CATCH­ING THE TIDES

Canal Boat - - This Month -

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

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