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Tidal rivers?

I've noticed that insurance excludes using a narrowboat on tidal rivers. How do I find out, when rout planning, what is and isn't a tidal river? The trent for example, and the severn? Ive got the Collins inland waterways map but it doesn't really help?

Asked by: Carl Young  | 9.42pm, Tuesday 15 May

WW says:

The wall map free with each year's WW Annual shows tidal rivers distinctly, with a thick line down the middle of each tidal waterway.

Richard Fairhurst  | 3.31PM, Friday 18 May

WW says:

Most narrowboat insurances include tidal waters for conection between main parts of the non-tidal waterway system; and there are limits for then what is designed "sea".
It is unusual for narrowboat insurance to not be valid for these sections of tidal waterways, and would be worth contacting your insurers. They should be able to provide cover for your boat, as long as it is properly equipped. For instance, suitable anchor and cable, longer lock working lines, proper lifejackets for all aboard (and worn when outside the cabin)navigation lights, loud horn, etc.
As long as you are competant, know your sound signals and take advice about tides, most tidal waterways are relatively straighforward with planning.
|More detailed individual waterway guides give the tidal limit.
Look for the last lock before the sea on Collins map and that indicates where they become tidal; however, as a rough guide:
The key tidal limits on main rivers (i.e. where they become tidal) are:
River Trent: Cromwell lock
River Severn: below Gloucester (but for practical purposes, below Sharpness on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal)
The Fossdyke and Witham Navigation/River Witham is tidal at both ends; Torksey on the tidal Trent end and Boston Sluice on the Wash end.
River Ouse at Naburn,below York
River Great Ouse at Denver Sluice
River Nene at Dog-in-a-Doublet lock
River Thames at Teddington lock
Those are only the principle ones; there are also many other waterways (canals) that link to tidal waters as well. For more information, use www.canalplan.org.uk/ to look at routes- its online, free and very informative about individual routes.
For more information on cruising tidal waterways, there ahve been several articles in WW which can be downloaded by searching in the archive from the top right of this page.

Mark Langley  | 11.40PM, Tuesday 15 May

That waterway journey is not considered a "normal" tidal journey connecting non-tidal navigations, such as the tidal trent from Cromwell to Torksey. Many insurers won't cover the Severn/Avon estuary trip as (rightly) they have concerns about Narrowboats doing that without good preparation and experience.
However, most insurers will cover tidal access- worth checking the small print and, as Dincan suggests, giving them a call.
It is unlikely that longer trips, such as crossing the Wash or heading down the Thames to the Medway would be covered- and then boats over 45ft have to adhere to more stringent MCGA regulations anyway!
Tidal cruising is more challenging and quite enjoyable so if you can do it and are suitably prepared and equipped you will have fun!

Mark Langley  | 11.31PM, Wednesday 23 May

Readers say:

I have just navigated the River Severn between Sharpness and Bristol Docks via Portishead, to the Kennet & Avon at Bath. My insurers said I was not covered for this particular waterway link, but extended cover for a nominal charge. It is essential in my view to let your insurers know in case it is not covered.

Duncan Edwards  | 6.12PM, Wednesday 23 May

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