Passage Planning and important information for Leisure Craft

The Tidal River Severn

The safety of your vessel and those aboard it is your responsibility.  Familiarity with the chart of the river, an understanding of the uses of aids to navigation and the time and heights of tides are essential for the production of a meaningful passage plan. 

Although there have been no boating fatalities in the Severn Estuary in recent years, there have been a number of near misses when leisure users have not planned their trip properly to take account of local conditions. Tragic accidents have occurred elsewhere when sailors have ventured out ill-prepared in unsuitable conditions.

Passage planning is essential for a safe trip in the challenging waters of the tidal River Severn and users of small craft will find a great deal of useful information in the "reference documents" by clicking on the links below.

Current information of relevance to small craft travelling to Sharpness and into the inland waterway system may be found here "Plan and Communicate".

Admiralty charts BA 1166 and BA 1859 should be carried for navigation and passage planning purposes.  These can be obtained online from a number of specialist agents. 

Leisure craft operators must pay due regard to the SOLAS V requirements as set out in MCA leaflet MCA/098.  All UK pleasure craft must also comply with the regulations set out in Marine Guidance Notice MGN 538 (M) (September 2015).

If you have any queries relating to navigation in the harbour area area or beyond, you are welcome to contact this office and we shall be pleased to give advice.


The Gloucester & Sharpness (G&S) Canal 

Passage planning for small craft intending to use the G&S Canal after arriving in Sharpness Dock should include checking opening times of locks and bridges and whether any stoppage notices are in force.  Check the links to the relevant sections of Waterscape and to recently-issued local Notices to Mariners (see links below) relating to the estuary, canal and dock.

The Inland Waterways Association (Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Branch) has also produced a useful guide to help with planning your passage on the Severn above Gloucester and along the G&S Canal.


The Severn Bore

The Severn Bore is a fascinating spectacle which attracts many people to the area.  However, boat owners, surfers and those on the river bank need to take care to enjoy the experience safely and take heed to the advice given in the documents below.


Reference Documents

Use the buttons below to access a wide range of information.