Saturday, 19 June 2010

In response to Granny B

Well said, Andrew!

Andrew you are welcome to come here and check out how I tie my boat up, it is so tight it only moves a few inches. If the ropes slacken off I retie them. However I am on a hard edge with rings and don't expect to move much but when my boat lurches hard and plates fall off the table you can bet your ass bank damage will be done along the way. Damage BW doesn’t have the money to fix!

This is not about how fast boats pass me, its about if they are passing me at that speed what damage are they doing to the soft bank further up? They will almost certainly be ripping out pins.

The vast majority of speeding boats passing here have just come off the Thames, they are probably out on their annual two week punt and are trying to do the 'ring' in record time or have not allowed enough time for the journey they planned; or they are going on to the Thames and are rushing because they have decided to include Lechlade on an already packed itinerary, all of which are damaging to a very fragile narrow canal.

There are many places along the Oxford Canal where the bank is eroding. The original edging has mostly collapsed into the canal (some because people will insist on running engines in gear whilst moored). This has the effect of keeping boats from mooring at the edge (often 3-4 feet away), this plus the collapsing bank means that fast boats have a greater effect as they pass along this very fragile narrow canal.

We often see visitors boats across the canal because their pins have been ripped out by speeding boaters, in fact we generally recover the boats and secure them again. There are dead water fowl and fish probably due to speeding boaters. Are you saying, Andrew, it is OK to kill ducks and fish and to damage the banks to a point where it is getting dangerous to walk along this very fragile narrow canal? I certainly hope not!

If you talk to 'The Considerate Boater' you will find that he was with me in Aynho Weir Lock last year when a boater behind complained that I was going too slow, so it is not like I am asking people to do that which I don't do myself.

My friends idea is that maybe these people just don't know the rules, that being the case they should be informed, its a helpful thing to do.

Summer Run's point was that because people passed him at speed it was OK for him to go speeding past us. What he was doing was punishing us for the faults of others. Not fair is it? I wonder what his excuse was for running his engine at 07:30 on a Sunday morning.

Whether people like online moorings or not is not a deciding factor on how fast they should go. There is a limit, there is a reason for the limit, if the reason no longer exists then the limit should be changed. In the absence of BW having the staff to 'police' the canals properly then we should all put in our two pen'orth. If no one says anything before you know it the canal will become a race way.

Boaters that destroy the bank and kill wild life are simply not nice people. We live in different times the canal has a different use and at nearly 250 years old we need too look after this very fragile narrow canal. As for the return of traditional cargo boats, Andrew, in your heart of hearts you know that just ain’t gonna happen!


Bruce in Sanity said...

Having just had an AW hire boat scrape all down the side of SA at speed, I'm in full agreement with you, Maffi (wonders will never cease ;-}})

When we remonstrated, the steerer said "I thought we had slowed down". Seems the term tickover hadn't been explained to them...



Maffi said...

And before they hit you I. asked them at the bridge to slow down.

Pro Tools 2020.12 Bayno said...

Ho hum Andrew D on his high horse again.... I would love to see what he says when he finds himself across the canal in the morning because some joker who doesn't know what tick-over is...

Sue said...

The banks of the Oxford Canal are very fagile. Sandbags full of concrete seem to be the norm.. not a lot of armcove throughout.

It is very shallow at the sides, I know that trying to find places to moor that are not 'Boat Asda Car Parks'

You are quite right it is all too fast especially for this canal, it is a 'narrow canal' not helping the case of boats in a hurry.

We are also moored at Thrupp this evening and today we had the fasted boat passed whiled moored this year so far, and we are on rings!

We now have a spring on ready for Sunday's rush back to the boatyard!