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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


050° 41.58 N 003°. 03.85W


AC 3351-0 Berry Head to the Bill of Portland. Imray C5 Bill of Portland to Salcombe Harbour

Rules & Regulations

None known


Gravel Bank in Entrance

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Axmouth is about 45 mins after HW Plymouth or about 10 min before Lyme Regis MHWS 4.3m MHWN 3.2m

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General Description

Axe Yacht Club Harbour Services  tel 07939 044109 

This is an amazing little harbour at the mouth of the River Axe about six nautical miles west of Lyme Regis. There really shouldn’t be a harbour here at all; it’s got a horrible bar of sand and gravel at the entrance which moves on a daily base and the moorings silt up every year!!

Never the less there is a complete set of quality pontoons for about 120 boats, a self-built club house, workshop, their own dredger (which they operate themselves) and much more

The Axe Yacht Club under various guises has been the driving power behind this harbour, they have been responsible for the enlargement of the basin, installation of the pontoons and the organisation of improvements.

Originally the River Axe was navigable right up to Axmouth Village (hence the village name!) but, over time, silting and movement of the shingle bank forced the River Axe Eastward to where, these days, it makes its dive for the sea and it’s basically it’s the force of the river and ebb tide which keeps the entrance clear, though the presence of the sea wall turning it towards the sea prevents it from just spreading out over the beach.

Although the harbour itself is the property of the East Devon District Council they lease it to the Axmouth Harbour Management Company which leases the Western side to the Yacht Club and the Eastern side to the East Devon Fisherman's Association!! Sounds complicated but in fact means that to all intents and purposes the Yacht Club sees to daily running of their side of the harbour and the improvements and maintenance of the services is down to them, with help and advice from  the District Council, when necessary.

The entrance can be a bit of a challenge the first time you come here but, once you’ve found your way in you’ll return; it’s a delightful, unassuming place with a gentle welcome.


The first thing that you’ll notice is that there is no Admiralty or

........ Imray harbour chart for Axmouth harbour and your passage planning will stop off the entrance. You need to aim for a point about half a mile out from the light (it’s conspicuous by day and lit by night) on the end of the pier on a bearing of about 230°T

As usual, it would be unwise to attempt an entrance in strong onshore weather and, if you are early and the weather is in the South West, it is possible to anchor in the shelter of Beer Head until shortly before High water

They have a camera overlooking the harbour entrance which is back in action, try this link

Axe Yacht Club : Entrance Camera

The camera is situated on the cliffs overlooking the harbour entrance and records its images.  You can then click back through the previous images to see where the bar was at the last low water. The channel leads out in a generally South Westerly direction with shingle banks either side out to about a cable from the shore.
The tidal streams outside the entrance run Easterly from 4 hours after Dover to 2 hours before and then turns west (about 1.5 kts Springs and 1.0 kts Neaps) so you will be planning to arrive at the end of the flood which, if you are coming from the East, is a bit of a nuisance!
Although local sailors may occasionally creep in a couple of hours before high water their advice is to make it between HW and HW+30; when the flow through the mouth is at a minimum. (The stream into and out of the harbour does not follow a normal tidal curve and runs hard until just before and just after HW)
This video of a Corribee being swept sideways through the entrance at HW  is warning enough!


Visitors are welcome to ring ahead of their arrival. An update on local conditions will be given if possible.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

You will berth on one of the pontoons and take the ground;

They will generally have someone to take your warps. If you are short-handed it would be best to clear away for harbour outside in the bay.

Once you have cleared the bar be very aware of the currents in the entrance of the harbour, they run quite strongly and can make the required hard turn to port a bit exciting, especially when entering with a flood tide

The advice is to hold close to the shingle bank on the port side (it’s quite steep to) where the current is less and, consequently, the likelihood of being pushed into the wall on the starboard side is less. The local sailors here say there are two types of sailors in the club, those who have hit the wall and those who are going to; you have been warned!!

You will berth on one of the pontoons and take the ground.  If you have not been directed to a specific berth, go alongside the downstream side of the long pontoon at the North end of the mooring basin
If you are short handed it would be best to clear away for harbour outside in the bay - you will be starboard side to against this pontoon.

Once you have tied up drop into Fred's Shed to have a chat and make further arrangements for your stay.

