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Markinaboat

K&A Trip planned

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Markinaboat    8

Hi,

We're off for a few weeks early August from our base in Harefield and thinking of doing the K&A, maybe to Bath or Bristol and back. Have heard stories of difficulty in getting overnight moorings and being 70 ft, we don't want any more hassle than the norm so any advice/tips would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Mark

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The Kennet and Avon is busy at the western end, especially with all the hire boats out and about now. If you don't mind mooring away from the visitor moorings and have a plank, should be fine. It's a beautiful canal,plenty of canal side pubs and interesting places to visit, have fun :D

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Markinaboat    8

Thanks for the feedback. I have been as far as Semington before when I brought a boat back for a friend but it wasn't in season and shallow drafted - we're around 2'8"

 

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59 minutes ago, Markinaboat said:

Hi,

We're off for a few weeks early August from our base in Harefield and thinking of doing the K&A, maybe to Bath or Bristol and back. Have heard stories of difficulty in getting overnight moorings and being 70 ft, we don't want any more hassle than the norm so any advice/tips would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Mark

 

I'd say it depends on what you mean by 'overnight moorings'. If you mean a VM with a nice piled edge, mooring rings, water tap and a pub 100 yards away, then yes there are a few of these but they are usually full up by 10am the previous morning.

If you literally only want 70ft of rough overgrown bankside to tie to overnight, and you can wield a mooring stake hammer and use a gangplank, then yes there is loads of overnight mooring space. 

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Peter X    148

Mike knows the K&A very well and is absolutely right. In my relatively limited experience of it (several different trips on various boats but never further west than Foxhangers) this has been what it's like, you'll be fine if you go equipped as he describes, and struggling to find a mooring if you don't.

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Bettie Boo    287

We've only traveled on the K&A the once a couple of years ago, just down to the bottom of the Caen Hill flight.

As Mike and others have said, as long as your not looking for VM's and are happy to moor up in the wilderness you won't have a problem finding a spot, but you will need a good sized plank.

We stocked up on supplies at the Tesco's at Reading before entering the K&A, and found some good moorings at Hungerford where there is another Tesco's very close to the canal.  There are also good sized shops at Devizes & Pewsey both of which you will need to walk into the towns to reach.

Hope you enjoy your trip.  Personally the K&A is not my cup of tea, but loads of others seem to enjoy it well enough.

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4 minutes ago, Bettie Boo said:

We've only traveled on the K&A the once a couple of years ago, just down to the bottom of the Caen Hill flight.

As Mike and others have said, as long as your not looking for VM's and are happy to moor up in the wilderness you won't have a problem finding a spot, but you will need a good sized plank.

We stocked up on supplies at the Tesco's at Reading before entering the K&A, and found some good moorings at Hungerford where there is another Tesco's very close to the canal.  There are also good sized shops at Devizes & Pewsey both of which you will need to walk into the towns to reach.

Hope you enjoy your trip.  Personally the K&A is not my cup of tea, but loads of others seem to enjoy it well enough.

 

I don't intedn this to be a criticism of you Bettie but I have to say, I love it here compared to the midlands waterways where boaters expect to get everything laid on by CRT, on a plate. There is definitely more of a 'can do', 'just get on with it' attitude amongst the natives here. Empty pound (again)? Run some water down. Can't get close to the bank? Get the longer gangplank out. Fender growth six feet high? Whack yourself a plank space out using your sickle or a big stick. Nowhere to moor near the pub? Use the waterpoint or a lock landing. You get the idea! (Ok was half kidding about that last one ;) )

A bit like it used to be all over the system, 25 years ago.

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12 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 Nowhere to moor near the pub? Use the waterpoint or a lock landing. You get the idea! (Ok was half kidding about that last one ;) )

A bit like it used to be all over the system, 25 years ago.

Mike is definitely only half kidding here! :blink:

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Just now, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Or even better...

Frozen in on the water point? Oh bugger what a pain!

(Teasing you there MV!!)

