Sailing in Cornwall

Sailing - North Cornwall Coast: PADSTOW | NEWQUAY | PORTREATH
Sailing - South Cornwall Coast: PORTHLEVEN | FALMOUTH | CARRICK ROADS
Sailing - East Cornwall Coast: MEVAGISSEY | FOWEY | LOOE | TORPOINT

Lakes & Reservoirs



Penzance is much more of a leisure harbour than neighbouring Newlyn, and from May until September is invariably busy. The town is a holiday centre and as much a market town as a port, so there is a wide range of shops.

The whole of Mount's Bay provides ideal sailing conditions although there is a tendency for the wind to fade during the evening.

The South Pier of Penzance harbour is the normal berth for the Scillonian, the Isles of Scilly ferry, although this berth is normally occupied only between 1830 and 0930 the following morning on Mondays to Fridays, and additionally between 1130 and 1400 on summer Saturdays and alt day on Sundays. At other times this pier may be used by vessels waiting to enter the wet dock.

It should be noted that during periods of bad weather, particularly south-westerly gales, the South Pier is swept by seas at high water. On such occasions the ferry will normally berth at the inner end of the Albert Pier.

Harbour Characteristics

The harbour consists of a wet dock in which craft drawing up to 4.5m can lie afloat, and there is a drying harbour alongside. Approach and entry are straightforward.

The dock gates are open every tide from two hours before high water until one hour after high water. Two red lights displayed vertically on the signal mast on the north side of the dock gate indicate that the gate is open, a red light over a green light indicates that the gate is closed.

Visitors' Moorings

All available moorings in the outer harbour are normally used by local craft and visiting vessels normally lie alongside in the security of the wet dock where 50 berths are made available.

The port maintains VHF watch on Channel 16 and 12 from HW-2 until HW + 1 daily and from 0900 to 1200 hrs and 1300 to 1600 hrs every weekday.


There is a fair-weather anchorage for small craft 500ft to the east-north-east of the end of the Albert Pier. Craft using it must ensure they do not obstruct fairway into the harbour or wet dock.


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