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Wanderer Vagabond

Ribble Link Query

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3 minutes ago, Señor Chris said:

So if you turn up the day before your link booking, you can just head up to Preston anyway?

Yep.  They might pull faces at you, but there is nothing other than tide timings stops you over-nighting in Preston on the way up - although I usually recommend to people they hang a left on the way down off the Ribble Link and go to Preston anyway.

 

If you go up to Preston and then leave there on your way to Savick Brook, Please Please let both CRT and Riversway Port Control know *in advance* that is what you are doing.  It saves them having to scramble the Lytham lifeboat to try and find you ...

 

It's probably one of the places that should have been on the IWA Silver Propeller list - hardly anyone goes there, but it's a great little (40 acres in a city centre!) marina and dock basin.

 

It is also the "safe harbour" cop out if you fail to make Savick Brook in time to clear the rotating sea lock cill, but you do need to pay a tenner a night for the privilege.  If that's too much, make sure you moor on the bullnose outside the marina - on the floating buoys please! - and not on the riverbank.  The Ribble has the second biggest tidal range in the UK - up to  8 M / 26 ft - so you really do not want to be over the deep mud on the riverbank when the tide goes out!

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9 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

there is nothing other than tide timings stops you over-nighting in Preston on the way

What's the best time to leave Tarleton? Could you leave later than normal to avoid pushing the tide on the Douglas or would that mean you just end up pushing the tide all the way to Preston?

 

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6 minutes ago, Señor Chris said:

What's the best time to leave Tarleton? Could you leave later than normal to avoid pushing the tide on the Douglas or would that mean you just end up pushing the tide all the way to Preston?

 

The flow and geometry on the Douglas and the Ribble mean you always have to punch the tide whichever way you travel. Slack tide is generally around the Astland Perch whichever way you are travelling on the link. 

 

It is slightly easier to get to Preston if you get it wrong, despite being quite a way upstream - the cill heights are the dictating factor.  I have often observed that the expert canal engineers of 200 years ago decided the Savick Brook crossing was not worth the effort!

 

One of the last working boatmen to work the L&L and the Ribble Estuary used to have a technique that involved flagging the sandbanks (not the mudbanks because then you get stuck!) on the previous tide and then sitting on one at the mouth of the Douglas and waiting for the following tide.

 

If he had not taught Harry Mayor at Tarleton some of the ways of the river, he would never have been let out at Tarleton in the first place, so it's definitely not a recommended way to do the crossing!

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10 hours ago, Señor Chris said:

What's the best time to leave Tarleton? Could you leave later than normal to avoid pushing the tide on the Douglas or would that mean you just end up pushing the tide all the way to Preston?

 

The only consideration you need to make is that the lock gates at Preston are open 1 hour before high tide until 2 hours afterwards, if you arrive outside that window you'll be mooring on the bullnose outside the marina with a bl**dy long step ladder to get off the boat (at low water).

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There would be little to be gained by choosing the Preston Marina option: the time windows for the locks at either end mean that you have to punch the tide one way or another. Unless you particularly wish to visit Preston Marina (or are diverted there) I would just stick to the regular plan. I don't know anybody who chooses to go via the marina and it's certainly not the "norm".

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7 hours ago, rgreg said:

There would be little to be gained by choosing the Preston Marina option: the time windows for the locks at either end mean that you have to punch the tide one way or another. Unless you particularly wish to visit Preston Marina (or are diverted there) I would just stick to the regular plan. I don't know anybody who chooses to go via the marina and it's certainly not the "norm".

The 'gain' I would say from going to Preston marina is the dead easy trip back to Savick Brook the following day. You are travelling on the light ebb for only about 35 minutes (probably less) and when you reach Savick there will be loads of water to get in. Add to that that there is no real worry about hitting the sandbank at the entrance to Savick (since you are coming from the opposite direction) what's not to like?.  Having been diverted to Preston because we didn't make it to Savick quick enough, I'm glad that we did and if we come again I might unfortunately be a bit slow again (did I say that out loud;)). The only down side, if it can be called that, is being first onto the Savick pontoon waiting for the boats to arrive from Tarleton, means that you are on the inside (perhaps they could do with a longer pontoon) so, unless one wants to argue the toss (I didn't since I'm in no rush to get anywhere) it means that you'll be last off the pontoon since it's necessary to breast up.

 

One small surprise I had in conversation with another boater today is that they came up from Tarleton with 7 other boats (it was a big tide) and they said they'd heard it had even been done with 10, I thought 6 was the limit.

