rgreg

Standedge Tunnel

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I know the Standedge Tunnel is very tight in places and my boat is right on the limit for height/width ratio; length is 57ft. I plan to go through for the first time shortly and just wondered if anyone can advise what to expect in possible paintwork damage with average luck! If anyone can share their experience that would be appreciated. 

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We went through in our share boat a few years ago. Travelling from Diggle to Marsden, the boat in front of us damaged the front above gunwale height. We were unscathed. But on the return, I was horrified to find two large scratches through the name panel when we emerged at the Diggle end. Expect some damage. We're not planning to take Stedman II through for a year or two! 

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We've been through twice. You need to take everything off the roof, fill your water tank at the tunnel entrance and be gauged by . We also had to dismantle our cratch.

 The chaperone will tell you when to slow, keep left or right and where to expect the waterfall. I think we might have scraped a bit of paint from the front of the handrail but nothing to concern about. If you are going West to East, don't be in too much of a hurry to put stuff back on the roof as there is a low pipe crossing over the tail of the first lock East and some low bridges at Slaithwaite.

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Agreed . We also had damage on front hand rail. We took everything off the roof and the low pipe bridge east of the tunnel took off our electronic aerial!

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We went East to West last summer. Took the cratch down but we didnt have any damage. We kept a reasonable pace going which seems to help the steering. It took us one hour and twenty minutes. We did bump a couple of times but that was only at front gunwhale height.

Our chaperone, Paul, was a nice chatty fellow. The whole thing was really well organised I felt. They brought a crate of safety gear with us.

We were met at the first ad It and it was just a phone call at the next three brief pauses. 

I enjoyed the whole thing and it was well worth doing.

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Biggest thing I found was keeping the concentration needed to minimise contact for the time it takes to get through. As others have said, it is all very well organised, but I wasn't expecting to get all the paint through unscathed. Not to bad. A little lost from the handrail.


Jen

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Concentration is key and it takes a long time to get through. Those front cabin corners are the moist vulnerable. A good bright light helps (no one to dazzle) and I like having a light on the back hatch as well.

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Thanks for the replies folks. Some bits of the paintwork already need touching up following some heavy cruising so a few more scratches won't hurt! 

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The damage is usually less now that you can drive yourself through instead of being hauled through as a 'boat train'.  I've been through 12 times now, and the worst was when Fred Carter drove my boat through as part of the trial of driving boats through, with me at the front wincing at every crash.  They soon gave up the idea of driving your boat for you!

Although I protect the front handrails with thick wads of newspaper and duck tape, most of the scrapes have been on the back rails (it's a cruiser stern), so I keep my fingers out of the way!  If you're on the limit for dimensions (I'm well within), you must expect a few scrapes.   You used to have to sign a disclaimer, but that hasn't happened for a couple of years.

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Every now and again they chisel the pinch points off so it gets better each year. Remove nav lights, roll back the corners of the cratch and take it steady. As already said concentration is the key. If the pound is low you will probably get through unscathed but expect some minor paint damage to handrails or hull sides. I'm not too concerned about going through again this August.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

19 hours ago, rgreg said:

I know the Standedge Tunnel is very tight in places and my boat is right on the limit for height/width ratio; length is 57ft. I plan to go through for the first time shortly and just wondered if anyone can advise what to expect in possible paintwork damage with average luck! If anyone can share their experience that would be appreciated. 

Just a thought.  If you've measured your boat according to the published dimensions, that is not a guarantee you will be allowed through - I've known two boats turned back on the day after measurement, even though they thought they were within limits.  There really ought to be a means of getting your boat checked before Marsden or Diggle (although both flights are delightful in themselves).  Also be aware that a couple of the locks on the east side (can't remember the numbers) and one on the west (Uppermill) are quite tight - I've  seen boats stuck in all of these.

