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Old 11 June 2017, 10:00   #1
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Levington Marina slipway

Has anyone used the slipway in Levington Marina (river Orwell)? Can I launch and recover a 6m RIB with a front wheel drive car?

Boatlaunch has some worrying warnings but no photos to be found apart from one on SYH website.
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Old 11 June 2017, 11:14   #2
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Jerry , I sincerely doubt it . Slip is very steep . Last time I was there it was also quite slippery at lower level . It used to have a pulley and wire arrangement so you could lower and raise your trailer from the flat surface above . This fell into unusable repair sometime ago . Perhaps it has been reinstated recently ? Without it though I can't see you launching much at all without a 4XD.
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Old 11 June 2017, 13:28   #3
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It used to have a pulley and wire arrangement so you could lower and raise your trailer from the flat surface above . This fell into unusable repair sometime ago . Perhaps it has been reinstated recently?
Looks like there's no choice - I need to go there and see if it's going to work, I can take wife's Kuga. I can time it next weekend to take the boat out around high water (should be 6pm or so). Any excuse is good to get the boat in the water!

How long ago was that pulley unusable?
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Old 11 June 2017, 14:26   #4
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It's been about two years since I last looked . Hang fire for a while so the locals can give you a decent update .
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Old 11 June 2017, 17:07   #5
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Hi Jerry ,its my regular slip ,I use it probhably weekly this time of year , you will not be allowed down in a two wheel drive car ,that's the current rule and it is policed , however cable is all renewed and in regular use and those that use it love it (has ball and hitch on each end now so you just clip it on to your ball and boat trailer onto the other end ) ,personally I have a 4x4 so much prefer to back down ,however some find it a bit scary but is the only way for a loner
The only problem with the system is the cable must be 40 metres long so the driver and the person with the trailer are out of earshot so mobile phones or walky talkys are the best way ,but bear in mind you need min of two people taking part ,the slip itself is brilliant and so steep I never dunk my brakes for loading or unloading my 5m
if you need a hand I only live 4 miles or less from there so happy to come and give a hand if I am about ,alternatively the boatman at bob spalding (now bannister) will launch you for about £20 I think but that's on top of £25 slip fees (£200 per year if your goning to come regular ,great slip ,loads of parking and the orwell and stour are great spaces , will try and post a couple of pics of the slip in the next few days
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Old 11 June 2017, 17:45   #6
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one thing i should have said is its very sensible is to have a short chain between the trailer and boat ,just as a belt and braces in case your winch gives up on the way down ,as said the slip is very steep and the stress on an old winch can be catastrophic
some years ago even the environmental agency lost a discovery off the end of this slip ,not to mention the guy last year who had a couple of femail passengers who thought he would scare them by driving down to the water ,they bailed as the car slid under the water .
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Old 11 June 2017, 17:50   #7
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if you need a hand I only live 4 miles or less from there so happy to come and give a hand if I am about ,alternatively the boatman at bob spalding (now bannister) will launch you for about £20 I think but that's on top of £25 slip fees (£200 per year if your goning to come regular ,great slip ,loads of parking and the orwell and stour are great spaces , will try and post a couple of pics of the slip in the next few days
Orwell Boy, many thanks for the offer of help - I might take you up on that if the weather is good ;-) (well, as you can guess in reality it would be launching and getting by boats to a pub for lunch). What I'm trying to do is to test if this could become my regular place. I want to see if Levington would work for me - both launching and also maybe leaving the boat there permanently to avoid towing all the way back to Cambridge. At the moment we're using Felixstowe Ferry's slipway but the opening hours of the cafe (which are the people that open the barrier to the yard) are not great, and if I return after they've closed then both the boat and the car will be locked in the yard. I would also avoid the Deben bar, so returns at low tide won't be that limited by worsening weather anymore.

Or maybe there are some other options of a slip and a place to leave the boat within an hour's drive from Cambridge?
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Old 11 June 2017, 17:54   #8
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one thing i should have said is its very sensible is to have a short chain between the trailer and boat ,just as a belt and braces in case your winch gives up on the way down ,as said the slip is very steep and the stress on an old winch can be catastrophic
Thanks for the hint - I'll make sure that there's a painter together with a locked winch. If the worst happens... well, it's a boat so it's supposed to float.

One thing which always intrigued me is how much load the bow towing eye can take? Can it take the weight of the RIB? I'm curious because I can't see any obvious spreader plate, unless something is laminated inside and not visible.
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Old 13 June 2017, 15:55   #9
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Well, the levington slip and my dive branch is a short but disappointing story!

We used it 2 yrs ago for a boat handling course and it is exceptionally steep, like nothing I have every seen or used at any commercial place and despite getting into a heated discussion with one of the management about its potential dangers, we did use it. This is despite them having another more normal slip that apparently we couldn't use, as it's not available to the casual user! Every since that experience, we have stayed away and won't be using it in future. Good luck but I suggest you do a recce first. Dave j
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Old 14 June 2017, 02:45   #10
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This is despite them having another more normal slip that apparently we couldn't use, as it's not available to the casual user! Every since that experience, we have stayed away and won't be using it in future. Good luck but I suggest you do a recce first. Dave j
That's what I want to do this weekend - a recce.

What was the problem with the other slip? I think I can see it on Google maps and it looks less steep and much wider. If they're using it for the cradle (yacht lifting thingy) then what's the problem in letting cars there?
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