View Full Version : Boats registered on Thames

12-02-07, 16:48
In a letter (http://www.environment.gov.uk/news/1276507/1569780/?version=1&lang=_e) published on the EA website it states:

"The number of craft registered on the Thames climbed from 22,772 in August 2005 to 23,429 in August 2006 and hire boat operators have reported a brisk trade this past summer."

Would anyone in the trade like to comment on the claim re "brisk trade"? On the few occasions I passed certain hire operators there seemed to be quite a few boats lying idle.

It would also be interesting to know how the increase is accounted for by various category of boat and what the net increment in revenue was as a result of the increase in numbers. If for instance an increase in gold licences for narrow boats was part of these statistics which would have increased numbers but without a comensurate increase in income. I very much doubt that the increase was entirely due to cruisers.

12-02-07, 19:42
I would suggest to you that "brisk trade" is either (A) referring to day boats being let out due to the good summer
(B) The industry talking itself up.
Without doubt the increase from 22,772 to 23,429 was due to the event at Child Beale (temp. registrations) plus of course the other temporary registrations and gold licences.

13-02-07, 10:26
Absolutely, entirely due to those long pointy bit of tin that endear themselves to you...

To add insult to injury hefty discounts were offered (and taken) up for all attendees.

Never mind numbers will fall (again) when the Fuel Tax reaches punitive levels.

13-02-07, 10:48
Do you not think that the fuel tax hike will bring boaters off the coast and on to the river? Thus reversing the escape of those objecting to the increase in license fee.
It's all too confusing for me!

13-02-07, 11:21
Hadn't thought of that one, but the Thames is full to capacity - moorings-wise so there could only be a small net gain.

Apart from a relatively small percentage (?10%) of folks who do any serious 'long distance' cruising ( reckon I do about 1200 miles per year - and that's inland), most boats move little if at all - That's why there is so little concern over the probable increase in fuel costs.

The likely upshot is that people will potter less, those sea based who are concerned will perhaps cruise at displacement speed, and those elsewhere who can't get on the plane will use their vessels less.

I love all of the Thames, but it does need some activity to make it vibrant and a pleasure for all on or near it; it contributes to what is left of the feel good factor.

Not wishing to make a discordant note, but what is NOT needed is an influx of larger high powered cruisers not because of any "type distinction" but more for the reason that large engines run slowly and will emit clouds of blue smoke if not worked hard. In addition many planing hull designs create a lot of wash at slow speeds.

Enough - this thread was about registrations not what sort. Apologies

13-02-07, 11:34
I think long term we may see a lot more older inefficent sea boats retiring to the river. There are for instance a couple of 80's Princess 415 and 412 flybridge boats moored at Benson near me, hardly river boats and previously quite rare this far upstream, but a lot of boat for your money and quite useable on the river.
I think some yards will suffer with diesel sales as well, why pay over £1 a liter when you can buy from a garage for 80p, long term diesel maybe end up hard to find, much like petrol is now on the river.

13-02-07, 12:05
Worth reading that letter carefully.
Under the ‘best-case’ scenario, we may lose around 600 powered craft, which concerns us. But all the projections are simply that - guesstimates that may never happen.

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Note - best case scenario! At an average, say, £300 each thats £180K down. They dont however make us privy to worst case scenario!

It gets better :
Our most recent audit worryingly revealed a quarter of the infrastructure along the rivers we manage is in urgent need of repair or restoration after years of under investment in the waterways of England and Wales.

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Gee, they finally noticed /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif But also notice that that statement refers to all the rivers managed by the EA, not just the Thames. Hmmmm ....suspicion of cross subsidy possibilities here?

We are dedicated to seeing this positive trend continue and retrofitting out-of-hours power to locks, to help people navigate outside lock keeper hours or through unmanned locks, are just the sort of vital improvements that will help woo holidaying families back to the rivers.

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Ummmm....are there any unmanned locks except outside duty hours? Will getting holiday makers back actually have any impact on income? I would hardly call out-of-hours power a vital improvement compared to the need for dredging and additional mooring facilities.

Even with government assistance, our latest research shows we are £12m a year short of what we actually need to bring the entire infrastructure up to a ‘fair’ condition.

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Lets see...£12million divided by 22,000 craft licences = £545 per licence holder - no way thats going to happen then /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Must be obvious that the river will need maintaining regardless of how many boat licences are sold. It would appear that only those of us that enjoy the river by being afloat on it or fishing in it should be expected to contribut to upkeep. How about walkers, runners, cyclists etc? Anyone fancy shaking collecting tins at locks ?
Is that £12million just for the Thames or is somebody spinning the figures????

Now, however, because of the hard work of innovative organisations such as the River Thames Alliance that we set up to spearhead rejuvenation on the capital’s waterway, we are beginning to see the signs of a turn-around.

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Would be interesting to know what these 'signs' are and whether or not the River Thames Alliance has actually achieved any measurable effect? Frankly, I seriously doubt it.

I made contact with the guy who wrote the article the EA are responding to....he wasn't aware they had responded! Watch this space.......

13-02-07, 17:24
"suspicion of cross subsidy possibilities"
We re are getting our first "and only"set of powered gates down ere on the Medeway and will also be benefiting by having installed no less than 3 mooring spots next to 3 locks.
We would like the thank all Thames boaters for this generous display of largesse.........

13-02-07, 18:13
I don't mind the old Mudway getting a few bob, maybe there will be a few more boaters who feel loved and wanted:-)

As for power at Allington, my grandpa would turn in his grave. He used to tell tales of the timber barges working up to the Baltic Saw Mills in Tonbridge, horsedrawn with a bit of sail if the wind was in the right derection. Actually, he probably sparked my first interest in boating 40 odd years ago with those descriptions. I've got all nostalgic now and feel obliged to have a dram in his memory.

13-02-07, 22:55
Some good pictures of East Farleigh lock on Local TV this evening.You can just make out the lock gates under the water.That is before todays rain arrives down stream.
Was always told that about 24 hours is enough time for it all to arrive down in the Maidstone area.

14-02-07, 11:57
And weekend 3/4 Feb it was pretty empty at Tonbridge, not even much behind Leigh Barrage. Guess they let it all out at Allington to make room for this lot:-)