The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2021.09.16 - New Mooring for Naiad

Not at all surprisingly, if you know me that is, I did some more research into alternative moorings for Naiad from next year and I have found a better option than even the Blackwater Sailing Club (BSC). 

Brightlingsea.

Moorings are available there without the need to belong to a sailing club and they range from half-tide mud berths up to marina moorings. The half-tide berths are the cheapest, then fore & aft moorings upriver, then fore & aft moorings closer to the town, then pontoon moorings and finally marina moorings.

My budget will stretch to the closer the fore & aft moorings, but not the pontoon or marina berths.

Still, the half-tide mud berth, for which I have applied, is a mere £189 per annum and not dependant on boat length. The cost of all the other mooring options are dependant on overall boat length.

There is a water taxi, so no need to take the tender, the facilities in the town are good and the Harbour Office staff are really helpful as I found out when I phoned them up to ask some questions.

If there are not enough half-tide moorings available, I'm not top of the writing list for next year, then I can stretch to one of the other mooring options.

The mud berths at Brightlingsea allow me to get on and off Naiad better than the BSC which is 2 hours either side of high water. The half tide mooring is 3 hours either side so there will be more weekends where the tides will allow me to sail.

I checked the tide tabes for 2021 at the BSC and there were only 11 weekends where the Sunday afternoon high water was between 15:00 and 18:00, the practical limits given the drive home and 25 weekends if I extended that from noon to 18:00.

Conversely, doing a similar exercise for Brightlingsea shows that were are considerably more weekends available when the Sunday high tide allowed good access. I counted 40 weekends for 2021. Not that I intend to sail that often, but the greater choice allows me to fit sailing weekends around other activities and to allow for inclement weather.

The drive to Brightlingsea is two hours and 80 miles, so not that different to getting to the BSC. The difference is not having to join a sailing club and the much reduced mooring fee assuming I get the mooring I want.

Interesting times ahead.