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Mike on the Wey

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    Pyrford Marina

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  1. Mike on the Wey

    Question for solo narrowboaters on the Thames

    I single-hand on the Thames regularly. Ascending is not a problem with two ropes. Stern rope on as I come to a stop, and then up onto the side with a long bow rope. Only Boulters and Sandford are too deep to climb straight up, so I use the steps. Descending, I always ask if I can use only a centre rope, and I have never been refused. I am ready to explain how it is safer for a single-hander, but have never needed to do so apart from during friendly chat.
  2. Mike on the Wey


    I agree re council tax. The system is based on registered addresses, each with a unique reference number and each assessed by the District Valuer. Surely the local council can't just issue a bill for a random area of park, which may be a slightly different area of park on the next visit.
  3. Mike on the Wey

    Southern Oxford Summit.

    A narrow lock with a 6' drop uses 85 cu m (85,000 litres) of water. Something about that news story isn't quite right.
  4. Mike on the Wey

    Cropredy 2018: Where do I aim to moor?

    We passed through Cropredy today heading north. There are a few spaces, and no huge issues squeezing through the busy part. More boats heading south than heading north. The worst we experienced was one boat waiting for a lock as we arrived behind it.
  5. Mike on the Wey

    Unlicensed boat?

    I have just bought a CRT one month visitor licence, with no requirement to print or even display it. Since it is in A4 format and I only have portholes, it will not be displayed. If any curtain-twitchers wish to assert that my boat is unlicensed, feel free. But I really won't care. It is between CRT and me, and nobody else's business.
  6. Mike on the Wey

    Thames Rules for Continuous Cruising?

    There are a couple of widebeams that are based on the Thames that seem to cruise when they can and then take a winter mooring in a marina. But that's precisely what they do - cruise. Probably every day. I have seen them from Lechlade to Teddington and up the Wey. There are few options on the Thames around Oxford. And not that many public mooring locations.
  7. Mike on the Wey

    Tidal boating - new RYA safety application

    I have used this. It is very useful when single-handing in the winter, as in the event of a major incident they will be able to find my body quickly.
  8. Mike on the Wey

    Boat sunk in Clifton Hampden Lock

    That isn't my experience ... I have seen full lockkeeper power available at many locks. Sluices straight up, straight down, even up both ends (by mistake). If the timed procedure still applied it would be very frustrating having to wait for an empty lock to fill, to allow a boat to descend. Particularly at Culham, which at 20 minutes to fill is sufficient time for a shower and breakfast.
  9. Mike on the Wey

    Boat sunk in Clifton Hampden Lock

    Given that it was a workboat, it is likely to have had a key for the steamer switch. I wonder whether he whacked the sluices straight up ...
  10. Mike on the Wey

    Boat sunk in Clifton Hampden Lock

    Everyone is blaming the lack of a lockkeeper, but was the workboat properly tied with two ropes? I always use two ropes when ascending on the Thames, even in unattended locks.
  11. Mike on the Wey

    Continuous Cruising in Reading/Oxford

    The cruising part is easy. It's the mooring that is difficult. The oft-quoted 14 day mooring rule doesn't apply on the Thames. And what would you do when the river is in flood, i.e. running at 5mph or more and a metre higher than normal?
  12. Mike on the Wey

    Tilehurst - station access

    Ah, I see. Thank you. Yes, moored boats there too.
  13. Mike on the Wey

    Tilehurst - station access

    Thank you for the responses and advice. The weather has allowed me to aim for Goring. Tilehurst would not have been possible. You can just see the footbridge through the trees, so I'm sure I was in the correct spot.
  14. Mike on the Wey

    Reading moorings

    Indeed. Two hours stop & shop with overnight mooring prohibited would work. There are rings, sensibly spaced.
  15. Mike on the Wey

    Reading moorings

    I have just passed through Reading. The bank opposite T&K Marina has new signs, but the same CM boats are still there below the Kennet entrance. Tesco moorings have been totally renewed ... and evidently cleared of the former permanent residents.

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