around £1 per foot per week 
  • Electricity  -  At our marina electric is included within the mooring fees, but marinas vary.     
  • LPG Gas - Depends on usage       
  • Diesel  - Most narrow boats use approximately 1 litre of diesel for 1 hours cruising.
  • Pump out of waste holding tank  -  Normally £15 per pump out.    
  • Boat Licenses - Currently £840.36 per year for a 57ft boat. If someone chooses to pay monthly by direct debit this amount would be £933.73. These figures are for the current year to 31st March 2017.     
  • Insurance  -  Average cost is about £350 pa.    
  • Maintenance Costs  -  A service to the engine is £250 plus VAT. It’s difficult to estimate for eventualities such as break downs etc.     
  • Boat Safety Certificate -  Currently a boat safety examination is approximately £160. This has to be done every four years.   
  • Blacking (every 3-4 years)  -  Currently £684 plus VAT for a 57ft boat, but costs may vary.

*These costs are only estimated and based on two people sharing the boat for weekend use and four weeks cruising a year. Note - The larger your vessel the more likely the yearly costs will be more than the examples given here.

3 Where will you moor it?

Goes without saying you can't pop it on your driveway! So finding suitable moorings is a very important aspect to consider before buying a narrow boat. If you decide to use a marina, careful consideration must be given before committing to a contract. There are 100's of marinas to choose from so you need to research which ones will fulfil your needs for services, location and facilities. 

Things you may want to consider if choosing a marina for mooring....

  • Work out what you expect to be on site and draw up a short list of marinas that can provide you with as many of your expectations as possible.
  • What facilities i.e. chandlery, showers, laundry room, cafe etc. are on site.
  • Electric hook ups and mooring space
  • Is there parking nearby for transporting goods from your vehicle?
  • Access
  • Noise
  • Spend time in the marina and listen to how the marina ticks over.
  • Distance to the local shops and schools
  • If needed, is there public transport available
  • Medical centres in the area
  • Distance from your house to the marina
  • Check out the cruising in the area
  • Security
  • Wifi access
  • What is actually included in the total cost. (Look out for hidden extras) 
  • Where to find listings of moorings
  • Visit our mooring page

If you feel you are ready to start looking for a narrow boat then start your search here

By visiting a brokerage company, you will be able to ask as many questions as you like and get aboard a wide range of boats. After spending some time aboard and having any questions answered, you will be in a good position to know what type of boat you want which will help you find the boat of your dreams.

Mon Jan 16, 2017 at 11:05am

Winter Cruising

There are many advantages and plenty of fun to have during the winter months on the canal network, so if you fancy staying aboard this winter follow our top tips to staying warm on your boat this winter.

Keep a good stock of fuel (coal, gas, wood)

It’s very important that you keep a good supply of fuel on board, so that if you get stuck aboard you are not going to run out of these vital supplies. 

Types Of Heating On a Narrowboat

Multi-fuel stoves are still the most popular option and come in a variety of prices, shapes and sizes. They are easy to install and even easier to use. Using coal or wood, a multi-fuel stove works through dry heat and the fire will draw in much of the condensation from the boat.

Diesel-fired central heating this works the same as a domestic boiler found in a house. Simple to use and compatible with a timer, it will heat the radiators and provide hot water. Popular choices are Eberspächer, Webasto or Mikuni.

Gas central heating this option will also allow you to heat your radiators and will provide hot water, however, it is not compatible with a timer. Gas central heating runs from your gas bottle.

*Both diesel and gas central heating need a yearly service by a qualified engineer.

Fill Your Water Tank

Another good idea is to fill up your tank, so there’s less chance of running out of water and having problems refilling if the water pipes are frozen at the water points along the canal. Also fill some additional water containers as a backup.

*Have around 30% of anti-freeze in your water and heating system

Stock Up The Larder

You never know when bad weather might keep you from getting out, so it’s essential that you keep your cupboards well stocked with food and drink in case the worse happens and you are unable to get to the shops. 

Check For Stoppages

Over the Winter The Canal and River Trust use these quieter months to carry out maintenance and repairs. By using this link you can check whereabouts work will be taking place. In many cases they have to close the waterway and occasionally the towpath, so it’s essential to stay in the loop of any stoppages, so that your cruising isn’t affected. 

Dress Code

Now is not the time to be a fashion victim! Dress for the weather not your next Instagram selfie. Having said that there is no need to look dowdy, there are plenty of stylish yet practical clothing on the market. Layers and waterproof clothing is a must to make the outside jobs more bearable and keep you in good health. 

Cruising

Take turns at the stern with the rest of the crew; getting hypothermia isn’t going to do you any good! When it’s your turn you will find a cup of hot chocolate in one hand and the tiller bar in the other is a good combination.

If the canal has frozen we advise you NOT to break the ice if it is thick (anything over half an inch is classed as thick). Breaking the ice by trying to cruise through it will put a great strain on your engine and it will also damage the hull scraping away the blacking.

If the canal freezes and has two or more inches of ice, then accept that you are going to be staying in your current location until the ice thaws.

If you decide you would prefer to not cruise over the winter months, and do not have moorings, then you may wish to apply for a winter moorings permit, there are basically three options available, find out more here

Mooring

When looking for places to moor it’s a good idea to find somewhere near the shops or indeed a good pub! At least this way if the bad weather kicks in you will be able to buy provisions and be sociable.

Take extra care getting on and off your vessel, the icy weather will make all surfaces slippery.

