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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    19

    Default Advice: Ports between Lowestoft and Hull

    Ahoy all, looking for some local knowledge...

    I've been given a week to go from Lowestoft to Hull in a couple of months (on our way up to Tall Ships in Sunderland in July), and looking at the charts I'm struggling to see any harbours suitable for a 20m boat drawing 2.2m up that stretch of coast.

    We've got young people aboard for a full seven days (sail training boat), so doing it in one go isn't really an option, and I'm keen not to overshoot too much, because novices are unlikely to be super keen on lots of long passages. So far I can see Great Yarmouth and Grimsby, but that entails a 100nm ish passage between the two, which I'm keen to avoid being forced into as the trainees may not be up to it.

    Are there any ports I might have overlooked that would allow me to break the journey into a 2/3 c30-50-nm days? We're happy to anchor several nights, but having somewhere to tie up and let the trainees wander would do wonders for the crew's sanity!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Advice: Ports between Lowestoft and Hull

    How about Wells next the Sea? However, I think you would have to make special arrangements with the Harbour Master due to the size of boat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bradwell and Leigh-on-Sea
    Posts
    14,392

    Default Re: Advice: Ports between Lowestoft and Hull

    Get Yarmouth is renown for being unfriendly for yachts. When I crewed from Whitby to Lowestoft we concluded that one hit was the only practical option 23 hours so not too bad. Just make sure that you get the tide round the top of Norfolk.

    Wells might be an option in the outer harbour so ring the harbourmaster and explain.
    Not all who wander are lost

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    5,003

    Default Re: Advice: Ports between Lowestoft and Hull

    I believe you can anchor behind Spurn Head but otherwise it’s Wells or go straight through to Grimsby. My understanding is that Gt. Yarmouth is a port of last resort.
    Pardon?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    7,571

    Default Re: Advice: Ports between Lowestoft and Hull

    Great Yarmouth wouldn't be much help really (even if it was a desirable place), it's only 10 miles from Lowestoft. The only remotely viable place to stop between Lowestoft and the Humber is Wells. You should speak to the harbourmaster, a nicer one you won't find, but i think you should be OK with the size of boat, the gets gets in and out and you should be able to raft up alongside of her. Alternatively, the harbourmaster might be able to arrange for you to overnight in the outer harbour.

    You also have an issue with tides. You'd need to enter Wells on a rising tide, close to HW. To do that, you'd need to be against the tide most of the way from Lowestoft. An alternative might be to travel on the ebb tide and anchor in Holkham Bay, 2nm North of Wells. There is a nice beach there for crew to stretch their legs, but no facilities. You could enter Wells later, subject to speaking to the harbourmaster. You can them depart as soon as the tide slackens, approaching HW, which would give you a fair ebb tide.

    I have no direct experience of it, but you might be able to get into Brancaster Harbour, you'd need to speak to them to confirm. The same tidal issues as Wells and the rest of this part of the coast exist though, you'd need to arrive close to HW on a rising tide, which means punching the tide for hours when traveling North.
    Rainbow Marine.
    www.rainbowmarine.co.uk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Boat River Deben, Suffolk. Home Nottinghamshire
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Advice: Ports between Lowestoft and Hull

    From my time sailing around the Norfolk Coast and the Wash, Wells is the only viable option unless as mentioned anchoring off Holkham Bay takes your fancy. Either of these are non-viable in strong Northerlies. Speak to Bob (HM) at Wells and he'll run through the options with you and I'm sure he'll offer to send the work boat out to escort you in to the channel. If you specifically wanted to visit the Wash then Kings Lynn is an option but it won't save any time. An interesting place for the crew with the historical port. Another option is Sutton Bridge on the Nene but not very exciting for the crew, though quite exciting for the helm trying to navigate the channel and spin around before clattering in to the swing bridge.

    Brancaster mainly dries and a bit tight for a big boat. If you do decide to head along the Norfolk Coast be really careful of the Lobby Pots off Cromer many with long floating lines. They can be found up to and over 5 miles offshore. I know several skippers who have become Lifeboat fodder from inadvertently mooring by the prop to them.

    So yes, Lowestoft to Grimmers is the usual option, and don't let the kids off the boat in Grimsby to wander around Freeman Street. Alternatively, depending on your arrival at the entrance to the Humber dive behind Spurn then catch the flood up river to Hull. It's advisable to call VTS to advise them of your intentions when you enter the river. If you are transmitting AIS they're likely to call you anyway to see what you are up to.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    5,946

    Default Re: Advice: Ports between Lowestoft and Hull

    Quote Originally Posted by MoodySabre View Post
    Get Yarmouth is renown for being unfriendly for yachts. When I crewed from Whitby to Lowestoft we concluded that one hit was the only practical option 23 hours so not too bad. Just make sure that you get the tide round the top of Norfolk.

    Wells might be an option in the outer harbour so ring the harbourmaster and explain.
    Just to affirm Roger's statement. We were making a passage to relocate Capricious from the Clyde to Titchmarsh, and no matter how we looked at it, there wasn't a practical alternative to making the passage from Whitby to Lowestoft in one go. Others have given the reaons why, but just to sum up, the potential ports on the way south from Whitby were:
    1) Grimsby. Futher off the direct track than you'd imagine. and it is not accessible at all tides. We'd have added nearly 50% to our track by going there, and after a long passage, we couldn't guarantee arriving at a suitable state of the tide.
    2) Hull - even further off the track, with severe tidal problems (I've sailed on the Humber, and know that you DON'T go against the tide there!)
    3) Spurn Point - OK as a refuge, but that's all it is. Well off track for us, too.
    4) Wells - tricky entrance for a fin-keel yacht, with tidal restrictions. Not where you want to be heading after a long, tiring passage.
    5) Everyone advises against Great Yarmouth, mainly because it is unwelcoming to yachts.
    6) Lowestoft has an easy, all-tide entrance, with several possibilities once you're in. We berthed at the RNSYC, and were made very welcome, and they didn't mind 3 scruiffy sailors dining in their posh restaurant!

    As an aside, all the Humber ports are a lot further off the direct track than you'd imagine - but the direct track at that point is far offshore, out amongst the gas and oil platforms.

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