nb SAM just came through the bridge heading north. (you may remember Sam he ties his centre line across the busy towpath). I’m not quite sure why he felt the need to get off his boat while it was turning pulling the back round, but as he passed me he said, ”Where ever there is a tight turn you will always find a BW boat moored in the wrong place”. The truth of the matter is that wherever there is a tight turn boaters will always blame someone else for screwing it up.
Well I am at a loss because despite my assumption that he was a novice after his last cock-up I have since found out that he is quite experienced (oh yeah) yes. He been boating for ages, been all around apparently.
Now it’s about 140 feet from the bridge to the far bank. With a BW boat moored there, that’s 133 feet. I fail to see how a boater, an experienced boater, cannot get a 70 foot boat around that corner with all that space. I have seen a hotel pair come around there and they performed such a fantastic piece of boating ballet, they both ended up moored breasted up on the water point. Agreed they are experts.
I have heard 50 footers complain about that BW boat. Only last week a 55 footer who had cocked up his approach, berated a elderly boater for being in the way, when he was so out of position he might have well stopped in the car park. Does no one ever plan their manoeuvres? I mean why not moor up, go and have a look at what is coming up, pace it out if necessary and have a plan before you or your boat gets in a pickle.
Part of the problem is a mis-understanding of the meaning of this sign. Yes it does mean NO MOORING, but it is aimed at the boater looking for somewhere to stop. You see, this is an official BW (now CRT) mooring for BW workboats. It has been for many years. Thrupp use to have the BW worksyard here and they had several yards of mooring here for maintenance boats. The yard is now Annie’s tea rooms, but the mooring still exists. What the sign is telling you is that you cannot moor there because it is a workboat mooring. Treat it like a reserved parking bay. The same applies to the next post down and the one after that except that between posts two and three the mooring is private and PAID FOR!
It’s for the mooring of hire boats and these can be moored two abreast. There is still more than enough room to turn after the bridge with these boat moored here it just takes a bit of planning, use that dormant brain you have been storing for the last few years. Don’t blame your lack of skill/thought on BW. I have been through over two thousand locks, but I still approach new, to me, locks without a windlass to have a look, new moveable bridges the same.
If you are correctly positioned, at the Thrupp Lift bridge, on the right side of the canal you can angle your boat through the bridge hole right to left so you have already started the turn. Then as you exit the bridge, tiller hard over and the biggest of boats will go round easily. Even if you go through the bridge straight start to turn as your head comes under the bridge. And before you mention the ‘rubbing strakes’, they are designed to be rubbed.
Don’t put a monetary value on them they are there to protect your hull and paint work. They are sacrificial just like your anodes. Most people don’t keep a boat long enough to wear them out and that is part of boating anyway.