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Motor boating in Dorset

by boscawen46 » 31 May 2019, 17:41

Hello,
My young son canoes and kayaks on various rivers and coastlines in the UK while on holiday with us. While on holiday in Cornwall we took a small motor boat out in the harbour and he had a ball..My question is, does anyone know of a suitable river in Dorset that we could take our own small boat out for a potter about. We have been looking at Frome river that is quite close to us but aren't sure if we can just turn up and go on the water or do we need permission to do so? It would be a small inflatable with a 6hp motor.
Thanks
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by ChrisH » 01 Jun 2019, 17:43

I would just risk it and go on the river. On the Thames I know many people do this. Especially if not using the locks.

If you get stopped just plead ignorance.
Cant help I'm afraid about what rivers there are to use.

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by shibbs » 03 Jun 2019, 07:54

I can’t say I know the area particularly well but in a small boat I would have thought Christchurch and Poole, specifically heading up towards wareham would be worth exploring.
As for having to pay... if you do, i’d certainly plead ignorance!
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by Ianfs » 03 Jun 2019, 12:21

Hello Boscawen, welcome to the forum.

That's a great screen name, any connection to Admiral Boscawen?
Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner, but I got involved with trying to start my neighbours rib. Had to call Jamie from RPM Marine in the end, new fuel pump, ouch!
does anyone know of a suitable river in Dorset that we could take our own small boat out for a potter about.


It would help if you could tell us what size your boat is and what engine does it have?

Do you live in Dorset or just holidaying?

We have been looking at Frome river that is quite close to us


I'm assuming you mean the Frome which runs into Poole Harbour? If so I believe its navigable from the Harbour up to Wareham. There is a Yacht Club half way up river so no problem navigating upstream to Wareham. You also have Poole Harbour to explore which is lovely. It's very shallow in places but with a small boat its not so much of a worry. Just be aware of some of the larger boats using it, there is a speed limit of 10 knts this time of year but when we took refuge from the fog on Wednesday night some of them were ignoring it, plus a large 40' Sunseeker at that speed kicks up a large wake.

One of the loveliest area's in Dorset has to be Christchurch Harbour which is very safe for a small craft but again very shallow in places. You can navigate up to the town via the Hampshire Avon or take the Dorset Stour up to Iford Bridge, I'm not sure of you can get further up from there. Be warned though, the entrance is narrow and is called The Run. At anything apart from Slack the tide can run at 5-6knts, but is no problem if you stay clear.

If you can get to the New Forest, Beaulieu is one of the most beautiful area's in Hampshire. Bucklers Hard Marina it's about an hour and a half from Poole but worth a visit, it's where we keep our boat. The river is tidal right the way up to Beaulieu and with an F3-4 South Westerly or Southerly it can get very lumpy at the mouth but there are plenty of places to explore and have fun. It is £2 per metre to use the slip and can get busy with canoeists but most are polite and don't hog the ramp. Beaulieu River is a privately owned river belonging to the Montague family so its wise to pay for the ramp. You can navigate up the river without charge but if you hit bottom or moor they will charge you.

Hope this helps. :)
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