South Devon

File 622Cawsand/Kingsand

OK, technically they ARE on the Cornish side of the Tamar River…but we feel they are a little TOO close to our Devonian Neighbours to feature on the Cornish pages. Both Cawsand and Kingsand are pretty and interesting villages. Joking aside, they were in fact on different sides of the border for many centuries.

Until 1844, Cawsand was in Cornwall, and Kingsand in Devon. A tiny stream acting as the boundary and a sign on one of the white painted cottages shows where the division once occurred.

Cawsand Bay offers visiting boats a sheltered anchorage. It is well protected from Westerly winds or swell and the bottom offers good holding even in a strong blow.


File 626Plymouth

Probably not a natural stop on a coast blessed with pretty ports but Plymouth does hold a lot of interest for many. As well as interesting approaches, strong currents and plentiful shipping movements, it has 4 well appointed marinas and selection of sheltered anchorages which protect from most winds.

The Tamar River is wonderful to explore all the way to Cargreen, north of the River Tavy where overnight anchoring is possible. Devonport Naval Base (right) provides interest whilst heading up the Tamar. Berthed Naval vessels should be given at least 50m clearance, Submarines 100m and Submarines underway 200m but 800m if passing astern.

Continuing upstream, the last industrial landmark is the Tamar Bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859 and is spectacular monument to our engineering heritage! After the bridge, the noise of the traffic fades.  Before long you find yourself peacefully ‘sandwiched’ between rural Cornwall and Devon with 10miles of unspoilt waterway to discover!


File 1256River Yealm

The River Yealm nestles between two villages ‘Newton Ferrers’ to the north and ‘Noss Mayo’ to the south. Both are charming and offer weary yachtsman cosy hostelries’ in which to relax after a hard sail.

The entrance to river is interesting but not challenging. Pilotage notes give clearing bearings on a church tower followed by leading marks, to safely negotiate the outer rocks and shoals.

*The entrance gets dangerous in strong West or South Westerly’s especially during the ebb of the tide. There are a number of mooring options upstream.  During the season the Harbour masters’ accomplice will greet visitors and offer mooring advice, (a process that usually ends with the redistribution of wealth!).

Be warned… the tide pushes hard in river so care is needed when berthing. Dinghy-in ashore is essential and requires a reliable motor or Olympic rower! If you wish to shower it is advised to arrive before the harbourmaster finishes for the day as the facilities are then locked.  After hours the only other ‘douche’ option is Newton Ferrers Yacht cCub which is a 15 min walk.


File 634Salcolmbe

Salcombe is beautiful… ‘Fowey on steroids’, but that brings all the problems associated with such a place. In the summer it is crowded, with boats and watercraft of every description jostling for space. There is only 1 pontoon with access ashore and in the summer it only takes 2 giant Motor boats to fill it!

Visiting time on the town pontoon is restricted to 30 mins but once you get to the head of the encircling queue, an hour or two could have passed. It is much easier to moor up and water taxi ashore unless you need water. Fuel is sensibly offered from a barge in the harbour.

Out of season Salcombe is lovely…in season we stay well clear!


File 638Dartmouth…

…is arguably the finest jewel on the Devonian Rivera! 

The River bustles with activity from the entrance, all the way upstream.The ‘push me pull you’ car ferry shuttles back and forth just inside the entrance. It is a joy to see the stout little tugs working hard against the current, keeping the ferries moving between Kingswear and Dartmouth. 

The Dartmouth town pontoon offers berthing options and is directly opposite the Darthaven Marina which is also convenient and reasonably priced. The atmosphere in the town is delightful.

The noise of the Kingswear Steam Train adds to the enchanting feel here. If you have a day spare to potter, it is well worth chugging up the river. It is navigable by day leading to Dittisham (4 visitor buoys) and onto Totnes at HW where all berths dry at LW. Dartmouth is definitely worth a stop if you are up this way!


File 642Brixham

is sheltered from the prevailing Westerly wind and swell, and offers a welcome contrast to the polished South Devonian seaside towns. The similarities to Newlyn are evident as it is also home to one of the largest fishing fleets in Britain.

As in Newlyn, the unfortunate decline of the fishing industry has had visual economic impact on the port. Brixham is none the less charming for this working class feel.

Brixham oozes fish! The catch is sold daily in the Fish Market located on the quayside. It is possible to buy fresh from the wholesaler behind the market for a very modest price and he is also happy to order mussels (24hrs notice).

‘A Chef for 15 years, I championed the River Ex mussel above all others, even in Cornwall. That was, until I tried Brixham Mussels on a recent visit…!’

The restaurants are also reasonable priced. Last time we were here we paid £12.95 for a whacking great Dover Sole, chips and salad, a fish that would cost at least twice that in most other seaside restaurants….'shhhh don’t tell them!'


That's where we leave our tour.  If the wind blows you East, South Devon is a beautiful coast to explore.  

Keep an eye on the forecast though, because getting back to Falmouth against the prevailing Westerly’s can be challenge! 

To explore this area Call today to book your Charter or Mileage Cruise !!

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