North Sea Passage Pilot 6th Ed
This book is vital for yachtsmen making North Sea Passages from British ports between Dover and Great Yarmouth. It gives details of traffic separation Zones, wind farms, and numerous ever shifting banks as well as information on all the English starting points to similar information of all points of entry between Calais in France, Belgium and as far north as Den Helder in the Netherlands.
The author has provided details of extensive new wind farms, some of which are possibly encroaching on small ships preferred passage planning routes. Many of these are in the Thames estuary, around the Sunk centre and on the Continental side of the North Sea. He has given details of the new traffic separation scheme between Belgium and the Netherlands which came into force on 1 August 2013.
Although the navigation information appears to be current, I do have reservations as some of the descriptive sections are obviously out of date. They have not been rectified in this recent new edition.
I am giving a few examples - The Small Ships Register is not administered by the RYA but by the Registry of Seamen and Shipping, Cardiff. The Butley River accessible from the River Ore is given as a possible anchorage before leaving on passage. Certainly from August 2013, it is no longer marked by withies and is now only deep enough for yachts drawing up to 1.5 m below Boyton Dock. The Stena Line high speed catamaran service, discontinued in 2007, is still mentioned. It is imperative to listen to all shipping movements given out by the Harwich Haven Authority whilst sailing in and approaching this busy harbour.
I found several other anomalies about ports to which I have sailed. As long as sailing with current charts this book is recommended. However many of the very shallow East Coast banks shift many times during the year. The banks are not surveyed as frequently as the deep water routes and there may be times when parts of the shown preferred yachting routes may be too shallow.