March winds and April showers
Well, the showers seem to have come early as several navigations have gone in to flood. BoatSatNav shows all rivers and canals affected by these and other emergency stoppages as well as planned winter works.
Even Google can get it wrong
The latest version of Google maps for Apple devices has two bugs - When using location tracking, your position appears over to one side instead of in the centre and, for journey planning, the 'directions' option has disappeared when clicking on a BoatSatNav icon. As a workaround, you can click on ther nearest Google icon and use that. We have reported the issues to Google.
RCTA floating markets
The Roving Canal Traders Association is a non profit making organisation that encourages and supports trading on the UK's waterways (we're members ourselves). They organise numerous floating markets each year where trade boats from across the country sell their wares. We have added these markets to our guides and also produced a separate map showing the market locations - www.boatsatnav.co.uk/rctamarkets.htm
It just keeps coming!
Food allergies are increasingly becoming a consideration when eating out. That's why we are now beginning to add detail to our listed eateries to show whether the venue caters for vegetarian, vegan and gluten intollerant customers. We're also noting if real ales are available (crucial for many a boater!) as well as highlighting family, disabled and dog friendly venues.
Don't get caught out
We're amazed at the number of boaters we speak to (including professionals like boat movers) who have had no idea that winter stoppages were going to affect their journey. There is a very easy solution - for £1 per month you can subscribe to BoatSatNav and have access to that information at the touch of a button. No brainer!
More winter stoppages
The Environment Agency have begun to announce planned winter works for the River Nene. These have been added to the Nene guide.
We publish links, where available, to reviews for pubs and eateries. The Apple version of Google Maps doesn't allow the live links to be clicked or copied, so we are now also summarizing the reviews so that you can see the average rating for that venue. Google have been made aware of this difference between the Android and Apple versions of the App and will hopefully address the issue.
All proposed winter stoppages by CRT for 2018/2019 have now been added to the relevant guides.
The areas affected are marked with a thick orange line and more detailed information of the works and the proposed dates can be viewed by clicking the line, either on the map itself or by selecting the item in the menu.
If you switch off the other layers (the ‘selective viewing’ tutorials on how to do this are at: boatsatnav.co.uk/videos.htm) you can quickly see an overview of where the stoppages are on each map.
There have already been some significant closures on some of the northern canals due to the prolonged dry weather. Restrictions are now being introduced further south.
We publish this information on the relevant guides so that you can see if your journey is going to be affected. Subscribe now for as little as £4 to stay up to date with all of the stoppages and restrictions.
We've been asked by a number of hire boaters if they could access the guides just for the duration of their holiday rather than becoming a full member. Good idea! We also know of boaters who go cruising for around 3 months at a time. With that in mind we have introduced 3 shorter term access packages for one, three and six months.
Bridges and Mile Markers
We are sometimes asked 'why don't your guides include bridges and mile markers?'. These were traditionally used to determine a boat's position and how far it had travelled. With BoatSatNav your position is tracked on the map so you can see exactly where you are at any time. You can also calculate how far you have travelled or how far away your destination is. Watch the two tutorials named 'journey time 1' and 'journey time 2' to learn how to do this: Tutorials
Our first anniversary
It's been a year already since the launch of BoatSatNav. We've seen usage of the guides increase dramatically, especially since May this year when the weather took a turn for the better and gave us one of the best boating seasons for quite a few years. This has meant that we have had to upgrade our server to keep pace with the demand and the administration of the site has become a much bigger task. As a result there is now a nominal subscription fee, equivalent to just £1 per month, which we hope you will agree is still exceptional value for money.
Load, guide, cruise, re-load...
Data is being added to the guides daily. In particular, planned and emergency stoppages are put on when they occur. We recommend refreshing the map data each time you go cruising to ensure you always see the latest information. To do this simply open the map legend and click 'refresh'.
We're finding a fair number of registrations with incorrect or mis-typed e-mail addresses - & instead of @, mail instead of gmail, spaces in the address, addresses that are not linked to a Google account - to name a few. Please ensure you enter the details accurately. If you have registered and have not received a confirmation within 24 hours then it may be that you have entered your details incorrectly.
Live and Dynamic
Whilst it is possible to save our guides to use off-line, remember that you will be missing out on one of the most powerful features of BoatSatNav. All of the information you can see is dynamic and is constantly being added to and updated. Winter stoppages and emergency closures for example are added within a few hours of their release, so you can see if anything is going to affect your journey. No need to trawl through several different sites to find the information, we do all the hard work for you and put the data in one place - here!
Here's to a great 2018 cruising season
We just wanted to say a big thank you to all of the people who have helped the launch of BoatSatNav to exceed all of our expectations.
Even with the onset of Winter we are still receiving regular registrations and, once the 2018 boating season begins in earnest, we predict hundreds more boaters joining our digital revolution. Have a great Christmas and New Year, see you all in 2018 :-)
Bow Back Rivers added
The network of waterways around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park known as the Bow Back Rivers is now open for navigation so we have added this information to the London Waterways guide.
Food hygiene ratings
The addition of both food hygiene ratings and reviews to pubs, restaurants, takeaways and cafes is now well under way.
BoatSatNav guides will now show emergency stoppages (shown on the guides as a thick, dark grey line) as well as planned closures. These will appear on the relevant maps within 24 hours of the information being released.
Avon stoppages added
2017/18 winter stoppages for the River Avon (Avon Navigation Trust) have now been added to that guide.
EA stoppages added
2017/18 winter stoppages for Environment Agency waterways - River Thames, Great Ouse, Nene - have now been added to the guides.
CRT Winter Stoppages
All proposed winter stoppages by CRT for 2017/2018 have now been added to the relevant guides.
The areas affected are marked with a thick orange line and more detailed information of the works and the proposed dates can be viewed by clicking the line, either on the map itself or by selecting the item in the menu. If you switch off the other layers (the ‘selective viewing’ tutorials on how to do this are at: boatsatnav.co.uk/videos.htm) you can quickly see an overview of where the stoppages are on each map.
Work begins on Rivers
Based on the registrations, the most popular river navigation by far is the Thames. Work has now begun to add detail to that guide. Watch out for more updates over the coming weeks.
August 2017: BoatSatNav features at Blisworth Festival
Once again, thousands of visitors graced the canalside at Blisworth. BoatSatNav was demonstrated to both long term boaters and hire boaters alike and the response was fantastic.
We've already received a large number of registrations through the site and expect many more over the coming weeks as word spreads. We just hope all of your old map books are being recycled properly!
All canals connected to the main waterways network contain key navigational information such as locks, junctions, winding holes and boat services. Many of the popular routes such as the Grand Union Canal are very well populated with other data such as shops, post offices, places to eat and drink, rail and bus connections and medical resources.
The next major input of data will be for the key rivers. Check back here regularly to see what updates have been completed.