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Tue Oct 3, 2017 at 9:32am

Life Aboard Made Easy!

If you are in the process of moving onto your narrow boat full time, or considering a full time life on the waterways, we can show you ways to make your move aboard as simple and comfortable as possible.

Adapting your boat to meet your basics needs will make life on the water as stress free and simple as it can be.

There is definitely more work and thought needed when living on the waterways, but if you are prepared to give it ago and learn by your mistakes (and we've all made them) then you will reap the benefits that living on your boat will provide.

Having the RIGHT Narrowboat!

A small 45 foot narrowboat is ok for long weekends and holidays, but living aboard a smaller boat full time really does have its down sides, especially if there is more than one of you living on the boat.

Not only will you not have a permanent place to sleep/sit as you will be changing the sitting area into a bed room and vice versa each day, there will be a huge lack of storage. This way of living will undoubtably lead to quite a stressful and unpractical way of life.

Therefore if you can afford a larger boat bearing in mind the additional costs associated with a longer boat, such as mooring fees, licences and maintenance costs, then this is the best option for living aboard as the extra space will make day to day living so much more comfortable.

The style of the boat is a tricky one but really theres no right or wrong stern, however the traditional stern does tend to be the most popular choice for liveaboards as the internal space is larger than the other options. Having more internal space will making LIVING on your boat more comfortable and practical. 

Other features to consider;

  • Dinettes can be a waste of space especially in smaller vessels
  • Small bathrooms will eventually take their toll 
  • Look for a boat with large windows and lots of doors providing additional light and easy access
  • Remember boats that are painted in dark paint i.e black or navy blue will ultimately be very warm in the summer!

Getting The Basics Right.

If you can get the basics right i.e. have somewhere to sleep, eat, wash and be warm you will be on the right track to a simple and comfortable life on your narrowboat. Get these things wrong and life is going to be rather difficult!.

Sleeping: Ideally have a separate sleeping area as mentioned before, having to change your seating area into a bedroom and back again every day is going to become very tiresome. Also having a bedroom gives you some additional privacy when you want to escape the main living area of your boat.

Cooking: Most boats have gas cookers as electric ones are not practical unless you are always hooked up. Agas and other range cookers can be installed and are delightful in the winter, but rather unmanageable in the summer months when the warmer weather is with us. However the newer Agas can be controlled pretty much like a conventional oven so if you are wanting the look of a Aga but the convenience of a conventional oven then one of the dual control Agas would be suitable. A microwave is also a good investment for heating up meals and for making simple suppers.

Bathrooms: You don't need to have a bath aboard, but a descent size shower is definitely a must. Within the bathroom there is also going to be your toilet and this is a much discussed topic between boaters.

For liveaboards we would suggest the pump out option, this will best suit your living arrangements. The job of emptying a cassette toilet will soon become a very loathed chore. More information on the Big Loo Debate can be found here

Heating: Having two modes of heating is a good plan, so consider a stove that will be attractive and reliable and also a diesel heater, these are much more reliable nowadays.

Electricity: Electricity is needed to pump water, provide light and run the appliances onboard. When moored at a marina you will be able to hook up to the mains, when out cruising you will need to rely on your batteries.

Storage: If only the narrowboat was like a Tardis once you got inside, alass this is not the case and storage is always limited, even to those who consider themselves minimalists. Look for clever storage ideas and use even the space under the bed to gain as much storage as possible. Store things you don't use very often in places that are harder to access like under your bow deck.

Moorings

So we now address the hardest issue facing livaboards, moorings! First option is to continuously cruise the system staying no longer than 2 weeks in each place before having to move on. This is ok if you have no commitments i.e work, school, family etc but for those with permanent commitments this is not a viable option. 

So what other options are there?

  • Marinas; Can be expensive and hard to come across, but if you have the funds and are able to find a long term mooring this is a great choice providing a comfortable, secure, hassle free facility to live.
  • Boat Yards; Cheaper than marinas but can tend to be noisy.
  • Stop - Start cruising; This is where you cruise around the network, mooring at different marinas or boat yards for a few days at a time then moving on.
  • Small private moorings; Again hard to find but sometimes available with a small area for a washing line or to sit.
  • Winter moorings; Continuously cruising over the summer, then mooring somewhere with good facilities over the winter months.

