Blackwater Marina is a place where families in dayboats mix with Smack owners and yacht crews. Where seals, avocets, and porpoises roam beneath the big, sheltering East Coast skies. And where the area’s rich heritage of working Thames Barges and Smacks remains very much part of daily life today.
You’ll usually find a Thames Barge or two at Blackwater Marina, either being refitted in our dry dock or moored alongside the pontoon between charter trips. And Smacks? Several. Blackwater Marina is home to Martha II and the IDA
But it isn’t just classic sailing boats that thrive on the Blackwater. An eclectic mix of motor cruisers, open boats, and modern yachts enjoy the advantages of a marina sheltered by its natural habitat, where the absence of harbour walls allows uninterrupted views of some of Britain’s rarest wildlife. And where the 21st-century shoreside facilities are looked after by experienced professionals, who are often found sailing on their days off.
Blackwater Marina is within easy striking distance of London, a point which wasn’t lost on the Vikings when they chose a little island three miles up the coast as the starting point for an invasion on the capital. They were repelled, in a bloody and heroic battle, by local forces fired by their passion for their home territory. The Blackwater can get you like that.
Today, strangers arriving in boats are guaranteed a rather more friendly welcome by the people from the Blackwater. Did we say ‘strangers’? No, that isn’t strictly true. At our marina, there are no strangers; merely people we haven’t met yet.