Members’ FAQs



What is the difference?

Licenses are issued to Members on a six- or twelve-month basis by the Harbour Board.  License fees are set annually covering the various options available (see Licensing Fees).

Membership  During the year in which Licenses are issued, the holders are automatically LFHA Members.   There is no Membership fee.  Each Member has one vote at an AGM. 

Income from License fees fund the governance and upkeep of the Harbour on a sustainable and non-profit making basis.

Racks & Vertical Inflatable Store

Different rules apply Summer and Winter

Summer: Racks are for canoes only.  From Harbour Opening in April, space is available on a first-come, first served basis  to those with licenses.    If you have paid for a license but find no room, apply for a refund.  
There are no specific positions for the placement of your canoe as long as all are readily accessible and that long canoes do not protrude from the racks more than 60cm (2ft).

 Winter:  In winter, LSC-owned lasers and a few privately owned lasers with trolleys may be stored on the racks with winter licensed canoes.  If space is available at ground level, small inflatable tenders may also be accommodated with least priority.

 Vertical Inflatable Store: adjacent to the canoe racks, craft stored here are deemed to be on the hardstanding for fees and license labelling. A craft may be licensed here  summer and winter. 

Changes of Vessel

If as a current member, you intend to change your vessel(s) please simply email the membership secretary detailing your current vessels and  what changes you are asking to be licensed for.

The Harbour Board sets out its end-of-season craning and winter berthing plan at its September meeting. To avoid constant amendments, notice is hereby given that from 2023 onwards, no requests for new or increased license requirements for the forthcoming winter will be considered if received after the 31st August.

annual roll-over of Licenses

Following the AGM (usually held in February), members are invoiced for the year ahead based on their previous year’s licenses, with options to repeat or change them where possible.  See Member’s Home page for new restrictions to household vessel type numbers from 2023

On payment of license fees, a receipt in the form of a self-adhesive Licence Label is issued.  This Label must be easily visible when berthed or in racks on the vessel and whilst it remains on, or operates from, LFHA property,

The issuing of licenses before the start of the sailing season does not guarantee that there will be space for your vessel when it is brought to the Harbour.  Space for dinghies is taken on a first-come first-served basis whilst the Harbour hardstanding is declared Open.  Once deemed to be full by the Harbour Board, no further vessels whether licensed or not shall be brought to the hardstanding.  Refunds will be available if space is not found.

The LFHA Activity year

The Association membership year starts and ends with the AGM which is usually held in February.  The year is divided into two six-month periods, summer and winter. 

The start of the Summer season is set by Spring Tides in April, during which the Harbour Board organises the craning of larger vessels from the hardstanding to the Brook and sets a date for the Harbour Opening to summer-licensed vessels.  From this date, dinghies canoes and vessels to be trailered from home and launched from the slipway to moorings or berths in the tidal harbour may be brought.  However, owner-launched vessels that have been stored on the hardstanding over winter must be launched before craning day.

The transition to Winter mode occurs in October usually, and repeats in reverse order events in April.  The hardstanding must be cleared of all summer licensed vessels by a published date and owner-retrieved vessels may only be brought to the hardstanding after craning ashore has completed.

The Harbour Board sets out its end-of-season craning and winter berthing plan at its September meeting. To avoid last-minute amendments, notice is hereby given that from 2023 onwards, no requests for new or increased license requirements for the forthcoming winter will be considered if received after the 31st August.

LFHA jargon

 Beach mooring – shallow, lighter-duty moorings within a few metres of MHWS for small tenders only,  south of the brook.  

Craning – Typically in April and October (tide dependent) the Harbour Board hires a mobile crane to lift the large summer-moored vessels between the water and the hardstanding.

Craning out or craning afloat refers to the transfer of vessel into the water (April) as opposed to craning in or craning ashore that refers to the transfer from water to land (October).

Directions  –  Harbour Board Directions  are emailed to Members.  Directions contain details of actions for the recipient, including a deadline for completion.  If not complied with, and no reply is received by the deadline, membership will be reviewed by the Board and may be terminated. 

Harbour  – relates not just to the area bound by the harbour walls and the Cliff base, but also most of the Brook and the slipway and the area north of the brook to the wall.  The eastern boundary is the line of MHWS. 

