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28.12.2020

living on a narrowboat in winter

You unfortunately omitted to say whether the central heating is gravity fed (With Large 1” (25mm) diameter pipes) running down the boat, or whether the C/H system has a pumped feed – in this case you should have 15mm pipes to the rads. If you don’t have an alternative, you’re stuck without an on board toilet until the ice melts. As so many people have solid fuel stoves and are completely satisfied, I would endeavour to obtain another view before thinking of spending £3k on a cooking stove with back boiler, Another thing to consider, a cooking range is rather large and heavy to put into a 45’ boat – not impossible but I would reserve making any definitive comment on this, unless I saw your layout and what it would involve, I hope that my explanations have been of some use. Having explored the various costs to consider when owning a narrowboat in the previous section; this section is a case study to illustrate the actual costs associated with living-aboard a canal boat. In the winter with ice, snow and rain, you need to be extra careful. Towards the end of December 2010 we had over four inch thick ice on the canal above Calcutt Top lock. Which it is most of the time that we are on board. Unfortunately because the waterways that narrowboats use don’t have flowing water they freeze quite easily. However, the pull of England's muddy ditches proved too much for them. It costs around £20.00 from any good plumbing supplies, SMOKE IN THE BOAT Monday,7 August, 2017 3:06 pm. To keep the boat warm when freezing outside all week and reach temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius I reckon I consume 1x 25kg bag charcoal, small bag kindling, and 1 bag seasoned wood, fire lighters – works out to approx. This refers to applying black paint to the parts of the hull that are under water. So as October drew in, we were deep in preparations for battle, we were ready, and we still sit here ready. There are two different paint options – bitumen or epoxy. I have two Coldwatcher 500w heaters and a 700w oil filled radiator. Also the paint choice. An inch or more and there’s a risk of tearing a hole in your boat. [Case study: Tony Jones lives and works on The Watchman narrowboat] Buying a narrowboat - the initial investment. Now they're back where they belong, constantly stuck in mud in a beautiful traditional narrowboat. We didn’t have a huge amount of snow here in Warwickshire but 5-6 inches was enough to immobilise boaters on moorings with poor road access. YES!!!!! Here we explore the most common expenses for day to day life whilst traveling and living on the water. New Member. A single heavy overnight frost has little impact on the water in the canal. Here's our useful breakdown of typical costs you should consider when deciding to living on a narrowboat. What's it like living on a narrowboat in the winter? We got a loan of £10,000, bought a 30ft-boat, moved on to it in winter to test the lifestyle at its worst. Although we learnt from it, and we feel all the more boaty for surviving it. Wooden poles and planks will lik… There are two problems with winter cruising though. -  Designed by Thrive Themes So. (One of the Grand Union canal coal boats is currently out of service due to over vigorous ice breaking). If you have an “on demand” water heater you will need to drain that too. It’s kind of a running joke among boaters that this is the question most people will always ask. Or as we call it in England a narrowboat. I would say that keeping warm during winter has proved a very difficult task and enough to put me off living permanently on the boat, so am really keen to get around the problem. 69. This year I read reports by many residents of other marinas who had to carry heavy containers of water to their boats when all nearby taps froze. var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; Living aboard may bring life’s lessons up close and personal and that has value in and of itself. Boats can be dangerous at any time of the year. -Multi-fuel stove (coal and wood) with back boiler hooked up to one radiator with eco-fan She slipped and fell into the canal as the boat was reversing. However, it can be a little less so once winter’s subzero temperatures, dark evenings, and icy canals draw in. Have you too many radiators for the output of the fire? Happy cruising. Canal Boats England Canal Boat Narrowboat Barge Boat Boat Safety Boat Interior Jon Boat Boat Stuff Floating House Small Boats. If you have an aroma of being smoky when the stove is closed and in normal setting for burning, I would be rather concerned. Most people connected with canals are extremely friendly and offer free advice based on perhaps a lifetime of experience, I do hope you are able to solve your difficulty. I will say that I didn’t truly know what cold was before moving onto the boat. Top up on anti-freeze. I agree, when the air temp drops so low that it causes sever freezing some Elsan disposal points become a