water and waste tanks for boats

water and waste tanks for boats

the best in fabricated plastic tanks

what we make

We at Goodwin Plastics are now in our 25th year of manufacturing and what a journey we have travelled. From pig farming to the establishing of a large plastics company and then on to the design, manufacture and distribution of bespoke products for all types of industry including agriculture, sports and leisure, and emergency services. We now ship our products to several different countries.

But one of our main businesses is the manufacture of water and waste tanks for canal boats and yachts.

why make tanks out of plastic?

We have come a long way in our manufacture of plastics, until we are now creating the best fabricated plastics on the market.

When creating water tanks, plastic is the perfect material.  It can take any shape or size, is extremely tough and can be made right here at Goodwin Plastics in Crewe.

We make plastic water tanks to meet all specifications.

Polypropylene tanks are very easy to clean, light weight and don’t harbour bacteria - while stainless steel tanks can be very heavy, and do have a tendency to rust at the welded joint.

why are our tanks baffled?

All tanks are fully Internally baffled to help reduce the movement of the liquid which otherwise could cause stress on the tank sides.

Inside the water tanks the baffles are from top to base with areas cut out to allow the passing of water and for the air to escape.

On our waste holding tanks the welding of the tank is the same as that of the water tanks, but the design of the internal baffle is different.

The baffles inside the waste tank are shaped more like a bridge so there is no obstruction for the waste to get behind and build up.

reliable and durable plastic fittings

Our aim is always to make exactly what you need and to use the best possible materials to do it.  That’s why we use plastic such as Perspex and polycarbonate sheeting along with other styles of plastic fabrication.  That way, whatever we make is a strong as possible, durable and long lasting and needs only basic maintenance.

choosing the right tank

Sometimes you know you need a tank but aren’t quite sure of the specifications or dimensions.  We are happy to help with this by assisting you to work out the size of the tank you need before designing it.  All of the tanks we make also come with a standard BSP threaded sockets that are welded into the tank as well as hose tails supplied to screw into position.

All tanks are fabricated with Polypropylene which is a tough and durable plastic that has a high impact strength.

We can provide tanks for any purpose across the country and also offer a range of other plastic fabrications for professional or personal use.

working out the volume

To work out the volume of the tank that you require, there is a calculation as below:

e.g. Fresh water tank 48″ x 24″ x 24″ :

48 x 24 x 24 = 27648 cubic Inches. Divide this by 1728. This will give you the cubic feet volume (16).  Multiply this figure by 6.25, this will give you the volume of the tank in  gallons (100), multiply this figure by 4.54 for litres (454)
The volume of this tank 48″ x 24″ x 24″ is 100 gallon or 454 litres.

Full range of water tanks

We offer a range of water tanks suitable for boats, campers and other mobile homes.

These include water tanks with a pump available in different sizes to ensure you have a steady supply of fresh water.  We also offer polypropylene water tanks that can sit under the hull or bow floor of a boat and meet the latest RINA and AISR standards.

Other tank variations include flare edged polypropylene tanks complete with inspection cover, tri water tanks and also wall hanging water tanks.  The last of these is ideal for mounting behind cabinets or interspaces and have a level indicator flange.

goodwin plasticsWe specialize in creating water and fuel tanks made to standard or custom specifications.  We work in a range of plastic materials including polycarbonate and Perspex.

We can create what you need from scratch if we don’t already have it.  Call us today for an initial no-obligation quote for any plastic fabrication needs.

Tel: 01270 582 516
Visit: website link
Email: sales@goodwinplastics.co.uk
And don't forget to like us on Facebook

choose the way you cruise

choose the way you cruise

conquer land or water with the caravanboat Departure One M & XL

caravanboat logo

caravan boat

Living off the grid just got even more interesting!  When we heard the word ‘Caravanboat’ floating around we decided it was too good of an opportunity to miss, so ‘cast off’ those doubts (that was a sailing joke) and get ready for the strangest and most awesome caravan boat in existence!

meet the caravanboat

The tiny house can come in all shapes and sizes, in fact there are really no rules about how you should begin a life of off grid living.

The one factor that people normally take into account is whether they want to live on the land or on the water, but with the Caravanboat you can do both with ease. The Departure One is both a caravan and a fully motorized houseboat for those van dwellers that just can’t get enough of the water! It’s the ultimate cure for Wanderlust, letting you go pretty much wherever you want whenever you feel like it.

what’s inside the caravanboat?

The Departure One Caravanboat is fully kitted out for getting off grid, and has been designed so that you can stock up on supplies for two days living without having to hook up to extra power or refill water for drinking or cooking. What’s more, the Caravanboat has solar panels on the roof so that you can power up on the go or connect to an electrical hook up once you’re back on land.

The Departure One has enough room for four people to sleep inside, and it’s got a fully fitted bathroom too.

There’s a kitchen with induction hobs, hot plate and fridge, and the covered terrace area means that you can sit and enjoy the ocean whilst eating or relaxing with friends. Plus there's a ship's steering wheel inside – any vehicle with a ship's wheel must be OK!

what about landlubbers?

