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 London & The River Thames - Profile

Location

This world-famous historic city need little introduction. In recent years several of the old dock areas along the River Thames have been utilised as marinas. It is possible to sail all the way up the river, with the mast up, as far at Tower Bridge.

Position 51° 29.22'N, 00° 46.42'E (river entrance)

Clearance

Thames Flood Barrier
Tel:+44(0)20 8855 0315 ,VHF Channel 14, 22, 16
Opening hours: Routine information broadcast on Ch 14 at H+15 and H+45
In-bound up the Thames, vessels must call the Thames Barrier, call sign, 'Woolwich Radio' on VHF channel 14, when passing Crayford Ness, giving their ETA at the Barrage. At Margaret Ness they should obtain confirmation of clearence to proceed. Green lighted arrows indicate which gates are open. Out-bound vessels follow the same proceedure at Tower Bridge and Blackwall Point.
The barrage is completely closed once a month for about 3 hours and for a whole tide once a year in September/October at high spring tides.
Please telephone the day before to check (020 8305 4188) times of any closure.

The piers are numbered 1 to 9 and the spans lettered A to K. Spans A, H, J & K are NOT navigable. C to F are for larger ships and B (out-bound) and G (in-bound) are for yachts and smaller vessels.
The transit must be made under power, with the sails lowered.

Docking

When transiting the river, it is important to keep a listening watch on the correct VHF channels. See www.pla.co.uk/Safety/Passage-Planning-Guide

For those who wish to take their boat right into the heart of London, there are now several marinas to choose from. St Katharine's Dock, right by the Tower of London, is the best known. Only half a mile downstream, there are two marinas, South Dock Marina, on the south shore of the Thames, and Limehouse Basin Marina, on the north shore. The latter is also the home of the Cruising Association, in whose premises visiting sailors are most welcome (with an excellent reference library).

Further down stream, the new marina at Gravesend is a useful base when approaching or leaving the centre of the Capital, being 23NM from Tower Bridge. Several of the old commercial docks now house yacht marinas too.

It is important to to keep clear of the freight terminal at Canvey, Shellhaven and Coryton and the London Gateway Port Reclamation Area at Thames Haven. This includes the jetties at Thames Haven.

Anchoring
Between Gravesend and Tower Bridge there are no recommended anchorages in the river. The strong tides, the commercial traffic and the number of broken piles and other ancient debris along the banks, all form reasons to avoid doing so.

Last updated March 2017.

