Saturday, 18 December 2010


Don't forget now winter is here try and be near civilisation for water and general help, although the coal boats will be running up to Christmas there will be at least a week when they wont be, so make sure you have enough fuel and coal to see you through, at some point the canal will freeze and you will need a plan B, so take care and keep warm.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

P&S Marine at bridge water basin in my opinion the best boat yard in the south east on the grand Union canal, as you can see the lift out is provided by the on site Andie's crane which will lift up around 30 tones, the on site work shops can deliver to you the boater a very high level of engineering skill and fabrication to the highest standard, a real boat yard with real engineers who know boats.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Baldock was in the dock during June for her 5year insurance hull survey and all in all came out well a wee bit of welding here and there all done by a superb welder Pete wakeman then a good coat of bitumen to match the upper paint work , re floated and is looking pristine on her mooring .

Monday, 17 May 2010


This weekend was the rickmansworth canal festival and was in my view one of the very best the boat tug of war was the highlight of the weekend with all the high jinks of cheating with boats tied to other boats as they tried to pull them self's apart, in a blaze of soot and wash its was over seen by our compares chris and adrian , who took no pitty on the poor boater passing through while this was going on , oh and he had his stern rope hooked on his tiller pin this proverbial was taken as they passed judgment on his boating lack of skill it was funny and the poor bloke was on his way then probably fouled his prop and might of thought ( OH THAT'S WOT THEY MEANT ) then on Sunday night as we where leaving some bloke who had had far to much to drink decided to try and make his way out of the site by flying his car over the bridge needles to say he came a cropper and was taken away good job too as someone could of been killed by the idiot but apart from that this was a fantastic weekend

Monday, 3 May 2010


A fine view of the restored victoria turning in the pool on sunday prior to leaving a super sized boat with a fantastic profile and is a credit to her owner .


Sunday afternoon and president leaves heading towards limehouse and the Thames in a blaze of steam nostalgia and noise .


Some photos from little Venice this weekend from the basin and some from camden showing Archimedes chiswick Victoria and kestrel having a race back to the show was god fun to watch Archimedes was fully loaded and looked good low in the water but i think tom had trouble stopping her at speed didn't get a chance to get pictures of kestrel and chiswick as they went of at a fair old lick although i did get wet feet all in all a good weekend , we also entered middlesex in the boat handling comp with robin on the helm i was caught giving base ball type hand signals a got some flack from my mates on there boats but think robin did well as its the first time the boat has ever been entered , in the novice class will post the result later next year it will be my turn any way hope you have all had a good weekend , all the best ralph see you all at rickmansworth in two weeks

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Today i did my first inland waterways training day i had two students and wot a day it was , wonderful weather i took the photo about eight o'clock in the morning , as i was setting up for the day if i sound a bit big headed then I'm sorry but this is not work but a good day out and i get payed for it and i have to say i love teaching wot i know and passing on my tips to those who want get involved in our waterway system by encouraging , people to get on the water this is the only way to ensure its long term future ,enough of those stuffy types who think they own the tow path lets get everyone involved and lets get boating in a safe and responsible way . For further information on r.y.a cousres please contact me or google canal experience based in abbotts langley and if you are thinking of buying a boat either contact me of phil at boatshead grnd unioun or i will put you in touch with him he is the premier broker for the inland waterways .

Saturday, 17 April 2010



Thursday, 1 April 2010


IF you are thinking of buying a boat then think before you travel , i get far too many boaters buying boats from all over the place then trying to get them to the southeast , the usual problems overheating failing fan belts and water pumps and alternators , due to the boat being in a marina for ages never being used and poss being on a long term brokerage and with poorly maintained b.m.c and perkins 4108 engines that are past there best remember before setting of on your first long trip have it serviced and a eye cast over it as these engines although good if maintained will bite you in the backside if not as they are near 40 years old and past there best you will be hard pressed to get anyone who wants to work on an old perkins and i have to say they are not my favrouite and the parts situation on them is getting dier so the message is get the engine checked over befor you go and remember if you are planning to live abord then the engine is the most important part of your boat as it supplies all you need if its weak then you have no option but to replace it , its no good flogging a dead horse in the end it will cost you take heed .

Saturday, 6 March 2010


As the weather gets better there are one or two things everyone should be checking , as the weather has been so cold i have had an increaseing number of phone calls from my coustomesrs and other boaters sayiny there engines are over heating , this is mostly down to a lack of water in the heat exchanger /header tank due mainly in part to boater who live abord comeing home from work and starting the engine , to charge the batteries and as its been so cold most have neglected to do the basics namely checking the water and oil one a week , even though its been cold the poor old engine has got hot and boiled some of its coolant away and over the weeks has resulted in overheating , as long as the cooling system is topped up there should be no long term damage but this is not a promiss , the asic checks should be undertaken at least once a week during the winter and every day during the summer remember your engine is the hart of your boat without it you have no power and repairs may take sevral weeks so check your engine get in a habit wot ever the weather and if in doubt ring me for advise it cost nothing .

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Nothing to say as everthing is on hold only the very brave are out and about as the weather seems to be still very could , although today was almost balmy , and i broke out into my first sweat of the year , all thats seems to be happening is that boaters are coming out slowly from there winter slumber am expecting battery problems and the usual round of problems after lay up, the best advise is to wake the boat up slowly if you havent been down for a while , dont expact everything to work , if you are going to run the engine make the usual checks before starting , and run her for a good long while not for just 20 mins or so but a real good run get it up to temp , also remember check ur stern gear and grease the tube as this would have been subject to ice and will leak if you run in gear so keep an eye on it and all will been well , dont be worried as everything will need to expand a little and then everything will settle down also allow your batterys to have a dam good charge , if you have been on a land line this is a must to get the batterys off float and absorbing amps .

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Dusk at copper mill lock

Just a lovely shot boats laid up for the evening bitter cold though hope they all got there fire well stoked

Sunday, 17 January 2010


As we have been through one of the coldest winters so far in the last 30 years , You must be aware that the ice thickness on the surface of the water represents 10% of its depth with the other 90% under the water , and as boats will be laid up for some time either in marinas or out on the cut , please ensure that before you set off on any trip after the thore that you run the engine in gear for around half an hour , as any grit in the bearing or cutlas alone with the grease and water will have been affected with the cold icey conditions and although all will seem fine at first if your stern tube has any wear in it , it will leak so run the engine warm up the shaft and re grease before setting off , this is just advise and advise costs nothing happy boating .

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Black jacks Lock

Thought id share this with you all near black jacks mill the other day on the grand unioun canal herefieldthe winter i think we will allways remember