Edited by Wanderer Vagabond

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15 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

The 'gain' I would say from going to Preston marina is the dead easy trip back to Savick Brook the following day. You are travelling on the light ebb for only about 35 minutes (probably less) and when you reach Savick there will be loads of water to get in. Add to that that there is no real worry about hitting the sandbank at the entrance to Savick (since you are coming from the opposite direction) what's not to like?.  Having been diverted to Preston because we didn't make it to Savick quick enough, I'm glad that we did and if we come again I might unfortunately be a bit slow again (did I say that out loud;)). The only down side, if it can be called that, is being first onto the Savick pontoon waiting for the boats to arrive from Tarleton, means that you are on the inside (perhaps they could do with a longer pontoon) so, unless one wants to argue the toss (I didn't since I'm in no rush to get anywhere) it means that you'll be last off the pontoon since it's necessary to breast up.

 

One small surprise I had in conversation with another boater today is that they came up from Tarleton with 7 other boats (it was a big tide) and they said they'd heard it had even been done with 10, I thought 6 was the limit.

If a crossing is cancelled, everyone goes on the following day if scheduled. Obviously, last out in this case has an increased chance of being diverted to Preston.

As for the choice of going into Preston in preference to straight into Savick, if you think it's worth the detour for the extra feeling of safety/ease then fair enough, but the vast majority go straight in. Having said that, I agree that Preston marina is an interesting place to spend a night. 

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Well today we have made the trip back to Tarleton in absolutely brilliant weather conditions, sunny, not much wind, excellent. As I'd been advised by others, the trip back to Tarleton is easier than the trip up since there is more time to complete it as the tide takes longer to ebb that it does to flood. Although the boat isn't fast we managed to get up to about 4.5 mph on slack water (not the 6mph demanded by CRT) and made the trip from Savick to Tarleton in 2hrs 15minutes (it's about 8 miles). Arrived at Tarleton 2nd in the queue to go up but there was plenty of time and no real rush to get through the lock, and no real difficulty holding position against the ebbing tide outside of the lock to wait. So with a 60' boat that measures 2'8" on the skeg and can just about do 5 mph if I'm lucky, it has been possible to do the Ribble Link. The only thing to watch out for is not to miss the mark to turn into the Douglas

 

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Edited by Wanderer Vagabond
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On 11/06/2019 at 07:29, Jennifer McM said:

Just discovered a really good, and amusing, vid of the trip - it's half 'n hour, but the detail is great.

 

 

A coip[le more:

 

 

 

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We are on it. We were behind them.

 

On the 'Swept Away' video, Starting at 10 min 12 secs they filmed us turning out onto the Ribble in the proper way how it should be done! :) 

 

Because once they had emerged from Savick Brook they went too far into the middle before making their turn and they were swept sideways in the wrong direction, It was a scary sight and unfortunately it wasn't caught on camera. Fair play to them they managed to bring the boat under control quite quickly.

Edited by Grassman

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11 hours ago, Tim Lewis said:

A coip[le more:

 

 

 

Just a quick query, why do they bother with a boat if both of them can clearly walk on water (What are they standing on in the picture??:huh:)

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14 hours ago, Grassman said:

We are on it. We were behind them.

 

On the 'Swept Away' video, Starting at 10 min 12 secs they filmed us turning out onto the Ribble in the proper way how it should be done! :) 

 

Because once they had emerged from Savick Brook they went too far into the middle before making their turn and they were swept sideways in the wrong direction, It was a scary sight and unfortunately it wasn't caught on camera. Fair play to them they managed to bring the boat under control quite quickly.

Interesting comment, I thought that you were not supposed to cut the corner so how do you judge when it is safe to make the turn.  We go up on the the Lancaster on the 31st of this month and back 3rd Sept so I have a vested interest!

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There's plenty of room before reaching the really strong current in the middle of the estuary to begin to turn without going too close to the sandbanks (which weren't visible btw). Just wait until your stern is clear of the brook's entrance and then begin to make the turn.

 

Their mistake was waiting until they were right in the middle of the estuary to begin the turn. You will see on our video of them that we were pointing at an angle towards the side of their boat having already begun the turn and that's about the angle of turn you want. Look at their video of us coming out behind them and you will see how it should be done :) .

 

Do that and you won't go wrong. The whole trip in both directions is a great and enjoyable experience and the Lancaster Canal is wonderful. I'm hoping to do it again in the near future.

