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Medway 2, Gillingham Reach to Rochester Bridge, inc the Marinas

Your Comments: 6 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

None Given

Charts

Admiralty 1835, SC5606

Rules & Regulations

A 6 knot speed limit operates west of Folly Point. Monitor VHF Ch 74 and 16

Hazards

Some Shipping, Much Dries Out.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Dover +0130 at Sheerness, HW Dover +0140 Chatham. Data at Sheerness..MHWS 5.8m MHWN 4.7m , MLWN 1.5m, MLWS 0.6m   (links)

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General Description

This section deals with the River Medway from Gillingham up to Rochester Bridge. As opposed to the first section of the Medway which appears to be a vast open expanse of water at high tide, in this section the River is far more confined.

In this section also there are many facilities for a visiting yachtsman, including three marinas plus several boatyards and clubs. The scenery varies from depressingly industrial to pleasantly rural on the northern banks. Navigation is straightforward but shipping is still encountered, although not of the size found nearer to Sheerness.

A yacht will find its progress blocked by the bridge at Rochester, but motorboats can carry on as far as Allington, and then via locks as far as Maidstone. This part of the Medway is covered in a separate article.

The area has a history deeply interwoven with the Navy, with the huge Chatham dockyards that once built and refitted ships. Some details are provided in the history section. The Dutch once sailed up the River and gave the Navy perhaps the biggest drubbing it's ever had... details of this are in the history section attached to Medway 1, covering the entrance at Sheerness to Gillingham Reach.

With the Navy dockyards only closing in the 80s, there is an abundance of skilled nautical workers in the general area. Certainly in the 90s it was possible to get just about any kind of work done on a big heavy boat, from dry docking to repairs and fabrications.

All normal town facilities can be found in Gillingham and Rochester, with town facilities on the other bank being a bit thinner on the ground. ... read more

Approach

Approaches from the sea to this area have already been covered in the article called Medway 1, which deals with the approach to Sheerness, and from Sheerness as far as Gillingham Reach.

From Folly Point (westwards of which there is a 6 kn speed limit) the buoyed channel runs westwards with Hoo Island to the North and Gillingham Marshes to the South. Shortly after passing the red can buoy No. 28 (Fl.R.5s), which you leave to port you will come to the first yachting facility.

Pilotage information: ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Marina facilities are covered (with prices) in the order you come across them from the sea, Gillingham Marina, Hoo Marina, and Chatham Maritime Marina. There are other mooring facilities around this area for longer term customers, esp. those who can take the ground.

Unless you have a small boat able to take the ground, there is no real opportunity for anchoring in the area described, as the channel is too narrow. A bilge keeler could take the ground in the area to the south of Hoo Marina after a bit of a recce at low water.

Gillingham Marina. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

6 comments
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 30th Mar 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2016. There are improvements to the Chatham Marina, Gillingham no longer offers tidal berths and both have increased their prices
Update April 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 14th Apr 2014
These notes were reviewed April 2014. There is considerable, mainly residential development on the south bank from Gillingham marina around Saint Mary's Island and on up the river. The prices at both Gillingham and Chatham marina have gone up very slightly and at the Gillingham Marina they have reopened the Marina bar/restaurant.
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 20th Mar 2013
These extensive notes were updated by Don T on the 20th March 2013. The most important change is the take over of Hoo Marina by Residential Boats Ltd in November 2012 and it's present policy of not accepting visiting boats. Prices have been updated for the coming 2013 season and it's worth noting that Chatham has reduced its prices!!
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Correction
Written by tony_lavelle | 17th Dec 2011
The General Description says motor boats can get to Maidstone. In fact they can get to Tonbridge, another 15 miles further on. Yachts with draught less than 1.2m (4ft) may find it worth unstepping their masts to visit this delightful river.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
GILLINGHAM LOCK (assuming this is Gillingham Marina ? Ed.)
Written by BRIAN | 1st May 2011
When entering for the first time, TAKE CARE. VERTICAL WIRES RECESSED IN THE WALL ARE FOR MOORING. THESE ARE DIFFICULT TO CATCH, TWO BOAT-HOOKS ARE USEFUL. ALSO WATCH OUT FOR THE E. WIND, IT PUTS YOU ACROSS THE LOCK VERY QUICKLY. Nice place when you are in.
3 of 3 people found this helpful
Gr.Britains Coast
Written by vyncke didier | 2nd Mar 2011
Sailing around Britain
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