There have been plans afoot for sometime for a waterborne transport system along the Jurassic Coast: Waterborne Transport - Jurassic Coast
And the project is seeking funding from the Coastal Communities Fund:
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: “This project will make the most of our stunning coastline and will promote sustainable economic growth by enabling people to explore the area. The local community is behind this project and there’s great potential for this service to support tourism and local businesses, so everyone is determined for this bid to be successful.”
Funding sought to kick-start Jurassic Coast marine transport links | News centre
Crucially for Sidmouth, it includes a proposal for a jetty/pier/walkway:
6.6.1) Sidmouth: Sidmouth offers a long exposed shingle beach, punctuated with three groynes. There is a small jetty to the east and two offshore breakwaters to the west (see Figure 6.6). Key aspects are highlighted in the photos overleaf.
Current Jetty and Slipway (fig 6.6)
Current Breakwaters (fig 6.6)
For a regular boat service, reliability is essential if people are to trust and use it. It is vital to have a reliable method of embarking and disembarking passengers, and a fixed berthing point is proposed. An example in use on the neighboring coast (Alum Bay, by the Needles), is shown below.
For Sidmouth and Seaton, a potential solution might be to provide two berthing dolphins, an inclined walkway operated by a winch mechanism to raise and lower the walkway to suit the tide level, and a fixed walkway back to the beach above high tide.