Bray Marina
Monkey Islane Lane , Bray , Berkshire SL6 2EB
Tel:+44(0)1628 623654 Fax:+44(0)1628 773485 ,VHF Channel 80
400 berth marina situated in country park setting with direct access to the Thames. Riverside Brasserie, chandlery and engineering services.
Brentford Dock Marina
2 Justine Close , Brentford , Middlesex TW8 8QE
Tel:+44(0)20 8232 8941 - Mob 07920 143 987 Fax:+44(0)20 8560 5486
Situated on the River Thames at the junction with the Grand Union Canal. Hydaulic lock is accessible for up to 2.5 hours either side of HW, although boats over 9.5m LOA enter on high water by prior arrangement only. Grocery store on site.
Chelsea Harbour Marina
Estate Management Office , C2-3 The Chambers , London SW10 0XF
Tel:+44(0)20 7225 9108 - 07770542783 Fax:+44(0)20 7352 7868 ,VHF Channel 80
Located in the heart of South West London accessed via the Thames Flood Barrier in Woolwich Reach. Basin gates operate one and a half hours either side of HW (which is +20 minutes) at London Bridge. Marina welcomes visiting yachts. All facilities, pumpout, restautant. Waiting pontoon with water and power.
Gallions Point Marina
Gate 14, Royal Albert Basin, , Woolwich Manor Way, North Woolwich, , London E16 2QY.
Tel:+44 (0)20 7476 7054 Fax:+44 (0)20 7474 7056 ,VHF Channel 37, 80
500 metres downstream of the Woolwich Ferry on north side of Gallions Reach accessed via lock at the entrance to Royal Albert Basin.
Deep water pontoon moorings, hardstanding facilities, repairs, maintenance and valeting service, adjacent slipway. All facilities, LPG, 24hr security. Lock into King George V lock operates HW +/- 5hrs. This is the entrance to the London exhibition centre, ExCel.
Gravesend Sailing Club
Promenade East , Gravesend , Kent DA12 2RN
Tel:+44(0)1474 533974 (clubhouse) Fax:+44(0)7506 367699
Deep water and drying moorings, clubhouse, toilets, showers, visitor’s mooring.
Hermitage Community Moorings
16 Wapping High Street , London E1W 1NG
Tel:+44(0)207 481 2122
Thames North Bank, 600m downstream of Tower Bridge. Predominantly residential mooring. Two all tide visitor berths available (up to 40m). Short stays, up to 2 weeks per month. Water, electricity, pump-out, WC/shower. Draft restrictions. Contact manager 09:30-18:00 for further details and bookings.
Limehouse Basin Marina
48 Goodhart Place, , London E14 8EG
Tel:+44 (0)20 7308 9930 Fax:+44 (0)20 7363 0428 ,VHF Channel 80 'Limehouse Marina'
Situated where the canal system meets the Thames.
Entry is via a swing bridge/lock HW+/-3hrs 08:00 to 18:00 April-October, 08:00-16:30(November-March). Other times by prior arrangement. Waiting pontoon by the lock LW+/-1.5hrs.
All facilities, pump-out, launderette, Wi-Fi, Security. Access to Regents Canal & Lee Navigation.
This is a British Waterways Marina. For long term berthing vessels are required to undergo a British Safety Scheme Exam (see www.boatsafetyscheme.com for details).
The headquarters of the Cruising Association, with its excellent research library, are here. Visitors are welcome.
Penton Hook Marina
Staines Road , Chertsey , Surrey KT16 8PY
Tel:+44(0)1932 568681 Fax:+44(0)1932 567423 ,VHF Channel 80
Situated on the River Thames close to Chertsey and about a mile downstream of Runnymede. Unrestricted access to the Thames via a deep water channel below Penton Hook Lock and can accommodate ocean-going craft up to 21m LOA.
Poplar Dock Marina
Boardwalk Place , London , E14 5SH
Tel:+44(0)20 7308 9930 Fax:+44(0)20 7363 0428
The 90 berth marina has been designed to offer boaters the highest quality facilities available in terms of safety, security, comfort and style. It is within easy reach of a host of specialist shops, restaurants, pubs and attractions on the Canary Wharf Estate, and central London is just minutes away on the Jubilee Line and the Docklands Light Railway. All facilities, pump-out, laundry.
South Dock Marina
Rope Street , Plough Way , London SE16 7SZ
Tel:+44(0)20 7252 2244 - Mob 07950 805509 Fax:+44(0)207237 3806 ,VHF Channel 37, 80
1 mile above Greenwich and 2.5 miles below Tower Bridge. Quay building with 5 arched rooftops makes a useful landmark for this marina. Access is via a lock HW-2.5 to HW+1.5 There is a waiting pontoon at Greenland Pier.
200 berth secure marina with full facilities.
Some repair facilities, 20 ton crane, chandlery, launderette, restaurant and bar.
St Katharine Docks (by Tower Bridge)
50 St Katharine's Way , London , E1W 1LA
Tel:+44 (0) 20 7264 5312 Fax:+44 (0) 20 7702 2252 ,VHF Channel 80 'St Katherines'
Opening hours: 06:00-20:30 (summer), 0800-1800(winter)
Camper and Nicholsons Marinas [CNM] will be managing and operating the Marina from February 2017 under a 3 year contract. Recently refurbished with new marina layout, new pontoons, lighting and utilities. Can accommodate superyachts up to 40m.
Access is via a swing bridge/lock HW -2/+1.5 hrs. Waiting buoys just downstream. Beware of cross tides when approaching the lock. The lock is open from HW -2hrs to HW +1.5hrs (8am to 6pm winter, 6am to 8.30pm summer).
Facilities include toilets, showers, chandlery, pump-out, gas, bar, restaurant, supermarket, launderette. Weekly Friday lunch market and Saturday local produce market. Travel lift and boatyards nearby for smaller yachts.
The Embankment Marina
Albion Parade, , Gravesend , Kent DA12 2RN
Tel:+44 1474 535700 ,VHF Channel 80 "EmbankmentMarina"
Accessed by a lock (see separate entry). Visitors' berths available. Max. draft 2m. All facilities, fuel berth, shore storage. Adjacent to Gravesend Sailing Club. 10 minutes walk from centre of Gravesend.
The Embankment marina Lock
Tel:+44(0) 1474 535700 ,VHF Channel 80 "Embankment Marina"
The lock operates approximately one hour before HW Tilbury when it occurs in lock operating times. Exact lock opening times are dependent on Thames tide heights and visitors are advised to check in advance with the Lock Office for any particular tide.

