Jump to content

Gold or standard licence?


Featured Posts

As livaboards we currently have a standard CRT Licence to continually cruise. We left Foxton Locks on the Leicester section of the GUC in June 2021 and have been slowly making our way South down the GUC and are now at Hemel Hempstead area. Our Plan is to continue south down to London, Regent's Canal, Lime House Dock, and then back up the Thames to Oxford and then up to Braunston, possibly detouring to visit the Basingstoke canal and/ or Bristol.   Given that we have never cruised the Thames before,  is it worth going for the Gold Licence? Or would it be more realistic to just buy the appropriate river licence as needed?  My understanding from the various guides seem to suggest that most moorings on the Thames are charged for, which may mean that our leisurely progression may have to pick up speed a little so as not to be prohibitively expensive.   Any advice would be most welcome.         

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just work out how much Thames licences cost for the period(s) you need and compare with the cost of a Gold licence. Gold licences start on 1 January and are valid for a year - if you buy one part way through the year CRT will backdate it to 1 January and refund your CRT only licence for the unused months from January. You will still need to pay separate licences for the Wey and Basy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice about the refund from CRT,  if I end up buying two X monthly licences it will cost me more than a Gold licence, so another way of asking my question is, is 5 or 6 weeks enough time to cruise the Thames and the  Basingstoke canal and get up to Oxford without having to rush, or because of the lack of free moorings 6 weeks would be a complete overkill?  I appreciate that many would push through this area in probably a week, but being now retired, rush is something I have now left behind on the other side of the towpath. 

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can easily work it out, but certainly 2 months Thames visitor licence will be cheaper than a Gold.  Around the 3 month point will be the break even point I would say.  If you take a side trip on the K&A then of course your normal CRT licence is ok for there,

 

whatever you do don’t just go as far as Oxford, the best bit of the Thames is above Oxford.

 

As to paying for moorings. You will need to pay at places like Windsor and Henley, but you you will find places to stop for free so you will not need to pay every night.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, pearley said:

If you go for a Gold then you've already lost one month's rrfund.

When we went for gold a while back CRT reimbursed all the months of the standard licence back to 1 January. The reimbursement was calculated as x/12 of the fee we has paid the previous year (unlike a refund if you cancel the licence which is less than pro rata).

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether you have to pay for mooring overnight on the thames depends a lot on where you want to moor

 

if you like to moor in the middle of nowhere you will very rarely have to pay.

if you like to moor close to civilisation then it's probably 50:50

 

for us we only paid to moor once (the brocas in windsor) on a three week meander down the thames.

 

I will say that if you are a CC boater that moves a bit, stays for 14 days and then moves a little bit you will find the thames a bit of a culture shock with most official moorings being only a few days and the general rule for wild mooring being overnight or a couple of nights maximum.

 

On the plus side if it's your first time taking your boat on deeper water you will find that your boat handles a lot nicer (and no slowing down for moored boats)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, David Mack said:

When we went for gold a while back CRT reimbursed all the months of the standard licence back to 1 January. The reimbursement was calculated as x/12 of the fee we has paid the previous year (unlike a refund if you cancel the licence which is less than pro rata).

First Gold licence we took, because I didn't read the rules properly, was in an April. I paid for a 12 month Gold Licence but only got to use 9 months of it. Received a refund of the unexpired part of the Standard licence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup. Gold licence runs January to December only, so if you apply part way through the year you can only use it until the end of December (unless you buy another for the following year). If you go back to standard annual CRT licence for the following years that will fall due on 1 January every year, which doesn't suit everyone's cash flow!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A number of the free 24 hour moorings are controlled by a couple of for the want of a better description parking companies, you need to phone and book your arrival, then you get free 24 hours. Also if you intend to cover the tidal section you need a VHF set and of course the license to use it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, David Mack said:

When we went for gold a while back CRT reimbursed all the months of the standard licence back to 1 January. The reimbursement was calculated as x/12 of the fee we has paid the previous year (unlike a refund if you cancel the licence which is less than pro rata).

