Knoydart replacement for Predetor II

The KNOYDART will replace Predator Charters PREDATOR II for a few weeks as of Monday acting as crew boat/ferry between North Greenwich Pier and Trinity Buoy Wharf whilst the PREDATOR II has new engines fitted and a lick of paint.  The KNOYDART arrived on the Thames at Greenhithe last year from Scotland (hence the name).

The vessel will operate 5 days a week from 5am until 7pm the same as the current Predator service which provides a shuttle for Thames Clippers crews to get from one side of the river to the other although paying passengers can also use the service to cross at a small charge.




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Inside River Princess – Interior photos

Here are some further interior photos showing the build and progress on Thames Cruises RIVER PRINCESS ex Chevening

Top Deck in 2014

 Top Deck in 2007

Wheelhouse in 2014 and 2007


Lower Deck 2014 and 2007



VIDEO – General VIII tows Waverley

Updated – Waverley Timetable

Below is a more detailed running order and timetable for Waverley starting this Friday










Chevening becomes River Princess

After 7 years! (Yes it really has been that long..) the Chevening has finally been rebuilt and launched by new owners Thames Cruises under the new name of River Princess.

Thames Cruises bought Chevening from Catamaran Cruisers in 2008 and after a brief spell moored at Westminster (photo below) she was moved up river to Eel Pie Island.












Photo: Ian Boyle 2008

By 2009 Chevening had her wheelhouse cut off and her stair casing removed and she stayed like this until 2013 when her rebuild started to take shape.

Throughout this time, she was gradually worked on, but moved on and off the slipway to make way for other vessels including those of the Thames Cruises fleet.


Just as we were all starting to wonder if she would ever be completed… she returns to the water once more under the new name of River Princess.     This seems to follow the pattern of other vessels in the fleet such as Royal Princess and Thames Princess (although not Viscountess and Old London of course)


Photo by Christian

Brief History:

Chevening was built in 1974 for Thomas Hugan for Greenwich Pleasurecraft , however by 1984 passed to Catamaran Cruisers who operated the vessel until the company ceased trading in 2007.    Thames Cruises purchased her in 2008.

Although the current passenger numbers and specs for River Princess are not known,  she was licensed for 250 passengers and 4 crew in 2007.       I can only assume she has the same engine which is a Volvo TMD 102A fitted in 1997.

Having worked on this boat myself, I always found her a pleasure to be onboard.   The boat handled very well and the open top deck at the time made her great for summer sightseeing.      It is certainly promising news to see a boat that was greatly missed over the past 7 years returning to the tideway once more.

What’s On : Tall Ships Event Guide

Here is a day by day guide of the main events happening during the Tall Ships Event this weekend .  Full information can be found at

It is set to be a great weekend of events and the largest such event for many years , not to be missed!

Thames Clippers are offering a £5 roamer circle service ticket to visit the tall ships. On Friday, services start at Greenwich pier at 13:30. On 6th, 7th and 8th, services start at Greenwich pier and run between 10.00 and 17:40.

All Weekend Events:

Take a look around the tall ships at Woolwich/Greenwich/West India Dock for FREE everyday 5-9th
Paid Tall Ships Cruises will take place, ask onboard for info.



River Festival: Thames barges
  • Location: Maritime Greenwich to Royal Arsenal Woolwich
  • Date: 05 September 2014
  • Time: 15:00 – 16:30
  • Cost: Free

A parade of traditional Barges along the River Thames, from Lebara Festival Village in Maritime Greenwich to the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Festival Village.

Launch Extravganza – Peixos
05 September 2014

Location: Maritime Greenwich

Time: 20:30 – 21:15

Official launch of the Tall Ships Festival: Catalan street theatre group Sarruga present Peixos, a stunning underwater spectacle at the Lebara Festival Village.

As the sun sets, the event will transform the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College into an underwater Mediterranean world of brightly coloured fish and sea creatures. Illuminated shoals of fish will appear to swim amongst and over the heads of the audience, to captivating effect.

Fireworks Display – Maritime Greenwich
  • Location: Maritime Greenwich
  • Date: 05 September 2014
  • Time: 21:15 – 21:30
  • Cost: Free

Visit the Lebara Festival Village at Maritime Greenwich to see the tall ships with a stunning backdrop of fireworks



River Festival: Traditional ships
  • Location: Maritime Greenwich to Royal Arsenal Woolwich
  • Date: 06 September 2014
  • Time: 12:00 – 14:00
  • Cost: Free

A parade of traditional ships along the River Thames, from Lebara Festival Village in Maritime Greenwich to the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Festival Village.

