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Starcross Yacht Club

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Overview





Starcross Yacht Club is situated on the west bank of the River Exe estuary on England’s south coast. It offers the potential of drying out on the sands fronting the club or anchoring off the fairway nearby.

Tucked away in the north end of the estuary it affords total protection from the west and tolerable protection from all other points except strong southerly conditions. Daylight approaches are straightforward as, although the Exe entrance is challenging, it is well marked with lateral marks some of which are lit. However, as it has to be approached near high water, some planning is required to time the approach appropriately.
Please note

The entrance of the Exe should not be approached in any developed southwest around to southeast conditions, particularly on the ebb. Once inside the river mouth, the body of water in the estuary is largely protected.




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Keyfacts for Starcross Yacht Club
Facilities
Slipway availableShowers 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 locationTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
Remote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring location

Considerations
Restriction: rising tide required for access

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
1.6 metres (5.25 feet).

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
November 1st 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Slipway availableShowers 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 locationTrain or tram service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
Remote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring location

Considerations
Restriction: rising tide required for access



Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 38.829' N, 003° 26.974' W

This is the club mooring area off the club slip.

What is the initial fix?

The following River Exe Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
50° 35.860' N, 003° 23.790' W
This is the position of the 'Exe' Safe Water Light Buoy Mo(A)10s from which the first lateral marks of the entrance channel can be seen.


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, Exmouth Click to view haven for seaward approaches from the River Exe Initial Fix and Topsham Click to view haven for the River Exe.


    • From the Starboard No. 27, Fl.G.5s, Starcross Yacht Club will be seen 400 metres ahead on Powderham Point.


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 Starcross Yacht Club for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Turf Lock (Exeter Canal) - 0.7 miles NNW
  2. Starcross - 0.8 miles SSE
  3. Topsham - 1.3 miles NNW
  4. Exmouth - 1.3 miles SSE
  5. The Bight - 1.4 miles SSE
  6. Teignmouth - 4.2 miles SSW
  7. Watcombe Cove - 5.8 miles SSW
  8. Babbacombe Bay - 6.3 miles SSW
  9. Anstey’s Cove - 6.5 miles S
  10. Hope Cove (Tor Bay) - 6.8 miles S
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Turf Lock (Exeter Canal) - 0.7 miles NNW
  2. Starcross - 0.8 miles SSE
  3. Topsham - 1.3 miles NNW
  4. Exmouth - 1.3 miles SSE
  5. The Bight - 1.4 miles SSE
  6. Teignmouth - 4.2 miles SSW
  7. Watcombe Cove - 5.8 miles SSW
  8. Babbacombe Bay - 6.3 miles SSW
  9. Anstey’s Cove - 6.5 miles S
  10. Hope Cove (Tor Bay) - 6.8 miles S
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?
Starcross Yacht Club on Powderham Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Starcross Yacht Club is situated on Powderham Point on the west bank of the River Exe estuary, and a little over a mile northward of the small waterside village of Starcross. The fine clubhouse and grounds are located in a magnificent rural setting with outstanding views out over the River Exe estuary.

The club does not provide moorings for visitors but it is possible to dry out on Powderham Sands in front of the club or anchor just off the fairway nearby. P: +44 1626 890470 during evenings or race days.


How to get in?
Southern approaches with Powderham Castle and St Clement's Church visible
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use southwestern England’s coastal overview from Portland Bill to Start Point Route location, Exmouth Click to view haven for seaward approaches from the River Exe Initial Fix and Topsham Click to view haven for the River Exe up to the Starboard No. 27, Fl.G.5s.

From here Starcross Yacht Club will be seen 400 metres ahead on Powderham Point. Powderham Castle with its iconic Belvedere Tower stands prominently on a hill a little inshore, largely obscured by trees. St Clement's Church, with a square tower and flagstaff, stands close to the shore behind the club.

Starcross Yacht Club overlooking its club moorings
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Dry out on the sands or anchor according to draft and conditions nearby.


Why visit here?
The history of sailing in the British Isles is dominated by famous clubs such as Cowes’ Royal Yacht Squadron, London’ Royal Thames Yacht Club, and Plymouth’s Royal Western Yacht Club. With such a focus on the big three, it comes as a surprise that the clubs with the longest pedigree are in the most unlikely of places. Especially so today as it is generally accepted that Cowes, that hosted races from the 1770s, is the cradle of yachting as we know it.


The clubhouse was built in 1966
Image: Michael Harpur


It is, however, Crosshaven’s Royal Cork Yacht Club, that claims its descent from the 1720 Cork Harbour Water Club, that is recorded as being the oldest yacht club in the world. Just two years later, on the 8th July 1772, in the small village of Starcross a mile southward, Lord Courtenay with his friend Sir Lawrence Palk of Haldon, along with twenty-seven other members of the nobility, gentry and clergy formed what was then the Starcross Club. It was founded for the purpose of organising annual sailing regattas, the first of which being held that year with races being recorded as early as 1775.

Starcross Yacht Club boats on the grounds
Image: Michael Harpur


This was three years before The Royal Thames Yacht Club was formed in 1775, originally called the Cumberland Fleet, and a century before the Royal Thames Yacht Club which was founded in 1823. At Cowes, The Yacht Club was only established in 1815 by forty-two yacht owners, becoming the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1833. So this club is by far the oldest active club in Britain. It could also be said to be the oldest continuous serving club in the world as interest seems to have been lost in the Cork club in 1765, when it was disbanded to be reformed later as another club in 1806.

Powderham Castle
Image: CC0
Starcross Club went on to be renamed Starcross Yacht Club in 1827 but it was not until 1933 that it had a permanent location, albeit a modest hut on Starcross Quay. This all changed in 1959 when the club moved up to present wonderful secluded site at Powderham. The current clubhouse was completed in 1966 where it provided the best of facilities to its keen sailors. It remains today an active modern and informal family club devoted to the pursuit of small boat sailing.

The club also stands close to the wonderful Powderham Castle set back ¼ of a mile from the shore of the estuary amidst its extensive deer park. The mediaeval core of the present structure was built by Sir Philip Courtenay. He is the 5th or perhaps 6th son of Hugh Courtenay, 2nd Earl of Devon, who famously built the weirs that cut off Exeter from the Exe to further the interests of his quay at Topsham. The estate was built upon the successes of Topsham and the various tolls for all shipping to and from there, which so embittered the city of Exeter. The castle was expanded and altered extensively in the 18th and 19th centuries, most notably by James Wyatt in the 1790s. It remains to this day the seat of the Courtenay family, Earls of Devon.

From a boating point of view, this is another quiet gem on the estuary off the oldest active club in Britain. Another place to sit back and enjoy life in a wonderfully tranquil setting. However, a visit to Powderham Castle, that is open to the public, makes for a enjoyable day out that should not be missed.


What facilities are available?
Starcross Yacht Club welcomes visitors to their facilities. The well-appointed clubhouse situated in wonderful grounds has all the club facilities of showers, bar etc you would expect. There is a slip and storage racks for tenders.


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.




Starcross Yacht Club, Powderham, Exe Estuary, Devon, England.
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Starcross Yacht Club
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Starcross Yacht Club slipway
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Starcross Yacht Club club moorings
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Lympstone across the estuary from Starcross Yacht Club
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Powderham Castle
Image: eOceanic thanks Raymond Cocks via CC BY-SA 2.0


Powderham Castle’s iconic Belvedere Tower
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


St Clement's Church
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.