Pontoons or marinas in day cruising distance from Suffolk Yacht Harbour?

Bru

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Don;t need a bilge keeler in Wells. Shoal draught maybe but at the visitors pontoon you stay afloat at all states of the tide. Fabulous place to visit too although it is a bit of a challenge getting there
 

pvb

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am considering moving my boat from Milford Haven to the East Coast, specifically near Ipswich. I have looked a a swinging mooring at Suffolk Yacht Harbour. However, my wife dislikes getting in a dinghy and although I can go and fetch the boat, a friend who used to sail there quite a while ago thought that cruising destinations for a day or weekend might be a bit limited in terms of places you can get alongside on a pontoon or marina so that the wife and kids could stretch their legs or all go out for a meal etc.

I haven't sailed the area so thought I would ask the forum what the cruising destinations are like for a day sail or weekend, and whether there are plenty of places you can get a pontoon berth when visiting.

You've had lots of suggestions of places to go. You've mentioned looking at Suffolk Yacht Harbour, but could I suggest you also look at Shotley, which is about 10 minutes further by car (unless you get behind an old fogey in a Yaris/i10/Matiz). Shotley has good facilities and is right on Harwich harbour, with lots to see. It's an hour or so closer to the sea by boat than SYH. Shotley is also owned by the same people who own Burnham Yacht Harbour, and as a berth-holder at Shotley you get 30 free nights a year at Burnham. It's an easy day sail to Burnham, and the town has some decent riverside walks and good restaurants (the Oyster Smack nearby is superb value).
 

Koeketiene

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You've had lots of suggestions of places to go. You've mentioned looking at Suffolk Yacht Harbour, but could I suggest you also look at Shotley, which is about 10 minutes further by car (unless you get behind an old fogey in a Yaris/i10/Matiz). Shotley has good facilities and is right on Harwich harbour, with lots to see. It's an hour or so closer to the sea by boat than SYH.

Rose tinted spectacles, surely.
It only takes me an hour to get from SYH to Landguard. And, at SYH I don't have to wait to lock out.
Any time saved by being marginally closer to the sea, is more than offset by the extra time it takes to get to the place and the time it takes to lock in/out.
 

pvb

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Rose tinted spectacles, surely.
It only takes me an hour to get from SYH to Landguard. And, at SYH I don't have to wait to lock out.
Any time saved by being marginally closer to the sea, is more than offset by the extra time it takes to get to the place and the time it takes to lock in/out.

Rose-tinted? Not really. Locking in and out isn't a major problem, although I usually use the boat weekdays - it's probably a bit busier at weekends. Anyone interested can see the lock action on Shotley Marina's website, and make their own judgement.
 

Koeketiene

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Rose-tinted? Not really. Locking in and out isn't a major problem, although I usually use the boat weekdays - it's probably a bit busier at weekends.

It is - especially in summer.
In winter, locking out took no time at all. We often found that the lock was ready for us when I called on the VHF. Lock keeper recognised our car.

In the 13 years we've now been Orwell based, we've kept the boat everywhere bar Woolverstone.
There is something to be said for and against every place. There are things to be said for Shotley, but the argument that you will gain time by being marginally closer to the sea is IMHO a spurious one.
 

DennisF

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Thanks all. That has certainly given me plenty to think about. Debbage Yachting has also been mentioned to me as a possibility, but I don't know if they have all tide access.
 

pvb

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There is something to be said for and against every place. There are things to be said for Shotley, but the argument that you will gain time by being marginally closer to the sea is IMHO a spurious one.

SYH is about 2+ miles up the Orwell from Shotley, say 20-30 minutes. Even at busy times, the wait isn't that long, especially if you radio to get in the queue as soon as you're nearly ready to leave.
 

ex-Gladys

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SYH is about 2+ miles up the Orwell from Shotley, say 20-30 minutes. Even at busy times, the wait isn't that long, especially if you radio to get in the queue as soon as you're nearly ready to leave.

I have to disagree, a couple of times in the last couple of years, I've been 2 hours from arriving at the posts to the berth... and Outbound I have been an hour....
 

Athene V30

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Whilst I liked Shotley often seems to be quite bumpy whilst putting fenders and lines on or off and being almost in the middle of Harwich Harbour doing this singlehanded was a little stressful. Leaving one of the river marinas at least the water is generally smoother and I could stick the autopilot on, head down river and have a bit more time to secure for sea.
 

Stork_III

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I have to disagree, a couple of times in the last couple of years, I've been 2 hours from arriving at the posts to the berth... and Outbound I have been an hour....


The lock keepers do know who are berth holder and may give preferential queue positions.:encouragement:
 

pvb

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The lock keepers do know who are berth holder and may give preferential queue positions.:encouragement:

Their efforts would be better used in encouraging people to use best speed up and down the entry channel. It's painful to watch some boats dawdle along at about 1.5kts, as if there's all the time in the world. Most inconsiderate when there are other boats waiting to lock in or out.
 

Sticky Fingers

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FWIW I've used Shotley a few times as a visitor and it's always been reasonably quick and efficient, but having to deal with the lock at all does add some time and effort. Also applies to Neptune of course. Single handed would be more of a pain.

Once you're in, I found the Shotley facilities to be pretty good.
 

Athene V30

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Their efforts would be better used in encouraging people to use best speed up and down the entry channel. It's painful to watch some boats dawdle along at about 1.5kts, as iinconsiderates all the time in the world. Most inconsiderate when there are other boats waiting to lock in or out.

When I had the Cutlass it was fine going ahead under power but had very little uumph in astern to stop forward motion. As a consequence I would always cut speed well in advance. Probably less inconsiderate than risk ramming the lock or another boat!

How often do people who make fast approaches to a 'dead end' check their astern gear is working first?
 
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Stork_III

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When I had the Cutlass it was fine going ahead under power but had very little uumph in astern to stop forward motion. As a consequence I would always cut speed well in advance. Probably less inconsiderate than risk ramming the lock or another boat!

How often do people who make fast approaches to a 'dead end' check their astern gear is working first?

It is not unknown for the outside wall or inner lock gate to be the final "brake" of some approaches, or should I say "break".
 

BabySharkDooDooDooDooDoo

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The lock keepers do know who are berth holder and may give preferential queue positions.:encouragement:

At almost £30 a night including power for a 10m boat I might be a tad unhappy if I was being treated as a low priority in the queue for the lock, those getting free nights as berth holders at BYH might have a different view.
 

Koeketiene

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I have to disagree, a couple of times in the last couple of years, I've been 2 hours from arriving at the posts to the berth... and Outbound I have been an hour....

Mirror our experience when we were at Shotley.
Average waiting time in summer - as we both still work, we mostly sail weekends
- Lock out: 30-45 mins
- Lock in: 60-75 minutes

Average means just that: we've had to hang about longer, and sometimes it was faster.

Waiting times were often shorter when we were there with previous boat (38') and longer with our current boat (44').

It's about 2NM upriver to SYH (25 minutes). And at SYH I can cast off whenever I want without having to wait for anyone.
 
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