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UK Narrowboats

DRIless

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Is there a Tugger with UK Narrowboat experience? I have an exchange for three weeks Apr-May2021. :)
 
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kwelty

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DRIless

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What company did you get the exchange with and what did you use? I would love to do this one day,
RCI thru Worldmark corporate acct
 

T-Dot-Traveller

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Thanks I have worldmark but have never joined RCI. I might have to think about it.
You can also rent these through the two UK companies that sell fractional ownership of canal / narrowboats.

We had a son living in the UK - so I spent sometime looking at options on RCI and found these.
RCI mostly had off season weeks (ie Jan- May and Oct - Dec) as listed options ( I did not do an OGS)
when I clicked on “website” of the listings I was able to find more information ; including summer rentals that appeared to be week owners who were “depositing” and letting the company list their week on the website.
There are at least 6 marina’s that have boats and various “tours” you can self guide. Some routes had more locks ,
which require more work on your part to navigate. There were 1 bedroom & 2 bedroom narrow boats.
 

DRIless

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Thanks I have worldmark but have never joined RCI. I might have to think about it.
If you have Worldmark maybe you have a corporate RCI account ??
 

Bwolf

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Nice topic. We were interested in exchanges through II, but it doesn't seem to be an option anymore.
 

DRIless

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Canalboat Club at Gayton Marina (#A958) Northampton is what I have. I've never seen narrowboat availability outside of mid-winter months and expect my getting late Apr/May is because of COVID-19.

Canal History

Great Canal Journeys, lots of PBS type episodes
 

JudyH

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Yes!! We did it. I think 2012. We exchanged thru RCI. We flew from BWI to London to Manchester. Took the train to Chester then picked up the narrow boat near there. It was just DH and I. We went to Llangollen Wales, stayed there two nights and returned. We picked up groceries at a nearby store and ate most nights at pubs where we tied up.
It was very scenic. People were nice and helpful.
We are campers and RVers. This was similar. However I have no desire to do it again. Because I have better vision than DH I was the one who did all the navigation. Many areas were quite narrow. I needed to be very precise on my navigation and often passed very close to privately owned boats. Also there was no place to sit on the outside of the boat, so it was standing in all kinds of weather. We only had rain one day (July) so we’re lucky.
94ABD91F-7A8F-4342-85A8-3C67035499EE.jpeg
6E7F45E5-7975-40C9-A5CC-5717210D1DA4.jpeg
 
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Laurie

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I've always had narrowboats on my radar, been fascinated, and wondered whether I'd love, dislike, or somewhere in between. Then I had more upperbody strength than I do now, so perhaps I've waited too long to find out.

Thanks for your report, JudyH. About a decade ago, we overnighted at an inn on the river in Llangollen on our drive from Scotland to Wales Pembrokeshire coast. (We wanted to visit Plas Newydd, home of Ladies of Llangollen, which we enjoyed very much.) We walked up to the canal and spent a while watching the narrowboats there, near the marina - I was so tempted to knock on someone's window and ask whether we could come in and take a look, but I resisted!

DRIless, hope you'll come back with your report after your experience.

Yes!! We did it. I think 2012. We exchanged thru RCI. We flew from BWI to London to Manchester. Took the train to Chester then picked up the narrow boat near there. It was just DH and I. We went to Llangollen Wales, stayed there two nights and returned. We picked up groceries at a nearby store and ate most nights at pubs where we tied up.
It was very scenic. People were nice and helpful.
We are campers and RVers. This was similar. However I have no desire to do it again. Because I have better vision than DH I was the one who did all the navigation. Many areas were quite narrow. I needed to be very precise on my navigation and often passed very close to privately owned boats. Also there was no place to sit on the outside of the boat, so it was standing in all kinds of weather. We only had rain one day (July) so we’re lucky.View attachment 25673View attachment 25674
 

Glynda

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We have owned four boats over the years and are expienced to a degree. Personally, I am past the age of wanting to, or being able to, handle that type of vacation. Aren’t there locks along the way that one must get out and crank the lock open, pass through and then get out and crank the lock closed? Between that, the narrow passages, docking andi as lovely as I find England and its narrowboats, I just couldn’t. Three weeks sounds like a long time unless there is further to go than on some others I’ve read about.
 

