The River Deben


Our home waters are the tidal estuary of the River Deben, from the Melton bridge about a mile above river from our clubhouse in Woodbridge, down to Felixstowe Ferry where the Deben enters the North Sea, a distance of about 10 miles.

The channel is marked by buoys and this route should be adhered to at low tide, taking heed of further sandbanks at points either side of Loders Creek.

Martlesham Creek branches off at Kyson Point and at high tide provides some welcome shelter and a short straight run.

The Deben Estuary is a Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site and within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its significance arises from its over-wintering population of avocets. There are regular sitings of common seals and the salt marsh and intertidal mud-flats have the widest range of salt marsh flora in Suffolk.

There are several yacht and dinghy clubs on the river Deben. These include the Deben Yacht Club, the Woodbridge Cruising Club, the Waldringfield Sailing Club and Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club. There are two yacht harbours, the Tidemill Yacht Habour, close to the Tide Mill; and the Granary Yacht Harbour, further upstream at Melton.


  • Always check the weather forecast and state of the tide before an outing
  • Take a mobile phone in a waterproof bag in your boat (ensure you have both club numbers in your contacts)
  • Take particular care at low tide, going aground causes a lot of damage to boats
  • Familiarise yourself with river depths at different states of the tide, when to use the Cut etc
  • Make sure you are on the correct side of oncoming craft including fellow rowers (if you don’t know where this is, ask)
  • Don’t go out if you are unsure about conditions even if others are happy to row
  • If in a single or inexperienced double - at medium/high tide, keep close to the bank and near others