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Old 10 May 2016, 06:22   #1
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advice for a Tidal Thames based rib

Hi,

New member so go easy on me :-)

I'm looking to get a rib for use on the Tidal Thames. I live on a boat on the upper stretch (near Brentford) and so I can park the rib right outside and use it whenever I want. I'm very aware of the speed restrictions on the Thames. I would probably only go as far as the Thames Barrier and back as it would take bloody ages to get down there at 8 knots (12knts past wandsworth).

Any thoughts on length, power, two stroke vs four stroke, etc. ?
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Old 10 May 2016, 06:50   #2
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Welcome to RIBnet

Even up as far as you the Thames has quite a tide running through and the busy traffic in central London will mean that at times you will NEED to get out of the way of fast passenger vessels . There is no substitute for trying out a few prospective ribs and making a decision on that !

Personally I don't think I would be happy in anything less than a proven type . Perhaps a Ribcraft 4.8 with a 60 HP four stroke ( or a Searider with similar power ) is the sort of minimum spec you should be looking at ? If you can go bigger and more powerful so much the better ?

You may also need to think about whether to anti-foul or not ? What about a cover to keep out the worse of the rain , and maybe automatic bilge pumps etc ? Don't forget to give a thought to security & insurance !

Let's hear what other folk think and then some of the questions may be better answered with specific threads . In the meantime try the search function to get a better understanding of some of the pros and cons...

Happy Ribbing
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Old 10 May 2016, 09:19   #3
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I wouldn't want to have a RIB on the Thames any more as the speed limits have made having a planing boat of any size rather pointless. Driving a RIB at displacement speed for any distance is a thoroughly unsatisfactory experience.

What do you actually want to do with the boat? Given that just getting as far as the Woolwich Barrier will be a four hour round trip on its own, the novelty is going to wear off pretty quickly and I doubt you're likely to head further down very often.

I'd be inclined to get a displacement launch that will be happy at river speeds and would be at home on the Tideway and also upriver. If that's really not your thing then a SIB would be more fun than a RIB as you could probably get away with planing speeds more of the time. Depending on your budget you might even manage both
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Old 10 May 2016, 11:06   #4
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Whatever you get then make sure you've got a decent anchor with plenty of warp and a VHF. The Tideway is a serious bit of water with fast tides and substantial commercial traffic in places. It's not to be taken for granted.

Having said that I've been through London several times in 3-4m SIBs with 15hp outboards with no problem, so don't feel you need to have anything massive.
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Old 11 May 2016, 07:23   #5
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many thanks for the feedback. I hadn't really thought about a SIB. my idea was something with a bench seat (with a back to it) so although it would be slow at least it would be comfortable.

Speaking of planing speeds, would anything plane at just 12knots?
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Old 11 May 2016, 10:27   #6
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Look at some of " The Gurnard's " recent posts ! I believe his outfits reach 13 kts on the plane . There have been suggestions that if you are " sensible " and don't attract attention to yourself you may just get away with a little more than 12 kts anyway . Given the strong tidal flow , depending on which way you are going a few kts is neither here nor there , unless the harbour master/ PLA Guys / River police are in a bad mood
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Old 11 May 2016, 15:14   #7
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I had a 4.8m Humber with a 60HP two stroke on the back, which was fine pre-speed restrictions.

Now I wouldn't go near the Thames, it's pointless for Ribbers these days sadly and there is not really anywhere to stop off, so in a small boat re-fuelling can be a problem!

Actually come to think of it, I kept it near Brentford, I've completely forgotten the name of the place, but it was a drying mooring near Kew station (it took a long time to get to Central London and back and at least one hastily fuel switch 25 litre tanks).

If I buy another Rib at some point I will keep it nearer the coast!

As others have said the currents are not friendly and safety gear essential, a vhf is also a smart idea.

Personally the only boat I'd want to keep on the Thames is a larger motor cruiser, for planing boats it's pointless.
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Old 11 May 2016, 16:45   #8
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If just going fast is your thing then the Thames isn't for you above the Barrier I'm afraid.

However there is loads to see and do and with a bit of local knowledge you can moor up whilst visiting a pub or Starbucks for an expensive coffee!

Good places to go include;
Teddington Riverside - Pubs and restaurants
Twickenham - Pubs and restarants
Richmond Riverside - Pubs and restaurants
Mortlake at The Ship - Pub
Chiswick Pier - Restaurant
Putney Embankment - Comedy shows watching rowers sink cars and crash into things.
Chelsea Imperial Wharf - Moorings, heliport, restaurants and hotels.
The Pool of London is rather berift of moorings but there is plenty to see. Once out the other side there is;
St Kats Pier (has sheltered us for many hours FOC) - art galleries, bar, restaurants.
Limehouse Basin - (free to lock in & out) - restaurants and pubs

So that's a starter for ten for places to go and don't be put off by horror stories about how fast the currents are. Plan ahead and use the ponies sensibly and you'll be fine.

The PLA have vids on how to navigate safely -

https://vimeo.com/28904443

and a leisure specific website

Homepage

Enjoy!

Chris
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Old 11 May 2016, 17:10   #9
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But the odds of getting into St Kats (this year especially due to refurbishment) and Limehouse are very slim.

