Tower Bridge to Medway


The contents of this website are for information only and should not be relied upon for the purpose of navigation.


A personal view of passage making from the Club to the Medway by Past Commodore Lionel Willis.

Navigating the tidal Thames - barrier to estuary

Moorings and Marinas

St. Katharine Dock Marina

A picturesque and well equipped (and expensive) marina close to Tower bridge. Visitor berths are available but should be booked in advance. For a short stop, an option is to tie off to a yellow waiting buoy outside the marina entrance. Approx sail from GYC: 2.5 hours.

Limehouse Basin Marina

Sited in the old Limehouse Dock and connected to the Inland Waterways network, a mainly residential marina with some visitor berths. Also the home of the Cruising Association. Pre-booking of visitor moorings is required.

South Dock Marina

Run by Southwark Council, a mainly residential marina in the Surrey quays, with some visitor berths, liftout facilities and boatyard. Pre-booking of visitor moorings is required.

Ware Point Anchorage

Halfway down Gallions Reach and on the other side of the river from the Gallions Point Marina, is a little bay on the south shore where a derelict slipway, left over from the Arsenal. Inside the barge tiers there should be sufficient depth even at low water and there is very little current. Perhaps a little exposed for an overnight stop and under the City Airport flight path. If you want to stay overnight you must ask permission of London VTS as it’s inside the Barrier Control Zone. Approx sail from GYC: <1 hour.

Erith Yacht Club

Cruisers can stop at Erith Yacht Club by picking up a vacant mooring buoy by agreement. Be aware that the currents can be very strong due to a back eddy - if wind is against tide it can be useful to put a small drogue off the back of the boat. Approx sail from GYC: 1.5 hours.

Greenhithe Anchorage

Anchor off the wooden slipway. With a dinghy it is possible to get ashore and there is a good pub. One report of a fouled anchor just upstream of the slipway - just downstream of the pier might be better. Approx sail from GYC: 2 hours.

Thurrock Yacht Club

Thurrock maintain a visitor's buoy at the upstream end of their moorings. Contact the Club is you wish to use it. Approx sail from GYC: 3.5 hours.

Gravesend Sailing Club

Situated at the entrance to Gravesend Dock Marina, the Clubhouse can only be accessed at high water. There are no visitor's buoys, but a vacant mooring may be available by arrangement. The PLA maintain some yellow visitor's buoys off the Rowing Club, call London VTS for permission. Approx sail from GYC: 4 hours.

Gravesend Pontoon

It is possible to book a berth inside the pontoon at Royal Pier. Access to the town is limited by the opening hours of the Restaurant. There are also deep water and drying swing moorings available, which also need to be booked in advance.

Holehaven Anchorage

Holehaven provides a well protected anchorage roughly two thirds of a sail with the tide between GYC and the Medway. The channel is quite shallow, but most GYC yachts should be able to get in outside an hour either side of low water. Enter with the westermost yellow buoy close to your starboard side and aim between the end of the coastwatch pier and the line of moorings. Use Tilbury tide times which should be accurate to within ten minutes. There is a good pub within rowing distance of the anchorage (you passed it on the way in), the Lobster Smack. Approx sail from GYC: 6 hours.

Queenborough Harbour

The first port of call in the Medway, historic Queenborough provides deep water moorings for visitors, with free trot boat service, access to the town amenities and transport links to London and elsewhere. The Harbour website has useful links to the chartlets produced by the Medway and Swale Boating Association detailing moorings, slipways, Clubs and services on both rivers.

Queenborough Harbour website

Medway and Swale Anchorages

Stangate Creek

Approximately three miles from Garrison Point on the port hand side, the creek runs for 1.6 miles north/south from the Stangate Spit buoy and offers a good anchorage in soft mud. Favoured spots are near the entrance (51°25'06.7"N 0°41'22.5"E) close to the port hand buoy, and about a mile in where there's a flat bottom with around 3m at LWS. Shelter from north or south winds can be found at the bottom, around Slaughterhouse Point to starboard and opposite the remains of the Chetney Hill Lazaretto. [1]

Sharfleet Creek

Just over 0.5m into Stangate Creek on the starboard hand lies the entrance to Sharfleet Creek, turn in after leaving the green wreck buoy to starboard. The creek curves round to starboard before curving round to port and finally escaping out onto the shallows of the Ham Oaze There is a secure anchorage just inside the creek close to the Eastern bank, or further in around the curve. Use of echo sounder recommended as there is a shallow spot at the top of the curve with only around 1.2m at LWS.

Harty Ferry

In the River Swale, actually a drowned valley separating the Isle of Sheppy from the mainland, Can be approached at high water from Queenborough, or from the East, via the Columbine Spit at all states. There is good anchorage on the North bank, to the West of Harty Ferry, with a hard giving access to the Ferry House Inn, or on the South shore near the moorings. Access to Faversham at high water. Can be uncomfortable in strong Easterly winds.

South Deep

A small anchorage close to the Southern shore, near the entrance to Conyer Creek Best approached from the East, after keeping the Fowley Spit cardinal buoy to starboard, South Deep clings to the shoreline for about 0.5m, with the best anchorage just inside of Fowley Island. Really only suitable for shoal draft vessels.