The non tidal River Thames stretches for 215 miles, just over 140 miles being navigable, and has 45 locks. Most Broom models won’t get further upstream than Oxford because of the limited air draught of Osney Bridge just above Oxford.
When approaching from the Estuary the two important things are to judge the tide correctly for Hammersmith Bridge (Headroom 12’6”/3.80m HWS) and the half tide lock at Richmond, open two hours either side of high tide (HW is an hour later than London Bridge). Otherwise you will need to use, and pay for, Richmond Lock operated by the PLA. Please monitor traffic movements on the river as you approach London on VHF Channel 14 London VTS and radio the Thames Barrier as you approach it.
It is necessary to have a licence from the Environment Agency to navigate on the non tidal Thames. These can be purchased in advance or bought at Teddington Lock which operates 24 hours a day. There are moorings just above the lock. Most of the locks you will encounter are staffed during day time, hours vary according to the time of the year, or have electric controls for self service operation. Operating instructions are on the lock pedestals. Information on lock staffing hours, river conditions and any restrictions are on the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk. EA also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Most marinas sell diesel fuel, the first one going upstream is Shepperton which also sells petrol and has a chandlery.
There are various guides of the River Thames that give details of facilities and places of interest such as The River Thames Book 7th Edition by Chris Cove-Smith ISBN978846234620 £12.50 and the publishers Imray also produce a map of the Thames. If you need other information, please ring the BOC Thames Region coordinator or Membership Secretary.