Crossing Breydon Water

Breydon Water at High Tide credit John Fielding

Before Setting out ...

Don't just set out after breakfast - think ahead and plan your journey. If in doubt, call Great Yarmouth Yacht Station on 01493 842794 or Broads Radio Control on 01603 756056.

Check the weather and visibility before setting out across Breydon - don't travel if there is poor visibility or strong winds.

Check the tide tables in your Skippers Manual or the Broadcaster visitor magazine (available from reception) for tidal information. Tidal flow around Great Yarmouth can be very strong and there are three bridges to negotiate, at average high water the clearance under two of these bridges is only 7ft, so always plan to depart or arrive at Great Yarmouth bridges at slack water (one hour after low water at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station). Tide will be less of a hazard and you will have maximum clearance under the bridges.

If your boat has a raised external steering position you need to be particularly aware of rapidly rising tide which may prevent you navigating under the bridges. With other types of cruiser it is quite safe to pass through 2 or 3 hours after and 1 hour before low water.

Windscreens and canopies must be lowered in advance of these bridges.

Do not risk going through bridges unless you have sufficient clearance, always check the gauge at the side of the bridge.

Breydon Bridge - go through the right hand side span and navigate between the two arrows on the bridge.

Yarmouth/Acle Road Bridge - pay attention to the lights on the bridge stop if three vertical red lights are lit on the bridge. 

Do not approach or pass under Haven Bridge as the currents here are extremely strong and could drag you out to sea.

Keep about 100 yards distance from any boat going in the same direction to give yourself room to manoeuvre. Yacht skippers have difficulties in manoeuvring their yachts with their masts down and it is impossible for them to reverse, so motor cruisers should always give way to yachts.  

Marker posts show the navigable channel across Breydon Water. It is essential that you steer between the lines of these marker posts to avoid difficulties. Do not attempt shortcuts across Breydon Water, if you go outside of the marker posts you will almost certainly go aground and have to remain there until the tide rises.  

If crossing Breydon Water going south, after leaving Great Yarmouth, keep the green marker posts to your right and the red marker posts to your left. If heading north towards Great Yarmouth, keep the green marker posts to your left and the red marker posts to your right. Remember Up, Red, Right.  

Do not moor to a channel marker unless there is an emergency or a mechanical breakdown. Should you suffer a mechanical breakdown, drop the mud weight and pay of as much rope as you can. This will help prevent you from drifting. Try to establish where the mechanical failure is and if you cannot rectify it yourself contact us immediately. If you have no means of contact hail a passing boat and ask them to contact the boatyard for you. 

Keep clear of large commercial vessels whilst on Breydon Water and at the mouth of the River Bure, these vessels are restricted by the depth of water so may not be able to manoeuver around you.


Breydon Water


Broads Authority



If you are asked to help anyone in trouble, ask for expert help, don't try to assist yourself. (See telephone numbers opposite). Be considerate, and to avoid committing an offence reduce your speed and wash when overtaking other boats. Remember there are strict speed limits when you enter the Rivers Bure, Waveney and Yare.



Going south down the River Bure from Acle, the Stracey Arms Wind Pump, 7.5 miles from Great Yarmouth is the last safe mooring place before reaching the Port of Great Yarmouth Marina and Great Yarmouth Yacht Station.

Going north towards Great Yarmouth, the last safe moorings are at Berney Arms on the River Yare and Burgh Castle on the River Waveney. Both of these moorings are approximately 4 miles from Great Yarmouth.

This information was provided in conjunction with the Broads Authority



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