Friday, September 25, 2009

Big boats on the cut

Vally P ponders in a recent comment whether her barge Vereeniging would make it through the London canals. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Well we do see a few big boats moored on the southern GU although I can't guarantee they all got there by water, but I guess many of them did. Up near us at at Cowley there are a few proper old dutch barges being lived on. We also see some pretty big boats on the move, although we never know where is the limit of their travel. Here are a few we've seen on the GU and the Paddington arm.

The biggest we see regularly moving is the huge floating classroom used for school parties and corporate events. Ive seen it in Paddington, and here in Cowley, and come to think of it, in Uxbridge, which proves it must pass through Cowley lock which is a standard size. I bet it was a tight fit though, it really is a whopper
A cautionary tale though - in a post in 2006 I told the story of my trip as crew on Olive, the converted Humber keel seen in the third picture above. You can read it by following this link.

To cut a long story short, Olive became a temporary stoppage as she got stuck fast in Norwoood top lock on the way down to Brentford and we had quite an adventure in getting her unstuck. Olive was theoretically the right size to just pass through the lock, but the lock itself had got out of shape over the years.

So I guess you need to be a bit less than 14 feet wide to be sure.

Now up the Lee is a different story, the first few locks up there are huge. Vally P could bring Vereeniging to the Olympics!

1 comment:

VallyP said...

Ooooh, thank you so much for these Neil! I've been away for the weekend and have only just got back to my computer again.

My Vereeniging is quite dainty compared to some of the barges you've show here and much narrower than a Humber Keel, so I have great hopes. Wouldn't it indeed be lovely if I could bring it over for the Olympics?

Much appreciation for the post, Neil