Our Top Tips To Getting It Right!!

Just a few other ideas to consider when thinking about a full time life on the waterways;

  • Canvas covers provide an additional storage area outside the boat. for wellies, wet coats and other bulky items that can't be kept within the boat. But remember this is not a secure area so items left here are open to opportunists. Casual burglaries are unfortunately part and parcel of life even on the waterways.
  • Have spares of as many things possible. Practical items such as a spare water pump incase yours breaks down, extra kindling and fuel this includes gas! Keep the larder stocked up for times when you aren't near any shops and the family are wanting to know whats for supper!
  • Flatter roofs are safer and better for walking on. Also useful for storage.
  • If the thought of getting rid of possessions is proving difficult when you are downsizing from a house to a narrow boat, then consider self storage for a short period of time. It might not be viable long term, but short term it might help you over the initial adjustment period of leaving a house and moving onto boat. By putting items into storage for a while, it gives you the time to come to terms with not having these things around and eventually letting them go.

If you have just moved onto a narrowboat to live on, please tell us your story and how you are getting on?

Sat Sep 16, 2017 at 1:27pm

 

They come in four basic formulations.Chemical treatments are the most popular because they provide the best odor control. Some include chemicals that kill bacteria, but the best chemical treatments deodorize using chemical reactions with odor-causing molecules. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other treatments.

Some contain additives that dissolve waste. They can be added to tanks that contain other treatments without cleaning the tank.

 

Enzyme treatments accelerate the digestion of organic materials in waste and neutralize odors at the same time. Their toxicity is extremely low, they’re environmentally friendly. Some help to emulsify paper and sewage. They must be added regularly, work best in well-ventilated systems, but do not work well in hot or cold climates. Enzymes require a tank free of residuals of other treatment products.

Nitrate treatments provide an interesting alternative. Oxygen is vital to bacteria in the process of breaking down organic waste. When little air is present (as in most holding tanks), bacteria derives the oxygen from sulfates in the waste, which produces hydrogen sulfide (stinky!) gas. When nitrates are introduced, they act as nutrients for the bacteria, providing an alternative source of oxygen, which results in the production of nitrogen (odorless) gas.

Nitrates are environmentally friendly, and are ideal for systems with less ventilation. They speed up the breakdown process and reduce odors. The tank must be free of residuals from other products.

Bio-active treatments contain live aerobic bacteria which break down waste, reproduce and crowd out anaerobic (odor-producing) bacteria. They, too, are environmentally friendly. Like enzymes, bio-active treatments can help in breaking down sewage. Unlike other treatments, they multiply and continue to work long after treatment is complete. However, the microbes require a well-ventilated and residual free holding tank to survive. Although initially expensive, bio-active treatments become more cost effective over time because of bacteria propagation. 

If you have or use other alternatives please let us know.

Happy cruising from all at Venetian Marina.


Mon Aug 21, 2017 at 11:25am

Narrow boat Solar power

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are one of the many types of renewable energy available to us. We can use the sun's energy to operate solar panels to drive gadgets which can be used on a narrow boat, as well installing them on the roofs of our homes and businesses. They don't produce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or use up valuable fossil fuels.

Solar PV panels work very simply by converting light energy from the sun into electricity. It can even be a cloudy day and the panels don't even need to be positioned in direct sunlight. When fitted to our homes, PV can supply us with green energy and any surplus electricity produced can be returned back to the grid, known as ‘on-grid' systems. Or we can use ‘off-grid' systems, which store electrical power generated in batteries that can be used later when needed.

There are a number of specialist adapted solar PV panels that can be used both outdoors and indoors to power household gadgets such as mobiles, cameras, laptops, notebooks and to keep the batteries charged up.

