Fowey Harbour, General Information/History
Commercially, Fowey is known as a China Clay port. Fowey is a deep water harbour and in recent years Fowey had been one of the largest exporting ports in the United Kingdom in tonnage terms, with exports of clay in excess of 1.8 million tonnes in 1989. Over 40% of all cargoes handled in the South West passed then through Fowey.
The restructuring of Imerys Minerals has meant recent changes in their operations which has affected the exports from the port, on average the port now handles approximately 750,000 tonnes of clay annually.
IMERYS Minerals Limited lease the loading jetties from Rail Companies and the cargo is brought in either by rail or by a private road which links their own Port of Par where clay driers are situated. The majority of dry bulk clay is loaded into the ships' holds by a loading elevator and conveyor belts. Other methods include large bags and pallets of bagged clay. The largest ship handled carried 13,000 tonnes of clay, taking a full two days to load. Departure of the laden deep draught vessels are restricted to High Water - they make an impressive sight on their passage through the harbour.
In more recent years, Fowey has become a popular port of call for Cruise Liners providing a particularly scenic location for their passengers. The port hosted its longest ship, the Cruise liner Boudicca at 205 metres length overall in August 2007. The Commissioners are keen to increase cruise liner visits. Passengers enjoy visiting the many beautiful local attractions including the Eden Project, Heligan Garden & National Trust properties.
In order to operate the Harbour, the Commissioners provide the services and maintain craft, properties and harbour utilities. 23 staff are employed under the direction of the Chief Executive/Harbour Master for this task. The Commissioners own and operate their own repair yard and slipway capable of handling craft up to 45 metres in length, 9.2 metres beam and with a draught of 3.4 metres. They also operate the harbour tugs, the "Cannis", a the Voith tractor tug with a 32 ton bollard bull and the "Morgawr", another Voith tractor tug operating with a 23.5 ton Bollard pull
There are 1550 moorings for leisure craft and over 7200 craft visit each year.
We pride ourselves in the service that we provide and the standard of the harbour and its facilities. We believe it is one of the best ports in the country and we strive to maintain this high standard. It is hoped that you enjoy your stay and use of the harbour.
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