Download the 2018 Fowey Harbour Guide


Port Information

Facilities for Visiting Craft

Fowey welcomes visitors at any time of the year and has a range of facilities available to assist you enjoy your stay including:

  • Yacht clubs
  • Diving services
  • Visitor's moorings
  • Harbour Patrol
  • Fowey Water Taxi
  • Fresh water
  • Boatyards & Sailmakers
  • Refuse, oily water and sewerage
  • Diesel and Petrol
  • Visual & Sound signals
  • WiFi Internet access
  • Shore Power
  • Tide heights
  • Drying out  
Visitor Moorings

Visitor moorings are not pre-booked unless for rallies and events. We appreciate pre-notification of vessels over 20m in length

Visitor swinging moorings are blue in colour and are located along the eastern side of the lower harbour. Pontoon berths are available on 2 visitor pontoons in the mouth of Pont Pill, 3 visitor pontoons Underhills and a further pontoon facility is available upstream of the car ferry at Grid Irons (outside of the pontoon only).

Visitor berths are available on the south side of the shore linked Penmarlam pontoon at Mixtow where there is access to toilets, showers and a cafe.

There are 3 visitor moorings available at Wisemans Reach which are also blue in colour

Overnight berthing is now permitted on the shore linked Berrills Yard pontoon (near the lifeboat) from 1800 to 0800 daily at the advertised nightly rate

If you require advice or assistance on moorings contact the Harbour Patrol on VHF Channel 12 on entry to the harbour.

Yacht Clubs

The Royal Fowey Yacht Club on the Fowey shore, 100 metres south of the Town Quay, welcomes visiting yachtsmen to use the club's facilities - including showers, bar and restaurant. The Fowey Gallants Sailing Club, 100 metres north of Albert Quay, welcomes visiting yachtsmen to use the club's facilities. Showers and meals are also available.

Fresh water

Fresh water is available from the short stay pontoons at Albert Quay and Berrill's Yard and at Penmarlam pontoon.

Diesel and Petrol

Diesel can be obtained from the Fowey Harbour fuel pontoon situated north of the Bodinnick car ferry. This is a pay at pump facility available 24/7.

*New for 2018* - Petrol is now available from Penmarlam Boat Park, for information and opening times contact Mixtow Marine (01726) 832471

Supplies of Diesel and Petrol can also be obtained from the C.Toms & Son Boat Yard on the east bank of the Fowey Estuary by Polruan. For further Information please call (01726) 870232.
The nearest garage for sales of Diesel and Petrol is Four Turnings Garage, just outside Fowey on the A3082 road to St Austell, about 1 mile from the port.

WiFi Wireless Internet Access

WiFi coverage is available throughout the lower harbour.

*New for 2018* - Free WiFi is included in our overnight visitor mooring charge


Simply connect to the Fowey Harbour WiFi and click on Free Access for 15 minutes of WiFi

For longer periods of Free WiFi, ask our Patrol staff for a WiFi voucher then activate through the voucher activation option 

If you have a technical support question, contact the Harbour Office

Refuse, oily water and sewerage

Refuse and recycling facilities are available on most visitor pontoons in the harbour and a central collection point can be found in the entrance to Pont Pill. Afloat facilities should be used in preference to landing refuse ashore. Fowey Harbour operate a waste collection service during peak times.

Oily water, batteries and other special wastes may be disposed of by arrangement with Fowey Harbour.

A sewage pump out facility is available at Berrills Yard Pontoon and is operated by a £1.00 coin

Shore Power

*New for 2018* - shore power is available at Berrills Yard and Penmarlam pontoons for overnight berths.

Subject to charges

Drying out

Craft wishing to dry out for any reason should contact the Harbour Master's office for local restrictions.

Diving services

Diving services are available in Fowey. A diving permit must be obtained from the Harbour Master before any underwater activities can proceed. All H.S.E. diving regulations must be complied with.

Harbour Patrol

The Fowey Harbour Commissioners maintain a regular patrol of the harbour throughout the year. from April to October, a patrol is maintained from 0800 hours to the hour of darkness, maintaining a VHF listening watch on VHF Channel 12.

