Club and Bar Opening
Visiting yachts and crews are welcome. Mooring to Bell Wharf or to Victoria Wharf in Bell Bay is free for one night. Fishing vessels do moor and unload in this area, and thus it may be necessary to fit in around them. The fishing boats have also scored out depressions in the mud, which may cause some yachts to tilt. The picture below looking east from Victoria Wharf shows the shallow spot off Bell Bay, the gap between the two wharves. Anchoring off the shore is possible, but there are one or two gullies. Thus new visitors would be advised to contact the club for advice on a "clean" area to anchor. All anchorages and wharves dry out to mud. The pictures below show the creek at 4 hours before HW on a neap tide, about 2.3m above chart datum. The approach is from the Leigh or "Low Way" buoy to the West of the pier. Two sets of small port & starboard buoys lead into the Ray Gut channel. After the second pair of buoys, head towards the moored fishing boats or large mooring buoys. To the North of the channel, another small pair of port/starboard buoys mark the entrance into the creek. These are followed by port buoys leading to Leigh Old Town. The creek is narrow in the vicinity of Essex YC, a grey Minesweeper. If approaching from the West close to HW, shoal draft vessels may comfortably cut across the banks. If doing this, stay to the East of a transit between West Leigh Middle buoy and the Essex YC to keep in deeper water.
There are some charts of Benfleet Creek that can be found on the Benfleet Yacht Club website although these do not extend across to Leigh.
Dinghy sailors can launch from the public slipway to the south of the club house. This is between Bell Wharf and the wharf with the Foreshore Offices. Please avoid launching from the beach, particularly at busy times. Visitors are welcome to join in our club dinghy racing, but will not qualify for trophies.
For open events, parking and boat storage is available on the "prom" to the east of the clubhouse. Please park tidily as there is limited room. The club is adjacent to a busy public beach, please take particular care when maneuvering cars and boat.