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keithgell

Gloucester to London by canal

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Hi

 

Mr daughter has bought a canal bout and I have to get it from Gloucester to London by canal.  What is the best route?

 

I have never handled a narrowboat before, will I pick it up as I go?

 

Thanks for the answers,

 

Keith

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Gloucester lock is closed at present, so there are two alternatives available. Crane out and transport by road or, engage a pilot and travel down the Severn, portishead and bristol.  How soon to you intend to move the boat?

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I would advise waiting until you can transit Gloucester lock. Going via the Severn in a recently bought narrowboat will put stresses on the boat it may well never have had to cope with before so even if you get the fuel polished (the pilot may insist upon this) there are plenty of other things that could go wrong. Inadequate cooling comes to mind as a common portable.

 

If urgent then do it on a lorry, if not I would wait for late spring when river flows usually lesson and then go via the Avon (another license), the South Stratford canal (if its open) and Grand union.

Failing that then the Severn, Worcester & Birmingham canal & GU.

 

This will involve going upstream on the Severn and Avon if you go that way so be ready to deal with overheating if it occurs. If the engine heats the hot water then running hot water off often make suffice difference to stop it boiling. You can also try spraying the inside face of the skin tank with cold water.

 

Vital questions that you need to answer if your daughter does not want to rick loosing her boat:

1. Has she a mooring organised?

2. If not does she fully understand the CaRT rules for those who register as continuous cruisers.

3. If yes can she comply with the said rules?

 

 

Just seen your reply so by road then.

 

 

Edited by Tony Brooks

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CRT have not yet given a date for the reopening of Gloucester lock, so it may be prudent to ring them and ask for information.

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Let's be realistic, your first experience on a narrowboat is not going to be down the Severn estuary to Bristol.

 

Next, brace yourself for a whole load of questions about your daughter's intentions when she/you get to London.

 

The route you require is Gloucester - Worcester - King's Norton (Birmingham)  - Lapworth - Napton - Braunston - Grand Union Canal  to Bull's Bridge (Southall) and depending upon where in London probably turn left on to the Paddington Arm.

 

The stoppage at Gloucester is dragging on but hopefully shouldn't be in force for too much longer. Even then though you need to transit the Severn upstream for a day to Worcester. This will test your engine and it's cooling system so you need to have confidence in it.

 

Take the boat out down the Gloucester & Sharpness canal and give it a good shake down while waiting for Gloucester lock to re-open and ensure everything works satisfactorily. If the engine wasn't thoroughly checked during the purchase get it serviced (probably advisable anyway).

 

if that sounds worrying put it on the back of a truck.

 

JP

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3 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

I would advise waiting until you can transit Gloucester lock. Going via the Severn in a recently bought narrowboat will put stresses on the boat it may well never have had to cope with before so even if you get the fuel polished (the pilot may insist upon this) there are plenty of other things that could go wrong. Inadequate cooling comes to mind as a common portable.

 

If urgent then do it on a lorry, if not I would wait for late spring when river flows usually lesson and then go via the Avon (another license), the South Stratford canal (if its open) and Grand union.

Failing that then the Severn, Worcester & Birmingham canal & GU.

 

This will involve going upstream on the Severn and Avon if you go that way so be ready to deal with overheating if it occurs. If the engine heats the hot water then running hot water off often make suffice difference to stop it boiling. You can also try spraying the inside face of the skin tank with cold water.

 

Vital questions that you need to answer if your daughter does not want to rick loosing her boat:

1. Has she a mooring organised?

2. If not does she fully understand the CaRT rules for those who register as continuous cruisers.

3. If yes can she comply with the said rules?

 

 

Just seen your reply so by road then.

 

 

She does not have a mooring organised.  I thought she just needed a canal license to moor on the Lee river.  She wants to live on the boat.

 

I need to get a copy of the CaRT rules.  What is the full name of the rules?

 

Thanks

 

Keith

 

 

 

 

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Just now, keithgell said:

She does not have a mooring organised.  I thought she just needed a canal license to moor on the Lee river.  She wants to live on the boat.

