Fowey Harbour, especially the lower harbour area is a busy place with both leisure and commercial craft.

Our Harbour Staff are here to make your stay with a safe and positive experience. Please stay safe by keeping clear of commercial vessels and by respecting others.

Always observe the 6 knot speed limit and other Harbour Byelaws.

Please follow our safety advice:

  • Make sure that your boat and crew are properly equipped for the activity that you are doing. Wear your lifejackets (they are useless unless you do!) and wear your kill cord, for your safety and others.
  • Keep your kit secure and do not leave valuables on display for opportunist thieves. A Boat Watch scheme operates around the estuary, run by volunteers from Golant Boat Watch supported by Devon & Cornwall Police, they operate regular patrols around the harbour. You can see updates on Boatwatch activities and river safety issues on the Boatwatch Facebook page. If you are interested in joining the Golant Boat Watch scheme, download the membership form.
  • Be aware of navigational hazards: Ferries operate in the Harbour between Fowey and Polruan and a car ferry runs between Caffa Mill, Fowey and Bodinnick, this is a self propelled vessel but can be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre, especially in strong winds and tides and vessels should keep clear.
  • Yacht racing takes part on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons during the sailing season. The start line is off the Royal Fowey Yacht Club, this area and the harbour mouth can become congested during races and vessels transiting the area should give sailing boats a wide berth.
  • Swimming is not permitted in the harbour for safety reasons. A designated swimming area is buoyed off at Readymoney Cove in summer with a bathing platform.
Fowey Harbour Commissioners issue Harbour Masters Notices and Local Notices to Mariners which outline events, incidents and other matters affecting harbour safety.
Fowey Harbour Commissioners carry out an annual programme of surveys including bathymetric and side scan surveys in order to monitor the navigable depths within the harbour and to maintain the shipping channel for commercial shipping. The survey data is used to inform the dredging programme to ensure that dredging is efficient and effective.

Follow Emily’s Code

Emily’s Code aims to prevent accidents at sea by highlighting key safety messages and leaves a legacy in memory of 14-year old Emily Gardner.

On 2nd May 2015, Emily drowned in a boating accident due to an ill-fitting buoyancy aid snagging on the cleat of a capsized speedboat. Emily’s Code Highlights some of the hazards that contributed to Emily’s accident.

Emily’s parents launched the Code with the support of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), HM Coastguard, British Water Ski and Wakeboard and the RNLI to raise awareness for small boat owners and users.

Emily’s parents Clive and Debbie Gardner said: “Many parents like us have no awareness of recreational boating safety guidelines and have never used a boat before. When Emily went on a day trip with her friends, we were reassured that safety was paramount and that the equipment was top notch.

“If just one family sees this and takes action to protect their children on the water, then Emily’s Code will have succeeded and Emily’s name will live on. Something as easy as checking that your lifejacket or buoyancy aid fits properly can save your life. So be smart and follow Emily’s Code.”

Emily’s Code comes about as the result of close work by her parents Clive and Debbie Gardner, their campaign supporter Cheryl Brown, Richard Graham MP and the Royal Yachting Association.

Passage Plan

Fowey is a natural deep water harbour and entry into the harbour is straightforward by day or night and at all states of the tide.

The estuary above Wisemans Reach dries at low water and access should be with care, having consulted tide tables, charts and local knowledge.

On spring tides the tidal range is 5.5m although it may be as much as 6m at the equinoxes.  Neap tides have a 2m tidal range although both spring and neap ranges are considerably affected by wind conditions and barometric pressure.

The tidal flow will often be over 1 knot and nearing 2 knots on springs, this can be further increased following periods of heavy rainfall.

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