Monday, 14 October 2013

Thinking Out of The Box (6)

Thinking out of the box (also thinking out side of the box, thinking beyond the box or thinking the unthinkable) is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. The cliché, has become widely used and refers to novel or creative thinking. Thinking out of the box, is forcing yourself to give considerations to options that you might discount in the first place. To think outside the box is to look farther and to try not thinking of the obvious things, but to try thinking beyond them.

Boats travelling at a fast pace cause damage to soft banks. Boats not slowing down on the narrower/shallower waterways can even cause moored boats to pull out their pins. We have all sat on our boat when some uncaring individual passes at a speed that causes discomfort.

Well, it seems that education has failed. So, what can be done to curb such behaviour.

Speed is one common source of conflict between the experienced and the inexperienced boater. The first idea is for hire boats to have their forward speed regulated. Often first time hire boaters do not appreciate the scale of the problem that they are creating.

Deterrent using a technology solution.

Insurance companies are introducing speed monitoring devices. Often fitted as a requirement to the younger age group owned vehicles. Done as a means of lowering driving speeds and also lowering the insurance premium. Maybe such devices could be fitted to all boats to monitor speed over sections of canal where bank erosion is a particular problem. Such systems could be interrogated  by the boat licensing enforcement team with their hand held tablet boat checking system.


  1. We are only out 4 weeks a year on our Shareboat whilst yourself and other CC'rs have undoubtably more experience of this but I have to say its not all hirers! I have to admit that in season the hireboaters do dash about trying to complete their ring, or get back to base having gone too far within their week, but surely this is the fault of the boatyards for not educating the hire'rs or hiring to single sex party's, stag do's, etc. I am sure we probably did the same 20 odd years ago. It seems that no longer do the big boatyards accompany a first time hirer, even for a few hundred yards to demonstrate the correct way, or show them the correct speed, although I have heard that some of the smaller companies do.
    We often watch them getting away from Alvechurch towards Birmingham on a Friday night or Saturday Morning and the first thing they do is speed past the boats the other side of the bridge and come to grief, or if we are late back in summer we meet them in Wast Hill clanging from side to side, but they are not alone, a lot of private boats who should know better consistently speed, especially as they dash between moorings between showers or rush back to their marinas before dark. Another fault we find with private owners throughout the year is a tendency to consistently moor in bad areas, ie: in water points, on awkward bends, on lock landings, narrow area's,etc whilst they nip off somewhere!
    I remember been moored at Kinver for lunch last year as 4 private boats came past the full moorings at more than tickover, the private owner in front looking through her side hatch never said a word, then along came an Alvechurch hire boat at a similar speed to get a tongue lashing from the lady. Similary when out in the sticks, we often see private boats coming towards us with massive bow waves and clearly rolling waves behind, and when near us they knock it off and slow down, clearly a case of out of sight, out of mind.
    I do agree with your idea for limiting forward control, better controlling speeds, or better education, but for all boats, not just hirers, this should be somehow enforced by CaRT but with their limited resources I don't know how?

    1. Hello Andy.

      The idea is to start thinking the unthinkable. By that I mean rule nothing out and rule everything in. CaRT is going to have to operate on a very tight budget. This year alone there is a £55 million underspend on maintenance. Last year there was a £50 million underspend. the future is bleak and yet CaRT is spending money on unneeded projects which are adequately covered by other charities.

  2. I get you drift Mike having seen the waste of money trees in a boat in Birmingham, when round the corner in Smethwick the locks to the old main where collapsing.


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