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NB Caelmiri

Leeds to York cruise - any considerations needed?

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I'm planning on heading up to York from Leeds (and then probably Ripon) after Christmas (only 104 days to go!). The Ouse is obviously tidal in parts, but having previously tackled the tidal Trent (from Newark to Keadby),and lived to tell the tale, any considerations for the tidal Ouse?

 

Cheers!

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The ouse is lovely BUT can be a lot meaner than the Trent. On big tides there is a lot of stuff including trees sloshing about in it. Go on a sensible sized tide. Locking up at naburn is a doddle. Locking back in at selby can be challenging, take advice from locckies or local boaters, ive never had a problem but then again I am a superstar. Fabulous run up after naburn through York and up to Ripon. Enjoy.

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6 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

The ouse is lovely BUT can be a lot meaner than the Trent. On big tides there is a lot of stuff including trees sloshing about in it. Go on a sensible sized tide. Locking up at naburn is a doddle. Locking back in at selby can be challenging, take advice from locckies or local boaters, ive never had a problem but then again I am a superstar. Fabulous run up after naburn through York and up to Ripon. Enjoy.

I shall have to do a bit of reading, I was lucky that when I did the Trent someone who is far more knowledgeable than me picked the tide times.

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54 minutes ago, NB Caelmiri said:

I'm planning on heading up to York from Leeds (and then probably Ripon) after Christmas (only 104 days to go!). The Ouse is obviously tidal in parts, but having previously tackled the tidal Trent (from Newark to Keadby),and lived to tell the tale, any considerations for the tidal Ouse?

 

Cheers!

I look forward to hearing how you get on. 

I’m planning on doing similar in late spring. 

 

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The tidal Ouse this Monday was a real pussy cat but a bit drizzly. A small tide and with the exception of a dead cow there wasn’t much debris. 

 

As I'm sure you know the Ouse is prone to flooding and with a big tide too, i’m sure it could bite like a tiger. 

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52 minutes ago, NB Caelmiri said:

I shall have to do a bit of reading, I was lucky that when I did the Trent someone who is far more knowledgeable than me picked the tide times.

The lock keepers at Selby and Naburn will advise you.

 

Going up stream you leave Selby as the tide floods, tidal effect generally declines after Cawood but that depends on spring vs neap tides and the amount of fresh (ie natural flow of rainwater down the river).

 

The levels do vary a lot with the amount of fresh and state of tide. Be aware that there are 3 swingbridges, 2 at Selby (one rail, one road) and a road one at Cawood. All the bridges are manned and can be contacted by phone or preferably by radio. Most of the time in a narrowboat you won’t need the bridges swung but always best to check the air draft at the bridges - you don’t want to be bearing down on a bridge with 3 mph of current behind you to find you don’t fit under the bridge!

 

If you are travelling in winter, obviously there is greater risk of high levels to due fresh.

 

Coming back the other way they seem to let you out of Naburn before high tide, meaning you are against the tide to start with, however the tidal effect that high up is normally marginal to zero. You pick up the ebb further down. I think the early departure is to ensure that there is plenty of water over the cill (and over the mud banks!) at Selby. And maybe to get into Selby before the flow peaks.

 

My tips for getting back into Selby are thus:

 

1) round up (ie turn the boat round) as soon as you are past the bridges, then drift back with the current - no rush!

 

2) when rounding up, turn left (having first gone over to the right, very close to the old jetty). I noticed that the current was stronger near the RH bank, so this helps to push the back of the boat round. Turning the other way means the bow is in the strong current which makes it harder to turn. Start the turn from very low speed through the water The river isn’t very wide here and it’s easy to run out of room.

 

3) drift back so that the bow is roughly in line with the upstream side of the lock entrance. Drift slowly sideways towards the lock entrance. Fortunately there is a patch of calm water near the lock entrance which makes it quite easy most of the time. Biggest problem is going from moving water to still water with the same power on and thus hitting the upstream lock wall. When quite close, apply lots of rudder and power to swing the boat round into the lock entrance. It is easier than it sounds! Best to take it all quite slowly.

 

I will also mention that the difficulty varies from “not much” in benign conditions - modest tides, little fresh - to downright dodgy in a narrowboat - large spring tides and a lot of fresh. So don’t go if the conditions are dodgy.

