The Cinque Port and Haven of

A Trust Port  Managed  by the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners under  ancient Acts of Parliament


Site Map

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to the website of the Sandwich Port and Haven.

The Sandwich Port and Haven is a Trust Port managed by the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners for the safe benefit of all Users / Stakeholders.  

Although the Port and Haven in its recognisable form has been around for over 200 years, the

activities of the Haven go back as far as Roman times.  

Sandwich - the entry port to the British Isles for 1000 years - and Roman Richborough 600 years before that.

- by raid and by trade!

More under the HISTORY tab.


Leisure boating guide



Byelaw 3 Refers



Byelaw 2 refers

Note that there are wide areas of shallow water in Pegwell Bay and in the entrance to the river.  Be careful to avoid grounding,  or hitting the river banks and  causing damage to the sensitive saltings and mudflats.  The Harbourmaster is available to assist with advice.  

Tel:      07463 721714


VHF      marine radio, Channel 08

Please also…

Do respect other water users – keep well clear of other craft.

Observe the Speed Limit of 8 Knots, less if necessary through moorings to avoid disturbance to moored craft.

Swimmers.  Swimming is not encouraged, especially around moored craft where the run of the tide makes swimming extremely dangerous.  If falling in near moored craft, strike out for the centre of the river and land where it is easy to climb out clear of moored craft.  Getting very muddy indeed is considered better than drowning.

Comply with the ‘rules of the road’ – consider taking an RYA approved course.  Sandwich Sailing and Motor Boat Club run courses. Tel: Paul Miller on 07595 839044.


The river and it’s margins are important wildlife habitats of international importance…

Be aware of wildlife and avoid sensitive areas

Do not disturb birds nesting in the salt marshes and scrub. Many species of birds are protected by law.  Also have regard for the seals and pass slowly at a sensible distance.

Watch your wash. Excessive wash causes riverbank erosion and is a nuisance to other boaters. Be aware that larger craft - not necessarily travelling very fast - can send a surge of the river some distance ahead of them, of which they will be completely unaware.  Such surges cause moored craft to snatch at their mooring warps and themselves to surge back and forward.

Check the weather and tides before going afloat

Wear a lifejacket, carry a marine VHF radio.

Personal Rubbish

Dispose of your rubbish safely and sensibly and not

by littering the Haven.  Leave nothing but your wake.

Effluent. Please do not discharge ‘black’ water (effluent) into the waters of The Haven - or higher up the river.

Useful contacts:

Kent Marine Police

Address: Tactical Operations, Coldharbour, Maidstone, Kent ME20 7SL

Telephone No: 01622 608056

Project KRAKEN

Project KRAKEN is a joint initiative aimed at encouraging the public to report suspicious or unusual activity around the coastal and maritime environment.

Seen or heard anything unusual?  Report it.

Call your local Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously  on 0800 555 111.  Quote KRAKEN.



For more information on Kent Police and the matter of cross channel illegal immigration in small craft, please see the NEWS page.

For the LINK click HERE



Conservancy fees of £85.00 per boat per year due 1st April

Commencing this year vessels using electric propulsion with only green means of battery replenishment (no generators or shore power) will pay a 50% reduced rate of £42.50.

Site update 29th July 2020

This site is the Intellectual Property of the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners

Copyright 2020 ©

Unless otherwise shown all pictures on this website were taken by the Webmaster Robert Holden.  If you have something you would like to contribute relevant to the River Stour we would be pleased to hear from you.       

Contact details on the contacts page via the site navigation buttons above.


This site does not knowingly use third Party Cookies.  Google Analytics is  though used periodically to

 interrogate visitor usage and Preferences, but the user remains anonymous .

Info: Cookies are used to track a persons usage , usually for the purpose of target advertising.

Sandwich Fairway Buoy back on station.

See NtMs  Here

Notices to Mariners

Environment Agency works at Pillory Gate Wharf - partial blockage of the river.  Works finished.



Mariners are advised that due to the Coronovirus  no annual spring checking of river marks has as yet taken place.

Accordingly extra care is needed when navigating the river, especially when passing Stonar Cut where it is known that a new mud bank has formed, consequent of the Environment Agency running all  six sluices during the period of the heavy rains.  A temporary starboard hand buoy has been laid pending the EA removal of this obstruction.

Virus and boat visits

The Commissioners are now able to reopen the river to leisure traffic following the past seven weeks or so of Coronovirus closure.  

However you MUST still follow the UK Government’s published instructions, which apply to everyone in the UK.  A key ellement being that of Social Distancing of at least 2 meters.   

Happy and Safe Boating to all.