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Old 11 January 2014, 05:58   #1
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Thames cruise

Does anyone have experience of a cruise from Oxford (ish) down to past st Katherine's dock?
Looking at doing a two day cruise at Easter.
I'm guessing it's easier to launch and park trailers up river than in London.
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Old 11 January 2014, 07:05   #2
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I've not done this cruise but I reckon you might want to do it in two seperate bites anyway . Above Teddington Lock you are probably subject to all the local River rules and regulations and below it you are free of all of those , but subject to all new speed restrictions on the Thames until you are past Gallions Point Marina . ( You could easily park vehicle & trailer here overnight ) but in all honesty I would book a B&B in St Katherines or thereabouts .
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Old 11 January 2014, 07:25   #3
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I've done it several times. Oxford to London is a week's cruising.

For a two day trip you could launch at Putney, travel down through London and onwards to the Dartford Bridge then back up to St Katherines to stay somewhere expensive overnight. The following day head back up river and have lunch in Richmond or Petersham before going back down to Putney to recover.

You'll need to work out the tides carefully as St Katherine's has a limited lock window, and Putney isn't great at low water. Alternatively if you want all tides visitor mooring you could use Chiswick Pier, where accommodation will also be cheaper.

It's definitely worth doing once but bear in mind that the speed limit throughout London makes for a pretty unsatisfactory experience in a RIB, and the river below the barrier isn't particularly interesting.
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Old 11 January 2014, 08:21   #4
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Originally Posted by John Kennett View Post
the river below the barrier isn't particularly interesting.
Don't you start ! You're starting to sound like Twim.......

There's the Woolwich Ferry and Sarfend pier and...........

http://www.rib.net/forum/f16/on-any-sunday-44335.html
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Old 11 January 2014, 08:29   #5
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Old 11 January 2014, 12:32   #6
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Yep, done it a few times in a sportscruiser. As mentioned above, Oxford to St Kats in 2 days isn't possible, and you have to hit the St Kats lock in a 2 hour window.

A comfortable day on the upper Thames is 20 miles, a big day with 8-10 hours on the water is still only around 30 miles. Its around 90 miles from Oxford to Teddington alone and then you have the trip through London as well (another couple of hours).

If you have the time, its well worth doing it, but with those distances I would usually spend 10-14 days on that cruise. If you really want to go into London you can always get the train, we often cruise to Datchet Marina and then get the direct train (5 min walk to station and 50 min ride on train).

If you only have 2 days, set your sites a little lower. There is a great easy slip at Benson Waterfront near Shillingford, secure parking for car and trailer as well. You can then go up to Abingdon or Oxford and back in a weekend.

We love the Thames for a relaxed change, there is still something special about mooring a Riverside pub and not worrying about getting home.
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Old 11 January 2014, 14:28   #7
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Benson waterfront: sounds like a fab idea! now what I'm thinking is tow it to here and spend one weekend going either up towards oxford or down towards Henley etc. then return it to benson for the week, go down the following Friday, hitch up on the Saturday, drive to and launch at Putney (we did this for the Queens diamond jubilee river festival) and whip down past the houses of parliament, tower bridge and decide when to turn back in time to recover that evening!

...

Too much?
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Old 11 January 2014, 14:54   #8
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Benson waterfront: sounds like a fab idea! now what I'm thinking is tow it to here and spend one weekend going either up towards oxford or down towards Henley etc. then return it to benson for the week, go down the following Friday, hitch up on the Saturday, drive to and launch at Putney (we did this for the Queens diamond jubilee river festival) and whip down past the houses of parliament, tower bridge and decide when to turn back in time to recover that evening!

...

Too much?
That sounds like a great idea. One of my favorite boating memory's is planeing past the Houses of Parliament (before the new speed enforcement )

Benson is a great place, the bistro does a nice breakfast as well.
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Old 11 January 2014, 15:45   #9
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Several years ago I did a RIB trip on the Thames from River Lane near Petersham, up through Teddington Lock and all the way up to Henley on Thames.

We camped each night and moored the boats next to the lock keepers cottages for security reasons.

I think in all we were afloat for 3/4 days in total and we finished with a blast through Central London. I would suggest you look at the PLA Navigators Club - Benefits of joining the club and check out the EA page for their information - http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk...on/130919.aspx.

There now is a list of locks you can actually camp at - Environment Agency - Camping at a River Thames lock

Chris
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Old 13 January 2014, 03:40   #10
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That's great

Thank you everyone
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Old 13 January 2014, 04:13   #11
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Im going to take my boat on the Thames soon, so this thread is very helpfull.

Im near Benson / Oxford and have a mate who lives at the Benson Marina, Ive been there and the slip and facilities are good.

However, I do plan to put my boat in at Gallions Point and then check out the Thames Barrier, Tower Bridge and Houses of Parliment. Probably in the next few weeks.

But later in the year when its warmer I plan on a cruise in the Oxford end of the Thames that will included pubs and wild camping.
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Old 13 January 2014, 06:09   #12
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But later in the year when its warmer...
All bunged up at the moment?
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Old 13 January 2014, 06:36   #13
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Yes, how did you know
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Old 13 January 2014, 06:58   #14
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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!!
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Old 13 January 2014, 15:52   #15
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Yes, how did you know
I heard that you were streaming
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Old 13 January 2014, 15:54   #16
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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.
Have you ever played "skittles"?
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Old 13 January 2014, 17:23   #17
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Have you ever played "skittles"?
Seriously - one bloke rowed after me for miles on the Thames - swearing and cussing like a good un! When he finally caught up he realised he was too knackered to make any sort of attack. His beef was that I tooted at him when he was not expecting it and it gave him a scare. Have to admit the big boat we had then was quite loud in the "toot" department. Some days it was a real comedy - we used to park up for lunch near Hampton Court - once saw a big group of single rowers that came towards us. Bloke at the front stopped rowing to have a gander at us - two behind him immediately crashed into him and as they all stopped about 15 boats all pranged into each other - the swearing was legendary by everyone including some rather elderly females!! I eventually was moved to join in - I told them all to "Feck Off" on the (very) loud hailer as they were disturbing the peace of the river. Rather sheepishly they did! What a bunch of twats - the ones on the Lym River however seem to be rather nicer and on less steroids.
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Old 14 January 2014, 03:48   #18
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Ha, thats brilliant. Rowing has always seemed a bit daft to me just because you cant look where you are going.
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