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Hull (Approaches and Marina)

Your Comments: 8 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Entrance to Humber Dock Basin 53:44'.22 N 000:20'.15 W


Admiralty, 109, 3497

Rules & Regulations

See Humber VTS Website to download bye-laws


Fierce Tides, Drying Banks, Heavy Shipping

Tidal Data Times & Range

MHWS 7.6m, MHWN 6.0m, MLWN 2.5m, MLWS 0.7m.......Hull Albert Dock   (links)

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General Description

Hull is perhaps the largest city on the East Coast of England, and has had strategic importance throughout the years. With the Baltic trade, whaling industry, and in the not too distant past deep sea fishing, Hull has deep connections with the sea. With the decline the fishing industry following the Icelandic " Cod Wars" in the 70s increased importance has been placed on freight handling. 13 million tons of cargo are handled per year, and this is projected to rise with improved rail links.

ABP run the port, and around 5000 people are directly employed in various port services, with a further 18,000 employed locally in ancillary services. Another diversification to cope with dwindling income from fishing has been the creation of a Ro-Ro ferry service to Europe direct from the city area. The ferries handle over 1 million passengers every year. 

Yachtsmen and motorboaters have not been neglected either, with the Marina being created in the old Humber Street Dock virtually in the centre of the city. It was opened in 1983 and has 270 berths for yachts, with 20 reserved for visitors. ... read more


The approach to the River Humber and as far as Grimsby have already been covered in the articles dealing with Spurn Head and Grimsby.

Apart from the shipping, the small craft Mariner planning to arrive and berth at Hull Marina will need to get his timing right. The journey upriver is about 20 miles, and if coming from the Wash area you can carry a fair tide northwards up the coast from around high water at Hull. For the next six hours odd there will be a vigourous outpouring of tide from the Humber, but you will have (a much weaker) tide underneath you propelling you northwards towards Spurn Head.

Ideally you would want to arrive at the entrance to the Humber about five or six hours before high water Hull, at which point the tide flows into the Humber and reverses to a south going direction off the Lincolnshire coast.

Approaching from the North is complicated by the fact that if you intend to catch the tide going into the Humber.... you will have to fight (a much weaker) north going tidal flow up the coast you are descending....

If due to bad luck, weather, or other unforeseen problems you cannot be in the Spurn Head area at four or five hours before high water Hull, it is unlikely you will get there on your current tide unless you have an exceptionally powerful craft.

Pilotage details: ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Entry to the Marina is straightforward providing you remember to make allowance for the strong cross tides in the approach to Humber Dock Basin. (See the notes left in the comments below on how to make the entry in strong tides - thanks "Mudpilot") Once within the basin, of course the tide lets up. Locking in is up to 3 hours either side of high water even for vessels drawing up to 2 m. Deep draught vessels can be handled closer to high water, with 4 m available within the dock. Further details and prices:
... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson | 31st Mar 2017
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2017. The only thing I've had to update are the prices and charts.
Written by mudpilot | 22nd Aug 2015
Regarding the anchorage area off Skitter Haven. Be aware that the Rix oil barges on passage from Old Harbour to Humber Sea Terminal and the Immingham area seem to now favour a direct route across Hull Middle and Skitter Sand.

If anchoring over night best ensure that anchor light exhibited and consider anchoring close in. These barges are loaded and through up quite a wash so expect to be thrown around by their passage.
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Mar 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2015

Firstly, many thanks to "mudpilot" for all his helpful comments below; it sounds that good entertainment can be found at HW outside the Marina lock on a summers weekend!!

The marina prices are being increased for 2015 and I've added a link to the ABP Humber chart viewer for up to date soundings.
Written by mudpilot | 12th Nov 2014
Skitter Haven currently being dredged, Nov'14. Could afford another point to await the tide for the Marina in W-SW ly winds.

Written by mudpilot | 19th Apr 2014
NWly to SWly. winds good shelter and good holding ground is off Halton Marshes. South of the gas pipelines and north of the Humber Sea Terminal. N53 41 W00 15. Departure for Hull Marina about 2 hours after LW Immingham will give a good flood tide. (The ebb will still be flowing at Imm LW+45mins.) Arriving for a first pen at Hull Marina Alb HW-3hrs.)

Suggest confirm from ABP Charts datums prior taking a direct passage to Hull from this "anchorage". Drying heights are to be found on LW Springs near this track. Another reason to depart a couple of hours after LW you'll have 2-3 ms of rise with you.

Beware set with regards to buoys and lock approaches.

Written by mudpilot | 8th Aug 2013
Take great care on Spring tides. If awaiting a lock best stem down tide and well clear of the bell mouth. Outbound boats can and do leave the bell mouth with no regard for the tide across. Till they enter the tidal flow, and all is now revealed. Close quarter situations not rare events.

On entering the bell mouth on a strong tide best not make the approach till certain other inbounders are actualy in the lock. Also best approach from down tide and crab across the tide and then move to the uptide"pier" on minimum headway over the ground, turn when clear of the downtide pier end. Monitor the increase of headway on coming out of the tidal flow here.

Most seem to take a run at it right across the tide, have then seen them athwart the lock pit and having to come out stern first to make another attempt to enter the lock pit. Assume caused by the headway required to cross the tide on their chosen white knuckle approach line.

Leaving Spurn HW Albert -4 hrs. will ensure the flood with you to the Marina, along with strong tidal flow in Hull Roads.

The Humber Pilots lock approach is a multi stage operation. 1) Stop over the ground down tide of the locks. 2) Crab across the tide close to the jetty down tide of the locks. 3) Min. headway against the tide till clear of the down tide jetty. 4) Turn into the bell mouth with max. rudder and revs as required to make the turn and reduce rudder and revs. on entering still water. Works with 40K dwt ships and Hardy Bosun 20s!

Written by mudpilot | 6th May 2013
The Skitter and Hawkins Point anchorages still listed on ABP Web Pages for leasure craft. Rgds.
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Apr 2013
These notes were updated by Don T on the 10th April 2013. Very few changes were necessary; the anchorages at Hawkins Point and Skitter Haven are not shown on Admiralty charts but still feature on the Reeds Almanac chartlet. Prices shown are now for 2013.
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