The navigation route at the mouth of the Estuary has recently changed in order to compensate for the movement of Pole Sands, a large sandbank at the mouth of the estuary which naturally shifts over time.  A notice to mariners is available on the Exeter City Council website.

Navigation maps are available from local chandlers

  • Ash Marine
    20A High St, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0EA
    Tel:  01392 876654 Web:¿
  • Retreat Boatyard (Topsham)
    The Retreat Drive, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0LS
    Tel:  01392 874720 Web:
  • The Focsle
    32 Fore St, Topsham, Exeter, Devon, EX3 0HD
    Tel: 0870 260 2501
  • Exe Boat Sales
    Pierhead, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 1DU
    Tel: 01395 222727  Web:


The Harbour Authority

The Harbour Authority for the Exe Estuary is Exeter City Council meaning that they are responsible for:

Moorings - from Topsham quay to the sea

  • Use of public quay at Topsham for boating activities
  • Provision of buoyage throughout the estuary
  • Hydrographical surveys of channel and clearance of wrecks
  • Navigation bylaw monitoring with merchant shipping regulations control.
  • Provision of pilotage


  • Navigation and Safety of boats and sea going vessels
  • A document stating the bye laws of the River Exe is available here
  • The Starcross Yacht Club give some tips for navigating the Exe Estuary - available here

Buoyage and Hydrographics

  • Surveys of the channel in the vicinity of the Bar are carried out annually and buoyage changes are done as necessary and as approved by Trinity House.