5 hours ago, pearley said:

First Gold licence we took, because I didn't read the rules properly, was in an April. I paid for a 12 month Gold Licence but only got to use 9 months of it. Received a refund of the unexpired part of the Standard licence.

 

Just rang CRT to ask this so might as well share.

 

According to the staff members, the CRT licence months are [now] counted as "used" even though the Gold licence you buy later in the year fully overlaps with them. If you have a CRT licence starting in January this year and replace it with a gold licence (which always starts in January) in, say, April then the only portion of the original CRT licence that gets refunded is April-Dec.

 

If you do it before the end of January (as I am now doing) you should get the full CRT licence refunded. So if you expect to want the Gold Licence, buying at the beginning of the year is the best option, at least according to CRT payments staff.

 

(The refund policy made more sense last time I bought a Gold licence, when my CRT licence overlapped years: I bought in late April 2021 and I was refunded for full starting from 1st Jan 2021. Possibly they've changed policies, possibly the staff are wrong but since I plan to travel on EA waterways this summer, I won't take that chance)

 

 

 

 

Edited by enigmatic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We travelled from the Oxford canal to Wey navigation for Christmas, now we're on the Thames again heading for Reading to get on the K&A so far we've only paid for 1 night's mooring at Cliveden, which was because we fancied spending a night on an island with no link to other land as we've 2 dogs that don't like water, so they had a night off their leads. NT own several little islands, eyeot or aits along there. NT members get discounts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the very useful comments and information, it has helped me make up my mind to go for the Gold licence and enjoy my time on the Thames. Firstly, it's obviously the right time of year to buy the licence, and as there are clearly free mooring to be had albeit on a short term basis I can continue my meandering along slowly,  I am 71 and still have to do all this and the  Pontcysyllte, the Caldon, and much more, so I shall take my time and do this section of the waterway justice before moving onto another adventure.  I have yet to experience cruising on a river, and your various helpful comments and obvious enthusiasm for the Thames has inspired me to embrace the challenge fully.  Thank you all again and wish you all a good cruising 2022. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Morningmist said:

I have yet to experience cruising on a river, and your various helpful comments and obvious enthusiasm for the Thames has inspired me to embrace the challenge fully. 

 

Just be aware it's the time of year when the Thames gets angry.

 

If you are not used to rivers study about green/yellow/red boards and what they mean for you BEFORE you go on the river.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Point taken, What's a greed board???? Joking,  I have read something about these boards, but have yet to see one and judge what it really means to the river flow.  Again, advice very much welcomed and appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Boards are a traffic light system, Green OK, Amber a warning, Red don't travel. Lockkeepers will issue a red card if you insist on moving under red boards. You normally find them at the locks, as the level of the river rises due to rainfall the green board is covered first, followed by the amber until you can only see the red. 

Unlike most UK canals rivers have a current flow which increases as the levels rise, your boat may not have sufficient power to overcome the current travelling upstream or be able to bring you to a stop when travelling downstream. The Thames is a wonderful river to navigate as long as you treat it with respect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers for that, and respect duly given to old father Thames. Apart from the warning boards, does the Environment agency or Thames Authority issue navigation notices similar to CRT? Is there a suitable App or web page to follow or download?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Morningmist said:

Brilliant, thank you very much for the links, have just signed up for their notifications and newsletter.

 

These sites give flow rates (in cubic metres per second), which you may find helpful. To give an idea of scale, I think the biggest recorded at Kingston is about 450.

Kingston:  https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1249/1382

Maidenhead: https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1132/1230

Sutton Courtney:  https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1043/1094

Farmoor: https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1001/1037

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a retiring Thames and canal boater might I add some extra points -

 Most canal boats venturing onto the Thames are underpowered for "yellow - stream increasing" boards.

No huge problem while you are moving with or against the stream. However the problems start when you have to change direction (pick up a mooring, etc) or navigate through a restricted opening - for example Sonning bridge upstream or downstream.

I built our boat with a 50 HP engine 2'3" draught and a Crowther propellor, but still go carefullly (or not navigate at all...)

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.