Live in Bristol always boated on South Coast - could I consider Cardiff?

ontheplane

Well-known member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
1,897
Location
Bristol UK
Visit site
So I've boated in Poole, Weymouth and Plymouth.

All were good in different ways.

The water was clean, tides manageable etc.

However, Bristol to the South Coast is circa 2hrs + traffic. The cost is staggering down there - with an 8m boat costing around £4500 a year for a berth - that's a serious amount of cash....

There is a dry stack in Cardiff that's half that price and seems to offer all I need....... it's also about an hour or so from Bristol so way more pleasant as a Friday night after work drive..
I have also heard Newport is nice and that's only 30-40min away.

But, I want to swim off the boat, tow water toys and so forth and I know the Bristol Channel has horrific tidal races. Whenever I look down from the Severn Bridges the water also looks full of silt so not sure what that would do to your engine!

All in all, it doesn't look great, but on the other hand, Cardiff Marina is pretty full and whenever I go to the large international pool there seem a lot of boats in the big basin - so plenty of people would seem to enjoy it there - I'd be very interested to know what the reality is.

The other option I have considered is somewhere on the Gower. Milford Haven / Neyland etc is too far - a good 3 hr drive from Bristol (which is odd as it looks to be 90% motorway and 141 miles - I am guessing the last bit that is not motorway is rubbish roads)?

I would love a dry-stack as it offers the benefit of a marina without the issues of fouling and so forth, but I really want to enjoy the boating - there is just no point, no matter how cheap, if the boating is rubbish.

I will have a planing cruiser / sportsboat so the tide isn't itself a problem - but I want to be able to anchor / swim and if i was being swept away from the boat at 5 knts for example that would make it unsafe for me and family. I would also be unhappy towing water-toys if there was a serious tide run just again from a safety point of view.

I do like the idea of the odd run up the channel / Severn though so see that as a plus.

Can I have some views from people who boat there please.

Ta
 

david_bagshaw

Well-known member
Joined
5 Jun 2001
Messages
2,542
Location
uk
Visit site
Cardiff has a large area of impounded fresh water, along with a higher speed area,but you will need to check if skiing etc is allowed, with access to the Bristol Ch, via 3 locks. So as a boat keeping area has a lot to recommend it.
Cardiff harbour is a good link to start from.. Enjoy


(As a visitor with a heavy displacement boat)
 
Last edited:

PCUK

Well-known member
Joined
29 Jun 2005
Messages
8,024
Location
Westleigh, Nr Tiverton, Devon.
Visit site
I wouldn't worry about the tides for swimming, they don't affect the many bays where the beaches find families spending their summer days. The further west you go the clearer the water gets and once past Minehead it starts gradually getting near south coast clarity.
 

ontheplane

Well-known member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
1,897
Location
Bristol UK
Visit site
So where are some nice bays for swimming and water toy towing within say 20 min / 1/2 hr of the Cardiff locks? I’ll have a look at Google maps

Thanks for the help so far
 

Dellquay13

Well-known member
Joined
19 Feb 2021
Messages
882
Location
Boat at Milford Haven, Home in Chesterfield
Visit site
I travel 5hrs to Milford Haven from Sheffield, and have done for 20years (16 years in a planing motorboat then last 4 years sailing) as there is no nice water within 3 hours of home. It’s the same distance for me as Falmouth or the Clyde, both places I previously based my motorboat.

The BC gets better the further west you go, I happily drive straight past the sludgy cocoa (and sewage) around Cardiff for cleaner water. Pembrokeshire might be as far for me as the South Coast, but it’s much cheaper.
It’s typically 2hr15 for me from the Celtic Manor junction on the M4, but I don’t put my foot down hard
 
Last edited:

ontheplane

Well-known member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
1,897
Location
Bristol UK
Visit site
But that is no-where near Cardiff.

The feedback I am getting is Cardiff is not going to do what I want in terms of “nice” boating….

So are there any cheap / well priced (I appreciate that is relative) dry stack or tractor launch places further round the Gower? I looked at a place called Burry Port which looked ok and wells well priced but it seemed to be only Marina and drying moorings - no dry stack / tractor launch type thing.

Milford Haven and Neylad area is a bit too far being over 3hr for me to drive
 

SP2

Member
Joined
21 Sep 2004
Messages
721
Location
South West Wales
www.rightsofway.co.uk
But that is no-where near Cardiff.