The engine folds up so it’s out of the way when you’re on the land, and a pull out awning means you can keep dry when the elements are against you.

The Caravanboat XL is 8.00m in length and 2.45m in width, but if you’re used to towing trailers with an SUV then you’ll be absolutely fine driving down those tight country lanes.

There are also USB charging points, batteries, LED lights and an on board water heater.

final thoughts…

We love the sense of freedom that the Caravanboat brings to the camping experience, and now you can really take your trip into those far reaches that were otherwise unreachable when you only had your camper with you. On land or off land, the Caravanboat is a luxury vehicle that compliments your sense of adventure and can take you to some truly exciting places. At an affordable price, the caravanboat offers sheer luxury and the freedom to choose how and where you cruise.

editor's note

The Caravan Boat is manufactured in Germany, and the manufacturers are looking for an agent in the UK. The Caravanboat meets UK standards and apart from the road tax for your vehicle, the only thing you will need is a waterways licence for when you are on the water.

You can get short term water licences from the Environment Agency, a one week or one month licence from CRT (for spreading days afloat through the year) and an annual licence for Lake Windermere - worthwhile as it is currently only £19 .

The other thing you would need to consider is launching places. Many Marinas have both Caravan Sites and Slipways. In fact the Caravanboat would be an exciting purchase option for Marinas and Holiday Hire companies who would be able to offer their customers a very different boating, camping or combination holiday.

IF YOU HAVE ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, WHY NOT LOOK AT OUR ARTICLE ON THE 1970S BRITISH EQUIVALENT - THE CARABOAT. CLICK HERE TO READ

 

canalboat agent wanted

We only allow selected shipyards and suppliers to work together on our products and monitor the entire process chain from planning to the purchasing chain and production processes to delivery. Our customers benefit from this effective production concept, which enables good product quality and market-driven sales prices.

Our clients can accompany the entire construction project in close cooperation with us in all work steps and can thus incorporate change requests during the construction progress. Together we build an individual caravan boat for our customers.

caravanboat logo

+49 172 419 72 84 SALES
info@caravanboat.de
https://www.caravanboat.de/

canal radio uk

canal radio uk

the heartbeat of the inland waterways

Although officially relaunched in June 2020 after the first wave of COVID-19, Canal Radio UK was originally created in 2018 by its founder and owner, DJ and Radio Presenter - Pete Unstead.

Pete and Tracy, owners of canal radio ukThe concept of running an Internet radio station from a narrowboat on the inland waterways, came to me in 2018, when my Tracy and I decided we wanted to join the waterways community of cruising narrow-boaters in Great Britain. We were initially inspired by a TV series we found on YouTube called ‘Great Canal Journeys’ with Prunella Scales and Timothy West. We soon succumbed to the idyllic lifestyle that narrowboat cruising had to offer.

We are minimalists and the idea of living off grid in a tiny home appeals, and although we are not officially retired yet, the narrowboat idea and living on it permanently falls into our retirement plans. I often thought about what I could do to compensate for our living expenses during our retirement, whilst constantly cruising around the UK on a narrowboat and that's when the idea of a canal based radio station came to me.

I first started in radio when I was a lad of 15 years in Southern Africa. I had a Saturday morning 1 hour slot on Steam Radio in a hospital, piping music to patients throughout the wards. From there, I guess my passion for music grew and I have been a DJ now for over 40 years, and more recently in 2011 I joined the world of Internet radio as a Presenter. My career in Information Technology since 1985 has armed me with the skills I required to build and run a radio station over the internet. Back then this stuff was cutting edge technology, unlike today.

I came up with the name, ‘Canal Radio UK’ and its slogan, ‘The heartbeat of the inland waterways of Great Britain’ as a fitting brand identity for what we are trying to achieve. The station is targeted to all people in the UK with an interest in the canals and rivers as well as other boaters around the UK and of course the businesses that live and work on the canal networks. Research I have done suggests that the number in 2019 was around 650,000 people and growing each year. If we had 1% of that number (6,500) we would be very happy. The plan within 3 years is to have around 10,000 concurrent listeners a day.

Canal Radio UK has a Website, a Facebook page and soon we are launching our Instagram account, which is used to communicate and promote the station on social media as this is the most popular platform to get the word out.

The physical radio station (which is 100% internet based) is currently operated from a land based radio studio in our house, with the idea of moving this onto a canal boat in the future so we can move around the canal system. I am working on some plans at the moment and hope to get advice from boat builders on different design ideas.

how it works

canal radio uk artist's impressionHow the station works is like this. The home studio (audio desk) links to a cloud based streaming server via an internet router connected to the web, and listeners connect to the station (streaming server) via the website and/or other numerous app sources such as Tuneln.com and My-Tuner Radio, who are well known Internet radio search directories. A person can listen to the station using any number of devices connected to the internet including but not limited too; mobile phones, iPads, laptops and desktops, digital car radios, Internet radios and smart TV’s with android operating systems. Literally any device connected to the internet that has a built in media player can listen to Canal Radio UK.

