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Hurley lock over night moorings.

Pump-Out

Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
318
Location
Lurking in the Thames Valley
smile benevolently at the keepers who still care and leave them a can of beer, hopefully one that is still in date.
Can't possibly do that.
If I cant throw them a rope,, nor press the pedestal controls in their presence, nor mount the locksides to make sure my boat is properly secure (try single handing a "proper" Thames boat, say a slipper launch, single handed upstream in Marlow, Boulters or Hambleden without disembarking); then I certainly cant hand them my Covid ridden beer bottle, can I?
 

AuntyRinum

Well-known member
Joined
30 Jul 2003
Messages
10,565
Location
Travelling
. You didn't see many wide beam canal boats at all when I started boating in the 90s. now they are everywhere. On the River and on the cut as well. Hoards of ugly boxes.
I can remember when that used to be said about white GRP cruisers and now they are everywhere taking up space and filling up moorings. Whatever they are they are all boats.
Why do some "boaters" despise others who have boats which are not like their own, instead of live and let live?
 

AuntyRinum

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Joined
30 Jul 2003
Messages
10,565
Location
Travelling
Widebeams are rapidly becoming a major issue, they will eventually take over the river at the rate newly built ones are appearing.
People are buying a dream and widebeams offer sumptuous living space compared to any other craft, however where can they go?
Once on the river they can venture up the Grand Union or Kennet and Avon, both of which are almost impossible to moor on as they are towpath to towpath full of narrowboats. So the glorious Thames it is, but when living on a boat you have soon seen it all so then have to stop somewhere for the winter etc...
20 years ago people were complaining about Narrowboats but they can at least go all over the entire canal system, little did they know what was coming!
I think you will find that it is white GRP boats which have taken over the river and that will probably be the case for a long time to come.
I suspect that the non boater widebeam buyers that you describe as buying a dream "for sumptuous living space" don't go anywhere but stay tucked up in marinas.
The Kennet and Avon and Grand Union are easily accessible by widebeams as well as the Thames. It's the white GRP boats which are unable to access the canals that are restricted to only the Thames. So what? Their owners don't seem to be bored with it.
Widebeam liveaboards tend to travel on the Thames in the summer and go into marinas or the canals in the winter. What's the problem with that?
 

Outinthedinghy

Active member
Joined
18 May 2008
Messages
711
Location
Limehouse hole
I don't despise anybody on any boat anywhere. Not even Bayliner or Holiday Cruisers owners
I was just making a comment about the number of widebeams turning up and the possible problems arising from it.

It has been building up over recent years.

I think where people might begin to become upset about it is when previously enjoyed visitor moorings become full of residential boats. Yes this has happened already but that's just the beginning.

I know there is plenty of room on the River but having traveled Teddington to Lechlade recently I have seen some examples of casual moorings being made unavailable to visitors and it does seem to be one type of boat doing it.
It doesn't have any effect on me as I don't tend to use typical moorings very often, preferring to chuck the boat under a tree somewhere.

But I still think it is a problem. It's nothing to do with despising anyone.
 
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AuntyRinum

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Joined
30 Jul 2003
Messages
10,565
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Travelling
I don't despise anybody on any boat anywhere. Not even Bayliner or Holiday Cruisers owners
I was just making a comment about the number of widebeams turning up and the possible problems arising from it.

It has been building up over recent years.

I think where people might begin to become upset about it is when previously enjoyed visitor moorings become full of residential boats. Yes this has happened already but that's just the beginning.

I know there is plenty of room on the River but having traveled Teddington to Lechlade recently I have seen some examples of casual moorings being made unavailable to visitors and it does seem to be one type of boat doing it.
It doesn't have any effect on me as I don't tend to use typical moorings very often, preferring to chuck the boat under a tree somewhere.

But I still think it is a problem. It's nothing to do with despising anyone.
How do you know that the boats you've seen in your travels on "casual moorings being made unavailable to visitors" are not just visitors themselves? You would have to stay around for 3 days plus to observe that.
The slumboats in the Hampton/Kingston area aren't widebeams. The boats on the Tesco moorings at Reading are all sorts of different craft.
I'm at Cookham this evening and I can count 21 moored boats from where I am. Only two of them are widebeams. The rest are white GRP boats.
I saw a post yesterday that said that the widebeam Grey Goose has been here for weeks but that can only be with the permission of Jo who collects the money.
Whether widebeam or white plastic, I have to say that recently, between Teddington and Cookham, EA visitors moorings haven't been a problem with lots of free space if you arrive at the right time. I can't remember any visitor moorings that looked as though they were being camped on by widebeam or otherwise.
 
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Phill

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2004
Messages
907
Location
Surrey/Kent borders
Just my thoughts after having our first five days away on the boat this year. We left Harleyford Wednesday afternoon and headed up stream. We overnighted at Sonning and after a cracking breakfast at the Great House, went to Wallingford followed the next day by a cruise up to Abingdon. We started our return early Saturday, stopping over in Sonning again and back to base yesterday. The river is quite different in many ways to how it was last year but considering the pandemic, I’d be surprised if it hadn’t changed.
Most locks that we travelled through were manned and whilst there were plenty of boats being used, we often found ourselves in a lock either on our own or with only one other boat. All keepers were courteous and took time to engage in conversation. Most of the lock gardens are back up to scratch and looking lovely although I have removed lots of green slime from their walls as my fenders prove. On the odd occasion when a lock was on self service and there was a few of us waiting to go through, we communicated with each other, worked out a plan to maximise boats in, even if it meant rearranging the order. Everyone appeared happy with that despite the 37 degree heat of Friday. Push button locks are so welcome to someone like me who has been around long enough to remember hand winding Boulters and Bray after a long day spent at Cliveden. On our return, Days lock was on hand wind but that chore was shared by several crews. A special well done To a very young female lockie at Marsh on Sunday afternoon who was brilliant at getting in as many boats, canoes and kayaks in one go safely and efficiently which reminded me of how things were done years ago by keepers.
Mooring space was available at Sonning, Wallingford and Abingdon even though we didn’t arrive at any of those destinations particularly early. At Sonning we met and had a good chat with the newish residents who collect and donate the mooring fees to charity. And as for Angie at Wallingford, she’s like a mobile tourist information centre giving details of walks, local landmarks to see as well as recommendations on where to eat and the Friday market.
There seemed to be more large barges and possibly less narrow boats but all were moored nose to tail and we didn’t really see any of the spacing issues that have been mentioned in the past.
The river banks are definitely more overgrown than in previous years and could really do with a heavy prune in places especially Cullam lock cut where I managed to snap my vhf aerial on a low overhanging branch.
The biggest difference I saw was in the way that the general public are using the river. There are so many smiling, waving, happy people walking the towpaths, picnicking where fisherman normally sit and generally enjoying the beautiful countryside. It appears that all retailers of paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and anything inflatable have been doing a roaring trade recently as the river is inundated with them and plenty of folks swimming too. Some instruction wouldn’t go amiss on general river rules to some but I think it’s great to see so many more people enjoying the river in these difficult times, even if it means sharpening our lookout skills.
To sum up what I’m trying to say is, yes there are thing that we would like the EA to address, improve and change on the middle and upper Thames but let’s not lose sight of the fantastic times we have whilst using our boats. All my day to day life stresses disappear when I’m afloat and I hope yours do too. I can’t wait to get back out again. 👍
 

ianc1200

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Joined
6 Dec 2005
Messages
2,670
Location
Henley on Thames
Second that re the young female lockie at marsh yesterday - she was at Hambledon this afternoon - very efficient to move a large number of boats through quickly (I won't say anything about the lockie at Shiplake....)
 
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