The feedback I am getting is Cardiff is not going to do what I want in terms of “nice” boating….

So are there any cheap / well priced (I appreciate that is relative) dry stack or tractor launch places further round the Gower? I looked at a place called Burry Port which looked ok and wells well priced but it seemed to be only Marina and drying moorings - no dry stack / tractor launch type thing.

Milford Haven and Neylad area is a bit too far being over 3hr for me to drive
Burry Port is to be avoided, I am afraid. Has been beset with issues during the management of The Marine Group. There is no dry stack. Launching only into the harbour (but effectively for berth holders) which is more mud than anything due to poor/no dredging. Also there is nowhere to go! Milford and Neyland are the best places for West Wales IMHO but then I berth at Neyland!

Also echo travelling west on a Friday evening through Newport also around Carmarthen some weekends (particularly bank holidays). If you can pick your travel times it can be quick.
 

Dellquay13

Well-known member
Joined
19 Feb 2021
Messages
882
Location
Boat at Milford Haven, Home in Chesterfield
Visit site
I don’t think there is any dry stack between Cardiff and Neyland.
The Gower is picturesque, has some nice bays, but also can be very exposed in the prevailing SW winds. Swansea is the nearest boating centre to the Gower, but I don’t know much about the Marina. It is isn’t exactly on the Gower either, you have a trip of several miles past the Mumbles to get to the Gower.
 

oldmanofthehills

Well-known member
Joined
13 Aug 2010
Messages
4,914
Location
Bristol / Cornwall
Visit site
Except for a few bays, swimming in the mid to upper Bristol channel is dangerous - its not the harmless mud, its the currents. Only drystack is Cardiff.

However if non-drystack and limited swimming accepted, then seriously consider milford sound as bit cheaper than South Coast. 3 hours plus by train and similar by car. Skomer, Ramsey, Broadhaven, Cledeau River
 

Dellquay13

Well-known member
Joined
19 Feb 2021
Messages
882
Location
Boat at Milford Haven, Home in Chesterfield
Visit site
Except for a few bays, swimming in the mid to upper Bristol channel is dangerous - its not the harmless mud, its the currents. Only drystack is Cardiff.

However if non-drystack and limited swimming accepted, then seriously consider milford sound as bit cheaper than South Coast. 3 hours plus by train and similar by car. Skomer, Ramsey, Broadhaven, Cledeau River
There is dry stack available at Neyland
 

Bristolfashion

Well-known member
Joined
19 May 2018
Messages
5,252
Location
Floating around the UK
Visit site
I think that there is a designated water skiing area in Cardiff bay - best to check with the harbour authority. For what it's worth, we enjoyed our time in Cardiff - being able to pootle across to the pay by the hour boat "parking" by the Senate was very pleasant.
 

oldmanofthehills

Well-known member
Joined
13 Aug 2010
Messages
4,914
Location
Bristol / Cornwall
Visit site
I think that there is a designated water skiing area in Cardiff bay - best to check with the harbour authority. For what it's worth, we enjoyed our time in Cardiff - being able to pootle across to the pay by the hour boat "parking" by the Senate was very pleasant.
I love Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay. The weird juxtaposition of boats, parliament building and girls in high heels and dancing clothes. I just had enough of the tides and sailing isolation after 35 years
 

Bristolfashion

Well-known member
Joined
19 May 2018
Messages
5,252
Location
Floating around the UK
Visit site
I love Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay. The weird juxtaposition of boats, parliament building and girls in high heels and dancing clothes. I just had enough of the tides and sailing isolation after 35 years
You know, I feel that too - some bloke was pumping party hits out from a massive speaker on his boat, the sun was shining and everyone was drinking & dancing - a real bit of life.
 

ontheplane

Well-known member
Joined
20 Mar 2004
Messages
1,897
Location
Bristol UK
Visit site
Ok that's a bit more positive.

The cost of the Cardiff drystack is easily 1/2 that of the South Coast, and by car it's really 1 hr maybe 1hr 20 vs 2 - 21/2 hrs to the south coast.

If there is a safe place to tow some water toys and some half decent cruising it might be worth considering even if only for 1 year or so....

South coast drystack for a circa 7.5m boat is around £3500-4500 - Cardiff is circa £1600 - £2000 depending on package.

It makes it more realistic.
 
Top