Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters – maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Canals and Rivers
difference between cruising on the river versus canal
Wednesday,1 May, 2013
9:04 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 296
Member Since:
Tuesday,30 April, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi,

Hope this does not seem like a daft question.

New to this cruising lark, boat not yet on water but researching whilst we wait for it.  Having looked at canal maps, i see that many are joined by rivers, i.e from Nottingham centre, you have to go on the river whichever way out.  What is the difference between navigating on the canal against navigating on the river?   Are there any differences between the two? I also notice that some maps describe differing rivers as tidal or not tidal.  Can you tell me again if there is anything different that we need to be aware of?  Thankyou

There is nothing in the world as precious as the gift of life itself.

Wednesday,1 May, 2013
10:20 pm
Avatar
cc’ing
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 69
Member Since:
Monday,4 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi,

Hope this does not seem like a daft question.

New to this cruising lark, boat not yet on water but researching whilst we wait for it.  Having looked at canal maps, i see that many are joined by rivers, i.e from Nottingham centre, you have to go on the river whichever way out.  What is the difference between navigating on the canal against navigating on the river?   Are there any differences between the two? I also notice that some maps describe differing rivers as tidal or not tidal.  Can you tell me again if there is anything different that we need to be aware of?  Thankyou

Hi Kim

There are a number of differences between canals and rivers. How much those differences matter depends on a number of factors, such as the flow of the river (how strong the current is).

A key difference is that (with the exception of the Llangollen Canal) canals don’t flow whereas rivers, of course, do! When you stop your boat on a canal it’s not likely to go anywhere much – just may drift a little. When you stop on a river the flow can take you for example towards or over a weir which would be disastrous. So when on a river you should have a suitable anchor, chain and warp and know how and be ready to deploy that anchor in an emergency.

You can probably see how the flow changes the way you steer and the speed at which you travel. Going downstream is faster than going up (ignoring tidal sections) so it is common in strong currents to turn the boat around before mooring up when going downstream as the boat is easier to control going into the current. Another consideration is the power of your engine and this is especially true when on tidal waters.

Some rivers are obviously big waterways and there will be commercial traffic on them. In such cases it is commonly a requirement that you have VHF radio and are knowledgeable and licensed to use it. Smaller rivers don’t see commercial traffic.

Bear in mind that some rivers are not covered by the CaRT licence and you either have to buy and Environment Agency licence or pay on entry for some other rivers.

Tidal rivers are a subject on their own and I think it’s best to ask about a particular river when you think you may wish to navigate it.

I hope others will correct and/or add to the above!

Cheers,
John
nine9feet

NB Samsara

Thursday,2 May, 2013
6:38 am
Avatar
Southam, Warwickshire
Admin
Forum Posts: 1797
Member Since:
Friday,19 February, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Kim,

You also need to take recent rainfall into consideration when you think about river cruising When a river is in spate (when it floods after heavy rain) it can be quite dangerous. The river flows far faster so you need to use more engine power to combat the flow, the river can rise above the level of the banks and flow onto the adjacent land – taking you and your boat with it in extreme circumstances – and the river level will rise making passing under bridges hazardous. Entrances to rivers display warnings if the water level is high.

Mooiring is also more difficult on a river rather than on a canal. A canal is more likely to have a vertical side so that you can tie your boat close enough to the bank to step off your boat. On a river you’re more likely to find a mooring with a sloping bank so with your boat sitting on the river bottom there’s still going to be water between you and the bank. In cases like this you’ll need to make sure that you have a plank on board to span the gap between your boat and the shore.

On other thing to remember is that you will meet a whole new boating community, the cruiser brigade. The big plastic gin palaces will race past you on the river with the owners looking down on you from above. The same cruiser owners will watch you nervously when you bring your 15+ tonnes of steel into the same lock as them and their plastic toy.

Don’t let any of this put you off river cruising. If you want to explore the network in its entirety, you’ll value the river links to different canals. Rivers offer you an entirely different experience, and most of the time very pleasant experience, to sedate cruising along narrow canals.

