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jillR

tips on crossing breydon

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So long as one could still get  under the bridges, then yes, Marina, I would leave GH then.

I arrive with a bit of ebb behind me or at Slack Water if it's outside the Rangers' hours.

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Does this sound like a plan that will work.

Monday 19th October 2015 Leave Acle first light (sunrise 7-25am) travel with the Ebb for passage through GY. Low water predicted as 8-12 am GY  slack predicted 9-12 am. Allowing approx 2 hours 30 mins for journey will arrive at bridges a little after 10 am, Boat airdraft 6ft 7in, can we safely pass bridges and yellow dolphin into Breydon water

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Hi Gramps,

You should be able to do Acle to GY in 2 hours easy on an ebb tide, so your timing is good.

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Gramps , you will be perfectly alright, the water is still nominally  running out  from the Bure for at least 30 minutes after slack so with two to two and a half hours cruise you,ll be fine either way

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Thanks Eric and Mark, this trip will be the first-time I have ventured south for forty years, tides and daylight should work in our favour this year.

 

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Does this sound like a plan that will work.

Monday 19th October 2015 Leave Acle first light (sunrise 7-25am) travel with the Ebb for passage through GY. Low water predicted as 8-12 am GY  slack predicted 9-12 am. Allowing approx 2 hours 30 mins for journey will arrive at bridges a little after 10 am, Boat airdraft 6ft 7in, can we safely pass bridges and yellow dolphin into Breydon water

Gramps, hi.

Youll be able to leave Acle just before 07.00 which will give you a good ebb all the way to GHYS. It's just under 11 miles. The Rangers will be on hand to help you tie up while you have a cuppa and wait for the flood to set in well.

We've been under the bridges at HW (6ft 6ins airdraft), so you won't have a problem. 

Doing it this way you won't outrun the tide to wherever you're next going.

Have a Great Time!   :wave

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Gramps,

We did a similar thing recently, actually arrived about 90mins after low water and got through with an air draft of 8ft 4in. You should have lots of room.

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I have written a guide to passing through Yarmouth and crossing Breydon, written from the point of view of a yacht with no engine, It is on my website and a direct link is here. It contains stuff that would be of interest to those using an engine as well.

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2 hours ago, Speleologist said:

I have written a guide to passing through Yarmouth and crossing Breydon, written from the point of view of a yacht with no engine, It is on my website and a direct link is here. It contains stuff that would be of interest to those using an engine as well.

Hello Robin,

Please feel free to post the full report on this topic; so other forum members can view your guide without having to click on an external link.

Regards

Alan

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Ok, let's see how this works. Apologies if it doesn't all look clean. I've copied from the Printer Friendly version as the full version is broken down into multiple pages:

Introduction - Navigating Through Great Yarmouth

This is written for the Broads sailor. It contains much that will interest any Broads navigator, but it assumes a level of knowledge and experience and is not focussed on the motorboater. For an excellent guide from the motor perspective, with excellent diagrams and pictures I recommend the guide on the My Norfolk Broads Boating Important disclaimer. I am not an expert at passage through Yarmouth, although I have done it a dozen or more times, These notes are intended to summarise some of the things I have learned and found useful. I have found the instructions contained in Hamilton’s Navigations to be a very good guide, but there’s more that can be added. Moreover, the best approach to some aspects will vary with the weather (wind direction and speed). This is not a decisive document and it is up to the master of each vessel to determine his own best course of action. As a final introductory note, this is written in February 2006. If updated it will be noted here, but please be aware that phone numbers, VHF channels, Channel Markers and other aspects of the river environment can and do change. Explore the chapters below for more detail.

Chapter 1 - Yarmouth Tides

The tide at the confluence of the Bure and the Yare does strange things. The falling tide will continue to fall until low water Yarmouth Yacht Station (approx 1 hour after low water Yarmouth Bar). During the ebb, both the Bure and the Yare flow out towards the sea. At low water, the tide begins to flow up the Yare across Breydon Water, however it still continues to flow down the Bure. This is caused by a combination of two factors:

* The vast expanse of Breydon acts as reservoir space, and water from the Bure can join the incoming tide and spill out into Breydon Water.

