Visitor pontoons at Berwick upon Tweed

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Hardover
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Visitor pontoons at Berwick upon Tweed

Post by Hardover » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:04 am

Most yachtsmen ignore Berwick upon Tweed. A shifting sand bank at the entrance to the estuary and a lip to the entrance to the small port have not helped. A pity as it is a hidden gem with its Elizabethan fortified walls encircling Georgian and mediaeval houses. Good news. Berwick upon Tweed Town Council have just announced that they have secured funding for 20 floating pontoons on the north quay. Currently there are only 3 yachts on swinging moorings and a few motley leisure boats berthed up alongside the quay.
The bad news is that anyone associated with the river, from the harbour commission to even the harbour master and everyone in between have disassociated themselves from the plan. The pontoons are to be placed directly down river of the 11th C bridge directly in the main flow of the mighty river Tweed. We're all taking bets on how long those pontoons will remain in place. The Tweed drains a vast area of land and is a sight to see in full spate.

dj7613
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Re: Visitor pontoons at Berwick upon Tweed

Post by dj7613 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:59 pm

Keep us informed...would be a great place to visit. Hopefully pontoons ok in season..

mikebuggy
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Re: Visitor pontoons at Berwick upon Tweed

Post by mikebuggy » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:24 pm

Hi,
Well done.
I sailed past B on T last year on my largely solo UK & I circumnavigation. Decided not to go in at the last minute as none of the pilot books or charts were very encouraging about it. Later in the year I got the chance to take a van from Scotland back to the solent so made my first stop an overnight at B on T so I could investigate the harbour. I was glad I hadn't gone in on the boat (38ft with a reasonably deep draft) as the entrance looked difficult and shallow and the harbour not particularly rewarding berthing wise. I enjoyed rambling the walls and town though.

Hardover
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Re: Visitor pontoons at Berwick upon Tweed

Post by Hardover » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:51 pm

The pilot books are overcautious. The entrance to the Tweed is navigable several hours either side of high tide. We came and went in our long keeled folkboat without any problems. It can be a bit lumpy with an onshore wind but then its no different to most east coast harbours. We still have regular freighters entering albeit at spring tides. The small harbour was designed with freighters in mind so very little in the way of facilities for visiting yachts - ok nothing! Most yachts that come in, and there have been several 40' plus, usually raft up against the pilot boat but not if a freighter is docked.
It will be interesting to watch the progress of the new pontoons and see if there is any uptake.

Hardover
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Re: Visitor pontoons at Berwick upon Tweed

Post by Hardover » Thu May 24, 2018 5:44 pm

The proposed number of pontoons has now been reduced to 13 due to lack of funding resources. Berwick Town Council are forecasting revenue to the town of £150 a day from each visiting yacht. God knows who came up with that wildly optimistic figure. They claim and I quote" we are being fed information from an ocean going yachter". Obviously a wealthy one.
I did meet up with the newly appointed harbour master today to pick his brains on access to the Tweed at various states of tide. He has been taking soundings for a few months now and is confident that my yacht with a draught of 1.4 mtrs can clear the sand bank at the mouth of the estuary a full 4 hours before high tide. So far we've been coming and going 2 hours either side. I will begin experimenting.
When leaving or entering the Tweed its important to stick to the south side of the marked channel and to maintain a straight course. That way you'll avoid the submerged rocky reef to the north which isnt shown on the charts.

Jolly Roger
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Re: Visitor pontoons at Berwick upon Tweed

Post by Jolly Roger » Thu May 24, 2018 9:46 pm

Hardover wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 5:44 pm
The proposed number of pontoons has now been reduced to 13 due to lack of funding resources. Berwick Town Council are forecasting revenue to the town of £150 a day from each visiting yacht.
Bet the yottie either berths in the Hamble - or knows someone who does.

For an average yacht of 10m with 4 aboard they will charge probably £30. If they have a meal ashore at £25 per head, that's £100. Then a few ships supplies for £20. That is £150.

For reality, a lot of boats will sail with just one or two. Eat on board or get fish and chips. Might spend £20 on supplies and £20 on alcohol. A total well between £50 and a £100.

Councils are always working things on the generous side, as this example shows. They also need to know the occupancy rate to see if they will get any benefit. However, the new berths will be welcomed by many visiting yachtsmen.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

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