Edited by nicknorman
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6 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

I noticed that the current was stronger near the RH bank, so this helps to push the boat round. Turning the other way means the bow is in the strong current which makes it harder to turn.

Thanks Nick. We will be coming back in a couple of weeks time, so well worth knowing. 

Saw a video a while ago where they turned right, so I would have probably done that. 

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Oh and not wishing to scare you, we did have an “event” going back into Selby which I will recount for info:

 

If you look at the map you will see there is a 90degree bend shortly before Selby swing bridge. Doing 7mph the time between the bend and the bridge is “not a lot”.

 

A tall cruiser was ahead of us, they needed the bridges swung. I was glad about that.

 

We both had radio. I was glad about that too.

 

Cruiser rounded the corner with bridges swung. But he saw there was a problem - an entire tree was wedged right across the bridge portal. Being a cruiser he was able to quickly round up and think about it. In the end he decided to go back to Naburn. Fortunately I was on the radio too so I was able to ask whether he thought we could get through. He thought it would be OK under the non-swinging part of the bridge. I checked the available air draft on the radio - bridge said 3 metres which was plenty even with our flower tubs on the roof.

 

So I pressed on. The tree was huge! But no problem to go under the non-swinging portal which was clear. EXCEPT that as we got close I could see that there was a large plank of wood well below the bottom of the metal part of the bridge, reducing the air draft. I guess the bridge keeper wasn’t aware or forgotten. Too late to round up, I did wonder if the flower pots were coming with us or not, for a while. But in the event it was OK although I did have to duck!

 

I worry about what would have happened had I not been in radio contact with the cruiser ahead. Would I have tried to run over the tree? I think the tree might have won, or at least got us stuck fast at the bow with receding tide, which could have sunk the boat. Or I might have panicked at the last minute and gone broadside into the bridge structure etc etc. Just goes to show how, whilst 99% of the time boating is benign, things can go wron very quickly if you are unlucky.

 

Anyway, sorry for the scare story, I’m sure it won’t happen to you!

 

 

5 minutes ago, MHS said:

Thanks Nick. We will be coming back in a couple of weeks time, so well worth knowing. 

Saw a video a while ago where they turned right, so I would have probably done that. 

I turned right too, but regretted it! As the bow hit the current it nearly stopped turning and I was rapidly running out of space, came pretty close to the jetty legs! I’ll be pleased if you can learn from my mistake.

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I delivered a boat to York in December and had to wait 5 days at Selby as they wouldn't let me out till about 10 am due to the dark mornings, so please check your timings in advance with Selby lock keeper for the time of year.

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2 hours ago, NB Caelmiri said:

I'm planning on heading up to York from Leeds (and then probably Ripon) after Christmas (only 104 days to go!). The Ouse is obviously tidal in parts, but having previously tackled the tidal Trent (from Newark to Keadby),and lived to tell the tale, any considerations for the tidal Ouse?

 

Cheers!

Is that you moored in Hebden Bridge today?

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1 hour ago, MHS said:

Thanks Nick. We will be coming back in a couple of weeks time, so well worth knowing. 

Saw a video a while ago where they turned right, so I would have probably done that. 

While I think of it, my tip for a great pub dining experience is the Dawnay Arms at Newton on Ouse. Unfortunately there is only one boat’s worth of slightly rickety pontoon - we were lucky to find it empty, you may too.

 

Really friendly place with good beer, great service and very good food. Natives very friendly. Not the cheapest but then quality comes at a price. But very reasonable considering what you get. You know you are worth it!

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2 hours ago, nicknorman said:

The lock keepers at Selby and Naburn will advise you.

 

Going up stream you leave Selby as the tide floods, tidal effect generally declines after Cawood but that depends on spring vs neap tides and the amount of fresh (ie natural flow of rainwater down the river).

 

The levels do vary a lot with the amount of fresh and state of tide. Be aware that there are 3 swingbridges, 2 at Selby (one rail, one road) and a road one at Cawood. All the bridges are manned and can be contacted by phone or preferably by radio. Most of the time in a narrowboat you won’t need the bridges swung but always best to check the air draft at the bridges - you don’t want to be bearing down on a bridge with 3 mph of current behind you to find you don’t fit under the bridge!

 

If you are travelling in winter, obviously there is greater risk of high levels to due fresh.

