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Old 21 May 2020, 06:18   #1
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Launch points around Derby / Notts

Hi all, I'm new to this but have a 3.8m Honwave with launch wheels that I mainly intend to beach launch. I want to chuck it in the water locally ( rivers / lakes ) as I need to run in my new Suzi DF20 outboard. I've had a look on boat launch but its quite scarcely populated for my area in terms of non-commercial points with access via banks etc and most if not all the commercial ones are closed at the moment. I am also a little unsure where I can and can't go with a powered craft on local rivers ( Trent / Derwent ). Any advice or locations greatly received.
I'll add to the Boatlaunch database when I find some good spots.

PS I have done my PB2 and have insurance.

Thanks

Chris
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Old 21 May 2020, 13:30   #2
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You can try boatlaunch.co.uk which is a pretty good resource.

I launch free at:
Farndon free public slip next to the Boat House pub, Farndon near Newark. Trent.
Hazelford Ferry, free slip down Boat Lane near Fiskerton. Trent.
The free slip next to the Plough, Normanton on Soar. Soar.
Over the side at Kegworth shallow lock. Soar.

Occasionally, I have paid to use the slip at Sawley Marina (Trent) , or the slip at Redhill Marina (Soar, leading to the Trent).
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Old 22 May 2020, 02:01   #3
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I am also a little unsure where I can and can't go with a powered craft on local rivers ( Trent / Derwent ).
Chris
Welcome to the forum!
Unfortunately day licenses are no longer available so the cheapest way is a 30 day Explorer license. I would buy the river only version as there's lot's of submerged debris in canals waiting to slice you open.
Our first outing was from West Stockwith on the Trent near Gainsborough. While waiting for the lock keeper to return we ventured up the canal sucking all kinds of crap into my new engine and then I got a plastic shopping bag wrapped around the prop (tip: take a knife).
On another occasion this time with a RIB we launched at Sawley and did a canal trip which turned out ok, this time I had sonar and it was really worrying knowing I had less than 3ft of water in places. At least I had the comfort of a solid hull, however there was also the time pressure to get back to the Marina before the gates were locked. This is why I prefer to launch at Hazleford. When the lock keepers have gone home you can use your waterways key to operate them yourself. You'll also need a winding handle for the non-powered locks.
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Old 22 May 2020, 03:14   #4
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Mike's reply is really helpful.
Missing from the freebie list is Beeston Marina. The slipway is not free if they have to swing the bridge over the slip out of the way, but they are fine with anyone using it for free if you can fit under the bridge when it's in place like you can.
(We used to have our Suzuki 20hp serviced at Excel boats in Birmingham, but we now use Beeston Marina as it's closer).
There's still the time pressure to get out of the water before they lock up for the evening.

More about Sawley. The slipway fee is offset by free parking so it's not so bad, you go to the boat sales office behind the Chandlery shop and register your number plate against the ANPR.

We checked out Shardlow Marina and I updated Boatlaunch, but we haven't used it yet.

To finish on a moan, what miserable beggars are the two skiing clubs on the Trent. Both have excellent slips, one at Gunthorpe and the other at High Marnham. I contacted both and they are effectively closed-shop with costly and difficult membership constraints and an absolute refusal for non-members to use their slipways. Ok I know this is their prerogative but their rules are not very friendly or helpful.

P.S. West Stockwith is free if you can lift your boat over the low chain across the slip, according to Wilf, the local overlord who unlocks it. Actually a very nice guy.
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Old 22 May 2020, 17:18   #5
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Mike's reply is really helpful.
Missing from the freebie list is Beeston Marina. The slipway is not free if they have to swing the bridge over the slip out of the way, but they are fine with anyone using it for free if you can fit under the bridge when it's in place like you can.
(We used to have our Suzuki 20hp serviced at Excel boats in Birmingham, but we now use Beeston Marina as it's closer).
There's still the time pressure to get out of the water before they lock up for the evening.

More about Sawley. The slipway fee is offset by free parking so it's not so bad, you go to the boat sales office behind the Chandlery shop and register your number plate against the ANPR.

We checked out Shardlow Marina and I updated Boatlaunch, but we haven't used it yet.

