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

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.
Location MHWS MHWN MLWN MLWS
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 .

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

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).