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June 11, 2004

Comments

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This is a good article and offer some helpful information. Looking forward for more updates! Keep doing the same.

mike

Thanks for the comments Bob and Carolyn. Just remember, take it slow and plan ahead. There have been quite a few articles in the waterways press recently and each has a slightly different take take on single handing. Something to be learned from all of them. Take care.

Bob

I am off out later this month and will be single handed for the first time. I have the helmsman ticket but I will be studying your piece over the next few days so I have it in my head. And it wont be far away when I am out on the boat either. Thanks for going to the trouble of writing it.
To carolyn. Most boaters will happily offer advice but there is no substitute for experience. Stay safe, dry and have fun.

Carolyn

Hi,
It's great to be able to read postings from women, in particular, who are cruising on narrowboats single-handed. I have recently put my house up for sale, and when it's sold I will be buying a narrowboat to explore the waterways of England single-handed. I've done loads of research, but the doing of it is extremely daunting!!!! My biggest worry is that I may not be physically strong enough to do it. However, if sheer determination counts for anything, I'll be fine!!! I'm not the strongest woman in the world, but I will be doing the inland helmsman's course, and get a bit of extra coaching on single-handed cruising. I'm greatly encouraged by reading your comments, and certainly brute strength doesn't seem to be the over-riding factor. My very best wishes to you all!

Kipps

Thanks for the info. Looking foward to single handed cruising this year. I must admit the bridges seem tricky but it'll be fun doing trial & error!

Mike Fisher

Thanks for the comment Sue. The Oxford Canal is notorious for its lifting bridges which are always a challenge. I try to use the Dukes Cut to the Thames to avoid those on the stretch to Isis Lock. Mike.

Sue

@Julie, I bought a 60ft narrowboat back in May 2011 and brought her down to Surrey from Northampton to Surrey's River Wey. I came via the Oxford canal and Thames. I had a few problems along the way but lessons learned quickly. I am single handed female of 54 years, with just the dogs and now live aboard. I am just about to reverse my last trip and head for Rugby area; I miss the travelling. Operate slowly and with purpose of everything you do. Method and planning ahead paramount, including which side the towpath is or the ladder in the next lock. Centre rope is your best friend (besides dogs!)I haven't taken the helmsman course, I am self taught from 12 years of hiring, but if I settle long enough to do one I think there will be lots of ways to do things easier. Most of all talk to other regular boaters, listen to them and watch them and try it. It might not work for you, but at least you gave it a go. Good luck from Sue on NB My Lady.

Sheila Carrington

Thank you for your comment. Yes it was sad but also missed grandchildren when they were young. Would have been able to help now! Was a bit slow but everyone was very helpful when they were around. Agree with the comments about the central rope. I could never understand why hire boats didn't have these.

mike

Must be a sad moment to have to give up the boat, a decision I guess we all have to face at some time. Reassuring though that you still felt able to cope single handed with some disability.

Sheila Carrington

Hi

Just found your comments on single-handed boating. I have now given this up as could no longer afford to keep boat after divorce. Even tho have suffered from arthritis since I was 40 (I'm now 68)did boat solo for several summer seasons on a 42' boat and later a 70 footer. Did have company of 2 dogs tho which as a lady by herself were very reassuring! Did find it difficult to climb the ladders with the arthritis but otherwise fine.

jane

hi just read your article about handling a narrow boat single handed,I'm in the process of selling my wide beam and buying a narrow boat, on my own!!!SCARY!thank you i found your article very helpful

MIke

Without knowing you I cannot answer with respect to you personally, but women do single hand. It's not so much strength, but know-how and common sense. Where are you based?

Julie

This is really interesting. I would love to do this as I own a narrow boat but have split with my partner. Do you realistically think a woman could handle a 60ft narrow boat? I'm quite strong but won't be offended if you think its too difficult! Anybody else know women who boat single handed?

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Mike

Thanks for your comment. Remember! Just take care.

Nikvah

Thanks for this. Really useful advice and makes my first dip into going it alone a lot less daunting. Other loners may find Colin Edmondson's 'Going it Alone' has slightly more detail for £4 but not a lot. Cheeers.

Jan

This is wonderful. Thank you. I've been considering retiring to a live-aboard narrowboat when I come of age, but the thought of single-handing was quite daunting. This is just what I needed to encourage my dream.

Alison Crichton-Stuart

please could you inform me where you got you windlass belt, After having picke our boat up in Crick and taken it to our mooring in HBishops Stortford I found (as a women) that I needed somewhere to put my windlass when doing the locks. I have tried to find a holder on the website and I have had no luck. Alison September 17 2010

Chris B

just about to buy a boat! intending to do 12 months mostly single handed!! internet making it easier to get all the info i need!! been looking at a 54ft er!! sure that will do all i need!! hope to see you on my travels!! looking forward to the free'er lifestyle!! Chris

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