thames questions

thamesS23

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Good to see a forum just for the thames. We are currentley in the process of saving for our first ever boat, and if all goes to plan, we should be looking to buy in June next year.
Have spent the last year constantly visiting the thames and its marinas, looking to see what sort of boat we want and have narrowed it down to something like a sealine 255 or fairline carrera (anyone got anything similar for the thames).

just a few questions if anyone can offer any advice and tips

1. looking to moor at somewhere like harleyford or bray, do most people leave boats in the water over winter, or is it cheaper and better to get the boat lifted and put on a hard standing.

2. Can only afford a petrol boat - will this be easily available along the thames? (just how much fuel (£) would one expect to use on a weekend cruising?)
 

Andrew_Fanner

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Petrol is available at some boatyards/marinas but there are plenty of petrol stations if you fancy sack truck, jerrican(s) and lower price. Marina petrol can be supermarket price +15 or more pence per litre.

As for a weekend's cruising, how far would you expect to go? Unless the engine is pretty small you will be ticking over a lot of the time and won't be guzzling the stuff.

Hardstanding charges may be lower than in the water charges but the cost of the lift at either end must be factored in, to my mind craneage charges seem a form of extortion, especially as you pay each way. Some clubs have slipways and do some dry storage, they will normally be significantly cheaper, in return for which you do most of thw work, or help out the more experienced.
 

thamesS23

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With regards to the hard standing, I think I will be tempted to just leave it in the water all year round (unless this is likeley to cause any damage to the boat). As we live only 20 -30 mins from were we are going to moor it, I quite like the idea of being able to use the boat in the winter, if its a clear and sunny day, even if it is only for a few hours.
 

boatone

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Any boat is likely to have to come out of the water at least every year or two at the most cos there will ne maintenance to do on underwater gear and antifouling. So you will incur lift out and relaunch chages anyway.
Some marinas give you free hardstanding as part of your annual contract.
Could do with a bit more info...what is your budget for the boat? Might be better to get a diesl boat a little older but sp much depends on personal prefeences. For myself I would not even consider petrol.
 

thamesS23

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our budget will be around £22,000. I'm afraid the other half is a bit fussy, and doesn't like the older boats, so dont think we will be able to afford a diesel. Our original budget was about half that, until we went and looked at what it would get us, then she told me in no uncertian terms, that I need to work harder and save more !!
 

Gavi

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I recently spent £15k on a well cared for petrol. I've had no trouble getting petrol on the part of the Thames where I am, but diesel is much more freely available and cheaper.

Consumption is surprisingly low - I reckon an average of 3 litres per hour.

However the next boat will be diesel, if only for safety reasons. I have sometimes had to top up with a can and I didn't like doing so now I understand where all the vapours can go!

I wouldn't "not" buy a petrol but, with the budget you have, I would suggest going straight in for diesel and factor the rest of your budget around type of boat... including the drive.

I'd also check the type of boat your other half wants. We started out with fancy ideas of all those lovely sporty looking boats... until we learned about what they can be like for a novice to handle on the Thames (strongly recommend doing a helmsman course at Bisham Abbey if you have no or little experience). We ended up buying what I call a "floating caravan" and we love her. Particularly when negotiating a full lock.
 

Phill

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Some brokers report less activity in winter months so buying then may get you a boat at a lower price than in the summer.

I was moored at Bray some years ago and have fond memories of the marina. I've also used both the broker and the engineers there and could highly recommend them both. Petrol and diesel is available there too.

I am now moored at Harleyford after buying our present boat from them. I also found the on site brokers helpfull and fair. They do not have a fuel pontoon but diesel and petrol is available upstream at Henley. Diesel is also available downstream at Bourne end. Harleyford is a beautifull marina in a great location. Our weekend cruising grounds have some of the best scenery on the upper Thames, in my opinion.

If you have an annual mooring contract, most marinas will let you have hardstanding included in the cost, but as others have said, remember the cranage costs.

I have twin petrol engines and use about a gallon an hour whilst underway. I bought petrols because it was considerably cheeper, had no vibration like the older diesel engine boats I'd been looking at and lastly, because my wife feels sick at the slightest whif of diesel smoke. (I dont think any of those issues would have cropped up if we could have afforded a more modern boat) I guess that at least 35% of boats on the Thames are petrol and provided they are maintained regularly and properly are quite safe, after all mine in nearly 30 years old and has not blown up once yet! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Totally agree with Gavi, buy for ease of use and practicality rather than looks.
 

thamesS23

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I do realise we would get a good deal if we bought in the winter months, but unfortunatley, we wouldn't have enough savings by then and we dont want to go down the route of borrowing / credit etc (did all that with our last car). So it will be a case of buying in may / june.
 

theguvnor

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I have a Failine Sunfury (26 / 27 ft) on the Thames between Harlyford & Bray

Anything I can advise on - give me a call any evening

01494 730361
 

byron

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For £22K with a little haggling and careful searching you should be able to buy yourself a nice twin deisel Princess 32. For much less you will buy a good Freeman 26.
 

DWT

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There is a twin diesel Princess 32 for sale at Thames & Kennet. It needs a bit of a TLC, but it has been around a while so could be open to offers.

They are a great river boat. I had a single diesel which tended to wander around a bit, but one with twins should be a piece of cake to handle.
 

bradtarga34

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I have a 2001 Regal Commodore 2460 that I have up for sale at Windsor Marina. We had the boat for about 2 years before upgrading to a bigger diesel boat so we could do some extended trips over to the continent. She is a lovely boat and being a petrol boat was considerably cheaper to buy than the equivelant diesel boat and with just pootling along the Thames only used about a gallon an hour and without the somewhat smelly diesel fumes you sometimes get from diesel boats. If we weren't intending to travel far then i would have no problems with a petrol boat, so if you intend to spend most of the times pootling around the Thames with the off blast down to the barrier and St Kat's then I reckon you'll be fine!
 

thamesS23

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Thanks for all the replies and advice. Like yourself, bradtarga34, we will only use the boat for pottering about on the non-tidal thames, as it will be our first boat. Hopefully if we enjoy it, then we might look into getting an upgrade in a couple of years and then trying some coastal cruising.
 

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