Herne Bay "harbour" is formed by a breakwater made of piled up rock, and it's purpose is flood defence for the town.(Locally known as Neptunes Arm). Strong winds from the north coupled with high spring tides can see wave tops slopping over the breakwater. Although the western entrance has a pier structure, this wouldn't provide an enormous amount of protection in strong westerlies.
The breakwater protects a very useful launching ramp which gets much use for speedboats etc.
The whole arrangement forms a long thin harbour, the bottom of which is gloopy mud laying over a base of clay. Warning notices seen in the photo gallery running parallel to and just off the beach marked the limits of the mud. Therefore this harbour could be useful for small boats able to take the ground such as bilge keelers, centreboarders, and POSSIBLY shallow long keelers. It is patently unsuitable for deep fin keeled craft, and there is nowhere suitable to lean your boat against to dry it out. ... read more
Approach is normally made from the North across shoaling water, some of which at CD has considerably less than 1 m over it. Tidal calculations need to be done carefully. The entrance can be recognised from a distance off by a conspicuous block of flats. Five miles off Herne Bay lies a very conspicious "wind farm" development, but it's beyond the scope of this article to deal with pilotage for the Thames Estuary.
Closer in your you will see lying to the NNW of the harbour what is called on the chart a "landing stage". This is the remaining end of what was once a rather long pier and is very conspicious. It is lit at night (Q.18m4M) The middle parts of the pier have been swept away but the stumpy fragment of it's beginning forms the western entrance of the harbour. It now has a building on it. This is also lit with two fixed green vertically orientated lights. This can be seen in the photo gallery. ... read more
Anchor where you can, probably just within the entrance. It makes sense to buoy the anchor in case it fouls a mooring. At weekends in the summer be prepared for lots of comings and goings of small boats launching and recovering from the ramp at the eastern end of the harbour. ... read more
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2016. Nothing has changed and any improvements planned by the local council involve shore-side and retail activity. There appear to be no plans to improving the facilities for the leisure sailor.
Update April 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 11th Apr 2014
These notes were reviewed April 2014; no changes were made.
Written by dononshytalk | 19th Mar 2013
These notes were reviewed by Don T on the 19th March 2013. There are no changes; there are various reports of "improvements" and a pier marina but as yet they are just ideas floating about with little prospect of any developement until some funding can be found.