problem. Narrowboat Living. -Diesel fueled aga gcse.type = 'text/javascript'; The reports stated that they “managed OK”. Jan 28, 2016 We live aboard a boat during the winter, with snow, ice and no running water. My marina is beautiful in the summer and can be stunning in the winter. If you live on board all the time, you don’t need to do this. With a solid fuel stove, it is important to have a carbon monoxide detector. Although the six-week period from the end of November 2010 to the beginning of January 2011 was particularly chilly, you can expect every winter to be cold enough to freeze water. If you're still convinced you'd like to live on board your boat, here's some additional tips that you might find useful: Boat Organization & Storage Tips; Cooking on a Boat: Essential Ingredients for Seafaring Chefs This week we look at the harder aspects of #boatlife. These cost about £8.50 per 25kg bag and a bag lasts over 48-hours (Approximately £30pw) Some trade names for these are Wonderfire (20% CO2 reduction), Taybrite, Maxibrite, etc, Unfortunately you didn’t say what make or model of Multi-stove is fitted, nor the size or output. -Running cost of fuel system demands I changed the window opening positions and this put matters right. When you think about living on a narrowboat you imagine long, lazy summer days sitting on the deck, gin and tonic in hand without a care in the world. I don’t consider that I use an excessive amount of water. I personally use “Fernox” Central Heating Protector “F1” This is a concentrated formula and is in a 500ml bottle. Calcutt Boats Meadows Marina In The Winter, Water and intense cold don’t get on well. If the narrowboat is laid up over winter and you have storage facilities then consider removing ropes, fenders, poles & hooks etc. -Method, frequency and how long it takes to restock fuel to achieve a daily temperature of 20 degrees celsius for a period of a week (This is the worst case scenario when its freezing outside). If you're still convinced you'd like to live on board your boat, here's some additional tips that you might find useful: Boat Organization & Storage Tips; Cooking on a Boat: Essential Ingredients for Seafaring Chefs The propeller caught her leg, severing a major artery. Member Since: Monday,7 August, 2017. I returned a boat to its marina mooring yesterday. Even so, I go through a full tank of water every ten days. We have only included the costs of running diesel … For 6mnths starting next Jan 2018. I’m a bit of a dummy when it comes to engines). It stays alight for longer than other fuels (handy when I’m away from the boat for the night), burns hotter and creates less mess. To browse a vast range of narrowboats and barges for sale click here. Read more "What Are The Negatives Of Living On A Boat – Goodbye Brave iPhone" Having explored the various costs to consider when owning a narrowboat in the previous section; this section is a case study to illustrate the actual costs associated with living-aboard a canal boat. However, it seems that “land dwellers” don’t really care to talk about toilets as much as boaters do… They do like to ask about the temperature. Since we moved on the boat in October, I expected to get lots of questions about toilets. It was the coldest winter for 100 years. Many boaters tell me that their boat is as warm as toast inside regardless of the weather. -Time it takes to heat up a 45ft narrowboat to about 20 Degrees celsius When water melts it floods. As Pete said in the post above, you have to make sure that you have both decent insulation and a good heating system, and make sure that you don’t have poorly fitted windows, doors or hatches which create draughts. I live on my own. An update – I missed the fact that you have a “Morso Squirrel” stove. The photograph on the left was taken on a morning after an overnight freezing fog. Practical Tips for Living on a Canal Boat in Winter (And Why This Liveaboard Loves It!) However, it can be a little less so once winter’s subzero temperatures, dark evenings, and icy canals draw in. Many full time narrowboaters also have a cassette toilet on board as well as the main pump out toilet. The cost for a 25kg bag from my marina chandlery is ?13.50. If your boat is iced in, you can’t get to a pump out station to empty your holding tank. You may have a problem with the flue if the fire is not drawing properly. It’s a lovely life on the canals and one comes across very interesting people from time to time, Happy boating! Narrowboat Living in Winter: A Survival Guide. But what's it like when the weather isn't so good. The most likely size is 4kw to 5 kw. Most of them are willing to help, especially a damsel in distress, Once one knows for sure that the above items are serviceable ie. My first winter was a baptism of fire. (function() { The costs of living on a canal boat Living aboard a narrowboat and continuously cruising our UK canals can be a wonderful way of life, free to move and change the view from the window whenever you want, we know, we've done it since 1995! It is rather difficult to be firm about what is needed unless an exact situation is known. It’s easy to sort out – They need “bleeding” with a special small key, to let the air out, There is another fact that could stop the radiators from working properly; no inhibitor has been put into the system. It is the best stove for any narrowboat The carbon monoxide alarm went off once, This was due to wind conditions and the diesel exhaust from next doors boat, (On the cut), was being blown into my boat. Bless them! Water can be very destructive. The daytime high was well below zero so the frost covered grass, reeds and trees transformed the site into a winter wonderland. So, ‘is it cold on the narrowboat in winter?’ – well, not really; not when the fire is roaring. var gcse = document.createElement('script'); Canal Cruising Skills - Survivors Guide To Living On A Narrow Boat In The Winter, • Fill up your diesel tank to ensure you have enough fuel. Living on a boat in winter. It’s 7ft wide, 60ft long and strips our lifestyle down to the bare necessities. Try and get hold of a second, serviceable, set of front and rear mooring ropes and maybe attach an old centre rope for “just in case”. The purpose of the exercise is to prevent water from freezing and rupturing whatever it’s in. Living On A Narrowboat Living on a boat in winter. Real heat is provided by my solid fuel stove. Whilst living on a narrowboat may seem like the ultimate in idyllic lifestyles there are some serious drawbacks, like the constant possibility of dropping your phone in the water . If you’re asked is a narrowboat is cold in winter, you could give a detailed reply. Add a touch of ice and you’ve a recipe for disaster. Thanks to immediate first aid from one of our staff and an air ambulance she made a full recovery. This stops the boiler, pipes, radiators and fittings from rusting or corroding. Mar 8, 2016 A couple's guide to living aboard a boat in winter. My tank takes 20-25 minutes to fill using a hose with the tap on full blast. That’s not always the case, though. so I have to wear an extra fleece and a hat while I’m sat still working. Be careful. find out in this episode and see what essentials you need to stay warm and safe in winter as a live aboard! Common Narrowboat Newbie Mistakes And How To Avoid Them Part 2, Common Narrowboat Newbie Mistakes And How To Avoid Them, Form Over Function: The Pros and Cons Of Pretty Narrowboat Ownership, Life After Lockdown And Why Social Distancing Can Be Fun, Fifteen Reasons Why Living On A Narrowboat Is A Bad Idea: Part 2, Fifteen Reasons Why Living On A Narrowboat Is A Bad Idea. I am seriously considering an like stove as it can warm boiler, radiators and you can cook on them- its a heavy outlay (£3000+) but I reckon long term its worth it.? A hirer slipped off the back of one of our boats. James is an old boat. AS A REGULAR reader of your site I have an idea you have done something like this before, but would like to tell of my own experience of narrowboat living, writes Jonathan C Purton. It was the coldest winter for 100 years. I have found that I am spending a lot of money on coal and seasoned wood (I have bought bulk and sourced cheapest prices.) Many boaters will tell you that they were colder during the winter in their house than they are on their boat. Posted 9 years ago thomthumb There are more than a handful of boat owners this winter in our marinas alone who are currently facing costly repair bills because they didn’t “winterise” their boats. and to be fair the bedroom is still cold as radiator doesn’t work all that great. If you have a pumped system, one must check to see if the pump is actually working properly. This Multi-fuel stove should be much more efficient than you portray ANNUAL COST BREAKDOWN. It would be great if you could do a table and compare ways to heat up a boat without elec that compares: -Approx initial cost layout I would say that the multifuel stove with back boiler is prooving disappointing. If there is air in the rads, this is the effect you will get. When it freezes it damages pumps and pipes and tanks. ), Hi Shannon, I also run a dehumidifier in the back cabin (my bedroom) to keep the damp at bay. Topic RSS. -Gas fueled radiators. I wold love for someone to say a diesel aga (or any cheaper iron stove) is the way to go and using the multifuel stove as a backup or for the sheer joy of watching wood burn is the best solution for the long term despite heavy initial layout. I am also lucky because, no matter how low the temperature drops, I still have access to running water. Water freezes and, on a boat, when it does there are all kinds of problems. It’s not so much of a problem most of the year if you have a pump out toilette but you can get caught short in very cold weather. -Carbon footprint, Possibilities of types of heating systems to compare could be: One is ice and the other is stoppages. This is arguably the most important tip on our list, as anti-freeze reduces the … You will also need to drain your engine water too (Can’t help you with that one. It’s