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Dr Bob

Grand Union advice

39 posts in this topic

Hi All, first post to the Forum.

We are in the final stages of buying a 60ft NB and should be taking ownership early in May. First job is to take it from the Napton Jnct area to just before the Solihul area to get some fit out work done. I have a short window of 2 days to do this before I have to be somewhere else - and as luck would have it - Canalplan tells me it is two 8 hour days to do the trip. I am an experienced sailor (sailing yachts) but first time on a Narrowboat for 30 years. Question is: Canalplan tells me the overnight stop is nr Bridge 45 on the east side of Warwick. Watching Crusingthecut, it seems to say avoid some of the 'city' areas ie Nuneaton, so I am wondering if Warwick (never been there before) is an OK place to moor up for the night. I think the crew I have lined up (my son) would prefer to moor next to the Cape at the top of the Cape Locks.

If we have a good first day, then maybe we could make it to the bottom of the Hatton Fliight. Another option then - is it possible/safe to moor for the night between locks 27 to 30?

Any seasoned experts living locally keen to help two novices up the Hatton flight on the second day of the trip - or even the whole lot? I am hoping to give the boat a shakedown cruise the day before we do this 2 day trip.

 

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Mooring at the Cape is fine and the pub is ok so a good place to stop.

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Thanks Rob-M, that sounds like the best plan then.

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I would second mooring at the top of Cape locks, but really anywhere is OK.  Personally I don't like Leamington but that is not to say you should not stop there.

as you have figured out it is two good days with 46 wide locks split approx 50/50 between the two days.  If you are going to the top of Knowle you have 5 more locks.

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3 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

Hi All, first post to the Forum.

We are in the final stages of buying a 60ft NB and should be taking ownership early in May. First job is to take it from the Napton Jnct area to just before the Solihul area to get some fit out work done. I have a short window of 2 days to do this before I have to be somewhere else - and as luck would have it - Canalplan tells me it is two 8 hour days to do the trip. I am an experienced sailor (sailing yachts) but first time on a Narrowboat for 30 years. Question is: Canalplan tells me the overnight stop is nr Bridge 45 on the east side of Warwick. Watching Crusingthecut, it seems to say avoid some of the 'city' areas ie Nuneaton, so I am wondering if Warwick (never been there before) is an OK place to moor up for the night. I think the crew I have lined up (my son) would prefer to moor next to the Cape at the top of the Cape Locks.

If we have a good first day, then maybe we could make it to the bottom of the Hatton Fliight. Another option then - is it possible/safe to moor for the night between locks 27 to 30?

Any seasoned experts living locally keen to help two novices up the Hatton flight on the second day of the trip - or even the whole lot? I am hoping to give the boat a shakedown cruise the day before we do this 2 day trip.

 

I might be able to help you as much as you like.

However you don't say when?

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Don't worry,  Nuneaton has been moved since the canals were built,  the Coventry needed another trolley store.

This time of year you can do to the top of Hatton in a long day.from where you are starting from, especially if you get another boat going the same way you can share with.

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Hello Dr Bob and welcome to the forum.

A good place to moor in Warwick is on the off side by bridge 46 at the back of Tesco's.  There's only about three spots but we've always managed to get in there it's very private and of course handy for the supermarket.  As others have said by the Cape is fine but it can get a bit congested.  We have also moored round the corner just past the Saltisford Arm.  However, whenever we do that trip from the South we usually stop at Radford Semele (beyond the bottom lock).  I don't like Warwick or Leamington, neither shows the canal its best face. 

Don't worry about Hatton, it's about the easiest flight on the system IMHO especially if you pair up with another boat.  No problem for an experienced yottie.

Personally I wouldn't go doing a lot of research on the net about places to avoid, someone will always come up with a reason to avoid certain places and it's often based on one unpleasant experience.  In towns/cities it is usually pretty obvious where not to to stop overnight, there's usually no other boats around for a start. 

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34 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Don't worry,  Nuneaton has been moved since the canals were built,  the Coventry needed another trolley store.