The lock keeper is in attendance during the summer period 1st April - 31st October at each high tide between the hours of 08.00 - 20.00. During the winter period the Lock keeper will attend between 10.00 - 16.00. Locking out of hours by arrangement.
Windsor Marina
Maidenhead Road , Windsort , Berkshire SL4 5TZ
Tel:+44(0)1753 853911 Fax:+44(0)1753 868195 ,VHF Channel 80
Situated on the outskirts of Windsor on south bank of River Thames. Includes Windsor Yacht Club as well as boat lifting and repair facilities, chandlery and brokerage.

Yacht Clubs

Benfleet Yacht Club
Canvey Road , Canvey Island , Essex SS8 0QT
Tel:+44(0)1268 792278
Cruising Association
1 Northey Street , Limehouse Basin , London E14 8BT
Tel:020 7537 2828 Fax:020 7537 2266
Opening hours: 1130-1500 & 1700-2300(Mon-Fri), 1130-2300 Sat, 1200-1500 &1900-2230(Sun)
Welcomes visiting yachtsmen and offers temporary membership. Bar and restaurant. Any member wishing to become a member of the Baltic Section and receive details of its programme of activities should contact the Honorary Section Secretaries who are listed in the CA Yearbook.
Gravesend Sailing Club
Promenade East , Gravesend , Kent DA12 2RN
Tel:+44(0)1474 533974 (clubhouse) Fax:+44(0)7506 367699
Deep water and drying moorings, clubhouse, toilets, showers, visitor’s mooring.
Greenwich Yacht Club
Peartree Wharf, 1Peartree Way, Greenwich , London SE10 0BW
Tel:+44(084 4736 5846 Ext 0
Deepwater moorings for boats up to 12m, clubhouse, toilets, showers, slipway, boatyard for DIY mainentance. Call for possibility of a visitor’s mooring.
Hurlingham Yacht Club
43a Deodar Road , London SW15 2NP
Tel:+44(0)20 8788 5547
Island Yacht Club
The Clubhouse , Point Road , Canvey Island, SS8 7TX
Tel:+44(0)1268 510360
Canvey Island is located at the Southern end of the County of Essex around 35 miles East of London.
Little Ship Club
Bell Wharf Lane , Upper Thames Street , London EC4R 3TB
Tel:+44(0)20 7236 7729 Fax:+44(0)20 7236 9100
Thames Estuary Yacht Club
3 The Leas , Westcliff-on-Sea , SS0 7ST
Tel:+44(0)1702 345967
Windsor Yacht Club
The Clubhouse , Windsor Marina, Maidenhead Road , Windsor, Berks SL4 5TZ
Tel:+44(0)1753 858381 (manned when bar open)
Based at Windsor Marina
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Saint Lucia: TV Interview with Margaret Pratt, wife of murdered British yachtsman  (21 Jan 2014)

Saint Lucia, Vieux Fort: British Skipper dies in Armed Robbery

Saint Lucia, Vieux Fort: British Skipper dies in Armed Robbery  (19 Jan 2014)

World Cruising Club at Boot Düsseldorf

World Cruising Club at Boot Düsseldorf  (09 Jan 2014)

Huge waves, torrential rain and flooding as 'Winter Storm Hercules' heads over from US to Europe

Huge waves, torrential rain and flooding as 'Winter Storm Hercules' heads over from US to Europe  (07 Jan 2014)

Practical preparation for an offshore passage from the experts  at World Cruising Club  UK and USA

Practical preparation for an offshore passage from the experts at World Cruising Club UK and USA  (16 Dec 2013)

UK: Environment Agency issues multiple severe flood warnings for worst tidal surge in 60 years