With my previous knowledge of running Internet radio stations since 2011, I am more than capable of content programming a station with a mixed genre that is not ‘locked in’ to a single genre or profile like most other terrestrial radio stations.

"We are an independent radio station, which means we  play  what  we  want,  or what the listeners want to hear, rather than what the networks and corporations  want us to listen to. Having a mixed genre in  2011  was  a  gamble  and  I  was warned by colleagues in the industry that it will never work.  Well they  were  wrong! It was a huge success when I started Blenz 107.4 back  in  2012  and  it’s  still  a success today. I constantly get comments like “Listening to your  station  is awesome, because you never know what type of song, or what artist is coming up next so you keep listening to see who it is”. It’s people  like  that  we  target  our station towards and now that we have a specific community to support like the inland waterways of the UK, I am confident we will reach our 3 year target  of 10,000 concurrent daily listeners by 2023”. - Pete Unstead (Station Manager)

The world of technology is changing at an ever increasing rate, and I predict within the next decade we will say goodbye to conventional terrestrial (FM / AM) radio stations. With fast mobile Internet now available to almost 99.9% of the population as they go about their daily lives, streamed digital media is the way people will listen to music and talk shows, podcasts etc. By 2030 all available news, music, and video entertainment will be streamed via the internet.

Canal Radio UK’s streamed content is currently in its first phase, which means it’s more of a 24/7 mixed music station with a little bit of talk radio and a few podcasts. As it grows the station will incorporate more talk radio, podcasts and interviews into its daily scheduling.

canal radio uk - dj peteThe station started with only one Presenter-DJ, me, and now it has 5 volunteer British DJs and one American DJ who all stream their music shows each weekend from their own home studios. More are joining us every month. We hope to have a panel of around 10 regular station presenter DJ’s by the end of 2021.

Canal Radio UK is also hoping to promote a Youth Radio Project (Canal Radio YRP), an idea I came up with in 2013. The concept is for youngsters between the age of 10 and 15, to learn about Internet radio streaming and station etiquette and become part of a community of young presenters across the waterways.

There are current vacancies for station operational staff who have had some radio station experience in a previous life to join us as volunteers. So, if you or anyone you might know would be interested in helping manage the daily operations of an Internet radio station, be it in an administration role, content programming or any perhaps a technical role, then please contact me, the Station Manager, at station.manager@canaIradio.uk I would love to hear from you.

News and stories relating to the canal network and river system of UK will soon be discussed during our live shows on the weekends and we (Canal Radio UK) want to work as closely as possible with organisations like CRT and IWA to provide our listeners with useful content such as, canal and river maintenance updates, waterway social events and canal closures. We provide this information already via our social media posts on our Facebook page.

The station will eventually have slots available for broadcast on the weekends, for narrowboat owners who want to buy or sell their boats and potentially interact with boat brokers and boat builders. There will also be a weekly Canal Community News segment where non profit organisations can use this platform for free, to inform the inland waterways community. This is scheduled for 2021.

DJ Pete - canal radio uk

Canal Radio UK’s mixed music genre consists of a mixture of classic hits, some Top 40 hits, a little R&B and some Blues, and is finished off with a splash of classic rock and a few classic ballads. The station streams live from the current studio for 18 hours a day, opening up at 6am and closing down at midnight GMT. Between midnight and 6am we stream an automated playlist of chill out lounge and soft jazz to ease you through the night.

Canal Radio UK is a great marketing and advertising tool for all businesses on the canal networks. The station offers an affordable high quality radio imaging service to its customers, as well as a range of other services like website design and hosting, social media content management and electronic brochure (flippable ebook) creation. We currently have four UK sponsors and we are looking for more to join our radio station family.

We currently hold a LMOL (Limited On-Line Music License) and we are licensed to stream music over the Internet through ‘PRS For Music’. You can listen to us anytime by visiting our website at https://www.canalradio.uk and click on the Listen Now button in the menu. The website also has everything you need to know about the station, as well as how to get in contact with us should you wish to communicate with us. Please also visit our Facebook page by searching ‘canalradiouk’ on Facebook or Google and Like us for updates about shows and news about the station. Let us know your comments, we would love to hear from you. We hope you like what you hear!

canal radio ukCanal Radio UK is the only online music radio station dedicated to serving the community of the inland waterways of Great Britain. Our target audience are everyday people with an interest in canal boats and river cruising around the UK as well as the waterways community of businesses and liveaboards.

https://canalradio.uk/

winterise your boat

winterising your boat

tips from river canal rescue to help you save on costly repair bills

With winters getting colder and sub-zero temperatures becoming more common, River Canal Rescue has put together some tips on how to winterise your narrowboat and so avoid costly repair bills.

Read More

babies to boats

babies to boats

a journey of new beginnings

If someone had told me 4 years ago when I semi retired from the NHS  that I would own and run a narrow boat holiday business instead of looking after mummies and babies , I wouldn't have believed them for a moment!  And yet here I am running, single-handedly, Tiller Girl Narrow Boat Holidays.

mummies and babies

tiller girl melanie franklin pryce

Having spent my 45 year working life with the NHS, firstly as a Cardiac ICU nurse then Registered Midwife. I have been so very fortunate to have had an exceptional career. I love meeting and working with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, its what makes life interesting and varied.