* The incoming tide will run up the Bure at depth, whilst water near the surface is still flowing down river.

The time at which water begins to flow up the Bure, at least near enough the surface to affect a sailing yacht, occurs about 1¼ hours after Low Water, and is known as Slack Water.

Don’t forget that tide times are a prediction, and can change with weather, e.g. strong onshore winds.

All tide times used here refer to Yarmouth Yacht Station. If using tide tables for Gorleston Bar or Lowestoft you will need to make the appropriate adjustments.

Chapter 2 - Useful Resources

It is unthinkable to consider a trip through Yarmouth without a tide table. On a Hunters yacht, there is one in the information pack. Other sources are listed in the links. Other useful but non essential things are:

* A mobile phone, for contacting Breydon Bridge and the Yacht Station.

* Marine VHF: an alternative form of contact. (I’ve never used it, but if you have a handheld it would be worth taking. You can also use it to contact the railway swing bridges).

* GPS: Accurate speed and position information.

* Hamilton’s Navigations: highly detailed charts which show hazards and emergency moorings. (Sadly now out of print).

* A dinghy: If you have one in tow it can be useful (as will be seen).

* Oars/paddles: for progress where it’s too deep to quant.

Chapter 3 - General

Whether travelling north to south, or south to north, planning and preparation is the key. The aim is to be in the right place at the right time, and prepared for what to do on arrival. In both directions, the last safe mooring is well before Yarmouth (Stracey Arms on the Bure and Berney Arms on the Yare). Below these points I always see that everybody wears a lifejacket. From now on the currents are fast, the water deep and the consequences of a mistake can easily be more serious.

Don’t forget that having completed the passage through Yarmouth, you need to reach a safe mooring on the other side. If slack water is half an hour before sunset, that is probably not the day to choose unless you have navigation lights and are happy navigating in the dark..

Chapter 4 - North to South

This chapter looks at the approach to passing through Great Yarmouth from North to South. See the sections below:

1 - Timing

The time to arrive at Yarmouth is at slack water. There will be very little current. The ebb current is still flowing strongly at low water, adding considerable difficulties and dangers. I try to estimate my arrival time by judging my speed from the landmarks passed or the GPS. If I’m too early I sail back up the river again for a bit. It is probably better to be slightly late than too early. The flood is weak early on. I have managed, at the cost of some vigorous quanting and paddling, to go through an hour or more after slack water against the flood tide. Also the penalty for failure is simply that you have to turn round and go back. Arriving early can mean being carried down towards the road bridge and a panic to get moored up.

2 - Preparation

Aim to have everything ready well in advance. Fenders deployed, jobs allocated, mooring lines ready, lifejackets on. Also have the mudweight ready to deploy, on deck and with a long line (30ft or more) secured at the other end.

3 - Communication

If you have a mobile phone with you, a call to the Yacht Station is a good idea. You will be able to check that the tide is running as predicted and also the staff will be on the lookout to give you a hand. I usually call twice, once to check on the tides before going below Stracey Arms and again when I get to Marina Keys, to let them know I’m nearly there. When I get into Yarmouth I also ring Breydon Bridge to arrange for a lift.

4 - The Lower Bure

Coming down the Bure you will be on a falling tide. The river is also relatively narrow. Stay well clear of the banks. If you go aground you are likely to stay there until the tide is on its way back up. In particular keep well clear of the areas marked by posts.

5 - Mooring up for Masting

Unless you are happy dropping your mast under way, you will need to moor up for masting. There are masting moorings on the east bank immediately above the A47 road bridge. These leave little room for error, especially if you are early and the tide is still ebbing, so I usually moor up on the lower part of the yacht station. Rarely is it a true lee shore, as the high banks and buildings tend to funnel the wind so that it blows up and down the river. However, if coming down early with the wind behind you, mooring can be a tricky wind against tide decision. Better to kill time upstream and wait until slack water. You can then choose your approach to suit the wind alone. If you intend to stay at Yarmouth, then it is vital to moor using springs to allow a comfortable and safe lie at all states of the tide.

