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Deben, River (Woodbridge Haven)

Your Comments: 14 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Woodbridge Haven Safe Water Buoy (Approx Position Only) 51:58'.55 N 001:24'.32 E


Admiralty, 2693, SC5607

Rules & Regulations

See Text


Entrance can be Dangerous, see text.

Tidal Data Times & Range

Entrance: Dover +0025, Woodbridge: Dover +0105 MHWS 4.0m MHWN 3.1m, MLWN0.9m, MLWS 0.4m   (links)

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General Description

The River Deben, or Woodbridge Haven as it is also known..... ... read more


There are gloomy warnings on the charts about the approaches to the Deben, with it's shifting shingle banks and bar. ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

As you enter the River and clear Horse Shoal.... ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson 3 | 23rd Apr 2021
I reviewed these notes in April 2021. The new Deben Bar chart is included. All the prices have been updated. Note that there is no longer any anchoring directly outside the Woodbridge Sailing Club. I've updated the info on the Melton Boatyard to include provisioning and Pubs.
Why go all the way to Woodbridge?
Written by CP | 31st May 2019
Stop at Ramsholt, take up a buoy and chat with George. Then you will know that all is right in the world.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Update Spring 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 1st May 2019
Hooray - 1st May and the new entrance charts for here have been published. There is a link in the notes above
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update Spring 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 8th Apr 2019
I reviewed these notes in early April 2019; the new charts for the entrance have not yet been published so they remain to be linked later on this month. The price has gone up at the Tidemill Marina since we last wrote and several of the phone numbers have changed.
Written by Don Thomson | 2nd May 2018
The link to the entry channel chart has been updated
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 16th Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. Prices have been brought up to date and the link to the Deben Estuary site has been updated by John White
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Further Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 22nd Apr 2013
There is a new website for the Deben River entrance - the URL has been added to the Approach section of the description above
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Deben and Ore entrances Spring 2013 (by Kay)
Written by Bryant | 14th Apr 2013
"I sailed out of the Deben at LW Springs yesterday morning (13/4/2013) with no problems, min depth 1.6m and buoyed. And sailing into the Ore was equally easy, with plenty of depth, the minimum was 2.6m at half tide. Again the seasonal buoys are in place. There does not appear to be much of a horse close to North Weir Point this year, but depths close to the inshore West bank are reduced. Staying in mid river was no problem and I've never known the bars to be so deep! In conclusion, both entrances are buoyed and depths good. So, assuming good visiblity and avoiding strong onshore winds, it's just a question of pilotage and basic allowances for the tidal streams. For those who have never entered either river before, the advice to cross the bars at around half tide on a rising tide would seem sensible advice. Kay"

Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 1st Apr 2013
These notes were reviewed by Don T on the 1st April 2013. I searched in vain for a replacement for the Eastcoastrivers website to no avail but it is hoped that the Woodbridge Crusing club may upload something later this year. It is understood that the entrance channel has moved a little to the West of the 2012 position and this is noted in the text. Note that Trinity House alter the entrance buoyage each year to suit the channel, so identify and follow the buoyage on the day. Prices where available have been updated for 2013.
Scary but safe!
Written by Giles Watling | 16th Jun 2012
Back in 2009 I took my 20' Vivacity over the bar. It was blowing 6/7. From Woodbridge Haven we had a ten minute white knuckle ride 1hr after LW. my depth alarm was set to .5 meter below the keels. In the steep seas it kept going off in the troughs scaring the shit out of me, I expected to see a keel coming through the bottom of the boat any time. I turned the alarm off - it was too scary... We made it and had a great ride up the river sailing all the way. When we got to the Tidemill the Harbour Master was very accommodating and helpful, he found it hard to believe we had crossed the bar in such conditions. The facilities were not quite finished. but they looked very good. - A great night followed by being scared shitless crossing the bar in worsening conditions the next day. Who needs a tame theme park rollercoaster... The buoys are very useful - stay very close to them until you enter the calmer waters in the river, then keep to starboard until you have passed Horse Sand safely. A great special place - well worth the effort and the weight loss.
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