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Axmouth

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Overview





Axmouth lies between Beer Head and Haven Cliff where the Axe River enters the sea. Close within the river mouth is a landing quay with the pontoons of the Axe Yacht Club opposite where visiting boats can make arrangments to dry out.

The river berths provide complete protection from all conditions. The shallow entrance, over a drying sandbar, however, requires some attentive navigation. Small and narrow it only permits access to smaller vessels of a moderate draft that are prepared to make an approach around high water. It may only be addressed in settled or offshore conditions.
Please note

Anything more than moderate southerly conditions, and particularly southeasterly, will make the river unapproachable. Tidal streams in the river mouth can be surprisingly strong with a spring ebb attaining rates of up to 6 knots at full flow.




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Keyfacts for Axmouth
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityA secure location

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 4 or more from E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW and W.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessRestriction: may be subject to a sand barRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific length

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
October 27th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineMarine engineering services available in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityA secure location

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 4 or more from E, ESE, SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, WSW and W.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: rising tide required for accessRestriction: may be subject to a sand barRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific length



Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 42.258' N, 003° 3.561' W

This is the head of the Axe Yacht Club's last set of pontoons close to the bridge. The clubhouse is at the root of this pontoon.

What is the initial fix?

The following Axe River will set up a final approach:
50° 41.880' N, 003° 3.308' W
This is on the 5 metre contour ¼of a mile south of the river entrance where a light is exhibited & Fl.G.4s 7m 2M.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern England’s coastal overview from Portland Bill to Start Point Route location


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Axmouth for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Beer - 0.8 miles WSW
  2. Lyme Regis - 3 miles ENE
  3. West Bay (Bridport) - 7 miles E
  4. Exmouth - 9.2 miles WSW
  5. The Bight - 9.4 miles WSW
  6. Starcross Yacht Club - 9.4 miles WSW
  7. Starcross - 9.5 miles WSW
  8. Topsham - 9.6 miles W
  9. Turf Lock (Exeter Canal) - 9.7 miles W
  10. Teignmouth - 12.1 miles WSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Beer - 0.8 miles WSW
  2. Lyme Regis - 3 miles ENE
  3. West Bay (Bridport) - 7 miles E
  4. Exmouth - 9.2 miles WSW
  5. The Bight - 9.4 miles WSW
  6. Starcross Yacht Club - 9.4 miles WSW
  7. Starcross - 9.5 miles WSW
  8. Topsham - 9.6 miles W
  9. Turf Lock (Exeter Canal) - 9.7 miles W
  10. Teignmouth - 12.1 miles WSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
The entrance to the Axe River
Image: Michael Harpur


Situated between Beer Head and Haven Cliff, is the broad and fertile valley of the River Axe through which a small stream flows into the sea. The small harbour of Axmouth with its landing quays and the pontoons of the Axe Yacht Club in a basin opposite, lie below a bridge less than a ¼ of a mile upriver from its river mouth.

The narrow, shallow and drying haven is only suitable for boats carrying no more than 1.2 - 1.5 metres of draught and up to 8.5 metres LOA although longer boats may be accommodated by prior arrangement. Berthing options are as follows:

  • • Axmouth Quay: Contact the Harbour Master VHF Ch. 06 M: +44 7939044109, P: +44 1297 22180

  • • Axe Yacht Club: Contact the club P: +44 129720043, e: info@axeyachtclub.co.uk

The river is entered over a continually shifting bar that dries to 0.5 metres but has been known to dry as much as 1.4 metres. Depths at the entrance are typically in the order of 2.8 metres MHWS and 1.3 metres MHWN but this varies depending on preceding storms so it is essential to check with the harbour master or the club before making an approach. Any approach to Axmouth Harbour is best made at HW ±00:30.


How to get in?
Axmouth's entrance as seen from the quay
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Axmouth Harbour is entered from Beer Roads which is clear of dangers. Use southwestern England’s coastal overview from Portland Bill to Start Point Route location for general area approaches.