However, the biggest challenge of specially designed solar panels is getting the right power output. Too little and you'll be half way through surfing the Internet for the following day's adventure and the power goes off; too much and you will have spent a fortune on something the capacity of which you'll use only a tiny proportion.

 There are a number of advantages worth considering when it comes to solar energy and everything that it offers:

  • It is a completely renewable resource
  • Solar systems make absolutely no noise at all
  • Solar energy creates absolutely no pollution so does not further damage the ozone layer
  • Very little maintenance is required to keep solar panels

Choosing the correct solar panels for your boat

Solar panels have varing amounts of different output depending on: Construction, quality polycrystalline or Monocrystalline. 

Power output, a single 100w high efficiency panel with Monocrystalline cells will produce circa 600-750Wh on a summer day.

Then we come to the controllers. there are 2 main types, PWM  which means Pulse Width Modulation, and MPPT Maximum Power Point Tracking.  With panel that have a higher voltage MPPT controllers are recommended. It is an advantage to fit a controller which has additional capacity, so more panels can be fitted at a later date if required.

Hope you find this article informative, and happy cruising from all the team at Venetian Marina.

 

Sat Aug 12, 2017 at 11:35am

Here are 7 reasons to quit your job and live on your narrow boat  

This article is for anyone contemplating a life on the UK waterways, away from their office job, boring day to day routine, wanting to jump out of the rat race and go where you can do what you love best - cruise every day! 

Apart from maybe living near the ocean, nothing quite compares to a life on the UK waterways. 

7. It beats working every day for a living:

So there maybe some sacrifices and you may need to take on a less glamorous and lower paid job, but knowing you are living the dream on your narrow boat everyday will more than make up for being tied to your desk job week in week out. There’s more to life than going to work and paying the bills!  

6. It’ll make all your friends jealous:

Think how your friends will feel as they start their working day doing the same routine day in day out and you will be starting your day in a new location with a new adventure just around the next bend. Feels good doesn't it?  Don’t forget to share your new adventures via social media so they can see just how good life is on the waterways.I wonder how long it will be until they quit their jobs too?  

5. Living for now, being in the moment:

You want to do it and you enjoy doing it so why wait till you are old and grey? Live life for now, don't wait for the future, stop making excuses or allowing others to talk you out of it. You love cruising and want the simple life style boating offers, so go for it. There’s nothing stopping you but YOU.  

4. The picture says it all:  

Really, we could have pursued you to do it with just this picture.....   



3. You get to be that person you want to be:

With the freedom of having no ties you are able to live a more simple and care free life. Material things become less important and your quality of life improves by embracing the simplicity of life on the waterways. There’s so still so much pressure on us all to have the latest gadget, new car, 5 star holiday and designer gear, but on the waterways none of this matters. Imagine not having to keep up with the Joneses and just doing what you love.   

2. Who knows what's around the next corner:

The thing is, none of us know what lies ahead of us so why wait? If you want to do it then grab it by both hands and go for it. Life's too short not to do what makes you happy, we only get one chance at life so make the most of it.

Yes it might seem a bit scary and radical but what's the worst that could happen? You do it for six months to a year and then IF it doesn't work out (and it will) you can go back to your old life. At least you can say you did it and you won't sit there in the future saying "I really wish I'd given it ago"  

1. You get to cruise every day:

Come on, you have to agree that has to be the best reason ever.  Just live your dream and head to the waterways. Don't daydream it, do it! With over 2000 miles of canals to explore there’s plenty of adventures to be had. Come and join the thousands of over boaters who have taken the plunge, there's room for more of you.  

If you need help realising your dream come and see us today!

Please do not hesitste to contact our office on 01270 528251 or visit our website:

www.venetianmarina.co.uk

Happy cruising.

 

Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 9:10am

Ready for summer cruising.

Boating Equipment

 

Checked items to include: 1KG hammer, mooring pins and ropes (with spares). Also, consider purchasing  a couple of  lightweight spare windlasses. There may not be a chandlery nearby to buy replacements. Torches are a must as the tow path can be very dark on the way back to the boat from the pub.

