Try the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation Walk
Things To Do
Boat along the glorious Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation. The waterway connects Chelmsford with the tidal estuary of the River Blackwater at Heybridge Basin. Along the route is a church, two tearooms, numerous pubs, 14 locks and lots of wildlife. You can book a boat trip or launch your own.
Launch your own boat on the Navigation or book a boat trip.
The stretch above Hall Bridge is suitable for smaller inland boats, but bigger sea-faring and sailing boats can moor in Heybridge Basin, which links the Navigation with the tidal River Blackwater.
All boats on the navigation must be licensed by Essex Waterways.
Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation
There are a number of permanent, visitor and residential moorings along the Navigation. Permanent moorings are available at Heybridge Basin, Hoe Mill Lock, Paper Mill Lock Sandford Lock and Springfield Basin.
Visitors can moor near each lock, at the public wharf at Springfield Basin, and at other places along the Navigation, including a purpose built mooring right outside Tesco at Maldon.
Residential moorings are only available at Heybridge Basin and Springfield Basin (contact the Paper Mill office to join the waiting list). There are residential caretakers at Heybridge Basin, Hoe Mill, Paper Mill and Sandford Mill moorings (contact the Paper Mill office to join the waiting list for any vacancies).
Boats that require a mooring are charged a mooring rate which is inclusive of the licence fee to boat along the Navigation and use of the locks.
Craft that don’t require moorings or use of locks still need to buy a licence.
Heybridge Basin can accommodate vessels up 50 metres in length and 4.0 metres draft.
Further along the Navigation, above Hall Bridge the maximum dimensions for boats are up to 17.40 metres in length, 4.62 metres wide and 0.62 metres draft. The maximum air draft is 1.9m (lowest bridge at Paper Mill). The actual lock dimensions along the Navigation are approximately 18.46m x 4.92m.
We offer other services for boaters, which includes lifting boats out of the water for storage, cleaning, surveys. We also Un-step and Re-step Masts.
Please contact the Heybridge Basin Lockkeeper to make a booking.
Lift out £20.00 per metre
Launch £20.00 per metre
Maximum crane fee, per lift out or launch, for any boat length: £275 per lift
Vessels on hard standing for more than six months will be charged £10 per week after the first six months for the remaining duration of the time on hard standing.
Lift and hold in slings for survey or scrub off (own labour), includes use of pressure washer:
Up to 10 metres: £100
Between 10.1 and 15 metres: £140
Over 15 metres: £180
Availability of this service is for a maximum of 24 hours and is subject to weather conditions and no other demands on the crane.
For all crane lifts, the above rates plus the visitor mooring rates (see section 2) will apply for any vessels not currently berthed on the Navigation,.
Pressure washing to be carried out by Essex Waterways staff. Minimum charge (in addition to crane charges) is £70, which allows for up to 2 hours, which should clean a moderately fouled boat of 10 metres. Over 2 hours will be charged at £35 per hour. For vessels not currently berthed on the Navigation, the above rates plus the visitor mooring rates will apply.
Vessels up to 10 metres
Un-step and/or re-step mast £47 each way (assuming mast is ready, i.e. electrics disconnected and bottle screws freed up). Hourly rate of £35 per hour applies to staff preparing mast and/or waiting time incurred.
Vessels between 10 metres and 12 metres
Un-step and/or re-step mast £58 each way (assuming mast is ready, i.e. electrics disconnected and bottle screws freed up). Hourly rate of £35 per hour applies to staff preparing mast and/or waiting time incurred.
Vessels between 12 metres and 15 metres
Un-step and/or re-step mast £70 each way (assuming mast is ready, i.e. electrics disconnected and bottle screws freed up). Hourly rate of £35 per hour applies to staff preparing mast and/or waiting time incurred.
For vessels not currently berthed on the Navigation, the above rates plus the visitor mooring rates will apply.
Boaters wanting to use the locks on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation need to have a licence for lock usage.
Heybridge Basin & Paper Mill Lock
Canoeing & Paddleboarding
Hoe Mill Lock
Britain's waterways are vital; together we can campaign for them now and for the future.