6 - Through the Bridges

These days it is fairly easy to quant through the bridges. The river is now shallow enough for the quant to touch bottom. Some form of paddle is useful though as actually under the bridges there is not enough headroom to lift the quant for planting. (If you’re careful going under Vauxhall bridge, you can get it up between the girders). Keep to the marked channel through the bridges, and once under Vauxhall bridge, aim to moor up to one of the red Dolphins on the west side. It can be a bit shallow round the first, so I generally go on to the second. Be very careful to avoid damaging your boat on the barnacle encrusted uprights. Fend carefully as you come alongside and take great care with placing fenders. If you haven’t rung the bridge, or called them on VHF, now is your last chance. If you have they will be watching out for you.

7 - Breydon Bridge

With the mast up you can set sail again. Be sure to leave the yellow marker to Starboard as you go round to head up to the lifting bridge. They will leave the lift to the last minute, but you will see the red lights go on, the siren will sound and the road traffic will stop. That is a clear indication that the bridge is about to lift. Very occasionally, especially in a strong wind, you may need to make a quick turn back to avoid arriving too soon. As you go through the bridge, you will often lose way as the bridge blankets the wind, but as the tide is now with you it should be easy to drift through.

7 - No Lift

Very occasionally you will not be able to arrange a bridge lift. This is most likely when slack water coincides with the morning rush hour. Also if you are in a private craft and navigating at night you may be outside the manned hours (06:00-22:00 from mid April to mid October, 08:00-17:00 at other times). There are two options. The marker posts both above and below the bridge have “jug handle” moorings, so you can sail from the dolphins to one of the posts, drop the mast and paddle through to one the other side to hoist again, (forget the quant, it’s too deep), or you can opt to paddle all the way. I find the latter is more efficient. Once through, either raise the mast under way or moor to one of the "jug handle" moorings on the posts above the bridge. In a strong west wind though, you might be better leaving it for another day.

Chapter 5 - South to North

Travelling from the southern rivers via Breydon and in to the Bure. As before, see the sections below.

1 - Timing

Plan your trip to arrive at Yarmouth at low water. Before the construction of Breydon Bridge it was easy to aim for slack water, but now if the wind is blocked by the bridge you may need the last bit of ebb tide to carry you through. You will have to wait to get up the Bure, but that’s better than not making it at all.

2 - Breydon Bridge

Again, ring in plenty of time, probably before you get onto Breydon. You should have no difficulty getting through the bridge, (the last of the tide will help) and round into the Bure.

3 - No Lift

I have no experience of going through from south to north without a lift, but the same principles as north to south should apply. Given the likelihood of a prevailing westerly wind, you are more likely to have a bit of help from the wind as you paddle through. If you want to moor up for masting then use the jug handles in the last marker posts.

4 - Mooring up for Masting

Aim for one of the dolphins. The tide will be low so the upstream one may be clear of the water. It may also be shallow by the second. This doesn’t matter too much. If you go aground, simply use your dinghy to take a rope across to the dolphin.You will float off as the tide rises. If you do not have a dinghy then just use your quant to nudge you closer as the tide rises until you can moor up properly. Again, take great care with fenders. If you have ones that can be mounted horizontally with a rope at each end it will make the job easier. Take time over the fenders as you will be here for a little while.

5 - Up the Bure

Because it is not yet slack water, you will need to wait before venturing up the Bure. You’ve got an hour or more, so make a brew and relax. You can’t go anywhere, so enjoy the surprise on others faces when they see you there. I always leave dropping the mast to the end, to make life more comfortable in the well. As slack water approaches, drop the mast and keep an eye on the current. Unfortunately it’s not a hard and fast guide as the surface water can continue to run off long after the water below surface is flowing up river. If in doubt, call the Yacht Station. They will be happy to advise you. Cast off and head through the bridges, it should be straightforward. Once through it’s probably easiest to use the masting moorings just above the road bridge, unless it’s a dead lee shore. In this case you may want to quant up a bit further round the bend to be better placed for hoisting sail.

Chapter 6 - Contacts and Links

Yarmouth Yacht Station
Tel: 01493 842794

Breydon Bridge
Tel: 01493 651275, VHF: Channel 12

Tide Tables from Shorebase

If you are new to Yarmouth and want an idea of what to expect, there are a couple of videos on Lord Paul Sergent's site showing a passage through Yarmouth. They are from the perspective of a motor cruiser, but give a good idea of what to expect. The one going from north to south is here and from south to north here. Many thanks to Paul for letting me link to these.

