58. Top Ten Tips on how to survive the Ribble Link.

Never again, never again.
Oh yes. No no no, the next time you wanna go on the Lancaster canal you can
drop me at Tarleton I’ll get a bus to the airport and fly to Preston. (Laughing) It was fab. It was not fab. It was, But we’re here, we survived it we’re back in Rufford and we had loads
of questions from you lovely viewers people on Twitter and Instagram and
Facebook all about the Ribble Link, so we’re going to answer a few of them
before we give you our top 10 tips on how to survive the Ribble Link. First question came from Jo and Michael aka Minimal List on YouTube, they want to know,
how long in advance do you need to book the Ribble Link and is it still open this
year. Well it’s still open. It is it closes in October and if you want to
book it just go on the CRT website put your details in and it opens up the
calendar and you can pick the dates, now be careful because it is very busy.
I think we’re recording this in July and there’s no dates left in July the next
dates I think there’s one or two available in August and then a couple in
September, but give yourself a good, I mean we had what, six or seven weeks. We seven weeks, yeah we had seven weeks, and I think that was just right it sounds like
a long time for like 40 odd miles of canal plus the Glasson branch which is
a couple of miles and just be aware that if you do make a booking, you’re not
guaranteed to go on that day there’s a lot of variables that can affect it
things like how windy it is. Yeah. How high or low the tide is if the tides too
low or if it’s too windy you might not go at all or you might go straight down
to Preston dock rather than turning off at Savick Brook for the Lancaster. The
other thing is thay don’t do crossings every day. No.
Because the tide has to be between eight point six and nine point six
meters so if it’s above or below that they won’t do any crossings and the way
it generally works is that you’ll get two or three or four days in a row with
up crossings to Lancaster and then you’ll get the same again with down
crossings and then you’ll get some days with none at all, for more details on
that go on the CRT website, there’s a skipper’s guide on there which has got
all the details. I’ll leave the link down below. Next question is from
Narrowboat Epictetus WOW! That’s a strange name. He wants to know
how bad will Savick Brook be in a sixty two foot long boats single-handed with
no bow thruster. (Laughing) FUN! (Laughing) Yeah the maximum length for the Savick
Brook is 62 foot, the maximum width if you’ve got wide beam just in case you’re
thinking about it it’s ten foot six I wouldn’t want to take a wide beam on
the lower part of Savick Brook. I wouldn’t want to take a 62 foot narrowboat.
No. Bow thruster not really that important we hardly used the bow
thruster, the issues with Savick Brook are really twofold the depth can be very
shallow very shallow we would dragging the bottom and we’re not really a
deep draft are we? That’s right. The other thing is the really tight corners
and tight bends more especially closer to Savick Brook Bridge, there’s two
really tight bends in a row. But if you’re an experienced boater and I mean
the maximum life is 62 foot so theoretically you should be able to get
through there, in practice… In practice you might need your pole (Laughing).
Make sure your pole’s there. Next question is from Ginger Nut
on Facebook, he wants to know how long does the Ribble link crossing take.
It varies if you go in up from Tarleton to Preston you have to be at Tarleton lock
two hours before the tide time. Thats right. Again there’s a link on the CRT
website that tells you the tide times and the start time, so you want to be
there for the start time. So from Tarleton it’s anything from
one and a half to kind of two and a half, three hours isn’t it coming out at Tarleton
Lock, getting Savick brook. It all depends on the boater doesn’t it. On the boater, on the weather, on the tide, on the strength of the current. So again is
a few variables but if you kind of say one and a half to three hours that’s
just from Tarleton lock to the sea lock on Savick Brooke. Yeah. If you’re there
too early they will just hold you there Yeah. Once you get to Savick brooke and
the sea lock, they’ll usually hold you there until the water levels right so you can
get under Savick brook bridge and then from there up to the Lancaster canal again anything from two to three hours. Yeah.
