European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

UK Admiralty Sailing Directions

Data holding centreUnited Kingdom Hydrographic Office
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodPresent
Geographical area



Sea level; Coastal geomorphology




The purpose of Sailing Directions is 'to advise the mariner as a live pilot would do for navigation'. They contain descriptions of the coast and off-lying features, notes on tidal streams and currents, directions for navigation in intricate waters, and other relevant information about the channels and harbours. In addition, each book includes information about navigational hazards, buoyage systems used in the area covered, pilotage, regulations, general notes on the countries within the area, port facilities, and a general summary of seasonal current, ice and climatic conditions. The series covers waters of the world navigable by vessels down to 150 grt. The index forms a comprehensive gazetteer of coastal names. Sailing Directions were originally compiled from first-hand reports and descriptions of the coast, mainly from British ships, but in foreign waters, where British ships had not navigated, foreign charts and publication were used. The books have been regularly kept up to date from a study of the latest editions of charts, maps, foreign Sailing Directions and other publications, and also from reports of surveys, reports from ships, and notice to mariners issued by other countries and maritime authorities. The majority of the 74 editions of Sailing Directions are maintained in Continuous Revision (CR) and republished every 3 years. Books deemed to be in the old style, remain as published but continue to be maintained by periodic Supplement. Section IV Notice to Mariners are issued for urgent information. Sailing Directions should be read in conjunction with the appropriate Admiralty charts quoted in the text.

OriginatorsUnited Kingdom Hydrographic Office

Admiralty Charts (2008) Catalogue of Admiralty Charts and other Hydrographic Publications NP131, UK Hydrographic Office

Data web site
OrganisationUnited Kingdom Hydrographic Office
AvailabilityCollection cost charge; licence
ContactEdward Hosken (Head of Hydrographic Data Services)

United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

United Kingdom

Telephone+44 1823 337900
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1027013
Global identifier380
Last revised2010-01-10