Click here to get a FREE copy of “Living On A Narrowboat:101 Essential Narrowboat Articles”

Thursday,2 May, 2013
8:26 am
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 296
Member Since:
Tuesday,30 April, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thankyou for the replies,  I must admit that the more calmer cruising on a canal appeals more than what I perceive to be a slightly more scary cruise on the river.  I have also seen the weir’s which look a bit wild.  I pass one when driving through Newark.  I realise that we will have to encounter some river connections but our aim is to stay on the canal network.  We just need to be prepared for when we have to use the river to join the canals.

There is nothing in the world as precious as the gift of life itself.

Thursday,2 May, 2013
9:35 am
Avatar
Poole, Dorset, UK
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 101
Member Since:
Saturday,2 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

As an attempt to put your mind at ease with regards to river boating, here is a photo I took a while back at Cookham, on the Thames …

 

[Image Can Not Be Found]

 

The good thing about rivers, generally speaking, is that there is a lot more room for everyone (locks excepted) than there is on say, the Llangollen, where in stretches there is hardly room for one boat, let alone two.

As with most things in life, a large dollop of common sense goes a long way to making the whole thing less daunting and a whole lot safer.

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Thursday,2 May, 2013
1:55 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 296
Member Since:
Tuesday,30 April, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks Blakie,

 

I could not open your pic for some reason, however, your words make sense. I think initially we will be exploring staffordshire, West Midlands and maybe Oxford way.  I have done a two week hol to Oxford and back (more years ago than I can remember) and Jim and I have done Foxton locks when the children were small, so our experience is limited to canal.  I am sure that the rivers will be okay, we will listen the the experience offered here.

Wink

Kim

There is nothing in the world as precious as the gift of life itself.

Thursday,2 May, 2013
2:47 pm
Avatar
Poole, Dorset, UK
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 101
Member Since:
Saturday,2 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

deckhand said
Thanks Blakie,

I could not open your pic for some reason

Here it is again …

 

river-cottage.jpgImage Enlarger

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Thursday,2 May, 2013
5:58 pm
Avatar
Continuous Cruiser
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 968
Member Since:
Thursday,12 January, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

It is unfortunate that a lot of canals are connected by stretches of river or they are rivers with locks every so often. These are better known as ‘navigations’. Flood locks are a feature of many of these of which the consummate example is the Calder & Hebble. Don’t always trust the gauges that are at all river locks. We have left one lock with the river in the ‘green’ only to find the flood lock protecting the next section shut. You will also find that floodgates may be shut in expectation that levels are going to rise. So phone and ask.

Never go onto the river without wearing a lifejacket.

Choose a lifejacket that is comfortable to wear for a long period and is easy to put on. We found that front fastening ones like the Trust wear are the best.

And whilst we are talking about rivers, unless the flow is negligible, always turn to face the flow when mooring otherwise you might find you dropped off your crew but then can’t get back to the bank.

If there is above normal flow then give any weir a wide berth. although the general rule us to keep to the right you can be forgiven for not obeying this at such times.

As has been said, mooring opportunities on rivers are not as many as on canals. Most rivers do have dedicated mooring places, often with flood-protected floating pontoons. As a safety precaution against those idiots who think it is a laugh to untie you, invest in a chain and padlock to secure yourself – the upstream end so that you won’t swing out if untied.

Check the weather forecast before you set off, especially for areas upstream. When it rains in the Yorkshire Dales it will flood in York a day or so later. If venturing onto tidal rivers then also check the tide times and try and avoid spring tides.

Don’t dismiss rivers. They can be boring. They can also be beautiful and relaxing.

Regards

Pete

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Thursday,2 May, 2013
6:18 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 296
Member Since:
Tuesday,30 April, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks for the picture again Blakie, that looks pretty stunning. If the water stays that calm, I could manage that Laugh

 

Thanks Pete.   I have had some concerns about being untied.  Chains sound like a good idea.  Is the untying a problem on the canals/rivers or is it likely to happen in more certain places?

 

regards

 

Kim

There is nothing in the world as precious as the gift of life itself.

