Planning application to restrict access to the water at Harty Ferry – REJECTED!

Kent County Council has applied to “stop up” the road leading to the old ferry hard at Harty Ferry (Sheppey side) except for access by foot. This would make it impossible to launch small craft such as dinghies. It would be yet another loss of access to the water for boaters.

Tim Bell of the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club says: Access to the water at Harty Ferry is vital for safety at this dangerous part of the Swale. This will affect all boat owners who want to use Harty Ferry in an emergency, and for the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club for its coverage and safety of the Round the Island Race.

UPDATE: KCC’s Highway Department have now gone through the various comments/responses received as part of the consultation process. The council has decided not to proceed with the current stopping-up application and so the court hearing has been vacated..

Swale Smack & Barge Match, 29 July 2023

Medway and Swale boaters are welcome to watch the race from the sidelines.

NOTE: the Swale Match is for traditional sailing craft (principally sailing barges and smacks) and is not to be confused with the Swale Regatta which is for sailing yachts.

Swale Regatta, 8+9 July

This friendly racing regatta is a great opportunity for sailors to experience racing without the stress of a highly competitive environment. The regatta is completely free and takes place over two days along the Swale and Medway Rivers. The event starts in the Swale near Harty Ferry and finishes on the Medway River.

For full details go to

CA Talk: Defending the Swale, 8pm, Thurs 10 November

The Kent section of the Cruising Association still has some places available for Adam Taylor’s talk on Defending the Swale, 8pm, Thursday 10th November at the Dog and Bear, Lenham (near Maidstone). Many regular attendees come to dine at 7pm before the talk – best to phone and book your meal.

Adam Taylor will take us on a journey through time as we discover the known and lesser known defences of the Swale channel from the 1500s to the 1950s. Some of us may remember Adam’s interesting talk on the Islands of the Medway via Zoom during lockdown. As the venue has imposed a limit on attendees, you need to book early to avoid disappointment. To register for this event please click the link here:

Book here for Adam’s talk

Queenborough Classic Boat Festival, 10/12 Sept 2022 (UPDATED)

UPDATE: out of respect to the late Queen, the festivities have been cancelled but many of the classic boats have already arrived and the harbour will be open to visitors.

Following the return of our annual Classic Boat Festival last September, we’re busy planning our annual Classic Boat Festival again, welcoming visitors to discover historical vessels on the pontoon over the weekend of 10-11 September 2022. We’ll be joined by several historical vessels, with visitors getting the opportunity to climb aboard and learn more about their history and how they work.

Throughout the weekend, our friends at Jetstream Tours will be offering trips out to the wreck of SS Richard Montgomery. These will depart from the All Tide Landing,  offering the chance to share with locals and visitors the fabulous views and scenery of the harbour. 

Our weekly harbour market will be making a special appearance on the town quay during the weekend, with a variety of food, drink and locally-made products and services on offer. 

More information…

More restrictions at Kingsferry Bridge, 18+20 Aug

An RMT strike may disrupt Kingsferry Bridge operations on Thursday 18 August and Saturday 20 August, plus periods outside of this day. Network Rail have a contingency plan to cover part of the disruption:
Thursday 18th August 2022.
Midnight – 06:00 Normal service will be maintained
06:00 – 07:00 No bridge lifts available
07:00 – 19:00 Contingency operator on shift – Bridge lifts available
19:00 – 06:00 (19th) No bridge lifts available
Friday 19th August 2022.
06:00 – 06:00 (20th) Normal service will be maintained
Saturday 20th August 2022.
06:00 – 07:00 No bridge lifts available
07:00 – 19:00 Contingency operator on shift – Bridge lifts available
19:00 – 06:00 (21st) No bridge lift available
Sunday 21st August 2022.
06:00 Normal service resumed

Priority will be given to commercial shipping, however, leisure craft will also be able to transit the bridge but it is advised to give as much notice as possible to avoid delays. If talks between employers and the unions are successful and industrial action is avoided a cancellation notice will be issued.