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist that one :D it was totally unfortunate - honest .......... 

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Just now, Meanderingviking said:

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist that one :D it was totally unfortunate - honest .......... 

 

Haha no-one cared, but I'll wheel it out at every opportunity in perpetuity, obv :D

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Just now, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Haha no-one cared, but I'll wheel it out at every opportunity in perpetuity, obv :D

I should think so too, I would if the tables were turned :clapping:

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6 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Quite right too. 

I lurve turntables. Especially that one over sheepwash channel...

Vinyl turntables .......

Anyhow back on track, K and A wonderful canal full of character and characters :boat:

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4 minutes ago, Meanderingviking said:

Vinyl turntables .......

Anyhow back on track, K and A wonderful canal full of character and characters :boat:

 

I have a rather lovely Garrard 401...

To go with my Quad 22 and rather awesome Tannoy Mansfields with 15" HPDs. Must cart it all orf to the boat one day!!

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Just now, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I have a rather lovely Garrard 401...

To go with my Quad 22 and rather awesome Tannoy Mansfields with 15" HPDs. Must cart it all orf to the boat one day!!

T'other half would understand what you're talking about, its all over my head, we downsized all the vinyl to CDs when we moved on the boat. Still sound better than digital especially played through seperates, with Gale speakers.

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haggis    161

Betty, you are not alone in not having the K & A as your favourite  waterway. I have cruised it twice , first when Caen Hill was just reopened and the second time was about 9 or 10 years ago so it may have changed BUT, the things I didn't like were 

1. The little hanging metal brackets for putting your foot in to get up onto a balance beam to cross the lock. Ok going up but when trying to step down, you can't see where the metal things are and I often put my foot on the top by mistake and slipped off when I put my weight on it. Got several skinned knees as they hit off the balance beam as I slipped down. 

2. The tops of the balance beams where they met in the middle had  domed shiney slippy metal (?) tops which if you stood on when they or your footwear was wet, you were liable to slide off. My legs were just too short to step across the gates without stepping on one of these domes.

3. The granny gear on the caen Hill flight. Not only did this take an age and seven eighths to wind up and down, you could not drop paddles quickly in an emergency. 

When we were last there, there were not as many boats as I gather there are now but there were long lengths with signs prohibiting visitors mooring as they were long term moorings. 

As I said, the K & A is a long way off being my favourite canal and I don't think we will be back any time soon.

haggis

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mrsmelly Contributor    1,147
4 minutes ago, haggis said:

Betty, you are not alone in not having the K & A as your favourite  waterway. I have cruised it twice , first when Caen Hill was just reopened and the second time was about 9 or 10 years ago so it may have changed BUT, the things I didn't like were 

1. The little hanging metal brackets for putting your foot in to get up onto a balance beam to cross the lock. Ok going up but when trying to step down, you can't see where the metal things are and I often put my foot on the top by mistake and slipped off when I put my weight on it. Got several skinned knees as they hit off the balance beam as I slipped down. 

2. The tops of the balance beams where they met in the middle had  domed shiney slippy metal (?) tops which if you stood on when they or your footwear was wet, you were liable to slide off. My legs were just too short to step across the gates without stepping on one of these domes.

3. The granny gear on the caen Hill flight. Not only did this take an age and seven eighths to wind up and down, you could not drop paddles quickly in an emergency. 

When we were last there, there were not as many boats as I gather there are now but there were long lengths with signs prohibiting visitors mooring as they were long term moorings. 

As I said, the K & A is a long way off being my favourite canal and I don't think we will be back any time soon.

haggis

I think sometimes we get an affiliation with a certain canals or section of a canal due to people we have met there or pubs or jobs etc etc. I like others have my favourite spots and the K and A is not one of them. I have been on there several times over the years and indeed had a mooring on there 93/94 and have been back since but not for over ten years. Yes its picturesque in certain bits and Baff is fab and I would go back but for me there are far nicer canals but each to their own with regard preferance, some people actualy prefer living in houses which is way out of my comfort zone.

