Recreational Users' Guide
Here is a link for anyone going on the Thames. Site is updating etc so keep an eye for changes. I lived on a boat on the Thames for some years and many rules and regulations have been introduced since then, particularly on speed / wash limits. There are special areas you need to watch, particularly between Wandsworth and The Barrier. There is a good deal of commercial traffic below Richmond and you must know all the regs regarding rights of way, particularly going through bridges (down tide usually has right of way but not always - very tricky when the tide is on the turn). There are special lights/regs for clear vessels. The PLA seems to all but discourage leisure boating and anyone who makes a mistake is jumped on. London VTS is on Ch 14 and you really have to monitor it actively all the time - good to do that anyway as they give good info and very accurate tide heights about every 20 mins. Going North as soon as you are clear of Teddington locks things are much more relaxed - apart from di***eads rowing. Anyone on a scull, Eight or whatever is a frustrated rugby player - their pent up testoterone is vented on every motor boat on the river. My arguments with them in the past were legendary - un-seamanlike to go at 9kts facing the wrong way for a start!!