Boat cruising in the Ribble Estuary

Some Pilotage info:
Ribble Pilot Guide(2010)
Ribble access map
Ribble access map
Millenium Link
Marlin Ribble trip 2013
Marlin Ribble trip 2016
Marlin Ribble trip 2017
Marlin Ribble approach 2019
Marlin to Lytham 2020
Avoid the training walls!

Marinas and moorings:
RCC at Lytham St. Annes
Freckleton Map
Douglas Boatyard
Tarleton Boatyard
Preston Marina

Tidal Information

Tidal information in the Ribble from the Admiralty but expressed as height in metres above/below OD datum - basically mean tide level.
Liverpool4.272.37-2.03 -4.13
St Annes Pier 4.42.2-2.2 -3.5
Preston 4.42.41?1?

At Preston there is a low water stand (lasting about 3.30h and the level depends on fresh water coming down the Ribble) and then the flood tide comes in rapidly from HW[Liverpool]-2:15h[spring] or -1:50h[neap] until local HW at HW[Liverpool] + 15'.

My experience in 2013 with a tide of 8.7m HW[Liverpool] was that I reached Lytham by HW[Liv]-3h and the marina gate at HW[Liv]-1:25h. I observed that at the outer marina lock gate, the end of the LW stand was at HW[Liv]-1:40h with a rapid rise (by 1.4m at HW[Liv]-1h and 2.7m at HW[Liv]-30').

See my 2016 experience of drying out at Lytham also - and observed LW time. I entered at HW[Liv]+4:20 and reached Lytham at HW+5:20. I left Lytham at HW[Liv]-3:20 and was out of the estuary by HW-2:40.

Also trip into Ribble on 2 Sept 2017 here and visit to outer estuary in 2019 here .

And another trip into Lytham at LW: here in 2020.

See TeamSurv for details of my tracks and depths in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019. [now defunct]

Preston marina advises that the HW depth off the marina is approximately Liverpool HW depth - 6m. The lock is operated (not on every tide) from HW[Liverpool]-1h to +2h. Access to the Ribble starting from the outer mark [Gut Buoy] at HW[Liverpool] -2h is recommended - it is 15 miles to Preston.
There can be a bore in the straight section of the Ribble from where the Douglas branches off until Preston. This is only significant on a very big spring tide with rather little freshwater coming down. The bore is at the start of the flood tide (see above).