Bedford River Festival (part 3)

More notes for GOBA News

I took part in the cabin cruiser parade on Saturday but given Seren’s lack of maneuverability probably should have been with the narrowboats. I think it’s a series of issues; Seren has a keel from the engine bay in the bow to the skeg. It houses the prop shaft and makes her easy to keep straight on narrow canals, but harder to turn. Secondly, the engine isn’t very powerful so on full rudder and full forward she doesn’t turn very sharply. Third, the rudder seems quite small, maybe an extension would help. Finally, there’s the paddlewheel effect all single-engined craft experience, which means that she turns best to starboard when going ahead and to port when astern. Exactly the opposite of what’s required to do a tidy turn in a crowded river. In less crowded places without a critical audience I usually just move to the ‘wrong’ side and turn the ‘wrong’ way.

I didn’t enter the illuminated parade, I had enough to do getting the engine working and the cabin habitable without investing time and money in fairy lights. Some of the boats taking part were amazing, clearly some people had spent many hours on them. Even at 10.00 the embankment was packed with people watching the boats and the street food vendors were doing good trade.

The stages on Russel Park and Mill Meadow both hosted DJ sessions that attracted big crowds, and the food was going down well there too. Fortunately for those of us who need our sleep they went quiet about 11.00 and the crowds dispersed.

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