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George Kennedy

Thames visiting licence

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Good evening. In a few weeks time we will be venturing on to the Thames for the first time on our narrowboat and need to pick some brains please. We have a standard CaRT licence and know that we will need a short term vistor licence from the EA. I know how to work out the area of the boat and intend to buy a 1 month certificate. Can I assume that a narrowboat is classified as a houseboat rather than a launch?

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All boats on the Thames are launches. The Thames is slowly changing into just another waterway rather than something special (a gentlemans playground?) but there is still a lot of the history and tradition in evidence.

We are currently on the Thames just below Days lock, paid for a two day licence this mooring and the form we had to complete was "Launch certificate and registration"

..............Dave

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Where are you entering the Thames?

Last time I licenced a boat there they insisted on seeing the boat in person by the way.

 

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Thanks Dave, so did you pay at the high rate for launches or the 50% rate for houseboats? The definitions are in this document https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/569952/LIT_10600.pdf

A narrowboat would appear to fit the houseboat category rather than the launch category but I had always thought of a houseboat as being one that doesn't move. There's a big difference in the rate and although the cost won't affect our plans, I wouldn't want to pay more than I needed to.

 

In answer to Mark, we'll get on at Dukes cut. I assume that I'll just buy a licence at the first manned lock so no problem with them seeing the boat first.

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4 minutes ago, George Kennedy said:

Thanks Dave, so did you pay at the high rate for launches or the 50% rate for houseboats? The definitions are in this document https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/569952/LIT_10600.pdf

A narrowboat would appear to fit the houseboat category rather than the launch category but I had always thought of a houseboat as being one that doesn't move. There's a big difference in the rate and although the cost won't affect our plans, I wouldn't want to pay more than I needed to.

 

In answer to Mark, we'll get on at Dukes cut. I assume that I'll just buy a licence at the first manned lock so no problem with them seeing the boat first.

 

That's fine. Kings Lock IIRC just off the Cut. (Can be windy there!).

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On 14/05/2017 at 20:40, George Kennedy said:

Thanks Dave, so did you pay at the high rate for launches or the 50% rate for houseboats? The definitions are in this document https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/569952/LIT_10600.pdf

A narrowboat would appear to fit the houseboat category rather than the launch category but I had always thought of a houseboat as being one that doesn't move. There's a big difference in the rate and although the cost won't affect our plans, I wouldn't want to pay more than I needed to.

 

In answer to Mark, we'll get on at Dukes cut. I assume that I'll just buy a licence at the first manned lock so no problem with them seeing the boat first.

 

According to your link a houseboat first has to be 'not a launch'. And any 'mechanically propelled vessel' is 'a launch'.

So it would be hard to argue a narrowboat arriving at a lock under its own power is not a launch.

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From the document -

 

"Definition - ‘Launches’ includes any mechanically propelled vessel not being used solely as a tug or for the 
carriage of goods."

 

Sorry!

 

Although if my boat was unconverted and I loaded a tonne of coal I could pay 4.9 pence per mile

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The Thames really does have houseboats though these are down towards the Teddington end rather than the Oxford end, they are literally large wooden houses built on floating pontoons, and they look very expensive too.

............Dave

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2 minutes ago, dmr said:

The Thames really does have houseboats though these are down towards the Teddington end rather than the Oxford end, they are literally large wooden houses built on floating pontoons, and they look very expensive too.

............Dave

Don’t just look it they are bloody expensive.

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We are having a trip to Oxford in a few weeks, We where thinking of going out on the Sheepwash Channel then back into the Oxford Canal at Dukes but just calculated 1 day licence at £43. Wont be doing that for a few hours cruising.

We are 62 foot, anyone know if it is allowed to turn in the Sheepwash Channel without a licence? Have been told only up to 50 foot can turn at the junction with the Hythe Bridge Arm.

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7 minutes ago, Andy Healey said:

We are having a trip to Oxford in a few weeks, We where thinking of going out on the Sheepwash Channel then back into the Oxford Canal at Dukes but just calculated 1 day licence at £43. Wont be doing that for a few hours cruising.

We are 62 foot, anyone know if it is allowed to turn in the Sheepwash Channel without a licence? Have been told only up to 50 foot can turn at the junction with the Hythe Bridge Arm.

 

You are allowed to drop down into the basin to turn without a Thames licence, but not to cruise the channel itself.

There is a sign there explaining.

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1 minute ago, Andy Healey said:

Thanks Mike.

You're welcome.

Bear in mind if you DO go out onto the Thames, a one day license gives you two effective days on the Thames. I can' remember the deets, but you have to be back off the river by midnight on the day after you bought the licence IIRC.  

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11 minutes ago, Andy Healey said:

We are having a trip to Oxford in a few weeks, We where thinking of going out on the Sheepwash Channel then back into the Oxford Canal at Dukes but just calculated 1 day licence at £43. Wont be doing that for a few hours cruising.

