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About Grassman

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  1. Reporting this year's findings ...

    I find that some don't acknowledge you so you don't know if they've seen them or not.
  2. Reporting this year's findings ...

    I have a couple of minor gripes, none of which are particularly new, I think these have always been the case. Whenever I am signalling to an oncoming boat, for example to call them on, I always stand sideways so that they can clearly see my arm without it being hidden in front of the profile of my body, but many folk don't and it's difficult to see them signalling especially as some make only very small and short movements of their arm/hand. Perhaps I should pay a visit to Specsavers! The other one is the many boaters who just 'pip pip' their horns instead of longer bursts, which means that when for example you are approaching a hump back road bridge that you can't see to the other side of, you don't know if the horn is from an oncoming boat or a car on the road that's approaching the bridge.
  3. The Erewash - Britain's friendliest canal?

    We were on it last year and found the locals to be friendly, even a couple of groups of youngsters who we chatted to. The locks have a reputation for being really difficult but we didn't find them any worse than some of the difficult ones on other canals. I only had to go down the weed hatch a couple of times. For anyone who hasn't, it's definitely worth going on it.
  4. Disgusted

    We are having a fortnight on a hire boat next April on the Leeds & Liverpool because our own Nb is too long for the locks. So I'm looking forward to finding out how differently we will be treated.
  5. Stainless Steel Chminey

    I bought my stainless steel chimney from these http://www.littlechimneycompany.co.uk/ 4 years ago and it's still as good as new. They trade from their boat and his workshop is in a butty. They move around a bit but only usually on the Coventry Canal and you just need to phone him up to see whereabouts he is. He has pre-made ones which are usually a good fit but if you are boating down his way he will measure up and make one to fit perfectly. We are very pleased with our chimney.
  6. Star City

    It's not in the best of areas but like with anywhere it's down to luck as to who is about, but at least in the morning you can pop across the road to Greggs and get your breakfast .
  7. A near miss

    I remember in the 60's as kids my mates and I used to jump the guillotine lock at Kings Norton in Birmingham. Most times we made it but occasionally we'd get bruised or grazed shins. Kings Norton was a nice area when I grew up there not rough like it is nowadays.
  8. A near miss

    On the issue of walking across lock gates, do many of you step across from one gate to the other or do you walk around to the other side? I'm 6' tall and usually step across and so does my wife who is only 5' 4" . I think the key issues are as well as ensuring our footwear is suitable, never to hurry. Also windless secured in a belt to free up both hands. We then always pause briefly at the edge of one gate, focus on the gate we are crossing on to, including the handrail, and then make step across. By concentrating and being fully focused together with not hurrying, I think it's perfectly safe to do this. How about you others?
  9. Lock by-washes

    We're doing the Limehouse Lock next year but thankfully will be leaving in not entering it. When we went on the Chesterfield Canal I was dreading the turn into the lock from the Trent at West Stockwith, but did it perfectly. Then further downstream the turn into Keadby Lock, no problem with that either. But I well and truly c*cked up entering Selby lock from the Ouse.
  10. Lock by-washes

    Me too, especially when I'm hovvering in mid stream waiting to go in Good point BWM, it certainly helps. Done that blackrose. many times on the Tidal Trent, the Yorkshire Ouse, the lower reaches of the Severn, and the Ribble Link. I do prefer the canals but not those pesky locks with the fierce by-washes As for Matty's and DMR's comments Ha ha very droll Having boated nearly every year since 1976 cruised 6 months a year since 2009 I do have a little experience you know
  11. Lock by-washes

    In the latest CRT email they discuss how to get round the problem of fierce by-washes, especially some of those on the Shroppie. The suggestions made by contributors are all related to approaches to locks and offer the advice that you should steer the bows into the wash so as to counteract the flow and hopefully remain lined up for entering the lock. Which is pretty obvious really and something I've always done and by and large it works. What I do have difficulty with is counteracting the by-wash when leaving a lock because it is often impossible to steer against it if half of my 62ft boat is still in the lock. Increasing the thrust when exiting the lock helps, especially if done just before and after the bows reach the wash. The problem is particularly a pain if there is a boat waiting to come into the lock. How do you others get on and do you have a solution that I haven't thought of? I don't have a bowthruster but it seems they don't do a lot anyway.
  12. Canal Boat Magazine

    I've always been paid within a week or so after the following edition is published. That has been with both the 'Me and my boats' article and other stuff I've had published too. They have recently had a new assistant editor so whether that has made a difference I don't know, but I suggest you email the editor Nick Wall.
  13. Cleaning cratch cover

    We use white vinegar mixed with water (1 part to 10 parts water). Use a soft brush to apply but brush fairly vigorously. In the 4 years we've had our boat we have found this is the best solution and works better than the propriety brands that have been mentioned.
  14. Has it been a busy summer?

    For a few weeks in July we were at Baddesley Wharf in the middle of the Atherstone flight of locks on the Coventry Canal having some work done on the boat. The folk there said they'd never known it so busy. Also, when walking my dog I spoke to many hire boaters who were boating for the first time. The T&M in the midlands seems busier than usual this year as well.
  15. Bristol to Sharpness via Portishead

    Thanks Ian and the rest of you for the tips and recollections. It sounds an amazing experience and I'm seriously considering doing it.