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Matt&Jo

Thames info please

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Hi all,

So we are awaiting the results of our survey wich happens next wednesday and have provisionaly booked 15 days to get her bk from her current place by great haywood to frouds bridge marina....now we plan to take the oxford but as a newb we are a tad freaked out by the thames isis lock and the sheepwash channel....

1. is this a tidal stretch or effectively locked off?

2. Where can we moor thats safe as we dont think we will do the 38 mile journey in a 1ner if we do it will be flat out and a 14 - 15hr day i reckon....set off at 6 finish at 8 type jobbie

3. Should we be worried.....were new and on our first ever trip were going onto a river.....is it a bit unspectacular as long as its not in flood? Im used to ocean going boats and lots of power to get out of trouble..   

Any help would be great...were going to the k&A so will have to go thames at some bloody point....ahhhhhhhhh scary

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Tidal starts at Teddington lock, maybe 60 miles or more downstream of Oxford so not tidal, just river with some flow . How much depends upon how much rain we have had.

 

Of there was a lot of flow I would use Dukes cut because a backwater flows right across the pool below Issi lock where you have to turn a near right angle but with typical flows its simple.

 

Get to Kings lock or Osney lock early on the Thames day and buy a 24 hour license d. It will run out 24 hours after midnight on the day you buy it so you in effect get two days on the Thames.

 

Moor at Goring below the lock (Free if spaces available). Wallingford Town moorings just above the bridge (fee), Child Beale Trust (free as far as I know) at Pangboune/Whitchurch meadow (if space).

 

I would shop in Pangbourne so you do not have to stop in Reading and get mixed up with the car parking cowboys who now control the mooring there but I understand the if you buy a meal at the Bell and Dragon they are happy for you to stay overnight on their pontoons.

 

There is nothing to worry about on the Thames as long as you do not ignore the red boards and act responsibly if they start showing yellow "stream rising" boards. For most of the summer there is more flow on the Llangollen or Shroppie than the Thames in my view.

  • Greenie 3

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53 minutes ago, Matt&Jo said:

Hi all,

So we are awaiting the results of our survey wich happens next wednesday and have provisionaly booked 15 days to get her bk from her current place by great haywood to frouds bridge marina....now we plan to take the oxford but as a newb we are a tad freaked out by the thames isis lock and the sheepwash channel....

1. is this a tidal stretch or effectively locked off?

2. Where can we moor thats safe as we dont think we will do the 38 mile journey in a 1ner if we do it will be flat out and a 14 - 15hr day i reckon....set off at 6 finish at 8 type jobbie

3. Should we be worried.....were new and on our first ever trip were going onto a river.....is it a bit unspectacular as long as its not in flood? Im used to ocean going boats and lots of power to get out of trouble..   

Any help would be great...were going to the k&A so will have to go thames at some bloody point....ahhhhhhhhh scary

We've just done the Thames, and felt intimidated by it just like you. Got to say we had a brilliant time.

 

We found the Lockies a mine of information, they were brilliant. Ask advice from them where to moor, what to look out for. You've to use fore and aft lines to control your boat in the locks. Think the lockies are working (May) 9 till 6 with an hour for lunch (1 till 2) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-bridges-locks-and-facilities-for-boaters

 

Our exit was through sheepwash channel, which was difficult because of seemingly abandoned boats - but in 15 minutes we were through.

 

Take your time, you'll adapt to situations. Above all, have fun!

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The Thames is flowing nice and slowly at the moment - generally around 0.5 to 1mph. You will be going downstream, so the current will help you. Many of the locks have chargeable moorings, which may be worth it so that you know you have somewhere to stay.

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8 hours ago, Jennifer McM said:

We've just done the Thames, and felt intimidated by it just like you. Got to say we had a brilliant time.

