River Thames navigation

TomWGA

New member
Joined
9 Jul 2018
Messages
22
Visit site
Hello guys,

Does anyone know if it would be possible to get a Nimbus 320 (9.9m by 3.25m- with 2.9m air draft and 1.05m draft) up the Thames from St Katherine Docks to Henley? How long would it take?

Would be doing it single handed potentially too.

Thanks for your help.
 

markc

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
2,101
Location
Bucks & St Raphael SoF
Visit site
Probably best on the Thames forum, but I think you'll be OK. Make sure the tide gives you enough room under Hammersmith Bridge and enough water at Richmond. Lowest bridge before Henley is Cookham lock cut bridge - I'm sure you can Google the height. I would allow 2 days min for the journey, 3 would be better. If single handed, try not to be at the front of the locks going upstream.
 

TomWGA

New member
Joined
9 Jul 2018
Messages
22
Visit site
Thanks markc- i didn't realise there was a Thames Forum- that would be helpful.

What's the thinking behind not being at the front of the lock single handed?
 

NEB

Member
Joined
29 Sep 2005
Messages
104
Location
UK
Visit site
Thanks markc- i didn't realise there was a Thames Forum- that would be helpful.

What's the thinking behind not being at the front of the lock single handed?

The crew of the boat in front maybe able to assist with your ropes.
 

CLB

Well-known member
Joined
18 Jun 2013
Messages
4,959
Visit site
Guess it will depend on times of tide at St Kats. Get a nice early one and be prepared for a long day and I reckon you could do it in one day, as long as you don't have to work too many of the locks yourself and everything goes smoothly. About 10-12 hours from Teddington to Henley and a couple of hours from St Kats to Teddington. Probably best to allow two days.
 

jrudge

Well-known member
Joined
4 Dec 2005
Messages
5,339
Location
Live London, boat Mallorca
Visit site
Enjoy it and make a long weekend of it.

Once above Teddington it is 8 kph ( how they came up with Kilometres is a mystery) and further that is the speed over the ground not through the water!

The locks release water very quickly if it is busy, more slowly if quiet and you ask them to keep it slow. Also if quiet the lock keeper (used to) help with lines. Richmond lock used to be universaly unhelpful, the rest of them are lovely.

Unless you are really good at locks I would not do it single handed. Getting in, fore and aft ropes, letting them both out / in, getting them back, starting and moving off.

Not at all impossible but in my view relatively hard work and you do a lock every hour or so.

Do get a chart as the river can be deceptively shallow ( for example near Chiswick) if you take the wrong line.

I live in Barnes if you are short of crew.
 

markc

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
2,101
Location
Bucks & St Raphael SoF
Visit site
What's the thinking behind not being at the front of the lock single handed?

Some lock keepers open the sluices pretty fast and being at the front is harder to manage the lines, especially if single handed. I agree with Jrudge that unless you are super confident with locks, prob best to get another crew member. If solo, don't plan on using the locks out of attended hours, it's just too much aggro single handed
 

TomWGA

New member
Joined
9 Jul 2018
Messages
22
Visit site
Thanks guys, very helpful. Anywhere you would suggest as a good place to overnight between St Kats and Henley if I take it slowly?

JRUDGE- thanks re crewing- will let you know if needed!
 

markc

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
2,101
Location
Bucks & St Raphael SoF
Visit site
I think the time of the tides will really dictate where you need to stop as that will dictate what time you get onto the non-tidal Thames. Lots of places to stop all the way, from marinas, pubs and bankside. Some lock keepers will let you stay overnight in the lock cut. Unless in summer lock keepers take a lunch break too which could reduce travelling time. Interesting places to stop on the way include Hampton Court, Runnymeade, Windsor.
 

jrudge

Well-known member
Joined
4 Dec 2005
Messages
5,339
Location
Live London, boat Mallorca
Visit site
Agree with Markc.

Unless tide dictates a daft departure time I would aim for Hampton Court neck of the woods.

Richmond is a half lock and you can navigate without the lock from half tide ish, which saves a lock. You also used to ( and I guess still do) have to pay for Richmond lock.

You will need to buy a temporary thames permit ( or perm if you are moving there) at Teddington Lock. If a perm one you will need Boat Safety Scheme cert and I think seal off your raw sewage outlet.

Hampton Court I would imagine ( long time since I did it) is probably 4 hours or so as even the tidal bit now has speed limits ( used to be an arbitrary wash limit below Wansdworth Bridge). There is really nowhere to stop on the tidal thames - there are some Marinas like Brentford etc but no reason to stop there. Your earliest practical stop is above Teddington Lock ( the lock keeper once told me to moor below it on a pontoon and it would be fine. About an hour later an irate owner came over who softened when I said sorry I was just doing as asked).

The Thames forum will give you chapter and verse.
 

Newbroom

Active member
Joined
26 May 2004
Messages
505
Location
Woking
Visit site
Leave St Kats as early as you can, lock out 1.5 to 2 hour before HW London bridge that will see you under Hammersmith and getting to Richmond just as the sluices are raised.
Allow an hour to lock through and do your paperwork and lock at Teddington.
Dependant on what time the tides at London Bridge are on the day you travel will dictate how much further you will get.
Allow 4 hours clear from St Kats lock to clear at Teddington lock.
Then allow at least 10 hours from Teddington to Henley but probably more like 12 / 14 hrs
 

Plum

Well-known member
Joined
6 Jun 2001
Messages
4,381
Location
UK East Coast
Visit site
Hello guys,

Does anyone know if it would be possible to get a Nimbus 320 (9.9m by 3.25m- with 2.9m air draft and 1.05m draft) up the Thames from St Katherine Docks to Henley? How long would it take?

Would be doing it single handed potentially too.

Thanks for your help.

With that airdraft you will be able to get all the way to Osney Bridge just before Oxford. Regarding singlehanded, it can be done using one long line and better if the can pick which side of the lock so that your prop kick in reverse pushes your stern in.

Www.solocoastalsailing.co.uk
 

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
27,792
Location
Medway
Visit site
Re: River Thames navigation PLA info.

https://www.boatingonthethames.co.uk/Join

free to join ...excellent laminated map(not for navigation) with everything you need to know in one place about journey from No1 Bouy to Teddington.
Gives radio frequencies and useful when going through arches of Barrier.
Loads of other online Pdf stuff about lock distances and times from other websites including bridge heights.Windsor will be first bridge of any interest.
At peak times very rare not to find lock staff on duty at most locks.
During winter locks can be out of action for repairs ,


Leaving the Thames Barrier and the city ahead.

Richmond just as barrier lifts.



Windsor Bridge in Winter.

 
Last edited:

TomWGA

New member
Joined
9 Jul 2018
Messages
22
Visit site
Thanks for all the brilliant advice guys- much appreciated. All getting a bit more real and exciting now.

Great pics oldgit- thanks very much - really brings it to life. I will check out the website too!
 

oldgit

Well-known member
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
27,792
Location
Medway
Visit site
Thanks for all the brilliant advice guys- much appreciated. All getting a bit more real and exciting now.

Great pics oldgit- thanks very much - really brings it to life. I will check out the website too!

lock is to port of pix.
its a tad muddy and a bit of a chore, most sensible folk will bob about for 1/2 hour rather than use it.
If your skipper is any good with his timing, barrier will hove into view and the rising gates will still be dripping as you go under. :)
 
Last edited:
Top