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About Canalfreak

  • Birthday 21/03/48

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  • Boat Name
    Hunca Munca
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  1. We visited the K & A last year, going as far as Bath before returning to Reading, the Thames and the Oxford Canal. We have mixed views. The free moorings at the Bel and Dragon in Reading are useful, but we would agree that the initial section of the K & A is not that attractive and quite hard work. Mooring is not as easy as on most of the rest of the canal network. Or, to put that into context, having never used the gangplank in 5 years of owning the current boat, it was in use most of the time. And when mooring more or less horizontally, it was not unusual to find the boat listing significantly the next morning. Basically, you can't assume you will find a mooring just where you want it, especially if you don't arrive early. Having said that, much of the countryside was lovely, we found some very nice pubs to have supper in (we'd particularly recommend the Three Tuns in Great Bedwyn) and the the vast majority of people we came across were extremely pleasant. Even the cyclists!!!!! The latter with one exception.......who turned out to be a boater!!! The locks tend to be quite hard work, too. Having said all that, we would happily go back. but because it's quite hard work and mooring isn't as easy as we might like it to be, we would allow a little extra time to make our journey. Incidentally, although we turned round at Bath, we came across a number of boaters who had been as far as Bristol and really enjoyed it. We stopped at Devizes for a couple of days travelling in each direction and found it most pleasant. We needed to break our journey in both directions and left our boat on both occasions at the little marina run by the Newbury Boat Company near Greenham Lock. The couple running it were very pleasant, extremely helpful, and also able to provide a fuel polishing service which we were in need of and finally (after using other such service providers) managed to deal with the problem. Bob.
  2. i really couldn't recommend signing a contract with a view to ignoring such a clear condition. You could leave yourself wide open should a problem arise when you leave the boat hooked up and them blaming you. It could invalidate any insurance cover you may believe you have, for instance. Any marina we've left the boat at, there's been almost an assumption that we would leave the boat connected to the electricity supply. Surely if they say you can ignore this condition then they should be prepared to sign a contract with that clause struck out. And it will tell you a lot if they won't. If not and you really have to use that marina, then I'd suggest you need to arrange to leave the boat unconnected in your absence. Good luck, Bob.
  3. Just out of interest, what did you do to change their response from "Sod off" to "OK"??? Bob.
  4. IWA IPA?? Bob.
  5. We also received excellent, friendly, service and are extremely pleased with the result of replacing all our internal bulbs with their LED's last Autumn. Good eggs for sale, as well as vegetables. Bob.
  6. Make sure the igniter's work off 12V - some require 240 mains - chandlers seemingly sell both versions. I agree. However, when we were looking to choose an oven for our boat, the chandlers (let's call them "MC") told me that they only made the 240 volt type which they had on display, for the model we liked the look of. Fortunately, I had a closer look at the on-line brochure which told me differently. So, if you find yourself in my situation, do check. Bob.
  7. Archimedes Principle.
  8. I haven't really researched boat insurance for 2 years so I may be bit out of date. However, when I did what other members have suggested, and read the policies on offer carefully, I was surprised how much they varied. Not just nuances. Not everybody covers you for singlehanding, for instance. (Or, at least, not for more than a rather limited time/distance). Having an elderly mother-in-law living on her own, I could imagine circumstances arising where my wife headed home pronto by public transport and I proceeded slowly back to the marina on my own. Each of us will have our own particular requirements, boat value, etc. and I would not presume to suggest that what is right for me will also be right for somebody else. Hence the need to check the wording carefully. FWIW we went with Euromarine, not because they were cheapest but because they covered everything I thought I wanted. Admin is/was very efficient but I haven't made a claim. Bob.
  9. The quality of insulation is another consideration this description might cover. (Or might not, of course, depending on the broker!) If you are living on board during the depths of winter, your requirements in this respect might be rather diferent from a summer (or even spring or autumn) holiday cruiser. Bob.
  10. We normally go into the village to eat/drink, rather than use those establishments by the canal. Typically, we go to the Harvester. It's very much a one-off and nothing whatsoever to do with the chain of that name. Decent steaks and a whole range of other food, with good beer and a nice, village pub atmosphere (outsiders welcome). Plus a touch of eccentricity to bring a smile to your face. Bob.
  11. We also enjoyed eating at this this restaurant last October. Also they offer (or they did then) a bargain £9.95 meal on Wednesday evenings (complete meal, very wide choice). However, if you are going on that evening I would recommend booking as it was obviously very popular and they only just had room for 2 more. Bob.
  12. We use Euromarine. When I went through the small print of the various policies available, they weren't the cheapest, but they did give us cover for ALL the things we wanted. Of course, we don't all have the same requirements. I would suggest you do the same thing. Make sure you have ALL the cover you need and then look at the premia of those companies offering it. It's a bit of a bore, but nothing like as big a bore as having a potential claim and finding that your particular policy doesn't cover it. Good luck, Bob.
  13. Well, I d advise keeping on watching eBay as I found various people offering old Lucas bottles of the type you describe. However, like you, my batteries are tucked away under the side deck. And I found there isn't really enough "headroom" to use said bottles!!! Bob. Edited to change a small "i" to a capital one.
  14. It was Braunston fairly early last year, or possibly late 2009. And I am sure of my facts. MC may have moved om from then. Bob.
  15. Yes, we have a Spinflo oven and grill and it's 12 volt. However, when I looked at the stock at Midland Chandlers prior to deciding what to order, theirs was a 240 volt one. And when I asked about a 12 volt version they said Spinflo (or whoever makes Spinflo) didn't make one. Fortunately I looked at the Spinflo web-site and found there is a 12 volt option. But many of the alternative makes were mains voltage level or nothing. The only slight problem we've found is that if you want to open the oven door when the grill door is already open (and we do sometimes want to use both at the same time) it will hit the grill door unless you partially close the grill to let the oven door past. Obviously that's hardly insurmountable but my wife thinks it must have been designed by a man!! Bob. Edited to remove a repeated word.