Boater antics

Published: Friday, 19 July 2019

OUR Keith Gudgin tells about the antics of the trend nowadays of speeding boaters.

I only move for about an hour or two, and when I go even that's always before most are up and finished breakfast.

In no hurry

I tend to be mooring up as they are just starting. This way I get the pick of the moorings and can then just sit and watch their antics, great fun! I know it's not an option for people on holidays but I'm in no hurry. 

Very early starts are becoming more the norm now, I think it is because of what is written with some going so slow and not allowing others to pass that makes people go early to avoid it. We don't need bad road manners on the canals thank you!

Not slowing down

What with that and more and more boaters not slowing down past moored boats nowadays, it appears to me that the etiquette of the canals is diminishing fast. I can understand that boaters get frustrated when they have to pass up to three miles of moored boats without a break, I do, and to have the long term boaters then shout at every boater that passes to slow down seems to be their only purpose in life. If they don't like boats passing them they should go into a marina.

Even worse are those who don't slow down and speed up their engine when they have passed you to try and make you think they slowed down in the first place! Do they really think we are stupid fools, we who travel the canals full time can hear a boater long before they get near us and can hear if they slow down or not.

And then there are the hypocrites who shout at you to slow down when you pass them but forget they passed you at full speed the day before.

Not moored properly

If your boats moves or bangs about when another passes you then you have not moored it up properly, your fault. Throwing a bit of string over a loose pin will not hold your boat tight when a duck passes you let alone another boat. Don't moan, just learn to moor properly and you'll see an instantaneous difference.

A slack mooring rope means the boat can move, your choice, so don't moan at others for your failings.

I'm not saying that this is an excuse to allow others to pass all moored boats at speed but it will help make life more comfortable for those inside the moored boat.

Expectations not realistic

Also boaters expectations are not realistic. I'm moored at the bottom of the Curdworth Locks on the Birmingham & Fazeley. A boat passed through here on Monday at about 5pm. I asked them where they were heading and was told they wanted to get to Great Haywood junction before mooring up that night as they wanted to get on and do the Four Counties Ring as quickly as possible as they only had a weeks holiday and had to be back in Birmingham on Sunday for work on Monday!

When I told him would take about 10 hours to get to Great. Haywood he said he had worked it out and he would be there at about 8pm that evening, it's around 25 miles and five locks giving a lock mile distance of 30 miles and at 3ph that's 10 hours. With his calculation he will be averaging 10 lock mph? And with only five days left to do the Four Counties and get back to Birmingham.

I can't see them slowing down past all those moored boats or sitting patiently behind a slow boat or in a queue for the locks for very long!