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Old 10 May 2016, 07:22   #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, 07:50   #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, 10:19   #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, 12:06   #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, 08:23   #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, 11:27   #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, 16:14   #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, 17:45   #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, 18:10   #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, 19:03   #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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