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Bude Haven

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Overview





Bude Haven is a small seaside resort town on Cornwall's north coast about ten miles to the northeast of Boscastle. It dries entirely but offers a sea lock where a vessel may lie afloat in perfect security, and a flat sandy beach for those that can take to the bottom.

Bude Haven is a small seaside resort town on Cornwall's north coast about ten miles to the northeast of Boscastle. It dries entirely but offers a sea lock where a vessel may lie afloat in perfect security, and a flat sandy beach for those that can take to the bottom.

The beach is exposed west round to north, but the sea lock offers complete protection from all conditions once you are in, but this is subject to many constraints as this haven faces out into the Atlantic Ocean. The harbour master requires 24 hours notice to grant permission to enter the sea lock, and this is subject to conditions being very settled or a moderate offshore wind prevailing with no swell. The approach then has to be made at high water via a dogleg pathway that requires daylight to pick up its leading transits. Should the right window present itself it should also be remembered that a departure is subject to the same constraints.
Please note

No attempt should be made on Bude Haven if any ground swell is running.




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Keyfacts for Bude Haven



Last modified
February 12th 2019

Summary* Restrictions apply

A tolerable location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapShore power available alongsideShore 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 areaInternet via a wireless access point availableDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineBus service available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Berth alongside a deep water pier or raft up to other vesselsQuick and easy access from open waterUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large city

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 3 or more from N, SSW, SW, WSW, W, WNW, NW and NNW.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: access via a channel with a lock or enclosed by a lockRestriction: rising tide required for accessNote: harbour fees may be chargedLittle air protection



 +44 1288 353111      +44 78160 77755      kbenson@cornwall.gov.uk      Ch.12/16 HM
Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 49.769' N, 004° 33.127' W

This is the entrance to the Bude Canal.

What is the initial fix?

The following Bude Haven initial fix will set up a final approach:
50° 49.873' N, 004° 34.110' W
This is ½ a mile out from Chaple Rock and on the 10 metre contour.


What are the key points of the approach?

  • The above-described conditions are essential for any approach to be made on Bude Haven and requisite notice along with the Harbour Master's permission to enter the Bude Canal.

  • Time the approach for HW -1.

  • The final approach is via a dogleg path that is supported by two sets of unlit alignment marks. Both must be adhered to.
  • An outer set in transit bearing 075°T

  • An inner set leading to the sea lock providing a transit bearing of 131°T.

  • Follow the marks to the sea lock, dry out on the hard sand approaches or enter the canal.


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 Bude Haven for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Looe Harbour - 18 miles S
  2. Par - 18.4 miles S
  3. Fowey - 18.5 miles S
  4. Polperro Harbour - 18.6 miles S
  5. Polkerris - 18.6 miles S
  6. Lantic Bay - 18.8 miles S
  7. Charlestown - 19.2 miles SSW
  8. River Tamar & Tributaries - 19.7 miles SSE
  9. Plymouth Harbour - 19.9 miles SSE
  10. Mevagissey - 21.6 miles SSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Looe Harbour - 18 miles S
  2. Par - 18.4 miles S
  3. Fowey - 18.5 miles S
  4. Polperro Harbour - 18.6 miles S
  5. Polkerris - 18.6 miles S
  6. Lantic Bay - 18.8 miles S
  7. Charlestown - 19.2 miles SSW
  8. River Tamar & Tributaries - 19.7 miles SSE
  9. Plymouth Harbour - 19.9 miles SSE
  10. Mevagissey - 21.6 miles SSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search



How to get in?
Bude Canal on the forshore
Image: Michael Harpur


Bude Haven, also simply known as Bude, is a small seaside resort located 12 miles to the northeast of Tintagel Head and 4½ miles to the south of Sharpnose Point. The resort town is situated in one of the few valleys along this cliff coast and is at the seaward end of what was once the 50KM long Bude Canal that dates back to 1819. Although never commercially viable today the Bude Canal forms the central feature of the port, were vessels that can take to the hard can run in and dry upon the firm sands of its approaches. About twenty small boats use the tidal moorings of the original harbour during the summer months. Most are sport fishermen, but there is also some small-scale, semi-commercial, fishing for crab and lobster.


The protective seawall leading out to Barrel Rock
Image: Michael Harpur


Bude Canal's sea-lock terminating on the foreshore offers complete protection. Vessels drawing up to 3 metres can enter on a spring tide and lock-in in perfect security. A minimum depth of 2.5 metres is required outside the lock for the entrance gates to open. This can be found in settled conditions within two hours of an intervening tidal period or Spring Tide high water. It is nevertheless advisable to approach an hour before high water to have an hour's rise available should there be any complications. The final approach to the entrance is protected by a small islet named Chapel Rock, which is dry at low water, and which is connected to the shore by a stone seawall and a small breakwater.


