CATCHING THE TIDES
If you want to take your boating one step further, think about taking a trip on tidal waters
I don’t want to put you off before we start with a lot of finger-wagging warnings, but rivers do need care and tidal boating needs more care still. Let’s start with the boat: rivers can get bumpy, especially big ones like the Thames or Trent. The contents of the diesel tank will get sloshed about and any muck could end up blocking the fuel lines. Not a good thing because there are few places to moor. If you’re in any doubt, have your fuel polished by one of the specialists. An estuary pilot might well make this a condition.
And get your boat serviced – though not immediately before you go... the middle of The Wash is not a good place to discover the mechanic forget to top up the coolant. Essential spares – drive belts, fuel filters etc – and the tools to fit them are sensible. Double check the bilge pump works, oh, and make sure you have plenty of fuel!
A correctly sized anchor with enough rope and chain so it can do its job is essential. Keep if where it can be used quickly, too. Navigation lights I’ve never had, which is probably naughty but we are not doing the trips in darkness. Hopefully.
A lifebuoy with line is vital and I also carry a special throwing line which I