Marina Information (use the icons to find out more)

Crouch (River) inc Burnham and Fambridge

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Wallet Spitway Buoy 51:42'.87 N 001:07'.30 E Swin Spitway Buoy 51:41'.96N 001:08'.32E


Admiralty 3750, SC5607

Rules & Regulations

8 Knts Speed Limit in river, areas set aside for Waterskiing.


Large Drying Areas, Some Coasters as far as Baltic Wharf.

Tidal Data Times & Range

Burnham on Crouch Dover +0115 MHWS 5.2m, MHWN 4.2m, MLWN 1.0m, MLWS 0.2m   (links)

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General Description

The River Crouch in the approaches and the first few miles inland is flat and featureless and not particularly attractive. Nevertheless Burnham on Crouch has been popular as a centre for racing sailboats for a long while.

The wide open expanses of water with nothing to block the wind, combined with the River Roach diverging off at right angles can offer a variety of courses for those interested in racing keelboats and dinghies. For cruising types perhaps the area is less attractive, the scenery fairly bleak and the only town of consequence Burnham on Crouch is small by any standards. ... read more


Approach to the River Crouch is made via the Whitaker channel which runs between Buxey Sand to the North, and Foulness Sands to the South. Anyone contemplating shortcuts over these sands should be aware that they are concrete hard, in common with the other sands of the Thames Estuary. They are not the places to go aground on the leeward side.

The initial approach is made from a red and white buoy, Swin Spitway (Iso.10s). If coming from the East beware of the Gunfleet Sand laying to the north-east of this buoy, approaching it when it bears due West clears this. If approaching from the River Blackwater area the spherical red-and-white Wallet Spitway (LFl.10s) is identified and a south-easterly course brings you to the Swin Spitway Buoy. More pilotage directions follow: ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

The visiting yachtsman or motorboater will find Burnham Yacht Harbour and Essex Marina in the immediate Burnham area while deeper within the river, Bridgemarsh Marine and Fambridge Yacht Haven offer drying and floating berths. Anchorage is a possibility too. Full details and prices are now covered:

Once you are in the River the deepwater runs fairly centrally and a generally westerly course will bring you towards Burnham. In season many spherical yellow racing buoys are laid and the first few of these you will see on your starboard side going up River.

The River Roach branches off to the South just past the red can buoy guarding the wreck of the Pinto and near the Branklet R/G/R buoy (Fl(2+1)R.10s).A good anchorage can be had just within the Roach as shown on the chart and If heading here leave this buoy close to starboard as you turn into the Roach as a shallow spit extends from the Eastern Shore. Otherwise leave the Branklet R/G/R buoy well off on your port side and continue up River.

For more information on the River Roach and its anchorages see elsewhere on this website at  ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson | 23rd Mar 2017
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2017. Updated charts have been added to the chart gallery and new prices noted where they have changed. The movement of ships to the Wallasea Jetty with spoil from Crossrail's London excavations is now complete and the buoyage at the jetty has been removed. (although it still appears on the chart in our gallery)
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 3rd Mar 2015
These notes were reviewed and updated by Don in March 2015. Prices have remained pretty well the same for the 2015 season. We've added a pontoon plan for Essex Marina to the Navigation images and the Overhead Google view (top right) now has place markers on it. It appears that the operations at Brandy Hole have changed subtly with the Yacht Station taking more control of the mooring facilities there and the Yacht Club has evolved into more of a restaurant for all comers.
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 3rd Apr 2013
These notes were reviewed by Don T on the 3rd April 2013. The approach notes have been re-edited to cover the new buoyage in the approaches. Changes and improvements at Fambridge have been covered. All prices have been checked and the increase in commercial traffic to the new off-loading facility on Wallasea Island noted.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Commercial shipping - increased activity
Written by Bru | 25th Oct 2012
With the commencement of Crossrail spoil disposal operations on Wallasea Island (August 2012) there will be significantly more commercial shipping movements starting initially with 3 per week rising to perhaps as many as 6 per day next year (2013). Shipping movements will be controlled on VHF Ch.11 which should be monitored. Call sign "Wallasea Jetty" on Ch.11 for information on movements. The tug "Arthur T" will maintain a listening watch on Ch.11 whilst vessels are inbound or outbound (inside the Whitaker buoy)

4 special yellow buoys just upstream of the wharf on Wallasea Island mark the turning area for the coasters unloading at the wharf. Anchoring is not permitted in this area and all craft are required to keep clear during turning operations. The normal route in and out of the Crouch would be via the Whitaker Channel and passing to the South of the Sunken Buxey where the channel is narrow and maneovering of deep draughted vessels may be restricted. It has, however, been suggested that in some combinations of tide and weather the pilot may take the coasters North of the Swallowtail

Further details and the latest info can be found on the Crouch Harbour Authority web site
2 of 2 people found this helpful
New improved buoyage being laid July 2011
Written by MissMack | 19th Jun 2011
Dramatic changes to the buoyage in the Crouch and approaches take place in July 2011. See Approach and Entry section for details, and downloadable PDF.
4 of 4 people found this helpful
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