This time of year you can do to the top of Hatton in a long day.from where you are starting from, especially if you get another boat going the same way you can share with.

Do you want to tell my wife that, her rule is Hatton is a day even though it only takes 3 hours or so.  No way would she buy all 46 in 1 day.

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Warwick is fine leamington feels dodgy on the approach but have never had problems there. Time moves on. Banbury used to be no go 80s and 90s, but now ok. However Nuneaton and bits of Stoke have had trouble evolving. Removing lead from petrol and the preference for trouble makers to play on the net has reduced problems...

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6 minutes ago, roland elsdon said:

Warwick is fine leamington feels dodgy on the approach but have never had problems there. Time moves on. Banbury used to be no go 80s and 90s, but now ok. However Nuneaton and bits of Stoke have had trouble evolving. Removing lead from petrol and the preference for trouble makers to play on the net has reduced problems...

Add to that childhood obesity too many potential hooligans these days are too fat to leave the house.  

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What a great response! I have been reading the forum here for a couple of months and have been impressed how helpfull everyone is (most of the time!). I didnt think it could be as helpful as the YBW forum was for yatties ...but this is better. Some great advice and so we have a number of options so probably aim to get to the Cape.

Zenataomm .... I am looking at 9/10th May at the moment dependent on the sale going through on the 6th. PM me if you can....not sure I can PM yet as I've only posted 3 times.

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1 minute ago, Dr Bob said:

not sure I can PM yet as I've only posted 3 times

So reply to this and that'll make 4  

Reply to it twice and you can pm ;) 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Well that makes 4

WotEver, thanks for the tip

 

Edited by Dr Bob
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4 minutes ago, WotEver said:

So reply to this and that'll make 4  

Reply to it twice and you can pm ;) 

...and this makes 5. I'll PM now

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1 minute ago, Dr Bob said:

...and this makes 5. I'll PM now

Cool :) 

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2 hours ago, Neil2 said:

Hello Dr Bob and welcome to the forum.

A good place to moor in Warwick is on the off side by bridge 46 at the back of Tesco's.  There's only about three spots but we've always managed to get in there it's very private and of course handy for the supermarket.  As others have said by the Cape is fine but it can get a bit congested.  We have also moored round the corner just past the Saltisford Arm.  However, whenever we do that trip from the South we usually stop at Radford Semele (beyond the bottom lock).  I don't like Warwick or Leamington, neither shows the canal its best face. 

Don't worry about Hatton, it's about the easiest flight on the system IMHO especially if you pair up with another boat.  No problem for an experienced yottie.

Personally I wouldn't go doing a lot of research on the net about places to avoid, someone will always come up with a reason to avoid certain places and it's often based on one unpleasant experience.  In towns/cities it is usually pretty obvious where not to to stop overnight, there's usually no other boats around for a start. 

Thanks, I take your point on asking about places to avoid, but until we get out on the boat and get the feel for the canals, its difficult to imagine what places are going to be like when you look on the Nicholson's guide. On the yacht it was second nature to 'guess'  what new ports were going to be like - we spent two years sailing from Edinburgh to Messalonghi in Greece - from the various pilot books but as a total canal newbie we just do not know what to expect. After a few days out, I am sure we will pick it up.

Bit concerned over the 'bit congested'. Need to get our 'ettiquette' right. As a Yottie you just raft up. Guess that's frowned upon from everything I read here?

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S altisford arm is a good overnight mooring, free for one night I think but donation of a fiver welcome. Good place for a walk into Warwick with good pubs and food plentiful. Electric and water available. We live in Nuneaton and it seems to get a bad press.. I am from Royal Leamington Spa and its a fine town that we visit often for shopping and food and drink. Some wonderful restaurants. Have moored in all these places without hassle. I would be interested to hear first hand experiences of people whom have had problems in these places?

Ian.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

27 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

As a Yottie you just raft up. Guess that's frowned upon from everything I read here?