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12 hours ago, Grassman said:

There's plenty of room before reaching the really strong current in the middle of the estuary to begin to turn without going too close to the sandbanks (which weren't visible btw). Just wait until your stern is clear of the brook's entrance and then begin to make the turn.

 

Their mistake was waiting until they were right in the middle of the estuary to begin the turn. You will see on our video of them that we were pointing at an angle towards the side of their boat having already begun the turn and that's about the angle of turn you want. Look at their video of us coming out behind them and you will see how it should be done :) .

 

Do that and you won't go wrong. The whole trip in both directions is a great and enjoyable experience and the Lancaster Canal is wonderful. I'm hoping to do it again in the near future.

Is there an issue here if you come out too fast? There's a similar issue with the turn out of Salters Lode on an ebbing tide. There, you don't want to come out too fast, or you can hit the opposite bank. B

but once you can you want to apply lots of rudder and power up, to get yourself turning rapidly. There is a difference between turning on the spot as fast as possible, and moving forwards through the water - at SL you want to do the former and not the latter. Once you are pointing the right way then you need to speed up of course. 

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3 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Is there an issue here if you come out too fast? There's a similar issue with the turn out of Salters Lode on an ebbing tide. There, you don't want to come out too fast, or you can hit the opposite bank. B

but once you can you want to apply lots of rudder and power up, to get yourself turning rapidly. There is a difference between turning on the spot as fast as possible, and moving forwards through the water - at SL you want to do the former and not the latter. Once you are pointing the right way then you need to speed up of course. 

Last year we went out and in without too much disgrace! Surprised though just how much we heeled on making the turn out.

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5 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Is there an issue here if you come out too fast? There's a similar issue with the turn out of Salters Lode on an ebbing tide. There, you don't want to come out too fast, or you can hit the opposite bank. B

but once you can you want to apply lots of rudder and power up, to get yourself turning rapidly. There is a difference between turning on the spot as fast as possible, and moving forwards through the water - at SL you want to do the former and not the latter. Once you are pointing the right way then you need to speed up of course. 

There's no danger from coming out of Savick Brook too fast; you need some pace. Just make sure you allow time for the boat in front of you to get moving forwards so you don't T-bone it! 

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Thanks for the info, that all makes sense; come out at speed and don’t leave it too late before you start turning into the flow.  I can understand their issue if they whet straight out to the middle before turning.

 

I know how the boat feels when it heels over, we had that on the Ouse at the firsts few bends after coming out of Selby, so hopefully will not be too phased by that!

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Well today was the day, and as we are moored on the Lancaster canal now, it all went well. ?

 

We went into Tarleton  lock at 9:50, and came out at 10:02.  Instead of hitting the tide head on there was so much fresh on the Douglas from the torrential rain up here over the last 4 days, that we were making 6.5mph (over the ground) for the first half mile of so before we started slowing down as the effect of the tide became more than the flow.   We got to Ashland lamp at 11:00, ie just under and hour from leaving Tarleton lock, and at that point the speed had dropped to perhaps 4.5mph.  The only real chop we had was just before Astland lamp where the water from the Douglas was mixing with the Ribble.  

 

Once we made the turn onto the Ribble the speed picked up as was still not high tide so we had the last of the tide behind us and were making 4.7mph.  If stayed like this until about half a mile from Savick Brook when the tide was starting to turn and gradually our speed dropped back to 4mph.  We turned into Savick Brook at 11:45, so 1 hour 43 minutes from leaving Tarleton and at no point did I need to thrash the engine leaving it set at 2000rpm for the whole section from Tarleton the Savick Brook.

 

We then had to wait until 1pm on the pontoon for the water level in the brook to drop.  Going up the brook was quite hard work and it was much narrower and shallower than I was expecting.  We had some help from the 2 CRT guys on the first 2 locks but then we were on our own until the staircase.

 

We came out of the staircase at 15:30, so end to end it was 5 hours 40 minutes with a wait of about 1 hour in the middle.

 

I appreciate we were extremely fortunate with the tide and the amount of fresh on the Douglas which made this so easy, but a really fun day!  We shall see what it is like in September for our return, but we can forget about that now and enjoy the rain on the Lancaster, yes it is pouring down again.

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21 minutes ago, john6767 said:

Well today was the day, and as we are moored on the Lancaster canal now, it all went well. ?

 

We went into Tarleton  lock at 9:50, and came out at 10:02.  Instead of hitting the tide head on there was so much fresh on the Douglas from the torrential rain up here over the last 4 days, that we were making 6.5mph (over the ground) for the first half mile of so before we started slowing down as the effect of the tide became more than the flow.   We got to Ashland lamp at 11:00, ie just under and hour from leaving Tarleton lock, and at that point the speed had dropped to perhaps 4.5mph.  The only real chop we had was just before Astland lamp where the water from the Douglas was mixing with the Ribble.  

