This is a well sheltered, tidal (+/- 2 ½ hours HW) port but access can be difficult in strong easterly winds as the entrance is via a narrow channel between 2 breakwaters. The harbour is busy with commercial vessels dealing with regular lo-lo services from the United Kingdom and Ireland and is the only Manx port with facilities to handle imports of bulk cement. The harbour, directly alongside the town centre, also has its own small shipyard, used mainly by local and visiting fishing vessels.
The disused Queen's Pier in Ramsey Bay was built in 1886 to provide a low water landing for passenger ferries and was last used in 1970. Debates continue on the various proposals currently being considered for its future.
Castletown is a heritage harbour consisting of outer and inner drying harbours. It is mainly used by inshore fishing vessels, local and visiting pleasure craft and occasional coasters.
Commercial limits cargo work is only accommodated in the inner harbour through a narrow swing bridge. The berth at the Umber Quay can accommodate vessels up to the maximum of 55M, beam 8.2M, and 3.5M draft MHWS 2.6 metres MHWN and those prepared to take the hard ground.
There is a lay-by berth on the Irish Quay with Maximum length 55M however there is no breadth restriction here. 3.8M on MHWS and 2.7M on MHWN.
VHF Ch 12.
The main port of the Isle of Man with the most extensive facilities for both commercial and private vessels. Douglas is the only Manx port with dedicated passenger handling facilities and roll-on roll-off vehicle services. The port provides specialist berths for oil and gas tankers as well as general cargo vessels, fishing vessels and occasional survey, customs and naval vessels. The Isle of Man's first marina was opened during 2001 and offers a limited number of berths for visiting leisure craft, subject to availability. A second phase of pontoons was completed in the autumn of 2006. Substantial ongoing investment is continuing to further enhance the harbour's facilities. A private towage service is available and a commercial inshore passenger ferry operates various services throughout the summer season to other ports.
Port Erin is a quiet seaside resort which can accommodate small craft and small inshore fishing vessels.
Regular cruising trips depart from here to the Calf of Man from Easter to late September. Port Erin is also known for its diving facilities.
Commercial activities centre on occasional cruise liners which anchor within the bay as weather conditions suit and land passengers by tender.
Traditionally a fishing port which used to annually host a huge herring fleet, Peel remains the most active fishing port on the Isle of Man but is also important commercially for the importation of various fuel oils. Situated on the west coast, Peel also has a comprehensive fish and shellfish processing industry and is home to the traditional art of kipper curing with guided tours organised for visitors throughout the curing season (May to September).
Peel's striking feature is its ancient castle overlooking the entrance to the inner harbour which also features the award-winning House of Manannan heritage centre, open all year round to visitors.
VHF Channels 16 and 12 (Douglas 24 hours other ports during office hours)
Pilot book: No 37; West Coasts of England and Wales
Admiralty Chart: No 2696
Port St Mary is a classic small harbour in a beautiful setting.
It is popular with diving clubs with organised trips to dive sites. Fishing excursions also leave from Port St Mary during the tourist season. The harbour is used by fishing vessels, pleasure craft, occasional commercial coasters and passenger vessels.
Port St Mary consists of an inner drying harbour and an outer always afloat berthing harbour.
A small port on the east coast half way between Douglas and Ramsey. The harbour was built in the mid 1800s to service the lucraLaxey harbourtive mining industry but is now used by a small number of leisure craft and inshore fishing vessels. Laxey's traditional village has important Manx National Heritage sites which includes the giant waterwheel Lady Isabella - the world's largest working water wheel.
Berthing is limited because of the size of the harbour, but leisure craft can use the channel berths in favourable conditions. No deep water berths are available as the whole harbour dries at each low water. Seasonal mooring buoys are placed in Garwick Bay (1 mile south) over the summer period for visiting vessels.