Having cared for  women, babies and their families for the past 26 years it has been a roller coaster of emotions, but I have loved every minute (Well nearly every one...).

But all good things come to an end and times change. The opportunity to take flexi retirement. I would have more time with my family and hobbies, but keep one leg in midwifery and still maintain a working wage. It seemed to be a good move.

I had for some time been thinking of having a second income such as a self catering property and had been looking for a small cottage preferably in the Yorkshire dales (I'm a Yorkshire lass through and through) or on the Yorkshire Coast to invest my hard earned pension.

My eldest son Ben who bought a narrow boat a few years ago to live aboard and who completely rebuilt the interior, said 'Mum, a narrow boat would be better!'   He  felt it would be easier to maintain and hire out, being closer to home. So off we went to have a look.

a boat of my own

tiller girl luxury boat hire

We were offered a viewing there and then... she really seemed to fit the bill and because she was only 4 years old, we felt she would be a sound investment. My father always said when making a big decision, sleep on it and if it still feels good in the morning then do it!

I had searched the internet to look at average costs and what type and standard of narrow boat was available, the range was mind blowing but we felt that this was the one for us and had lots of potential.

Within a week the job was done!  Following a full survey (which we would always suggest!) and  a bottom blacking, John and I moved her to Sawley Marina and changed her name to Tiller Girl which was John's suggestion because, as he keeps telling me, she is my boat, not ours!

I must admit to waking a few times in the night with  'what have I done, that's a lot of money to spend!' but on the whole couldn't  wait to get started on the refurb!

Tiller Girl was built as a 2 berth live aboard in 2014 and I felt she would  perfectly fit the bill of my idea to have a couples' retreat, a luxury boat for time out and relaxation as well as family holidays.

Then came months of the steepest learning curve ever!  I thought my midwifery  studies were hard, but this was a different kettle of fish and with no guidance or  tutor but myself! Although we had had many river and canal holidays growing up as a family, and having a brother and nephew as marine engineers,  I still spent many an hour on the internet researching hire companies, insurers, Facebook narrow boat pages and the Canal and River Trust website to find out what I needed to run my own hire boat - as well as reading all the manuals and building specs of the boat. My brother Rob, now answers the phone to me  'Canal boat engineer support'! He says I only phone him when I need something...!

interior

And then we started on making the interior into what I felt would be expected of a luxury hire boat.

Every bit of the internal woodwork has been cleaned and sanded, waxed or painted,  a carpenter friend carried out a refit of some of the internal doors,  fitted new oak worktops and breakfast bar and righted all the wrongs or 'unsafes' that were highlighted on the survey. Ben helped me with loads of advice and support with painting some of the exterior.

Learning the ins and outs of how to service and look after a beta marine engine and how the electrics and batteries worked was difficult to say the least and so much to take on board that I must admit to feeling overwhelmed and having doubts whether I could ever manage the boat maintenances. But I pulled up my big girl knickers and faced it head on!

Applying for the commercial licence from The Canal and River Trust meant I had to write a hand over manual which was pretty comprehensive and descriptive and again other boat companies were a great resource (No plagiarizing though!) and having  a good understanding of writing health and safety with the NHS it was finally accepted and my license arrived! The Boat Safety Certificate had to be completed for commercial hire but very little needed to be done which was great news to my  bank account!

Julie Cutts, the manager at Sawley Marina where we decided to moor her,  was an absolute gem as are all the staff (and many of the boat neighbours) and have supported me all the way with great wealth of knowledge of hire boat companies, to mooring and giving us our own embarkation point at the marina and for all of this I pay a commercial mooring fee which is an extra 30%.

I'm sure every narrow boat owner has a dislike for the wind when trying to navigate a 57 foot boat of steel in any wind stronger that a whiff of breeze!  Marinas are so tight on space and with other boaters (experienced or not!) watching and commenting(!) makes it even worse getting out and on to the canal! Red faces and lots of apologies were often the order of the day when first starting to learn manoeuvres! So having the embarkation next to the canal was a god send in the beginning.

Great working relationships are the key, and luckily having experienced this in my job as a community midwife made it easier when dealing with companies, boaters and the general public.

Then COVID-19 reared it's nasty viral head and everything came to a sudden stop! I fully refunded everyone who had made a booking and by this time, funds were running low. I couldn't carry out the planned external painting and the Marina was flooded. So a worrying time all round.

The external painting didn't happen apart from little bits here and there to make her more presentable. Tiller Girl is Sapphire blue and orange and not the colour I had imagined my hire boat  to be, but we have had so many positive comments on the 'Floating Jaffa Cake' that she will remain as she is and I have built our image around it.

By the time I was free to go back on to Tiller Girl, I was eager to get started. Time was running short and I needed her ready for when I could get her out on the water and earn some money!

