Thursday, June 03, 2010

Thames Trip: The Boat

This is the boat we were on for the weekend (in the background is Shillingford Bridge). It's called the Caversham Royal and at 45 feet long and 12 feet wide its meant to be the biggest boat for hire on the Thames. It was able to fit in me, Senior Crew, Mr and Mrs Ship's mate (my brother and his wife) and their four children under ten with relative ease.

At first it was a bit of a shock, especially having just come from the powerboat course and a RIB that can easily do over 20 knots. This was in contrast slow and resistant to any rapid turn. Initially there was a bit of strong language as the turning circle felt as wide as the Isle of Wight and in reverse there was no steering at all.

As the river narrowed there became the worry of how to turn her round, and the styling was also something out of the 1970s, less Miami Vice and more middle England nice cuppa tea.

But eventually she did grow on me. Maybe I became adjusted to her rhythm, but I found she responded willingly to every manoeuvre I requested of her, and took the battering that came when we tried to moor too close to a tree, and added another dent to the pulpit (visible in the pic above).

Maybe the 70s are in again - certainly it seemed appropriate when the nephews and nieces put on Abba Gold. At one lock someone even called out how they liked my boat! I was for a moment speechless.

Its one of my beliefs that its great experience to try out as many different types of vessels as possible, and I'm happy to add the Caversham Royal to my list of boats.


Tillerman said...

Adam did a broach this weekend.

Did you?

JP said...

Managed to avoid that by a rather useful trick, namely not hoisting any sails at all - in particular having no spinnaker on board!

Actually for a motor boat it had relatively low wind area.

Pranged the pulpit though.