Tidal Thames meet 2018

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Prof Pat Pending on Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:11 pm

@Minerva wrote:essential reading for the tidal thames trip.

http://www.thamescruising.co.uk/wordpress/

Ideally all boats would have dual watch VHF - 14 and a selected channel we could all be on. then if someone develops problems, anchor down and broadcast to ourselves first. I suggest a side on tow to the nearest PLA buoy or pontoon. then a pan-pan to VTS, and let the flotilla continue as time is important.
If the boat in trouble has no VHF then the VHF owners can elect a designated "rescuer" who can bring up the rear. The victim then anchors down, rings them and gets a tow to a safe point where they can contact VTS via 999 coastguard. The flotilla can continue and the rescuer catch up.
It's a proposal...feel free to comment! it's probable that cruising clubs already have procedures for this but I have never done it before so not aware of them.


Sounds like a good starting point.
I would suggest the fastest boat would make a good designated rescuer.....are you coming @Liberty Question
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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Minerva on Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:16 pm

Hi All,
trawling through the above, I think the plan is 18th/19th August and Chris' plan is to moor above Teddington Lock and go down to Thames Barrier and back to Limehouse.
I just looked at the PLA 2018 tide table and although the times are an estimate, the times are a bit anti social!
e.g. At London bridge the High tide is at 06:36 and 18:53 on Sat 18th.
This means the HT at Teddington/Richmond is 07:36 which in turn means Richmond weir opens 05:36 to 09:36.
Meanwhile LT at London Bridge is at 12:48 which means it is impossible to get into Limehouse basin between 10:48 to 14:48 due to lack of water over the cill!
Also the plan to go to Thames Barrier and back to Limehouse is flawed by the fact that unless you time arrival at Thames Barrier with the turn of the tide, you will be fighting the tidal flow on the 5 mile stretch from Thames Barrier back to Limehouse!
Alternatively if you time the arrival at Thames barrier with the turn of the tide, you will have to wait 90 mins for the water to rise high enough to get into Limehouse.
So the only option is to go to directly to Limehouse.

Kate's times above shows she averaged about 6mph and took approx. 2.5 hours to get from Brentford to Limehouse. From Teddington we should budget 3.5 hours. (22 miles at ave 6 mph).
Its 3 hours from Richmond weir.

To ensure the whole flotilla locks into Limehouse before it becomes impossible at 10:48 means it would make sense to hit the Richmond weir between when it opens at 05:36 but no later than 0700 I suggest.  it takes about 20 mins to lock thro Teddington and 25 mins down to Richmond.

The alternative is to use the later High tide but that would mean hitting Richmond weir at 17:53 which would mean arriving at Limehouse as its getting dark which is a bad idea I think.

On the Sunday London Bridge HT is at 07:24 and 19:47. LT is at 13:28 which means its impossible to leave Limehouse between 11:28 to 15:28.  Since I doubt we want to leave at 04:00 in the morning, I guess we lock out of Limehouse between 15:30 and 16:00 and hope to get back to Teddington by 19:30, which is OK.

so lots of time to sightsee Sat pm and sunday pm!!!!

Let me know if you think I got this all wrong!

by the way, getting a flotilla into Limehouse will be interesting. queuing up against the tidal flow on the northbank , you will not be able to see the lock so the lock keeper will be communicating with us on channel 80. If the lock is full there are only 2 pontoons in the cut, so you want to avoid a pile up. The lock in plan will need to be pre-planned based on the flotilla size etc...because the non VHF users will not be able to all ring the lockkeeper at once. (another reason to have a VHF)

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by afarmery on Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:10 pm

Is there any merit (for those of us without VHF radios and licences) getting 'walkie-talkie' type radios, so that the foltilla can talk to each other even if not directly to lock keepers and other officials?  The few amongst us with VHF can do then keep us all informed??
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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Minerva on Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:20 pm

actually I just thought of a good idea...I have a conference call account on an 0800 number. We could have a VHF user with a mobile call permanently up to the conference bridge. If a non VHF user gets into trouble then they can dial into the conference bridge and let their troubles be known. On the approach to Limehouse everybody could join the bridge. I will check the max join size.