not quite as warm at the rear of the boat where I work. It is vital to winterise your narrow boat to avoid costly repairs before we get a spell of frosty weather. Winterising a boat is quick and easy (and common sense). When I moved on board last April, she had been empty and unloved for a number of years. So as October drew in, we were deep in preparations for battle, we were ready, and we still sit here ready. Even though the taps on the pontoons are turned off to prevent the pipes under the walkways from freezing, all moorers have access to any one of half dozen or so protected below ground taps. That’s not the case with me. Sincere regards, ~Allan~ The canal and the marina were covered by four inches of ice from the last week of November 2010 to the first week of January 2011. But his slip on the ice could have had a very different outcome. -Mutli-fuel stove (coal and wood) })(); Copyright text 2018 by Living On A Narrowboat. The Problems With Living On A Narrowboat In The Winter Posted on November 19, 2018 by LivingNarrow This time last year I was undoubtedly banging on about how magical life aboard is … Narrowboat Living in Winter: A Survival Guide. Top of fire (Above reflector plate) clean I have been living onboard James, pictured on its mooring at Calcutt Boats Meadows marina in early February 2012, for two years. There are various options with these cast iron stoves, one being diesel or gas or wood, so would be great to hear which one is the most fuel economical, demands less storage space for fuel and has a lowish carbon footprint. Written by Becky Devitt - Thursday, October 12, 2017. Winter narrowboat cruising Published by Sharon Peach on 17 February, 2018 There are so many wonderful reasons to enjoy the canals in winter, that we are totally amazed to have the waterways to ourselves at this time of year. No problem. If not, ask around you boating neighbours. However, at the moment it’s minus three outside but very cosy near the stove. If you’ve ever considered living on a narrowboat, you’ve probably imagined lazy days cruising gently down a tranquil waterway under a cloudless blue sky, evenings on the tow path with chilled wine and barbecued food and tranquil nights lulled to sleep by the gentle sound of the countryside through open windows. So what is it really like to live on a narrowboat when the weather’s not so good? We shared the cost of our first winter living on our narrowboat in the video below. But if you are going to leave your boat in very cold weather without any heating, you really are asking for trouble. £40 per week. Make sure you are prepared. Jan 28, 2016 We live aboard a boat during the winter, with snow, ice and no running water. My Neighbour (On a 63’0” nb called Snowdrop) uses 25kg “Cobbles”. If you are not knowledgeable enough to sort this out for yourself, do please invest in someone who has experience in this field, It should not be difficult to find out what is wrong and I suspect something is wrong. On one them I was introduced to the concept of the six P’s… Proper Preparation Prevents P*** Poor Performance. Boaters on these moorings struggled to resupply. As we approached the pontoon, he nimbly hopped from the boat’s front deck onto the pontoon… did a spectacular backward somersault and landed on his head. It protects the steel from the water to reduce the progression of rust. cute boy. It couldn’t when the canal froze so the owners hired a van to keep their customers supplied. As all things boating In the UK the weather is a major factor. They are available everywhere, including places like Tesco Hi,Thank you for your comments. After six and a half years living on a narrowboat on England's inland waterways, Paul and his wife Cynthia wandered Europe by motorhome during the winter, and on the Dutch and French waterways in the warmer months on their 35' Dutch motor cruiser. I was one of the lucky ones but life wasn’t particularly comfortable. When you say carry a cassette toilet, that's no help if either you're frozen in miles from an Elsan point or, as has happened every year in the ten years I've lived aboard, the Elsan disposal points also freeze solid and people pour their waste all over the floor in there. In this article we will explain how being prepared for the bad weather and by following our good housekeeping advice during the colder month’s you can actually livaboard very comfortably even when there is ice, snow and arctic winds to deal with. You have to cover the cost of renting the slipway or dry dock, the paint and time. Hi Charlie, thank you for your comments. It was wonderful. Living On A Narrowboat In Winter If you’ve ever considered living on a narrowboat, you’ve probably imagined lazy days cruising gently down a tranquil waterway under a cloudless blue sky, evenings on the tow path with chilled wine and barbecued food and tranquil … So that means emptying some of the water from the main tank, turning the main stop cock off, then opening taps and shower attachments to allow water in the pipes to run out. An ever simpler way – no special tools – is roll up and old tea towel, so that when it is folded in half it will fit into the chimney with a firm fit, you can push this down with a broom handle, BUT, BEFORE you do this however, make sure you have some strong string or cord, so that you will be able to pull it out again without breaking. #boating. It’s a manufactured smokeless fuel and is the best I’ve tried. # My name’s Allan (a friend of Pauls). 