South Dock and Galleons Reach are more likely.

It's also worth giving Greenwich Yacht Club a shout, we've been allowed to moor there overnight before.
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Old 11 May 2016, 18:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjmehra View Post
But the odds of getting into St Kats (this year especially due to refurbishment) and Limehouse are very slim.

South Dock and Galleons Reach are more likely.

It's also worth giving Greenwich Yacht Club a shout, we've been allowed to moor there overnight before.
Don't need to go in to St Kats, moor on the back of the St Kats Pier. Been there done it, got the T shirt.

Same for Limehouse.....in fact see pic below.

Not sure why he'd need O/N mooring if living on Thames already.

Chris
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Old 12 May 2016, 01:04   #11
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I didn't realise you could just moor up to the piers, that would have been good to know!


We used to do Kew to Greenwich, moor up overnight and do the return leg the next day, or as often was the case (I co-owned the RIb with 2 others), 2/3 of us would take it down on the Saturday and then whoever hadn't been on-board the day before took their crew to take it back.

It worked quite well for us, but others may prefer the round trip in one go of course, either the speed limits we just felt it was too long (even before it felt quite long)!
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Old 12 May 2016, 02:56   #12
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Quote:
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I didn't realise you could just moor up to the piers, that would have been good to know!

You can't on most of them. You might get away with it sometimes provided you don't get in anyone's way, but I wouldn't rely on it. The inside of the St Katherine pier does generally seem to be available for short stops though.
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Old 12 May 2016, 03:04   #13
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Quote:
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...don't be put off by horror stories about how fast the currents are. Plan ahead and use the ponies sensibly and you'll be fine.
I haven't seen any horror stories here, but it is important that people understand what they are dealing with on the Tideway. When things do go wrong they can get worse very quickly!

Having said that, with a bit of experience and planning it can be a fantastic way of experiencing London from a different perspective. A RIB would still be low down on my choice of boat for the job though.
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Old 13 May 2016, 11:29   #14
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vjmehra - could your mooring have been Kew Marine - I am pretty much directly opposite.

CJL - Awesome - many thanks for the links. I am pretty familiar with Hammersmith going upstream but the bits downstream I am still figuring out. Did you have to pay to moor at Imperial Wharf?

And many thanks for the safety warnings. I've seen plenty go wrong on the tideway already (usually rowers crashing into things or each other)
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Old 13 May 2016, 11:39   #15
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Yes thats the one, Kew Marine!

We had a couple of good years there before the draconian speed limits came in.

The worst part about it all is that everyone (well most people) were sensible anyway, the only bit you could really get onto the plane was past Tower bridge, which is largely traffic free.

The other stupid bit is that apparently its perfectly safe (with Advanced Powerboat etc.) to go faster on your own, but if you have someone else with you its now more dangerous...crazy!

Oh and yes you do have to pay to moor at Imperial Wharf (also its worth radioing ahead).
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Old 13 May 2016, 12:05   #16
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I haven't seen any horror stories here, but it is important that people understand what they are dealing with on the Tideway. When things do go wrong they can get worse very quickly!
John,
If you are bored check out the YBW Thames Forum.....apparently the Tidal Thames is terrifying!!
Chris
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Old 13 May 2016, 12:25   #17
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Ah, it's a while since I've been that bored!
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Old 05 June 2016, 07:20   #18
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Tideway fun

I launch my RIB at Water Lane, Petersham, just west of Richmond Bridge (free of charge amazingly) and very often do the run down to the Pool of London/Canary Wharf. My boat is a 5m with a 60 hp engine and whilst it is a little slow trickling down through the Richmond Lock stretch until the speed limit changes it is not an unpleasant experience. I try to avoid weekends because of the large number of rowing club vessels.

Once in sight of the Houses of Parliament, particularly if I have timed my run correctly so that I meeting the tide, I find the speed limit combined with the need to work against the tide, and a small speed leeway to work through the waves makes for a very interesting and exciting sector.

It is usually very busy with traffic and one has to be extremely careful and correct to pass through this area safely and in full accordance with all laws.

But it is exactly that that makes passing through central London such a rewarding challenge and great fun to boot. I certainly wouldn't avoid taking my rib on the Thames but it must be approached thoughtfully, and executed well.
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Old 07 June 2016, 06:14   #19
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done the tideway many times either teddington to brentford or teddington to limehouse, or return trips many times in ours and friends narrowboats. we lived aboard our 50ft narrowboat and i have some fantastic memories of these trips. going under tower bridge with bicycles, roof garden and even a christmas tree on the front deck. Out of maybe 10 trips we only had 1 hairy moment which was on the approach to limehouse gates. We may have been always lucky witb our passages but it does make me chuckle somewhat when i hear all the horror stories. 30hp pushing 18 tonnes of narrowboat never let us down.

if i go back to the tideway i would favour a cabin cruiser or a large sib. but i would always let the tide do the donkey work.

simon
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Old 07 June 2016, 11:26   #20
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It's surprising what you can do with a bit of planning. How's this for a bit of inflatable adventuring on the Tideway?

http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...terloo-Sunrise
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