Indispensable information
for the first time boat hirer
and the regular Broads sailor
The river Bure at Yarmouth The river Bure at Yarmouth

Passing through Yarmouth, at Low or Slack Water

The absolute ideal time to pass through Yarmouth, either coming from the River Bure in the north or Breydon Water and the River Yare in the south, is at Slack Water. Whichever way you are coming, you would want to travel with the ebbing tide, which is faster, and therefore more fuel efficient than motoring against it. For example, you may be cruising across Breydon Water, with the tide in your favour, and making good progress towards Yarmouth. You turn up the River Bure and are punching the tide, which is still ebbing out. This will slow your progress considerably. The only way to avoid this is to arrive within an hour of Slack Water. This way, the tide will have stopped running, and your progress upriver, past the Yacht Station, will be faster. Use our distance calculator to check on journey times and to ascertain the time of Low and Slack Water, on any given day.

Passing through Yarmouth at other times

It is possible to make the journey through Yarmouth at other states of the tide, depending on the headroom your boat needs to get under the two low bridges. This may involve cruising against the tide, which will make progress slower, and add to the amount of fuel you use. If unsure as to whether you will get under the bridges, call the Yacht Station on 01493 842794 before you set off. If you tell them the name of your boat, they will advise whether you will have sufficient headroom at your expected time passing through.

Passing from northern rivers to southern rivers

If you are coming down the River Bure with the ebbing tide, you should slow down when you see the site of the Yacht Station. The river is narrow and can be congested here. Travelling too fast on an ebbing tide may cause you to lose control in a tight situation. Your boat will have a plaque near the steering wheel, stating its height above water. Compare this to the reading on the river height gauge, which is positioned just before you encounter the Yacht Station, on the right bank. Keep to the right-hand side of the river when passing craft coming in the opposite direction. Go under both low bridges and watch out for a yellow post on your right, which marks the point at which you should turn up Breydon Water towards Breydon Bridge. Do not be tempted to cut the corner by passing before the post, or you may run aground. 

rounding the yellow post on Breydon water
rounding the yellow post on Breydon water Pass under the marked bridge span to the right of the main span channel. Continue on across Breydon Water, keeping within the red and green posts, which mark the boundary of the navigable channel. If you stray out of the channel, you will almost certainly run aground. At the far end of Breydon, the channel splits into two. The left channel takes you to the River Waveney, and the right to the River Yare.

Breydon Bridge
Breydon Bridge

Passing from southern rivers to northern rivers

Upon entering Breydon Water, be sure to keep to the channel marked by the red and green posts. A gauge showing available headroom at the two low bridges before the Yacht Station can be seen attached to the wooden jetty which directs you onto Breydon from both the Yare and Waveney rivers. Check this against the required headroom printed on the plaque, which will be located close to the steering wheel of your boat. The channel is wide all the way to the junction with the River Bure, so don't lose concentration, as this can lead to your craft straying outside the channel and running aground. Ideally, you will be cruising with the last of the ebbing tide, which will speed your progress across Breydon. On arrival at Breydon Bridge, which acts as a good staging point at which to call the Yacht Station (01493 842794) if you need assistance with bridge heights, ensure you pass under the marked span to the right of the main span channel.

Rounding the yellow post at Yarmouth
Rounding the yellow post at Yarmouth Look for the yellow post on your left, which marks the point at which you should turn up the River Bure. Don't cut the corner, as you could end up marooned on the mud. If the tide is still ebbing, you will notice your speed will reduce considerably as the tide pushes you back. Pass under both road bridges, and on past the Yacht Station. Keep to the right of the river if craft are coming in the opposite direction. Be mindful that if the tide is still ebbing, oncoming boats will be travelling faster, and have less control. As such, it's safer to give them a wide berth where possible.

The two low bridges leading to Yarmouth Yacht Station

The two low bridges leading to Yarmouth Yacht Station

2024 & 2025 HOLIDAYS
Sleeps minimum
Taking pets
Duration of holiday

Start dates

2024 & 2025 HOLIDAYS
Sleeps minimum
Steers from
Northern or Southern Broads
Standard of boat
Please read guidance

Pet(s) allowed
240v system (?)
Has microwave
Bow thrusters (?)
Wifi onboard (?)
I know its name
From this boatyard

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