Crew parade and prize-giving
  • Location: Maritime Greenwich
  • Date: 06 September 2014
  • Time: 14:00 – 17:00
  • Cost: Free

Come and watch the crews of the Tall Ships as they parade through Greenwich in this colourful spectacle. Starts at The Avenue and ends at the Queen’s House.

Fireworks Display – Royal Arsenal Woolwich
  • Location: Royal Arsenal Woolwich
  • Date: 06 September 2014
  • Time: 21:45 – 22:00
  • Cost: Free

See the tall ships sail with a stunning backdrop of fireworks at the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Festival Village.

SUNDAY 7th :

River Festival: Royal Pageant
  • Location: Maritime Greenwich
  • Date: 07 September 2014
  • Time: 11:30 – 13:00
  • Cost: Free

See Her Majesty The Queen’s row barge Gloriana with an escort of traditional rowing boats followed by races for the Trinity House 500 Challenge – Lebara Festival Village.



River Festival: Puffers and Dunkirk ships
  • Location: Maritime Greenwich to Royal Arsenal Woolwich
  • Date: 08 September 2014
  • Time: 14:00 – 15:30
  • Cost: Free

A parade of classic boats along the River Thames, starting from the Lebara Festival Village in Maritime Greenwich at 2pm and finishing at 3.30pm at the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Festival Village.



Finale – Parade of Sail

Date: 09 September 2014

Location: All along the Thames east of Greenwich

Time: 13:00 – 16:00

Watch all of the 50-plus Tall Ships that have come to Royal Greenwich for the Tall Ships Festival take to the Thames together in this dramatic finale to the event.


Waverley Sept/Oct Visiting Timetable

Well it won’t be too long until we see the stunning paddle steamer Waverley returning to London for her yearly trips starting on September 26th and finishing on October 12th.  

She is by far my favourite regular visitor to the Thames and always in immaculate condition.    Her attending tug this year is the General VIII 



Thames Clippers unveils new sponsor

Photo: Thames Clippers

Thames Clippers has signed a three-year deal with credit card firm MBNA that will enable it to add a new boat to its fleet in 2015 and improve its ticketing and customer service systems.
The partnership with MBNA, which is for an initial three years but which could be extended beyond that, was negotiated by AEG Global Partnerships, part of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which majority-owns the Thames Clipper and The O2 arena

Photo: bodyinsync

Each of the vessels will have a keep a colour to make each boat more recognisable , for example Aurora is blue, Cyclone is orange , Hurricane is green and so on.      The two vessels Cyclone and Aurora used in this mornings press release were branded overnight last night and the rest of the fleet will follow over the course of the week.

Photo: B.Mann

Yacht gets pinned under barge by tide

Yesterday evening a small yacht sailing yacht was spotted by the Yasam Rose pinned by the tide underneath the head of two barges moored overnight on Vic Dock Buoy.       Yasam Rose informed London VTS who in turn called the Predetor 2 which was operating between North Greenwich and Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Predetor 2 went to the aid of the vessel and quickly removed the 2 persons onboard and passed them over to the Tower Lifeboat which arrived soon after along with the PLA’s Barnes.      The yacht was towed clear of the head of the barge by the Barnes and taken to Greenwich Yacht Club.

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C.Crawley Ltd – Fleet History

C. Crawley Ltd was created at the end of 1923 by Thomas J. Metcalf and his wife Eileen Metcalf (nee Crawley). The company had a capital of £4000 in £1 shares held 2000 by each of the Metcalfs who were the only registered Directors. The purpose per the Articles Of Association was to acquire the assets etc of the business being operated by Mrs Eileen Metcalf under the auspices of Charles Crawley (her late father).

Company documents show this company continued until placed in “members voluntary liquidation” in 1999 and was finally dissolved on 27th December 2001. There were other offshoot companies mentioned in the directors other interests such as C. Crawley (Engineering) Ltd.

