Chattinglil 6:58am, 31 March 2013
Having come into the unexpected ownership of Artemis (A24) I have finally rigged her, had the rigging tuned (hmm), got the nav lights, radio and intruments working and put some bedding on board, have even made some spray dodgers... and....we're off!

Well next weekend actually. I will be moving her from St Kats in London up to the River Crouch in Essex. It's a two day passage because of the tide so we are going to be freezing - this sodding weather!!

wish us luck!
Mike A1 6 years ago
Good luck - and wrap up well!

Are you planning to go through Havengore? It's been on my "to do" list for ages.

pjbharrison 6 years ago
Wear lots of layers. Bring 2 sleeping bags per person and a hat or balaclava to wear in bed. Sailed from Portrush to Southampton recently and had icicles on inside of cabin roof in the mornings from condensation. Wrapped a fleece jacket round my head at night to keep warm! Make sure to have hot snacks available. eg cupasoup. Tillerpilot allows person on watch to sit under sprayhood.
Enjoy and good luck. It'll be a great start to season
Vidwatts Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Vidwatts (member) 6 years ago
Have you taken a small boat down the Thames before? It's a surprisingly busy river and a challenging one to sail due to all the twists and turns, plus wind deflection off buildings and strong tidal flows. If I'm heading out to the east coast from my mooring at Greenwich Yacht Club then I tend to motor to past Gravesend to where the estuary widens considerably before trying to do much sailing. (Do carry sufficient spare fuel as there's nowhere to get any en route).

On your trip look out for tour boats and clippers as far as the Thames Barrier, tugs and dregers upto Dartford, Ro-ro ferries at Dartford, very big container vessels at Tilbury and busy traffic at Gravesend. You can get a lot of lift from the tidal streams - I've seen over 8kts over the ground.

Once you do get into the wider part of the estuary past Gravesend then be aware that you'll have been a bit sheltered from the wind until then and it can be stronger than you think. Stick to the southern edge of the channel markers and you'll be clear of big ships and working vessels. Don't stray too far over to Yantlett sands as you'll be against the tide by then. If we still have the easterly winds this could be quite a rough stretch and it takes quite a long time to get out to the Medway.

Are you overnighting at Queenborough? If so then don't cut the corner too soon at the entrance to the Medway

I can recommend having plenty of waypoints in your GPS for the crossing of the estuary to Burnham as it is a strange place and easy to loose your bearings.

All in all it's a great trip - the voyage from central London to the mouth of the Thames is one of the great river journeys in the world, full of interest and history. I love sailing around here.

Chattinglil Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Chattinglil (member) 6 years ago
Thanks everyone - especially Vidwatts for all the tips.

As it happens, I have sailed on the Thames and Medway a bit as I used to keep a boat at MYC and the last boat was on the Crouch. We brought her to London last October which is where she was sold and I took the Achilles in p/x.

If the temperature comes up a bit it will be a nice trip, although the wind is currently forecasted to be all N with a little E, so could do with a shift!

Assuming conditions permit the trip, then yes, we will be overnighting at Queenborough on Saturday night. A friend with a BIG boat will meet us there and we can raft up on him and use his facilities. We'll set off early Sunday and go via the Havengore. It'll be the first time for us too! I spoke to the helpful people at the bridge who said we need 5m and we've got 5.3 predicted - so should be ok.

Some advice please - I've never had a boat with an outboard: this is a Tohatsu 6hp. Anyone got an estimate on how much petrol per hour we can expect to use. With a northerly wind we should be able to sail out of the Thames, but may well end up motoring into it all day Sunday.

Thanks all
BERT A24 6 years ago
Hi Lisa, there is a Tohatsu fuel consumption chart here:
pjbharrison 6 years ago
I would allow about 2lts per hour in my calculations for a Honda 4 stroke 6Hp.
Chattinglil 6 years ago
Hurrah! falling in love with my A24!

Locked out of St Kats at 10am on Saturday, wind on the nose all the way to Grain Edge so motored all day. ran out of petrol after 7 hours - so just over 1.5l per hour (fits with the advise given above). Refuelled and managed to finally put the sails up as we turned into the Medway. Had a lovely broad reach into Queenborough where we met up with some old friends from the Medway Yacht Club. They were there awaiting us on a huge buoy, so we rafted on them and all went ashore to the Flying Dutchman for dinner.

Freezing night and terrible condensation in the boat has made me think seriously about extra vents, but we were warm enough in bed and slept well.

We departed Queenborugh at 6.45am with thick ice on the deck - so we were doubly grateful for the inmast furling system with all lines coming back to the cockpit. Putting the sails up is SO easy on this boat!

Zero wind today, so again we had to motor. Crossed the estuary and then crept up the shallows along Sea Reach until we reached the point that we want toturn for the Havengore. at times we had only 0.2 below the keel, and I think we touch the putty once or twice, but we went through the bridge HW-1, took the Narrow Cut and Middleway and was back in deep water in the Roach by 11.15.

Some other friends came out to meet us in the Crouch and toast our return to the East Coast and then we had to motor against the tide all the way up to Fambridge. We had the sails up all the way, but there was hardly a breath. It was lovely and sunny and the water was like glass. Got on the mooring at 2pm and cracked open a bottle to celebrate.

Come on summer!! :-D
BERT A24 6 years ago
Well done! I bet you are glad it's over. The only thing I would have done differently would have been at 1.50pm the kettle would have went on ready for a few hot whiskeys when you had moored up.
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