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Can we take a wide beam Dutch Barge from Worcester to River Thames

Dear Sirs, we are looking at purchasing a 1905 Dutch Barge currently located in Worcester to the River Thames, we would like to know if she is able to come down the River Severn to Bristol and inland from there through the Kennet & Avon Canal. She is 49.54 ft long x 9.842 ft Beam with a draft of 3.1167 ft. We can see on your widebeam map that this may be possible but just want to double check before buying and having to take her by road as we would love to spend a few weeks getting used to her and take her ourselves. thank you

Asked by: Richard Evans  | 12.33pm, Tuesday 12 September


WW says:

It is indeed possible to navigate a wide beam boat such as the Dutch barge you describe down the River Severn, through the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, down the tidal part of the River Severn to the Bristol Avon and up into the floating Harbour in Bristol. This links onto the Kennet and Avon Canal.
The river parts of this journey do require care; such as the lower part of the Severn into Gloucester docks and the passage from Sharpness to the Avon will need good weather and a pilot. The river Kennet can be tricky but your main problem could be air draft as if the wheelhouse does not dismantle you might not get under the canal bridges.
It will certainly be an interesting trip.

Rupert Smedley  | 12.59PM, Tuesday 12 September

Also, you might find that you scrape the bottom a lot in places, but, as Rupert says, as long as you can get under the bridges (and check with CRT) you should be fine.
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I would suggest getting used to handling your boat on the river and have the engine serviced- check the quality (and condition) of the fuel in the tanks, as greater movement on the tideway can stir up sediment which can potentially block filters- and obtain spare sets of engine filters before you go. Naturally, check the condition of anchors, chain, navigation lights, etc and consider fitting VHF radio (and holding the appropriate short-range certificate plus ships radio licence). All easy to do and can help make things more comfortable.

Mark Langley  | 1.59PM, Tuesday 12 September

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