 

We found the Lockies a mine of information, they were brilliant. Ask advice from them where to moor, what to look out for. You've to use fore and aft lines to control your boat in the locks. Think the lockies are working (May) 9 till 6 with an hour for lunch (1 till 2) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-bridges-locks-and-facilities-for-boaters

 

Our exit was through sheepwash channel, which was difficult because of seemingly abandoned boats - but in 15 minutes we were through.

 

Take your time, you'll adapt to situations. Above all, have fun!

Strange I couldn't 'edit' my post above - no edit button ☹️

 

Sorry, just want to change a mistake I made, it should be Duke's Cut, instead of Sheepwash.... 

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7 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

Strange I couldn't 'edit' my post above - no edit button

You only have a 'short' time to edit before the facility is removed.

This saves the problem where something is said, another responds to it, 'you' edit / remove it and say "I never said that"

WW3 breaks out

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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

You only have a 'short' time to edit before the facility is removed.

This saves the problem where something is said, another responds to it, 'you' edit / remove it and say "I never said that"

WW3 breaks out

Thanks Alan, that makes sense!

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46 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

WW4 breaks out

We haven't had WW3 yet.😃

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5 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

It must have happened between post #6 & #8 but no one noticed.

Many apologies Alan, I couldn't resist!

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I agree with (most of) the above, some extra / contrary points if I may:-

Sheepwash or Duke's cut?

Sheepwash is only a problem (if at all) for longer boats. You just need to put the helm hard over and lots of welly to turn at either end. The river flow will help bring the bow round and if you hit the shallow bit, then just reverse.

Contrarywise once you've exited the rather cut at Duke's you're on a back stream of the Thames which is a bit twisty, but lots of room to steer round. The first lock (King's) is to your left just after (100yards)  a large looking weir. It's your "port of entry"  to the Thames and as such is setup to issue licences and give you the correct information. If there's no-one there then any manned lock will take your money. The run down to Oxford on the Thames is beautiful with a great view of the City down through Port Meadow (on the canal it's a bit gloomy). I'd go that way....

Apart from King's which is a 'proper lock' with balance beams, all the others are electrically operated with clear instructions (which nobody bothers to read). Some are quite deep, so you need long lines at the bow and stern.

 

So many folks rush down the River using it as a transit to get from A to B. It's worth considering spending a week (better value than say two one day licences) and exploring upstream or just dawdling).

There are 'official' EA moorings for which the first night is free, but you may moor bankside unless it's obviously private. This site has information and details of the former:-

www.thamesvisitormoorings.co.uk 

 

If you want more info: please ask

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I think it's worth having a decent map/chart, so that you know where the weirs, lock cuts, and lock laybys, are ahead of you, rather than working it out when you get there.

 

The signposting is  usually pretty good ("LOCK" and "DANGER"), but not perfect. One entertaining activity when going downstream is hovering mid-channel waiting to go into a lock, if the lock landing is full, there's a weir sucking you sideways, and the wind is blowing in an unhelpful direction. if in doubt slow down good and early. You can use plastic boats as fenders but they don't really enjoy it.

 

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Thanks all, im going to be on a time restraint of 15 days so no dawdling for me unfortunatly...on a new yo me boat as a new boater......gunna be fun.

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11 minutes ago, Matt&Jo said:

Thanks all, im going to be on a time restraint of 15 days so no dawdling for me unfortunatly...on a new yo me boat as a new boater......gunna be fun.

Before taking an unproven boat on a river give consideration to the engine and fuel.

 

Has the boat sat for months without moving ? - what's the engine oil like ? Is the fuel clean, has it got water and anti-freeze in it ?

 

I would (politely) suggest that it would be madness to take an new to you, unknown boat on the river without, as a minimum, doing a full engine service and fuel condition test.

  • Greenie 1

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Well i do hear you alan.....the servey is being done next week then i will do a service on it before setting off....not sure who or how to test for diesel bug but ill research that....it will be put throigh its paces for a number of days before entering onto a river...the journey is

1 neccesary

2 gives me chance to get to know the boat....

