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Entering Gt Yarmouth from the sea

Guest deano

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I'm new arround here, be gentle with me!!!! :-)

I am hoping to cruise arround from Wells to Yarmouth this summer, but I am looking for advice as to when the best time to arrive at Yamouth would be, or if it would be better to keep going and make landfall in Lowestoft.

The boat is a Freeman 30, she draws about 3 foot and airdraught is less than 2 meters.

I guess I need to arrive at high or low tide, but which? What mooring is there before the bridge? If I arrive at low tide, where is the best place to stop. We will have just done several hours at sea and I don't fancy keeping going to Reedham or Acle!!

Thanks folks.


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Guest chriscraft

Hi, and welcome,yarmouth or lowerstoff,depends on where you want to end up?.Best time for Yarmouth is i hour after low water(slack water),you then should be able t o clear the bridges.There are no moorings before the bridge.nearest is Yarmouth yyahcht station,on the way t o acle,or the bernie arms the other side of braydon 200 meteres up the yare ,lowestoft you have to go though mutford lock...which costs.

hope this helps ,there is lots of info on thr broads authority site.

regards trev

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There’s not much problem getting under Haven with a 2M air draught so you will not have to moor anywhere before you enter the system. Obviously as at most places a rising tide is favoured as not only will it make the trip up river easier but also ease the run over Breydon to what I would recommend as your first stop, Berney arms pub, see other posts for beer and food comments (all good).

Your pilot book and charts will give you all the info you need on approaches, buoyage etc.

All that said unless your boat is quite slow and you’ve already had enough by the time you reach YH then I would see Lowestoft as the better option.

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As has been said, if your airdraft is only 7ft then you should easily clear the Haven Bridge at lowish tide. Yarmouth Harbour entrance is less obvious than you might imagine as you approach from the sea. Be sure to call the harbour master on Ch12 to obtain permission to enter the harbour area. The very first moorings will be Yarmouth Yacht Station but that will be on the Bure and will mean passing under the Vauxhall Bridge - the gap beneath which will quickly close behind you as the tide rises.

Probably best to continue across Breydon and put in at the Berney Arms or Burgh Castle public moorings. Yarmouth Harbour is long and thin and takes an age to get through as you can only do about 6kts so if your boat isn't that fast and can't speed up significantly to cross Breydon you will find that it may take the best part of an hour to get from the sea to the moorings.

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Depends also on which way you intend to go once you reach the Broads.

If you go in at Lowestoft you come in at Oulton Broad on the Southern Broads. it gives access to Oulton, Beccles and Somerleyton effectively and then you get an option to run either back through St Olaves and Burgh Castle before crossing Breydon Water and back to Yarmouth and the entrance to the Northern Broads, or you can continue up the new cut and head off towards Norwich.

Come in at Yarmouth and you are at the intersection of the Northern and Southern Broads so you can choose to go either way.

As David says with 2m air Draft you will have all state clearance under Haven so will need no Bridges lifting but the fixed Bridges at the mouth of the Bure, if you are going north, will only give 1.8m or so at high tide.

If You have enough speed to run on one tide then you would be best Leaving about an hour before Low tide Wells, (assuming you have the depth of water you need) by the time you are out of the wash you would running with it all the way down running against up the Harbour as it will probably have turned by then and waiting long enough to get under the bure bridges to tie up at Yarmouth.

Not a nice stop but the alternative would be to push the tide across Breydon, which again depends on your speed as you will run against about 4 knots, and moor up at the much nicer stop over of Berney Arms.

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Hi Dean

This all assumes you arrive on time and in daylight . Should you arrive late or in the dark pottle through the harbour at 6kts about 30 mins and then moor up outside the Town Hall just before the bridge on the right. Put out some long line and you will be fine all night. Depending on your speed and sea state it is often quicker to carry on to Lowestoft and tie up at the RNSYC.

You can enter Yarmouth or Lowestoft at any state of tide.


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Hi and thanks, that is great information. Keep it comming,.......

I am resonably familiar with most of the local geography, but I have only ever made landfall from the sea once and I was 16 years old in an Ocean Youth Club ketch. We did moor up just before the bridge and I remeber the rise and fall was quite extreeme. What is the maximum flow through that part of the harbour???

I can do about 10 knots cruising, a little more if I have to, so pushing a tide across Breadon is possible, just more expense!!

I am liking the idea of Lowestoft as we would like to spend a few days at Oulton Broad as part of our holiday. Then probably Brundal area for a week. Over Breaydon to the Northen Broads for a week or so then out through Yarmouth and back to Wells and then home via Kings Lynn.

How much does Muntford Lock cost and can it operate at any state of the tide? I like the idea of arriving and mooring up for the night (Yacht club?) and not having to wory about bridge heights / Breydon or keeping going for a few more hours.



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Hi Deano,

Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club is just through the entrance at Lowestoft to port, they will normally find you a berth however busy but you may be rafted out if there are a few in. RNSYC is the nicest marina but if it is full then if you turn to Starboard as you come through the entrance into the fish docks and follow it to the end Haven Marina is there in Hamilton dock,, nice pontoons and lots of space.

You need to book into Mutford as it does not open on demand due to normally having to open the railway, road and foot bridge, that said you will clear all of these at any state of time so they will probably open the lock for you at any time. the cost is £10 per transit.


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You can stay at RNSYC on your left as you enter the harbour at Lowestoft, lovely marina or on entering the harbour go right into the Hamilton dock marina. Alternatively, go through Bascule bridge at Lowestoft and moor at Haven Marina towards the top of Lake Lothing overnight before going through the lock.

Navigation guidance for Lowestoft and Bascule bridge, including opening times below, as well as info on Mutford Lock.



Mutford lock costs £10

Hope this helps.

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