You may also wish to consider having life jackets on board for guest who may feel uncomfortable on the waterways.

A fully stocked first-aid kit, augmented for accidents and pain,

Handy to have at least one umbrella is handy.

Engineering

Check your rudder bearing and Swan Neck Bolt and you're rudder's overall health.  Also make sure that your steering system is in good shape if your vessel is equipped with a wheel steering. Lubricate the stern glan and tighten the wire cables, rope, chain, or gears and familiarize yourself with how they work and how you'll fix them if they break.

Check your engine, and all the levels (coolant, LPG gas and oils) you need to keep an eye on should also be easily accessible. Possibly consider having your engine and gear box serviced before the summer cruising season starts. Test the condition of your starter and domestic batteries. Check the alternator output and charging systems. Charging your electronics is absolutely key. Make sure you have spare drive belts for your water pump and alternator(s).

Don't forget to check the operation of the central heating system and the 12V/240V inverter.

Pack Carefully

For personal gear everyone should have these essentials: A good set of breathable foul weather gear, a warm mid layer, as you may end up cold, wet, and miserable, you won't be able to enjoy the cruise. Everyone may also have a good pair of waterproof gloves for line handling, and for cold weather. A warm hat, a sunshade hat, a good pair of shoes, a good pair of sneakers, and plenty of sunscreen.

food/drink/games/CDs/DVDs/

Other considerations

Clean and repair dangerous places which can be slippy walkways including the roof of the vessel. A full spare gas bottle, BWB key. Check the needles are in the green of all fire extinguishers, and you have spare electrical fuses.

 

BSS Cert /Insurance/CRT Licence, in date???

Happy cruising from all the team at Venetian Marina.


Sat Jul 1, 2017 at 10:17am

Should I turn my narrowboat into a WIFI "Hot Spot"

 

Wi-Fi hotspots are usually available in marinas, bars, cafes or even a neighbouring boat, however the low power of devices such as mobile phones and tablets do not always allow connection due to range limitations.

To connect over longer distances or to get a strong signal from all over a narrowboat, a Wi-Fi range extender can greatly help. Range extenders can come in two forms:

1. Smart booster antennas: These have the software built into the antenna unit with a cable that uses a simple Ethernet connector.

2. Wi-Fi antenna and smart box: These systems have their software fitted in a box usually mounted below deck, rather than in the antenna itself.

      

Advantages of using Wi-Fi on board

  • Only one Wi-Fi connection to make

  • Usually unlimited data

  • Speeds are quite fast

  • Usually free or very low cost

Disadvantages of using Wi-Fi on board

  • Very short range – less than a mile without booster

  • Inconsistent availability

  • Not secure

 

Mobile phone data

Another way to get Internet access is to use an existing mobile plan. Depending on your needs or the need of the Narrowboat, the money spent on an antenna/smart box could be spent on purchasing a higher data allowance.

The problem with this is ‘dead spots’. To avoid a dead spot additional equipment will be needed such as a signal booster.

 

To make this option even more expansive and connect other devices, you can also usually set the phone up as a hotspot. 

Advantages of using mobile phone data on board

  • Medium range up to 15 miles

  • Can be fast

  • Can use the same phone plan ashore 

Disadvantages of using mobile phone data on board

  • Most data plans are capped

Combined Wi-Fi and mobile connections

If affordable, the key is to go for a system that gives the widest range of internet connection possibilities and a system that is easily upgradeable. The better the quality of components, the lower the risk of lost transmissions.

If you have a Wifi system on your boat, please let us know ?

Happy cruising from Venetian Marina.

Thu Jun 15, 2017 at 11:34am

Entertaining In A Small Space

You may be limited for space on a narrowboat, but that won't limit what you are able to create in your kitchen. You can still be the hostess with the mostest! 

Whether it's serving meals for one, or feeding a crew of people, cooking aboard doesn't have to be a problem. The good news is that today's boats are well equipped to deal with modern day to day life. With long leisurely days and very little else to do you will have plenty of time on your hands to plan, create and serve delicious meals for you and your crew. 