UK: Environment Agency issues multiple severe flood warnings for worst tidal surge in 60 years  (05 Dec 2013)

Bristol Channel: Plans for Bristol Atlantic Array windfarm scrapped

Bristol Channel: Plans for Bristol Atlantic Array windfarm scrapped  (27 Nov 2013)

UK: BBC to assess future of Shipping Forecast - with update

UK: BBC to assess future of Shipping Forecast - with update  (22 Nov 2013)

UK: VHF users face 'rocket science' training

UK: VHF users face 'rocket science' training  (21 Nov 2013)

UK, Wales: Appeal to Welsh boaters to assist with Welsh Sea Watchers program

UK, Wales: Appeal to Welsh boaters to assist with Welsh Sea Watchers program  (06 Nov 2013)

Northern Europe: New scheme could see Belgians relax over red diesel

Northern Europe: New scheme could see Belgians relax over red diesel  (30 Oct 2013)

UK: Storm rescues for boat owners

UK: Storm rescues for boat owners  (28 Oct 2013)

UK: Half billion pound e-Borders scheme slammed

UK: Half billion pound e-Borders scheme slammed  (13 Oct 2013)

UK: Shipping Forecast may be affected by maintenance in 2014

UK: Shipping Forecast may be affected by maintenance in 2014  (09 Oct 2013)

UK: Missing Weymouth sailor's body found

UK: Missing Weymouth sailor's body found  (06 Oct 2013)

Turkey, Datca: British sailors rescued after yacht shipwrecked on cliff face

Turkey, Datca: British sailors rescued after yacht shipwrecked on cliff face  (26 Sep 2013)

UK, Southampton: Two great opportunities to learn more about ocean cruising

UK, Southampton: Two great opportunities to learn more about ocean cruising  (10 Sep 2013)

U.K., Cowes: Isle of Wight's Royal Yacht Squadron to allow Women Members

U.K., Cowes: Isle of Wight's Royal Yacht Squadron to allow Women Members  (18 Aug 2013)

UK: Red Diesel Update

UK: Red Diesel Update  (29 Jul 2013)

UK South Coast, Chichester, Hayling Bay: Underwater Obstruction

UK South Coast, Chichester, Hayling Bay: Underwater Obstruction  (29 Jul 2013)

Northern Atlantic, Ireland: Abandoned boat recovered

Northern Atlantic, Ireland: Abandoned boat recovered  (25 Jul 2013)

Northern Europe, Netherlands: New North Sea Shipping Routes

Northern Europe, Netherlands: New North Sea Shipping Routes  (09 Jun 2013)

Azores to Hebrides: Norweigan cruising couple rescued by Irish Navy

Azores to Hebrides: Norweigan cruising couple rescued by Irish Navy  (08 Jun 2013)

ARC Portugal: A sunny start for the fleet's sail south

ARC Portugal: A sunny start for the fleet's sail south  (03 Jun 2013)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

Ireland - The Gathering Cruise: An opportunity to discover Ireland’s South Eastern and South Western coastline

Ireland - The Gathering Cruise: An opportunity to discover Ireland’s South Eastern and South Western coastline  (22 May 2013)

Heading to the Mediterranean this Summer?

Heading to the Mediterranean this Summer?  (20 May 2013)

June 8th is World Oceans Day: Create or Join an event near you

June 8th is World Oceans Day: Create or Join an event near you  (17 May 2013)

British Sailor Missing in Pacific - Updated

British Sailor Missing in Pacific - Updated  (02 May 2013)

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Cruising Club of America Annual Awards Announced  (13 Feb 2013)

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Cruising Association (CA) Launches North Sea Section  (09 Jan 2013)

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Ocean cruising experts share their offshore sailing knowledge at the London Boat Show 2013  (08 Jan 2013)

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Discover life on board a bluewater cruiser at the London Boat Show!  (13 Dec 2012)

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English Channel: Dismasted yacht with no EPIRB waits 10 hours for rescue  (06 Sep 2012)

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UK: Ocean Sailing Forum at Southampton Boat Show  (06 Sep 2012)

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Chandlers return to sailing after pirate horror  (02 Jul 2012)

