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Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:31pm

Post Subject: Single Handed Cruising

I will be retiring soon and fancy buying a narrowboat, I have been on many hire boat holidays, but never on my own, what length boat would be a sensible maximum to be able to manage on your own, but will also be large enough to allow friends and family to cruise also?


Posted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:21am

Post Subject: Single Handed Cruising

Dear Alan, I find longer boats easier to single hand than shorter ones and I am happy single handing my 54 footer. I know of a number of people single handing full length boats but they will be too long for some northern waterways so if you intend to cruise the whole system 58ft is often considered the maximum to avoid doing things like backing into short locks. The longer the boat the more windage it will have so with a beam wind you might need more strength for working it on the ropes, but if time is not an issue I doubt you would be moving in such conditions. I suggest you do one more hire. Phone around and explain your positions and see if any will allow you to hire something around the 56 foot mark for a weekend, then see how you get one. You will find that you need to plan locking and mooring rather more than with a crew and NEVER hurry. Just make sure you have a good, well attached centre line. Tony Brooks

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