One consideration you may need to bear in mind is where everyone is going to sit! If your boat doesn't have a dinette then meals will undoubtedly be served on trays, or in the summer eaten outside.



If you have a wood burning stove it is a good idea to put a stew on before going out for the day as it will slow cook whilst you are out and about.

You can plug into the 240 volt system and the world’s your oyster, all your appliances will work. When not connected to the mains, the use of your appliances are limited to what power source you are using.

Planning ahead is usually a good idea.

If you suddenly realise that you don't have a key ingredient for your meal and you are in the middle of nowhere, supermarket deliveries are not going to be able to deliver and help you out. Make a list of the meals you plan to serve for the upcoming five days or so and a sub list of all the ingredients you will need. You can always make alterations to your plans slipping in a new idea if you want too. Once you have your list then shop for the planned meals. Unlike when you usually do the weekly shopping at home, it's best not to buy in bulk as storage in cupboards and the fridge/freezer is limited, but try instead to buy just what you need and in smaller sizes. 

What to Pack

As space is at a premium within a narrow boat, you you may find you're not able to have all the gadgets that you normally use at home on board. However this doesn't mean you will be limited to eating sandwiches and beans on toast every day. Quite the opposite, cooking on a boat can be much more complex and interesting than grabbing snacks or ready made meals. 

Most boats will have an oven with a hob with four gas rings and a grill. Smaller boats tend to have just two rings with a small oven. You may be surprised to know that solid fuel range cookers are even sometimes fitted in narrowboats,and they can supply the hot water and heating too! 

Other appliances needed on board that will help you to prepare, cook and serve meals are a fridge, freezer, microwave, toaster, kettle and smaller equipment such as the items listed below; 

Equipment 

  • Various utensils any thing from tea spoons to wooden spoons. (Too many really to list but basically what you have at home)
  • Three saucepans in various sizes
  • Large cooking pot
  • Chopping boards meat/veggies
  • Cheese grater
  • Frying pan
  • Cake tin/Cooling rack (there's plenty of time to bake!)
  • Food bags/Tin Foil (useful for left overs & they take up less space than tuber ware)
  • Dining set
  • Cutlery
  • Glasses various
  • Mugs
  • Teapot (if you like a proper cup of tea!)

It’s important to bring food supplies with you, but don’t go overboard! Having the basics stashed on board is always a good idea, but you never know what you are going to find on your travels, so leave room for some surprises along the way. 

Here are some basics you may wish to have onboard at the start of your journey:

In the larder stock;

Spices/SeasoningSauces 
Tinned tomatoes 
Cereals
FlourSugar
Soups
Rice/Pasta
Beans/ravioli etc
Bread/crumpets/wraps/crackers 
Wine/beer
Soft drinks
Tea/Coffee
Long Life Milk
Water                                                    
Fresh produce;

Milk
Butter
Eggs
Cheese
Herbs (grow your own in pots on the stern or on the roof)
Yoghurt
Salad
Veggies

With the above ingredients you will always be able to make a simple sandwich, salad or pasta meal if you get caught out or don't come across any shops for stocking up. 

Where to Shop

Take advantage of local suppliers and farm shops. Use seasonal foods including fruits and veggies to inspire your meal plans. The joy of boating means you just never know what to expect round the next bend and what delights will be available for you to purchase.

Look out for floating shops too like the cheese company and other floating foodie businesses 

What to Cook

Well obviously things you like, but also try out new recipes that feature seasonal ingredients. Keep it simple and quick, I'm sure you would prefer to spend your time above deck enjoying the views and sipping a cool drink with the crew rather than spending a lot of time on your own slaving over the cooker and working through a complicated recipe! 

Free Foods

When possible take advantage of the free foods along the towpath there are all kinds of different berries – blackberries, sloe berries, crabapples to name but a few. Greens like dandelion, wild garlic, rosemary, sage, chickweed and nettles, even sticky weed, can be put to good use

On the Hertford Union Canal as it passes through Hackney Wick in London, look out for the twenty-metre long ‘edible wall’ that’s been created on the towpath. There you will find strawberries, lettuces, herbs and other edibles for passers-by to pick. The hope is to work with schools and community groups in other areas to create similar resources, so your luck could be in on other waterways too.

