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Thread: Trip to Bristol

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    218

    Default Trip to Bristol

    I'm planning a trip to the Bristol channel for this summer, so any tips or advice will be gratefully received.
    We are based in Ipswich and have been up the Thames as far as Oxford, but this year we want to venture off at Reading on the K & A canal.
    I have looked on line and it looks like we should just about be OK for air draft about 7'3'' and beam 9'0".
    We don't have a BSC because it is not required where we moor and I have checked with the Nav. Authority (I think it was EA) and they told me for a 'transit' I would not require one, which will save some expense (we have had them previously when we moored elsewhere so I am confident we are safe).
    We won't be in a tearing hurry so are happy for the locks experience; 109 I think.
    The boat is a Colvic Northerner.
    We are planning to be on the canal in early July hopefully missing the start of school holidays.
    I realize we will need a short term licence for the non tidal Thames as well.

    Cheers Richard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    4,238

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    You'll be alright on the Thames - but IMHO - not on the K&A.
    This latter is very shallow with a lot of rubbish in it to block your propeller(s).
    There have bee several posts / threads on here - but with very little feedback (perhaps they didn't survive) to prove me wrong.
    Even if you do manage to survive the rubbish, you may have a challenge in getting ashore, but a long gang plank would solve that.

    It's the draught and access to a weed hatch that can be the killer, the rest is in your power to circumnavigate...

    ps: (As I own a WSOB, I'm not familiar with your craft, thus may be being somewhat conservative....)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Best depth you might expect along the centre of the cut is 3' 6" without the underwater debris but it's only a couple of feet by the towpath. And that depends on water levels in summer. Suggest you stay on the Thames and head up towards Lechlade if you can get under Osney bridge on a good day.
    When I was in the Navy ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Itinerant. On an adventure!
    Posts
    2,811

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Quote Originally Posted by galeus View Post
    I'm planning a trip to the Bristol channel for this summer, so any tips or advice will be gratefully received.
    We are based in Ipswich and have been up the Thames as far as Oxford, but this year we want to venture off at Reading on the K & A canal.
    I have looked on line and it looks like we should just about be OK for air draft about 7'3'' and beam 9'0".
    We don't have a BSC because it is not required where we moor and I have checked with the Nav. Authority (I think it was EA) and they told me for a 'transit' I would not require one, which will save some expense (we have had them previously when we moored elsewhere so I am confident we are safe).
    We won't be in a tearing hurry so are happy for the locks experience; 109 I think.
    The boat is a Colvic Northerner.
    We are planning to be on the canal in early July hopefully missing the start of school holidays.
    I realize we will need a short term licence for the non tidal Thames as well.

    Cheers Richard
    Ooops, I thought you were a boater and going around the end.
    Assume that you are really going to Bristol up the ditches and not the Bristol Channel - there is a world of difference.

    Have no construcrive advice to offer and do not understand any of your questions.
    Gwylan, a settee with a sail

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Limehouse hole
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Biggest potential problem as mentioned will be prop fouling.

    And you would want lots of fenders for the locks or your gel coat will suffer.

    I think it will be OK. Get a strong wooden handled boathook for pulling rubbish off the prop.

    No bss needed for visitors it is self declaration.

    I've done K&A in a narrow boat but not in a splitter.

    My boat collection currently includes a 20ft Colvic motorcruiser. I bought it a year ago to the day. I keep it on the Thames. Nice boats are colvics.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Travelling
    Posts
    10,314

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwylan View Post
    Ooops, I thought you were a boater and going around the end.
    Assume that you are really going to Bristol up the ditches and not the Bristol Channel - there is a world of difference.

    Have no construcrive advice to offer and do not understand any of your questions.
    That could be the most pointless trolling post of 2019 so far.
    Of course he/she isn't planning to go around the coast, which is why they are posting in The Thames Forum and referring to the K & A.
    Thank you for pointing out your lack of constructive advice and understanding, which we have all noted.
    To the OP, don't let people like that prevent you from posting here. Most readers of this forum are extremely helpful.
    To answer the OPs question; a Colvic Northener with a 2' 7" draft should get down the K & A without a problem.
    "It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Limehouse hole
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Its actually a nice boat trip down the K&A. There are some moorings available but due to the fact it is a relatively recently restored waterway the banks in some places are a bit different to a canal which has been continuously open.

    Some nature fusiasts got involved and there are places where the edge piling is below the water line with vegetation encouraged in the gap between there and the tow path. I think this was to do with water voles.

    I spent the winter of 2001/02 on the K&A when I lived on a narrow boat. Its probably changed a bit since then. I have not been down there in my barge but its tempting !

    Do it. Enjoy it but put plenty of fenders around your boat !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Thanks for the replies so far
    We only draw 2'6" and have done plenty of canals up North, but only twice suffering prop fouling, once requiring a lift to remove a BMX tyre.
    Do you think the rubbish in the K&A is worse than other places?
    It is our intention to go up the Bristol channel to Gloucester and around that area for a week or two.
    Thanks Richard

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Seems you'll be ok drawing that much. K&A jetsam is no worse than any other canal. Recommend you get a pilot for the trip through the Bristol Channel.

    And please go slowly past the crusty liveaboard boats in Bradford on Avon or they'll be getting their hair off again!
    When I was in the Navy ...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Limehouse hole
    Posts
    474

    Default Re: Trip to Bristol

    Yes agreed about the residentials. There have been some "issues" around BoA in fact there was an article in a local paper recently but that was related to a local non boater losing his <> with a boat dweller who had presumably caused some sort of nuisance.

    Its a local problem but worth creeping past some of the busy areas as there may be people waiting for engine noises to do a quick moan and if you are making a wash or a noticeable bow wave then god help you.

    Background

    https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/16898007.canal-boater-left-homeless-by-a-group-of-drunken-men/

    (The boat was a sinker anyway)


    https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/17370808.be-nice-to-boaters-appeal/

    Anyway it'll be fine. Just put plenty of fenders on the boat
    Last edited by Outinthedinghy; 27-01-19 at 20:41.

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