 

Coming back the other way they seem to let you out of Naburn before high tide, meaning you are against the tide to start with, however the tidal effect that high up is normally marginal to zero. You pick up the ebb further down. I think the early departure is to ensure that there is plenty of water over the cill (and over the mud banks!) at Selby. And maybe to get into Selby before the flow peaks.

 

My tips for getting back into Selby are thus:

 

1) round up (ie turn the boat round) as soon as you are past the bridges, then drift back with the current - no rush!

 

2) when rounding up, turn left (having first gone over to the right, very close to the old jetty). I noticed that the current was stronger near the RH bank, so this helps to push the back of the boat round. Turning the other way means the bow is in the strong current which makes it harder to turn. Start the turn from very low speed through the water The river isn’t very wide here and it’s easy to run out of room.

 

3) drift back so that the bow is roughly in line with the upstream side of the lock entrance. Drift slowly sideways towards the lock entrance. Fortunately there is a patch of calm water near the lock entrance which makes it quite easy most of the time. Biggest problem is going from moving water to still water with the same power on and thus hitting the upstream lock wall. When quite close, apply lots of rudder and power to swing the boat round into the lock entrance. It is easier than it sounds! Best to take it all quite slowly.

 

I will also mention that the difficulty varies from “not much” in benign conditions - modest tides, little fresh - to downright dodgy in a narrowboat - large spring tides and a lot of fresh. So don’t go if the conditions are dodgy.

Thank you! Some useful information there!

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2 hours ago, nicknorman said:

While I think of it, my tip for a great pub dining experience is the Dawnay Arms at Newton on Ouse. Unfortunately there is only one boat’s worth of slightly rickety pontoon - we were lucky to find it empty, you may too.

 

Really friendly place with good beer, great service and very good food. Natives very friendly. Not the cheapest but then quality comes at a price. But very reasonable considering what you get. You know you are worth it!

If you are into walking, it can also be reached from Linton Lock by road or field path - about a mile.

Edited by Mac of Cygnet
To turn a mule into a mile.

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3 hours ago, nicknorman said:

While I think of it, my tip for a great pub dining experience is the Dawnay Arms at Newton on Ouse. Unfortunately there is only one boat’s worth of slightly rickety pontoon - we were lucky to find it empty, you may too.

 

Really friendly place with good beer, great service and very good food. Natives very friendly. Not the cheapest but then quality comes at a price. But very reasonable considering what you get. You know you are worth it!

Thanks again. Another boater has also recommended the Dawnay Arms. They moor at York Marina so know the area well. We will have to try and stop there on our return trip from Ripon. 

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As well as the tides below Naburn, I'd also be concerned with flooding, as you are going in winter. The Ouse is notoriously fickle in Winter. Bit of rain (or snow melt) up in the Dales and The Ouse can rise alarmingly quickly. You will need to be prepared in case of delay, and maybe work it into your schedule.

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1 minute ago, Pete of Ebor said:

As well as the tides below Naburn, I'd also be concerned with flooding, as you are going in winter. The Ouse is notoriously fickle in Winter. Bit of rain (or snow melt) up in the Dales and The Ouse can rise alarmingly quickly. You will need to be prepared in case of delay, and maybe work it into your schedule.

... and even in summer! We were delayed waiting for levels to drop in early August - Naburn lock side was under water!

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13 minutes ago, Pete of Ebor said:

As well as the tides below Naburn, I'd also be concerned with flooding, as you are going in winter. The Ouse is notoriously fickle in Winter. Bit of rain (or snow melt) up in the Dales and The Ouse can rise alarmingly quickly. You will need to be prepared in case of delay, and maybe work it into your schedule.

I may aim to leave a bit later. I suspect it'll be end of Feb/start of March when I'll head that way but I guess I'll still have to consider flooding! Thanks for the heads up!

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On 12/09/2019 at 13:16, NB Caelmiri said:

I may aim to leave a bit later. I suspect it'll be end of Feb/start of March when I'll head that way but I guess I'll still have to consider flooding! Thanks for the heads up!

York can flood any time of year although slightly more likely in winter. I've certainly seen the King's Arms deeply flooded in July. Safe flood moorings are pretty much non existant, there are floating pontoons but they are for the commercial trip boats and pleasure boats. Basically if the river starts to rise you run away to Naburn or preferably Selby if they let you. Keep an eye on the river gauges on the internet.

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