Gauge Information

Inglesham to Teddington covers 124 miles (199.5km) through 44 locks.

The Thames above Kings Lock has 12 locks and is 31 miles to the Round House at Lechlade.  It is restricted to boats having above water height of less than 7ft (2.2m) and a draft of about 3ft (Just under 1m).

The locks are quite long at 109ft (33m) & 14ft 8in wide. (4.4m) and so fall into the “broad” category.  

They will take 2 narrow-boats abreast but not 2 broader beam craft.  There are landing places above and below the locks.

The locks are manually operated by a Lock-keeper.  However “out of hours” and during the “low season” boater operation may be allowed.  Where that is the case, operate as described in the section “Narrow and Broad Locks”.

Entry and position, within the lock, is to the instructions of the Lock-keeper.  You will be required to rope your boat bow and stern.  Engines are required to be stopped for the duration of the filling or emptying of the lock.  Exit is also to the directions of the Lock-keeper.

Between locks, the rule, at bridges, is to give way to boats coming down stream.  Otherwise, the standard “keep right” rule applies except when avoiding side weirs.

Below Oxford are 33 locks and 47.5 miles to the tidal lock at Teddington. Above Oxford there are 12 locks and approximately 31 miles to Lechlade. However the upper Thames has restricted “head room” and is not available to large “high bridge” cruisers.

That is 48 miles available to high craft and altogether nearly 80 miles of cruising for the narrow-boat or medium sized riverboat or 47.5 miles for the larger craft

Entry onto the non-tidal Thames, from the Oxford Canal, is from the Dukes Cut above Kings Lock or via Isis Lock near the end of the canal. If you do not hold a Thames licence, you must boats must “book in” and purchase a short term licence at Kings Lock.

Other non-tidal entry points are at Kennet Mouth Reading &, Weybridge  and Teddington, where licence conditions also apply.

Height restrictions above and below Oxford are different due to the low bridge at Osney in Oxford.

Between Kings Lock Osney Lock  and Teddington Lock.  The locks length varies from 120ft (36.5m) to 173ft (53m).  Their width varies between 17ft (5.2m) and 19ft 6in (6m).  Lay-bye/landings are provided above and below the locks where you may be required to hold until called by the Lock-keeper.

Entry to the lock and the order in which craft are called is to the directions of the Lock-keeper. Craft [may be mixed steel, wood or GRP boats and may be three abreast. Where there is such a mixture of construction material, take extra care to keep steel from more fragile GRP and wood by fending and position control by ropes.

Under the supervision of the Lock Keeper outer boats will be required to rope bow and stern to the lock-side bollards.  Centre boats will be required to tie to an outer boat.  Crew members are not, normally, required to alight from the boat.

Engines are required to be stopped for the duration of the filling or emptying of the lock.  That is so that everyone can hear instructions and to prevent build up of exhaust gases.  Exit is also to the directions of the Lock-keeper.

The rule, at bridges, is to give way to boats coming down stream.  Otherwise, the standard “keep right” rule applies except where avoiding side weirs. 

Also be aware of large fast passenger boats that ply on the lower Thames. 

It may be necessary to turn in their wake for increased safety and comfort.

Teddington to the Thames Estuary 66 miles (106.2km) and one half-tide lock.

Passage between the “freshwater” Thames at Teddington Lock (Manned 24 hours per day) through London to the sea should not be undertaken by inexperienced Skippers.  The full tideway can normally only be undertaken by vessels equipped with VHF radio & a Skipper qualified in its use.  The exception being the shorter transit between Teddington and the entrance to the Grand Union Canal at Brentford.  Downstream is on the ebb tide and upstream on the flood tide

Inglesham to Oxford

Length

Beam

Height

Draught

109ft

14ft

7ft 6in

3ft

33.22m

4.2m

2.28m

0.91m

Oxford to Reading

Length

Beam

Height

Draught

120ft

17ft 3in

11ft 8in

4ft

36.57m

5.25m

1.82m

1.06m

Reading to Windsor

Length

Beam

Height

Draught

130ft

17ft 10in

12ft 6in

4ft 6in

39.62m

5.43m

3.8m

1.37m

Windsor to Teddington

Length

Beam

Height

Draught

174ft

19ft 10in

13ft 2in

5ft 6in

53.03m

6.04m

4m

1.67m

Teddington to Thames Estuary

Length

Beam

Height

Draught

No limitation on normal inland craft

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See also:

Waterways A-Z
Map of UK Waterways

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