Enquiries for holidays started coming in as soon as the Facebook, Instagram and web pages were up and running. I had cards printed and sent them to all the marinas in the area, left them on shop notice boards and in chandleries and the marina office.

Bookings for spring and summer came in although a great many enquiries did not lead to bookings.

I wondered if it was to do with the cost/pricing. I had thoroughly researched costs of other hire boats and took an average although I was advised to put the prices slightly higher as it was felt to be 'an exceptional hire boat'.

I offered to donate money to a spaniel re homing group from any bookings on their website which worked well.

I maintained low season prices as I felt this may stimulate custom and it certainly seemed to work as I was fully booked until mid October! Dates had to be flexible due to COVID giving 72 hours between bookings, deep cleaning and my part time work Rota at Sherwood Forest Hospitals

As soon as we were given the all clear from the CRT and the government to begin hiring, I had many more bookings and enquires and our first guests arrived on the 27th July!

Hand over is intensive and  takes around 2 hours, with a tour of the internal features including fire safety, exits and cassette toilet. I encourage all hirers to read the manual and watch the videos on the website prior to coming on Tiller Girl and ask them to sign an agreement that holds them responsible for the boat.

All hand overs are  socially distanced with face masks and hand sanitizer. I have removed many of the luxury features such as books, games and soft furnishings  due to covid-19 and strictly follow the government guidance on deep cleaning.

We then leave the Marina and guide them through to first lock, discuss and demonstrate casting off and mooring up, good water etiquette  and boat manoeuvrability amongst every thing else.

It's a massive amount to take on board (Literally!) and when the guests feel happyish and me too, I leave them and make my way back to the Marina on foot or bicycle. I wish I could take a picture of their faces when I leave! There's such a mixture of panic,  realization and excitement that it's now all up to them!!

There have been a few hiccoughs along the way which I have managed to straighten out without too much hassle; Lack of battery power, inverter problems (due to lack of Battery power), water ingress from the mushroom vents in torrential rain and a leaking stern gland, all manageable thank goodness.

I have my phone next to me 24 hours a day so guests can ring me at any time, I must say they have been very respectful! Experienced HGV drivers and caravan owners seem  have a better understanding of manoeuvrability, the contribution of strong winds and battery power.

Safety is my main concern and I work hard to maintain good safety procedures and an extensive hand over to ensure that beginners are fully aware of the dangers of the water, especially around locks. My heart was in my mouth as I watched a not young, returning guest walk along the roof of Tiller Girl entering a lock!  We supply a range of sizes of buoyancy aids - even some for dogs as we are pet friendly.

I have had a very hard season running Tiller Girl, working as a healthcare professional through covid-19 which led to a much higher work load in the NHS and the strict deep cleaning on Tiller Girl.

There is still plenty to do to reach Tiller Girl's full potential but I am looking forward to another hopefully successful season with much still to learn and experience and many more wonderful guests to welcome aboard.

I have taken the plunge and will be retiring fully from the NHS in January 2021 to focus full time on Tiller Girl! Fingers crossed!

Melanie Franklin-Pryce is the owner of Luxury Narrowboat Hire 'Tiller Girl'.

Tiller Girl is based in Sawley Marina on the Trent and Mersey canal.

07739 709 242
ask@tillergirl.com
https://www.tillergirl.com

lockdown – here we go again!

lockdown - here we go again!

aqueduct marina learns to live with covid 19

Aqueduct Marina - first lockdownHere we go again. Locked down, so why does it feel different?

Back in March locked down for the first time felt like starting a new school. It was a combination of fear and excitement mixed with a determination to make the best of it.

This time round it is like the middle years of school, starting the Autumn term. The novelty has worn off, leaving school seems a long way off and there are some important exams ahead.

aqueduct marina perspex screensIt does feel vastly different, not only because schools and colleges are staying open, but we have now, as standard, Perspex screens at customer contact points, one way systems and people wearing masks. In short we have learned to live with Covid.

The other major difference from the spring lock down is that November is a time of year when we generally start to see less of our customers visiting their boats as the cruising season has finished and C&RT start to close locks and bridges for maintenance. Whereas in the spring the opposite applies, we were gearing up for the spring rush.

Where it has impacted us is the onsite café that normally remains open 12 months of the year. , Our cafe has had to close again as it was not worthwhile doing take-away. So, our four café staff are back on furlough for the time being. The decision to re-open the cafe after the lock down will very much depend on the restrictions (tier level) we are put into. Working with family groups and those in a ‘bubble’ only was proving unviable.

The Brokerage operation has also been curtailed because we cannot carryout viewings in person. Combined with getting boats in for sale which can be difficult over the winter anyway, Covid restrictions will make for an even more tricky winter period.

aqueduct marina boats for sale We are though still successfully completing sales already in the system, with buyers not pulling out.

Encouragingly we are also getting enquiries from new boat buyers who are generally buying to a specification rather than relying on a viewing.

Though the sooner we can get back to viewings in person by appointment the better.

