Lyme Regis Sailing Club www.lymeregissailingclub.co.uk
This harbour, half way around Lyme Bay is probably best known for its fossils and the Cobb (which is a grade 1 listed structure). It is less well known as a harbour of passage as most sailors making their way up or down the English Channel make passage directly across Lyme Bay to or from the Devon Coast and Portland Bill. (Portland to Lyme is 23 miles, whilst Portland to Brixham is 40) Those in less of a hurry, or in smaller, less speedy hulls might well be advised to consider pottering here because it is a delightful harbour, especially early or late in the summer when there are fewer day trippers around. The harbour has become more accessible these days as they lay pontoons in the outer harbour in the summer which have enough water for boats of 1.5 metres or less draft to remain afloat 24/7. There is the drawback that these pontoons are exposed in East to South East winds and then one would be advised to either enter the harbour and dry out or pick up one of the 12 visitors moorings in the bay.
The harbour is protected from the prevailing winds by the Cobb which also protects the entrance to the inner harbour.
The harbour dries right out to the entrance at Low Water but the bottom is quite firm so, should you be offered a mooring in the middle of the harbour, you would be able to access it by dinghy or on foot as required. The alternative is to dry out beside the ladders on the central wall where there are retaining rings for fin keelers to rig mast preventers. Mind you, most visitors, whether fin or bilge keeled, tend to clew up on the pontoons.
The main town is to the East of the harbour and can be accessed along the half mile long Marine Parade; vehicular access is via a road which goes up the hill from the harbour before joining the road down into the town; it is steep and narrow and is consequently very congested. (It would not be a good place to pick up or drop crew on a weekend)
All told it is a delightful harbour, the staff are very helpful and you will enjoy your stop here. There is the added advantage that, should you wish to explore, Seaton just down the coast you can do so on the last hour of the flood; no difficulties in passage timing!
The harbour has a Council website at:-
Lyme Regis Harbour - Dorset Council
We have given a way point on the approach bearing and you should be
.... aware of the shoals stretching out from the coast to the East and West of the harbour; otherwise there is nothing to worry the intrepid mariner.
Mind you, if you are tacking in here, be aware that the 2 metre contour stretches virtually parallel to the coast from the end of the Cobb and over quarter of a mile from the coastal defences of Lyme Regis itself – ie do not tack right in to the beach or you’ll go aground; similarly to the West.
There are lit lead-in marks, one on the end of the central pier (near the root of the pontoons) and one on the HM’s Office in the corner of the harbour. These lead in on a bearing of 284°T as shown on the latest 3315 chart, earlier editions to this chart should be altered accordingly. The red sector of this light will keep you clear of the gremlins around the Cob.
You will have quite a few choices here depending on how busy they are.
You can anchor in the bay away from the visitors’ moorings, pick up a yellow visitors mooring buoy (there are twelve of them, all with picking up ropes) which are good up to 8 tons (for heavier boats there are a couple of “Commercial” moorings – ask the HM), you can moor to the pontoons, you can go in alongside the wall (Victoria Pier) or you may be offered a spare mooring in the middle of the harbour (they are four point moorings with a single buoy and bridle)
They have a sliding scale for visitors' charges. Up to 10 metres £22.50, 10 to 15 metres £29.00 etc. If you pick up a buoy it'll cost £11.50 irrespective of size and that includes one return trip on their water taxi.
Water will have to be carried (unless you happen to be in range of one of the hoses on the pier) There is shore power available on the Victoria pier but ask the HM if you want to tie up close to an outlet. If you do get that it is free.
Showers and toilets are in the Sailing Club (as is their bar when they are open normally Wednesday evenings and weekends)
Diesel and petrol by cans from a petrol station which is a good way away. The HM says he can help with that as well as with Calor and Camping gaz.
Lyme Regis abounds with watering holes and eateries
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