Edited by Mac of Cygnet
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I'd agree cruisers with taff rails are most vulnerable, and the front corners of the cabin on most boats - we went through on our old boat that had a lot more tumblehome than most and had no issues at all (but that boat went through Froghall tunnel with plenty of clearance).  

I would also, personally, ignore guidance instructions from the "pilot". Fred managed to crash us into the side wall twice when I would have turned well before we hit - you know your own boat, the pilot doesn't. 

I totally agree with Mac - the procedure of measuring boats literally as they line up at the entrance is ridiculous and given the whole rigmarole involved in navigating Standedge and the effort of just getting to the summit,  I can't believe there isn't a better way of doing this.  

BTW 57' is going to be a tight fit on the Huddersfield Broad canal, depending on how the boat is measured.  The Nicholson's guide I have is very misleading in that it fails to mention the shorter locks on the HBC.

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Hmm, it's a long journey to be turned back. I've measured and re-measured several times and it really is right on the limit. Anyway, the Rochdale is next then we'll take it from there. Thanks for the responses. 

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2 hours ago, rgreg said:

Hmm, it's a long journey to be turned back. I've measured and re-measured several times and it really is right on the limit. Anyway, the Rochdale is next then we'll take it from there. Thanks for the responses. 

Unfortunately it does happen.

Can't be sure it's true but I heard of boats being turned back even though they had been through previously. My boat is 57ft x 6' 10" and quite high.  The gauge they use is a basic portable affair so can't understand why they don't offer to measure boats at Aspley and Duckinfield - have you tried asking if they will?

Filling the tanks and taking extra ballast may ease your concerns. Which way are you going and when? I may be able to arrange some assistance on that score.

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 Whio has  been through three times. According to the published measurements we were within measurement error of being on the limit.

We loaded all our buckets into the gas locker for'ad and water filled them to get another inch. Another boat was outside measure but Cart loaned them a 120 Wheely bin to place in their well deck which when water filled did the trick. Enjoy it. The HNC is a unique experience of getting your  boat up high and then down deep. Scenery spectacular. We travelled E to W and then did a return bus trip to Slaithwaite to see the moor above and restock at Lidl.

Don

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1 hour ago, Midnight said:

Unfortunately it does happen.

Can't be sure it's true but I heard of boats being turned back even though they had been through previously. My boat is 57ft x 6' 10" and quite high.  The gauge they use is a basic portable affair so can't understand why they don't offer to measure boats at Aspley and Duckinfield - have you tried asking if they will?

Filling the tanks and taking extra ballast may ease your concerns. Which way are you going and when? I may be able to arrange some assistance on that score.

Thanks for the offer but we've not made a final decision on the route yet. We may well just do the Rochdale from Manchester and over the L&L westwards back to the Lancaster.

Edited by rgreg
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21 minutes ago, rgreg said:

Thanks for the offer but we've not made a final decision on the route yet. We may well just do the Rochdale from Manchester and over the L&L westwards back to the Lancaster.

All three Pennine routes are equally splendid. The L & L on the Yorkshire side is outstanding. The Rochdale Summit is awesome and the Huddersfield has a charm of its own. If choosing I would pick what you mention above, but only because generally speaking there's more likelihood of a hold-up on the Huddersfield.

I'm going back to base so just using the quickest route. BTW if you meet any southern softies tell them there's wolves here - we're not too keen on sharing the spender and anyway the single-lock brigade would find it very hard ooop norf.

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Yes, the L&L is one of my favourite canals; particularly the Skipton to Foulridge section. However, it's grim here up north, the natives are grizzly and the canals are tough so best all stay down in the comfortable south!

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1 hour ago, Midnight said:

Unfortunately it does happen.

Can't be sure it's true but I heard of boats being turned back even though they had been through previously. My boat is 57ft x 6' 10" and quite high.  The gauge they use is a basic portable affair so can't understand why they don't offer to measure boats at Aspley and Duckinfield - have you tried asking if they will?

