Canal Boats

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by hoytedow, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

  2. Ike
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

  3. Tiny Turnip
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Location: Huddersfield, UK

    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Hi Hoyt

    Huddersfield Narrow Canal is reputed to be the narrowest canal in the world (Feel free to shoot me down!) - they won't guarantee your passage unless your boat is 6feet 10 inches wide or less.

    A quick post as I have to head to work shortly, but some of the more interesting feats of canal engineering around the country:

    Anderton boat lift

    Llangollen canal Pontcysyllte aquaduct

    Bingley 5 rise

    Marple engineering

    Falkirk wheel

    Anderton boat lift - does what it says on the tin

    Foxton locks Inclined plane boat lift and locks

    Somerset coal canal submerged caisson lock

    Foxton inclined plane boat lift and the coal canal submerged caisson lock are both long gone, and ambitious long running plans to rebuild the Foxton lift have sadly had to be dropped. Worth googling; there are a number of working inclined plane lifts in Europe.

    Bingley 5 rise and the Llangollen aqueduct are probably more famous than intrinsically interesting, IMHO, though the aquaduct is nicely scary to walk, boat or cycle across.

    The coal canal submerged caisson lock was one of those hugely confident/completely bonkers and terrifying projects of the industrial revolution. Well worth looking up!

    The Falkirk wheel is an excellent recent project, which may become a victim of its own success, I've been told: It was part of a restoration of the canal link between Edinburgh and Glasgow, opened 15 odd years ago, IIRC, and it has generated so much income from tourist rides that there is a plan to close it to regular canal traffic at certain times at least, to concentrate on revenue generation.

    Marple has an amazing sequence of a canal junction leading to a flight of 16 locks, with holding pools, passing under a number of road bridges, over the railway, under the railway, over an aquaduct and through a tunnel, all within the space of a couple of kilometres. There's a special horse tunnel where they have to change sides at one point, and a roller built into a bridge parapet at another cross over point, to stop the ropes cutting a groove into the parapet.
     
  4. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Here's a link to a pdf download on the invention of fly-boats - narrow, light horse drawn boats which could travel at perhaps 10 or 12 miles an hour, instead of the usual 3 or 4. The boats 'surfed' (though not, as I understand it, planing) the 'soliton' wave they were able to generate trapped in the canal channel.

    www.ma.hw.ac.uk/solitons/HISTORY_OF_EXPRESS_CANAL_BOATS.pdf

    John Scott Russell investigated the hydrodynamics of William Houston's discovery as explained in the paper. His 'wave of translation' was renamed 'Soliton' in the 1960's and has become important in modern physics.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The surveyors must have been pretty good in those days, no oops, this is ever so slightly uphill !
     
  6. latestarter
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    Location: N.W. England

    latestarter Senior Member

    The organisation that runs the canals in England and Wales is https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/

    There are some horse drawn narrow boats for giving tourists a trip but quite rare.

    There is a 4 mph speed limit to reduce erosion of the banks.

    This site shows how the canals progressed decade by decade. http://www.canalmuseum.org.uk/history/menu-decades.htm

    The canal system went into decline after WW2 when nearly all of the commercial traffic transferred to the road. As a result many canals fell into disrepair, silted up and people dumped rubbish into them, famously shopping trolleys.
    A small number of enthusiasts campaigned to re-open them. The movement grew and often with volunteer labour, locks were repaired and the canals made navigable. This led to a boom in their leisure use.


    Funnily enough some are very slightly uphill as the reservoirs feeding the canal are at one end, so there is a flow.
    I live near the Lancaster Canal which has a 41 mile lock free stretch by following a contour line.
     
  7. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Thanks to all for the enlightenment. I see that the system closed for a while after WWII and wonder if part of that closure was due to damage caused by the Luftwaffe, necessitating overland movement of freight and passengers.

    Having been taught in the public school system, I had no idea that such a magnificent canal system existed over such an extensive area. I knew there were narrow boats and some canals but had no idea of the magnitude of them.

    Again, thanks to everyone.
     

  8. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    I never heard of a soliton wave before. Interesting.
     
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