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Old Sep 20, 2006, 07:22 PM
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MeGrimm's Avatar
London, England
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Sailing on canals

Does anybody sail R/C yachts on canals? My nearest one seems perfect for it. The water is wide and open to the wind, all bridges are high enough to clear the mast, there aren't many locks, very little other traffic, and few people fishing. Also, the tow path is in great condition, so I could walk along with the boat and go somewhere. It would provide a nice challenge too, like trying to reach a certain place within a set time. It's theoretically possible to go about 20 miles one way on 'my' canal, though I'm not that athletic!

But as I've never seen anyone else doing this, I'm wondering if I'm missing something obvious or important - like a law

Please advise!

Thanks

Martin
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 09:30 PM
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McAlester
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Martin,
I'm not in the UK so have no idea about any laws/rules governing canal use. But, I don't see any reason that you couldn't take your boat for a walk.
- 'Doc
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 11:05 PM
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Sheboygan, WI
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Hi Martin,
before coming 'stateside' a few friends and I used to sail electric boats on the Chesterfield Canal near to Worksop. We sailed in a marina basin and out onto the adjoining canal. Typically canals have one public access side (the tow path) the other side is often private or farmland. I certainly don't know of any restrictions to model boating, especially not sail or slower power. I believe you could drop a canoe in anywhere... there is little difference.

One of the guys used to take his boat 'walkies' down the canal. I remember Basil Hartley (I think I remembered his name correctly) who wrote the vintage column in Model Boats would walk his steam models along the local canal.

Check online to see if there are any byelaws or waterboard restrictions but I am sure you will be ok to proceed.

Graham

Check out the 5th photo down on this link
http://www.weyandarun.co.uk/csid042.htm
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 12:59 PM
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MeGrimm's Avatar
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Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

Graham, that photo is great! Thanks!
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Old Sep 24, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Hello Martin,
I sail on our local Canal, big problem is IF your boat gets stuck on the OPPOSITE bank, could mean a very long walk to retrieve it.
I solved this by having a Tennis ball, drill holes in the ball and thread some thin strong flexy line through , tie the line so it will NOT come loose.
Wrap the other and of the line, about 100 feet of it, around a piece of wood and TAKE IT WITH YOU when sailing.
IF, your boat gets stuck on the other bank, unwind a lot of line and then throw the ball AT the boat, the ball gets twisted in the rigging and you pull the boat to safety !.
Works every time !, no need to leave the boat unattended ever !!
John.
www.john-dowd.co.uk
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Old Sep 24, 2006, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDee1
Hello Martin,
I sail on our local Canal, big problem is IF your boat gets stuck on the OPPOSITE bank, could mean a very long walk to retrieve it.
I solved this by having a Tennis ball, drill holes in the ball and thread some thin strong flexy line through , tie the line so it will NOT come loose.
Wrap the other and of the line, about 100 feet of it, around a piece of wood and TAKE IT WITH YOU when sailing.
IF, your boat gets stuck on the other bank, unwind a lot of line and then throw the ball AT the boat, the ball gets twisted in the rigging and you pull the boat to safety !.
Works every time !, no need to leave the boat unattended ever !!
John.
www.john-dowd.co.uk
thats presuming the other bank has a tow path

another option is a telescopic pole with a hook on it, hook it around a mast stay and haul in
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Old Sep 25, 2006, 05:09 PM
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MeGrimm's Avatar
London, England
Joined Jun 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayDee1
....Works every time !, no need to leave the boat unattended ever !!
Thanks for the Heads-up! The ability to throw a line and pull it back to safety is a big advantage of boats over the aircraft I'm more used to!

So does it happen quite a lot that you get the boat stuck on the opposite side? I kinda envisaged getting it tangled on weeds / plastic bags / old bicycles etc under the surface. I even built the boat with a backward swept fin and keelweight hoping the rubbish would slip off and not tangle (an as yet untested theory...) But getting it stuck on the opposite bank didn't really crosss my mind! Thanks for the advice!

Martin
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 06:55 AM
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McAlester
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Does it happen a lot? Hmm... sort of depends on who'z doing the sailing? - lol
- 'Doc
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 09:37 AM
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People in my sailing club use an old fly fishing reel with the tennis ball. Keeps the line neat and don't have to unwind it from a stick eather.

Ray C
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Sneek, Netherlands.
Joined May 2004
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Hi Martin,

Living in the Netherlands, sailing on canals (and ponds and lakes) is almost a must...
We have several "walking regatta's" along parts of our extensive canal network all over the country.

The town I live in (Sneek) lies in a network of canals, which allows me to sail extensively in almost any direction, as a lot of footpaths make this possible, aswel as round the historical centre, using the former moats.

There are a lot of bridges so in most cases, both sides can be reached, but should I get stuck in weeds, most of the time there's someone with a dinghy, making a trip on the canal, that will help me out.
I haven't had to swim (yet, knock on wood..).

As for low wind conditions; I have had to wait half an hour before my boat got into reach, but I have never encountered a situation with absolutely no wind for several hours, there's always a puff, that will get you back.
So, no extra weight of a motor and prop for me.

Regards, Jan.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 10:00 PM
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One thing you have to worry about is walking safely while your attention is on the boat. Easy to fall in the water or hurt yourself walking into a hazard or a person, etc. or just tripping over your own big feet and landing onthe TX or bending the antenna or putting it in someone's eye.

Have a rescue plan and gear like the tennis ball and string in case the current overcomes your wind and skill, or you get a radio failure. Have your name and contact info on and in the boat in case somebody else recovers it.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 12:28 AM
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It would be nice to see some photos here of canal sailing if anyone has any. Canals do make for an interestingly different environment for model sailing.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 05:41 AM
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MeGrimm's Avatar
London, England
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Thanks for all the ideas. There's already been things I hadn't thought of. My boat is tiny (20" LOA). Is there a typical speed for a boat this size? I walk at between 3 - 4 mph and I'm curious to know how this compares to the boat. Unfortunately I don't have it here in London just yet so I can't try it.

Graham, as soon as I get sailing I'll post some pics.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Asturias, Spain
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From memory, the mathematics says that a 2' sailing boat can't go any faster than your walking pace. Did your boat study maths at school?
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 07:02 AM
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McAlester
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The nice thing about boats is that there is no minimum/maximum speeds. If you walk faster than what would look 'right' for your boat, walk slower. If your boat is faster than you are, then back-off the throttle. If something won't get out of your boat's way, then get out of it's way! If people won't get out of your way, act like you're picking your nose, you'd be suprized at how much room people will give you .
- 'Doc

Sometimes I give advice that it's best not to take. Be your own judge.
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