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lulaperula

BMC engine vs River Severn!

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Hi! I was recently helped a lot on here and now have another question. I have a 45ft Colecraft narrowboat with a 1.5 BMC engine. I know I'm going nowhere for now due to river Severn being in flood and red... however once it is falling and navigable do I have to wait for green or would Amber be ok to push upstream from Upton to Diglis? I'm not good at physics but if my boat is doing 4mph and the river is doing 10 I am sure I'll be going backwards! I have an anchor and skipper with fully comp RCR insurance. Any tips or advice or calculations? Thank you ūüėĀ

Edited by lulaperula
Clarification

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1 minute ago, lulaperula said:

I'm not good at physics but if my boat is doing 4mph and the river is doing 10 I am sure I'll be going backwards!

You certainly will - at 6mph !!!

 

2 minutes ago, lulaperula said:

.........….do I have to wait for green to push upstream

 

If you go out on anything but 'Green' and have an 'incident' your insurance is unlikely to pay out as you have gone against 'professional advice'.

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Ahh thanks. I did call insurance and they mentioned professional advice but I didn't clarify if it was green or Amber 'proceed with caution!

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Where to start? I have done the tidal trent on a 56 footer with a 9 hp engine, however I was green and lucky and going with the flow. One thing worth mentioning is that its not all about what the level indicator is showing. You can be sat at the top of the red with a small flow on a river and bottom of the yellow with the water running like stink, especialy with variable sluice gates. The severn is a serious river and at present without being there I reckon the water levels will be high as we have had a huge rainfall of late. Remember one thing that applies to everything in life, insurance companies will at any and every opportunity wriggle out of making a payment, if you go out on a fast river in flood, they WILL have seen your posts on here and will make any adjustments they feel fit if you give them reason.

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The Severn right now is totally red and I obviously wouldn't be considering leaving the marina I'm in! That's interesting about the flow too- I didn't realise that. I assumed the green would mean 'safe' as a river can be. I won't be going unless it's safe and will only move on sound advice and with a serious anchor/RCR/experienced local skipper. 

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Too many variables, is this your own boat that you have owned for ages, maintained well, and taken on rivers before? or a boat that is new to you and an unknown quantity? Do you have experience of boating and rivers? How good is your skipper and does he have real experience of narrowboats on that river? Heard a story recently of a professional pilot who got people into a dangerous situation because he had lots of river experience but zero narrowboat experience.

 

...............Dave

  • Greenie 1

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Have you ever run your boat with the engine at full power for a long period? I ask because so many boats, & in my experience especially those with BMC engines, do not have sufficient cooling to keep the engine from overheating for more than 10-15 minutes. I have personally come to the rescue of two such boats on the Severn that had overheated, one was safely anchored mid-river but it was late afternoon and the light was fading, the other had no suitable anchor and I just managed to take him in tow with 2 or 3 minutes to spare as he was swept uncontrollably down the Partings. So unless you have 100% confidence in your engine, wait for the green.

 

On the other hand, if you do know that your engine will be fine, then I'd say you should have plenty of power available to make the trip on a falling yellow. The strongest current will be the last mile or two before you reach Diglis and would probably be about 2 mph faster than at Upton so if you can manage 3mph (brisk walking pace) relative to land when you set off you should be ok to get to Worcester.

 

Your insurance company should be quite happy at you setting off on a falling yellow.

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19 minutes ago, lulaperula said:

experienced local skipper. 

Not really sure that there is a need for a skipper, certainly not when the river is running green.  The Severn might be wide, deep and frustratingly short of mooring places, but Upton to Diglis is not at all tricky...

Edited by The Dreamer

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11 minutes ago, lulaperula said:

The Severn right now is totally red and I obviously wouldn't be considering leaving the marina I'm in! That's interesting about the flow too- I didn't realise that. I assumed the green would mean 'safe' as a river can be. I won't be going unless it's safe and will only move on sound advice and with a serious anchor/RCR/experienced local skipper. 

