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Tony Reeves

Gloucester moorings?

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Hi everybody.

I've been reading through the forum a lot over the past months - what a gold mine of information!

 

We bought our boat in 2010 ( ex hire fleet ) and moved to Upton marina last October. We've done a lot of canal trips as the boat was previously moored at Alvechurch but are venturing south on the Severn this weekend. We plan to overnight at Gloucester so would be grateful for any tips on where to moor - I've also heard the lock up to the docks from the Severn is a challenge - is that true?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Tony

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Hi everybody.

I've been reading through the forum a lot over the past months - what a gold mine of information!

 

We bought our boat in 2010 ( ex hire fleet ) and moved to Upton marina last October. We've done a lot of canal trips as the boat was previously moored at Alvechurch but are venturing south on the Severn this weekend. We plan to overnight at Gloucester so would be grateful for any tips on where to moor - I've also heard the lock up to the docks from the Severn is a challenge - is that true?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Tony

Gloucester is great - the pontoons near the pub can be a bit noisy at weekends but the moorings beyond Llanthony Bridge are quiet.

The lock into the docks is ok as long as it is open and ready for you. Make sure you call the lock keeper at Upper Parting and again as you approach the lock to ensure you can zip straight in.

Andy

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There are plenty of visitor moorings in the first basin as you exit the lock, or go through the first lift bridge and moor at the pontoon on the left, (port side if you insist!)which is much quieter, and also means you do not need to wait for the bridge keeper to start work in the morning before you can set off, there are also a couple of slots on the other side but most are private spaces, the water, refuse point is on the right as soon as you pass under the bridge. There are also short stay mooring at the supermarket.

I did the lock single handed without problem, if you do have to wait there are plenty of chains on the left hand wall, go slow, take your time and there is nothing to worry about.

Only thing to be aware of is the wind! the dock basin is large and does not offer much protection when the wind is blowing up the Severn estuary which at times can be quite strong, in these conditions trying to moor on one of the finger pontoons can be difficult, particularly single handed and especially if like me you lack a bow thruster.

That said I have always found that as long as I make my intention clear someone has usually appeared to assist, if not, the basin is plenty big enough to make a circle and try again.

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Stay where you are the river in flood! Ring up Gloucester dock when you arrive at water meet (where the old river branches to the right) if there is a big spring tide then entering the lock at the top of tide is easy. otherwise there is quite a current flow past the lock entrance. so be ready to wait on the wall for the dock to be opened for you. Plenty of mooring both at Glosterster and all the way up wander through Frampton upon Severn and visit Slimbridge wild fowl sanctuary.

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If you get to the lock before its open try to get on the chains furthest from the lock. If the lock has to empty theres is quite a flow of water that comes down. Even on the furtest chains you'll feel it.

 

I'd imagine theres alot more water in the river now than last time I came down there was quite alot of debris just under the water particularly at the parting just before gloucester. If this is the case the lock keeper at tewks should tell you about it. Someone caught it the other week and it spun his boat round.

 

mooring in the docks i'd rather moor just through the bridge on the left or on the pontoons in the dock. I usually end up mooring by Sainsburys but it can be pretty noisy down there with people doing donughts over by the cinema and noisy people walking past.

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If you like fish then the Tall Ship pub in the dock area is highly recommended. The Glos Yacht Club is worth dropping into, also in the dock area.

Have fun!

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If you get to the lock before its open try to get on the chains furthest from the lock. If the lock has to empty theres is quite a flow of water that comes down. Even on the furtest chains you'll feel it.

 

I'd imagine theres alot more water in the river now than last time I came down there was quite alot of debris just under the water particularly at the parting just before gloucester. If this is the case the lock keeper at tewks should tell you about it. Someone caught it the other week and it spun his boat round.

 

mooring in the docks i'd rather moor just through the bridge on the left or on the pontoons in the dock. I usually end up mooring by Sainsburys but it can be pretty noisy down there with people doing donughts over by the cinema and noisy people walking past.

And get the stern rope on first, if your crew jumps ashore with the front rope like they tend to do you will swing round before you know whats happening.

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Don't forget the brewery in the docks. Don't buy the bottles though - the flavour is nowhere near as good. Much better to get 9 pints or even 18. The toastie cafe seems expensive but they taste much better than I can make. If you can stomach it they even do mars bar toasties.

