View Full Version : Boating - Thames & Canary Wharf

26th Apr 2014, 08:33
Myself and family have recently found the world of boating having recently purchased our own cabin cruiser here in Oz. Looking at our next rip to the UK and have thought about hiring some sort of boat to explore the Thames and surrounds, including some canals.

There's plenty of info on boating on the Thames and Estuary's, something I'd never even knew about even after visiting London many times over my life.....London tourism should be promoting it more.

Are private boats restricted from the waters around Canary Wharf. We'd love to explore around South Dock, North Dock, Millwall and Millwall Outer Dock. There doesn't seem to be any info on if you can do it and how small a boat you need to get under some of the bridges.

One surprising thing I have found is, even with all the houses that back onto the rivers and canals, there seems to be little or no houses that have their own pier with a boat moored out back. Florida and Queensland in Oz has hundreds of thousands. Something to do with the weather?

Just curious as I know next to nothing about the boating lifestyle in the UK.

26th Apr 2014, 09:17
there seems to be little or no houses that have their own pier with a boat moored out back. Florida and Queensland in Oz has hundreds of thousands. Something to do with the weather?

I think more to do with the fact that the water area of river/canal is not owned by the properties fronting it, and any moorings are granted under licence by the water owner/authority and limited in number. I'd stick mainly to the canals, much more interesting, which you can access from the Thames at Limehouse basin just downstream from Tower bridge, Brentford, Weybridge, Reading, and Oxford. You can take a canal boat between these points on the Thames. From Reading, on the Kennet and Avon Canal you can get as far as the River Severn which also conects to the canals further North.

Lon More
26th Apr 2014, 09:40
Are private boats restricted from the waters around Canary Wharf
There's still one dock there operating comercially, part of the West India Dock, IIRC. There are moorings on the other side of the river, off the Greenland Dock where there is also a sailing school. Mooring fees start from about 23 quid per meter per day but it Always looked full when we had a flat nearby. With views like this it's a pity I sold it.

(must have been taken from under my flat)

26th Apr 2014, 09:41
Start here...
Port of London Authority (http://www.pla.co.uk)

26th Apr 2014, 18:17
Henry, for non-tidal waters of the Thames, owners have to pay an annual licence fee to the Environment Agency (not British Waterways) which varies according to the area occupied by the boat ie length x beam. For my 32 footer this year it's about 564! To that add marina fees of about 3,600 and all that's just to keep your boat moored on the Thames! There are however no extras (apart from a 4 yearly 'safety survey') and I found lock keepers very helpful.
There is a speed limit of 5 mph (8 km/h) on the non-tidal Thames, canals and Norfolk Broads and this is 'policed' quite strictly in some places where you might be tempted to go faster (straight bit of Thames north of Boulter's Lock, Maidenhead is one).
By the way, some canals can be accessed off the Thames via the Shepperton Lock area and unlike the Thames, locks are normally diy, there aren't usually lock keepers.

26th Apr 2014, 20:53
and for those of you blessed with fund sufficient to run high powered RIB to be well aware of the phenomeon known as "hooking",
if ,like I had, you are not aware of what i speak then I suggest you google the MAIB report into the Padstow RIB accident - boat named Milly.

V sad all round, and the phrase, for the want of a kill cord. springs to mind. I was particularly suprised in reading the expert testimony of the proefssionals who tested the boat to replicate the accident.

27th Apr 2014, 08:52
Whenever I'm in London I walk the Regent's Canal from The Angel Tunnel at Islington down to the Thames near Canary Wharf and on to Greenwich. I never fail to be surprised by how many canal boats there are, but at a guess I'd say not more than 20-30% are permanently occupied. I think a short (two or three weeks) holiday in a hired boat would be great, if the weather cooperated.


Two photographs of the Regent's Canal at Christmas - and yes, this is in the middle of London. Somewhere between Hoxton and Shoredich.



27th Apr 2014, 21:57
OFSO, could have used those pics on WoE!

Guptar, "boating" in the UK is "different". Some houses do have their own private piers on the canal at the bottom of the garden but the length of boats used on the canals, and the width of most properties backing on the canals, is such that an average boat would take up more frontage than available.

"Average" boat being a 45'-60' narrowboat and "narrow" being 6'10" beam, i.e. pencil-thin. Permanent moorings in London cost GBP 12,000 and up a year; visitor moorings are difficult to come by and limited to between 7 and 14 days. My wife and I are in the process of buying a 57' narrowboat and will have to pass through London in late May, therefore looking for visitor moorings in Little Venice (google it) for a week. Not easy.

I'd suggest continued Googling, and checking out Canal and River Trust (CRT) for more info on boating in England. Canary Wharf is probably more easily done by tour bus and there are 2,000 miles of waterways available for more leisurely cruising.