The patrol staff are pleased to offer assistance and advice on the facilities provided to all local and visiting yachtsmen, ensuring that their stay in the port is as trouble free and enjoyable as possible.

Fowey Water Taxi

A water taxi is available in the harbour throughout the day and can pick up and drop off up to Wiseman's Creek. For more information please contact the water taxi on VHF Channel 06 or by phone on 07774 906730 or http://www.foweywatertaxi.co.uk

Boatyards & Sailmakers

There are a number of boatyards in and around Fowey offering the usual boatyard skills and expertise in metal, GRP, wood and sail-making.


Navigational Safety

The main defined deep water channels are in constant use by large deep draught ships that cannot deviate from their course. Yachtsmen are advised to keep well clear of the main channels whenever possible and use the recommended small craft routes at either side. When the main channel has to be crossed, this should be done at right angles to the channel. Always avoid crossing the bows of oncoming commercial traffic

Large ships have very reduced visibility for quite a distance ahead. This applies particularly to in-bound vessels which arrive in ballast and high in the water, further reducing the visibility of the area immediately around the vessel.

You may be able to see her clearly, but can she see you?!

A ship slowing down does not steer very well, it needs the propeller action on the rudder to respond. When ship's engines are put "astern", steering way will be lost. Remember, it can take up to 3 minutes before a ship to come to a halt in the water after the engines have been put astern.

For Port Information and a guide to Port Entry please click here. 

Advice on ships' movements

All ships over 37.5 metres entering the harbour take on board a harbour pilot 1 to 2 miles off the port entrance. The pilot cutter will normally precede the vessel into the harbour. Whilst all ships are required to have a pilot on board, he is not in command of the vessel, that responsibility always remains with the Captain of the vessel. The pilot is there to advise the Captain so that the ship navigates safely into the harbour.
Most ships are well found and all their equipment functions correctly however failures and malfunctions in equipment can happen at any time. Skippers of leisure craft must always be alert, always giving ships a wide berth and clear passage as they follow the main ship channel shown on the chart.

Remember that, due to the nature of the port's trade, ships will enter in ballast and high out of the water. This drastically reduces the visibility from the ship and affects the manoeuvring characteristics.

Ships under 90 metres length normally proceed directly to the jetty areas North of Bodinnick ferry unless mooring to the commercial buoys in the lower harbour. Ships over 90 metres length use on tug to turn around in the Swing Ground area. The vessel is then towed stern first to the allocated berth, dragging its anchor. Ships of 100 metres or more use 2 tugs for this operation. The tugs will stand by off the harbour entrance, running alongside the vessel to make fast the tow ropes off Whitehouse Pier. The ship is then turned around in the Swing Ground area and towed stern first to the loading berth.

All small craft must keep well clear of this operation and give wide berth to ships being towed

Departing & escorted vessels

Ships leaving the harbour normally proceed directly from their loading berth to sea. Fully laden vessels, often with a draught of up to 9 metres, have considerably increased stopping distances. It is essential to give the vessel clear passage ahead. Vessels will need to follow a track as near to the centre of the main shipping channel as possible. The pilot will disembark once the vessel is clear of the harbour entrance to a pilot cutter which will be in close attendance.

During peak periods of activity, special events, yacht races and poor visibility, ships are escorted by Harbour Patrol craft to ensure that a safe passage is maintained. All craft must comply with the Patrol instructions
Port entry

The Harbour entrance lies between St Catherine's Castle on the West side and a white cross on Punches Cross rock on the East side. The entrance is only one cable wide at its narrowest point.

The Harbour is entered on a Northerly course through the entrance and then North Easterly to the Swing Ground area off the Town Quay. At night keep in the white sector of the Whitehouse light until abeam of Polruan Castle (see B.A.. chart No.31). The majority of visitor's mooring facilities are situated on the East side of the Harbour, opposite the Town Quay and at the entrance to Pont Pill

Information on entering the Port can be obtained from Fowey Harbour Radio or Fowey Harbour Patrol on VHF Channel 12. Advice on commercial movements is available from Fowey Harbour Radio or Fowey Pilots on VHF Channel 9.

Tide heights

There is normally 0.6 metres above Chart Datum at all times. The mean Spring Range is in the region of 5.0 metres whilst the Mean Neap Range is approximately 2.0 metres.