Hardstanding / Hard / Dry harbour / Dry Berth gravelled area overlooked by LSC balcony, just above MHWS on which dinghies etc are berthed in summer, cruisers stored in winter.  Canoe racks are also situated on the hardstanding

HPC – Homebased Portable Craft
A category of licenses for owners with multiple small craft stored at home and transported to the harbour by hand on a daily basis. One license can be used with any such craft used singly.

MHWS – mean high water springs – the average HEIGHT of the HIGH WATERS of SPRING TIDES above Chart Datum.  Spring tides exhibit a large range of daily levels whilst Neap Tides the minimal range.

Summer / Winter – LFHA operates a two season year.  During the summer, suitable vessels are moored in the estuary. Their tenders, dinghies and  canoes occupy the hardstanding.   During the winter months, most of these vessels are removed from Association property, replaced by the summer-moored vessels.

Storage vs Berthing Whilst most summer-moored vessels are stored over winter on the hardstanding, the storage of sailing dinghies over winter is not permitted. Storage implies taking up space with little regular boating involved.

Racks  Racks are for the exclusive use during summer of canoes, kayaks & paddleboards up to ~3.7m in length.  Over winter, any space may be taken by small inflatables.

Ted’s Folly – hardstanding to the north of the tidal Harbour, for tenders only.

Ted’s Tabernaclenickname of the electricity supply pillar on the hardstanding 

Tender – a vessel less than 3.5m length overall (loa) usually licensed in association with a summer moored vessel, used for ferrying to & from the mooring. Such tenders are confined to a certain area of the hardstanding in summer & Ted’s Folly. Other small vessels are deemed to be dinghies & are subject to space availability on the hardstanding.

Wet harbour  / Wet Berths – tidal area bounded by the harbour walls.

Boat size limitations

Large RIBs (>3.5m) are not permitted on the hardstanding at any time.

Craned vessels:  Apart from registered fishing vessels, there are limits to vessel size set by the Harbour Board established over 30 year’s experience:  Maximum overall length 28ft (8.53m)  and beam 9ft 6in (2.9m).  Other factors also come into play.  As all LFHA moorings dry out, bilge keelers are de rigeur.

Vessels longer than 28ft may be winter berthed in the wet harbour subject to draught constraints of tide height by agreement from the Harbour Board.

Further restrictions may apply to multihull vessels, consult the Harbour Board.


Dinghies <5m long.

Tenders : <3.5m

Racked craft: <1.46m


How do i change my licenses?

Just contact the Membership Secretary by email at any time, stating your current licenses and what changes you hope for.  The Harbour Board convenes near the start of most months to consider membership matters.

The Harbour Board sets out its end-of-season craning and winter berthing plan at its September meeting. To avoid constant amendments, notice is hereby given that from 2023 onwards, no requests for new or increased license requirements for the forthcoming winter will be considered if received after the 31st August.

Harbour Board

The Harbour Board is the Executive arm of the LFHA.  With a maximum of 10 elected members, half of whom resign each year but may stand again for election.  Co-options are allowed when required.

All Board members have specific duties; new nominees need to state what roles they are capable of taking-on.

can i buy a swinging mooring at lympstone?

Buy? No.    The fundus is owned by LFHA.

However the Harbour Board issues renewable annual licenses for mooring positions on its property.   The hardware for a licensed mooring  is owned by the licensee, whose responsibility it is to maintain the tackle in good order.

Members laying a mooring for the first time or taking over a disused mooring pay a non-returnable registration fee, together with an annual license fee related to the length of the specific vessel.  

The fees for such licenses are set annually.

All  hardware & equipment associated with a mooring allocation is the responsibility of the licensee at all times – procurement, laying, regular maintenance & renewal.

Members changing their moored vessel may retain their empty mooring position for a maximum of one season.

Email the membership secretary to pursue an application for a mooring in the estuary.

Store my outboard at the harbour?

There is currently a waiting list for space, email the membership secretary to enquire and to be put on the waiting list.  Browse ‘Engine Store’ to view current situation.

key Access to the engine store

If you have a license to keep your outboard in a store position, you can obtain a personal key to the store by contacting the Harbour Master, Ted Norton 01395 273123.  You need £5 cash to exchange as the deposit on a key. 

Annual General Meetings

AGMs are usually held in February or March, to which LFHA members are exclusively invited. The Agendas for which include Reports of the past year from the Chairman and Treasurer, Approval of Accounts, Appointments of Auditor, Solicitor & Trustees, Election of Board Members and Officers and any motions that are correctly submitted to the Secretary in advance.  Refer to the Constitution for details, paragraph 6.