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Mental health of moorers

Concerned about the mental health of some of her male moorers, marina owner Tiffany Gale-Haynes has started a hub to encourage support and interaction

‘Life’s better by water’ is the snappy slogan of the Canal & River Trust and while this might be true for much of Britain’s boating community, for some individuals life is certainly not better by water…

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Boat skills shortage

Matt Armitage has operated Tooley’s Boatyard on the Oxford Canal for over 20 years. He calls for a national apprenticeship scheme geared specifically to inland boating

Thirty-odd years ago I began co-running the restaurant boat Rosamund The Fair on the Oxford Canal and River Thames. When I started I was trained by one of the old boatman on how to handle the craft. Calling on the experience of the older generation was very helpful but, as my horizons expanded, I wanted to work on more general boat repair and maintenance.

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Electric Boat Revolution

DC Battery Technologies looks at the history of electric craft and examines the battery options now available to boaters

The UK is currently experiencing an electric boat revolution – and it’s been a long time coming. Far from being a new concept, electric-powered craft plied the River Thames as far back as 1898 and leisure boating became the go-to activity of the upper-middle classes into the early 20th century. Over 100 electric launches were available to hire, with about the same number in private ownership. Most of the large boat-builders on the river had experience in building, fitting out and hiring electric boats.

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Powering Up

Stuart James, managing director of DC Battery Technologies, examines the pros and cons of the latest innovations in boat batteries

The battery industry is moving apace, with technology being pushed to new limits to meet the demands of the electric vehicle revolution. For boat-owners today who want to make the best of their battery bank, there are two stand-out options: lead carbon and lithium iron phosphate. These do, however, both come with their own lists of benefits and drawbacks. 

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What is the Best Battery?

WN asked Stuart James, managing director of DC Battery Technologies, for advice on choosing the right type of battery for different types of inland boating

There’s more to selecting the best type of battery for cruising the inland waterways than might first appear. Taking the time to consider the boater’s individual needs – whether it’s their budget, technical know-how or intended style of boating/mooring – can make the difference between fitting a battery that will last barely 12 months compared to one that could see them through the next 15 years. 

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The Light Fantastic

Saul Pochin, business partner at Leicestershire-based Aten Lighting, offers advice on boat illumination

What’s the best advice or most useful tip you can offer those who are looking for lighting products?

Don’t buy cheap. We often meet people, especially at shows, who tell us they can buy a product we sell much more cheaply online. While that might be technically true, most often these are of a vastly inferior quality. They products might look identical, but more often than not people end up coming back to us to buy a better version when the cheaper one has let them down.

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A helping hand

Tony Jones describes how a large marina is assisting boating newbies and wonders whether more marinas should be offering greater guidance on becoming a boater

During the winter of 2007 I was moored on the Erewash Canal. I’d been unwell for a few days, waking with a splitting headache and feeling nauseous – an affliction that, thankfully, subsided as the day drew on. At the same time I’d become rather disillusioned with boat life. I didn’t yet know anyone at my new mooring, and my boat was giving me trouble. My diesel heater had stopped working, so I was relying on my solid-fuel stove to heat my boat and that wasn’t working properly either. I was having problems lighting it, and it would belch smoke into the cabin each time I opened the door. When one of the women in the office where I worked said she could smell something burning, I wasn’t surprised when she traced the smokey smell to me. 

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