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Home / Member Info / Day Sailing / Sailing within Gloucester Harbour

Sailing within Gloucester Harbour

Many small boats and sailing cruisers enjoy the sailing waters of the River Severn within the confines of the Gloucester Harbour Authority.

All owners should therefore be aware that there are a number of obstructions/steel and wooden frameworks that can extend up to 80 metres into the river on both sides of the riverbank. These can not only cause considerable damage to a boat but could result in a small craft being stuck on such an obstruction.

If such an event occurs it could be possible that such a small craft may not be able to return to its usual mooring and remains marooned at some place in the river, such as on a drying sandbank. In this situation it is essential that the master/skipper of such a vessel should make immediate contact with the relevant authorities. The first contact should be with Milford Haven Coastguard who will be able to monitor the situation and instigate further action if required. Advising Gloucester Harbour Trustees will also be prudent as there are resources available for verifying the vessel's position. Sharpness Radio operates on VHF Channel 13 during tidal working hours. They will be able to advise of any commercial shipping movements and inform the Pilots accordingly.

For the purposes of compliance with the International Collision Regulations it should be noted that within the Gloucester Harbour area the fairway between Avonmouth and Sharpness Old Dock Entrance is deemed a 'narrow channel' and Rule 9 applies. This states inter alia that a vessel of less than 20m in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can only navigate within a narrow channel or fairway.

Shoreline Obstructions

Aylburton (South of Lydney)

51º 41'.52N 2º 33'.00W

Aust/Littleton (South of Thornbury SC)

51º 36'.75N 2º 36'.20W

Shepperdine (North of Oldbury Power Station)

51º 40'.20N 2º 33'.20W

Awre (North of Lydney)

51º 45'.20N 2º 25'.00W

Important Telephone numbers

Gloucester Harbour Trustees 07774 725270

HM Coastguard Milford Haven 01656 690909 or VHF Channel 16

British Waterways (Sharpness) 01453 511968 or VHF Channel 13 'Sharpness Radio'

It is strongly recommended that all vessels carry a VHF radio as well as a mobile telephone


Last updated 11:03 on 9 March 2022

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