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Old 22 March 2016, 16:49   #211
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Country: UK - England
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Length: 3m +
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Hi Rarerooster. I found it very easy to navigate through the Thames Barrier, with my 25HP motor. The current is a little strong but nothing disturbing. I called London VTS on channel 14 on approach and requested permission to go through the barrier at Greenwich o2 as I entered the Thames Barrier control zone. The speed limit drops from 12 knots to 8 knots and it takes ages to go through at that speed. VTS simply direct you to the span to cross, and actually, this time it was as simple as going through the span between the huge green arrows - only one was open. Last time there were two choices and I was directed to the more shallow one. You are on video and radar so they know where you are. I am a member of the Thames Tidal Club which is run by the PLA and if you join for free, they give you a free really useful map with tips on the barrier and the bridges. The Pool of London was quite extraordinary at night and hugely exceeded expectations making the night navigation light worthwhile.
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Old 22 March 2016, 16:53   #212
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Hi Fenlander, thanks for your reply. I might have stood on the fuel hose, I have done it before, anyway, I will run the motor with rubber ears at the weekend in the garden.


I am at a loss to know how to find a replacement launch wheel screw. It is not an M metric size bolt, I ordered a 5/16 imperial bolt and it is also not the right size. It is this sort of size but not that size. I have as you suggested put a smaller bolt through but it bent as not high tensile, luckily I have a whole pack to get through.


Yes I saw a bit of debris and had my passenger looking out for it. I will be very aware. The strap was on the boat bag that wraps up the boat. The bag that came with it is very flimsy and tears as well, quite disappointed with it.
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Old 22 March 2016, 16:54   #213
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Rarerooster, are you thinking of passing the barrier with your 4HP motor? It might be a bit ambitious compared to the water up near the QEII which seemed a little calmer. You don't have to have a radio to pass through the barrier on our length of boat, you can just go through the span that has green arrows, and the shallower span if another larger boat is around.
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Old 22 March 2016, 17:12   #214
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Firstrib - No I wasn't thinking of navigating the Thames barrier with a 4 hp outboard. Just curious about how you found gadding about through there and the pool in your 3.8 meter boat. I would like to see the river from viewpoint you capture in the photos at some point. As you say the tidal flow in Earith reach is normally not too bad. I have been sailing down that way, or in a 5m rib from the yacht club.
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Old 22 March 2016, 17:29   #215
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Hi Rarerooster. On this trip the waves were not too large. On a previous trip I nearly turned back between Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf as it was a little too 'exciting' and I sat in the bottom of the boat not on the tubes for a while in case I fell out! However, it did not feel overly dangerous and the boat was not unstable, it was just rough and it improved just after Canary Wharf. This time it was calm.


Out of interest, which yacht club are you with and can you visit in a SIB as a day visitor and pay for a mooring?
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Old 22 March 2016, 18:15   #216
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Hi Firstrib - Erith Yacht Club but didn't renew my membership as work meant too little time to sail. The only powerboats they have there are Ribs as safety boats, so no day visitors for powerboats (except tea and cake for Gravesend RNLI Crew) or non-sail moorings. There is a pier of sorts at Erith not sure if suitable, guessing not, or further down at Greenhithe past QE2 bridge, slipway and place to anchor small vessels. Pub just round the corner.
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Old 22 March 2016, 18:18   #217
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Oh and should have said at Greenhithe not sure about security once tied up. We have left boats there though.
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Old 28 March 2016, 08:30   #218
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Country: UK - England
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Which roofrack - this roofrack

Hi - in keeping with the title of this thread - at last THIS ROOFRACK for the Bombard Aerotec 380 in its carry bag with boat straps to hold it on. La PreAlpina from Mick's Garage, on Ebay. This is where the boat will go. Only problem is, it makes a racket when empty at 65MPH so am looking at replacing the bolts with something I can do up with an electric screwdriver for speed to put it on and off when I have the boat. Always more issues!
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Old 08 April 2016, 11:58   #219
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I've been finding this thread really interesting. (Been lurking for a while).

I also live in London and I'm considering a very similar route to you - 3-4m RIB/SIB with between a 10-20hp OB motor.

My current favorite is a Excel SD360 with a 20hp Yamaha engine, although a true RIB or a foldable RIB would be a nicer option. An F-RIB375 is pushing my budget, but would be perfect.

Quite like the idea of exploring the estuary as well as venturing inland for days out and picnics with my daughters. Also take it down to Poole to try and keep up with my Dad in his 28ft cabin cruiser (no idea of the horse power, but it's a 4 liter Volvo engine).

By reading this I've been able to answer a lot of the questions I had. For a start if you can get by with a 25hp lump in a Ka, I should be able to manage with a smaller 20hp lump in my old Audi A4 estate.

I look forward to following your adventures.
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Old 08 April 2016, 12:35   #220
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Country: UK - England
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Hi Richard and welcome.

Just a couple of comments on portability.

Not sure if you're thinking of new or used and if your outboard would be a 2 or 4 stroke if used. Anyway a 20hp may actually be identical and size and weight to a 25hp depending on how a specific maker has organised their range. Also Firstrib's outboard is a 2-stroke and a 20hp 4-stroke would possibly be larger and heavier.

Re the boat I can leave the positives of an Frib to others but one reason we couldn't have one is the way they pack. They make a boxy shape which can't be crushed or flexed to any degree... may just fit into your estate but the outboard would probably need to go on the back seat and/or there would be little room for any other kit.

So for example when off on holiday we couldn't fit 4 people, our cases etc, an outboard/tank, all the boating kit and an Frib in our car. With pretty well any other sub 4m fully inflatable SIB we'd just manage.
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