3 too much money to haul it.....

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4 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Before taking an unproven boat on a river give consideration to the engine and fuel.

 

Has the boat sat for months without moving ? - what's the engine oil like ? Is the fuel clean, has it got water and anti-freeze in it ?

 

I would (politely) suggest that it would be madness to take an new to you, unknown boat on the river without, as a minimum, doing a full engine service and fuel condition test.

Good mooring ropes too!  Maybe check your weed hatch just before you go in the river.

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We are regulars on the Thames and South Oxford...

 

Lots of good advice above, one thing no-one has mentioned is an Anchor.  Particularly if you are unsure about the reliability of a new (old) engine.  There are some big weirs on the Thames and I would hate to get stuck on one.

 

Nothing wrong with the Sheepwash Channel, IMHO slightly quicker and a few places to moor near a couple of decent pubs as you go through Oxford, and fuel and pump out at College Boats if you need it.  A good early start to rock up at Osney ASAP and off you go with the current behind you.

 

And, as above, make sure you have two decent mooring lines, we have dedicated Thames String which is longer and thicker than anything we would ever use on the cut, some of the Thames locks are pretty deep. Usually the lockies will take a line for you, particularly if you ask nicely...

Edited by lockedout
forgot!

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Going the other way travelling with a friend, one turned in at Sheepwash and the other Ducks Cut, we both arrived at Ducks Cut Lock together, I can't remember who went which way.

 

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On 15/05/2018 at 18:40, ditchcrawler said:

Going the other way travelling with a friend, one turned in at Sheepwash and the other Ducks Cut, we both arrived at Ducks Cut Lock together, I can't remember who went which way.

 

I never knew Dr Bob's duck had a cut and a lock named after him/her!

  • Haha 1

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14 minutes ago, Lily Rose said:

I never knew Dr Bob's duck had a cut and a lock named after him/her!

Ooooooo, do I get royalties?

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37 minutes ago, Lily Rose said:

I never knew Dr Bob's duck had a cut and a lock named after him/her!

I'm all hurt and upset now.I think I may report this post for "something"

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Its swings and roundabouts with Dukes cut and Sheepwash. Both are really interesting routes. Dukes cut itself is easy but then you have those bends in the river, this could be tricky for an inexperienced boater going downstream.  Sheepwash depends on flow and which particular sluices are open, the turn can be tricky, especially in a longer boat, but pushing the front round with the long shaft before setting off works really well.  Other problem with Sheepwash is the low bridge and channel down to Osney, and Osney itself, all can be a bit intimidating in anything but minimal flow so its a bit of a baptism of fire, at least going Dukes cut you will have a bit of river experience first.

 

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

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Passing through Dukes Cut last week, the 'community' of moored boats made it difficult, one of them is/was listing badly and looks to be 'held' afloat by the strength of its mooring ropes. We managed to get to the lock, to find another boat in the lock, coming up onto the river. That was a bit of a 'tight dance' for both boats to pass each other. Are the moored boats a new thing, like boats being moved from Reading Tesco etc? I imagine Dukes Cut is rather like 'no man's land' between two waterways. Is it a taboo subject to mention them?

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4 hours ago, Jennifer McM said:

Passing through Dukes Cut last week, the 'community' of moored boats made it difficult, one of them is/was listing badly and looks to be 'held' afloat by the strength of its mooring ropes. We managed to get to the lock, to find another boat in the lock, coming up onto the river. That was a bit of a 'tight dance' for both boats to pass each other. Are the moored boats a new thing, like boats being moved from Reading Tesco etc? I imagine Dukes Cut is rather like 'no man's land' between two waterways. Is it a taboo subject to mention them?

they do make that lock approach fun, especially when there are several boats for the lock.

 

going down the thames from that point take your chimney (and any pram hood) down before you get into oxford itself, if you don't osney bridge will do it for you

  • Greenie 1

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