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.
There are plenty of destinations to sail to. Our Haven Team are all keen mariners with lots of boating and local knowledge, they're here to help and ready to provide advice in any way they can.
Where to sail on the East Coast
From Fambridge, to enjoy a full day afloat, especially in mid-summer, it’s best to leave your mooring near high water and take the ebb tide down the river.
Sailing to Burnham on Crouch for lunch, 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.
Return to your mooring with the flood, and you will have enjoyed favourable tides all day.
Battlesbridge: 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).
Yokesfleet Creek: Anchoring on the corner of Potton Point next to Devils Reach on the River Roach is the perfect place for seal watching. Seals 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!
Osea Island: This island on the River Blackwater has a fascinating history including involvement in World War 1 Secret Operations and Victorian alcoholic Rehabilitation! The River Blackwater offers deepwater which passes to the south of Osea Island. A popular anchorage nestles off the South East corner (known as Barnacle).
River Thames: Sailing up 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).
River Colne, Brightlingsea & Pyfleet Creek: 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.
River Stour: Once through the busy entrances at the river mouth and over Shotley Spit and Harwich Shelf, the 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.
River Orwell: From Felixstowe to Ipswich, the main deepwater river runs for around 8miles. The Orwell is far busier and more commercial than the Stour, but a visit to Pin Mill on the southern bank (mooring buoys available) is a must. The sailing club and hard at Pin Mill have featured in many films and books!
As with all trips, please ensure you plan and prepare as thoroughly as possible. Pick up your free River Crouch Tide Tables from the Marina Office, or view them online here. It is also advised to refresh your memory on navigational buoys and lights which are a common sight around Essex and Suffolk.