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Thread: cool boat type I never knew about.

  1. #1
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    Default cool boat type I never knew about.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMKJR5n4gLw

    i wonder if these are made of wood. pretty gorgeous if silly looking they have their purpose. anyone on here ever own one?

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    They were the cargo carriers of their day, now converted and new built as canal cruisers.


    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Nice to see Nick! Thanks for posting this.
    i wonder if the barge men always dressed in their Sunday best or if it was just for the film.
    Jay

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    The original boats were wooden of course. The canals were mainly created during the Industrial Revolution late 1750's on to early 1800's. Its all really a small passion of mine because my own ancestors Thomas and John Gilbert were principal players in canal building in Britain.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Nice to see Nick! Thanks for posting this.
    i wonder if the barge men always dressed in their Sunday best or if it was just for the film.
    Jay
    Sunday best? By 'eck tha must be a scruffy bugger Jay.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    The original boats were wooden of course. The canals were mainly created during the Industrial Revolution late 1750's on to early 1800's. Its all really a small passion of mine because my own ancestors Thomas and John Gilbert were principal players in canal building in Britain.
    Yes, and when the sides were built of iron, they still originally had wood cross planked bottoms. Only later were they all steel.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Common site around the UK, often used as houseboats & for leisure, rare to see an original working one, never occurred to me that nobody else got them Have fond memories of short holidays on them, dreadful steering!

    The UK is riddled with Canals & waterways

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Luxury conversions nowadays as the use the entire boat length for accommodation. When they were working boats, the whole family (I've heard of, up to five people) lived in the sign written bit on the boats below.



    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    They were the cargo carriers of their day, now converted and new built as canal cruisers.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Re dreadful steering, I've often wondered about very narrow waterways, very long skinny boats, and steering. Did anyone ever try for some sort of rudder on both ends?
    I've seen tugs struggle to turn oreboats (our skinny lakers built for locks between the great lakes) around the big bend in the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland Ohio. I suppose that they might use bow thrusters now and not have to pay for the tugs.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Robb View Post
    Re dreadful steering, I've often wondered about very narrow waterways, very long skinny boats, and steering. Did anyone ever try for some sort of rudder on both ends?
    I've seen tugs struggle to turn oreboats (our skinny lakers built for locks between the great lakes) around the big bend in the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland Ohio. I suppose that they might use bow thrusters now and not have to pay for the tugs.
    I think that with barn door rudders, slow speed and planning ahead they managed OK.

    These guys seem to be doing reasonably well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    During WW2 many of the men who manned the canal boats were called up and were replaced by young women...

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Last edited by Andrew Craig-Bennett; 11-17-2016 at 06:29 AM.
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    This is the type of boat I imagine Hornblower traveled in with his wife Maria when he was going to take up command of I think Lidya.
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Steering isn't too bad once you get the hang of it. Aiming for a bridge opening that is 20 inches wider than your craft is a bit nerve racking though at first, especially going down river. Planning turns a loooong way ahead, going very slowly (less than a knot), and remembering it IS a contact sport, are the way to approach this.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    I'm sure there isn't too much wind/current to deal with nor wakes, and also you're never too far from something to fend off of. this looks like a cooler idea the more responses i see on here! supposedly in the UK there is a great community

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Huge canal system here, as in Europe. Google 'Telford Aquaduct' for some choice Victorian engineering still in use today.

    You do get wakes, and must pass moored boats very slowly.

    It it suits a lot of people; life in the slow lane, straw hat on, glass in hand watching the scenery change.

    My first attempt at going through a narrow and shallow bridge overhead (upstream,) I gunned the engine to counter the increased flow through it. Boat slowly emptied all the water going through it, until it rested on the bottom, going nowhere...Doh!

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Hurd deep( 16 ft Grand Union lock), Blisworth tunnel, Hatton flight and an aqueduct out of Stratford in a 30 knot crosswind were my highlights.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    This is the type of boat I imagine Hornblower traveled in with his wife Maria when he was going to take up command of I think Lidya.
    I don't think so. They traveled on a "Fly Boat", a light passenger canal boat pulled by two horses, one behind the other. One ridden by a postillion to maintain a gallop, and frequent changes of horses. They reached 14 mph and had absolute right of way. It was the fastest public transportation in the world at that time, like the SST Concord, but pricy, like the Concord.

    A series of experiments found that at 14 mph the wake almost disappeared. I suspect the Fly Boats were up on plane.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    I don't think so. They traveled on a "Fly Boat", a light passenger canal boat pulled by two horses, one behind the other. One ridden by a postillion to maintain a gallop, and frequent changes of horses. They reached 14 mph and had absolute right of way. It was the fastest public transportation in the world at that time, like the SST Concord, but pricy, like the Concord.

    A series of experiments found that at 14 mph the wake almost disappeared. I suspect the Fly Boats were up on plane.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyboa..._on_the_canals

    There is one surviving fly boat, but she is a cargo flyboat, for carrying perishable goods, not a passenger one. The passenger ones would have been much lighter/

    http://www.saturnflyboat.org.uk/
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Steering isn't too bad once you get the hang of it. Aiming for a bridge opening that is 20 inches wider than your craft is a bit nerve racking though at first, especially going down river. Planning turns a loooong way ahead, going very slowly (less than a knot), and remembering it IS a contact sport, are the way to approach this.
    I used to paddle in a K4, designed basicly for straight lines, but the club had an old heavy C4 and you needed teamwork and planning and a 'captain' to avoid disaster on a winding river.
    I spent a couple of nights on a canal boat in France after being rescued from a very wet campsite under a bridge. My canoe survived a couple of close shaves with bridges and in lochs. The Canal Du Midi/Garrone river.
    A great way to spend a european summer, this is a more recent pic, sadly none of mine have survived 40 years of moving.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Hurd deep( 16 ft Grand Union lock), Blisworth tunnel, Hatton flight and an aqueduct out of Stratford in a 30 knot crosswind were my highlights.
    Been through Blisworth many times - but never in a crosswind.

