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Boating the Navigation

Boat along the glorious Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation. The waterway connects Chelmsford with the tidal estuary of the River Blackwater at Heybridge Basin. Along the route is a church, two tearooms, numerous pubs, 14 locks and lots of wildlife. You can book a boat trip or launch your own.

14 miles of rural countryside to explore

Boating the navigation

Launch your own boat on the Navigation or book a boat trip.

The stretch above Hall Bridge is suitable for smaller inland boats, but bigger sea-faring and sailing boats can moor in Heybridge Basin, which links the Navigation with the tidal River Blackwater.

All boats on the navigation must be licensed by Essex Waterways.

Moorings and Other Licences

information for boaters

Find a mooring

There are a number of permanent, visitor and residential moorings along the Navigation. Moorings are available at Heybridge Basin, Paper Mill Lock and Springfield Basin

Licences

Boats that require a mooring are charged a mooring rate which is inclusive of the licence fee to boat along the Navigation and use of the locks.

Craft that don’t require moorings or use of locks still need to buy a licence.

Boat dimensions

Heybridge Basin can accommodate vessels up 50 metres in length and 4.0 metres draft.  

Further along the Navigation, above Hall Bridge the maximum dimensions for boats are up to 17.40 metres in length, 4.62 metres wide and 0.62 metres draft. The maximum air draft is 1.9m (lowest bridge at Paper Mill). The actual lock dimensions along the Navigation are approximately 18.46m x 4.92m.

Other services

We offer other services for boaters, which includes lifting boats out of the water for storage, cleaning, surveys. We also Un-step and Re-step Masts.

Please contact the Heybridge Basin Lockkeeper to make a booking.

Crane Charges for Lifting and Storing Boats at Heybridge

Lift out £20.00 per metre
Launch £20.00 per metre

Maximum crane fee, per lift out or launch, for any boat length: £275 per lift

Vessels on hard standing for more than six months will be charged £10 per week after the first six months for the remaining duration of the time on hard standing.

Special Rates:

Lift and hold in slings for survey or scrub off (own labour), includes use of pressure washer:

Up to 10 metres: £100
Between 10.1 and 15 metres: £140
Over 15 metres: £180

Availability of this service is for a maximum of 24 hours and is subject to weather conditions and no other demands on the crane.

For all crane lifts, the above rates plus the visitor mooring rates (see section 2) will apply for any vessels not currently berthed on the Navigation,.

Pressure washing vessel

Pressure washing to be carried out by Essex Waterways staff. Minimum charge (in addition to crane charges) is £70, which allows for up to 2 hours, which should clean a moderately fouled boat of 10 metres. Over 2 hours will be charged at £35 per hour. For vessels not currently berthed on the Navigation, the above rates plus the visitor mooring rates will apply.

Un-step and Re-step Mast

Vessels up to 10 metres
Un-step and/or re-step mast £47 each way (assuming mast is ready, i.e. electrics disconnected and bottle screws freed up). Hourly rate of £35 per hour applies to staff preparing mast and/or waiting time incurred.

Vessels between 10 metres and 12 metres
Un-step and/or re-step mast £58 each way (assuming mast is ready, i.e. electrics disconnected and bottle screws freed up). Hourly rate of £35 per hour applies to staff preparing mast and/or waiting time incurred.

Vessels between 12 metres and 15 metres
Un-step and/or re-step mast £70 each way (assuming mast is ready, i.e. electrics disconnected and bottle screws freed up). Hourly rate of £35 per hour applies to staff preparing mast and/or waiting time incurred.

For vessels not currently berthed on the Navigation, the above rates plus the visitor mooring rates will apply.

Download

Guidance on Use of Locks

Boaters wanting to use the locks on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation need to have a licence for lock usage.

(98.54KB)

Download

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