This is an open-river marina completely exposed to the tidal currents of the Orwell, and so the pontoons are pinned down by huge piles deep in the river bed. The marina is also set in 22 acres of glorious parkland offering visitors picturesque walks along the shore line. Being so exposed, the constant swell from passing traffic can become tiresome. Also, being an open river marina it has a reputation of being a bit of a weed trap, so watch your engine temperatures and exhaust emissions.
There are some dedicated berths for visitors on pontoon 'F' - more if resident berth holders are away at the time. The marina offers excellent support facilities for boat repairs and maintenance work. There’s a crane with plenty of hard standing space and undercover storage, and also there are marine engineers, riggers and repair yards. The well stocked chandlery also has a limited food store called ‘The Pantry’ selling essential items and supplies.
Downstream from the marina is the Royal Harwich YC with its own pontoon berths. The club welcomes visitors to use its facilities which consists of a restaurant bar and showers, and should the marina be full it can accommodate berths for visitors on its own pontoons. Also downstream of the marina there’s a fuelling pier and a slip called the Cat House Hard which is shared between the marina and the yacht club. The fuel is available 7 days a week, but its not constantly manned, so its often a case of calling up VHF Ch 80 and applying on arrival. Within the marina campus is the ‘Buttermans’ restaurant bar which is open every lunch time and evening.
Its well worth taking the footpath from Cat House Hard to Pin Mill which winds through Woolverstone Park along the shore line. This comfortable twenty-minute walk along the riverbank leads to the world famous ‘Butt and Oyster’ which is open every day and all year round for food and drinks. Other local hostelries include the ‘Foresters Arms’ in Chelmondiston which serves first class food from around the world and the ‘Venture’, a traditional local village pub. Both premises are within a short walking distance of the marina. Be warned that opening hours do change dependant upon the time of year, so ask the marina staff before leaving the site.
Getting out and about is probably best done by bus, and the local bus network and timetable is displayed on the marina office notice board. Its a about an 800m walk to the Woolverstone village where the buses regularly stop. Ipswich is just 5km away from the marina.