THIS IS A timely reminder about the dangers of speeding past moored boats – and especially boats that are in the process of mooring.
In June, we were mooring up at the end of the visitor moorings above Fradley Locks on the Trent & Mersey. A boat was just exiting the top lock, but he had the lock landing and five moored boats to pass before he got to us. I was along the gunwale with the centre line about to step off, but the boat that had come out of the lock had absolutely gunned it and came past us at very high speed.
Our boat’s stern was sucked out into the cut, our tiller swung out to starboard and caught on his roof rails – he made absolutely no attempt to slow, merely swore profusely, and barged past us off up the canal.
The result was that our tiller arm and swan-neck were very badly twisted and bent, and our stern had continued to be sucked over to the offside in his wake, and was firmly aground.
The boat was a very distinctive style and, thanks to friends on social media, we tracked its course and a friend took photographs – including the licence disc, which had expired in May.
A friend also overheard the steerer, who was apparently delivering the boat for someone, admit to his customer that he had hit a narrowboat and bent its tiller, but did not stop because “I didn’t want to get involved with insurance”!
Thanks to the staff at Streethay Wharf, we managed to get the swan neck more-or-less straightened, but the rudder bottom bearing is obviously damaged and our boat will have to be taken out of water for repair.
We contacted Canal & River Trust’s customer services and asked that he was reported to enforcement officers. They said they could trace the owner from the licence document number in the photograph and pass that information on to our insurers, so we have a faint hope that we will regain our excess and no claims bonus. 5.30am. Quality morning time spent by the canal #priceless