• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.


Using the Pilot

Page history last edited by Osbert 8 years, 1 month ago

Tidal Information and Local Conditions


Tidal differences based on Leith are given on Imray C27 only as far upstream as Grangemouth.  HW Stirling = Leith + 1hr 15m. Tide tables can be obtained from Bosun’s Locker, Port Edgar Marina, South Queensferry, Edinburgh. They will post you a booklet on receipt of £1.19 (2002 price).  The range is between 6m springs and 4m neaps.


Tidal streams are in the expected directions ie. a westerly flood and an easterly ebb. East of the narrows of Kinghorn Ness – Inchkeith – Leith the tidal streams barely attain 1 knot even at springs. Further west tidal streams accelerate, peaking at 2.2 kn ebb in the narrows of the bridges and upstream of Alloa but increase to 4.5 kn ebb when the Forth is in spate. A wind against tide situation in these faster moving sections will produce a nasty chop. A handy dodge to know when heading west against the ebb is that from Hound Point keep inshore (taking all due care) to take advantage of the Queensferry Bay tidal eddy which will give assistance to Port Edgar Marina. 


Swell, created by winds from NW through to SE will enter the lower Forth and make life less pleasant. Many harbours in the lower Forth will become bumpy. Even after the wind has changed swell from the north may take days to subside. These winds are often chilly too. The best option may be to head upstream above the bridges to find weather shore bolt-holes.


Fog is a hazard in winds between N and SE especially with early-season high pressure systems. Run upriver to escape the worst or put in to Granton with a good local bus service to Leith and Edinburgh. 


Expect to see commercial traffic using Leith, Rosyth, Braefoot Terminal, Inverkeithing, Hound Point or more likely Grangemouth. Dinghy sailors must remain alert when crossing the deep water shipping channels. Speed limit for commercial vessels is 10kn above the bridges and 12-15kn below. 


The closure of many local filling stations has meant that extra fuel should be carried and some forward planning is now needed to avoid a long walk for petrol. 


Chart and Ordnance Survey maps


Imray C27 Firth of Forth. The Pilot omits all the very useful supplementary information given on Imray C27. That chart is essential if you sail this water and duplication is pointless. Imray C27 includes many excellent detailed chartlets. This Pilot will refer you to them and not duplicate information. Imray Correction Notice


OS 57, 58, 59, 65, 66, 67 cover the whole area but 65, 58 and 57 are necessary if you wish to navigate much above Grangemouth.


Weather Forecasts


BBC Radio

  • Radio 4: 198kHz (LW) and FM at 0048, 0520 (inc inshore)
  • Radio 4: Longwave only at 1201 and 1754
  • Radio 3: 0535 (inc inshore)


Aberdeen Coastguard (Maritime Safety Information pdf)

  • VHF Channel 16 at 0130, 0430, 0730, 1030, 1330, 1630, 1930, 2230


Printing this Pilot


When I chose this platform it allowed you to create a pdf of each page - ideal for printing and taking with you in the boat. The link has now disappeared! Support say (22 Nov 12):


Unfortunately, we've discovered an error in the software we use on our servers to create PDFs, which has forced us to revert that part of the service back to an older printable mode.  The older printable mode which is now active returns an HTML page which you can view in your browser and print from your browser. 


We sincerely regret this error and are working to restore full functionality soon.


In the meantime you can try using the 'printable version' link at the bottom right of each page - unfortunately the formating is awful.


Whilst this information is given in good faith and every effort has been made to avoid errors, no responsibility is accepted regarding its complete accuracy and the author or website owners will accept no responsibility for damage or loss arising from any mistake or omission arising from its use.


Note that this Pilot is based on material originally prepared in the 1990s with no updates after 2003. In time, updates and corrections will be made.



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.