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We are a share syndicate considering a move to Worcester. Most of our members are competent crew, but a few are ‘scared’ of going out on the river. 
I have advised them of the CRT & EA warning systems and cruising on a ‘precautionary principle’ basis. Can anybody suggest anything else to allay their fears as some of us really want to move to the area.

PS I was at Droitwich Dig 10/73 so want to return!

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My view is that plenty of first time hirers leave Worcester and go straight out on to the Severn without getting in to difficulty.

 

The only downside I would say to being at Worcester is every time you go out you will be doing a lot of locks unless you just go up and down the river.

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2 hours ago, Rob-M said:

My view is that plenty of first time hirers leave Worcester and go straight out on to the Severn without getting in to difficulty.

 

The only downside I would say to being at Worcester is every time you go out you will be doing a lot of locks unless you just go up and down the river.

But most only go twice or maybe three times a year

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1 minute ago, ditchcrawler said:

But most only go twice or maybe three times a year

But that is only 3 concerns, the op has Severn concerns

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20 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

But most only go twice or maybe three times a year

 

I tend to agree with Rob. I can drive from my home to Alvechurch in 20 minutes, Lapworth in 30 minutes, yet Droitwich Spa Marina has lots of boats belonging to folk who live close to or beyond the lower end of the M5. They are faced with 45 locks in 10 miles just to access the majority of the network and in my experience many of them stay below Tardebigge as a result.

 

Though if this is just about basing a shareboat for a limited period of time I think that's a different consideration. Worcester allows an easy week's trip to Sharpness and access to the Avon and Stourport Rings, hence plenty of good cruising but in all those cases requiring river transit.

 

I wonder if some of those that are reticent base that view on past experience on rivers or simply no experience. On green boards the Severn is a benign river, particularly so above Worcester which is why as Rob says first time hirers from any of the four big hire bases on the W&B plus Starline at Stourport send novices onto it in large numbers every week, on the proviso that it is on green boards.

 

It may also be worth pointing out that Worcester to Stourport is a half day's cruise. Tewkesbury is closer to a full day and you do end up on another river, but in no circumstance is it actually necessary to moor on the Severn, although there is no problem in so doing.

 

My own experience is that the water of the Severn is a lot more placid than that of the Trent. In favourable conditions the flow of the Severn has very little affect on cruising. However it is a big river to be treated with respect and for which the right preparations need to be made so the bit about favourable conditions is key.

 

Edited by Captain Pegg
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Thank you for all your comments to date, they are very useful.

If only they had built the network without locks and having to use rivers, it would have been so much easier!

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Another point about the Severn is that the weirs are remote from the navigation channel and are well protected.

 

The Avon almost certainly offers more of a challenge to the boater because of it's propensity to rise and fall quickly and the presence of some fairly small - and in at least one case awkwardly sited - bridge holes.

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2 hours ago, Captain Pegg said:

 

I tend to agree with Rob. I can drive from my home to Alvechurch in 20 minutes, Lapworth in 30 minutes, yet Droitwich Spa Marina has lots of boats belonging to folk who live close to or beyond the lower end of the M5. They are faced with 45 locks in 10 miles just to access the majority of the network and in my experience many of them stay below Tardebigge as a result.

 

 

As someone who is an hour off the end of the M5 I reckon I can explain why so many people from the south west keep boats in DSM. My 3 hour trip to Droitwich from home can be over 6 hours in summer !

The thought of driving any further whatsoever - and that 20 minutes up the motorway could well be another hour or more in M5 holiday traffic - fills me with utter dread.

 

However the moment I get off that motorway and on to the boat then my stress level drops and I've got my 'boat head' on. The closer the boat is to home, whilst still on the main connected network (and I don't include the K&A in that as you have to go miles to get any route options from the western end) the better.

 

I fully agree with you that there are a fair number of boats that don't move beyond the bottom of Tardebigge and don't know what they're missing, but for me the locks are a great part of the canal, not something to be avoided. The flight is one of the easiest to work, and we always manage to go from the marina to the top of Tardebigge in a day trip - and yes, a lot of the people moored near us think we are mad to do that.

 

With regards the Severn I've found it's a really pleasant river to explore, it brings a different experience to boating and the river locks being fully manned means it's not even hard work!

 

But as everyone else has said, you just need to treat it with a bit of respect and keep an eye on the warning boards.

 

 

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Another thing to consider is that if the river does flood you could be stuck somewhere and not be able to get back to base in time. We got stuck at Stourport heading to Worcester. The river was shut and stayed shut for about a fortnight. In the end it was quicker to go via Birmingham than wait for the levels to drop.

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5 minutes ago, Liam said:

Is it just me that thinks the river below Diglis Lock is bloody boring 😴 

No it is fairly dull and Tewkesbury to Gloucester even more boring.

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13 hours ago, Rob-M said:

No it is fairly dull and Tewkesbury to Gloucester even more boring.

At least you have Ashleworth and it's pub to visit on that bit 😉

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4 minutes ago, Loddon said:

At least you have Ashleworth and it's pub to visit on that bit 😉

Yes I have been to The Boat Inn by both car and boat.  According to Google it is currently closed, the last time we went there, pre-covid, it had new owners so I wonder if they have had to close down.

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2 hours ago, Rob-M said:

Yes I have been to The Boat Inn by both car and boat.  According to Google it is currently closed, the last time we went there, pre-covid, it had new owners so I wonder if they have had to close down.

That will be a shame. I remember when there was no landing stage and you had to beach the boat and climb over the bow to get off the boat😱

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17 hours ago, Rob-M said:

Yes I have been to The Boat Inn by both car and boat.  According to Google it is currently closed, the last time we went there, pre-covid, it had new owners so I wonder if they have had to close down.

Can confirm that when I passed by at the end of last year it was still closed. But apparently sometime in the near future the pub at Haw Bridge will reopen.

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On 28/05/2022 at 20:49, Rob-M said:

No it is fairly dull and Tewkesbury to Gloucester even more boring.

I really like Tewkesbury to Gloucester - the cliffs and woods give it a fair amount of variety and it's interesting wildlife-wise (we saw an otter there once). Upton to Tewkesbury is a bit monotonous though, I'll give you that.

 

Good news about the Haw Bridge.

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On 28/05/2022 at 20:42, Liam said:

Is it just me that thinks the river below Diglis Lock is bloody boring 😴 

Agree ++ from Diglis to Tewkesbury . About the only interesting thing are the gravel barges by Upton the boats at Kemsey and whether you can moor ar Upton overnight- usually not. After Tewkesbury it’s not that much better except for a mild degree of excitement at Gloucester to see if you can moor up or not in time before the  gate opens. However the S &W W&B Droitwich and Avon make up for it  I find the G&S a bit boring in parts too tbh. 

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when passing the Red Lion Wainlodes last week i saw an otter , so if you pass this way worth keeping an eye out.  otherwise there not much to commend the approaches to Gloucester, but worth the journey to enjoy the G and S canal, in particular the lower part at Purton

 

 

 

 

 

 

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