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En Route from Antigua to UK: Skipper of Missing Catamaran "Gutted" to be Rescued  (13 Jun 2012)

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UK South Coast: Prince Michael unveils new facilities at Beaulieu  (25 Apr 2012)

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Solo Sailor Rescued after drifting for 11 weeks  (25 Apr 2012)

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UK: Hosepipe Ban - implications for leisure boating   (22 Mar 2012)

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Scotland: Explore the Highlands and Islands with the Malts Cruise  (15 Mar 2012)

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UK: Red Diesel - Government Backs Down  (08 Mar 2012)

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Some Good News Regarding the International Certificate of Competence  (07 Mar 2012)

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UK: Cross-Channel red diesel use outlawed  (23 Feb 2012)

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Scotland, Isle of Kerrera - New Buyer for Oban Marina  (13 Feb 2012)

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European Inspectors Focus on Yacht Safety   (10 Feb 2012)

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The Cruising Association Share the Secrets of Sailing the Bay of Biscay  (02 Dec 2011)

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UK: Coastguard modernisation proposals confirmed   (22 Nov 2011)

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Armed Guards to Protect UK Ships?  (30 Oct 2011)

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Heavy rain causes chaos across British Isles  (25 Oct 2011)

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Tackling Piracy: UK Government Response  (20 Oct 2011)

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UK: Gang jailed over yacht drug smuggle  (18 Oct 2011)

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Atlantic Ocean: Norwegian Yacht Missing - Now Safely Arrived in Ireland  (26 Sep 2011)

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The Tail-end of Hurricane Katia hits the UK in "worst storm since 1996"  (12 Sep 2011)

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British sailors missing at sea between South Africa and Australia  (08 Sep 2011)

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Night drama as two Dutch sailors rescued by British Royal Navy  (14 Jul 2011)

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Malts Cruise 2011 - Discover Scotland by Sail  (30 Jun 2011)

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UK: Cowes Yacht Haven Launches New Website  (30 Jun 2011)

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Can Anyone Rescue the UK Coastguard?  (23 May 2011)

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Scottish Malts Cruise - Sailing and Whisky  (29 Apr 2011)

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New from Imray  (02 Apr 2011)

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Yachts in Europe: New Marine Safety Inspections from Jan 2011   (06 Jan 2011)

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Falmouth coordinates rescue of yacht after fishing boat collision  (16 Dec 2010)

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British sailor dies as yacht sinks in stormy seas off Canary Islands  (02 Dec 2010)

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Paul and Rachel Chandler Speaking at a Press Conference in Mogadishu  (14 Nov 2010)

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BREAKING NEWS: Paul and Rachel Chandler released by Somali pirates after 388 days  (14 Nov 2010)

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UK South Coast: Full Planning Consent Granted for East Cowes Marina  (03 Nov 2010)

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UKHO to Restructure Admiralty Leisure Range of Charts  (20 Sep 2010)

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Warning for North Sea Sailors: 60 tonnes of timber  (02 Sep 2010)

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UK. New interactive marine conservation zone map launches online  (29 Jun 2010)

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Help Create Better Charts for the UK  (29 Jun 2010)

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UK South Coast: No Anchor Zones in Studland Bay   (24 Jun 2010)

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British cruising sailors rescued after yacht sinks in NE Atlantic  (19 Jun 2010)

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Somalia Kidnap: Chandlers plea to Cameron  (03 Jun 2010)

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British family rescued after yacht hits iceberg in South Atlantic  (09 May 2010)

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Scotland, More Berths at Oban Marina  (16 Apr 2010)

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British sailors rescued by Belgian helicopter  (07 Jan 2010)

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Sea, Sailing and Single Malts - Classic Malts Cruise 2009 Under Way from Oban  (17 Jul 2009)

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Almanac for English Channel now online and free   (14 May 2009)

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Emergencies and Channel 16  (28 Feb 2009)

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English Channel: Debris Alert for Sailors  (22 Jan 2009)

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Crinan Sea Lock Closure  (25 Jul 2008)

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DYT Announces New Routes and Voyages  (12 Dec 2007)

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UK Customs To Set Up New Unit For Yachts  (21 May 2007)

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EU extends VAT grace period for non-EU boats to 18 months  (23 Mar 2004)