River Thames questions

TomWGA

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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.

I am normally a coastal boater based out of the Crouch but am looking to head up the Thames for an event at Henley in May.

Was thinking of doing the Crouch round to Queenborough before heading up towards London. Then a night in St Kats. Then any thoughts would be welcome on where to stop off on the way up to Henley.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/ tips/ advice.
 

Portland Billy

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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.

I am normally a coastal boater based out of the Crouch but am looking to head up the Thames for an event at Henley in May.

Was thinking of doing the Crouch round to Queenborough before heading up towards London. Then a night in St Kats. Then any thoughts would be welcome on where to stop off on the way up to Henley.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/ tips/ advice.
 

Portland Billy

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There is no problem with air draft.
Leave St Kats an hour and half before HW London Bridge and you should make it through to Teddington on the tide without the hassle of Richmond lock. It is about ten hours cruising from Teddington to Henley assuming no long lock delays. We would normally do it leisurely with overnights at Hampton Court and Windsor. But it all depends on the time of HW London Bridge, an early morning tide is best.
 

Lower Limit 1909

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There is no problem with air draft.
Leave St Kats an hour and half before HW London Bridge and you should make it through to Teddington on the tide without the hassle of Richmond lock.

It should be fine but check the calculations for Hammersmith Bridge if approaching towards high water. Your air draft would be marginal to impossible on a few high tide levels. There is a guage board to provide reassurance when you are there.
 

Newbroom

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If you leave 1.5 hrs to 2 hours before HW London Bridge you will clear Hammersmith Bridge with plenty of head room even with a 5m air draft that's so long as you don't have any major holdups on the trip. You will also arrive at Richmond just about at the time of the sluices being raised. if they are still down call the lockie on channel 80 and get an eta till they are opening , It will be quicker than locking through.
 

Lower Limit 1909

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If you leave 1.5 hrs to 2 hours before HW London Bridge you will clear Hammersmith Bridge with plenty of head room ..... so long as you don't have any major holdups on the trip.

Agreed. However - getting out of St Kats on a schedule can be a bit hit and miss at times and getting something round the (single shaft) prop on a Nimbus 320 etc. etc. are all possibilities. (Been there and experienecd both of those more than once - the latter especially during tidal runs when all the junk comes back up).

Personally I'd want to know my cut-off time at Hammersmith before heading off.
 

No Regrets

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Same deal every time. Exit St Kats on first or second lock-out and head upstream at 8kt. You'll have no issues, might have to wait a little while at Richmond if you go too fast! Leave later and go faster by all means but you have no safety net then...

Hammersmith won't be an issue with a 9' air draft unless it's knocking high tide, you'll be on a fairly low but incoming tide when you get up there. You have a large window indeed unless the tides are affected in some way.
 

Portland Billy

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Same deal every time. Exit St Kats on first or second lock-out and head upstream at 8kt. You'll have no issues, might have to wait a little while at Richmond if you go too fast! Leave later and go faster by all means but you have no safety net then...

Hammersmith won't be an issue with a 9' air draft unless it's knocking high tide, you'll be on a fairly low but incoming tide when you get up there. You have a large window indeed unless the tides are affected in some way.
 

TomWGA

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Thanks guys for all your help- very much appreciated.

So with Richmond is there freeflow through the lock if I time it right- ie I won't have to lock through?
 

oldgit

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Thanks guys for all your help- very much appreciated.

So with Richmond is there freeflow through the lock if I time it right- ie I won't have to lock through?


Free flow is usually 2 hours before and 2 hours after HW at Richmond barrier .
Total window of 4 hours.
Will vary a bit due to tides etc.Basically as soon as the water is the same level each side of gate(s) it opens.
Folks usually reluctant to use lock and only as last resort, bit grubby and a lot of faffing.
Most useful IMHO when exiting river and you want to get out ASAP, perhaps to get well down Sea Reach using the ebb before tide turns or making last lock in at any of London marinas.Slowing up for rowers can add considerable time to any journey.We try to be off Southend at LW and use the early flood to go up the Medway back to Rochester.
When going to round to St Kats or Teddington, try to punch last of ebb off Southend and use the flood to carry you up.
Rarely have problems with airdraft at Hammersmith , more usual waiting for tide to catch up.
 
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oldgit

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As B1 knows, like at least a couple of inches under the keel going up.
Did kiss the bottom nearwhere Trevor Bayliss used to live, fortunately appeared to be soft sand or gravel.
 

No Regrets

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As B1 knows, like at least a couple of inches under the keel going up.
Did kiss the bottom nearwhere Trevor Bayliss used to live, fortunately appeared to be soft sand or gravel.

Ramage was not so fortunate! While my single engined Broom 30 skimmed over the top, his twin engined Birchwood 33 picked up a piece of builders sheet/ tarpaulin and caused no end of issues. :ambivalence:
 

oldgit

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our Princess 35 flybridge will go under with arch down.
Chums Tubby 36 will go under with arch down.
Did manage to get a Failine Brava 37 under merely by removing stainless light bar stuff and radar dome.
Repositioning from Limehouse to Bray. It was going under one way or another come hell or high water.
Think we might have left a trail of glass fibre gelcoat under bridge.
 
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Outinthedinghy

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Cookham is above Bray. Did you mean Eton / Windsor bridge?

Adam the previous keeper at Cookham would sometimes draw all the sluices to drop the level of the lock cut a couple of inches momentarily to let tall boats get under. Eton bridge is only a couple of inches higher anyway it seems but 2 inches can make all the difference.
 
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rosssavage

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Cookham is above Bray. Did you mean Eton / Windsor bridge?

Adam the previous keeper at Cookham would sometimes draw all the sluices to drop the level of the lock cut a couple of inches momentarily to let tall boats get under. Eton bridge is only a couple of inches higher anyway it seems but 2 inches can make all the difference.

New lock keeper Dan at Cookham will also pull the sluices to give you another 6” for about 45 seconds if you ask nicely too - did it last year for a friends F43 during high levels.

My P385 will go under with about 6-8” spare at normal levels (air draft 11’9” with arch down) so you’ll be fine...
 

oldgit

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The trip up the esturary through cental London and then on to above Teddington lock never fails to lose its fascination.
A challenge, plus all that history observed from your own boat.

Forget the "MED" , dull far to hot and boring, without the Thames adventure in your logbook bit of nerve to even consider yourself a proper boater. :):):)
 
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