The Chandlery is interesting, we found it actually worked quite satisfactorily during the first lockdown as a Click and collect outlet, with customers happily phoning/emailing ahead and collecting, then paying either over the phone or we emailed an invoice out for online payment. So, the Chandlery will revert to this C&C system only for the time being.

This system also works for the diesel and pump-out which have remained successfully DIY all summer.

aqueduct marina work going onMoorings with customers visiting their boats are normally quieter at this time of year, but this year combined with the lockdown is even more apparent. Though on the plus side the engineers are getting asked to do a few pieces of work on boats as the owners cannot get down.

The storage yard is similar to the moorings but does have a few more frustrated owners who had planned to do some out-of-water DIY maintenance and are unable to attend to their boat.

In summary, this second lockdown feels much less dramatic than April, with business as usual in most areas.

While typing, the American election has a winner, and a Covid vaccine appears a more realistic possibility next year. Just get Brexit Done and we may have a much more positive 2021-2022 than many predicted even a few weeks ago. Just need to knuckle down now and revise for those exams!

Aqueduct Marina LogoRobert Parton is the managing director and owner of Aqueduct Marina - a modern, award winning marina on the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union near Nantwich.

Call: 01270 525 040  Visit: Website Link

excel voted best fuel among boaters

excel - voted best fuel among boaters

Oxbow Coal Ltd were delighted to win Canals Online Magazine’s award for best fuel among boaters for our premium quality Excel briquettes. The fuel is hugely popular among the boating community up and down the country and we’re very proud that Excel has truly become the fuel of the houseboat over the last few years.

oxbowThe Excel briquettes are produced at our plant in County Durham in the North East of England.

Originally the plant had ovens and baked the briquettes but after a fire burned the facility down, they were forced to start again. With no money to replace the ovens then owner John Bartlett came up with a plan to produce the country’s first cold cure briquettes.

That vision blossomed over the years and Oxbow partnered with John’s business in the late 90’s before acquiring the business in 2014, by which time Excel and Oxbow’s other fuels Red, Newheat and Glow were all established as firm favourites in the home heating market.

OxbowSince then Oxbow have learned not to mess with the classics and the Excel remains consistently top quality with the recipe largely unchanged for many years.

While other manufacturers produce countless different fuels, Oxbow chose a different route as the ‘stove revolution’ began early in the 2010’s.

excel briquettes. OxbowInstead of bringing out a new fuel to compliment the open fire fuel Excel was considered to be, Oxbow, with minor adjustments, made the fuel versatile enough in its own right to be considered a multi-purpose fuel.

Whether used on a closed appliance, a multi-fuel stove or on an open fire, the fuel remained the premium brand on the market at an affordable price.

It’s also a fully approved smokeless fuel, so when the legislation changes next year nothing will change and it’s also fully HETAS approved.

For those not aware of the difference Excel can make, like all of the Oxbow fuels it’s very low in ash compared to its competitors - meaning a lot less time spent cleaning out the ash pan. In addition it’s a high heat output fuel and gives a long lasting burning.

All in all the ideal fuel for the boating community. We’re proud to be your first choice fuel.

Oxbow coals logoOxbow Coal Ltd provides a diverse line of products, backed by expert technical support and knowledgeable customer service. Our philosophy is that the most effective way to earn a customer’s trust and loyalty is through the superior performance of our products as well as the energy and talent of our people.

01469 577 635
Immingham@oxbow.com
http://oxbowcoal.com/products-and-services/1

coalcage

coalcage

an ingenious idea which saves you time, effort and fuel!

Isn’t it funny how things go around sometimes?

Wayne & Rosie with coalcageLong ago I met my future wife after mooring up next to her. We spent the next few years being young ‘love-aboards’ and enjoying Narrowboat life.

We then did the ‘house thing’ and 30 years later, after ending up with the neighbours from hell, we decided to return to Narrowboat life.

We revelled in the freedom of it all again and, once we’d got used to the space, settled down to the usual daily routines of boaty life.

One of these was the stove. The good old glow in the corner.

It was while going through the usual faff of coming in and getting the stove going that I thought that there must be some way of improving this procedure.

You know what it’s like - bits of paper, firefighters, carefully stacked kindling and the precarious balancing act of the coals. Then watching it all fall apart and trying to jiggle things about and re-stack etc etc only for it to go out and start again.

It suddenly dawned on me that if it had a basket of some sorts I could just bung it all in and it would take the faff and balancing act out of the procedure.

I got the pliers out and made a rough prototype out of an old fire guard and, guess what, it worked a treat!

I couldn’t believe it! It worked and it was so simple.

All of a sudden I had a stack of glowing coal that looked good and all I had to do was top it up. In fact what I soon realised was that I could actually put an amount in that would last me all day with no constant topping up and no over-filling of the stove base. The pyramid of coal was no more!

I couldn’t wait to tell my wife when she came home.

All we could do was sit and look at it! It was better than telly!

coalcageSurely, I asked myself, there must be something available already? No - nothing. Nothing at all like it was available as a stove accessory for coal.

I wanted to tell my acquaintances in my boaty world but it dawned on me that I may have stumbled upon a potential future income that needed more thinking about.