Bude Haven is entered via a dogleg following two sets of unlit alignment marks (as pictured further below):

  • (i) Outer set of leading marks: The first set of marks lead past Chapel and Barrel Rocks and are situated above the low cliffs on the north side of the estuary, behind a swimming pool and above the beach. The front mark is a white post with a yellow diamond topmark, the rear is a white Flagstaff, in transit bearing 075° T.

  • (ii) Inner set of leading marks: The second set of marks intersect the outer set to lead into the entrance to the Bude Canal of which they stand close outside. The front mark is a white pile beacon, the rear a white spar, both with yellow triangular topmarks that provide a transit bearing of 131° T.

It is important to note that vessels approaching from the northwest must not be tempted to skip the outer set of leading marks for the inner pair. The initial approach must be from west-by-southwest using the outer transit set.


Bude Haven with the radar dishes on Sharpness Point in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point From seaward the beaches will be seen to widen into Bude Bay to the north of Dizzard Point, and then to thin out again beyond Sharpnose Point. Sharpnose Point may be positively identified by a group of satellite dishes standing close within. The small gap in the cliffs which is Bude Haven can then be picked out 3 miles southward. From Widemouth Bay to Hartland Point, 15 miles north, the coast faces due west and has no dangers extending beyond a ½ a mile from the shore.

On closer approaches to Bude Haven, a stone tower will be seen standing above Compass Point, just before the low cliff line abruptly ends and drops down to the entrance.

The small stone tower standing over Compass Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix steer for the small stone tower standing over Compass Point, to identify and bring into line the outer leading marks, and prepare the west-by-southwest approach.


Barrell Rock maker (left) and the outer set of leading marks (right) bearing
075°T

Image: Michael Harpur


The larger rear Flagstaff is the most conspicuous of the marks and once that has been identified the lower outer mark on the foreshore, with a yellow diamond top mark, will become more obvious. Once in line, on a bearing 075° T, track in close to the end of Chapel Rock and close outside Barrel Rock until the intersection of the inner set of marks occurs.

The inner set of outside the entrance to the Bude Canal bearing of 131°T
Image: Michael Harpur


The inner transit bearing 131°T then turns uncomfortably close around Barrel Rock with its green beacon, literally with a barrel topmark. It then passes to close east of Chapel Rock as it leads up to the lock gates.

The lock entrance with the starboard post, marking the low wall, and the 131°T
marks

Image: Michael Harpur


Break off the transit when approaching the front mark and steer for the entrance to the lock. Pass between two posts just outside the entrance. Stand well clear of the starboard post as it marks the outer end of a low wall that covers at high springs.


The sea lock entrance and its approaches
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Dry out on the firm sands alongside local boats on the approaches to the sea lock.

Local boat and moorings in the approaches to the sea lock
Image: Michael Harpur


Alternatively, with the harbour masters permission enter the sea lock, and berth as directed.


Yacht alongside in the Bude Canal
Image: Michael Harpur


Do not anchor off Bude Haven as an outfall pipeline extends up to a ½ mile seaward close south, and submarine cables which may best be seen on a chart, extend seaward from the shore close north.


Why visit here?
The origin of the name Bude is uncertain and it is thought to have once been a river description meaning 'muddy or turbulent river'. In the Middle Ages, the only dwelling in Bude Haven was Efford Manor, the seat of the Arundells of Trerice, which had a chapel of St Leonard. Another chapel existed at Chapel Rock which was dedicated to Holy Trinity and St Michael.


Bude Canal's sea lock
Image: Michael Harpur


By the 18th-century there was a small unprotected tidal harbour at Bude, but it was difficult to access whenever the sea was up. The Bude Canal Company built a canal and improved the harbour. Its original purpose was to take small tub boats of mineral-rich sand from the beaches at Bude and carry them inland for agricultural use on fields. A series of inclined planes carried the boats over 400 vertical feet (120 metres) to Red Post, where the canal branched south along the upper Tamar Valley towards Launceston, east to Holsworthy and north to the Tamar Lakes, that fed the canal.

The enterprise was always in financial difficulty, but it carried considerable volumes of sand and also coal from south Wales. The arrival of the railway at Holsworthy and the production of cheaply manufactured fertiliser undermined the canal's commercial purpose, and it was closed down and sold to the district municipal water company. However the wharf area and harbour enjoyed longer success, and coastal sailing ships carried grain across to Wales and coal back to Cornwall.

In the latter part of Queen Victoria's reign, the middle classes were discovering the attractions of sea bathing, and the Romantic Movement encouraged an appreciation of wild scenery and the Arthurian Legend. To serve this desire, a railway line was extended to Bude in 1898. This encouraged the holiday trade, but Bude never rivalled Newquay or the resorts in south Cornwall and Devon.

