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This article Clicking on Canals No 8 is the copyright of Jim Shead - The eighth of a regular series of articles on waterways on the internet. First published in Waterways World August 2001.


 

clicking.on.canals

by Jim Shead


All part of the Service

Boaters are in the market for all kinds of services from boat insurance to having their boats painted. In this issue we will take a look at what is being offered on the web. Quite a few engineers and surveyors have web sites. Balliol Fowden www.bargesurveyor.com an independent professional Marine Surveyor and Consultant has details of his services on his pages and a URL that reflects his enthusiasm for barges. Barrie Morse www.marine-surveyor.co.uk is another well known Marine Surveyor and Examiner with a presence on the net. Paul Smith M.Eng, Assoc IIMS www.marinesurveys.co.uk a Midlands based marine surveyor and Trevor Husselbe www.boatsafetyinspector.co.uk a Boat Safety Scheme Examiner based in Sheffield conclude the list for the present.

Boatyards and Marinas also appear under the heading of Boating Services except in those cases where boat building or brokerage (which I plan to cover in future articles) are a major part of their business. Heart of England Marinas www.narrowboat.co.uk are the operators of Alvecote Marina Village, situated on the Coventry canal near Tamworth; Trinity Marinas Ltd www.trinitymarinas.co.uk is a new marina on the Ashby Canal and Top Lock Marine www.toplockmarine.co.uk is a boatyard that lies at the junction of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest Canals, adjacent to the Marple flight of locks. Our final marina is the Marina at Saviletown Wharf www.canal-craft.co.uk a boatyard and trip boat business based on the Calder & Hebble Navigation.

Having looked at two categories of boating services we now come to six sites each with their own unique service on offer. Canal Cat www.canal-cat.co.uk is a directory of commercial boating services links; Info Club www.infoclub.co.uk supplies Canal Planner for Windows, route planning software; Jumblenet www.jumblenet.com is an online boat jumble for boaters and watersporters offering free classified advertising and a chance to rummage; Mercantile Credit www.mercantile-credit.co.uk will help you finance your new boat; Phill Speight www.canaljunction.com/philspeight the site of the well known canal boat decorator and sign writer; and River Canal Rescue Ltd. www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk an emergency recovery and breakdown service for boats using UK inland waterways.

One type of boating service, mentioned at the beginning of the article, that has not been covered is insurance. I have found eight companies offering narrowboat and cruiser insurance, most of whom regularly advertise in WW quoting a web address. You will find links to these companies, plus all the other waterways related web sites known to me, on my links pages at www.jim-shead.com.

What's New?

First another webcam, Bedfordshire Webcam Live www.schools.bedfordshire.gov.uk/webcam/webcam.htm a view from County Hall in Bedford across the River Ouse towards the town centre, not the most exciting of views, in fact it was nominated in BBC Look East as one of the regions worst webcams. The Norfolk Wherry Trust www.wherrytrust.freeserve.co.uk helps to preserve Albion, the last Norfolk trading wherry, and charters her out to members of the public. Another trust with a new web site is the Seagull Trust www.seagulltrust.org.uk which was formed in 1978 to provide free canal cruising for disabled people and to help revitalise the Scottish Lowland Waterways. I'm pleased to say that a month rarely passes without finding several new personal sites. This month I have found Diarama www.diarama.cwc.net Cyril J Wood's site about the Wirral's Local History, Photography, Audio/Visual, Cine & Video, Multi-Media and the Canals & Inland Waterways of Great Britain; Suzy q www.freespirit.f2s.com/canal/index.htm about a 4-6 berth, 50ft canal boat based on the Kennet & Avon Canal; and The Pig Pen www.pigpen.demon.co.uk the home pages of Oliver & Naomi Clarke including an extensive section dealing with canals in the UK and narrowboat art. A final mention goes to the Alibi Owners Web Site ww.alibiowners.co.uk belonging to a group of boating enthusiasts who own and run a 57ft 6ins narrow boat, Alibi, on a private shared ownership basis.

Site of the month

Although the web can be very useful for finding services and contacting providers of boats and boating paraphernalia, most enthusiasts will find that it is the non-commercial sites that they will visit again and again. Steve's Canals and Waterways Site www.goodsell.freeserve.co.uk/index.htm is produced by Steve Goodsell and shows just how much can be achieved by an individual with an interest in canals and a love of boating. A good range of subjects is covered including a beginners guide to canal boating, single handed boating, a glossary, a simple route calculator and quizzes. There are also lots of pages that cover Steve's personal experiences of boating and some of his background. Cruise logs with pictures are included, as are details of his present and projected narrowboats. He has also made sure that we can all interact through the site with a visitors book, a letters and comments page, called Rants and Raves and a Canals & Waterways newsgroup which you can join. A very easy to use site with information presented in a clear and readable style.

If you would like to suggest a favourite web site which you think WW readers should know about please mail me at Jim.Shead@btinternet.com.

Please note: the above links were correct when this article was published in the August 2001 issue of Waterways World but for up to date links please see my links page.

  

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List