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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Leamington Spa
    Posts
    197

    Default Bristol Channel Cruising

    Hi. I usually charter and cruise on south coast with the family (wife and 3 teenagers, all girls, eek!), but am thinking of buying and mooring at Penarth in the hope of getting afloat more often (easier access from Birmingham). I don't know much (anything) about cruising bristol channel, and there isn't much in the way of pilots etc, any advice? From what I can find, concerns are; restricted cruising ground due to tides etc? 10m tide, now that is BIG, I bet wind over tide is interesting. And what about bilge v's fin keel? There appear to be a few places to go for boats that can't stand up, but restricted access.

    New to this forum lark, so no idea if i have sent this or put it in the right place.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,738

    Default Re: Bristol Channel Cruising

    The only pilot i know of is the 'lundy and irish sea pilot' by David Taylor (imray - ISBN 085288448-6) its ok. Penarth gives you acces to just about everywhere from sharpness to swansea (at most states of the tide). Yes tides are big, get the arrowsmiths tide table book, is cheap and gives you loads of info. Some places do there own tide tables, like padstow and watchet.

    I cannot dry out in my boat, so i am not sure about fin vs. bilge keels, but being able to dry out is a great help!! no doubt one of the sailing people can help there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    7,654

    Default Re: Bristol Channel Cruising

    Hello Christopher The Bristol Channel sailing scene has changed dramatically over the last 10 or 15 years. Prior to that marinas were few and far between so Bilge keelers that could dry out easilly were fairly predominant amongst cruising people.

    Now there are Marinas at Sharpness Portishead Bristol Cardiff /penarth Swansea Milford Haven and plans afoot for a few other places more and more people are opting for the better performance offered by fin keelers.If your keel is not too extreme you have the option of leaning against a harbour wall in places like Minehead and Ilfracombe.

    The Tidal heights may be extreme but similat tidal streams are encountered in the Solent and other popular cruising places.

    you do need to plan yopur days sailing with the tide in mind. Basically a day sail from Penarth could mean locking out near low water for a cruise up towards Portishead /Bristol or locking out near highwater for a sail down to the west and back.If on a cruise the tide can help you cover big distances in a days sail.

    There arent many places you can get into below half tide so you may need to anchor off somewhere like Ilfracombe or Minehead waiting for the tide to allow you in.Swansea Caerdiff and Milford Haven Estuary can be entered anytime.Watermouth and barry can be entered at low water then move further in as the tide allows.

    Wind over tide can kick up the sea a bit around headlands but thats common everywhere.

    Especially if you sail midweek you may often not be able to see another boat. At busy times such as first lock into somewhere on a bank holiday you may think your back in the Solent.

    I love sailing in the Bristol Channel because I can overnight somewhere in peace and solitude or use a marina with all facilities depending on my mood.




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