England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes

Next Previous

Spotting natural tidal gauges

Be the first
to comment

What is the issue?
Draft restricted vessels have to have careful tidal calculations to figure out when there is sufficient draft to enter or leave a harbour. This may involve some laborious planning with a current tide book in conjunction with various secondary port offsets from sailing Almanacs and the use of occasional tidal curve.

Why address this?
Anything that assures sufficient depth without the necessity to do complex tidal calculations makes navigation easier.

How to address this?
If you have a designated berth in a harbour calculate the tide once and look out for a natural tide gauge in the vicinity. If the tide calculation is correct use the marker from that point onwards to indicate when you have sufficient depth.

Sailors have been using simple measuring poles or "tide staffs" since time immemorial and continue to operate today. If you look about you might find one that is just coming awash when there is sufficient draft for your vessel to clear a channel or obstruction. Of course, channels may silt up or alter and fill after a gale, so there is some variability but having a mark and making allowances will help let you know when to drop the moorings without having to make complex calculations.

A mark can have many naturally occurring levels to indicate a required height
Photo: Pom Angers

The same principle can be used when entering a new port or harbour. If you take a mark on the way in you at least know when it arrives at this point where you have sufficient draft to exit again.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that illustrate this experience. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.

Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this tip.

eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, you must read our legal page. However, we ask you to help us increase accuracy. If you spot an inaccuracy or an omission on this page please contact us and we will be delighted to rectify it. Don't forget to help us by sharing your own experience.