We are 62 foot, anyone know if it is allowed to turn in the Sheepwash Channel without a licence? Have been told only up to 50 foot can turn at the junction with the Hythe Bridge Arm.

Buying a full Thames licence just to do that little loop does not look like a good investment even though it is a lovely loop. Its a bit naughty but I would be inclined to do it in the evening when the lockies have gone home, its only two locks. I also expect the lock keepers might turn a blind eye if you told then you were only doing the loop but thats a bit risky. Went up that way a couple of days ago and both locks were unmanned which is unusual. Spent the night on the lovely mooring at Kings lock and there was nobody to take the mooring fee.

...............Dave

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2 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

You're welcome.

Bear in mind if you DO go out onto the Thames, a one day license gives you two effective days on the Thames. I can' remember the deets, but you have to be back off the river by midnight on the day after you bought the licence IIRC.  

Mike's right, you buy it at the first manned lock and it's valid up to midnight the next day. Most narrowboats (over a certain length which I forget, and up to the full 72') fall into the £43 price bracket. Apart from the rare exceptions mentioned earlier which are not launches.

A consequence of this rule is that anyone going from the K&A to the Oxford canal, or vice versa, can do it on a one day licence if they get a move on. Going north last month with bigste, we started from Reading Gaol loop, did a long day to Abingdon, then another day to Thrupp; other combinations are possible.

I've heard there's a weird anomaly that a three day licence costs more than a week!?

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2 minutes ago, Peter X said:

 

I've heard there's a weird anomaly that a three day licence costs more than a week!?

That is because its 3 X 1 day licenses, likewise a month is cheaper than 3 weeks if I remember correctly.

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For a 57' narrowboat a gold license costs £303 more than an early discounted CRT license. A 1 week EA Thames license costs £129.50 and 1 month £355. Ouch! So, if my maths is right: it is worth buying a gold license for anything more than 1 week on the Thames.

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On 5/14/2017 at 22:16, George Kennedy said:

Thanks everyone, that's sorted it out in my mind now. I wonder why the EA bother having a visiting licence for a houseboat?, especially a 1-day one!

Some people have unpowered butties which qualify.

 

Paul

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10 hours ago, nikvah said:

For a 57' narrowboat a gold license costs £303 more than an early discounted CRT license. A 1 week EA Thames license costs £129.50 and 1 month £355. Ouch! So, if my maths is right: it is worth buying a gold license for anything more than 1 week on the Thames.

Ah, but - you have effectively to buy your licence in January as it runs Jan to December - CaRT will credit you for the unused portion of their licence, but it's 'worth doing the math'.

In this case better to get a week's licence and cruise the River - up or down...  

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Hello - I just wanted to check if this is still the case, as I am looking to take my boat from Oxford to Reading to get on the K&A.

 

The complete journey will be from York and the boat's current river licence expires at the end of this month.

I am guessing it is best to get a 6 month canal & river licence, then just buy a day pass when I get to the Thames?

 

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

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8 minutes ago, Cinimod said:

Hello - I just wanted to check if this is still the case, as I am looking to take my boat from Oxford to Reading to get on the K&A.

 

The complete journey will be from York and the boat's current river licence expires at the end of this month.

I am guessing it is best to get a 6 month canal & river licence, then just buy a day pass when I get to the Thames?

 

Many thanks in advance for your advice.

 

Won't you need to licence the boat for the K&A ?

Its much cheaper to get a 12 month licence than 2x 6 moth licences.

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Won't you need to licence the boat for the K&A ?

Its much cheaper to get a 12 month licence than 2x 6 moth licences.

Hi Alan,

 

Many thanks for coming back on this.

 

Yes, I will need a licence for the K&A, but my understanding was that they ran from Jan to Dec? - so I would need a 6 month C&R licence for the rest of this year, and then to buy a new 12 month licence in Jan 2021?

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10 minutes ago, Cinimod said:

Hi Alan,

 

Many thanks for coming back on this.

 

Yes, I will need a licence for the K&A, but my understanding was that they ran from Jan to Dec? - so I would need a 6 month C&R licence for the rest of this year, and then to buy a new 12 month licence in Jan 2021?

Do you need a 'Gold Licence' for the K&A ?

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Methinks there's confusion here

  • A Gold licence cover you fro use of CRT and EA waters for a yar - but ut runs from January to December
  • A Thames visitor licence covers you for one day but it expires and midnight on the day following.
  • If you'r going to the K&A and not coming back then a Gold is a waste of money.
  • If you are comingoff the K&A  onto CRT waters at some future time, then a second EA day licence is better value
  • If repeated trips then a Gold may be better.

 

A neat trick - get best value from at Thames 1 day pass, then arrive early in the morning and spend two leusirely days cruising the Wonderful Thames. It's not a fiddle, it's the way the licence is constructed.

 

Does that help / clarify?

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