Depending how many boats there are, if anybody gets stuck on Savick Brook on
one of those corners. Yeah. There was a fallen tree the other day so that
delayed boaters. Yes. But about two or three hours so altogether I mean it can
be anything from kind of four hours up to six hours. So it can be a long day.
It can vary, coming down it’s a little bit different you have to be at the
start point, the basin at the top of the staircase lock at Preston
between four and four and a half hours before tide time, that’s because you’ve
got to get through all the Savick Brook locks the millennium link navigation locks
and again once you get through those and then you get to the sea lock jetty at
the bottom they hold you again until the tide time and then they release you and
it takes about the same time it can be anything from one and a half to three
hours to get back to Tarleton. One of the most popular questions we got
asked and a lot of the comments on the first Ribble link vlog were why do you
have to reverse into the staircase lock going up towards the Lancaster Basin
and simple answer is is this not enough room in the lower pound to turn the boat
around so as you’re coming in or out of the
staircase locks you’ll notice that the canal branches off a really kind of
strange angle to the locks, so if you coming out or going in you can’t
come in and then turn round you can see there’s not enough room in that pound to
turn the boat around so it is really easier just to come in or out and then
reverse into the lock and then at the top there is enough room to reverse out
and then just head out forwards onto the canal, simple as that Final question comes from Scarey Pete off YouTube oooooh! How scarey? He wants to know
which is the most difficult, Tarleton to Preston or Preston to Tarleton.
What do you think? Errrm they both had their challenges Tarleton – Preston you had to fight the current head-on. Preston to Tarleton you had to fight the current side on, so I would say that was the more difficult.
I think coming out at Tarleton lock on the up towards Lancaster coming out at Tarleton
lot is a shock because I don’t think you’re expecting that current I
you? No you’re not expecting the current and you really have to power up.
Yeah. Just to get to a couple of miles an hour. I mean I don’t know if
boaters engines RPMs very or what but we normally cruise at tickover at about seven
800 rpm. Cruising at 3 to 4 miles an hour we’re cruising at probably a 1000
rpm. We were talking 2500 coming out of Tarleton lock. Just to get going. just to
move and that was like one mile an hour and then but you were going out
into the current and I don’t think that was as bad. No it weren’t, that weren’t as
bad. Coming back you come out of Savick Brook like this and the Ribble is coming
this way So you come out of Savick Brook and
you’re not allowed to cut this right-hand corner because there’s a sand
bank there so you’re not allowed to kind of position and cut the corner to come
out at an angle you’ve got to come out and then turn. The problem with that
is when you’ve got an incoming tide on the Ribble, your boats coming out and
then you just go that way as you saw so what we had to do is we
had to really power up, and that tide is coming in as fast as a car. One second
you’re drifting and then all of a sudden it’s as if you’re pointed in the right
direction. yeah you kind of cut the water just in the right way.
It’s because the current gets the back of your boat and spins around. Yeah.
We were talking to a guy who’s who’s done this crossing 16 times and he said
exactly the same thing, as soon as you get to Savick Brook at the end of Savick
Brook, power up and get ready and just turn into it and we thought we did but
we didn’t enough no needed more power. Yeah.
So they there you go so yeah it’s this different I thought the return trip was
more frightening than the outward trip because you just saw us flying up. I just
looked back and saw Savick Brook disappearing that way, and it should have been going the other way and we should have been going the other way and even
at full power even at two and a half thousand RPM we will literally
just moving at maybe half a mile an hour. It took us a while to get
just a three mile an hour to get moving. Yeah. Thank you for all your questions I
hope that’s answered them. If you’ve got any more just drop them in the comments
down below as you know we do try and answer every single comment on our vlogs
and we’ll do our best to answer it if you got any more questions about the
Ribble Link. If we’ve inspired you to try crossing the Ribble Link here are our top
10 tips on how to survive it. Number 10.