The river Fowey is dredged to at least 7 metres in the main channel at MLWS from the harbour mouth to the commercial berths at Mixtow. The upper reaches of the river beyond Wiseman's Reach are tidal and, apart from the meandering stream, dries at low water. (for details of tidal stream, see Admiralty Chart BA31)

For shallow draft vessels and the appropriate tidal conditions, the river is navigable all the way to Lerryn and Lostwithiel. Local knowledge is, however, recommended in the upper reaches as the channel remains unmarked.
Caution :The height of tide may be affected by meteorological conditions. Winds from the southerly direction and with a low barometric pressure increase tidal level above predicted, while northerly winds accompanied by a high barometric pressure will tend to decrease the height of the tide.

Navigating in restricted visibility

When navigating in restricted visibility, remember :

  • Keep a good look out by sight, hearing and all other available means.
  • Maintain continuous listening watch on the Port Working Channel 12.
  • Small craft may not be detected by radar due to their construction, size and the prevailing weather conditions. Additionally, small craft will not be detected when in close proximity to commercial ships due to the height of the ship's radar scanner.
  • If possible, keep clear of the main shipping channel
  • Sound the appropriate fog signal
  • Comply with Rule 19 and Rule 35 - conduct of vessels in restricted visibility in the Merchant Shipping Collision Regulation 1996

Remember !

Avoid ship channels

Cross them quickly and at right angles

Always keep a good lookout, especially astern
Be alert

Watch for commercial traffic and keep clear

Be visible. Make sure that you are seen, especially at night.

Know whistle signals- 5 or more rapid blasts mean "Wake up" - Keep Clear

Fowey Harbour Radio and Fowey Harbour Patrol working channel is on VHF Channel 12.

Fowey Pilots operate on Channel 9

Always comply with IMO Regulation for the Prevention of Collision at Sea and comply with instructions given by Harbour Patrol craft.

The maximum speed in the harbour is 6 knots, avoid creating excessive wash.

Useful Phone numbers

The Captain of every vessel navigating in the Harbour shall observe and obey the Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collision) Regulations 1996 and the Fowey Harbour (General) Byelaws (Revised 1996) with special attention to :

International Rules

  • Rule 5 Lookout - Every vessel shall at all times maintain proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate to the prevailing conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situations and the risk of collision
  • Rule 9 (b)  A vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
  • Rule 9 (d)  A vessel shall not cross a narrow channel or fairway if such crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within such a channel or fairway
  • Rule 18 (b) (1)  A sailing vessel underway shall keep out of the way of a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre
  • Rule 18 (d) (1)  Any vessel, other than a vessel not under command or a vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre, shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draught.

Fowey Harbour Byelaws

  • Rule 5  The master of any vessel shall navigate with such care and caution and at such speed and manner as not to endanger the lives of or cause injury or discomfort to persons or damage any property
  • Rule 6  The Master of any vessel exceeding 30.48 metres overall length shall not navigate his vessel North of a line between Prime Cellars and Pottery Corner without the express permission of the Harbour Master
    Rule 7  No vessel shall be navigated at a speed exceeding six knots (6 knots) over the ground without the express permission of th Harbour Master
  • Rule 8  The Master of a vessel shall at all times, except when impracticable to do otherwise, give a wide berth of all dredgers, hoppers, tugs and surveying craft and shall navigate a dead slow speed when passing dredgers or diving boats.
  • Rule 13  Obstruction of the Bodinnick Ferry prohibited. The Master of a vessel shall not navigate, manoeuvre, place, moor, or anchor it so as to obstruct or impede the operation of the Bodinnick Ferry which normally plies between Caffa Mill and Bodinnick. Note Ferry listening on VHF Channel 12 & 9
  • Rule 30  No vessel shall be anchored so as to obstruct the main fairway, the Swing Grounds off Pont or Mixtow or the approaches to any landing quays or slipways except in an emergency or with permission of the Harbour Master.

Fowey Harbour Byelaws 1996



Fowey Harbour
Tel: +44 (0)1726 832471   Email: fhc@foweyharbour.co.uk