The east coast has traditionally been overlooked as a sailing destination. But with scenic rivers to explore, ample marinas and anchorages to visit, a popular racing and cruising scene, and a range of hidden gems to discover, the reputation is quickly growing.

You could easily spend the whole summer enjoying everything the River Crouch and the East Coast has to offer.

Fambridge Seal

Day Sailing

Leave your mooring near high water and take the ebb down the river to Burnham on Crouch, or going further into the River Roach, or down the Whitaker Channel to see the seal colonies are some popular day trips in sheltered water.

Yokesfleet Creek is one of the country's best locations for spotting seals who use the mud flats on the banks of the island to slide into the water and the amazing creatures are often very interested in visiting boats! Anchor on the corner of Potton Point next to Devils Reach for the best views.

Return to your mooring with the flood, and you will have enjoyed favourable tides all day.

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River Crouch Chart

Get a detailed look at the River Crouch and River Roach including depths and speed limits. Courtesy of Imray.

Fambridge Small Wooden Boat


A pleasant sail to the head of the River Crouch to a hidden gem of a village. There is deepwater to Brandy Hole but further passage to Battlesbridge should be made 1 or 2 hours before high water (depending on draft).

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Heading North

The River Blackwater has a fascinating history including involvement in World War 1 Secret Operations and Victorian alcoholic rehabilitation! The River offers deep water which passes to the south of Osea Island. A popular anchorage nestles off the South East corner (known as Barnacle).

The River Colne and the town of Colchester are steeped in history having been the sight of many battles from AD61 to the Viking period. Bateman's Tower at Brightlingsea is a distinctive navigational mark on the river with colourful beach huts lining the north shore of the river. Pyfleet Creek to the west offers a popular anchorage. Further exploration up the river requires passing through Wivenhoe Tidal Barrier but Rowhedge offers a Quay wall and popular pub for short stays. 

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Heading South

Sailing up the River Thames, one of the world's most famous rivers, is a unique experience. The City is a 40-mile passage from Southend-on-Sea and strong tides and commercial traffic make this a tricky but enjoyable sail. Passage is straightforward to St. Katherine's Dock but any further passage will require a mast-step and/or assistance from the operators of Tower Bridge (Tower Bridge will raise it's bascules if given 24 hours notice).

Once through the busy entrances at the river mouth and over Shotley Spit and Harwich Shelf, the River Stour becomes a quiet and peaceful river on with Suffolk and Essex on either side. Ewarton Bay on the north side is a popular anchorage. You can land on the foreshore for a couple of hours either side of HW next to the old quay with good walks running along the shore.

JHB Biesbosch Motorboat Cruising


Fambridge is a popular ‘final port’ for sailors from the UK, wanting to make the trip over to the Netherlands, Belgium and northern France.

The Delta is a collection of waterways that reach the coast in the south west of the Netherlands, and is one
of the most popular cruising grounds in Europe.

The collection of stunning rivers provide over 1,000km of waterways to explore that extend through the Netherlands and into Belgium and Germany. Starting in the coastal area, Zeeland, the network of deepwater runs through Brabant and into the stunning Biesbosch National Park.

Sailing through the Netherlands mixes a contrast of peaceful sailing through rivers and vast in-land lakes,  and the more challenging sailing around the south western coast.

Cruising distance from Fambridge
Burnham On Crouch 6 n.m.
Battlesbridge 3 n.m.
Yokesfleet Creek, River Roach 10 n.m.
Brightlingsea 30 n.m.
Mersea Island 31 n.m.
Osea Island 35 n.m.
Maldon 38 n.m.
St Katherine's Dock 80 n.m.
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Discover some of the species found around the River Crouch

The Anchor Hullbridge

Visit some of the best eateries in the area

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Discover our stunning local history