The River Thames from Hole Haven onwards takes on a completely different character from the large open expanses of the Thames Estuary. It narrows down and runs through many reaches and bends before arriving at the Thames Barrier.
It is heavily in use by commercial traffic, including large ships, and anyone contemplating making their way to London by boat needs to thoroughly familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations for avoidance of collisions.
It is around 40 miles from the entrance of the Medway or Hole Haven to London, and with a bit of planning it can be accomplished on one tide. It is worth noting that once committed to making the passage there aren't really any sheltered places to bring up at anchor... ... read more
If planning to navigate through the area described and get to one of the central London marinas it would be wise to do two things, firstly book your berth with one of them, and secondly check that the Thames Barrier is not going to be closed completely on the day you plan to sail.
Contact details for the marinas are given later, and you can telephone the Thames Barrier Control on 020 8855 0315 to check. The link below gives details of Thames Barrier closures this summer (205): ... read more
The passage up the River to the Thames Barrier has already been described, so this section deals with mooring possibilities for the yachtsman or motorboater en route. They are covered in the order you will come across them as you head up River, and this area coverage ends at Gallions Point Marina, near the Thames Barrier...
The PLA website now carries a complete chart of the Thames and all the facilities along its banks and you can find it with this link: ... read more
These notes were reviewed in April 2014. It is almost impossible to keep up with the regeneration along the banks of the Thames but where we have been able to, modifications have been made. The area around the Royal Albert Docks is changing almost daily and it is much more "habitable" than hitherto though the City Airport is much busier now. The prices here have gone up a little. We have added a link to the page on the Gravesend Sailing Club's website which has a download showing the river and the entrance to the Embankment Marina. There is also a link to the PLA's Google map of the entire Thames showing every facility along its banks.
Written by dononshytalk | 26th Mar 2013
These notes were updated by Don T on the 26th March 2013. The PLA have moved the recommended Small Craft Crossing Point in the vicinity of the Mucking Buoys a mile up river. The new Erith Yacht Club clubhouse now gets a mention and we have added a tide table link to the Tilbury Tides.
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Erith Yacht Club
Written by Orion1231 | 15th Mar 2011
The old ferry used as a club house has now been replaced by a new, modern Club House. There is a pontoon that can be used at high water.