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Survived the thames!


Doodlebug
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That was a pretty scary experience. As you may know we are a 23ft narrowboat so whereas you 'long-uns' cut through the swell, we were rolling about all over the place.

 

The thames was pretty calm, and although we went at 6am to avoid the traffic, there were some HUGE loads being pulled by tug boats, with shipping containers, sand and stones, they were absolutely huge and made a wash so big at one point I thought we would go under. The swell they made was at least a metre high.

 

I'm amazed they didn't slow down. The clippers were nice and kept their speed down, but that tug boat was plain irresponsible!

 

Anyhow, we are back on still water - as my Grandad said, it went swimmingly!

 

I've got pics if anyones interested?

 

Doodlebug

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the irresponsible tug boat was earning a living

 

I am not sure that entitles you to irresponsible behaviour. Imagine the defence in court when a white van man had caused an accident "but your honour he was earning a living".

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I know, but thats like saying a taxi drivers ok to cut you up because he is earning a living :P

 

They could have slowed down slightly, i'm just downloading piccys so will post them in a bit.

 

Doodlebug

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Sorry chaps

Not wishing to cause another cwdf flame war

But I have been around commercial boats both on inland waterways and tidal rivers long enough

Yes Thames tugs do put if on but that is due to time / tides and control of the tow

Yes your 25 ft body would roll around

Bottom line is the Thames tide way is bloody fantastic but do not confuse it for the gentle back stream

 

Apologies for any typing errors as I have faht fingers and an eye fone

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I know, they seemed to be running to a pretty tight schedule, we got further upstream and saw them doing some impressive moves, one would come along to dock as the other was taking off from the other side. It looked like it was timed to the second.

 

It looks closer and smaller than it was, its quite a long way off at this point.

 

DSC_0440.jpg

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Main thing is you had a great day with some good memories

And piccies to boot

I am back on the tideway in August this time on 98ft x 16

So not worried about the tugs

But if I see a NB I do slow down

C

Edited by Chris-B
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Did you buy that pristine rope specially for the trip? Must admit I chickened out of decided against going east of Brentford singlehanded in my 27ft boat, wisely when I saw the size of the waves. I note that our respective boats do not require VHF on the tideway. Does anyone know why that is, and did you have it?

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Did you buy that pristine rope specially for the trip? Must admit I chickened out of decided against going east of Brentford singlehanded in my 27ft boat, wisely when I saw the size of the waves. I note that our respective boats do not require VHF on the tideway. Does anyone know why that is, and did you have it?

 

The VHF restriction to boats over about 45' is, I understand, to do with how the MCA (Marine and Coastguard Agency) classify boats. Boats under 45' don't require a VHF so that continues onto the tidal Thames. I think for the tidal Thames a VHF is important as it's a commercial waterway and a VHF will enable you to hear what's going on and enable you to call for assistance (or may be offer it).

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Sorry to say it chap but the irresponsible tug boat was earning a living whilst you were just playing

Chris b

 

Yes agreed. Its a commercial waterway not a hobby boaters playground. There are so many hobby boats about it would not be possible to adjust speed up and down all the time. Moaning about wash from commercials on any commercial waterway is a bit like taking ya Ford Focus onto Brands hatch and complaining about the idiots in fast cars :lol:

You wouldnt believe how many hobby boaters do daft things when I am entering locks on the Trent or some other manouvre at work and you will realy not believe most of them dont know basic sound signals AND know you will realy realy not believe quite a lot of em dont carry a basic piece of l.s.a known as a vhf radio..............I kid you not

Lovely day today so I am taking the Princess down to Stoke Bardolph with some punters for a spin, may see some of you out there :cheers:

 

Tim

Edited by mrsmelly
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Fair play to you for having the nerve to take your 23 footer along the Thames.

 

River navigation is challenging to say the least, especially in a small boat like yours. VHF I would have thought would have been a very wise addition to your pristine anchor line, if only to enable you to swear at the working boats, even though they were simply going about their business.

 

Any more pictures please?

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Out of interest, did you turn into the wash from the tugs?

 

Richard

 

Good point.