Although approaches to Beer Roads is straightforward the river entrance is only 7 metres wide and not the easiest for a newcomer to identify. It lies at the end of Seaton's shingle beach that extends to a spit along the shore on the west side of the river mouth. On the east side is a small pier that has a short training wall extending into the sea with a starboard beacon, Fl G.4s 7m 2M, at its head. The latter pier and training wall is situated close west of Haven Cliff which forms a prominent object from seaward.


The comings and goings of local boats usually show the entrance and path through
the outer shingle bars

Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix Haven Cliff and the beacon at the east side of the entrance should be readily identifiable.

During the season a yellow spherical buoy is normally moored about 300 metres outside the entrance and it tends to be in the best line of approach. It has a pull ring that can be taken up for a short period whilst surveying by dinghy or making enquiries.

The river mouth is addressed through shifting shingle spits that lie immediately outside. If there is any doubt it is advisable to obtain up to date local knowledge from the club or harbour master or alternatively launch the dinghy to take a sounding. You should expect to see local boat movements in and out of the entrance at high water, making its location and depths known by flagging them down.

Steer for the beacon at the head of the training wall with a green triangle topmark on the starboard side until the entrance is visible. Proceed in and once inside the entrance, keep the boat moving as there may be some waves and current at the entrance that requires assertive steerage.

The channel turns abruptly through 90° immediately inside the entrance
Image: Michael Harpur


Immediately within the entrance, the channel turns abruptly through 90° around the spit, to port and westward, where it proceeds up to the quays on the starboard side of the club pontoons in a mooring basin to port. The best water is found at all times close to the harbour wall on the starboard side.


Axmouth quay and sailingclub pontoons
Image: Michael Harpur



Haven location Come alongside at Axmouth landing quay and berth as directed by the harbourmaster. Alternatively, berth by arrangement with the sailing club by rafting up on one of the club's fore & aft moorings or on their pontoon.

The bridge above the club that is the head of navigation
Image: Michael Harpur


The rivers low and historic bridge, with 2 metres clearance, just north of the quay and club basin is the head of navigation.

In offshore winds, it is possible to anchor offshore ¼ of a mile west of the entrance.


Why visit here?
Axmouth, first recorded as Axanmuthan circa 880 and as Alsmunda in the 1086 Doomsday Book, takes its name from the Celtic river name conjoined with the Old English word for mouth, mútha, literally meaning 'mouth of the river Axe'.

Axmouth was a flourishing small port that was ranked as a major port by the middle of the 14th-century when it accounted for 15% of the country’s shipping trade. The coming of the railway made the harbour largely obsolete and storms between 1869 and 1875 finally put paid to the port by destroying the harbour's entrance works.

Today the village includes some thatched cottages, and the church which has a 15th-century tower and a carved Norman doorway and pillars. The Tudor period Bindon House is nearby and the remains of a hillfort can be seen on Hawkesdown Hill above the village. An early concrete bridge crosses the mouth of the river close to the harbour which is home to a yacht club.

The remains of a late medieval fishing boat can be seen at low tide in the River Axe, just south-west of the village.


What facilities are available?
There are a number of workshops in the harbour that may be able to assist with repairs.

The Sailing Club has showers and facilities. It has a welcoming bar that provides views out over the beach. The large seaside town of Seaton is only a short distance away and it has ample bars restaurants and provisioning options.


With thanks to:
Michael Harpur eOceanic.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.




Axmouth, Devon
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Axe Yacht Club basin, left, landing quay, right
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Axmouth quay
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Axmouth quay
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Axmouth quay
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Axe Yacht Club
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Axe Yacht Club
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Axe Yacht Club slip
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Yachts approaching the entrance
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Rounding the sand spit
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Yachts hugging the wall for best deapth
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Approaching the club
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Approaching the club
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur

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Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.