It's called 'breasting up' on the inland waterways and it entirely depends on the other boater, you just have to ask. Some are so precious about their shiny boat that they will look at you in horror. Others are more amenable. 

Edited by WotEver
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10 hours ago, WotEver said:

It's called 'breasting up' on the inland waterways and it entirely depends on the other boater, you just have to ask. Some are so precious about their shiny boat that they will look at you in horror. Others are more amenable. 

Yep, that's what I had read. Shame really, it was always a good reason to have a 'wee dram' with your new neighbour. After a sea passage and arriving in a new port to find all the berths against the wall taken, you had to raft up. It was polite to ask but you just did it anyway. People used to leave dinghies tied on the outside of their boats to stop others rafting but that was frowned upon. I guess it is more difficult with narrowboats as people wont have the fenders to stop the boats grinding together and making a noise at night. Tying up was always a challenge with long shore lines if the raft got above 2 or 3 boats.

Note for trip early May: Buy a few bottles of malt.

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11 hours ago, ianali said:

S altisford arm is a good overnight mooring, free for one night I think but donation of a fiver welcome. Good place for a walk into Warwick with good pubs and food plentiful. Electric and water available. We live in Nuneaton and it seems to get a bad press.. I am from Royal Leamington Spa and its a fine town that we visit often for shopping and food and drink. Some wonderful restaurants. Have moored in all these places without hassle. I would be interested to hear first hand experiences of people whom have had problems in these places?

Ian.

Thanks for the input Ian. Nicholson's doesnt really say much about the Saltisford arm but it looks like a 10 min walk to centre of town. Again it is something for us to learn, but how likely is it to get a berth there - mid week early May (but not bank holiday week) arriving early evening, ie would you expect to be able to get one, or is it a short intake of breath and a quizzical stare? It also means we have to turn the boat around to get out ..........!

Additional note for early May: Buy a copy of the Camra good beer guide

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12 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

After a sea passage and arriving in a new port to find all the berths against the wall taken, you had to raft up

We moored up at Lowestoft a few years back no rafters, had an early night to catch the 5 am tide for the Walton Backwaters  the next morning only to find 4 Dutch boats had come in the night (evidently very quietly). We didn't have the heart to wake them , so went back to bed and left on the following tide.

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1 hour ago, rusty69 said:

We moored up at Lowestoft a few years back no rafters, had an early night to catch the 5 am tide for the Walton Backwaters  the next morning only to find 4 Dutch boats had come in the night (evidently very quietly). We didn't have the heart to wake them , so went back to bed and left on the following tide.

Sounds familiar. Bit of a nuisance when that happens but at least they didnt wake you up.

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7 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

Thanks for the input Ian. Nicholson's doesnt really say much about the Saltisford arm but it looks like a 10 min walk to centre of town. Again it is something for us to learn, but how likely is it to get a berth there - mid week early May (but not bank holiday week) arriving early evening, ie would you expect to be able to get one, or is it a short intake of breath and a quizzical stare? It also means we have to turn the boat around to get out ..........!

Additional note for early May: Buy a copy of the Camra good beer guide

I've never been turned away. Best to ring ahead to ask though.

Ian.

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22 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

Thanks, I take your point on asking about places to avoid, but until we get out on the boat and get the feel for the canals, its difficult to imagine what places are going to be like when you look on the Nicholson's guide. On the yacht it was second nature to 'guess'  what new ports were going to be like - we spent two years sailing from Edinburgh to Messalonghi in Greece - from the various pilot books but as a total canal newbie we just do not know what to expect. After a few days out, I am sure we will pick it up.

Bit concerned over the 'bit congested'. Need to get our 'ettiquette' right. As a Yottie you just raft up. Guess that's frowned upon from everything I read here?

I notice quite a few narrowboats these days display a sticker indicating the owner is happy for you to moor alongside, and often a kind soul will volunteer his/her services as a pontoon but you are right, it's not quite de rigeur on canals.   

BTW I hate that term "breasting up" and always refer to "rafting" whether it makes me sound like a novice or not.  

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