Take A Break

And for the days when you just want a break from the kitchen (and we all deserve some time off) hang up your apron and explore the pubs and restaurants along the canal side. Be selective in your choice there's plenty of eateries around so make sure you choose the very best from the fine British dining on offer.

If you have any recipes or ideas using food which grows wild on the canals, please let us know.

Happy cruising. 

Thu Jun 1, 2017 at 8:57am

Bacterial Contamination

Diesel Bug as it is more commonly known is becoming a much more common problem particularly in BULK storage tanks, marine craft and agricultural equipment. 

It’s impossible to prevent microbes entering fuel tanks and systems. However, the presence of water is a key factor in determining the rate and extent of microbial growth.

Condensation or free water suspended in the fuel clings to the tank walls or slowly sinks to the bottom of the tank, and microbes will grow at the fuel/water interface. They feed off dissolved oxygen and nutrients in the fuel, and their growth creates more water as they break down the hydrocarbons. Slime is formed, which blocks filters and restricts fuel lines. The resulting sludge is acidic, and can corrode vital engine components such as fuel pumps and injectors. 

Symptoms of fuel contamination

Engines can function with a surprisingly high amount of microbial growth in the fuel, so the chances are you’ll see the warning signs before it gets to the point that the engine actually fails. Symptoms include poor starting, fuel starvation, erratic running and black smoke from the exhaust. Even at this point, changing the filter should be enough to get you home. But that won’t solve the problem. You’ll need to eradicate the bug and, if necessary, have the tank and all the associated pipe work flushed, cleaned and treated with biocide. For bulk storage tanks the fuel would need biocide treatment with flushing of all pipework and external filtration to remove all contamination.   

There has been much discussion and misunderstanding of algae in diesel fuel. Algae need light to live and grow. As there is no sunlight in a closed fuel tank, no algae can survive, but some microbes can survive and feed on the diesel fuel.

These microbes form a colony that lives at the interface of fuel and water. They grow quite fast in warmer temperatures. They can even grow in cold weather when fuel tank heaters are installed. Parts of the colony can break off and clog the fuel lines and fuel filters.

Water in fuel can damage a fuel injection pump; some diesel fuel filters also trap water. Water contamination in diesel fuel can lead to freezing while in the fuel tank. The freezing water that saturates the fuel will sometimes clog the fuel injector pump. Once the water inside the fuel tank has started to freeze, gelling is more likely to occur. When the fuel is gelled it is not effective until the temperature is raised and the fuel returns to a liquid state.

There are companies and marine engineers available who will clean the fuel in a process called "Fuel Polishing" Fuel polishing is designed to eradicate the bugs and bacteria which accumulate in stored diesel and oil.


Sun May 14, 2017 at 10:36am

Top tips for using a wood-burning stove this winter.

Don’t burn water

This is the most fundamental thing to get right when you’re burning wood. It might be surprising, but green wood is around 50 per cent water. That means that for every kg of green wood you add to the fire, you’re effectively adding around 500ml (a pint) of water. This means that you will need to make sure that your fuel has been dried properly. There are a few ways of doing this, but the simplest are:

• Find green wood and dry it yourself – probably the cheapest option, if you’ve got the space to dry your logs properly, but do bear in mind that it will take a while. As a minimum, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve given your logs at least one summer to dry properly (two is better).

• Find a good supplier. The best way of finding a good log supplier is to go through an accreditation scheme such as Wood sure. This is an audit of whether the logs really are as dry as the supplier claims, which gives you some peace of mind that you’re not being ripped off.

• Buy kiln dried logs or briquettes. There can be sustainability issues with this sort of material, as energy has been added to dry the fuel before it reaches you, though some (but not all) suppliers use wood-fired kilns. This is usually the most expensive (but simplest) way of fueling a stove.

