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Moving a boat up the Thames this month

Sniper

Member
Joined
9 Jul 2001
Messages
840
Location
East Coast
A friend of mine has bought a narrow boat in Surrey and we are hoping to move it to the Oxford canal this month (he has a destination mooring sorted out so that is not a problem). We are both reasonably experienced yachtsmen but have little or no experience of the non-tidal Thames.

We are monitoring conditions and can see that most reaches of the Thames are still red boarded although some encouraging yellow decreasing boards are starting to appear. Based on others experiences, is it likely that things will slowly improve over the next few days? The long range forecast for October seems to be suggesting less rainfall during the month although the next week looks a bit changeable. We are hoping we may be able to make a start some time next week.
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
681
A friend of mine has bought a narrow boat in Surrey and we are hoping to move it to the Oxford canal this month (he has a destination mooring sorted out so that is not a problem). We are both reasonably experienced yachtsmen but have little or no experience of the non-tidal Thames.

We are monitoring conditions and can see that most reaches of the Thames are still red boarded although some encouraging yellow decreasing boards are starting to appear. Based on others experiences, is it likely that things will slowly improve over the next few days? The long range forecast for October seems to be suggesting less rainfall during the month although the next week looks a bit changeable. We are hoping we may be able to make a start some time next week.
I want to move my boat too but will wait till the yellow decreasing boards have been in place a few days. Say about another week.
 

Sniper

Member
Joined
9 Jul 2001
Messages
840
Location
East Coast
Ok thanks- that’s very helpful. is it reasonable to expect the river to remain relatively stable for a while after that (assuming there is no further prolonged heavy rain)?
 

Old Crusty

Active member
Joined
28 Aug 2017
Messages
681
No, safer to assume nothing about the Thames, however, if there is no further significant rain and the catchment drains down, the weirs will continue to be shut in as the level drops and thus the flow rate will reduce.
 

Gibeltarik

Active member
Joined
11 Dec 2018
Messages
116
In your favour travelling upstream in strong stream conditions is easier than down - you have steerage way - but wait until the downstream lock landings re-appear from underwater!
 

Pump-Out

Active member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
378
Location
Lurking in the Thames Valley
Rule of thumb is three days to rise, three days at peak, three days to fall - that assumes that there is no additional rain fall in the catchment areas.

Your plan for middle/late next week might be doable.
Good luck.
 

Mark26

Member
Joined
17 Nov 2017
Messages
99
Location
Penton Hook
I was planning to go upstream this week, from Chertsey. Had to postpone it. Things seem to be returning to normal now, there’s a few white boards appearing at the top end, and yellows at the bottom. I’m hoping I might be able to get away on Monday, but happy to wait if need be.
The river being on reds at the start of October is quite unusual but understandable given the amount of rain we had last weekend.
 

Sniper

Member
Joined
9 Jul 2001
Messages
840
Location
East Coast
Thanks for the advice. My friend managed to get in to the Oxford canal on Friday just as the ‘rogue’ red board appeared at exactly that point. He said it was a bit exciting for the last two locks but no problems. I’m joining him on Monday for the canal trip to Calcutt.
 
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