Seaham Harbour Marina is located on the NE coast of England, 5 miles south of Sunderland and 11 miles north of Hartlepool.
The construction of the harbour at Seaham began in 1828 and completed in 1831. It was created and owned by Lord Londonderry for the export of coal from the Durham coalfields in which his wife, Lady Frances Anne Vane-Tempest, owned substantial estates in the area including several coal mines. Both the south and north dock were used to export coal, however the smaller north dock was later downgraded as a drying fishing harbour in 1952 and with the decline in fishing industry in the 90's there were only four fishing boats left by 2005. This either meant allowing the north dock to deteriorate with imminent closure or develop a shallow draft marina. Thus the Durham County Council has worked with Seaham Harbour Dock Company, Friends of North Dock Seaham and the local community towards the completion of this marina which opened in 2013. The marina is managed by a Community Interest Company (CIC) which is a not-for-profit organisation. Its principle objective is for a sustainable development that will serve the community and aims to provide, and continually improve, facilities for maritime activities. This included the creation of the flagship building 'The Waterside' (comprising 12 commercial units) and the public 'Lookout' cafe.
The marina has 77 fully serviced pontoon berths with 4 dedicated visitor berths and it can accept boats up to 10.5m LOA with drafts up to 1.5 metres with 1.8 metres on the visitor berths
Ashore in Seaham, The “Byron Place” shopping centre is within walking distance, 200 metres, of the marina entrance; stores include Asda, Argos, Home Bargain, Subway, Wilkos etc. The sea front & Church Street shopping centre is within 100 metres of the marina entrance, offering B&Bs, restaurants, cafes, modern bars etc. If you want stretch your legs, The marina is at the centre of the award winning Durham Heritage Coast coastal walk
The genreral approach to Seaham harbour is a westerly (276°) direction aiming midway between the north and south outer harbour breakwaters - The north breakwater having a distinctive tall B&W circular lighthouse by day which is emphasised by a Fl.G.10s light at night. The inner harbour is also protected, the north breakwater marked by a white day beacon and the south breakwater with 3 triangle red lights.
Two sets of IPST lights are situated either side of the marina dock gate, one set facing for vessels departing and other for entering. Keep a watchful eye on the south dock entrance and give way to any commercial traffic entering or exiting the harbour, also when approaching the marina entrance at LW springs be mindful that the water 50m off the entrance can shallow to within 1m.
The lock gate is automatic, but can be manually overridden in stormy conditions. The sill is at Chart Datum height and the gate when closed is at +2.6m CD Seaham to retain the depths within the marina, which means the average duration the gate will open is approx ±3hrs HW
The dedicated visitors berths are tucked away immediately round the right once you've entered the marina. Be mindful of the yellow hazard mark (Fl.Y) just off the visitors pontoons- this marks a historic mooring post.