Conyer Creek lies fairly centrally within the Swale....
.... and offers drying moorings for large shallow draught boats, as well as another larger drying Marina more geared up for yachts.
Covid19. There are no specific dates as to when this marina will be open for visitors and their advice is to give them a ring when things start to open up to find out whether you can drop in.
It dries totally, so boats will need to sit upright in the mud.
Access for normal draught boats would be about one and a half hours either side of high water, with approach and entry not being 100% straightforward.
Shelter in the Creek is pretty well perfect. The area around Conyer is renowned for its wildlife – the marshes & estuary are an important habitat for birds. It is a great area for walking as well as boating. Seals are now often seen on the mud banks lining the Channel out of the Swale.
Most boating needs can be met over here including liftings, repairs, osmosis treatment etc.
Not much in the way of shops and town facilities, but a friendly yacht club and one pub, The Ship. Nearest civilisation about a mile away in the village of Teynham, and the larger towns of Sittingbourne and Faversham a bit further away. These places have stations and rail access.
For those are willing or unable to dry out in the mud, there is the possibility of lying afloat in a well protected anchorage just outside Conyer Creek....
Conyer Creek lies a few miles to the west of Harty Ferry if making your approach from the East.
If coming from the West it lies about 3 1/2 miles past the Kingsferry bridges.
It is beyond the scope of the article is to provide detailed pilotage details for the Swale. Suffice to say if approaching from the Queenborough end the channel is deep, well marked and easy to follow to Kingsferry bridges. The new road bridge has over 24 m clearance, but the old rail bridge does not... you will have to arrange a bridge opening if you have a mast. To find out about the bridge telephone 01795 423627, or use VHF channel 10, callsign Kingsferry Bridge.
After the Bridge the channel is still very straightforward and is used by coasters as far as Ridham Dock. Continuing onwards the channel narrows and the buoyage changes direction opposite Milton Creek. If coming from Queenborough and heading towards Conyer Creek you will now have red can buoys on your starboard side and the green conical buoys on your port side.
At this point the channel is very narrow and there are extensive saltings on either side. The approach to Conyer Creek can be started from the region of the red can number eight buoy (Fl.R.2s), or you can carry on and pick up the Fowley Spit buoy mentioned below and make your approach from the East, where you'll find the best water.
If coming from the East it is a matter of following the Swale which has plenty of water and is buoyed. You can make your way to the easterly cardinal buoy Fowley Spit (Q(3)10s), and branch off to the South using the South Deep channel to access Conyer.
Once in South Deep follow the channel along and take note of a green unlit buoy that should be left well to starboard, as this marks the shallows extending to the East of Fowley Island. You may come across white waiting mooring buoys laid by the yards in Conyer. If you push on a bit with a close eye on the depth sounder you may well be able to find a snug and secure overnight anchorage behind Fowley Island. It doesn't look too promising on the chart, but even at LWS you should find patches with over 1.5 m.
If visiting Conyer Creek on a rising tide you simply push on through South Deep and you will come to a small unlit red port hand buoy. From here the channel is little more than a gutway and is normally marked with small buoys and a very small northerly cardinal mark, unconventionally created out of traffic cones...
The local navigation marks laid by Swale Marina can be found either on their website below or in our Gallery up on the right hand side of this page
Creek markers are no longer traffic cones. There are two marked entrances to Conyer Creek, one being “The Butterfly Channel” which is marked by withies, with port and starboard top marks. This channel is on the starboard hand side of the creek entrance and is the deepest water channel.
The second is “The Cut Channel” found to the port hand side of the creek entrance in South Deep. This channel is shallower than the “Butterfly” and is marked by port and starboard lateral buoyage. Whilst shallower than the “Butterfly”, it is the most used route.
Both channels meet inside the creek entrance at an East Cardinal Mark (withy with triangular top marks), and withies with port and starboard top marks continue from here up to the Marina.
The marks are positioned at the top of the channel banks, so the deepest water is in the centre (of the marks).
Once in the Creek the way is marked by posts either with round red top marks or green triangular top marks. As always the best approach is made on a rising tide which hasn't risen so far so as to cover all the banks up.
The yachtsman or motorboater will find two drying marinas....
....anchoring in South Deep has already been described.
As you move southwards down Conyer Creek shortly after the first bend to Port you will come to Conyer Creek Marina on your port hand side. Drying moorings may be available here but it would be best to enquire in advance on 01795 521711/521384 Phone/fax. The contact here is Edward Spears.
Pushing on up the Creek will bring you to Swale Marina, which was formerly Jarmans Boatyard. Swale Marina now have 200 berths plus storage ashore. They have a pontoon extension and several other alterations. There is now pontoon berthing where the skid marks through the mud are seen in the photo gallery. The channel is much more straightforward being between the berthed yachts. Once again the berths all dry out. Swale Marina is on 01795 521562. A link to their website is provided below:
Costs work out at a reasonable £23.50 for a 10m boat overnight. This is the first change for a few years and they've thrown in the electricity and VAT so it can't be too bad!!
Harbour details updated March 2021
Water, electricity, toilets and showers are available at both marinas.
For the boat all kinds of repair facilities are available in Conyer, with liftings up to 30 tonnes. Various specialists are around including sailmakers, osmosis treatment etc, together with comprehensive engineering, boat building and repair facilities at North Quay Marine near to the first marina.
Swale Marina: 30 ton travel hoist with dock taking 2m draft on 5.7m (Sheerness) tide. 30 ton Crane, slipway. Osmosis and gel shield treatments, Re-sprays and top-side painting. Repairs in GRP, wood & steel. Haul & wash, water & electric to all pontoons, toilets & showers, diesel & gas sales . New Clubhouse with bar and food. Yacht Club Rallies & Visitors welcome. Please ring or email in advance if several boats. Wifi is available at the pub
Provisions can't be obtained as there are no shops... for the visitor a bus ride to Teynham about 1 1/2 miles away will be needed, and a trip here will also be needed to connect with onward rail transport. Teynham Station connects with Dover, Ramsgate, and London. Teynham has an excellent Co-op for supplies, Fish & Chips (eat in or take out), 2 Chinese, 4 Pubs with food, chemist, doctors, dentist, vet, library.
The trailer Sailer can launch and recover at Swale Marina but with access at only a quarter of the tidal range. There are charges.
Conyer Cruising Club operates from Swale Marina and is welcoming to visitors - open part week - Bar and Food. The link to their very useful website:
The Ship Inn with cask ales and good food re-opens summer 2010. Otherwise there is not a lot.
Club has recently benefitted from a new manager, prices appear to be very keen with real ale available. They now offer a new varied menu served Friday evenings and all day Saturday plus they have just introduced the Sunday roast menu served till 4pm Sunday. There is also a full breakfast menu served on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9.30 am . Service is excellent food is all home cooked would highly recommend.
If planning to visit it would be very wise to stock up well with provisions beforehand.
Otherwise a bus or cab mission will be needed to Tenyham about 1 1/2 miles away (already described). Faversham and Sittingbourne are the closest towns, where you will find banks, shops and various pubs and restaurants.