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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Not really the Broads / Boating on the River Thames or Shannon-Erne River
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Boating on the River Thames or Shannon-Erne River

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eaglet2000
Jul-30-2017 @ 2:44 PM                           Permalink
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I have just returned from a lovely holiday on the Broads and am already planning my next trip. However before returning back to the Broads, I would like to try boating on the River Thames or along the Shannon River in Ireland. Has anyone got any experience in these places. If yes, I would appreciate your suggestions.

Jean&Brian
Jul-30-2017 @ 3:53 PM                           Permalink
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We have spent several years on the Thames in our hiring days in tandem with the Broads, while totally different the Thames is just as enjoyable in its own way with changing scenery and many places of interest, if you are interested you might like to consider Kris Cruisers at Datchet www.kriscruisers.co.uk/

         Brian

annville
Jul-30-2017 @ 5:27 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Eagle Simmerler ie a River lot more towns/villages/pubs with more moorings that you can use but there are locks every so often, they are manned during day time and are electrically operated if you have to do them your self, can be a choak point at busy times,my sister likes them for being chatty places with other boats people.and their are bigger boats.John

Luise
Jul-30-2017 @ 10:58 PM                           Permalink
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Personal observations on the tidal and non-tidal Thames, in 2014 I had my boat delivered from the factory in Holland to Shepperton so I could familiarise myself with it and have any snagging faults rectified by the agents before bringing it up the coast and into the Broads.

At 1100 on Saturday 26 July 2014 we slipped our mooring, cameras ready for shots of the Houses of Parliament etc. Far from a relaxed pleasure cruise, my wife thought the next couple of hours were the worst she's ever experienced on the water! High speed river buses, ferries, RIBs, sight-seeing and commercial craft all hustling and bustling unpredictably this way, that way and the other, ColRegs simply “Get Out Of My Way” and the swell and buffeting worse than on the high sea. Couldn't really relax until after Woolwich or so, passing under the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge an experience having driven over it so many times; we crossed from the right-hand outbound track Northwards towards Southend on schedule, W Shoebury SHB to port at exactly 1800.

A completely uneventful sea passage, I kept the revs to 2200 and arrived at Great Yarmouth harbour entrance at 0800 on Sunday morning. We'd covered 133 miles in 21 hours, my hourly log shows a highest speed of 9.8 knots through Tilbury and a lowest of 3.7 in the “Corton Road” South of Great Yarmouth. Refuelling to the brim, I ascertained that I'd used 155 litres of diesel.

More important than the satisfaction of having achieved our objective of delivering the boat to Great Yarmouth, we absolutely fell in love with the non-tidal Thames and decided to spend much longer on it the following year. But not looking forward to another long trek and the missus vowing to never again put herself through the stress of central London, I investigated the feasibility of having the boat transported from my home mooring at the Waveney River Centre to Shepperton Marina, where the engine could be serviced and any remaining issues sorted out within the warranty period. It seemed expensive (eleven hundred quid plus lifts) but not outrageous taking into consideration the fuel saving, the convenience of not having to be encumbered with the Zodiac we'd lashed down as a lifeboat for our sea voyage, and the cost of hiring a boat on the Thames.

So charts and compasses put away and with “The River Thames Book” our guide, on one sunny Wednesday morning in May I watched Luise (the boat) being lifted onto a flatbed trailer, then picked up Luise (the missus) from home and drove to Shepperton to await its arrival. Boat in water, stores and clothes on board, we overnighted in the marina and the following morning the engine was routinely serviced and we went just a little way upstream to the free 24hrs moorings on the left bank.

On our second day, we cruised a leisurely 18 miles to a mooring near Eton College Boat House and before setting off on the Saturday morning investigated the noise coming from the adjacent Dorney Lake. A Triathlon was taking place, a great spectacle. Next day took us 14 miles upstream to Marlow, dinner at The George and Dragon (good value, a Whitbread Inn), the day after 19 miles to moor up on the bank near Sonning Lock. The Bull was found to be a nice pub serving good food, service could have been better (“Lovely candles on the table, could you light them please?” “No”). The evening of day 5 found us moored at Goring, a really pretty village with its quaint John Barleycorn Inn. Or cross the bridge to Streatley and visit The Bull, one of the stops in Jerome K Jerome's book “3 Men in a Boat”. Day 6, 20 miles to Clifton Lock, day 7 just a few miles to Abingdon where we moored up early to have a look around the town. A wonderful place, we had a good fish and chip meal in The Nag's Head in the middle of the bridge and determined that we'd stop there again on our way back downstream.

