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Vessel Licensing - Coaching Launches

Coaching Launches - Wash Testing

Wash, and the effects of wash, can be a major danger on the tidal Thames, especially in the main rowing and leisure section above Wandsworth Bridge. This area is subject to a strict eight-knot speed limit, which applies to all powered craft.

However, under the Port of London Thames Byelaws, rowing coaching launches are permitted to exceed this speed limit when escorting a rowing vessel for training purposes or during a boat race or regatta.

Anyone wishing to operate a coaching launch for these purposes, and where the craft will carry more than two people, must first undertake a PLA Wash Test. This ensures that any such vessel does not produce excessive and potentially dangerous wash when exceeding the eight-knot speed limit.

The PLA Wash Test is free of charge and will check the vessel's wash at varying speeds. The tests are usually held off Putney Hard, but alternative locations can be arranged under certain circumstances.

For further information or to apply please contact the PLA Harbour Master (Upper). Click here to contact the Harbour Master's team.