 

I need to get a copy of the CaRT rules.  What is the full name of the rules?

 

Thanks

 

Keith

 

Oh dear. I think it is in the license terms and conditions plus the outcome of various court cases.

 

Basically it boils down to:

 

1. The boat must be on a continuous journey and not shuffling back and forth between two places close together.

2. Unless notices show a lesser time then the boat can only moor for up to 14 days in one place. After that time is up or before if the boater so chooses the boat needs to move to another "place". e.g. probably a few miles away.

 

Almost certainly spending a year moving a few miles up and down the Lee will get you into trouble with CaRT. At the least without a home mooring she needs to be thinking about (say) between Berkhamstead/London area/River Lee/River Stort and return.

 

Home moorings that are live aboard legal are very few and far between and very expensive in London. Home moorings that do a Nelson to live aboards are easier (but probably not much in London) and cheaper but there is no security of tenure.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Let's be realistic, your first experience on a narrowboat is not going to be down the Severn estuary to Bristol.

 

Next, brace yourself for a whole load of questions about your daughter's intentions when she/you get to London.

 

The route you require is Gloucester - Worcester - King's Norton (Birmingham)  - Lapworth - Napton - Braunston - Grand Union Canal  to Bull's Bridge (Southall) and depending upon where in London probably turn left on to the Paddington Arm.

 

The stoppage at Gloucester is dragging on but hopefully shouldn't be in force for too much longer. Even then though you need to transit the Severn upstream for a day to Worcester. This will test your engine and it's cooling system so you need to have confidence in it.

 

Take the boat out down the Gloucester & Sharpness canal and give it a good shake down while waiting for Gloucester lock to re-open and ensure everything works satisfactorily. If the engine wasn't thoroughly checked during the purchase get it serviced (probably advisable anyway).

 

if that sounds worrying put it on the back of a truck.

 

JP

Thanks Captain Pegg

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Please ensure your daughter does A LOT of research into living aboard a narrowboat. London is the last place on Earth to be moving to on a boat anyway and is so congested and getting worse that she has much to learn. It is an expensive way to live unless the intention is to be like a caveman. Please dont take this as deliberately negative it is meant to be helpful.

  • Greenie 3

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2 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Please ensure your daughter does A LOT of research into living aboard a narrowboat. London is the last place on Earth to be moving to on a boat anyway and is so congested and getting worse that she has much to learn. It is an expensive way to live unless the intention is to be like a caveman. Please dont take this as deliberately negative it is meant to be helpful.

Thanks for the advice

 

  • Greenie 1

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16 minutes ago, keithgell said:

Thanks for the advice

 

There are a lot of YouTube videos about living on a boat in London. You / she can spend many happy hours looking at the scenery and all the boast moored 2-3 abreast.....

She may / will have to moor further up the Lea (which may suit her anyway) Here's one chosen at random:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ForTiJLk4qw

 

There are a lot of moored boats.

 

It might he helpful if you / she can post some details of the boat?

 

 

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Are you and she aware that she will almost certainly have to move to fill up with fresh water and empty the toilet on a regular basis, how frequently depends upon the type of toilet.

 

Then there is the problem of keeping the batteries well charged especially in winter. Frugal electricity use and decent solar charging will probably do in summer but not in winter. A permanent mooring with mains electricity points and water and toilet facilities makes life a whole lot easier.

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I've never been on the Severn or the Lea or spent more than two weeks at a time on a boat, but all the above advice sounds good.

So I'll just add these thoughts:

If you're going to crane out in order to get off the Severn, you may as well go by road all the way to London, as the accepted wisdom of the forum is that once you're taking the boat out of the water, adding some distance to the road journey doesn't add much to the cost.

If an inexperienced boater is going to do a move by water, first read the CRT boater's handbook and get someone to help you especially for the first part of the journey, and especially when on a river. As for the Severn, even people with experience of other rivers will hire a local pilot if they want to go down onto the K&A.

Even on a canal, I feel it's a good idea not to attempt to go single handed until you have done at least a week with someone as crew. It's so much easier to do the locks if there are two of you.