The original prototype lasted a week!!! I didn’t realise that metal burned!

This meant getting into the qualities of materials. I learnt more about physics and metallurgy over the next few weeks than I had at school!

Stainless steel and sturdy construction was the way forward. Another prototype - and this was the answer.

Wherever we moored we would be off sneaking about in stove shops measuring grate sizes to get the most appropriate size for a mixture of stoves.

Next it was off to Birmingham to have a chat at Birmingham Library with the Intellectual Property team and access to a free interview with a Patent Lawyer.

All the while this process was going on it was the hardest thing to keep quiet! We we’re so excited with how it was working and improving our stove experience. Visitors to the boat were kept at a minimum whilst we tried surreptitiously to draw any attention away from our stove. We now couldn’t imagine life without it!

I was constantly trawling the internet and trade magazines in case I’d missed it somewhere but, no, it appeared that we had definitely stumbled onto something.

The big leap was taking out the Patent Application and the costs, plus trademarking the name and registering the design.

We went through the usual ‘think of a name’ scenarios and decided that ‘Coalcage’ was what it was, and what it did, so decided that this was it. This is what we’d called it from it’s inception anyway!

I wanted it to be a UK product so searched for a supplier and, after few brush offs, I found my saviour up north and a fabulous Victorian family business who could produce the quality the product needed.

Getting the first batch was so exciting as it suddenly became real. Boxes and labels agreed with a local printer and we were away.

It’s hard to believe that it’s taken two years to get this far!

The way things are going with the government's clean air policy we are being encouraged to use smokeless fuels and wood. Smokeless fuels are being better regulated all the time so using it in conjunction with a Coalcage can only benefit future emissions as it doesn’t encourage you to overload your stove and waste coal. It allows you to quickly establish a deep fire-bed that feeds itself with better control. As it’s open ended it also doesn’t impede any riddling mechanisms in the stoves grate. It could also prolong the stove's life by reducing ‘hot spots’ and stove fractures.

We’ll be out and about selling from the boat wherever we are throughout the year. Price is £20 plus £4 postage. They’re also available from Midland Chandlers & Venetian Marina.

Hopefully you’ll catch us at some point but we are also able to sell via the website www.coalcage.com

or EBay, or you can contact us at coalcageinfo@gmail.com for individual enquiries.

Rosie & Wayne Sharman live aboard their narrowboat James Arthur and if you are lucky enough to spot them on the cut, you can buy directly from their boat.

Alternatively you can order one direct from their website, by phoning Wayne or by emailing them.

Tel: 07776 217 125 Write:  coalcageinfo@gmail.com Visit: www.coalcage.com

Coalcage is also available from most chandleries, and on Ebay.

very different personalised canal boat gift idea!

stoke art pottery

brings you a very different, personalised canal boat gift idea!

the beginnings of stoke art pottery

Established in 2006, Stoke Art Pottery was perhaps a bit of an accident. First of all, we are not a pottery or even "potters". But an online store, selling high quality pottery and ceramics.

The owner of Stoke Art Pottery, Malcolm Dean, realised that the potteries landscape in Stoke on Trent was changing dramatically. Instead of the area being dominated by very large factories, there were now a large number of small potters and ceramic artists working independently, setting up their own studios or working from home. Malcolm thought there was an opportunity here: he could work with these people to develop their businesses, and Stoke Art Pottery was born.

Being based in Stoke on Trent was quite an advantage. It enabled Malcolm to work very closely with the Ceramic Artists, enabling him to offer Studio Trials and One Offs that were totally exclusive to Stoke Art Pottery.

who are these ceramic artists?

The first ceramic artist to come on board was Anita Harris. Formerly the Lead Designer at Poole Pottery, Anita was also a senior designer at Moorcroft.  Alan Clarke (another well known designer for Poole Pottery) and Deborah Wood (hand painter of Brian Wood Designs) soon followed.

grotesque birds - stoke art pottery

It was not long before Stoke Art Pottery were also stockists for Lorna Bailey Artware, Burslem Pottery (famous for their Grotesque Birds inspired by the Martins Brothers),  Emma Bailey Ceramics, and Marie Graves (a well established designer for Carlton Ware). In addition to several other ceramic artists.

the potteries' best kept secret

The close working relationship that Malcolm had with each potter and artist worked extremely well with Anthony (Tony) Cartlidge.

Tony has been a free-lance ceramic modeller and artist for some considerable time, and  is often described as one of the best kept secrets of the Potteries.

Normally working with many of the large pottery manufacturers based in Stoke on Trent, Tony's career has included designing and modelling two-sided character teapots for Royal Doulton.  These were produced in 2002, each one in a world-wide Limited Edition of 1500.

stoke art pottery character teapots

royal doulton character teapots

However, probably one his most exciting projects was being involved in designing and modelling “The World’s Largest Toby Jug".

the largest toby jug in the world

Standing over three feet tall, this Toby Jug was commissioned by the American Toby Jug Museum, based near to Chicago in the USA.