Glynda

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Yes!! We did it. I think 2012. We exchanged thru RCI. We flew from BWI to London to Manchester. Took the train to Chester then picked up the narrow boat near there. It was just DH and I. We went to Llangollen Wales, stayed there two nights and returned. We picked up groceries at a nearby store and ate most nights at pubs where we tied up.
It was very scenic. People were nice and helpful.
We are campers and RVers. This was similar. However I have no desire to do it again. Because I have better vision than DH I was the one who did all the navigation. Many areas were quite narrow. I needed to be very precise on my navigation and often passed very close to privately owned boats. Also there was no place to sit on the outside of the boat, so it was standing in all kinds of weather. We only had rain one day (July) so we’re lucky.View attachment 25673View attachment 25674
Judy, I’m curious. Were you given a map of specific docking locations for over nights? Are you expected to reach a certain place each afternoon/evening?
 

SmithOp

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Northampton, my home town, born and raised.

If you just want to experience canal boats there is a museum just out of town in the village of Stoke Bruerne. Spent a nice afternoon there on the last visit, a couple of pubs with outdoor seating you can quaf a few local ales and watch them navigate the lock.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 
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JudyH

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Glynda no map. I knew from research that there were only 2-3 locks on the way and that there were several pubs. When we got to Llangollen I knew there was a marina with hookups for 48 hours. What I didn’t know was that the last mile into Llangollen was one direction only. I was in front of 5 narrow boats pulling in for a limited unknown number of spaces There was one boat coming towards us. All 5 of us couldn’t back up so my DH had to jump onto this guys boat and help him back up, in pouring rain. And when we had to go thru long tunnels and over that very high viaduct, there was no way of knowing if another boat was coming toward us.
People with private boats stayed real clear of our royal blue rentals. They were smart.
 

Glynda

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Glynda no map. I knew from research that there were only 2-3 locks on the way and that there were several pubs. When we got to Llangollen I knew there was a marina with hookups for 48 hours. What I didn’t know was that the last mile into Llangollen was one direction only. I was in front of 5 narrow boats pulling in for a limited unknown number of spaces There was one boat coming towards us. All 5 of us couldn’t back up so my DH had to jump onto this guys boat and help him back up, in pouring rain. And when we had to go thru long tunnels and over that very high viaduct, there was no way of knowing if another boat was coming toward us.
People with private boats stayed real clear of our royal blue rentals. They were smart.
Yikes! An adventure to look back on that, at the time, must have been a bit stressful. I wondered how one would know where they were allowed to dock and how available those places would be.
 

JudyH

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Yikes! An adventure to look back on that, at the time, must have been a bit stressful. I wondered how one would know where they were allowed to dock and how available those places would be.
At the time I believe I had a navigation map of the canal marking the spots. We would stop about 4 for the day. The only one I stressed about was the marina at the Wales end of the canal. It was during this BIG international music festival so I was even more stressed. But it really rained during the days I was there so I was glad to be docked and it probably kept the crowd down.
I think it helped that we are RVers and had mixed expectations. It would have been easier with another couple on board but my friends who could afford the trip wouldn’t go and no one else had money. And then there was no place outside to sit.
 

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I have a few questions if you don't mind answering.

1. Are mosquitos and other bugs. an issue?
2. At what speed is the boat going.
3. How often do you have to gas up. Is it easy to gas up
4. Are you pretty much guaranteed a space on the dock. If not, want time do you want to arrive at the place you are spending the night.
5. If it's raining and you can't open the windows, does the inside of the boat get hot and stuffy

Thanks
 

JudyH

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I was there in July. Bugs were not an issue. I don’t remember about gasing up. Must not have been an issue. No. I was not guaranteed a place to tie up. We got to each pub about 4 pm. With COVID I do not know how many are still open. It was chilly when it rained. We probably had heat on. Windows didn’t open as I recall. Probably some kind of vent on the top as well as an escape door.
 

Bunk

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I was there in July. Bugs were not an issue. I don’t remember about gasing up. Must not have been an issue. No. I was not guaranteed a place to tie up. We got to each pub about 4 pm. With COVID I do not know how many are still open. It was chilly when it rained. We probably had heat on. Windows didn’t open as I recall. Probably some kind of vent on the top as well as an escape door.
Thanks JudyH
 

Laurie

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I have a few questions if you don't mind answering.
2. At what speed is the boat going.
Apparently 3-4 mph, according to visitbritain.com ... one of the reasons I was unsure whether I would enjoy, though for many that would definitely be relaxation.

I do wish we'd gone ahead and booked a week, back in our younger years.
 

Laurie

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Canal History

Great Canal Journeys, lots of PBS type episodes
Thanks for sharing these - so far I watched the Great Canal Journeys episode, which is also a very touching personal story about this couple.
 
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