To finish on a moan, what miserable beggars are the two skiing clubs on the Trent. Both have excellent slips, one at Gunthorpe and the other at High Marnham. I contacted both and they are effectively closed-shop with costly and difficult membership constraints and an absolute refusal for non-members to use their slipways. Ok I know this is their prerogative but their rules are not very friendly or helpful.

P.S. West Stockwith is free if you can lift your boat over the low chain across the slip, according to Wilf, the local overlord who unlocks it. Actually a very nice guy.


Beeston Marina theyíre a friendly lot. Eddie the mechanic is a top bloke, knowledgeable & very fair with his prices. The cafe does a good bacon buttie too.
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Old 23 May 2020, 01:34   #6
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To finish on a moan, what miserable beggars are the two skiing clubs on the Trent. Both have excellent slips, one at Gunthorpe and the other at High Marnham. I contacted both and they are effectively closed-shop with costly and difficult membership constraints and an absolute refusal for non-members to use their slipways. Ok I know this is their prerogative but their rules are not very friendly or helpful.
There is a video on YouTube of a small group of Wayfarer sailors who negotiated permission to launch at the Gunthorpe ski club. Certainly they have granted permission in the past. Perhaps it's one of those things that needs to be agreed in advance after a written approach to t' committee, etc. I can understand why they want to keep it exclusive otherwise every sunny Sunday they'd have all the idiots turning up. I've seen small inflatables doing donuts and making big wakes alongside the moored cruisers just down from there.
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Old 23 May 2020, 01:43   #7
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it was really worrying knowing I had less than 3ft of water in places. At least I had the comfort of a solid hull.
There should be no problem with water depth for any SIB or small open boat with outboard on any of the canals that are in use, except in times of drought. They are made and maintained for narrowboats and cruisers. However, I agree that the amount of plastic waste, dead dogs, and other debris may sometimes be a problem for the propellor.
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Old 25 May 2020, 05:59   #8
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Well people I cannot thank you all enough. I listened to all your advice. I registered the boat, paid for the 30 day explorer pass and headed out for the maiden voyage yesterday afternoon from the first on Mikefule's list at Farndon.

The slip is concrete and smooth all the way in so really easy for a newbie to launch from. The family really enjoyed the ride up to Newark castle lock and back. We saw 1 other RIB/SIB but other than that we had the water to ourselves.

An absolutely perfect first time out and one that has left the family wanting to go again today ( RESULT!! )

Thanks so much your advice is invaluable
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Old 25 May 2020, 06:19   #9
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Another quick question if I may. I loved being on the Trent and its got me wondering what the limitations are in terms of how far I can actually travel along it. Having read about it I can see its 94 miles long and runs all the way up to the Humber. What I haven't yet figured out is if all of it is physically and 'legally' navigable. I mean without dropping onto canals for miles at a time ( understanding there will be locks to avoid certain sections around weirs etc ).
I quite like the idea of going on a long one way trip then collecting the boat and driving back, so that I can see the maximum variation in scenery within a day. Even better would be boat camping! That's probably for another thread but I love the idea of dragging the boat out of the water at a remote location and camping for the night!

Thanks again for your advice
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Old 25 May 2020, 06:49   #10
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Glad you enjoyed the trip from Farndon. The trip upstream is also good, with some lovely open countryside. When there's no Covid lockdown, the Bromley Arms at Fiskerton is a nice objective. Sit outside overlooking the river and have a quiet pint or a pub meal.

If you go downstream, as you did, then early in the season you can explore up the river Devon (pronounced "Deevon" unlike the county) by chugging quietly through Newark marina and under the bridge. You can get a mile or two up there if you're careful with the prop. However, later in the year it becomes too choked with weeds. I've done that trip successfully in march and in September.

The Trent is navigable, with a few canalised bypasses where there are weirs, for most of its length. You can get down to the Humber from Nottingham or Newark. However, the lower stretches are tidal and unattractive with deep gloop mud.

As for "rules": you should have a C&RT licence although in practice, you are unlikely to be asked to produce it if you behave sensibly, show due respect to other water users, and don't try to go through manned locks. You will of course have to produce it to use a paid slip such as at a marina. The price has got silly recently, especially if you go for "both river and canal" as they no longer do single day licences. It now makes a real difference whether I opt to take the auxiliary outboard on the sailing dinghy.