Just as a for instance and for future reference I will give you a " For instance " Holme lock just outside Nottingham on the Trent has five massive sluice gates rather than a weir, therefore unlike most river locks that have a fixed weir at the side that one doesnt and water levels are GREATLY variable and adjustable. The gates are also only monitored from elsewhere and can and DO fail with regard monitoring and adjusting water levels. On one occasion they failed and closed with the river in flood when I was above Trent bridge and the water level was rising rapidly but the flow was nearly stationary and it was dark and raining. It was only my experience of that river that saved me hitting Trent bridge as the boats air draught is 16 feet 6 inches and had I been a few minutes later there wouldnt have been clearance for me. Another time they failed and completely opened and the flow became very rapid and the level dropped at an alarming rate and way below summer levels before I got hold of the ea and had them close them again. So thats just one to remember, also most rivers have sluices that can be opened that will adjust level and/or flow. 

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7 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

... most rivers have sluices that can be opened that will adjust level and/or flow. 

But not the Severn

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17 minutes ago, dmr said:

Too many variables, is this your own boat that you have owned for ages, maintained well, and taken on rivers before? or a boat that is new to you and an unknown quantity? Do you have experience of boating and rivers? How good is your skipper and does he have real experience of narrowboats on that river? Heard a story recently of a professional pilot who got people into a dangerous situation because he had lots of river experience but zero narrowboat experience.

 

...............Dave

It's my boat I've had for 3.5 years and well maintained. I have only navigated canals myself. Skipper is someone with lots of narrowboat and river experience and I totally trust his judgement. My lack of river experience is the reason I am taking the skipper with me. I am really wanting to be safe as possible. River levels set to rise anyway over next 48 days apparently so this is all planning still!

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Just now, Keeping Up said:

But not the Severn

Yes thats why I said most. Do you know for certain there are no sluice gates anywhere on the severn? The Trent has, the soar has, the Thames has,  but i havnt looked along the Severn for a few years. I was just passing some of my not inconsiderable experience on free of charge to a narrowboater.

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I absolutely appreciate all input and experiences. Looks like im stationary and spending loads of money on two separate moorings for the foreseeabke future.... just seen photos of debris on the severn too!

I

16 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Just as a for instance and for future reference I will give you a " For instance " Holme lock just outside Nottingham on the Trent has five massive sluice gates rather than a weir, therefore unlike most river locks that have a fixed weir at the side that one doesnt and water levels are GREATLY variable and adjustable. The gates are also only monitored from elsewhere and can and DO fail with regard monitoring and adjusting water levels. On one occasion they failed and closed with the river in flood when I was above Trent bridge and the water level was rising rapidly but the flow was nearly stationary and it was dark and raining. It was only my experience of that river that saved me hitting Trent bridge as the boats air draught is 16 feet 6 inches and had I been a few minutes later there wouldnt have been clearance for me. Another time they failed and completely opened and the flow became very rapid and the level dropped at an alarming rate and way below summer levels before I got hold of the ea and had them close them again. So thats just one to remember, also most rivers have sluices that can be opened that will adjust level and/or flow. 

That sounds really hairy! I will wait til it's green but even then sounds like there is an element of luck involved!

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2 minutes ago, lulaperula said:

I absolutely appreciate all input and experiences. Looks like im stationary and spending loads of money on two separate moorings for the foreseeabke future.... just seen photos of debris on the severn too!

I am going to do a little research and will be astounded if there are no sluices anywhere on the Severn as our member states. There are usualy if not always some sluices letting water out of or indeed into rivers in the uk. I have 3 MCA licences for different areas, non for the severn however but we will see.

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1 minute ago, mrsmelly said:

Yes thats why I said most. Do you know for certain there are no sluice gates anywhere on the severn? The Trent has, the soar has, the Thames has,  but i havnt looked along the Severn for a few years. I was just passing some of my not inconsiderable experience on free of charge to a narrowboater.

I have travelled the length of the Severn several times every year for several years, the most recent being on 3 occasions this year. I have often travelled it on yellow, and a couple of occasions on red (we were, I believe, the first boat to get through from Stourport to Gloucester after the 2007 floods) and I am not aware of any such sluices anywhere on the navigable river. I also am just passing on the benefit of my considerable (50 years) relevant experience to try to be helpful.

