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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    3

    Default Boat suitable for shallow "river"

    Hi all

    I have a fair amount of experience sailing ~30 foot yachts but at long last have a house with access to a small river, and from that onto the Thames.

    So I want to get a small motor boat but am in unfamiliar waters (so to speak...) and would love some advice.

    The river is an offshoot of the Wey and it summer I believe it gets down to about 2 feet. I've found a boat I quite like that I think will do the job. But I'm a bit concerned about what will happen in summer when the level is low. The engine is long shadt but I'm not so worried about that as I can always paddle the 200 yards to the Thames. But the keel does seem faily angular;



    Do I need to be concerned ?

  2. #2
    rbcoomer's Avatar
    rbcoomer is offline Registered User
    Location : The Tropics of the English Riviera!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    2,652

    Default I don't know if this helps, but...

    Our Fletcher 14' (ArrowFlyte) draws about 0.5M or 20" including the prop/outboard. I've strirred the mud up a bit when going any less than that, but the bit that worries me most is other boat's wake or waves etc when in the shallows or an ebbing tide. The temporary loss of 6" draft can mean an impact on the skeg! I've never grounded the hull, except on recovery at slipway, but once aground it could be a long wait for the tide so not planning to either...

    What's the riverbed comprised of? If it's primarily mud/sand then I probably wouldn't be too worried using oars/paddles and even a cheap fishfinder will guide you along with a chart. If there's lots of stones/debris that could puncture or split the GRP then I'd want a bigger error margin or a flat/very shallow v-hull (not ideal on the main river perhaps?) I tend to try and keep 0.7 to 1M of depth if there's any risk of rocks etc - combined with very slow speed - but that's with the outboard. I'm also getting to know where the shallow bits are now, but certainly no reason to get complacent about the rest as there could be anything down there!

    I've got the wrong boat really for poking around in creeks and shallow water, but for me that's part of the fun of having a boat and I just take extra care/time as a more suitable vessel for this would be no use on the sea. I do make quite extensive use of a cheap little fishfinder I got on eBay (about 35) and whilst it's very basic, it does seem pretty accurate in shallow water and I wouldn't want to be without it!
    S.Devon Pub Meets: ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3853165
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    24,667

    Default

    But can you paddle the 200 yards upstream to get back home again?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thats very useful thanks Robin. I'll see if any of the neighbours can give me a better idea about the lowest points on the way out and how 'treacherous' it gets in summer.

    Even though its not the most sensible option for me (I'm unlikely to make it to the sea in it!), I cant find anything else that appeals within my budget (around 1000), can take 4 adults, and is not the other side of the country.

    I guess I could always sell it if it turns out to be completely impractical!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Searush View Post
    But can you paddle the 200 yards upstream to get back home again?
    If there is enough current to be a challenge I suspect there will be enough depth. When its low, from what I've seen (briefly) its almost stagnant.

    But its a good point - something to check definitely

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    477

    Default

    Was going to suggest a canoe or even a hovercraft.
    I am old and wise because i was young and stupid.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    316

    Default

    Simon, my 26' twin outdrive boat will float in that depth of water, 18'' draft so there must be a very large number of craft you can use, obviously the fishfinder is vital initaly but you will soon learn the 200mtrs you use.

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