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Old 14 January 2013, 18:50   #11
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Funny you should have asked this Maz as I've just logged in to ask the same question.

Taking a holiday cottage in the summer just a few yards up from Dabchicks YC in West Mersea. We'll keep the inflatable at the cottage and wheel it down the road on transom wheels each time we launch. Advice from another boaty forum says to launch down the side of the RNLI boathouse on the area which may or may not be controlled by Peter Clarkes boatyard.

Any other tips from anyone about boating in that area?
Hi Fenlander, I went down at Low Tide and had a scout about. The hard in Peter Clarkes boatyard is indeed the best spot. I enquired about launching from there and was told that as long as you don't block the area with vehicles and trailers they are fine with people using it.
Thanks for the advice on this subject people.
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Old 15 January 2013, 04:20   #12
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Ahhh good man. If this link works is the slip down the gap with the RNLI keep clear signs or the gap in the boats to the left as seen in streetview? What was it like at low tide, I guess the hard ends in mud? Does it look like normal size transom wheels will be OK?

mersea - Google Maps
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Old 15 January 2013, 07:26   #13
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I guess the hard ends in mud?
Everything ends in mud round that corner of the world!!!! Whole areas of water dissappear for hours at a time. Part of the reason I moved back north!

Joking aside, having said that - SIB is probably the best way to cruise that area - plenty of little creeks with next to no water depth to explore.
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Old 15 January 2013, 07:34   #14
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That's the place. It's compacted gravel so wheels are fine. At very low water it gets sticky but I'd just give it a miss for 2 hours either side of LT. It's used by local fishermen but I saw several private boats being trailer launched and retrieved. At busy times parking may be an issue...
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Old 16 January 2013, 03:53   #15
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>>>Everything ends in mud round that corner of the world!!!!

Indeed... we've been going to the West Coast of Scotland over the past 20yrs for our boating holidays... always chosen places with clean slipways and beaches that stay sand all the way down to low water.

You're right though than an inflatable will make the best of the Mersea Island area as we can always row/paddle in just inches of water if I get the tides wrong.

Thanks again for the extra info Maz. I'm not going to launch near low water so hopefully will avoid the worse mud. Parking not an issue for the holiday as the cottage we'll use is just yards from the seafront and we'll set the boat up there.
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Old 02 August 2013, 07:06   #16
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Thought I'd update as we are nearing the end of our West Mersea holiday. This info relates to using a sib with transom wheels in the summer.

The hard/slip next to the RNLI shed is indeed useable at all states of the tide and the surface is packed gravel so an easy wheel down to the water, we never saw any mud at the slip end (plenty surrounding you at low tide though.

We didn't go near the main wide slip/hard that is shown on Boatlaunch opp the old lifeboat shed, muddy on and off for much of its length and very uninviting.

The pontoon was useable even at low water, just the very end of the T though as the rest is aground.

Decent toilets and wash tap at the top of the pontoon open to 8pm.

Small car park at top of pontoon is 2.50 for all day. Busy in the warmer days but get there at 8.30am or after 6pm and there are spaces.

Once you've had a few days in the area there are other roads just off the front you find where you can park free and assemble the boat then wheel it a couple of minutes walk to the slip.

There are two decent waterside cafes and a pub with food just yards from the pontoon. Also a very well stocked chandlers opposite the slipway.

There is a blanket 8knt speed limit along the whole estuary and creeks so you have to get out to open water to get on the plane. That is apart from a very short derestricted area at the top of one creek which seems to be a jetski/skiing/powerboat fun area. In truth the percentage of such craft in the West Mersea area is tiny, it is all serious sailing both dinghy and larger craft, sea fishing charter boats or local fisherman.

There are quite a few quiet small beaches to visit in the boat, some with no road access so nice and peaceful.

All in all an excellent place for sibbing.
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Old 25 August 2013, 14:10   #17
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Only just found time to upload some images....

Excellent modern pontoon and one of two decent cafes a minutes walk from slip/pontoon.
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Old 25 August 2013, 14:15   #18
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Good hard shingle slip at medium low water... and second image at about the lowest we found it (one with 4WD launching orange rib where you can see the guys are wearing trainers so not that muddy).
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Old 25 August 2013, 14:18   #19
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Final images: Byelaws on sign... Leaving West Mersea in our Honwave... slipway area taken from end of pontoon.
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Old 25 August 2013, 14:26   #20
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Nice pics, good information, Thanks
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