Friday, 2 May 2014

How to Choose a Mooring II

In the previous blog we listed the most important fetures to be considered when choosing a new mooring.
Having put these in order you can start choosing the general area and identify sites within it. Waterways World provides an annual list of moorings and marinas which includes most places, though there will be smaller canal side moorings that can only be found by exploring the area in more detail.

The case study here may help explain how we went about the search.
We have explored the Ouse and the Nene and wanted to be on the main canal network but near to home. Looking at the countrywide map we found the Lee and Stort to be nearest to our homes in Cambridge but restrictive in that we would have to go a long way round London to reach the rest of the country. Near Milton Keynes would be convenient if the Bedford to Milton Keynes link had been built, but we will have to wait a few years for that, and mooring charges are noticeably higher as you near London. So we decided we wanted to be on the Grand Union, probably somewhere between Stoke Bruerne in the south and Braunston in the north.

We then created a spreadsheet of the main information using the following headings:
•    marina name,
•    contact details (including phone and post code),
•    website address,
•    car miles and travel time from home (using the AA journey planner and the marina post code),
•    cost per foot and for the length of our boat (found usually from the marina website and checked later in person)
•    any service charges,
•    notes including unique or interesting features, distance from any nearby train station, whether near locks etc.

With this information we identified each one, first on a canal map (I used Inland Waterways of Great Britain by Jane Cumberlidge) then gave each marina a number so we could order them in south to north order.
Now we could start discussing priorities and how far these moorings fitted the bill. Anything obviously unsuitable can be moved off the list at this stage. The remaining sites – we had nine – are worth exploring further.

We first checked through their websites for more details and for a flavour of the kind of site they were describing. A word of caution here, because the flashiest sites aren’t necessarily what you are looking for and the most basic sites may not reflect the site as you see it on the ground. Some moorings simply don’t think a website is necessary - and they may be all the better for it!

No comments:

Post a Comment