 

Manage the air

As far as your stove is concerned, air comes in two flavours. Primary air feeds the bed of the fire, and secondary air feeds the flames above it. Nearly all the energy from wood comes from burning gases released when it is heated – which means that secondary air is much more important than primary. The golden rules are:

• Never completely close the secondary air vent. Never (I really mean it). It’s the easiest way to create soot and tar and completely coat the glass on the front of your stove with gunk (a technical term).

• Don’t leave the stove door open, unless you have been specifically instructed to by the manual when lighting the fire. You are crippling your stove’s efficiency and allowing all the lovely warm air in the room to shoot off straight up the chimney.

• Remember you’re always looking for a hot, fast burn, as this will be the cleanest, most efficient way of running the stove. A small hot fire is much more efficient than a large slow-burning one.

5 ways to clean the glass on your wood burning stove

There is nothing more frustrating than lighting your stove, closing your door and not being able to see the fire through the glass.

Glass on a wood burning stove gets dirty from one of two ways – burning wet wood or wood with a lot of resin in it. Over time, if not cleaned, you won’t be able to see through it. Glass should be cleaned regularly to prevent build up of soot and tar.

Fear not, with these five useful tips we will have your stove door sparkling again!

  1. DON’T BURN WET LOGS. It’s the number way to keep your door clean. Wet logs produce more smoke, therefore more soot and tar and a blacker glass. The drier the wood, the cleaner your class will stay.
  2. Use crunched up newspaper, dip it in water and then in the ash from your fire and scrub gently until the glass clears up. You may need to wipe with a damp cloth when done to remove and remaining residue. Be careful when using this method that you don’t scratch the glass with any bits in the ash.
  3. Use a ceramic cooker cleaner, such as Hob Brite, with a non scratch sponge. Remove and blackened soot/tar then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  4. Lemon juice or vinegar, again with crunched up newspaper is also said to help remove stains from your glass.
  5. If all else fails, go for good old elbow grease! If you have left your glass uncleaned for too long you may find you will just need to keep scrubbing until it is clean again.

Don’t forget, if your stove glass isn’t clean, your chimney won’t be clean either. We recommend you get your chimney cleaned at least once a year to prevent any build up. If left uncleaned you run the risk of a chimney fire and damage to your home.

The key point here is burn dry wood. Wet logs may appear cheaper and may seem like you are getting more for your money but you will do damage to your stove and chimney in the long run.

Happy cruising from all the team at Venetian Marina.

 

Mon May 1, 2017 at 2:34pm

Crick Boat Show 2017

The Crick Boat Show is an event which has been held annually at Crick Marina in Northamptonshire since 2000. The Marina is situated on the Grand Union Canal, which is close to junction 18 on the M1.

Our Stand

Come and see us at the Crick Boat show this year 27th - 29th May 2017,

We will be exhibiting with our sister companies Whilton Marina and Cosgrove Park, be sure to visit us in the Waterways World Boating Marquee on stand  WW8-15

If you are thinking of buying a Narrow Boat, or maybe you are thinking of trading in your current vessel Crick is a great place to start looking. The show offers you the opportunity to look at boats currently on the market and discuss your options with boat builders and sellers, to the new and second-hand markets.

This year at the show, we are going to be running a Photography Competition for everyone to enter, we have some great prizes to win, see below for details on how to enter.


How To Enter Our Boat Show Competition

To enter send us your photograph of anything narrowboat or waterways related. It can be anything from wild life, a natural scene or you on your boat, absolutely anything related to canals and waterways! There's lots of fabulous prizes to win! To enter either email your picture to marketing@whiltonmarina.co.uk or enter by uploading on our social media accounts facebook or twitter making sure to give your name, telephone number and email address so that we can contact the winners!

Competition closes 5th June 2017, more details or to see our entry rules

Prizes include:

Three course meal for 2 with a bottle of wine (The Hay Hurst Arms Middlewich)

Engine service at Venetian Marina.

Full English Breakfast (for 2) with tea/coffee

£25 voucher to spend in Venetian Marine Chandlery.