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7 minutes ago, lulaperula said:

loads of money on two separate moorings for the foreseeabke future...

Where are you mooring in Worcester?

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5 minutes ago, lulaperula said:

I absolutely appreciate all input and experiences. Looks like im stationary and spending loads of money on two separate moorings for the foreseeabke future.... just seen photos of debris on the severn too!

I

That sounds really hairy! I will wait til it's green but even then sounds like there is an element of luck involved!

Normaly its fine there but it fails sometimes and either completely closes lifting the gates and cutting flow off hence slow above it and rising levels, if it fails and opens all the gates then the river flows like hell over the gates and drops the level like a stone so the level can be low but flow very high. There is more to rivers than the average narrowboater stuck mostly on ditches knows.

1 minute ago, Keeping Up said:

I have travelled the length of the Severn several times every year for several years, the most recent being on 3 occasions this year. I have often travelled it on yellow, and a couple of occasions on red (we were, I believe, the first boat to get through from Stourport to Gloucester after the 2007 floods) and I am not aware of any such sluices anywhere on the navigable river. I also am just passing on the benefit of my considerable (50 years) relevant experience to try to be helpful.

So if mr google finds me a sluice or three who will be buying the beer? :D

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6 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Normaly its fine there but it fails sometimes and either completely closes lifting the gates and cutting flow off hence slow above it and rising levels, if it fails and opens all the gates then the river flows like hell over the gates and drops the level like a stone so the level can be low but flow very high. There is more to rivers than the average narrowboater stuck mostly on ditches knows.

But if, as I believe, there are no such sluices on the Severn, then this is simply scaremongering and no help to the OP

6 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

So if mr google finds me a sluice or three who will be buying the beer? :D

If Mr Google finds you a RELEVANT sluice then I will happily buy you a beer.

 

Found my trip report ...

https://keeping-up.co.uk/Canals/2007LeekSharp/2007LeekGS.htm

Edited by Keeping Up

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1 minute ago, Keeping Up said:

But if, as I believe, there are no such sluices on the Severn, then this is simply scaremongering and no help to the OP

Yes quite, I was just giving a generalisation in an overall rivers picture. I dont offer advice on such matters lightly. I know that I know what I am talking about as I have had three different Merchant navy captains take me on comprehensive tests to cover passenger vessels up to 5oo passengers on the trent, the Humber and east coast and one on a ditch in the midlands lol.

Bur whos willy waving. Whats the bets still that Mr google will turn some sluices up on the Severn? :)

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There are sluices at Tewkesbury between the Avon and the Severn that I believe are used to control the flow of the Avon in to the Severn to regulate the level of the Avon.

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3 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

There are sluices at Tewkesbury between the Avon and the Severn that I believe are used to control the flow of the Avon in to the Severn to regulate the level of the Avon.

Which will directly then alter the water levels and flow of the severn. I reckon there will be sluice gates adjacent to many of the locks but its of no consequence and i am retiring gracefuly from the debate.

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Remember loads of hirers who have never been on a boat before successfully navigate the Seven every year without any dram drama.

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12 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

There are sluices at Tewkesbury between the Avon and the Severn that I believe are used to control the flow of the Avon in to the Severn to regulate the level of the Avon.

You are of course absolutely right. I admit that I had forgotten about those. They are, of course, of no relevance at all to someone intending to travel from Upton to Worcester. 

 

I guess that Mr Smelly's search of Google found nothing relevant. I must remember to claim my pint of beer next time I come down the South Oxford. 

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1 hour ago, The Dreamer said:

Where are you mooring in Worcester?

Diglis. I cantvwait to get there. Currently at Upton as that was the most convenient to be cranes in at - they have been really helpful there too. Can't fault any of the help I've had

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56 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Remember loads of hirers who have never been on a boat before successfully navigate the Seven every year without any dram drama.

This is what Im hanging ontoūüėĀ at least im trying to prepare as much as possible! Mind you, they are usually sensible enough to go in summer I guess rather than monsoon season ūüė£

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