Victor: I don't get it!

Published: Sunday, 09 June 2019

THE 'in' thing at the moment is electric boats, but I just don't get it.

It is of course all against the 'wicked' diesel, so boats should be powered by electricity.

Which seems okay for the few trip boats undertaking short journeys so powered that can moor by their charging points, and after all a narrowboat can cope with a couple of tons of batteries, or whatever it takes.

But the two companies I approached explained that a narrowboat, say continuously cruising, that had no such power points would have to have its electric powered—by diesel!

This, I was shown, requires a diesel generator  to charge the batteries to power the electric motor to power the propeller. Now we know that every unit of connection takes so much energythere is no such thing as perpetual motion, to get rather technical this kind of machine is impossible, as it would violate the first or second law of thermodynamics. So it is taking power throughout the train.

So where is the advantage? Please don't tell me by power from solar panels. They might keep a 'fridge going at a pinch, but won't do much for driving a 15 tonsor moreboat. And as the dark winter nights come they will be useless.

All I can see is the spend of a lot of money to do exactly what a diesel engine directly coupled would do, One fella told mewait for ityou could cruise all day then run the deisel generator at night to re-charge the batteries!

That just about sums it up.


Canal & River Trust is going flat out to get its waterways clear of plastic, with one its ideas rather giving the game away.

It tells that the canals and rivers 'could be plastic-free in a year if every visitor picked up one piece of litter'.

It points out that 14 millions items of plastic end up in the waterway each year, with a suggestion that if all of  those who visit pick up one item of plastic then the waterways will be cleared in the year.

Hold on a bit? Are we getting the truth at last? So it is now telling us it gets 14 millions visits a year.  What happened to the 450 millions visits it was trying to get us to believe?

From our own experience of a great deal of cruising the 14 millions could be about right. Certainly more believable than the other ridiculous number.


As part of this clearing the rubbish We are also told that CaRT 'is on a mission to eradicate plastics from our vast network of canals and rivers—helping us all to live in better, more beautiful neighbourhoods, whilst tackling a global issue, and making life better by water'.

It seems another way this is achieved is by emptying litter bins, but surely as there are now less of them than say five years ago, I'm not sure how this is attained.

And alas, many are not all that often emptied as those at Sutton Stop clearly show.

Get it right

We all know that nowadays there are some weird and wonderful descriptions in CaRT's stoppage notices, but I do wish whoever writes them would use the correct spelling.

It is not the 'draft' of a boat—you get 'drafted' into the services or whatever. It is as narrowboatworld spellsdraught. Confirmed by the Oxford English Dictionary as 'the depth of water allowing a ship to move freely'.

And I do wish, whoever writes the stoppages, would make up their minds of how to show dates, their using  9 June and June 9. Both wrong!

The correct English way is 9th June. June 9 being imported from America. Another of its habits, many are alas taking up.

Proved right

Over the past few years we have had a great many complaints of our censoring of CaRT concerning its ever decreasing standard of maintenance.

But the recent article by Jess Williams showing that the admitted waterways defects by Canal & River Trust have increased from 52,000 four years ago to 75,000 this year rather proves its maintenance is drastically decreasing.

Which gives me pleasure in being able to stateI told you so!

A bit late

I expect you will have read about Orph Mable of Oxley Marine, with the help of a cyclist, taking it upon himself to rid the Staffs & Worcs of a dangerous drifting boat and saving it from further vandalism by bringing it to his premises.

He undertook this as he and others had reported it to CaRT with no response, so eventually he sent an email to which he had the reply from one Hayley Warrenger of Customer Services, who told: I have copied the local team into my reply so that they are able to look into this.

Make of that what you will.

Victor Swift