 

Dave

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And get the stern rope on first, if your crew jumps ashore with the front rope like they tend to do you will swing round before you know whats happening.

 

Luckily no where for the crew to get off by the wall in Gloucester although yes still better to get the stern on first. Same when you get in the locks to. Our boat doesn't seem to fit well between any of the wire to put the ropes around so we usually end up on one.

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When we first picked our boat up from stoke to return back to gloucester we actually came down on the spring tide there was quite a bit of debris on the way down but not to bad. I phoned the lock keeper on numerous occasions on the way down to let him know where we were and by the time we got to the lock gate he had it open and ready for us so we didn,t need to use the chains on the wall.

As you come out of the lock on your left are the finger pontoons and on the right there is mooring against the wall just below the cafe toasties with electric if there are any spaces available. The problem with the wall mooring is that it is the same level as the top of the boat so you will need to use the ladders to get off your boat and i have heard of one boater being woken in the early hours of the morning by two young girls drunk and dancing on top of the boat. There are showers and toilets in the docks but you will require a bw key. The docks can be noisy with both night time revellers and seagulls.

Ahead of you is the swing bridge and if you go through there moorings are available on the left and on the right. The ones on the right require a bw key for the gate to get off the floating pontoons and there is water and a pumpout available, probably a better place to moor if there are any spaces. If not go under the next bridge just past sainsbury,s and on the right there are some mooring places next to the towpath. It is all within 30 mins walk of gloucester.

When you have more time i always find the gloucester/sharpness canal from quedgeley or rea bridge down to sharpness much more pleasant. I heard the dockers club in sharpness do cracking food and its always best to book for sunday lunch. Anyway if you are going to travel down this weekend best to find out about the river severn with all the rain we are having to make sure it is okay. All the best.

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I'd suggest that you check the tides at Sharpness Click Here

A tide higher than about 7.8 metres will overtop the weirs at Llanthony and Maisemore, so the river will be tidal up to Upper Lode Lock at Tewkesbury.

The exact timing of the tide varies according to its height, so if it looks as if there will be one on your day of travel, I'd recommend that you speak with the lockie at Gloucester or Upper Lode first for advice.

it's not so much the speed of flow that's a problem, it's all the debris that the tide brings with it.

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Just been past the river and it is very high. (i'm rubbish guessing measurements but it must be about 10ft higher than two days ago) High tide combined with the wind pushing the tide up even further. I would not go out on the river in that!

 

Edit - I am a big scaredy cat though. ;)

Edited by Chickadee

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Tony

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Do not leave your mooring until you have contacted Upper Lode Lock, they will tell you if they will let you down.

 

If you do travel, as you get to Upper Parting there is a sign with telephone number for Gloucester Dock, give them a call immediately, you will see another one further on down, give them another call.

 

Gloucester lock will give you any information necessary, large vessels about etc and whether the lock will be ready.

 

Take it easy on the last stretch and hold back as far as possible but able to see the 'traffic light', if you do need to moor at the wall use stern rope first.

 

When you get the green light, power into the lock keeping close to the wall.

 

Here is a link, (that an illustrious member of this forum set up) to show levels on the Severn. http://www.rwilson.org.uk/severn.html

 

At the moment it is showing the level is going up and down with the tide, to very high levels.

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Thanks everybody for the informative and prompt replies! I spoke the Gloucester and Upper Lode lockeepers a couple of times today, and called off the trip at 3.30 when they told me Upper Lode had hit 3.90m and was officially in flood.

All advice noted for next time - which hopefully won't be too long!

 

Many thanks.... (now, I have lots of questions about solar power and battery banks...)

 

Tony

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The docks can be noisy with both night time revellers and seagulls.

I heard the dockers club in sharpness do cracking food and its always best to book for sunday lunch.

 

Our home mooring is at Sharpness & we have spent many a night moored in Gloucester docks, we have never had a problem & never heard the "night time revellers" Cant say the same about the seagulls though.

You're right, the Dockers does cracking food, "its always best to book for sunday lunch" isnt quite right, you must book by 10pm Saturday or you'll be out of luck. :cheers:

Edited by sharpness

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