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Old 07-25-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,785,551 times
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We're considering taking some canal tours in the UK. (Where you rent a canal boat and just putter along.) Wondered if any CD travelers have done it, experience or tips?
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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I've done it; 20 years ago though. Had a great time up and down the canals around oxford. I'm sure much has changed since then, so i can't offer advice. It was fun, despite being caught in a low lock once or twice....
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: on an island
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No advice, but you absolutely must read Three Men in a Boat.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
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We were recently looking at the canal trips - specifically renting a private "barge". I'd love to hear about others' experiences with either public or private boats.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: N26.03 W80.11
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My in-laws just finished a barge trip. It was the two of them only and the barge was over 40 feet long and they had a little trouble running it with just the two of them and they're long time boat owners. They were untied from shore twice in the night during their week long trip. Apparently they only got about half as far as the rental company claimed they could. They had bad weather as well so I'm sure that was a factor. My mother in law said the barge itself was very nice. I think they were happy to have done it, but said they wouldn't do it again. Now they're happily ensconced back in London awaiting the Olympics. Lucky Ducks.
I would love to give it a try. My husband and I run yachts for other people and never get to just relax and enjoy our own boat trips.
Hmmmm, maybe we should hire ourselves out as barge crew?
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:23 PM
 
12,762 posts, read 14,114,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgrim21784 View Post
We're considering taking some canal tours in the UK. (Where you rent a canal boat and just putter along.) Wondered if any CD travelers have done it, experience or tips?
I had acquaintances that did it in Ireland, and they were thrilled with their experience.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:35 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,955,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ForTheSea View Post
My in-laws just finished a barge trip. It was the two of them only and the barge was over 40 feet long and they had a little trouble running it with just the two of them and they're long time boat owners. They were untied from shore twice in the night during their week long trip. Apparently they only got about half as far as the rental company claimed they could. They had bad weather as well so I'm sure that was a factor. My mother in law said the barge itself was very nice. I think they were happy to have done it, but said they wouldn't do it again. Now they're happily ensconced back in London awaiting the Olympics. Lucky Ducks.
I would love to give it a try. My husband and I run yachts for other people and never get to just relax and enjoy our own boat trips.
Hmmmm, maybe we should hire ourselves out as barge crew?

I'd be really interested in knowing just what it was they had trouble with. I haven't had my own boat in many years and my husband would have to learn from me so knowing what the issues were would help us decide whether to do this at all.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: N26.03 W80.11
326 posts, read 829,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
I'd be really interested in knowing just what it was they had trouble with. I haven't had my own boat in many years and my husband would have to learn from me so knowing what the issues were would help us decide whether to do this at all.
The following is an excerpt of the e-mail I got from my MIL a few days ago, I hope it helps:

We finally have had 3 good days of weather. Last week we went on our canal barge trip. The boat was beautiful. It even had granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Driving the boat was difficult. It is steered by a rudder and the turning center is in the middle. The boat was 48 feet long. The canal was barely wide enough for two boats to pass each other. We had to go thru 48 bridges with only about 1 foot on either side. Jim would get the front of the boat thru perfectly and then have to turn it half was thru because the front was heading for the cement side of the canal. We left the dock about 5 pm and got maybe a mile and the wind blew the boat into weeds and we couldn't get it out. We spent the night there and Jim didn't sleep because he was worried about driving. It did get easier. I became "pole girl" and ran up in the front with the pole every time we went thru a bridge or were passing someone. We got grounded several times. The boat had bow thrusters which were great. They got us out of many difficulties. The first full day we passed a bunch of 13 year old canoeists. One canoe tipped over and a kid was under it so Jim jumped overboard (in 3 ft. water) and flipped the canoe for him. Unfortunately he had 3 shirts, a jacket and jeans on. (He was cold, hence the 3 shirts.) The rest of the day we had laundry hanging from the boat, drying in the cool, cloudy weather. We stopped at several villages and ate. We never made it to the locks. On the last night we stopped at a public mooring point with 4 other boats. At 11 pm all of our boats were rocked. The men all went out with flashlight hunting the perps. Looked like an old Frankenstein movie. We all settled down and then at 1 am the boats were rocked again and when Jim went out he found that they had untied our line and we were drifting. Luckily one line was still tied up. Again the vigilanties went out. Some one call the police and we were told it happens a lot and it was kids celebrating their last day of school. All in all I'm glad we went on the trip but it was so much work, I don't think I'd do it again. We didn"t even get as far down the canal as their "leisurely mid-week break".
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
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Thank you so much. The information about the mid-ship rudder was especially helpful as well as the bridge width issues.
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