In general they cannot accommodate a boat over 30 feet LOA and as far as fin keelers are concerned; you could lean against the wall amongst the fishing boats but it really is not advised that you come in here at all; it would be very shallow at the entrance and the wall is not topside friendly.

The charge here (2021) is £15 per day irrespective of boat size and you have free run of the yacht club facilities for that as well.

We have included a photo of the slipway on the East Wall.  When it is time for you to go the rule of thumb here is that when the flood reaches the first vertical pile on that slip (with the white cross on it) there should be enough water to pass over the bar.

The Yacht Club website can be found at http://www.axeyachtclub.co.uk/ 


There is water available on the pontoons but no shore power.

Showers and toilets are available in the yacht club and you will undoubtedly be given access to them for your stay.

Petrol and auto-diesel can be found at the Tescos in the town and there is also a Co-op for victualling.

Calor Gas and Camping Gaz refills are available from Akermans Hardware in Fore Street.

Some of our members have left notes on this harbour in the "Have your say" section at the bottom which are worth reading

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

See Nick Pool's note in the Ratings and Comments section below for the delights available at the yacht club

Seaton is a gentle holiday resort where you will find good eating and good hostelries.

Eating Out Restaurants & Places to Eat in Axmouth 2021 - Tripadvisor


Your Ratings & Comments

Update April 2023
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 24th Apr 2023
Thanks Jandaco for the notes below. I've added that video to our text and edited the text to include thadvice to enter just after HW. Researching the telephone number.
Visitors to AYC
Written by Jandaco | 20th Apr 2023
Definitely best to look at Axeyachtclub website to get more up to date info as The phone number given above is not that of the Bosun James Widger who is generally onsite 0800 to 1300 only. As a member of some years I suggest unless your craft is small entering at HW or shortly after as even 15 minutes before the spring flood is quite strong. see this Corribee entering during end of flood, River Axe EntryDuring Full Flood on youtube by jandaco1. which by the way has been slowed down!
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 12th Apr 2021
Have just had further info - they are charging £15 a night this year
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 26th Mar 2021
I reviewed these notes in March 2021. There are no changes of note
Friendly club; unfriendly entrance
Written by Tyro Sailor | 15th Mar 2021
I spent a pleasant long weekend here in 2019 and would gladly call again.

Definitely get local advice before trying the entrance, especially for the first time. I came in from the west and found a prominent white house to be conveniently in line with the entrance, which is the only gap in the long shingle beach. Also definitely do all the prep for coming alongside before entering as there's very little room to hang about inside and the tide will be running fast. Best time to enter is just after HW. Keep closer to the shingle than the wall - it's more likely to move if you hit it.

The visitors' pontoon is almost as far as the (low) bridge and runs across the river from the left hand shore.

Getting into the clubhouse (excellent showers, but communal, which some might not like) needs a fob. I was lent one by a kind club member but I think there's a system for issuing one to visitors. I was the only visitor over this summer weekend.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Axmouth Harbour Entrance Camera
Written by KCLNick | 20th Jul 2020
Webcam is functioning in 2020 - http://www.hage.co.uk/ayc/
Written by Don Thomson | 26th Apr 2018
The webcam overlooking the harbour entrance is out of action but it is intended to re-rig it for this season. Prices and arrangements are otherwise unchanaged.
From Nick Pool
Written by Bryant | 5th Jun 2017
Axmouth Harbour, There is water available on the Pontoons by way of a hose, but no power, although there is in the yard for launch and retrieve boats.

Eating, Drinking and entertainment,
There is a Bar within the club with a raised deck overlooking the sea serving low price drinks to members and visiting yachtsman, every Friday from 1700 to 23:00 and Saturday 18:00 to 23:00 and Sunday lunchtime from 12:00, most lunchtimes there is Sunday Lunch through summer season. There are also talks on Friday nights, example Sail making, Crossing Atlantic,etc and The Axe Yacht Club is an RYA Certified training centre.

There is a Costa Coffee in Town with a Large Tesco 5 mins walking from Club, a number of bars all walking distance from the club, and they are currently building a Premier Inn, along with a tram that runs along the
estuary and on a bus route.
4 of 4 people found this helpful
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