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Elista
Elista

Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:03pm

Post Subject: Typical day on a canal boat

Hi! How would you describe a typical day (let's say in winter and in summer) on board a canal boat? What do you have to do when you get up in the morning (in relation to the boat) and before you go to sleep? What kind of maintenance does one have to do? What are the most common problems one can face on a canal boat? What are the challenges (positive and negative) of living on a canal boat every day? I have read quite a lot of article about the topic and watched a few videos online as well, but I am trying to have a better understanding of the day to day life on a canal boat, in order to break it down in a script for a documentary TV series (see the thread âInquiry about narrowboats for a TV seriesâ posted on June 28). So if you have any stories or experiences to share, I am interested! Thank you! Marie-Claude

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:55am

Post Subject: Typical day on a canal boat

Unless you posted last night I have yet to see your last question on the Canal World Forum as I advised a week ago. This makes me rather reluctant to help if you do not seem to be bothered the contact source with probably the largest user base. There is NO typical day because there is no typical boater, we are all individuals with different priorities and skills. I am a retired engineering lecturer with very ordinary habits so most activities mirror what I would do is a house. As far as the boat goes the daily maintenance starts the evening before when stopping cruising. Just before stopping with revs on the engine I check the ammeter to ensure the batteries are "fully" charged, Then once stopped I tightening the stern gland. greaser and refilling it as and when required. Just before bed, when its dark (we have solar charging as well as the engine) and again as I get up in the morning I check the battery voltages. This gives me an idea of how urgent charging is and if any faults are developing. Before starting to cruise the engine oil, gearbox oil, and coolant are checked and topped up as required. I may also test the alternator belt for tension and condition. The cleaning of the accommodation is the same, but of a smaller area as in a house as is the washing except that (in my case) involves had n washing or a visit to a launderette. Other maintenance to the boat like washing, polishing, and servicing is like a car. Every two or three days I need to refill the domestic water tank. With two aboard every week or two the black water tank needs pumping out. Other boats use a cassette toilet that needs manually empting every few days. You see some live-a-boards (probably those who just think boats are cheap housing) who's boats looks as if they treat it like a doss house, rarely cleaning or doing any maintenance while others give the impression they always pay someone else to do the maintenance. Each boat is different with different equipment and maintenance needs. In winter a wood burner or solid fuel stove may need attending to every day but other boats have some form of central heating. The Canal & River Trust (as you should know from your research) sets down the minimum amount of movement required but may boaters seem to be able to ignore their guidance with a degree of impunity. Others end up potentially losing their boats. Live-a-boards probably cruise less than leisure boats like mine each day. I tend to cruise between 4 and 6 hours a day with only a day or two moored in one place for sight seeing etc. Others may stay moored for up to 14 days and them move on a few miles and so on. If you can elicit a definitive "required movement" rule from CaRT that is in accord with statute the best of luck. Some live-a-boards stay more or less full time on their moorings or in a marina so they are close to work & schools etc. CaRT are happy with this as the boat has a registered home mooring but then consideration in respect of UK planning legislation and conditions come into play. There are few 100% legal live-a-board moorings with full legal rights and they tend to be expensive. I think that I have wasted enough time doing your research for you. If you want to ask specific questions that are answerable in a sentance or two email Tony@TB-Training.cco.uk

Elista
Elista

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:26pm

Post Subject: Typical day on a canal boat

Hi Tony, Thank you very much for your detailed reply. This is helpful! I did post a thread on CanalWorld yesterday. I should have done it earlier. I also tried to post an inquiry last week on the London Boaters Facebook page but they don't accept any commercial TV requests. Thanks to the Canal & River Trust and the articles I read, I am now more "familiar" with the concept and cost of mooring and I believe one of the highlight of canal boat living is also the sense of community, which is very intesresting. I think I can work with this for now. Plus I have more than 50 links related to canal boats since I started my search. Thank you again for your help and your time. I appreciate it and I am keeping your email in file for the future (we don't know yet if the series will be green-lighted). Best regards, Marie-Claude

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:50pm

Post Subject: Typical day on a canal boat

Unfortunately the forums often get pestered by various sorts of journalists for information. Far too many of them refuse to identify the people they are working for and exhibit an entitlement attitude. This has badly soured the atmosphere when a journalist of any type asks for help. Especially when there are so many correct answers and the questions tend to be very general. I think that if your sponsors could afford it a personal visit for a month when you can travel about, meet boaters and chat to them would produce a better quality of script.

Elista
Elista

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:48pm

Post Subject: Typical day on a canal boat

Hi Tony, Sorry for the delay in responding. I just saw your reply. I guess can understand how such a request can be bothering. One thing I did not mention is the broadcaster the series would air on, should it work, in Canada. It is www.tv5.ca, a French-speaking network. Going to the UK and meet boaters along the waterways in preparation to our documentary series would be amazing and help prepare the documentary in the best way possible for sure. However, I know it wonât happen unfortunately, budget wise. The only way I can proceed is by doing phone or Skype pre-interviews with people who are willing to talk to me. Thatâs the reality of my job. But believe me, I would love nothing more than go and meet people directly. It would be so much easier and fun! Especially since I have a thing for the UK! I have to say that a lot of boaters have been very helpful on the Canal World forum, especially after you asked them to help me. I really appreciate it and it made me realize (apart the fact that I really didnât have a clue) that the angle for this is, as you said, the fact that there is no typical day or a typical boater. I think this is the way. So we would like to explore and meet different types of boaters instead on focusing on only one (that was my idea at first). Again, thank you for your time and your help. We should know sometime in the following weeks whether our series gets green-lighted by the broadcaster or not. I am knocking on wood. If it does work, you will probably hear from me again on the forum (unless I can manage to fly to the UK somehow). Kind regards, Marie-Claude

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