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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.

 Latest News (this section scrolls - on older devices that may not scroll, click HERE)

Site last updated 22nd Nov 2015

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Kingsferry Bridge - maintenance work in December (16th Nov 2015)

Should you be planning a trip through the Swale on Friday 4th December 2015, you may need to think again -  from 0800 until 1600 on that day, the Kingsferry Bridge cannot be lifted owing to essential maintenance and repair work to the lifting motors.

Withies in Narrow Cuts, off the Roach (12th November 2015)

Reports suggest that the poles used as withies in ‘Narrow Cuts’, off the Roach, are mostly gone for the time being. Charts give a good indication of where the deeper water can be followed, as does ‘Google Earth’!

Obstructions in the River Colne now removed (10th Nov 2015)

The three temporary structures, marked by 30 cm diameter yellow floats, laid in September on the bed of the River Colne off the entrance to Alresford Creek and downstream of Priors Wharf, Fingringhoe, have now been removed.

More new Roach navigation buoys (14th October 2015)

Four more new navigation buoys have been installed in the upper reaches of the River Roach. Details can be found on our Roach updates page.

Quarters Spit ECB at West Mersea off station (10th October 2015)

Roger Gaspar (of ‘Crossing the Thames Estuary’) noted today that “The Quarters Spit cardinal buoy in West Mersea is off station. It has dragged…directly over the spit it is supposed to guard. Not to be used as a marker for cutting the corner between West Mersea and Tollesbury, or as the starboard-hand marker for Tollesbury, for the time being”.

Buoyage changes in the East Swin and Middle Deep (23rd 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!

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.

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.

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.

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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