So by the eighth day we were as far as we'd get with any boat having an air draught greater than 2.28m (7'6”), namely the 24hrs moorings between Osney Lock and Osney Bridge in Oxford. We paid the small fee allowing us to stay an extra night, and enjoyed a couple of days in Oxford. Our first visit and mightily impressed, all I can say is that anybody who graduates from Oxford and doesn't go on to be a President or Prime Minister hasn't made the best of themselves. Unless you're Mr Bean, of course!

And then it was time to head back… after our promised second night in Abingdon and a good dinner in The Kings Head & Bell, we descended 23 miles to Pangbourne and on day 12 made our longest journey, 30 miles to Maidenhead. On day 13 we overnighted in Old Windsor (opposite The Bells of Ouseley; now part of the Harvester chain, good value food but we feared a sleepless night because of traffic noise. In the event much quieter than we thought), then to one of our favourite moorings, namely outside Hampton Court Palace, where there's a good choice of restaurants. The day after (day 15) we continued on just a little further to Kingston upon Thames, as far downstream as we wanted to go, and found perfect mooring on the bank opposite The Gazebo. To the left of the bridge, in Hampton Court Road just a couple of minutes walk, is The Old King's Head, a local pub definitely to be recommended, serving great food. The next day was Friday, and we agreed with Shepperton Marina that we'd overnight there so my daughter and my 2-year-old grandson could join us and leave her car in a safe place while they spent the weekend with us. Nothing too off-putting for his first taste of cruising, just a short hop to Hampton Court and a meal at the Carlton Mitre's Riverside Restaurant, on Sunday back to Shepperton to see them off and remove fenders and step the mast etc. ready for tomorrow's transport.

So, on Monday morning, 19 days after Luise had been craned in to Shepperton Marina, she was lifted out and put on the truck taking her back to the yard at St Olaves where she'd be craned in. By mid-evening I'd taken the boat the 7 miles up the River Waveney to the WRC (no locks on The Broads!), and went home to start unpacking. We'd covered in total 225 miles, and although our holiday was not the high-adrenaline stuff of an ocean passage, we had a great time and don't regret our decision to “wimp out” and have our boat transported to its destination by truck.

2016 and 2017 was spent mostly in our gaff in France but for 2018 the Great Ouse appeals, perhaps have Luise transported by truck to St Ives or somewhere, go out to sea at Kings Lynn, then down along the coast to come in at Great Yarmouth? Now if only I can persuade the missus or find a crew…

Peter

simritdave
Jul-31-2017 @ 8:48 AM                           Permalink
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Pleased to hear the Thames adventure went well, I am being craned out in a couple of weeks, taking my boat to the upper reaches of the Thames (non-tidal this year) for a change.  We will launch at Lechlade and go probably as far as Teddington and back.  Just doing it for a change of scenery and to see what it's like on another river system.
Looking forward to it, the locks will be a first for us of course, but all part of the adventure Smile   Next year, we have plans to take the boat on the tidal side, I fancy going under Tower Bridge, Seeing Houses of Parliament from the river and taking pictures of the boat there.

Simritdave
Freeman 26, Piero Gianni

VetChugger
Jul-31-2017 @ 10:38 AM                           Permalink
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Great read Peter, thanks very much. I do like those dutch steel boats rather a lot! "Luise" looks grand! One very sturdy looking craft!

Trevor

newsteaduk
Aug-01-2017 @ 5:55 PM                           Permalink
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Hired a boat on the Shannon about 10 years ago. Went south from Carrick. Locks on river but all automated and manned, at least during day. Really enjoyed river but obviously costs more to get there if you live English side of the Irish Sea. Be aware that the large lakes that you might cross there make Breydon Water look like a duck pond! Just have a look on weather maps on the telly and you'll see the lakes are very visible. Well worth the trip though!!


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