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Category: Narrowboat

Muscott -> Dodford

Muscott -> Dodford

I was here earlier on in the year opposite Cannah Mead Wharf, where they do the occasional bit of work.

It’s kind of a nice spot, opposite the meadow.

Dodford - Grand Union
Dodford – In the summer

There are many birds in the hedges here.

Solar is good. Phone signal is strong. When I got here, the C03 alarm was going off in one of the boats opposite and there was a couple of work boats moored behind me.

It had been raining. When I arrived, the owners of the work-boats weren’t aboard so I got the genny out and ran it for a little while to boost the batteries up a bit.

At about 7.30pm, I get a bang on the roof, so I pop my head out. It’s the owner of the work-boats, who’s obviously arrived home and says in a rather surly fashion, ‘Do you mind if you turn that generator off’. So I looks at my watch and says, ‘sure’, ‘it’s not 8 O’clock yet’. To which he says, ‘just a simple request’.

So, I said ‘fine’. ‘When it gets to 8, I’ll turn it off’. And got back on the boat.

It had been raining all day. I was hardly running it for the good of my health.

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(Visited 68 times, 1 visits today)
Watford Locks -> Muscott

Watford Locks -> Muscott

Stopped for a couple of days above the locks at Watford.

Watford Locks - Staircase flight
Watford Locks – Staircase flight

They have a 48hr mooring and it’s fairly close to the A5.

Sound of the motorway is pretty overpowering.

Buckby Locks

After this, moved the boat down to the top of Buckby Locks next to the New Inn pub.

Was there for a day. Until my crew arrived, which this time was my Sister, Kerri and her offspring.

Offspring have grown slightly since the last time they were on the boat. Still difficult for them to manage the gates and paddles.

Even sister has a problem and she’s fully grown.

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(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)
Yelvertoft > Watford Park

Yelvertoft > Watford Park

Still on the Leicester Arm, one stop up from Watford locks.

The sound of the motorway is pretty strong round here. Apart from that, the countryside is idyllic.

I’ve got some overhanging trees and the solar ain’t great. There’s some in the afternoon but I’m currently waiting for the sun to emerge around the trees.

Here’s some pictures of the current spot.

Watford Park
Watford Park
Watford Park
Watford Park

As you can see, I’m all alone this time.

Crick Marina

Had to stop off here for some fuel, which was nice. Had a pump-out as well, the first for a 6 weeks or so. Since I left Braunston.

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(Visited 48 times, 1 visits today)
Braunston -> Yelvertoft

Braunston -> Yelvertoft

Step 1: Braunston to Watford Locks

Two flights of locks. One of them staircase locks at Watford.The other Braunston Locks. One that I’ve done a few times now.

Braunston Locks are very tiring. And I was kind of happy when I found that due to water shortages, the Watford flight closed at night when the volunteers went home.

Being staircase locks, only one boat can go through at a time. And the CRT like you to book ahead, (which I didn’t).

During the day, the CRT prefer to keep it manned. Previously, at night, they let the public traverse the locks as they wished. Due to water shortages, this practice stopped, and passing through the flight is only possible with the aid of the lock-keeper.

I woke up around eight, and got going just before nine. Entering the first lock at 8.50am. Luckily, they are good and fast and I made it through the whole flight in around an hour. Apart from my button getting stuck under the gates at the top lock, all went without event, and I set off on my way again.

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(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)
Flecknoe -> Braunston

Flecknoe -> Braunston

People do moor in-between, but there’s no road access, so it’s useless to me.

Fairly picturesque and popular.

Old Braunston

At the moment, I’m at Braunston, ancient Bargee village.

All things barge are here, chandlers x 3. Marina x 1. Canalside pubs x2. And some other shops and services connected to the trade.

I was moored here for the winter on the Rugby arm.

This time I’m on Oxford arm.

There’s no piling and I’m moored up on pins but it’s a much better mooring for a number of reasons.

Not least because:

  • The towpath isn’t overgrow. On the Rugby arm, the trees hang down and you have to crouch to pass them. This is for about 20-25 yards.
  • The trees don’t overhang. They stand up straight, not grow up over my solar and cast shade over the boat.
  • Parking is better. Not on the A45 which you have to cross daily.
  • Quicker into town. Not by much, but a shorter walk into Braunston.
Mooring in Braunston
Mooring in Braunston

Views are better.

Got a better all over ambiance certainly compared to mooring on the Rugby arm, but also in toward the village. It’s nicer here because you’re out in the country.

Will have to turn Bonnie round in due course, as she’s pointing in the wrong direction.

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(Visited 46 times, 1 visits today)
Fitting flexible solar panels to a narrowboat

Fitting flexible solar panels to a narrowboat

This is a short guide to installing flexible solar panels to a narrowboat.

Background

I’ve lived on my boat for 2 years. When I first started, I was located in a Marina. Everything was laid on, showers, water, electrical hook-up.

It reminded me of a high-rise flat for boats. After my boat was painted, I took it up on a journey to the most Northern and Southern reaches of the UK canal system.

It was called Bonnie Journey, in the name of the boat. You can read about it here.

It included some cycling, which I had to postpone due to injury. Whilst I was waiting for my injuries to recover, I stationed myself on the Kennet and Avon.

Kennet and Avon

Burbage wharf
Near Burbage

As visitors to this waterway will know. Kennet and Avon Marinas are few and far between.

I decided to try continuous cruising. When you’re continuous cruising, all your energy has to be self generated.

You’re entirely ‘off grid’. In winter, generating power was a case of starting the engine.

As the sun began to shine, in the run up to spring, I began to think of the advantages of solar.

After my boat was fully painted, I decided that the next job to be done, was to fit some solar panels, and take advantage of the free energy!

I’m now in a position to do that.

Researching

Most people are going to find that this is the most lengthy part of the process.

Before you shell out large sums of money, you want to ensure you’re getting something which is fully compatible with your needs.

The first question you need to ask yourself before fitting solar is –

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(Visited 1,029 times, 7 visits today)