Enjoy it it’s a brilliant experience
it’s a bit hair-raising but it’s a bit like being on a roller coaster so enjoy
every minute of it, take photos, take video, do it safely and enjoy every
minute of it. Number 9
Is don’t panic (Laughs) naturally I’m a stress head so I am gonna panic and it was a new experience that I’ve not done before if you’re an
experienced boater or you’ve got somebody experienced onboard there’s no
need to panic just do everything nice and calm and you’ll be fine.
I didn’t panic. (Whispers) I Did (Laughs) Number 8
Is to have some snacks
pre-prepared even if it’s just sandwiches or packets
of crisps or drinks, it can be a long day you can be going for anything up to six
maybe seven hours without stopping, so it’s good to have some snacks at hand
because you are gonna get hungry and there might not be a chance to go and
prepare yourself a meal or even a sandwich. Number 7
Is to make sure you’re there on time, If you’re leaving from Tarleton to Preston make
sure you’re at the visitor moorings two hours before tide time, if you coming
the other way from Preston down to Tarleton be at the basin four to four
and a half hours before tide time. Number 6
Is look after each other,
you could be in a group of anything from two to six or even more boats and with the
strong currents and the tides it’s a good idea to keep an eye out on each
other and make sure you’re all safe. Number 5
At Tarleton lock if you’re the
second boat out, give some distance between yourself and the first boat it’s
going to create quite a wash with that tide coming in so give yourself some
distance and you’ll have a much smoother ride Number 4
Is be prepared for a strong current we’ve never felt anything like
it on a narrowboat, as you come out of Tarleton you’re heading straight down
the River Douglas with a strong incoming tide. The other way coming out of
Preston and Savick Brook you’re gonna come on to the River Ribble and swept in
towards Preston. Be ready. Number 3
Make sure you’ve got all your emergency
equipment ready, mobile phones charged up and switched on. Save the numbers for the
CRT and Preston emergency, so that you can get in touch with them if you need them make sure your anchor is out and ready
and tied ready to deploy, make sure you’ve got your life vests ready on
yourself anybody else on the boat and your pets too. Number 2
Is to do your engine
checks before you leave.There’s nothing worse than having to deploy that anchor
right in the middle of the River Ribble on a strong incoming tide, just a few
moments checking your engine could save you a lot of trouble later. Number 1. (Laughing)
And the most important although it doesn’t sound like it is it. The campest
one then, is listen to the CRT. Yes. the staff are there for a reason not
just to help you through the locks, lazy! but they’re there to give you advice on
how to safely get through the Ribble Link listen to that advice and act upon it.
And there we are they are our top ten tips on how to survive the Millennium
Ribble link. If you’ve liked this vlog give it a thumbs up subscribe if you’re
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a brand new vlog, leave any questions or comments or
feedback down there and if you’re interested in becoming a Patreon of Fox’s afloat
details are coming up soon. We will see you next time take care bye bye. See you
later bye. Hello!….. Oooh hang on do that again (laughs)
He’s got one (laughs). I’ve got a certificate. From a doctor. Next time we do the Lancaster canal it will be on
a higher boat with our boat moored at Tarleton, we’ll leave the boat in
Tarleton and we’ll get the train over to Preston. Next time we do the Lancaster
we’re mooring up at Tarleton and getting the bus across to Preston.
You can take it across drop me off at Tarleton and I’ll get an Uber.
You can drop me off at Preston. Geography… That much.
You can take the boat across
now I get a bloody horse and cart to Preston.
You can drop me off at Charlton.
Charlton?? You can drop me at Tarleton I’ll get a bus to the airport and fly to
Preston. The next time you want to do Lancaster I’ve run out of forms of
public transport to take over now (Laughing) YAYYYY! That’s a strange thing a
strange name. (Makes funny noises) Final question comes from (Laughing)
Got it out of my system…… (Gasps) No we’re not even gonna use that. (Laughing)

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