General Witterings -
WHAT SIZE BOAT DO I NEED?
Every now and again, I get an e-mail asking this question. I try to give a helpful and polite answer (honest guv!!), but the question itself seems to me indicative of the fact that that the questioner is not ready for boat ownership - unless they happen to have oodles of money that they are prepared to throw away.
To find out what size boat you need, AND to decide what equipment you want on board, the prospective owner has to do some thinking.
Perhaps the first thing to do is to ensure that one's partners in life (e.g. FSP / close buddy / associated smalls) (I am led to believe that FSP is a term used by social scientists as an all-embracing, non-sexist term for 'Favourite Sexual Partner') also want to go boating. To ensure this, one should, at the very least, hire one for a holiday. The experience of this holiday should lead you to some thoughts about the equipment that you will need on board. The following notes might help:
A bath takes more space than a shower.
A bath uses more water than a shower, so it will have implications on the size of the water tank and on the volume of hot water that you can generate.
At this point, one can think about the two main systems:
It is, of course, well worthwhile keeping an eye on the waterway magazines to see what is available. Remember that the featured boats are nearly always new boats, and hence the cupboards and shelves are empty of normal, everyday necessities and clutter. Ditto the used boats for sale you look at.
On this website you can find a copy of the check list that I used when visiting boatyards to find a boat. If you use it, you'll probably have to tweak it to reflect your own wishes, desires and necessities
Foolishly, I recently mentioned Rosy's electric kettle. The kettle obviously got to know about this, as it has now decided to be awkward. Its lip cover has taken to falling off, and the body has been discoloured by some paint. It is some six or seven years old, and has a low rating of 500 watts, so it can be run off Rosy's inverter, without necessarily having to shut down every other 240v appliance (so I can carry on computing whilst brewing a cup of tea). I'm not looking forward to trying to find another one, as such low wattage are a bit like hen's teeth - extremely un-common!! Incidentally, truck-stop shops are often a good source of 12v equipment - in them, I've seen kettles designed to be plugged into a 12v cigarette lighter socket, and also 12v microwave ovens.
...AND WHINGEING BLOODY POMS
Why are some people so miserable??!! A British registered boat came onto the mooring a few days ago. It had been a wonderfully bright and sunny day - in contrast to the wet and windy stuff which had been around for the previous few days. I wondered about whether to talk to them as he (and older gent) had shouted harsh words to his older (looking) and frailer (looking) female partner when they were coming in to moor. Anyway, they were sitting out sunning themselves, so I gave them a cheerful 'Hi'. This sparked him off into a long diatribe about:
At this point I eased off back to 'Rosy', sure in the knowledge that I could have a very much more worthwhile and interesting conversation with Fanny the Woof, or even the nearby plane tree!!!
Today, they were sitting outside as I walked by, and I got lured into further conversation with them.
He was complaining that if the local authority 'got it together' they could generate electricity from the near-by river, and provide the mooring with free electricity. I tried to explain that it was already virtually free to us, and that with the nuclear power station two or three miles down the road, electricity was not in short supply in these parts.
He then changed tack to complain that the UK 'government' were closing down nuclear power stations and were not building replacements, and added that it was his wife's birthday, and he wanted to take her into town, but had to wait until a boat filled the berth next to his boat, as in similar circumstances two years ago an incoming boat had badly damaged his lee-board.
I followed Fanny home - she had wisely left pretty soon after we have stopped to talk.
The Transactional Analysis folk call such conversations 'Ain't it awful ' and for some folk (rather too many for my liking) it is their main means of conversing with others. You can sometimes find folk who will trot through a series of awful things, until they find one that they both agree with, and then they're away, agreeing that it really IS awful.
If one comes across such people, it is (occasionally) great fun to pick up on one of their moans, and to steer the conversation around to try to discuss what WE could do to alleviate the problem. Some shy away from this, others are willing, at least, to enter into the discussion, but 99.999% will balk at actually doing anything about it.
I suppose that, on the positive side, if we all agree that something is awful, then that, in itself, provides with us with a bond of sorts. However, isn't it preferable to bond with people over positive things? I would much rather belong to a club that is for something rather than one that is against something.
I guess that this is why the canally community is such a success. We can all enthuse about how s'wonderful and s'marvellous the canals are, and that makes for cheerful, positive relationships.