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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,000

    Default Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    The Harwich Breakwater near me disappears below the surface on spring high tides. I get that if youíre maintaining a watch and doing things properly itís entirely your fault if you run in to when itís submerged, but I canít understand why they didnít build it a bit higher so itís always visible, or at least in daylight hours. A few boats have run into it over the years, Iím told. Is it just a cost saving thing or are there other reasons to build it this way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    On the Celtic Fringe
    Posts
    14,313

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Plymouth is the same and has been there some time.
    Cynical Scottish very nearly retired engineer who sails a Gib'Sea 96.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bradwell and Leigh-on-Sea
    Posts
    14,490

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    There's a lot of stuff on a chart that you can't see when covered with water. That's why we have charts isn't it?
    Not all who wander are lost

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    1,841

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredrussell View Post
    The Harwich Breakwater near me disappears below the surface on spring high tides. I get that if you’re maintaining a watch and doing things properly it’s entirely your fault if you run in to when it’s submerged, but I can’t understand why they didn’t build it a bit higher so it’s always visible, or at least in daylight hours. A few boats have run into it over the years, I’m told. Is it just a cost saving thing or are there other reasons to build it this way?
    It does a good job, for what it was built for, at it's current height so I think they made the correct decision.

    www.solocoastalsailing.co.uk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    5,376

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plum View Post
    It does a good job, for what it was built for, at it's current height so I think they made the correct decision.

    www.solocoastalsailing.co.uk
    I'd rather be naked
    www.mastaclimba.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    5,376

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Plant a sticker-upper on it?
    I'd rather be naked
    www.mastaclimba.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,610

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham_Wright View Post
    Plant a sticker-upper on it?
    You cannot win.
    The Submarine barrier off Southsea has sticky-uppers on it but it was recently hit by a yacht:
    https://www.islandecho.co.uk/bembrid...ll-from-yacht/

    Also 2 days later, over the last BH weekend, a large mobo hit Bembridge ledge at 20 kn:
    https://www.islandecho.co.uk/motor-c...arly-20-knots/

    And the following day another hit Goose rock off the Needles:
    https://www.islandecho.co.uk/sunseek...f-the-needles/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Farndon
    Posts
    3,037

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredrussell View Post
    Iím told. Is it just a cost saving thing or are there other reasons to build it this way?

    Google says it was constructed more than 150 years ago so its a bit late to be complaining.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    South Devon
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    Plymouth is the same and has been there some time.
    I've never seen Plymouth breakwater underwater due to tide (I've seen waves breaking over it). It's not marked on the chart as drying and I'm sure it's above HAT.

    Having said that I have seen it when it *looks* to be covered as you approach due to high tide and big seas breaking onto/over it. As an aside, I know the cage on the Eastern end is supposed to be for shipwrecked sailors, but if I'd run a boat into the breakwater in a gale I wouldn't fancy my chances making my way along the top in breaking waves to reach the ladder up to it...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    5,170

    Default Re: Why would you build a breakwater that floods on spring high tides?

    Harwich breakwater has a perfectly good lit beacon on the end, it is only a problem if you were tempted to cut the corner too close when coming from the Walton Backwaters. I have some years ago seen a yacht beating in, perilously close to the breakwater, execute a crash tack when it was obviously spotted almost too late.

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