Filling the tanks and taking extra ballast may ease your concerns. Which way are you going and when? I may be able to arrange some assistance on that score.

I guess if water levels are down they can be a bit more lenient so may on occasions turn back boats that have been through before. We went through in a hire boat that was only just within the height. We made sure all crew were on board and near the bow when they measured!

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FAO rgreg

Did you see the planned stoppage notice issued today for lock 11E Friday 4th August? It may affect your decision. It certainly got me buzzing, as I am booked through Standedge on the 9th.

I phoned Tracy Jackson the manager of those parts who assured me it's only a one-day stoppage but I expect it all depends on what they find.

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notice/11191/huddersfield-canal-lock-11e

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1 hour ago, Midnight said:

FAO rgreg

Did you see the planned stoppage notice issued today for lock 11E Friday 4th August? It may affect your decision. It certainly got me buzzing, as I am booked through Standedge on the 9th.

I phoned Tracy Jackson the manager of those parts who assured me it's only a one-day stoppage but I expect it all depends on what they find.

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notice/11191/huddersfield-canal-lock-11e

Thanks Midnight, yes I saw it.

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On 16/07/2017 at 22:44, rgreg said:

Thanks for the replies folks. Some bits of the paintwork already need touching up following some heavy cruising so a few more scratches won't hurt! 

That's the spirit! Only done it which it was still under electric tug, but cracking trip.

 

Daniel

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1 hour ago, DHutch said:

That's the spirit! Only done it which it was still under electric tug, but cracking trip.

 

Daniel

We met Emily Anne at the bottom of the Diggle flight with your grandad Tom, who showed us around the boat. While possibly waiting for you, he insisted on lockwheeling for another boat going up. A few years ago now.  What's the position with steam powered boats going through?  I know that steam trains go through and can reduce visibility in the canal tunnel to almost zero.

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14 minutes ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

We met Emily Anne at the bottom of the Diggle flight with your grandad Tom, who showed us around the boat. While possibly waiting for you, he insisted on lockwheeling for another boat going up. A few years ago now.  What's the position with steam powered boats going through?  I know that steam trains go through and can reduce visibility in the canal tunnel to almost zero.

Ah right, and yes, he was there a few days and I rejoined for the tunnel after mum and mum did the run up to diggle.

With good coal, which is all we burn, visibility isn't an issue. But obviously you still get a whack load of CO/CO2/etc.

I don't know what the deal is now. I expect self power would not be permitted, at which point I would like to think that they would still tug us, with the elec trip tugs or another boat.

The only steam boat that way is Whistle down the wind. They have a 5kva diesal genset, so when self propulsion became a think, fitted a large 240vac motor.

 

Daniel

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10 hours ago, DHutch said:

Ah right, and yes, he was there a few days and I rejoined for the tunnel after mum and mum did the run up to diggle.

With good coal, which is all we burn, visibility isn't an issue. But obviously you still get a whack load of CO/CO2/etc.

I don't know what the deal is now. I expect self power would not be permitted, at which point I would like to think that they would still tug us, with the elec trip tugs or another boat.

The only steam boat that way is Whistle down the wind. They have a 5kva diesal genset, so when self propulsion became a think, fitted a large 240vac motor.

 

Daniel

Hmmm the guidelines don't mention steam powered boats, but I suspect the CO2 would be a problem. From memory, in 'normal conditions with a diesel powered boat the chaperone's CO2 monitor hovers just above the alarm setting and gets very close if a steam train goes through the adjacent railway tunnel.

On one trip with the renowned Fred Carter chaperoning we about 2 minutes from the point where you can see the line. Fred looked at his watch an gleefully explained whilst he had seen the occasional passing train he had never seen a passing steam train and one was due in the next 2 minutes. As we approached, the tunnel filled with steam and we just caught a glimpse of the light on the rear carriage as it disappeared into the dark. I reckon we missed it by about 20 seconds. The CO2 monitor momentarily dropped to the alarm zone.

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