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7 minutes ago, haggis said:

Betty, you are not alone in not having the K & A as your favourite  waterway. I have cruised it twice , first when Caen Hill was just reopened and the second time was about 9 or 10 years ago so it may have changed BUT, the things I didn't like were 

1. The little hanging metal brackets for putting your foot in to get up onto a balance beam to cross the lock. Ok going up but when trying to step down, you can't see where the metal things are and I often put my foot on the top by mistake and slipped off when I put my weight on it. Got several skinned knees as they hit off the balance beam as I slipped down. 

2. The tops of the balance beams where they met in the middle had  domed shiney slippy metal (?) tops which if you stood on when they or your footwear was wet, you were liable to slide off. My legs were just too short to step across the gates without stepping on one of these domes.

3. The granny gear on the caen Hill flight. Not only did this take an age and seven eighths to wind up and down, you could not drop paddles quickly in an emergency. 

When we were last there, there were not as many boats as I gather there are now but there were long lengths with signs prohibiting visitors mooring as they were long term moorings. 

As I said, the K & A is a long way off being my favourite canal and I don't think we will be back any time soon.

haggis

 

This is, of course, arranged deliberately to keep the demandy and unappreciative hoi-polloi off our wonderful canal. 

Looks like it's working!

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haggis    161
7 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

This is, of course, arranged deliberately to keep the demandy and unappreciative hoi-polloi off our wonderful canal. 

Looks like it's working!

LOL. I don't think either description fits me as the things I mentioned are all safety related, in my view. It is a lovely canal in many ways but just not on my top ten list :-)

 

haggis

 

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Bettie Boo    287
4 minutes ago, haggis said:

Betty, you are not alone in not having the K & A as your favourite  waterway. I have cruised it twice , first when Caen Hill was just reopened and the second time was about 9 or 10 years ago so it may have changed BUT, the things I didn't like were 

1. The little hanging metal brackets for putting your foot in to get up onto a balance beam to cross the lock. Ok going up but when trying to step down, you can't see where the metal things are and I often put my foot on the top by mistake and slipped off when I put my weight on it. Got several skinned knees as they hit off the balance beam as I slipped down. 

2. The tops of the balance beams where they met in the middle had  domed shiney slippy metal (?) tops which if you stood on when they or your footwear was wet, you were liable to slide off. My legs were just too short to step across the gates without stepping on one of these domes.

3. The granny gear on the caen Hill flight. Not only did this take an age and seven eighths to wind up and down, you could not drop paddles quickly in an emergency. 

When we were last there, there were not as many boats as I gather there are now but there were long lengths with signs prohibiting visitors mooring as they were long term moorings. 

As I said, the K & A is a long way off being my favourite canal and I don't think we will be back any time soon.

haggis

Your #1 was my biggest bug bear about the K&A, after many many skinned shins and bruises, I bit the bullet and learned how to get the boat into and out of the locks myself, and left Dave to heave himself up and down off the gates using those flippin stirrups.

Mike - no offence taken at all.  I appreciate the K&A has a lot to offer, and loads of folks make it home and or their cruising area, it's simply not for me.

I guess we all have our favorite and least favorite canals, which really is a good thing.  Imagine how bloomin busy it would be if we all liked the same canal!!

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haggis    161
2 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

I agree about the stoopid metal stirrups. 

The fix is, obviously, is to ignore them and pretend they are not there. Like on all other canals.

No-one HAS to use them!

I tried not using the stirrups but I needed longer legs and I didn't have them with me :-) . On other canals, the balance beam usually has a flat metal plate attached to the bottom of the beam for stepping onto  - and it is visible from above! 

Haggis

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1 minute ago, haggis said:

I tried not using the stirrups but I needed longer legs and I didn't have them with me :-) . On other canals, the balance beam usually has a flat metal plate attached to the bottom of the beam for stepping onto  - and it is visible from above! 

Haggis

 

As I said. A feature designed to keep away the boaters accustomed to softy midlands boating.

Look like it's working!

;)

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