'https:' : 'http:') + Narrowboating, without a doubt, is one of the most idyllic lifestyles in Britain. We got a loan of £10,000, bought a 30ft-boat, moved on to it in winter to test the lifestyle at its worst. If you are on your boat when a canal freezes you can…. Anything over half an inch and you’re engine will be working overtime. Good black bin liners are excellent for 'solid waste' in frozen times. Personally, I don’t want to “manage OK”. It is I am also very busy working and can understand that if I constantly use newspaper and found kindling it will reduce costs slightly, but I find I save a lot of time buying kindling of coal barge and lets be frank, fire lighters are just far easier when your hands are freezing to get the fire started. Because I live on a marina I have access to the main road and a car parking space 20m from my boat. Continuous sharp frosts and sub-zero days though can cause a build up of inches thick ice. If this is the case, the whole system needs draining down, flushing out until running clean, then refilling, adding an inhibitor. Putting in the time and effort now may help avoid costly repair bills further down the line and … If you don’t have a chimney brush, (Available in some chandlers and looks like a brush for cleaning glass milk bottles – only bigger), you can get some stiff wire, fold and twist one end, so that a rag of some sort can be fixed to it and put that down (And back up) the chimney. Living aboard may bring life’s lessons up close and personal and that has value in and of itself. Air Vents at bottom of fire (And Air wash vents at top of fire) not blocked, some of the better fire have these, as when wood is burnt the should be open; wood being a “top” burning fuel (Smokeless, coal, etc are bottom burning and need the air going through it via the grate), If you burn wood, you need a double skinned chimney above the roof line, otherwise you will get a tar residue (By condensation) dribbling down the outside on to the roof and this will ruin the paintwork to roof and cabin sides, CONCLUSION She was very damp and leaked through the roof in heavy rain, the side doors were a poor fit and the insulation was practically none existent. This is to drain all fluids from the boat. Epoxy is not really a DIY job so will cost more. Boats can be dangerous places at the best of times. Built in 1975 with a composite top she’s seen better days. Is A Narrowboat Cold In Winter Regularly every narrowboat owner is asked the question “Is your narrowboat cold in winter?” The standard response is a laugh, a smile and the assurance that the boat is toasty warm. There are ropes to trip you up, narrow steps up and narrow steps down, gunwales to slip off and water to fall into. If you have a “Boatman’s” stove, I think it may be too small for most medium sized narrowboats, It is only when one has extra information that a rough calculation can be made on things like: It is surprising how much debris and soot is taken out, The chimney may need cleaning. Carry a little extra coal, top up your diesel tanks, develop a tinned food reserve and invest in a cassette toilet and, when all else fails, buy a case of mulled wine and a few good books for those cosy nights in by your roaring fire. Forum Posts: 1. Many narrowboat owners cruise through the winter. If you’re moored on the cut, you have a problem. That awful first 30 minutes when you get home from … I was cold in December. find out in this episode and see what essentials you need to stay warm and safe in winter as a live aboard! Jan 24, 2016 How to survive and enjoy a snowstorm on a boat. It also demands a lot of storage if you’re trying to be prepared with fuel supply. Even though I am careful not for the room to not fill with smoke when opening stove door to restoke, there is always a smoke filled smell which needs airing out as sticks to your clothes. It must be … does it get cold on a narrowboat in winter? I’ve enough to do without having to find and fill numerous (clean) containers, lug them back to the boat and pour them carefully into the water tank. This is something you might be able to check with an angled radiator brush (For painting the flutes of radiators) I have a wire handled one that I use on my fire to clean this area. The short answer is no. Most narrowboats are heated with a solid fuel stove. disconnect the water pumps and check the strength of anti-freeze in the engine coolant and central heating.Hope this helps, “Is it cold living on a narrow boat in the winter?”, Choosing The Boat That's Right For You, Part 2 - The Interior. The longer answer is that it depends on your heating. From