Thursday,2 May, 2013
8:34 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 637
Member Since:
Tuesday,18 September, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Rivers are great. 

Just do not do what I did. I started at Nottingham. On the advice of others, I bought an anchor, chain and rope before venturing onto the mighty Trent (it happened to be on amber).  In the excitement I forgot to attach the rope to the boat, the rope to the chain and the chain to the anchorEmbarassed

Retired; Somerset/Dorset border when not out and about on Lucy Lowther

Days without name and hours without number

http://thelovelylisanarrowboat.blogspot.co.uk
 
Thursday,2 May, 2013
10:10 pm
Avatar
Poole, Dorset, UK
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 101
Member Since:
Saturday,2 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Alan said
In the excitement I forgot to attach the rope to the boat, the rope to the chain and the chain to the anchorEmbarassed

But apart from that, I presume it all went well Wink

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Friday,3 May, 2013
8:21 am
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 120
Member Since:
Monday,8 April, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

While were on about rivers.

 

When does a tidal river become ‘brackish’ water?

 

In reality where about would I need the alternative hull anodes to sail with? 

 

Cheers Martin.

Friday,3 May, 2013
10:20 am
Avatar
Continuous Cruiser
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 968
Member Since:
Thursday,12 January, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

martincowin said
While were on about rivers.

 

When does a tidal river become ‘brackish’ water?

 

In reality where about would I need the alternative hull anodes to sail with? 

 

Cheers Martin.

As a general rule, navigable rivers are either tidal (salt) or fresh. There is no brackish bit as there is a clear divide between the two in the form of a lock or weir. There are some exceptions such as the Severn where spring tides – they are the highest – overtops the weir. Also, sometimes on shorter locks leading onto tidal waters such as Keadby, Salters Lode, they will open the gates at both ends when the tide makes a level with the river so as to accommodate longer boats.

Nobody worries about anodes in that way. I guess if you spend a lot of time in salt water you may need to change them more often but if you are dry docking every two or three years it is not a problem.

I should have added that this site will give you river levels throughout the country:

http://www.environment-agency……fault.aspx

As Blakie has said. make sure your anchor is ready to be deployed at any time. Besides making sure it’s tied on you need to take it from the locker and make it ready to throw over the side without any messing about.

If you don’t venture onto a river you miss out on so much of the country. Try something gentle first such as Worcester to Stourport – that way around first until you get the experience.

 

Regards

Pete

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Friday,3 May, 2013
11:56 am
Avatar
Poole, Dorset, UK
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 101
Member Since:
Saturday,2 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

pearley said

As a general rule, navigable rivers are either tidal (salt) or fresh. There is no brackish bit as there is a clear divide between the two in the form of a lock or weir.

Technically speaking, any tidal river will have a brackish section, though it will not be fixed geographically, moving up and down the river with the tide. The uppermost region of this may well be fixed by a weir, but wherever fresh water flows into salt water, there will be a brackish section where they mix.

For more info, take a look here …

They don’t call me Blakie the pedant for nothing Smile

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Friday,3 May, 2013
1:20 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 296
Member Since:
Tuesday,30 April, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Oh dear Alan, thats the sort of thing that I would do .  We will be starting at Nottingham as this is where our boat will be coming from, which is the reason that I was asking the question initially.  I have followed the canal/river on google earth and there seems to be quite a river stretch whichever way you come out, so we are not going to be able to avoid it.  We want to get onto the Trent and Mersey Canal for the first few months, get a bit of experience and then plan to head a bit further afield a few months down the line.

There is nothing in the world as precious as the gift of life itself.

Friday,3 May, 2013
2:37 pm
Avatar
Poole, Dorset, UK
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 101
Member Since:
Saturday,2 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

pearley said

Never go onto the river without wearing a lifejacket.

Choose a lifejacket that is comfortable to wear for a long period and is easy to put on. We found that front fastening ones like the Trust wear are the best.