 

When navigating the river Ribble we encountered a 'playful' plastic boat racing along between the flotilla causing no end of problems with their wash. Common sense dictates that it is prudent to steer into this man made wave to counter the roll effect. Our boat then was a forty foot narrow boat with an egg whisk of a propeller and a toy Vetus engine to make it spin.

 

We probably started the journey with a full tank of fresh water, but by the time Mrs Doorman had been instructed to run the hot water tap to dissipate some of the engine coolant heat, we were probably empty on reaching Preston Dock.

 

Hairy at times but exhilarating non the less.

 

Mike

Edited by Doorman
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Haha, yes we bought it specialy. I went with 50m of it, i'm not sure what to do with it now, but it was 60 pounds worth spending in case the worst happened.

 

We dont have a vhs, i would have liked one but i understand it needs a licence? When we get a slightly larger boat I wil invest in one.

 

Ohh yes, I forgot to say that the minute we got into brentford lock, the engine died on us. How lucky was that! Turned out to be a schoolboy error... im almost too ashamed to admit it.

 

Our engines an outboard... guess who

 

Ill get some more pictures later or you

 

We attempted to turn into the wash as much as possible, but if being overtaken its somewhat impossible. Sometimes we didnt manage to turn into it and to be honest I didnt notice a huge difference. But with a long narrowboat i guess you would be ploughing through rather than bobbing up and down.

 

Doodlebug

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Oo, that should say our engines an outboard, guess who forgot to open the breather hole. The engine kept cutting out at brentford and it was a few miles before I realised what was wrong. Its so lucky it didnt cut out on the thames.

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That was a pretty scary experience. As you may know we are a 23ft narrowboat so whereas you 'long-uns' cut through the swell, we were rolling about all over the place.

 

The thames was pretty calm, and although we went at 6am to avoid the traffic, there were some HUGE loads being pulled by tug boats, with shipping containers, sand and stones, they were absolutely huge and made a wash so big at one point I thought we would go under. The swell they made was at least a metre high.

 

I'm amazed they didn't slow down. The clippers were nice and kept their speed down, but that tug boat was plain irresponsible!

 

Anyhow, we are back on still water - as my Grandad said, it went swimmingly!

 

I've got pics if anyones interested?

 

Doodlebug

 

Not really.

 

Welcome to the world of commercial waterways cruising.

 

Dont forget you are entering their work place. They have a job to do you are there for leisure purposes. Cruising on busy commercial waterways is a whole different ball game to ditch crawling.

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Not really.

 

Welcome to the world of commercial waterways cruising.

 

Dont forget you are entering their work place. They have a job to do you are there for leisure purposes. Cruising on busy commercial waterways is a whole different ball game to ditch crawling.

 

There are lots of small boats even rowing boats on the tidal Thames and there are bylaws against unnecessary wash causing potential damage to other craft

 

The clippers have apparently been a bit more restrained since one of them got sued for damage caused by excessive wash

The tug boats have been heard laughing on the radio at upsetting smaller boats. The emergency services are the worst offenders.

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There are lots of small boats even rowing boats on the tidal Thames and there are bylaws against unnecessary wash causing potential damage to other craft

 

The clippers have apparently been a bit more restrained since one of them got sued for damage caused by excessive wash

The tug boats have been heard laughing on the radio at upsetting smaller boats. The emergency services are the worst offenders.

 

Again. If you are going to venture onto large waterways with large boats plying their trade you are going to have to expect some wash from them. They are doing their job, it is up to you to get out of their way im afraid.

 

We also have a small boat (25ft cruiser) but we dont expect the Trent gravellers or coasters to go out of their way to accomodate us. You simply keep out of their way and expect some wash. Oh and making a cup of coffee at tide time near Goole isnt recommended :blink:

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I know, they seemed to be running to a pretty tight schedule, we got further upstream and saw them doing some impressive moves, one would come along to dock as the other was taking off from the other side. It looked like it was timed to the second.

 

It looks closer and smaller than it was, its quite a long way off at this point.

 

DSC_0440.jpg

No sign here of a 3 foot high wave..!!

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