Early May Bank Holiday (3-5 May) River Thames

This is just an initial post to create this event which was discussed at the AGM.

Full details will posted in this thread by the organiser soon.

If you want to declare your interest in this event you can go ahead now and post here.

1 Comment

Re: Early May Bank Holiday (3-5 May) River Thames

Here are the proposed plans for the Thames Event. This of course assumes that the floods have receded and that river flows are back to normal. The Event is intended to appeal to all levels of expertise and beginners to Mac river boating will be particularly welcome, with experienced hands available to assist or give advice on all aspects as necessary.

Starting point will be Benson Marina, situated on the A4074 about a mile north of Wallingford and 10 miles south-east of Oxford. The slipway is straight-forward and parking for car and trailer nearby. The village has a big petrol station with shop for emergency provisions, a MacDonald's, and one or two pubs with the usual facilities. The marina, which has a cruise-boat hire business and many residential chalets, has a popular cafe overlooking the river.

Friday 2nd May.
For those participants who can arrive that afternoon or evening it should be possible to launch and sleep on board the boat in a marina berth, perhaps meeting up for a pub supper as well. Alternatively, arrive late and sleep on board on the trailer.

Saturday 3rd May.
Late arrivals can launch their boats in the morning and we would hope to be able to make a start on the cruise down river at about 1100hrs. How far we go depends on what the majority wish to do in the prevailing conditions of weather, time available etc. Overnight mooring might be in a quiet spot alongside the riverbank or maybe somewhere near a pub in Pangbourne or Purley.

Sunday 4th May.
Start the day with a skippers meeting to agree how far to continue before turning back. Possibly plan to moor for a BBQ lunch.

Monday 5th May, Bank Holiday.
Aim to be back at Benson by early afternoon to enable boats to be recovered onto trailers in time for the journey home.

Cruise Notes:
We will probably pass through 4 or 5 locks in each direction and under several bridges where the Headway (Thames terminology) may be as low as 4 metres so leave the mast at home! Speed limit on the river is 8 kph.

Boat License.
On the non-tidal River Thames, the Environment Agency is responsible for boat licensing. For visitors, a Boat Safety Certificate is not required, but you do have to sign that your boat is safe. A 7-day license can be bought on line in advance or can be purchased by cash or cheque (NOT debit or Credit Card) at Benson lock at a cost of £36. This covers all locking charges and mooring fees other than in private marinas. Note that marine toilets discharging into the water are strictly prohibited and have to be sealed.

Benson Marina http://www.bensonwaterfront.co.uk
Slipway Launch & retrieve £30. Parking car & trailer £20 per week.

It's difficult to get lost on the river, but it is usually of interest to have a good map. One that we have found to be helpful is "River Thames" by Heron, ref 2355. £5.99 from http://www.canalshop.co.uk. This map covers the full navigable length from Lechlade to the Barrier.

We hope you can join us for a pleasant 3-day Cruise in Company.

Bill & Jean Millar
Avocet 26X