Pilotage Classes

Picture: navigation classes previously held at the club – we now look at practical application  


Class onewhat did we learn? Please down load and read this PDF, print a copy if you would like it for your notes

Please download and print this PDF and bring it along to the first  Pilotage Class.

You can copy and paste Appendix 4 of this Word Document if you find it useful as a template passage plan. 


Plan how to take your boat on a Club Cruise this summer

The intention of these classes is to build on the Navigation classes delivered in previous years by Colin Stracey of Premier Sailing (see picture above). The focus will be on producing passage plans you can use for your boat. We will work together with help on hand to ‘look over your shoulder’, offer coaching and answer your questions.

What we’ll do:

  • Flesh out the details of the cruise itineraries
  • Discuss the reasons behind the itineraries
  • Consider weather variations / secondary ports
  • Prepare passage plans for each yacht
  • Identify vital destination info
  • Q&A at the end of each class


  • Four Tuesday evenings commencing 12 March (subsequent dates subject to demand}
  • Arrive, set up and grab a coffee 19.30
  • Finishes 21.00. Q&A until 21.15, bar open, leave and lock up by 22.00

What you need to bring:

Summer Cruise 29 June – 6 July 2024

We are adding an optional week onto the Osea Island weekend (29&30 June) for the 2024 Summer Cruise. Destination East Coast returning Saturday 6 July. Given favourable conditions, from Osea the itinerary is as follows:

30 June depart Osea 08.00 destination Walton/Titchmarsh 2 nights.

2 July depart Titchmarsh 11.00 destination Ipswich (16 miles), 2 nights.

4 July depart Ipswich 11.30 destination Suffolk Yacht Harbour (Levington). 1 night.

5 July depart SYH 05.00 destination Burnham Marina (30 miles – HW 13.00), 1 night.

6 July depart Burnham 11.00 destination URYC (arrive before HW 14.48).


Alternative Summer Cruise itinerary if adverse weather conditions (e.g. forecast for strong NE winds):

30 June depart Osea 06.00 destination Heybridge Basin (4 miles) 07.00 stay 2 nights.

2 July depart Heybridge 10.00 destination West Mersea (11 miles) 1 night.

3 July depart W Mersea 11.00 destination Brightlingsea (7.5 miles) 2 nights.

4 July excursion – take 2 or 3 larger yachts up the River Colne to Wivenhoe (5 miles) depart 08.00 with as many members who want to go, arrive by 10.00 on Colne SC hammerhead, depart 1 hour after HW circa 13.30, return to Brightlingsea berth by 15.30 at latest.

5 July depart Brightlingsea 08.30 destination Burnham Marina via Raysand Channel (18 miles) arrive 13.00 -14.00, 1 night.

6 July depart Burnham 11.00 destination URYC (arrive before HW 14.48)

Useful link:

Harwich Harbour tide time table: TT individual pages 2024.indd (hha.co.uk)


Family Cruise to the Blackwater

Itinerary (very easy)  

Friday 16 August depart URYC 11.30 take the ebb to Burnham Marina or pick up a mooring or anchor in the River Roach. Alternatively leave from URYC on Saturday as soon as your boat floats on the incoming tide and motor-sail to Holliwell Point.

17 August depart 07.30 from URYC or depart 08.30 from Burnham punch tide to Raysand Channel (HW circa 11.15), aim to cross the sands 1 hour before HW enabling boats to ‘cut the corner’ at Holliwell point. Destination West Mersea (16 miles from Burnham). Arrive circa 13.30. Stay 2 nights. Club tenders operate until 21.00 at weekends – can be up to 22.00 if booked.

19 August depart West Mersea 09.30 – 10.30 destination Heybridge Basin (arrive outside entrance to lock at one hour before HW (circa 13.30 – 10 miles) 2 nights. If wind is from the West, depart W Mersea by 09.30 at the latest.

21 August depart Heybridge by 14.30 destination Brightlingsea (16 miles) arrive circa 18.00. I night.

22 August – Clacton Airshow option. Members can either take their yachts and anchor off Clacton that afternoon/evening if the weather is fine. If not, it is possible to stay another night and travel to the airshow by bus.

Bus times Brightlingsea to Clacton: HEDINGHAM-7-BRIGHTLINGSEA-BUS.pdf (hutleys.co.uk) unfortunately these busses finish by 6.00pm so this means either a taxi back or train to Wivenhoe and get the Brightlingsea bus from there: 87 – Great Horkesley, Malvern Way – Brightlingsea Victoria Place – First Essex – bustimes.org

23 August depart from anchor at Clacton or from Brightlingsea 09.30 destination Burnham Marina via Raysand Channel (18 miles) arrive 15.00 -15.30

24 August depart Burnham 12.00 destination URYC (arrive before HW 16.54)

Pick the right route! Pilotage explained