Over the impressive many year history of the company, C.Crawley have operated a vast number of vessels.     On this page I have done my best to document as many as i possibly can along with a photograph of each one.    There are however, some of which that I cannot find photographs of and would appreciate if anybody can help.    ~Ben

CAERNAVON – Ex Esso Caernarvon – built 1962 – sold to Alba Petroleum Kenya
FRANK C- Ex Shell Distrubutor – built 1972 – Sold 2004 as Whithaven – wrecked 2010 Lagos
BRUCESTONE – built 1964 – C.Crawley 1984-2008  Houseboat
AQUATIC – Ex Busby – built 1963 – Houseboat
TORDUCT – sold as houseboat 2013 – still for sale
AQUADUCT – ex Charcrest – built 1964 – broken up 2011 IPM Jetty C.Crawley 1989-2011
K/TOULSON – Built 1966 – sold 2013 -
MARPOL – built 1957 – broken up
ARTEMISIUM – Built 1963 – C.Crawley 1989 -1996 – broken up 2003
STEFAN SCOTT – Built 1955 – C.Crawley 1977-2008 – ex Vollenhove briefly named VIADUCT (2) Broken up Queenborough 2008 – Engine blew up
POLLY – Believed to be sister vessel of TORDUCT, built by Pollock as OILO 3 for Castrol -
TOMMY – Built 1963 – Houseboat, Essex
VIADUCT – Became Stefan Scott
FULFORD – C.Crawley 1991-1997 – sold to Scotland
DOVERIAN – C.Crawley 1993 – 1996 – Sold to Sweden
PERFECTO – Built 1967 – C.Crawley 1989-2000 – Sold to Nigeria
AQUA – C.Crawley (1985-19??) NO
AQUATOR (2) C.Crawley 1979-1985 – Sold to John.A.Flett, broken up 1986
AQUASEAL C.Crawley 1974-1975 – broken up 1976 Sittingbourne
AQUATIC (1) Built 1944 – C.Crawley 1973-1985 – broken up 1985
FOUNTAIN (2) Built 1951 – C.Crawley 1951-199x – Houseboat at Hythe
CUB H – Built 1932 – C.Crawley 1947-1964 – broken up 1964
CORONATION OF LEEDS – C.Crawley 1937-1941 – Exploded by Mine 1941
AQUATOR (1) – built 1915 – C.Crawley 1927-196x
AQUEDUCT (1) built 1915 – C.Crawley 1924-196x

VESSELS OWNED BY Thomas Metcalf & Mrs Ellen Metcalf

AQUA Built 1915 – broken up 1984
FOUNTAIN (1) Built 1905 – broken up 1950
AQUARIUM built 1895 – vanished by 1966 assume broken up

Other vessels owned by C.Crawley,details unknown or brief

DUTCH COURAGE – Possibly ex veenendaal? -
VASSEN -Sold to Crawley 1978
19??: Completed as VEENENDAAL for NV Vereenigde Tankvaartrederij, Rotterdam
Sold to C.Crawley 1974
19??: Completed as VARSSEVELD by ? for NV Vereenigde Tankvaartrederij, Rotterdam (Known to have traded for Crawley under original name) Sold to C.Crawley 1984
19??: Completed as VINKEVEEN by ? for NV Vereenigde Tankvaartrederij, Rotterdam
19??: Completed as VLIST by ? for NV Vereenigde Tankvaartrederij, Rotterdam
sold to C.Crawley 1978 

Stan Mayes===================================================

photo by Tedingham

CAERNAVON - Photo by Tedingham


 Frank C
photo by Robert Smith


photo by Hilmar Snorrason / credited

Bruce Stone 2002 Hilmar Snorrason Brucestone 224353_7993051666_3685_n 230738_7993066666_4447_n

photo by Jonesy

aquatic 2008 jonesy


photo: John White

John white 2009


photo by Edward



photos by Bob Smith / Mike R

Bob Smith 1994 Mike Robinson

photo by Edward


photo by Bob Smith

Bob Smith 1992

STEFAN SCOTT ex Vollenhove/Viadcut (2)
photo: Ken Smith


Stefan Scott scrapped 341836

photo by Bob Smith


ToMMY - bob smith 2007



photo by Frits
Frits 1995 DOVERIAN

photo by Stan Mayes


seen here as previous name)

AQUASEAL 1974-1975

photo: Jonesy /David Ships

Fountain Jonesy FOUNTAIN Hythe 2009 DAVID SHIPS




photo below seems to show another Dourage Courage (different stern etc)


photo by Tedingham




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