Sculling on Thames for Holiday : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

Hi there;

I am looking to spend some time, even once rowing on the Thames. I am South African and have been rowing for about 7 years. Just thought it would lovely to enjoy the river at this time of year, especially in a scull.

Any help welcome Thanks mark

-- Mark Groch (, August 18, 2003


An alternative to scull is Thames camping skiff with cover - fixed seat. we go regularly from mid Thames to Letchade - now much prefer using victorian (Taunt) and later (Gedge) riverlogues to identify stopping places and set trip up with pre-researched walking - very different from maximising distance approach. It makes it more interesting to have large-scale land maps with good footpath detail. Also, we're into the nature and binoculars make for really nice bird-watching. So this approach is exploration rather than pub based. (Not quite as extreme as man we met last year doing the length in coracle).

So this is one way of doing it - must admit, first few years we had skiff we have a maximum distance approach - but it seems cut-off in retrospect. Whatever approach you take, the more people you can chat, natter and gossip to the more enjoyable it seems to be.

We do about 20 miles a day upstream (summer current) and up to 30ish downstream - last time we allowed three weeks from Maidenhead to Hannington Bridge and back - which gave lots of spare days for walks, for wet weather stops etc.

In last few years, general trend of boat use on thames has been reduces volume (most of hire fleets closed), and within general mix of gin palaces (twin diesels, yuk), small motor cruisers etc - the one type of boat which has markedly increased is the narrow boat (on plus side a gregarious bunch, on minus they protect hulls with tar). easily the most aggressive type of boat on river is the rowing eight and launch (maybe over-compensation for muscley fragility).

Camping skiffs can still be hired from Richmond Bridge. Thames has lots of nooks and crannies - if you do this make sure boat sound (check it and cover) and if more than one travelling make sure to have companions at ease with each other in small space and happy with each others' levels of fitness/competence - and happy with being in open boat when it rains and (more or less) scruffy en route.

Thames Traditional Boat Society has membership of like-minded individuals.


Jon the skiff.

-- Jon (, December 28, 2003.

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