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Hertford/Perquimans River Downstream Anchorage – Claiborne’s Review

While Hertford does not boast any marina facilities, captains whose craft can clear the 33- foot fixed bridge spanning the river southeast of town will find superb overnight anchorage adjacent to the city waterfront. First, you must negotiate a swing bridge with 7 feet of closed vertical clearance; this bridge leads into the Perquimans River’s protected upper reaches. The span opens on demand from April 1 to September 30 from 8:00 A.M. to midnight but remains closed during the early-morning hours. From October 1 through March 31, the span opens on signal from 10:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.
First-time visitors should be sure to read the Navigational Detail for this anchorage linked above. There is shallower water south of the swing bridge, but it’s easy to avoid if you know what to do in advance.
After leaving the swing bridge behind, you will spot the city’s launching ramps and a landscaped park on the southerly banks. Visiting cruisers can temporarily tie their dinghies off at the launching ramp docks. It’s then only a short walk into town.
While it is possible to anchor abeam of the park and its associated launching ramps, swinging room is reduced by some shoals running in from the easterly banks. Instead, I strongly suggest that you continue tracking your way upstream. It’s still only a reasonably short dinghy trip back to the launching ramps.
Continue cruising upstream through the river’s charted hairpin turn to the north. The long, straight stretch of water which opens out before you is an idyllic haven with tons of elbow room. While good depths of 7 to as much as 20 feet are found along this stretch, do keep a sharp watch for snags. Most of the shores are completely undisturbed by the hand of man, though a few attractive homes gaze benignly over the narrowing river here and there. Protection should be adequate for all winds under 35 knots.
One of our favorite spots to anchor on this section of the Perquimans will be discovered near 36 11.758 North/076 28.154 West, in about 15 to 16 feet of water. This anchorage lies near the southern one-third of the straight run north to the low-level railway bridge. There should be ample elbow room for a 45-footer.

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