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Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:37am

Post Subject: where can I go

I have a 70ft NB and am wondering whether it is possible to get to cambridge. I know I can get down the Nene but am not sure whether after that all the locks are big enough and whether it is possible to get through Denver Sluice and if so how frequent are the water levels right for this


Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:42pm

Post Subject: where can I go

The only lock on the route that isn't 70ft long is Salters Lode Lock where you leave the Middle Level and join the short section of the tidal Great Ouse leading to Denver. The lock is just over 60ft long but normally the water makes a level on most tides, so if you time your passage right you can get through in a 70ft boat with both sets of gates open - I did it last year. The very helpful Salters Lode lock keeper will advise you. There has at times been a problem with silting up, which has meant that the tide hasn't always come down far enough to make a level, but this was cured last year by dredging. It might have started to build up and become a problem again - I'm sure the lock keeper will advise. If all else fails, there's an alternative route to Cambridge which avoids Salters Lode, but it involves crossing the Wash from the Nene to the Great Ouse, which I wouldn't recommend attempting in a narrowboat to any but the most experienced boaters, in suitable well-equipped craft, using the services of a pilot with local knowledge.

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