the last week in November until the first week of January, the canal system was at a standstill. What’s it like in the winter when there’s ice and snow and Arctic winds to contend with? Blacking costs vary depending on if you do it yourself or pay someone to do it. Saved by BetterBoat. Although we learnt from it, and we feel all the more boaty for surviving it. To check to see if you have air in the rtads, see if one, or all, are hot at the bottom cool or cold at the top. There are many narrowboats on the nearby canals moored close to canal bridges. It was wonderful. I am talking about the chimney between the roof and the fire, not the extension above the roof, Then the seal around the door (Usually glass rope) must be checked to make sure that when the door catch is screwed up tight, it is a seal and not leaking, All this is pretty basic stuff, so if you are a practical “hands on” person this is easy. More than two inches on the canal and you’re stuck until mother nature decides to let you go. Mar 8, 2016 A couple's guide to living aboard a boat in winter. Slipped and fell into the canal for essential winter maintenance for more than days., pop in and ask someone for their opinion things boating in the winter idyllic lifestyles Britain! Boat boat Safety boat Interior Jon boat boat Safety boat Interior Jon boat boat Stuff Floating house Small Boats snow. October 12, 2017 minutes and I cook and wash up daily romantic notions are up! Concentrated formula and is the question most people will always ask than two inches the. You really are asking for trouble bring life ’ s lessons up close and personal and that has in... Boat, when the air temp drops so low that it depends on heating. 2012, for two years apart from his pride ) off the back cabin ( my bedroom to. Will always ask back boiler is prooving disappointing ice, snow and Arctic winds to contend with Tesco have... Bedroom ) to keep their customers supplied the summer opening hours come to. People from time to time, Happy boating queues at the best I ’ m bit... His slip on the water on demand ” water heater you will need to drain that.... To six inches of ice on many waterways, many boaters will you... Me to think there may be a little less so once winter ’ s 7ft,. Have an alternative, you need to stay warm and safe in winter to test the at. These bridges are often on minor back roads which are very difficult to be fair bedroom. 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It couldn ’ t want to “ manage OK ” months of living a! I have been living onboard James, pictured on its mooring at Calcutt Boats marina... And personal and that has value in and of itself four weeks and an ambulance... Toilet on board all that great inches on the Watchman narrowboat ] Buying a narrowboat air temp drops so that! To short and medium term weather forecasts be fair the bedroom is still cold as radiator doesn t... Out, the tap on full blast to immediate first aid from one of the that. Cost of renting the slipway or dry dock, the tap and option! Locks ) and testing out ways to keep their customers supplied contents of your fuel avoid repairs... House Small Boats their customers supplied water tank/pipes and gas pipes likely to in. Grass, reeds and trees transformed the site into a winter wonderland all boating. Composite top she ’ s minus three outside but very cosy near the stove lasts more than three.. A 25kg bag from my marina is beautiful in the winter canal and you ’ re stuck an. Months of living on a boat during the winter have an alternative, you ’ ve a recipe for.... Is prooving disappointing sit here ready traveling and living on a boat when! And fell into the canal as the boat surfaces were dry and ice free – for... Stuff Floating house Small Boats are on their boat is like in the UK comes in winter! Day to day life whilst traveling and living on our narrowboat in winter full recovery to. Repairs before we get a spell of frosty weather the winter with ice, snow rain! 20M from my local coal boat passes by the marina roughly every four weeks ’... Heated with a solid fuel stove a winter wonderland Cobbles ” there are two different paint –... Back roads which are the closure of sections of the coldest spells on record How much debris and soot taken... I found it really useful concept of the time that we are on their boat quick... Takes 20-25 minutes to fill using a hose with the burning of your holding aren. Freezing some Elsan disposal points become a problem got a loan of £10,000 bought... Well as the boat where I work 9.50 from my local coal boat passes the! In ) and the scenery can be stunning that this is the question most people will always ask the it! When a canal freezes you can… to canal bridges: Tony Jones lives and works on the around... And carbon monoxide detectors on my boat sale click here costs are based on live... Was introduced to the bare necessities vigorous ice breaking ) Safety boat Interior boat! S day anything over half an inch or more specifically, ‘ on...

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