Tony modelled it, building up the three-foot Toby Jug around a barrel and a bucket.

Tony says it was probably one of the most complex projects that he had ever worked on, due to the extreme size of the jug, and having to ensure that it did not collapse around him!

It was then hand painted.

The first giant Toby Jug was delivered to the museum in 1999, with others available by special order (limited edition of 50).

 

stoke art pottery - exclusive designs.

hand painted vase by tony CartlidgeMore recently, Tony has been hand painting vases with his own designs for Stoke Art Pottery, each design being totally exclusive.

It was through the close working relationship that Malcolm had with Tony that the idea for the Personalized Canal Boat Gifts was conceived.

Tony had designed and painted vases with canal scenes, and during various discussions someone said, (and no one can remember who, exactly) "How about personalising these designs with individual canal boat owners own boats?"

hand painted vase by tony cartlidgeThe idea was hatched - so after some heart searching it was decided we should go ahead and offer the facility of hand painting owners own canal boats onto the scenes already developed.

These hand crafted vases would be totally hand painted with one off designs, Totally different and unique!

fantastic souvenir and a great gift idea!

Just picture your own boat on one of our hand painted ceramic vases, with a choice of different locations (currently Trent & Mersey and the Macclesfield Canals).  A totally unique piece of pottery. Hand painted by one of the Leading Ceramic Artists, Tony Cartlidge. Each one will be signed by the artist and designer. And will come with a signed Certificate of Authentication.

the craftsman at work

stoke art potteries - hand drawing on vase

Tony Cartlidge hand painting design on vase

Anthony Cartlidge with one of his creationsThe hand drawing and hand painting of each vase will take three to four days to complete. The delivery time for each order is 28 days, and as already stated, each will come with its own certificate of authentication.

stoke art pottery

Stoke Art Pottery is an on-line business, but we endeavour to give a personal service online. We are a small family business, not a faceless large business. Your custom matters to us. If there is a problem it gets sorted quickly and professionally. Regretfully on occasions something does go wrong. Or mistakes are made. That is Life! Thankfully these instances are very rare.

Call: 07872 435 590 Write: info@stokeartpottery.co.uk Visit: website

revolutionary outdoor cooking

revolutionary outdoor cooking

cook anything, anywhere, anytime!

how it all began...

In December 2001, Time Magazine featured the Cobb as one of the best inventions of that year. This was a major turning point for what had started out as an obvious idea to an environmentalist in Africa several years earlier.

The developer’s idea was to encourage native Africans to use corncobs as fuel for cooking, rather than wood or coal. He devised a simple clay pot stove with a steel mesh grill that Africans could easily make and fuel with their abundant supply of corncobs.

The idea took hold and resulted in the development of the Eco Cobb, an inexpensive, all metal stove that could be distributed in aid programmes in third world countries globally.

Cobb’s commitment to a continual improvement program has resulted in the worldly acclaimed product we see today which is available with several accessories.

total versatility...

The award winning Cobb™ system can roast, bake, smoke, fry and grill. Cobb cooking is fuss-free. Perfect for home and away, the Cobb is easy to clean, light-weight, simple to use and maintain. You can even move the Cobb while cooking to wherever the social gathering may be – outdoors, on the beach or even on a boat.

Endorsed by the South African Heart Foundation, the Cobb's unique patented design allows excess fat and oil to drain away into the moat / inner sleeve for healthier cooking.

The Cobb is virtually smokeless, since the fat and oil drain away and not onto the fire. The base always remains cool-to-touch on the outside whilst cooking hot on the inside.

The Cobb is made of only the highest quality durable materials and because the Cobb has no moving parts, nothing can go wrong.

This highly portable Cobb Premier and Pro weigh only 4kg (8.5 lbs.), zipped into the carry bag it’s 325mm wide and 270mm high.

cobb bbq elementsthe elements that make up Cobb...

  1. Dome: made with stainless steel and it has a heat-resistant handle. The holes in the Dome ensure even ventilation throughout the cooking process creating an oven effect.
  2. Grill Grid: with an easy to clean Teflon® non-stick coating. Excess fat drains away through the holes and into the moat.
  3. Fire Basket: A secured area for the Cobble Stone or loose briquettes.
  4. Stainless steel moat: catches all excess fat. The moat can also be used for cooking vegetables.
  5. Base: with anti-slip rubber feet, the base remains stable and cool to touch during use.

The Cobb is packaged complete with instruction manual. All the components with the exception of the base are dishwasher safe.

Cobb BBQawards...

  • Time International voted Cobb one of the best inventions worldwide in 2001
  • Double Vesta Design Award Winner
  • Spoga + Gafa Innovation Design Award Winner
  • disa - Design Innovation South Africa
  • Heath, Patio & Barbeque Association
  • The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa
  • Heart Foundation South Africa

Cobb BBQ logoAs far as we can determine, the Cobb has the smallest carbon footprint of any manufactured oven on Earth. Order yours online today!

https://www.cobb-bbq.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/cobb.gb.ltd/
info@cobb-bbq.co.uk
01296 681 095