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.
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.
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.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.
Visiting craft are well catered for with a number of facilities located close to the town. There are 4 floating visitor pontoons, 2 are at the entrance to Pont Pill, 1 opposite Albert Quay and the other in Mixtow Creek opposite the commercial jetties - the western section of this pontoon is reserved for visitors.