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Craneage on the Thames

realslimshady

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31 Jul 2007
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Andover
We are working on a plan to move our boat from Portishead to Penton Hook. On paper it looked straightforward, crane, lowloader, crane, done. However, PH crane does not have the capacity, and apparently you're not allowed to hire in larger capacity cranes. And this looks to be a problem generally, at the other marinas between Reading and London. tb10.jpegSo now we're looking at Royal London Docks and sailing her up the river.
Not having boated the Thames (or any other river) just wondered what people's thoughts or advice might be.
Boat is a 50' steel motor yacht, weight in the region of 30 tons, draws 1.75m, air draft 3.1m.
Thanks.
 

Newbroom

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Butchers Marine at Reading have a 40 ton lift (i think its 40) but draft could be a problem
Shepperton can lift up to 20 tons but cant move you afterwards except into the water.
 

Barge

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6 Jul 2019
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15
First problem in your plan is Hammersmith bridge which is closed, and most likely will remain so.

What about in at Reading using Butcher marine based at Caversham lakes and then go down to PH? They can let you know if they can lift 30T.

Looked at a old picture and crane is 50T

Presuming you are planning this for the spring as winter there are lock closures and strong stream conditions to deal with.

Others will be along to advise.
 
Last edited:

realslimshady

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So you can't pass under Hammersmith bridge? Ever?
We were hoping to do this next month, are you saying that getting from Reading to PH may be impossible?
I looked on the EA website and-

16 November 2020 to 29 January 2021Molesey LockReplacing lock gates and refurbishing parts of the lock chamber.
4 January 2021 to 12 March 2021Cookham LockRefurbishing tail gate cill, lock side and head laybys.
2 February 2021 to 5 March 2021Days LockReplacing head gates and refurbishing parts of the lock chamber.
 

AuntyRinum

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So you can't pass under Hammersmith bridge? Ever?
We were hoping to do this next month, are you saying that getting from Reading to PH may be impossible?
I looked on the EA website and-

16 November 2020 to 29 January 2021Molesey LockReplacing lock gates and refurbishing parts of the lock chamber.
4 January 2021 to 12 March 2021Cookham LockRefurbishing tail gate cill, lock side and head laybys.
2 February 2021 to 5 March 2021Days LockReplacing head gates and refurbishing parts of the lock chamber.
Reading toPenton Hook is OK before the dates you've listed, as long as the river doesn't flood, which is always possible in winter.
Hammersmith is not an issue being much further downstream on the tidal.
Definitely talk to Butcher Marine at Caversham.
 

Outinthedinghy

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Limehouse hole
That's bad.

What about asking the Environment agency about getting a contract crane in to the yard at Sunbury?

No idea if they do this but it's possible.

The other one I can think of is PLA at Denton but then you have the Hammersmith bridge problem.

I suspect if they do bookings for Hammersmith it might need proof that you have to get somewhere.

I suppose if you had taken up a mooring that might be a valid reason.
 

Outinthedinghy

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Other obvious questions :

Why do you think it is 30 tonnes?

Have you approached a transporter and if so have they suggested a delivery location?

I guess this is where the Royal Docks thing came in but I think it might be more than a 30 ton boat and I wonder what the man with the low loader would say if it was heavier...
 

realslimshady

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Andover
That's bad.

What about asking the Environment agency about getting a contract crane in to the yard at Sunbury?

No idea if they do this but it's possible.

The other one I can think of is PLA at Denton but then you have the Hammersmith bridge problem.

I suspect if they do bookings for Hammersmith it might need proof that you have to get somewhere.

I suppose if you had taken up a mooring that might be a valid reason.
Other obvious questions :

Why do you think it is 30 tonnes?

Have you approached a transporter and if so have they suggested a delivery location?

I guess this is where the Royal Docks thing came in but I think it might be more than a 30 ton boat and I wonder what the man with the low loader would say if it was heavier...
Is that a 'never' or a Covid response?

What yard at Sunbury?
Are you saying it's possible to 'book' a transit under Hammersmith bridge? Yes, we'd be trying to get to the mooring!
The spec quoted 30 tonne displacement, however, when the boatyard lifted it a couple of weeks ago they recorded 26.
Have transport teed up but not finalised (26 tonnes is fine for him)
It was 'never'.
 

Outinthedinghy

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The EA yard at Sunbury.

They have a dry dock which takes big boats and I reckon they can handle road deliveries but I don't know if they do it for the public.

Found a number via Google
Environment Agency Dry Dock (Sunbury) - Marinas & Services in Sunbury-on-Thames - Visit Thames


As for Hammersmith bridge there was mention of possible bookings on a post on the current thread but did not specify when this might be available.

ETA it was this post on the hammersmith bridge thread.

Today's update: Hammersmith Bridge Taskforce meeting, 13 November 2020

This bit is of note:
".... the taskforce discussed the potential for further controlled river passages to enable the planned movement of vessels at pre-designated times, based on detailed risk assessments.  Planned dates are in discussion for later in November and early December and details on these will be publicised as soon as possible. "
 

oldgit

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how big is that crane at Henley ? as private boatyard they just might entertain a hired in crane.
 

PeterBoater

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Hammersmith Bridge notwithstanding, have you thought about a low loader to somewhere near or on the Thames Estuary and going by water the rest of the way? Fox's on the Orwell 70 tonnes, Suffolk Yacht Harbour 75 tonnes, Shotley on the Stour/Orwell 40 tonnes, PLA Denton on the Tidal Thames 70 tonnes, all have boat lifts that would save hiring in a crane. South Dock Marina in London (closed for the next three months) has a crane that only goes up to 20 or 17.5 tonnes but can accommodate a mobile crane up to 250 tonnes. Also there might well be locks on the non-tidal Thames that will be closed for the Winter. If you really have to get out of Portishead, you could over-Winter at one of the marinas above and move to PH when all is open.
 

Outinthedinghy

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As others have said Butcher marine at Caversham may be able to do it.

Although the "depth" of the River is described as 1.3m from Reading to Windsor it is worth pointing out that all of the locks below Caversham have a sill depth of more than 1.75m.

And the River itself is generally deeper than that.

1.75m is quite deep. Is this an accurate draught measurement?

River Thames: distances and measurements for boaters
 
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