Vlog 245: Hire Calling

Lots of folk ask me about hiring a narrowboat for a holiday so I thought I’d make a video about it. By coincidence, friends and fellow YouTubers Greg & Lou Virgoe, and John & Mandy, had decided to book a week’s hire – their first time on a narrowboat – so I tagged along to document the hiring handover.

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Vlog 244: Electric Dreams

At the end of May 2021, I attended a narrowboat trials day arranged by boat builder Ortomarine. Starting on the River Severn and going up the Droitwich canals, eight boats using a variety of power plants would have their fuel, efficiency and any solar input measured and compared. This video summarises what happened and the results.

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Vlog 243: A Grand Day Out

The canals are an oasis of calm, peace and tranquility – and now of culture too, as The Piano Boat brings concert-hall level classical concerts to the inland waterways, courtesy Masa Tayama and Rhiana Henderson. Join me as I talk to them about the project, the hurdles they’ve had to overcome and their plans.

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Vlog 240: Much Ado About Locking

Whether you’re a solo narrowboater or have plenty of crew aboard, there’s no doubt that at busy and long canal lock flights, a team of helpful volunteer lock-keepers can be a blessing to help you through. I spent a couple of days at Fradley Junction near Lichfield, talking to the volunteers as they prepare for the new boating season, and they explained what they do and why they do it.

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Vlog 236: Your Plastic Pal Who’s Fun To Be With

An alternative to the tradition steel narrowboat, fibreglass (GRP) cruisers are long-established on British canals and rivers. Often cheaper to buy, both new and used, but with drawbacks such as a more fragile construction and less suitability for living aboard, especially in winter, they are a popular choice particularly on rivers. In this video, I speak to a chap who bought a Viking 26 and absolutely loves it.

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Vlog 211: Walking the Cut

Filmed entirely on a DJI Osmo Action camera – which has the most amazing stabilisation – with a Rode Videomicro microphone, this is a recording of the first brief walk I took after completing 14 days of self isolation having come back from overseas. The weather was beautiful, the birds were chirping like crazy but the waters were almost totally still. Hopefully this is a nice little background video to bring a window of peace and calm into your day.

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Vlog 209: Coalfinger

A few weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of spending a day aboard the fuel boat and butty of “Jules Fuels” on the Grand Union canal. The day started – early! – with loading of supplies and then off we went to deliver to customers south of Milton Keynes.

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