Regards

Pete

Best bit of advice in the whole thread. If you fall into a canal, you will most likely be able to walk to the bank. If you fall into a river, even one that looks calm and tranquil, you may find that the currents under that shimmering surface are stronger than you are. The major rivers of this country, Thames, Severn, Trent, Mersey and Humber are all tens of feet deep in places, so walking is no longer an option. Wear that lifejacket.

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Friday,3 May, 2013
3:31 pm
Avatar
Continuous Cruiser
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 968
Member Since:
Thursday,12 January, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

deckhand said
Oh dear Alan, thats the sort of thing that I would do .  We will be starting at Nottingham as this is where our boat will be coming from, which is the reason that I was asking the question initially.  I have followed the canal/river on google earth and there seems to be quite a river stretch whichever way you come out, so we are not going to be able to avoid it.  We want to get onto the Trent and Mersey Canal for the first few months, get a bit of experience and then plan to head a bit further afield a few months down the line.

So you will be going upriver with your first lock at Beeston. No problem but keep to the right when you exit the lock as the weir stream will pull you to the left. The Trent here, for the most part, is no problem, but as you near the lock at Cranfleet the river narrows and so the flow is faster. You will need to open the throttle a bit. There is a long pontoon mooring at Cranfleet. If there is any flow on the river it will push you hard against this pontoon and it can be a bit of a struggle to get off when the lock is ready.

After Cranfleet Cut is the junction with the Trent, Soar and Erewash. You go straight ahead on the Trent and after a mile Sawley Locks are on the left. However, if you need the Sanitary Station you keep right to a pontoon just past the railway bridge. turning round and heading back down to the locks is no real problem unless there is a lot of flow. If you only want water then go up the locks. There are several taps opposite the marina. There is a pair of locks which are electric. Instructions are on the operating pedestal. As you will probably have to climb a ladder to get up to the lockside make sure you take your waterways key with you.

After passing the marina you will come to the floodlock. This works like any other lock. There is then another mile or so of river until you get to the first lock of the Trent & Mersey. This is sort of in the middle with the Trent on your left and the Derwent on your right. The first half dozen or so of the T & M locks are wide and can be a pain as they don’t all obey the accepted rules of wide locks. Make sure you use ropes to control your boat – much easier if you can share with another boat. After Burton all locks are narrow.

If you want some suggestions of mooring spots just ask.

 

Regards

Pete

Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

Friday,3 May, 2013
3:46 pm
Avatar
Poole, Dorset, UK
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 101
Member Since:
Saturday,2 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Pete,

You seem to be the font of all knowledge, how long have you been on the boats?

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

Poole, Dorset … not a canal in sight, but I’m not going to be here for long … Anupadin

Friday,3 May, 2013
4:09 pm
Avatar
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 296
Member Since:
Tuesday,30 April, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Wow Pete, thankyou for that, that is great.  And the advice about the life jackets has been taken onboard (scuse the pun).  I know this next question is probably like, how long is a piece of string, but how long would a trip like this take, from Nottingham centre to reaching the entrance to the Trent and Mersey?  realise it is probably how long it takes to get through locks etc and conditions of the river, but say, on a straight run through with no hold ups.

 

I would also appreciate any suggestions of good mooring places too.

 

regards

 

Kim

There is nothing in the world as precious as the gift of life itself.

Friday,3 May, 2013
4:13 pm
Avatar
cc’ing
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 69
Member Since:
Monday,4 March, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Blakie said
Hi Pete,

You seem to be the font of all knowledge, how long have you been on the boats?

Cheers,

Blakie Smile

According to his profile (which your question prompted me to read Laugh ) Pete had a shared boat from 1999 but has been cruising on his own boat since 2007!  A man of experience, obviously.Smile

 

I had better put some info in my own profile sometime!

 

Cheers,

John

nine9feet

 

NB Samsara

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 298

Currently Online:
1 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

pearley: 968

Alan: 637

GM: 462

deckhand: 296

richardhula: 292

Paul B: 183

Johny London: 142

martincowin: 120

MikeEaves: 116

Our Nige: 110

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 71

Members: 16056

Moderators: 0

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 10

Topics: 1461

Posts: 9029

Administrators: Paul Smith: 1797