Forums » Ask a Question

Use this forum to post your questions to our experts – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the blue Post Thread words

If you can help answer the question, feel free to post a reply – you need to be logged on to do it (you can register here ), then hit the reply button on the thread.

 

To go back to the experts page click here>>

AuthorMessage
Matilda74
Matilda74

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:37pm

Post Subject: River Thames

We are coming down the Oxford Canal to the River Thames. I have read the information about an Anchor, however, is it OK for a novice boater? Anything I should know and what do you attach the Anchor to?

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:54pm

Post Subject: River Thames

Answered whilst sitting on the Thames at Beale Park. Who on earth put the idea in your head that the Thames in summer may not be suitable for a novice boater? OK, two summers ago the river did get a bit lively and went into flood in mid September but that was exceptional. At present we possible have a little more flow that often at this time of year but it is nothing to worry about as long as as you always come into moor facing UPSTREAM except when going downstream onto lock laybys. You will probably need two lines each 10 to 15 metres in length for use in locks but your canal ,ones may well be long enough. Bring plenty of money for mooring fees because most places charge and the free public moorings get full quickly, expect to pay £4 to £8 per night in most places including farmers' fields. If you have to use the anchor in anger it is vital that it's rope or rope and chain is attached to a strong point. Personally I would not trust a dolly or T stud to hold when the anchor digs in. If you inspect around the front well area you might find a special strong anchor point. If not I would attach it to the stern rail upright if you have one. If you have nothing else tie it to the T stud or dolly but accept the weld might fail (but probably will not). Unfortunately the first lock out of the end of the Oxford canal has a nasty little weir on the right opposite the layby (Osney lock) so if there is any sort of flow you need to get a line ashore PDQ but even if it all goes terribly wrong the weir is well protected and all you will suffer is embarrassment. I would suggest that you leave the canal by Dukes cut keeping well away from Kings weir as you enter the river. That way you have one lock for practise before Osney. Stay central at Osney bridge. Heed the lock keepers and ask them for advice if you need to. Tony Brooks

Matilda74
Matilda74

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:35pm

Post Subject: River Thames

Thank you.. What about Spring? and (silly question) how do you know when to use the anchor?

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:41am

Post Subject: River Thames

It is always worth looking here to see what the river flow is doing (http://riverconditions.visitthames.co.uk/). If any locks are showing the "stream rising" notice you will know there will be a faster river flow that usual and remember before you get to Oxford you will already have navigated a couple of lengths of the river Cherwell so if you are in Oxford now you have already done some river navigation. All rivers respond to the rainfall across their catchment area so in many springs the river will have a low flow but in others it could be a raging torrent. This is not as dramatic as it sounds because the lock keepers put out "stream rising" boards long before the red flood boards so you have time to find a secure mooring. The Environment Agency also have patrol officers in boats so if the Thames floods badly during the boating season you will probably find you are advised to moor in the upstream lock cuts out of the flow and in the parts of the river that rise the least. Normally you are not allowed to moor in lock cuts. On the Thames if you use the anchor as an overnight mooring you are required to show a white anchor light all night, so for most narrow boaters it is a safety measure more than anything else. If I am moored anywhere I think I might get cast adrift (river or canal) I throw the anchor over the offside. This is more important on rivers that have flow and weirs to ensure you tend to stay in one spot, even if you have been untied. The main purpose of the anchor is to deploy if you suffer a failure and you are drifting towards a weir or bridge. In either case (on the Thames) you are unlikely to actually go over the weir but you would be likely to get stuck broadside on across a weir or bridge and require help to pull you off - so throwing the anchor out in a timely manner - will hold the boat the give you time to sort out any problems. This lead to another "rule" for your safety. Never make a 180 degree turn immediately above a bridge, go through and then turn. I know I keep on about high flows and floods but that is the danger. Navigating during flood conditions has the potential to become lethal but very rarely does because of the lockeepers. In my view you stand far more chance of having an accident on the canals where no-one is supervising locking than on the Thames. Also remember that it is possible to get your boat stuck under Nells bridge when the Cherwell floods but few people point that out about the Oxford canal. Look, come onto the Thames for a weekend, lash out on am EA short term license, use Dukes cut but go upstream. Not only will you be away from the big white plastic boats but you will be on the prettier and quietest part of the river. Tony Brooks

Most Read

Like us on Facebook



Follow us on Twitter

Cache: Disabled for this object  Total Queries: 43.  Total Objects: 162.  Total Unserialized: 3. Total Runtime: 0.68 seconds.