If your boat and engine are light enough to launch and recover without a slip, there are many sections of the Trent and Soar that are worth exploring. On the Soar, I like to find a quiet backwater, anchor and swim.
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Old 25 May 2020, 08:01   #11
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If you are heading upstream you have to use the Nottingham canal which starts at the Forest football ground and exits at Beeston Marina. You don't have to leave the river but there are then hazards for your prop and there's no through route. I believe there's a nice place to eat as you enter the canal where you can keep an eye on your boat, also as been mentioned there's a nice pub next to the marina.

Holme Pierrepont is a nice place to moor and grab some food (or toilet break) and you can watch the kayakers go down the rapids.

Another nice place is the Ferry Boat Inn between Stoke and Gunthorpe locks. Again keep an eye on your boat even though this is a country pub. There's two nice pubs at Gunthorpe. Gunthorpe lock has a viewing area where the public like to watch the boats going through. No pressure to get your boat handling right or be subject to ridicule lol.

When you get on the tidal section after Cromwell lock it's pretty boring but at least you can open up the engine. There's no speed restriction beyond Gainsborough bridge. Beware a couple of places (they are signed) where there are sandbanks in the middle of the river. I purchased a couple of navigation charts from Sawley Marina specific for the Trent and another for the Ouse which joins the Trent into the Humber.

Torksey Lock has a lot of history and is a nice place to stop and eat. If you go down this wide canal it takes you all the way to Lincoln.

The first time in a manned lock will be a little daunting but you will quickly pick up the technique of looping your bow's painter line around a vertical guide while keeping the engine in idle in reverse gear to keep the stern into the side of the lock. The lock keeper will ask you for your license number so keep it handy, and he will radio ahead to inform the next lock of your arrival. The lock walls are pretty gungy, do you have some fenders?

If you can afford a handheld radio then it would probably be worthwhile. Channel 74.

Regarding the Derwent, this is non-navigable and even kayakers are unwelcome on certain sections. It exits into the Trent just before the M1 motorway bridge.

P.S. I believe you can launch at Rother Valley Country Park near Sheffield but it's pretty pointless as there's nowhere to go and you have to get out before the sailing boats set sail.
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Old 28 May 2020, 08:41   #12
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This is a great thread as I have actually just purchased a SIB and live close to Gunthorpe, my question is does anyone know where the unrestricted sections of river are heading either direction? I can imagine heading south towards Nottingham there arnt many however I would assume heading North towards Newark with the open countryside there might be a few? Thanks
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Old 28 May 2020, 09:50   #13
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This is a great thread as I have actually just purchased a SIB and live close to Gunthorpe, my question is does anyone know where the unrestricted sections of river are heading either direction? I can imagine heading south towards Nottingham there arnt many however I would assume heading North towards Newark with the open countryside there might be a few? Thanks
If you mean "unrestricted" in terms of speed, then there are specific exemptions for a couple of water ski clubs. However, if there are no fishermen or other boats to annoy, and it is daylight, there is nothing to stop you planing along the centre of the river.

In terms of bank erosion, the river floods, or at least goes into spate, every year at least once, which means 2 metres of water over and above what is there when the river is running normally.

A SIB on the plane causes virtually no wash. I have watched and my wake doesn't even reach the bank. On the other hand large motor cruisers are often plugging through the water at brisk displacement speeds, towing a wake big enough to capsize a nervous canoeist.

Common sense should apply. On my motorbike, I will happily do 80mph on an empty road with good lines of sight, but I always obey the 30 limit religiously. Similarly, with a small fast boat, I do not annoy other water users, but I am happy to use my judgement when circumstances allow. I am not alone in this: there are often anglers anchored above the weir below Farndon, and I've seen them planing to and from this position ó and the often don't slow down for moorings, which to me is a big No No.

That said, for most of the time, why not chug and enjoy the wildlife? On a nice summer's day, you will see herons, little egrets (egrets? I've seen a few... but then again, too few to mention), cormorants, Egyptian geese, kingfishers, coots, moorhens, swans, Canada geese, greylag geese, various terns and gulls, and finches, and on a very hot day, you may see some great tits on a quiet stretch of the bank.
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