If going by water, allow plenty of time; at least two weeks via the K&A and three weeks if going via the Midlands, probably more. The K&A route would involve buying a temporary EA licence at Reading for the non-tidal Thames, and doing the short tidal stretch from Teddington to Brentford, where I'd recommend having someone aboard who's done that bit a few times before.

Above all, please learn about the problems of living aboard in the ever-popular London area before you go there.

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40 minutes ago, keithgell said:

It is a narrow boat

For a complete novice, it is suicidal to contemplate taking a narrowboat from Sharpness/Portishead/Bristol.  It is a huge challenge for experienced boaters, requiring lots of knowledge, preparation and professional assistance.

In any case, the K&A is closed at lock 16 until at least the 2nd April.

 

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Kiethgell, I think that in the time constraints you have, the only option is to arrange lift out  and road transport from either Saul Junction or Sharpness Docks to your destination, once you have sorted a mooring for your daughter.

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Is it just me, or does Keith's photo expression go from sublime to extremely worried  in the space of twenty-four hours?

Fear not, your daughter can only add to her life experiences with this one ?

I would be having the boat serviced and have an engineer have a good long run out on it to check if it OK, as it's trickier if she is cruising in London than if you have a few weeks in a marina to sort things out.

Things like flushing water tanks.

Checking diesel fuel for contamination. Polishing/flushing tank or whatever.

Topping up fuel

Changing all filters

Change all oil [gearbox, engine]

Flush cooling, replace coolant.

Change belts. 

Charge batteries, check batteries.

Unless the boat has meticulous records of maintenance, I would just assume a major service is required.

Mainly this is best done before an essential journey with unknown vessel in hands of inexperienced boater. PLUS A POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS RIVER TRANSIT. 

You can get boat handling courses, but that would not be a substitute for a few year's experience. As advised, you should arrange a pilot if you go on the Severn. Apart from anything else, your insurance might be well be invalidated by your lack of competence.

Edited by LadyG

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5 minutes ago, LadyG said:

Is it just me, or does Keith's photo expression go from sublime to extremely worried  in the space of twenty-four hours?

Fear not, your daughter can only add to her life experiences with this one ?

Thanks.  I might be panicking, but my daughter is not worried in the least.

14 minutes ago, celiaken said:

Kiethgell, I think that in the time constraints you have, the only option is to arrange lift out  and road transport from either Saul Junction or Sharpness Docks to your destination, once you have sorted a mooring for your daughter.

What is wrong with this route:

 

The route you require is Gloucester - Worcester - King's Norton (Birmingham)  - Lapworth - Napton - Braunston - Grand Union Canal  to Bull's Bridge (Southall) and depending upon where in London probably turn left on to the Paddington Arm.

 

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20 minutes ago, keithgell said:

Thanks.  I might be panicking, but my daughter is not worried in the least.

What is wrong with this route:

 

The route you require is Gloucester - Worcester - King's Norton (Birmingham)  - Lapworth - Napton - Braunston - Grand Union Canal  to Bull's Bridge (Southall) and depending upon where in London probably turn left on to the Paddington Arm.

 

Is your duaghter an experienced boater? If not she is in for a rapid and steep learning curve by chosing the London area of all places to try to obtain a mooring. If she plans not to have a permanent mooring she will have a number of issues which she will need to address and it may be prudent to speak to Canal and River Trust for their advice before committing too much expenditure.

 

If you need to be away from Gloucester within the next 28 days this stoppage may well affect you. As advised earlier you will have to find out when you can get out of Gloucester Lock.

 

This is the relevant stoppage notice.

 

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notice/14486/gloucester-lock

 

Howard

Edited by howardang

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You can use https://canalplan.eu to plan your journey. It's quite some trip for a first time. Are your daughter joining you, or are you single-handing?

 

There are courses both in boat handling, and in engine maintenance, which may be useful. I did the latter at River Canal Rescue, it was very good for a novice like me. http://www.rivercanalrescue.co.uk (A membership might also be a good idea.) Willow Wren does both types. http://www.willowwrentraining.co.uk

 

Good luck with your undertaking - I hope you will enjoy it!

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