These tips can help narrowboaters who want to tackle the tidal Thames through London

Narrowboaters thinking of tackling the tidal Thames through London are being encouraged by the Port of London Authority to check that they and their boats are prepared for the adventurous journey with a set four ‘top tips’ for narrowboats on the tideway.

PLA assistant harbourmaster Darren Knight explains the reason: “the tidal Thames can catch some narrowboaters off guard after travelling on the calm waters of the canals”. He therefore encourages inland boaters to first ensure that craft and their crews are ready for a “demanding waterway”, by:

– Checking engine filters, hoses, wiring, fuel and oil

– Ensuring that navigation lights and lifejackets are in working order, tuning marine band VHF radio sets (if they have them) to Channel 14 for London Vessel Traffic Services or if not, setting up the phone number 020 8855 0315 on their mobile phones

– Making sure that there is no way that the large waves sometimes encountered on the river can get in through cabin doors, engine room vents or any other openings

– Checking tide times, emergency mooring locations, and any Thames navigation restrictions – this can be done via the PLA Thames tidal app or the website.

Regular tideway boaters may also be interested in joininig the Tidal Thames Navigators Club.

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