 

Once we made the turn onto the Ribble the speed picked up as was still not high tide so we had the last of the tide behind us and were making 4.7mph.  If stayed like this until about half a mile from Savick Brook when the tide was starting to turn and gradually our speed dropped back to 4mph.  We turned into Savick Brook at 11:45, so 1 hour 43 minutes from leaving Tarleton and at no point did I need to thrash the engine leaving it set at 2000rpm for the whole section from Tarleton the Savick Brook.

 

We then had to wait until 1pm on the pontoon for the water level in the brook to drop.  Going up the brook was quite hard work and it was much narrower and shallower than I was expecting.  We had some help from the 2 CRT guys on the first 2 locks but then we were on our own until the staircase.

 

We came out of the staircase at 15:30, so end to end it was 5 hours 40 minutes with a wait of about 1 hour in the middle.

 

I appreciate we were extremely fortunate with the tide and the amount of fresh on the Douglas which made this so easy, but a really fun day!  We shall see what it is like in September for our return, but we can forget about that now and enjoy the rain on the Lancaster, yes it is pouring down again.

That sounds a pretty good trip and good time for it, well done. Not wanting to put a dampener on it (but I will :rolleyes:), I wonder what the trip up the Douglas will be like on Sunday for those going down if they have to push against the fresh and the ebbing tide. Perhaps the Ribble will be in flood a bit to help them along, or hopefully the freshwater flow will have abated.

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49 minutes ago, Wanderer Vagabond said:

That sounds a pretty good trip and good time for it, well done. Not wanting to put a dampener on it (but I will :rolleyes:), I wonder what the trip up the Douglas will be like on Sunday for those going down if they have to push against the fresh and the ebbing tide. Perhaps the Ribble will be in flood a bit to help them along, or hopefully the freshwater flow will have abated.

I was a great trip, and I posted the detail as I thought it may help others see how variable it can be.  Since I posted we have been doing the usual debrief over a few beers, and we recon we had about an hour to spare in getting through the sea lock, so I could probably have used “fast canal” rpm and still made it.  

 

Yes I did think about those going the other way, and I would say very hard work getting up the Douglas, even to the point that they may cancel the crossing.  My feeling was that today at least the Ribble was not effected much by the fresh, perhap as it is so wide at that point.

 

We got moored up at about 4pm once we had got clear of Preston, it was tipping it down when we stopped and it has only just stoped, so plenty more rain to feed to rivers!

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Good to see you enjoyed it John6767 and you'll love The Lancaster. It is reckoned by most that the trip back to Tarleton is usually easier but I didn't find much difference.

 

Something to bear in mind when you do the return trip is that if you are one of the first pair of boats the water level in the tidal section of Savick Brook may be quite low whereas if you are in the 2nd or 3rd pair the incoming tide will have filled the brook a bit more. That 10 minutes or so later can make quite a difference.

 

When we did the trip a few weeks ago we noticed the level was considerably less than when we'd made the 'up' passage. We only draw 2ft but given the narrowness of the brook and being 62ft, we had no option but to cut some of the sharper bends and a couple of times we were on the bottom midships. This made me a bit nervous of getting stuck, however because the prop was still in the water and the fact that we were on mud and not silt, we were able to 'slide' round these bends.

 

So it's not essential, but my advice is to try not to be in the first pair.

 

I'd love to hear what you others who have done it think.

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On 19/06/2019 at 20:38, Wanderer Vagabond said: So with a 60' boat that measures 2'8" on the skeg and can just about do 5 mph if I'm lucky, it has been possible to do the Ribble Link. The only thing to watch out for is not to miss the mark to turn into the Douglas

 

Out of curiosity, did you declare 2'8"? I thought the maximum allowed by CRT is 2'4" and you have to sign a declaration to confirm this.  We had ruled out the trip on that basis as we are 2'9".

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Just now, GRLMK38 said:

Out of curiosity, did you declare 2'8"? I thought the maximum allowed by CRT is 2'4" and you have to sign a declaration to confirm this.  We had ruled out the trip on that basis as we are 2'9".

I’m 2’8” and didn’t have any issues on the link...certainly nothing that stopped us....just take it steady once off the tideway and onto the brook proper....once on the canal it’s best to stick to visitor moorings or piling due to its saucer profile. 

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