Finally enjoy the luxury of having your favourite waterways to yourself this winter whilst the other boaters have gone ashore.

Tue Jan 3, 2017 at 9:50am

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HELLO JANUARY WE HAVE BEEN EXPECTING FOR YOU

As a rule January in the UK means its going to be cold, wet and rather depressing, but it does have its good points as well. The canals are at their quietest so for those who fancy a few days cruising (weather permitting) then now is a great time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the waterways.

During January many of us make New Year Resolutions, but how many of us actually stick to them? Well research shows that only a very small amount do, only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.

Here are a few pointers to help you keep on track and succeed this year

1. Clearly define your goals.

2. Put it in your diary and set up reminders.

3. Track your progress.

4. Publicise your goals via social media.

5. If you get knocked down get up again, never quit.

Follow these 5 easy steps and join the elite 8% who will be celebrating their success later in the year.

THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH 

If you have left your boat and are staying ashore this winter don't forget to make regular visits to your narrow boat.

Try and visit your boat regularly to run the engine for around an hour, this pushes the oil around and helps prevents rust, it will also help top up the battery.

Remember to re grease the stern tube if you do run the engine as every time the propellers turn it breaks the seal. While you're there you should also pump out rainwater and clear the cockpit drains.

Follow these simple steps whether you are cruising or mooring to ensure your boat is in the best of health this winter;

  • Fill up your diesel tank to ensure you have enough fuel
  • Have around 30% of anti-freeze in your water and heating system
  • Ensure you have enough solid fuel for your stove
  • Make sure your pipes are well insulated to prevent burst pipes
  • Check the batteries are in good working order
  • Make sure the boat is well ventilated to reduce the chance of condensation arising.
  • When mooring protect the hull by hanging planks of wood alongside the boat to prevent ice slabs bumping into your hull.
  • If you are unable to cruise and get stuck for a period of time then you will need to have a backup service if you use a pump out loo. Carry a cassette toilet to use as a back-up should you be unable to empty the pump out toilet.

FOODIE IDEAS FOR JANUARY

It's a new year and a good time to start using seasonal ingredients in your cooking. If you are starting a healthy regime there are plenty of seasonal veggies to keep you going these are all low in fat; butternut squash, cauliflower, carrots and parsnips and are perfect for making into hearty soups.

Seafood and fish
that are at their best this time of year include mussels, skate and salmon.

Roasted or stewed seasonal lamb and duck make a comforting evening meal.

And lastly make the most of winter fruits in crumbles and cakes.

KEEP FIT INSPIRATION

We all know its cold, wet and dark outside and the sofa seems more appealing than anywhere else right now, but don't be a couch potato try and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to keep you fit and healthy. Now is a great time to join and gym or exercise group as many places have promotional offers, so come on check it out!

HEALTHY TIPS TO SURVIVE JANUARY

 
  • Get a good nights sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods -  Selenium rich foods like oatmeal, seafood, nuts and legumes protect against depression and mood disorders 
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise daily, at least 30 minuutes.
  • Laugh and have fun.
  • Take up a new hobby, new year equals new starts.
  • Beating the Winter Blues

WILDLIFE FEATURE

Here are some simple things that you can do to help our wildlife this winter;

  • Feed the birds – put out plenty of bird food, particularly waxballs and mealworms.
  • Break the ice – break the ice in bird baths, ponds and puddles to allow wildlife to have a drink.
  • Tread carefully - try not to disturb places where animals are likely to be taking shelter, especially during a cold snap.
  • In warm spells – if we have a warm spell, it might be an idea to put out some cat food and water for any hedgehogs which might awake.

THIS MONTHS TOP BOATING TIP

When winterising your boat for the first time, it’s helpful to make a note of what tools you’ve used during the process, so you can then quickly get them together for the next time!  There is nothing more annoying that forgetting the one vital tool you need for a particular task. 

IN THE MONTH OF JANUARY WE CELEBRATE....

Baking Month, Bath Safety Month, Blood Doner Month, Braille Literacy Month, Codependency Awareness Month, Fat Free Living Month, National Hobby Month, Hot Tea Month, Mentoring Month, Oatmeal Month, Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Slow Cooking Month, Soup Month Stalking Awareness Month, Thank You Month, Weight Loss Awareness Month.   
Looks like we are going to be busy!

MONEY SAVING TIPS

Follow out top tips to save money in January a time when most people are trying to catch up on finances after the expense of Christmas:

  • Start the year with a fresh monthly budget
  • Make the most of the sales
  • Print of coupons for supermarkets and shop around
  • Recycle old mobile phones, DVDs, CDs and clothes. Mazumamobile.com is one of many websites you can use to sell your old mobile phone. Try using ebay or Facebook to resell your unwanted garments.
  • Have a dry January. If, according to figures released in 2014 from the Office for National Statistics, you are an average British household that spends £15.20 a week on alcohol, by not drinking for the entire month of January, you could save over £60. 

BOATING EVENTS IN JANUARY

Audlem Lock Open Day
21st January 2017, 10am to 4pm
Lock 13, Audlem Lock, Shropshire Street Audlem Crewe, CW3 0DX

Audlem Lock Open Day take a look at the winter works happening at the site. Visitors are invited to see first-hand the works taking place to restore and repair lock 13. Take a look inside the drained lock and walk along the bottom of the lock chamber up to the temporary dam next to the by-wash weir.

COME AND VISIT US SOON!


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