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HOMETUNEDAVE

Thames or Regents canal

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Hello,

I am taking my new widebeam from the Thames at Reading to Bishops Stortford on the River Stort and would like advice on whether I should go via the tidel Thames or on the Regents canal,

Dave

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Depends on your experience on tidal rivers, Teddington to Limehouse is quicker. Teddington to Brentford, Grand union, turn right at Bulls Bridge will take you to the Regents Canal. I preferred the latter route because for me it's more leisurely.

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Probably this depends on your boat handling skills. You need to have VHF for the Thames route, and you need to be very careful with all the other traffic in the Port of London area and the rules of the road there. On the Thames you have to plan the turn into Limehouse according to the tide and current

 

Via the canal there are more boats but they are all working to canal rules

 

What does your insurance say about tidal waters?

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You may be able to find someone to come along as extra crew, with a VHF radio ... But if it's a new boat then you might want to go via Brentford.

 

I think there are also still some issues with opening hours at Limehouse.

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Going in at Limehouse is not something an inexperienced skipper should do.

The pub is a good place to watch boats being caught by the back eddy and being slammed into the upstream wall as they try to make it into the lock ;)

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You may be able to find someone to come along as extra crew, with a VHF radio ... But if it's a new boat then you might want to go via Brentford.

 

I think there are also still some issues with opening hours at Limehouse.

 

I should have added, either way you will find this site helpful (it includes good advice on the Eddy, though I have yet to have any problem with it myself - famous last words).

 

There's also a recent thread here on making the turn into Brentford - if you wait until you can see the lock then you can end up going rather farther downstream that you would wish.

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Going in at Limehouse is not something an inexperienced skipper should do.

The pub is a good place to watch boats being caught by the back eddy and being slammed into the upstream wall as they try to make it into the lock wink.png

If its a brand new boat (i.e quite underballasted as it's not furnished and full of your stuff yet), it may also be sitting a bit high in the water and therefore handling like a pig (I speak from the experience of seeing boats like this passing me and hearing from the skippers how hard it is).

So if you wanted to take that route, you'd almost be wanting to pay a pilot to take it, I reckon.

If you are headed via the Brentford way, then seeing as it is a widebeam, it's probably very unlikely you will find anywhere to moor from where the line of boats starts around Kensal Green, to the River Lee end of Ducketts cut. Have done this trip twice in a narrowboat in the past three months, because we can't double moor as my ancient dog struggles if we do, it has been a very long day indeed, untied boats, novices, boats on lock moorings etc and that you will need to get both gates open on the heavy locks - it took us 11 1/2 hours both times.

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Going in at Limehouse is not something an inexperienced skipper should do.

The pub is a good place to watch boats being caught by the back eddy and being slammed into the upstream wall as they try to make it into the lock wink.png

I have never seen it frokm the comfort of the pub but have experienced it from the discomfort down below!

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As mentioned earlier there have been some locking restrictions at Limehouse recently. It may be OK now but when I came down from Teddington in august they were doing a high water +/- 2hrs locking window which does not leave enough time to do it outward from teddington unless you punch the tide for a fair bit first or are willing to wait on the outer pontoon at Limehouse for the tide to come back in.

 

I decided on the latter as I have a slow boat (58x12 ft barge at about 30 tonnes maximum about 8 knots) and don't like to push it I like dawdling along.. So we came down with the tide and arrived at low water and waited about 4 hours on the outer pontoon. Its Fine at low water but as the tide came in some water under the boat and clippers and thrill ride inflatables hammering it past it was very rough. A heavy steel boat really does put some strain on the ropes :huh: I tied with 4 seperate lines to different bollards forward and backward from each end of the boat and it still surged about a lot.

 

Anyway so I'd say definitely do it the Brentford - bulls bridge - Paddington arm route.

 

Worth calling Limehouse to see if they have restrictions still. If they do it's not really worth considering IMO.

 

If they can let you in up to 3 and a half hours after high water then leave teddibgton and high water and its OK but still a bit hairy at times. I personally have had no trouble with the famous eddy and I've done it coming down from teddingtob on an emptying river 6 times in various different boats :)

PS my boat might come up on John Sargent barging round Britain as he stepped aboard when I was on the waiting pontoon and stayed on the boat as I piloted through the lock :)

Cameramen running about excitedly :rolleyes:

Edited by magnetman

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