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ive never been on the cut before(only at the crick boat show)and for only about 10min or so)thing is ive seen and i like a 70ft ex working narrowboat that ive seen on the web,,my question is!! how limited am i to cruise and how far can i go on the canal network with a 70fter? i know the size resricts where i can go but by how much? I will be traveling on my own until my kids help out but until then im on my own should i be lookin for something smaller.. IS a70fter a bit big for a novice? or should i say """" it and go for it and see what happens and enjoy??

Asked by: Mark  | 12.47am, Thursday 26 August

WW says:

See http://www.waterwaysworld.com/questionspost.cgi?post=1 for a map of where you can go with different lengths of boat.

Richard Fairhurst  | 3.41PM, Tuesday 31 August

WW says:

Owning a 70ft boat means that you will be able to cruise most of the system, the main exceptions being some of the Northern canals like the Leeds and Liverpool and Huddersfield Broad Canal.
If you are new to the canals, you will find the answers to most of the questions you will have in the new Inland Boatowner's Book, available through this website - click the shop option.
In the book, you will find a paragraph saying -
'If you are not already familiar with ex-working boats, you should probably steer clear of them. In spite of their many virtues, they are not for the inexperienced buyer. '
Working boats generally have vintage engines which are not always easy to run or maintain and the boats themselves require a lot more maintenance than a modern narrowboat. Handling a full length working boat also requires a crew or two or three experienced boaters.
Sorry to sound like a killjoy but you really would do much better to cut your teeth on a more modern 45ft to 55ft narrowboat.

Graham Booth  | 11.06AM, Thursday 26 August

If an old boat is what you want.... go for it, I did! It is nice owning a bit of heritage, but as Richard says sometimes it can be dificult! You will find out where the shallow bits are and get stuck a few times, but it can be rewarding too. Old engines are easier to fix than new ones. The boat fits the locks, and long boats steer better and do not wander about like short boats. Full length boats will fit from Liverpool to London to Bristol to Cambridge, lots of waterway!

Rupert Smedley  | 9.30PM, Thursday 30 September

Readers say:

i would like to thank the people who replied to my question on size and does it really matter!!!! well i put a deposit down today (BIG GRIN) on a 61ft 8in trad old narrowboat bmc the works its the dogs danglies!!!! cant wait to move aboard

Mark  | 7.28PM, Friday 1 October

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