    Spent twenty years with the Grand Union at the bottom of the Garden where there was a narrow hump back bridge and a tight bend - come the start of the summer you'd get beginner boat drivers.

    These folks did not realise that the prop-wash is crucial to steering - so they'd squirt through the bridge - see the bend - an dthen either kill the engine or (worse) - slam it into reverse - and lacking all steerage - hit the side with a long drawn out graunch sound.

    A friend chose to launch his kayak on the outside of this bend - not really a well thought out plan.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyboa..._on_the_canals

    There is one surviving fly boat, but she is a cargo flyboat, for carrying perishable goods, not a passenger one. The passenger ones would have been much lighter/

    http://www.saturnflyboat.org.uk/
    Saturn looks like a conventional narrow boat but is verry fine lined.



    Other fly boats were fine lined, round bilged low capacity boats. Lancaster Maritime Museum has a display of a passenger version.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Where it all began.
    The first barges were built to carry coal out of the Bridgewater mines at Worsley.


    The biggest could carry 12 tons.
    The entrance to the mines

    and a map of the workings
    Last edited by Peerie Maa; 11-19-2016 at 11:58 AM.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Oh, my. I would live on one of those in a heartbeat. I fellow like me could be more than content to canal around for the rest of my time.

    Peace,
    Robert

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Those look like they would be a fun retirement home

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    People have taken them across from the UK to France by sea! to tour Europe, think you'd need a very flat day to do so

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Oh, my. I would live on one of those in a heartbeat. I fellow like me could be more than content to canal around for the rest of my time.

    Peace,
    Robert
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by cptsideways View Post
    People have taken them across from the UK to France by sea! to tour Europe, think you'd need a very flat day to do so
    Read "Narrow Dog To Carcasonne" by Terry Darlington - iirc he took his narrowboat to the USA...

    http://www.narrowdog.com/
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hmsvictory View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMKJR5n4gLw

    i wonder if these are made of wood. pretty gorgeous if silly looking they have their purpose. anyone on here ever own one?
    Yes.
    We have a 40 footer at the bottom of the garden. Steel, not wood. With a big Thorneycroft diesel engine.
    Many happy holidays, and the boys and their families borrow it for days away.
    M and I lived on it for 9 months while our house was rebuilt.

    Not silly; designed to fit into the narrow locks and bridges. For many decades, before the railways took over, they were the fastest form of transport in England.
    Like all boats, navigating them takes practice, patience and planning. With care, they can be turned 180 degrees in 110% of their length using just the propwash and the rudder.
    Among other things, my School teaches aspiring Helmsmen and Crew for the RYA Inland Waterways Helmsman's Certificate (who knew of such a thing?!). My friend Peter operates a 55 footer as a passenger trip boat between Cambridge and Ely and offers one-day and half-day narrowboat experiences. Navigating through Cambridge, among the nb liveaboards and the racing eights, fours and sculls is quite an experience!

    John

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Our trip was the Warwickshire ring and a couple of side trips towards Stratford and .. and ( memory issues)... some back canal to Birmingham. Really interesting when you hit shallow water, the boat sucks down and slows. And we ran into a sheet of plastic floating on the water going into London, couldn't see it but ran over it and bound up the prop. That took a while to clear , thank goodness for the prop hatch from inside the boat.

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Where it all began.
    The first barges were built to carry coal out of the Bridgewater mines at Worsley.


    The biggest could carry 12 tons.
    The entrance to the mines

    and a map of the workings
    One of the first steps in the development of the canals, was the draining of the mines. There was always a problem with water accumulation in the mines, and at the same time it was a lot of work to lift the coal out of the mines via a vertical shaft. My namesake and great(4) uncle, John Gilbert came up with the a plan to tunnel into the side of the hill at a level of the nearby navigation stream. This solved two problems, water accumulation, and the boats could get right to the coal face. An obvious solution looking back but fairly revolutionary at the time. This is described in Hugh Malet's book on the "Canal Duke".

  33. #33
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Not exactly the same thing, and on the Continent, not England, there is a series of books, "The Admiral in .....". A couple bought a Royal Navy admiral's barge that was being sold out of the service. They modified it and cruised the rivers and canals of Europe.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    I've long fantasized about some time on a canalboat in the UK. While pretty decent at boat handling (try backing my 8' draft sailboat a few hundred feet between boats on either side 20' apart ) - I wonder just how much time one spends learning on a first trip. Do any of the rental companies do a training day or two?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: cool boat type I never knew about.

    Years ago I picked up a small unusual book in a used bookstore and it turned out to be one of the best reads ever. It's about a newlywed couple taking their honeymoon in a motorized canal boat. (Powered by a model T Ford engine)
    Probably one of the first boats converted to pleasure use, I suspect it was responsible for the conservation and restoration of many unused canals likely in danger of being paved over.Look for it!



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