Visiting Calstock is a pleasurable journey and pretty straight forward so long as you are prepared for the trip. This guidance is only to supplement your usual navigation planning and is only an extra resource.

The trip up from Plymouth Sound is approx 9 miles up from the Tamar Bridge at Saltash. You should use the tides to help you as to fight the tide would be a lesson in futility.

Aim to arrive at slack water Calstock which is pretty much the same time as HW Plymouth. A yacht making 5 kts will take around two hours to cover the trip (Tamar Bridge to Calstock) depending on the tide strength. Leaving Cawsand will add another hour to the trip.

The tide does have some flow to it up here especially on springs. At half tide the current at Calstock is at its greatest and the flood is usually stronger than the ebb. Heavy rainfall will add to the water coming down river so worth consideration if you visit is during stormy periods.

There is however plenty of water in the river and we have taken our 2m draught boat up to the boatyard on the smallest of neap tides. More water would be nice but it is possible. You will obviously need an up to date chart or plotter to keep in the channel.


  • Keep a good look out for trip boats coming up behind in summer
  • Watch out for any branches or logs which could foul your prop
  • Avoid touching the bottom by sticking to the channel. Navigating on the ebb is not to be recommended
  • Be aware of the effect of the current if passing between moored boats, turning or coming alongside

The pilotage guides paint a picture of difficulty with regard to the trip up river but this is a tad over done in my opinion. There should be little to cause the average yachtsman trouble. The river is beautiful and you should see plenty of wildlife.

For up to date advice please feel free to call us or email before coming up. We can advise on mooring availability and current river state.