The River Deben is navigable as far as Wilford Bridge. For large craft access to the upper reaches is best at high water spring tides. The best source of information for mariners is in local pilot books; East Coast Rivers is probably the best known and is a well-illustrated book. For up to date information it is also worth visiting the Deben Estuary Pilot website.Another resource of general interest to mariners, with some material on the Deben,is the East Coast Pilot website.
The river entrance is not the easiest with strong currents and a shingle bar which constantly changes – a sketch map of the entrance is regularly updated. Navigation beyond the entrance is not difficult provided you watch your depth. There is a huge amount of local information about the entrance and the navigable river on Visitmyharbour.com. It includes where mariners can get provisions, fuel and water as well as some detail about the many attractive pubs and cafes near to the riverside. The river north of Felixstowe Ferry is rarely used by commercial traffic but all river users should be aware that speed restrictions and international rules for prevention of collisions at sea (ColRegs) still apply. During the summer there are often dinghy races and water sport training courses especially at weekends.
Tides and currents are clearly shown on Admiralty and other charts. You can buy a local chart from Imray; it covers the river as far as the Ramsholt Arms. There are other suppliers, such as the Admiralty itself; their Leisure charts 6a and b of the Thames Estuary, Essex and Suffolk coasts set are specific to the Deben. Charity and Taylor stock a wide range of charts and pilot books.
Information about launching sites, moorings, boatbuilding, repair and other facilities is available from the various clubs and boatyards – see Links.
Additional information is available from various clubs and from the Fairways Committees that are responsible for managing buoys and moorings on the river – see list in Links.
The nearest substantial chandlery is Seamark Nunn at Trimley.