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How busy is it on the Thames?


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They only give you one registration plate for the window these days due to problems with people attempting to use two boats on the one registration.

 

The River is quite busy but not overly. A lot of it depends on marinas. This summer I have been Henley-Teddington-Lechlade-Egham-Goring so far.  So the entire length of the non tidal part. 

 

The really busy areas seem to be around Windsor and Henley. Makes sense as there are the large marinas there. I came up Boveney lock the other day there was a queue and it's a small lock but of the 6 or 7 boats who went through (two lock loads) I was the only one who ended up at Bray as they all returned to their marinas. There are 3 in that reach. 

 

 

The most noticeable difference this year has of course been the increased numbers of swimmers, inflatables and of course stand up boards. 

 

A lot of people on the wrong side not knowing navigation rules so care is needed. 

 

Navigating later in the day works as long as you are prepared to tie to a tree and don't especially need shore access as the visitor moorings will tend to be full. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by magnetman
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When I phoned for my visitor licence 2 weeks ago, they emailed me a picture of it to show if required. I've been asked about it by the lockies 3 times but never had to actually show it.

 

The river is absolutely alive with large numbers of paddle-boarders, who generally don't understand about boats, and who are invisible to you if they stop right in front of your bows so you have to be extremely careful.

 

We've found it fairly easy to get a nice shady mooring. After Wargrave for the weekend we got on to one of the pretty little islands below Cliveden last night, and had a choice of places when we arrived here on Baths island at Windsor just now.

 

Most of the locks are on Self-Service. One of the lockies told us that many of the lockies have refused to man the locks because there has been much fighting in the queues at weekends and they themselves have been threatened, assaulted, and spat upon. Also several locks were vandalised during the lockdown, but now they have all been repaired except Hurley which still has to be wound by hand - try getting a posh cruiser owner to do that!

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Hurley was on power until a few days ago then back on the hand wind. 

 

It's quite a small lock I wound it a couple of days ago and found it quite comfortable. Lazy offside gates but that's not too serious - they do open it's just they open after the other one rather than in time with it. 

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We went as far and Hurley and turned. Moored adjacent to the weir. £5 charge. The first time we have had to pay. Been on the Thames since 9/7. Not bad going, for an amateur. Will get charged tonight as we are in Wallingford adjacent to the Swimming Pool complex. (Not in use though). £10 I am informed. If we don't get up early again like this morning. I don’t do earlies too well.

 

We have enjoyed the Thames. Been a pleasant change. Been a bit hot though. 

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14 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Hurley was on power until a few days ago then back on the hand wind. 

 

It's quite a small lock I wound it a couple of days ago and found it quite comfortable. Lazy offside gates but that's not too serious - they do open it's just they open after the other one rather than in time with it. 

There's a sprocket out of true as well as a broken thrupple nut on the hydraulics at Hurley and nobody knows where to get one. All the 'engineers' who did have retired

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Also remember at Osney to clear whatever else you need to off the roof early enough. Last October I watched in fear from my position steering the butty as one of our crew took down the motor's engine chimney at the last moment, then ducked down himself at the very last moment to protect himself too. I'd got some of my butty roof clearing done before then, but still had to hurry to get my stove chimney down and the water cans safely passed down into the cabin, then duck..

Other Thames bridges mostly have plenty of headroom, there's a list of them somewhere on the EA website I think, and boats tend to fit under motorways rather well. I'm not sure which takes the title of second worst bridge. Some such as Godstow can be tricky but have arrows to point you the right way. If and when I go downstream again past Newbridge (actually a rather old bridge!) I shall probably avoid using the leftmost arch even though the guide book says one should use it; don't ask me how I know this, as someone else on the forum can probably explain the snag!

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10 minutes ago, pig said:

One o’t crossbeams gone out o’skew on’t treadle?

Yeah, man go for it..

But in writing the word "crossbeams" doesn't seem right (in print at least) - but befuddled by the Management who fills me up with booze (willingly), I cant recall what irt should be (if any)

 

On a sensible not isn't it a shame that so many 'local' expressions have disappeared?.

Each county / region / dialect had their own expessions for (then) everyday hapennings have gone.

 

The besy I can do is 'all my work has fallen into (digital) bits on the floor, or IBM (remember them) or even ICL (who they?) have screwed it up again..

 

happy days (and I mean that most shincerely folks)

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5 hours ago, Peter X said:

Also remember at Osney to clear whatever else you need to off the roof early enough. Last October I watched in fear from my position steering the butty as one of our crew took down the motor's engine chimney at the last moment, then ducked down himself at the very last moment to protect himself too. I'd got some of my butty roof clearing done before then, but still had to hurry to get my stove chimney down and the water cans safely passed down into the cabin, then duck..

Other Thames bridges mostly have plenty of headroom, there's a list of them somewhere on the EA website I think, and boats tend to fit under motorways rather well. I'm not sure which takes the title of second worst bridge. Some such as Godstow can be tricky but have arrows to point you the right way. If and when I go downstream again past Newbridge (actually a rather old bridge!) I shall probably avoid using the leftmost arch even though the guide book says one should use it; don't ask me how I know this, as someone else on the forum can probably explain the snag!

Osney is a bit low but as long as you are confident about the boat air draft it's ok. Godstow is the worst one because of the skew angle. I use the towpath side arch going both ways if there is no other traffic (port side arch going upstream) because the other one seems to be too risky in vegetation terms. 

 

I used the big arch at Newbridge (starboard side arch going upstream) both directions this year in my new boat which has a wide but low wheelhouse and did not encounter any issues. 

 

I can see how the willows below the bridge could cause some problems for a long narrow boat coming down using that arch. And the river Windrush coming in can do things if there is water about .

 

 

 

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The other thing that has surprised me this year, is the amount of traffic that is travelling after dark. Mainly cruisers, most with lights but some without, the river hasn't been quiet until after 10pm most nights and 11pm at weekends.

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