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       All site content © Colin Jarman, Garth Cooper and Dick Holness. All Rights Reserved                                                     

Welcome to the East Coast Pilot website

East Coast Pilot’ is a best-selling pilot book for the coast between Great Yarmouth (Lowestoft in earlier editions) and Ramsgate, now in its 4th Edition and written for all who cruise these waters for pleasure, by three people who do just that. On this website we publish any changes needed to keep your book up to date, and bring you other news and services that can help you enjoy this wonderful cruising ground.   

Do sign up for our free email service. Short email newsletters, sent perhaps 10 times each year, help you keep up to date. Use Twitter? Follow us on @eastcoastpilot ! If you spot changes out there before we do, please tell us, we welcome any feedback about the book or the site, and we will always reply.

“This pilot cannot be too highly recommended to all East Coast yachtsmen”

- The Cruising Association.

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Site last updated 25th Aug 2015

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Buoyage changes in the East Swin and Middle Deep (amended 24th August 2015)

Significant changes to buoyage will be implemented by Trinity House on about 14th September. Effectively vessels are being discouraged from using the East Swin, because its buoyage is being moved from there to the Middle Deep, further away from the Foulness Firing Range. The details are as follows:

S. Whitaker SHB move to 51°39’.536N 001°09’.393E and renamed ‘Maplin Approach’.

W.Hook Middle PHB move to 51°38’.29N 001°08’.862E and renamed ‘East Maplin’.

N.E. Maplin SHB move to 51°36’.776N 001°05’.501E and renamed ‘Maplin Middle’.

A diagram showing the new buoyage is available to download from our Downloads Page.

SAR Helicopter changes (19th August 2015)

As part of ongoing changes with UK Search and Rescue helicopter cover, the familiar yellow Sea King helicopters from RAF Wattisham have now been replaced by Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters in red and white HM Coastguard livery. These are based at London Ashford airport, actually at Lydd in Kent, just north of Dungeness. The new machines have already become a familiar sight with training operations from the base having commenced some weeks ago.  The flight commander at Lydd used to fly RAF Sea Kings out of Wattisham so continuity of expertise is assured!

Sunken craft on the Medway (4th August 2015)

A sunken 20-metre tug boat is lying awash adjacent to Trenchmans Wharf at Cuxton, on the Medway south of the M2 bridges, in approximate position 51°22’.04N 000°27’.10E. This is on the west bank, upstream from Cuxton Marina. Only the mast is visible at HW.

Ore Entrance - depths warning (21st  July 2015)

Following some comments about depths close to the Oxley buoy at the Ore entrance, and one detailed report today from ECP reader Derek Simonds, we have added a cautionary note to the downloadable chartlet. It seems that the shallows close to the Oxley are extending northwards and it is now suggested that you pass it at least 30m away.

Paglesham moorings (11th July 2015)

Following a change of ownership at the boatyard at Paglesham, the Crouch HM has issued a notice saying “As of 10th July 2015 the boatyard pontoon is no longer available for vessels to moor on. The slipway and afloat moorings are also closed to visitors until further notice.” We do not know what the long-term intentions are at Paglesham, but will keep you posted here when we learn more.

Southwold entrance (9th July 2015)

Depths at the entrance to the lovely Southwold Harbour are much as last year, but the approach bearing for best water has changed. See our Southwold updates page for the details.

Rochester Pier closures (7th July 2015)

Rochester Pier will be closed for 24hrs from 6am on both Saturday 18th July, and Friday 24th July.

Queenborough - ATL and new pontoon completed (7th July 2015)

From Queenborough Harbour Trust: “The walkway refurbishment is now complete. There are new signs on the ATL, where the Southern half will be for crew set-down & pick-up, fresh water, loading kit etc with a maximum stay of 20 minutes. We hope this will be of benefit to the boating community. Also we are adding anti-chafe wood strips along the edge of the new pontoon.

There is 50 metres of berthing available on the concrete pontoon which can accommodate five average-sized boats rafted three to four deep, so about 15-20 boats. The ATL (original wooden landing) can accommodate two boats on the Northern half, rafted. Alongside berths are £20 for boats up to 10m, then an additional £2 per metre thereafter. Fees include a gate token for each crew member.”

Approaches to Walton Backwaters - extra nav buoy (12th June 2015)

A new unlit temporary port-hand buoy, no. 4A, has been established between no.4 and no.6 buoys on the approach from Pye End towards the Walton Backwaters. It marks a small spit, and its position is 51°53’.93N 001°15’.79E.

Thames Coastguard closed down (8th June 2015)

Thames Coastguard MRCC has now closed down permanently. Details are included in the Fourth Edition of ECP - click HERE to read a copy of a letter sent out by the MCA for details of contacting the CG on the East Coast.

Large Sunken Craft in East Swale (Updated 1st June 2015)

The sunken 50’ converted trawler west of the causeway at Harty Ferry, near the scrubbing posts, was recently marked with a new northerly cardinal buoy, called Uplees, lit Q, position 51° 21’.31N 000° 52’.69E. Only the whip aerial on the trawler’s wheelhouse is visible at HW.

New Chartlet for the Deben Entrance (27th May 2015)

Imrays originally drew new chartlets for the Deben and Ore river entrances based on the Trinity House surveys done during March. The Deben chartlet has now been re-drawn today based on a second survey completed recently and shows significant changes from the March version. It and the Ore entrance chartlet have been approved by Trinity House and are only available on this website, via the Download button which appears on most pages. Note that the extra buoy at the Deben entrance that was in place for part of last summer is now a permanent feature, and is called ‘Knoll Spit’.

The buoy used as the Knoll Spit was previously the Horse buoy from just above Felixstowe Ferry, which will not be replaced.

The HM suggests passing each buoy on its correct side 25 yards away.

Kentish Flats Windfarm - progress update (26th May 2015)

Foundation columns for the 15 new turbines are now installed - an extra row along the south side, and two rows on the west side. Cabling work is underway, and the first turbines will arrive later in June. Work will continue through to late summer this year.

River Roach - new buoyage (18th May 2015)

Four new buoys have been placed in the upper stretch of the Roach which should do a lot to help newcomers reach Rochford safely.  See our Roach updates page for details.

Hythe Quay, Maldon (updated 5th May 2015)

Early in 2014 we reported a significant subsidence problem at Hythe Quay. Approximately 25 metres of the quay face had slumped and given way and the Council had to take steps to reduce the threat to river users, visitors and berth holders by placing a temporary fence along the surface of the quay, and a dry dock was sunk in place alongside the seaward side of the collapse.

The situation is still the same and will remain so throughout Summer 2015, with works to refurbish the whole quayside now scheduled over winter 2015-16; with many barges to accommodate and the loss of one mooring tier, potential visiting yachtsmen are asked to make alternative arrangements for this season.  A number of the local boatyards have berths available and visitors are advised to make arrangements prior to arriving. The visitor pontoon is still usable at HW.

New chartlet for Stone Point, Walton Backwaters (26th April 2015)

A new chartlet of the area around Stone Point, from a March 2015 survey by Harwich Harbour Authority, is now available on our downloads page by kind permission of the HM at Titchmarsh Marina.

Obstruction in Faversham Creek (27th February 2015)

Medway Ports advise that a report has been received of an unmarked obstruction in Faversham Creek close to the shore line between Buoys No.5 and No.7, in approximate position 51° 20’.193N 000° 54’.244E. Reports received have identified the obstruction as being near to the shore line and being submerged over mid to high tide times.

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