North Cornwall District Council continued to administer the canal, harbour, and lock gates until its abolition in March 2009. Unfortunately, several historic wharf buildings were demolished in the 1980s, but since then the canal has undergone restoration. The canal gates were renewed after the originals were damaged in a storm in 2008 and the pier head by the locks is a Grade II listed structure. Bude Canal is today the only manually operated sea lock gates in England.

Bude's beach at low water
Image: Michael Harpur


Present-day Bude has two beaches with broad sands close to the town and is a good centre for adjacent beaches. From a sailing point of view, it is the only location along this coast that offers a vessel complete protection, once in the sea lock. It also has the advantage of the adjacent town which provides an excellent provisioning capability.

We are currently out and about finding Havens and talking to sailors like you. By popular user request, we have posted this marina in advance of our normal production. Hence we have adapted wikipedia data in this ‘Why visit here’ section. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this text under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.


What facilities are available?
Bude Canal has water, electricity and a modern shower and toilet block. Petrol and diesel are available in cans from a nearby filling station, and a nearby mini-supermarket supplies Calor gas. Camping Gaz is available from a Caravan site about a mile from the canal basin. There is a choice of supermarkets in the town which is a short walk. A Post Office shop will be found close to the basin, a library, and the Bude Tourist Information Centre.


Stagecoach South West operates numerous bus services in and around Bude, with direct services to local towns, such as Holsworthy, Wadebridge Bideford, and Barnstaple.


With thanks to:
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.




Bude Haven, Cornwall, England
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Bude Haven, Cornwall, England
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Yacht alongside in the Bude Canal
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur
About Bude Haven

The origin of the name Bude is uncertain and it is thought to have once been a river description meaning 'muddy or turbulent river'. In the Middle Ages, the only dwelling in Bude Haven was Efford Manor, the seat of the Arundells of Trerice, which had a chapel of St Leonard. Another chapel existed at Chapel Rock which was dedicated to Holy Trinity and St Michael.


Bude Canal's sea lock
Image: Michael Harpur


By the 18th-century there was a small unprotected tidal harbour at Bude, but it was difficult to access whenever the sea was up. The Bude Canal Company built a canal and improved the harbour. Its original purpose was to take small tub boats of mineral-rich sand from the beaches at Bude and carry them inland for agricultural use on fields. A series of inclined planes carried the boats over 400 vertical feet (120 metres) to Red Post, where the canal branched south along the upper Tamar Valley towards Launceston, east to Holsworthy and north to the Tamar Lakes, that fed the canal.

The enterprise was always in financial difficulty, but it carried considerable volumes of sand and also coal from south Wales. The arrival of the railway at Holsworthy and the production of cheaply manufactured fertiliser undermined the canal's commercial purpose, and it was closed down and sold to the district municipal water company. However the wharf area and harbour enjoyed longer success, and coastal sailing ships carried grain across to Wales and coal back to Cornwall.

In the latter part of Queen Victoria's reign, the middle classes were discovering the attractions of sea bathing, and the Romantic Movement encouraged an appreciation of wild scenery and the Arthurian Legend. To serve this desire, a railway line was extended to Bude in 1898. This encouraged the holiday trade, but Bude never rivalled Newquay or the resorts in south Cornwall and Devon.

North Cornwall District Council continued to administer the canal, harbour, and lock gates until its abolition in March 2009. Unfortunately, several historic wharf buildings were demolished in the 1980s, but since then the canal has undergone restoration. The canal gates were renewed after the originals were damaged in a storm in 2008 and the pier head by the locks is a Grade II listed structure. Bude Canal is today the only manually operated sea lock gates in England.

Bude's beach at low water
Image: Michael Harpur


Present-day Bude has two beaches with broad sands close to the town and is a good centre for adjacent beaches. From a sailing point of view, it is the only location along this coast that offers a vessel complete protection, once in the sea lock. It also has the advantage of the adjacent town which provides an excellent provisioning capability.

We are currently out and about finding Havens and talking to sailors like you. By popular user request, we have posted this marina in advance of our normal production. Hence we have adapted wikipedia data in this ‘Why visit here’ section. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this text under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Ramsgate - 140.9 miles E
Dover - 138.2 miles E
Folkestone - 135 miles E
Rye Harbour - 125.2 miles E
Sovereign Harbour (Eastbourne Marina) - 114.9 miles E
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Mousehole - 36.3 miles SW
Newlyn - 35.8 miles SW
Penzance Harbour - 35.2 miles SW
Saint Michael's Mount - 34.3 miles SW
Porthleven Harbour - 33.1 miles SSW

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Bude Haven.





























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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.