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And that people is why we use a motor boat ;)

Interesting read though! Although I've done some sailing here on the med/thames it's easy compared to the broads and I've often wondered how you can get around this bit without a motor and a mast. Full respect to you.. (as always.. if you need a tow.. just demand ;)

cheers 

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Hi Alan,

No problem. The only downside is it's static here. I do occasionally make changes to the website in the light of changes, new learning or spotting a relevant change. For example, when I first wrote it, it was based on the assumption of always mooring for masting and always crossing in daylight. Over time I have updated it to reflect these possibilities. I also updated it when the lower Bure was dredged. It's always worth a check on the website for the latest version.

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Hopefully someone will see this & be able to help me. We want to move our boat from Brundal to Horning. We've studied the tide times and decided Monday 21st is a reasonable day, half way between Springs and low water is at 9am. My question is with the yacht station being closed how do I find out what the bridge heights are before it's too late? Is there a way of using Breydon Bridge as a kind of marker? I'm asking coz we've got a 10ft ish air draft and a load of steel work that we can't remove at the moment, don't really want to remove it by force either!! Thanks x

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It's never concerned me but I understand that 11' is not unheard of whilst 10'6" is a more likely norm. I'm sure that someone knows far better than I do but having 10'ish headroom, I reckon, is not definite enough. Being near to the limit as you are I suggest that you resort to an accurate tape measure. The tide through Yarmouth is also governed by rainfall inland and the wind at sea so predictions can not always be relied upon. Personally I'd drive to Gt Yarmouth the evening before & check the height gauges before committing myself. Sorry that I can't be more help.

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We got under late in October at 10'6 with about 4-6 inches to spare so around 10'3 I guess. I just wondered if there was an easy ish way to tell before we got there. The marker boards on the far side of Breydon are they for Breydon Bridge or Vauxhall? X

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The marker boards all show the lowest clearance - Vauxhall Bridge in this case.

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10 hours ago, LincsLass said:

Hopefully someone will see this & be able to help me. We want to move our boat from Brundal to Horning. We've studied the tide times and decided Monday 21st is a reasonable day, half way between Springs and low water is at 9am. My question is with the yacht station being closed how do I find out what the bridge heights are before it's too late? Is there a way of using Breydon Bridge as a kind of marker? I'm asking coz we've got a 10ft ish air draft and a load of steel work that we can't remove at the moment, don't really want to remove it by force either!! Thanks x

 

Hello LincsLass,

The air draft on Ranworth Breeze is 9 ft 8 inches when we go through Yarmouth we always check the Broads Authority tide tables and look for low tide hights of less than 0.02.

I have checked the tables for this month and your options are limited to tide on the following days:-

The times on the table are always plus one hour because of the difference in tides from Gorleston to Yarmouth.

15th November 15.24

16th November 03.41 & 16.11

17th November 04.32 & 16.57

18th November 05.24 

19th November 06.15

20th November 07.09

As with all tables check the bridge marker at the end of Breydon Water which is just through the lift bridge.

A little tip coming down river through Yarmouth if you can see 7 ladder rungs out of the water on the Yacht Station there is 10 foot clearance at the bridges.

Regards

Alan 

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LincsLass: Just for added peace of mind, as you approach Breydon Water on the Yare just as you are passing the former Berny Arms Pub, you will see the advance height gauge for the bridges at Yarmouth .  While this might not be wholly accurate, it will provide you with a good indication of what to expect - and should you arrive a little early you can moor here and with the aid of binoculars keep an eye on the gauge as the tide falls.

Once you have come under Breydon Road Bridge you will be able to see another advance height gauge (again with the aid of binoculars to give more time should you need to turn and head back) this gauge is for Vauxhall Bridge - this will be just before the yellow post if memory serves me right.

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JUST STAY IN THE CHANNEL   :default_norty:  ( Yes, I know this isn't Breydon, but a very good example all the same :default_icon_e_biggrin: )

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