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Minerva on Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:42 pm

So I have a 0800 conference call number that I have tested and allows at least 100 callers on to it. so if each boat has 2 mobiles, one could be permanently logged into the conference call and on loudspeaker, and on mute (so we don't hear all the engine noise!). Also having it on charge from the 12V system would be useful. The only downside is the cost/charge your mobile provider bills you for calls to 0800 (free for landlines but I believe some MOLOs charge for calls to Freephone). The advantage of this method is that the lead boat (who should also have VHF) can e.g. give advice on approaching dredger....stipulate the arch to take on an approaching bridge, give warning of floating rubbish etc... initiate sound/horn signalling and tell the rest of the group why..etc...etc....
Also I looked at my dual mode VHF and its a bit dumb...e.g. it fixes to Ch 16 and I wanted to monitor 14 (VTS) AND say ship to ship on channel e.g. 72. At least with the conf call method, we have everybody on conf and my dual mode VHF can focus on Ch 14/16.
I checked for interference between VHF and mob but there is none....VHF is so low compared to the microwave oven aka mobile phone.
anyway...its one solution! there may be others!

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Admin on Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:43 am

I’m going to propose that we split up into small ‘buddy’ groups. Each group must have at least one VHF set and one twin screw boat (there will be a few) The members of that group can exchange phone numbers and should stick together for the duration of the cruise.

This should mean each group can communicate with the other groups and PLA, each group has a boat capable of towing in case of emergency and it limits the amount of boats each member has to keep an eye on.
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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Prof Pat Pending on Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:39 pm

If you’re considering getting an occasional use VHF, this gets very good reviews and a vote from practical boat owner magazine, along with a three year warranty.

There are cheaper places to buy it, shop around Wink 
https://www.force4.co.uk/standard-horizon-hx300e-vhf.html
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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by F23 flittermouse on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:30 pm

Don't forget ( in theory ) transmitting on a VHF marine radio requires an operators licence and a ship's licence if a fixed set up. A hand held requires an operators licence and a ship portable licence which can be used on any boat and is in the operators name not the boat.
Remember any transmission is public.
Receiving radio messages only does not need any licence.

If nothing else it would be wise to read up on the protocol of using VHF to sound professional. The RYA run the operators scheme but Ofcom issues the VHF licences.
I can't remember if it's in the RYA or the Ofcom literature, but they say even if you/the radio/the  boat is not licenced it should not stop you using a VHF in an EMERGENCY situation.

There are downloadable crib sheets on the RYA website with suggested emergency/panpan/ information call formats etc and phonetic alphabet which could be printed and pinned up  near the radio set up.

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by JIML on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:52 pm

We use CB radio for chit chat - No licence required - but you can get a lot of interference. The range is not too good but not a problem if your in convoy.  If you have a VHF fitted you can use it for listening, and if an emergency did occur - I dont think they would get too upset.

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Prof Pat Pending on Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:02 am

Some of us have the RYA license Wink
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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by F23 flittermouse on Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:55 am

Pat, just stating the rules as they apply for the benefit of those that may not know them and may be thinking of buying a transceiver as your suggestion earlier.

It gives time for those wishing to get the appropriate RYA training ( which is usually local or I believe an online/ correspondence facility is available ?)

Ofcom registration is online, free and instantaneous once you have aquired the operators licence.
(Be aware paper applications cost £25 !!)

I did say in my post in the event of an emergency , licenced or not do not hesitate to use it to call for assistance, hence also the tip to have the correct procedure and spoken terms available to use beside the radio.

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Minerva on Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:24 am

Re emergency, as we are inland, dialling 999/coastguard/London VTS from a mobile phone is probably better anyway, even if you had VHF...better quality voice channel. Really VHF is good for the ship to ship comms and the channel 14 London VTS monitor.

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by F23 flittermouse on Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:15 pm

Whatever, was only trying to be helpful in pointing out  the requirements as suggestion that hand held VHF's might be a useful idea !
After all what do I know about  cruising the Thames Rolling Eyes Naught !!

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by Prof Pat Pending on Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:22 pm

I don’t think anyone was having a pop Derek, you posted good advice, I should have included it in my post Embarassed

Personally I wouldn’t pass through London without at least being able to listen to the radio traffic
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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

Post by F23 flittermouse on Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:01 pm

This company have some good deals on hand held VHF radios

http://www.allgadgets.co.uk/marine/pc/VHF-Handheld-c37.htm

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Re: Tidal Thames meet 2018

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