There’s nothing more frustrating when buying your first boat than finding out the boat you have just spent your hard-earned cash on is not suitable for what you had in mind.
If you have your boat moored in a Marina then it’s not such a big issue as you usually don’t have tides and currents to contend with. You walk along a pontoon and step directly onto your boat as easily as getting into a car.
However, having your boat on a swinging mooring, or fore & aft trots, on the river Teign means you need to give your choice of boat a little more thought.
With a tide that may be running at 5 or 6 knots you will need to think about how you get to your boat if it is moored in the middle of the river, or even further up the river at Ringmore. Some guys are lucky as their boats are moored quite close to the beach, alongside the clubhouse, which means they can use a much simpler/smaller dinghy to reach their main boat, or even wade out to their boat.
So, before you start thinking about dinghies you need to decide what your main boat is going to be and the mooring location allocated to you by the Harbour Office.
Obviously, your main boat whether it is a yacht, small fishing type boat or a larger motor boat is your primary concern but all are suitable for use on the Teign and offshore, limited only by the weather.
Westerleys, (wind from the west) usually mean the river is a bit roughed up, but the sea can be relatively smooth whereas Eastlerleys, (wind from the east) often conversely mean the sea is too rough for pleasant sailing/fishing etc. but the river can be benign and a delight to travel up.
So, let’s say you have you boat moored up river at Ringmore (the north side of the bridge). The forecast is for westerleys, meaning the sea state may well be favourable however, getting to your boat means you may need to navigate a choppy river and, speaking from experience, you do not want to be trying to get to your boat in a small inflatable, or an 8’ ‘pram’ dinghy loaded with all your gear, fuel etc., and maybe a passenger or two when the river is blowing rough with 2 or 3 foot waves!
I’m on my 3rd dinghy, as the first two purchased were just not up to the task of safely delivering me to my main boat at Ringmore. I now have an 11’6” double-skinned, well built boat that I can safely stand up in even in a rough windswept river.
Remember, even if you are a totally fair weather boater, conditions can change and worsen before you return so it’s important buying your first boat to get your choices right.
If you’re new to boating and considering buying your first boat on the river Teign, do call in to see us as we will do our best to save you making unnecessary expensive choices.
One last thing, you don’t need 2 boats to enjoy the river. You can simply buy a decent dinghy around the 10 or 11 foot mark, for a few hundred quid, plus a suitable small outboard, (approx. £200/300), speak to the Harbour Office about a trot mooring on the beach (approx. £50 per annum) and you can then enjoy the whole of the river all the way up to Tescos at Newton Abbot.
Even if you run aground up the river, as long as the tide is on the way in, you will soon get afloat again.