Day boat hire for up to 10 people.

Narrowboat survey.

Boat Safety Scheme examination.

Virgin Balloon ride from Cosgrove Park.

Meal for two at Brinjol Indian restaurant in Weedon

River Canal Rescue 12 months bronze membership

Waterways World Magazine 12 months subscription

Towpath Talk Newspaper 12 months subscription

Set of mooring ropes from Whilton Chandlery.

Boat Handling Taster Courses

If you have been hankering to own or hire a boat, but are nervous about how to navigate the waterways, then the new taster sessions at the show are an ideal way to build confidence and get a feel for what’s involved. The sessions will be expertly led by The Narrowboat Skills Centre, Willow Wren Training and Watercraft.The boat trainers will talk you through the basics of casting off, mooring up, boat etiquette, rope handling, breaking down boat jargon as well as the dreaded lock navigation! You’ll get the chance to steer the boat under the supervision of an experienced boater. Each session can accommodate up to 4 people at once making it an ideal experience for the whole family. For more information about the course see this link to the Boat Handler Taster Course page on the Crick Boat Show website.

What's On

There is much fun for all the family including fun fairs, seminars and market stalls, not forgetting the ice cream vans and beer tent.

The show organisers have lots of new and exciting things lined up this year, with plenty of amusements for adults and children alike. The Waterways World Boating Marquee is where you will find all things boating including Marina’s like ourselves, boat hire, boat insurance, anodes, electrics and all things essential for narrow boating.

There will be lots of boats in the marina basin for you to climb aboard and look around, an ideal way of getting a feel for narrowboats if you are new to narrowboating.

Music Headliners

Music entertainment is always a feature of Crick Boat Show. Every year, we have a wide selection of great music and high quality performers on the stage in our large Wheatsheaf Bar Marquee, so you can enjoy the music come rain or shine.

T-Rextasy,

the world’s only official live tribute band dedicated to Marc Bolan & T-Rex, will be headlining at Crick Boat Show on Saturday evening, 27 May. Witness the recreation of those outrageous glam-rock days with their energetic live performances, described as ‘beyond the boundaries of tribute’. Hear some of Bolan’s biggest hits such as Ride a White Swan, Jeepster, Telegram Sam, Teenage Dream, The Groover, 20th Century Boy, Get it On, and of course I Love to Boogie.

 

T-Rextasy

Murphy's Marbles

Murphy’s Marbles will be bringing their celtic-based music to Crick for the third time, having toured the length and breadth of Europe delivering charismatic and dynamic performances

Murphy's Marbles

 

Fleetwood Bac

Endorsed by Mick Fleetwood himself for their perfected look, sound and on-stage chemistry, Fleetwood Bac are the UK’s most authentic Fleetwood Mac Tribute Show.All evening entertainment is included in the price of your day/weekend ticket, making Crick excellent value for money.

 

Fleetwood Bac

Crick Favourites Night Following highly-popular performances at Crick, as well as success from their own widely toured shows, Sunday 28 May sees the return of well-loved artists, Fleetwood Bac and Murphy’s Marbles, for Crick Favourites Night.

Childrens Entertainment

There’s masses of stuff going on for children.

For the first time ever at Crick Boat Show, all children receive free entry on all 3 days of the show! You can now bring along the whole family on any day of the show, or all weekend, and only pay for the adults, providing excellent value for parents, grandparents and carers. The funfair at Crick will be bigger and better in 2017 and there will be plenty of hands-on, exciting activities to keep children busy.

Take a look at the children's entertainment page on the Crick Boat Show website for more information. This is just a snap shot of what you’ll find at the show, there’s lots more going on both under cover and outside, it really is a great place to take the family for a day out over the May Bank Holiday weekend!

Crick Show Dates & Venue: 27th - 29th May 2017.

Crick Marina,West Haddon Road Crick,Northants NN6 7SQ.

Tickets

Going to come? It's a good idea to buy your tickets for the Crick Boat Show in advance, as they cost more on the door.

We Look forward to seeing you there!


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