Plymouth Pilot Notes & Charts

Pilot notes are meant as a general guide, or for use in conjunction with a Pilot book or chart.

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As you enter Plymouth Sound by either the east or west passage past the breakwater, you will see the city as a mile and a half panorama directly to your north. There are marinas on the east side and Mayflower Marina is located to the west of Plymouth Sound. Your approach can be made either via The Bridge or by following the Drake Channel. The shorter route is through The Bridge, which although well lit is fairly narrow and should only be considered in favourable conditions. It is considered advisable to motor through the Bridge due to strong tidal flows. To the east and west of The Bridge there are underwater obstructions.
Follow the navigation channel through the narrows, around Devil’s Point. Mayflower Marina will appear on your starboard side at the intersection with Stonehouse Creek. In daylight the distinctive residential development of apartments with white verandas provide instant recognition. The marina is protected by a heavy displacement concrete floating breakwater and the entrance to the pontoons is either via the Southern end for pontoons A,B,C,D,E,& F or via the Northern end for pontoons G, H, J, K & L. The pontoons are numbered so that even numbers are port side to!
Plymouth is a naval port under the control of the Queens Harbour Master. At all times ships and small craft are to obey the International Rules for the Prevention of Collision at Sea 1972 and the Dockyard Port of Plymouth Order 1999. Vessels less than 20m in length shall avoid impeding vessels constrained to the main channel and all craft are to reduce speed as required to avoid damage and inconvenience to persons or property.
Lat 50º 21’ .98N Long 04º 07’ .96W Sutton Harbour Marina is well protected from all adverse weather conditions inside Sutton Lock and is situated to the east side of Plymouth waterfront.
Enter Plymouth Sound from either the Eastern or Western Channels. When north of The Breakwater head toward South Mallard Buoy (50º 21’.51N 04º 08’.30W) VQ (6) + L Fl 10s. From this buoy head east towards Fishers Nose (50º21’.80N 04º08’.01W) Fl (3) R 10s. The marina is accessed via Sutton Lock (50º21’.98N 04º07’.96W) which is north of Fishers Nose close west of The National Marine Aquarium.
The lock is free, staffed 24 hours, has a barrel dimension of 44metres x 12metres and is operational on request. For access call “Sutton Lock” on VHF Chan 12.
Access is controlled by a system of traffic light signals displayed at the north and south end of the lock. Be aware of the pedestrian swing bridge across the south end of the lock and please observe lock keeper's instructions as you enter. On entry to the lock secure to the floating pontoons down each side of the lock. The Lock retains chart datum +3.5m in the harbour. Free flow is in operation when rise of tide is greater than 3.5m (approx high water ± 3hr).
For flood prevention the lock gates will close at 5.7metres on a rising tide and will not recommence operation until 5.6metres on a falling tide. During these times vessels will be unable to enter or leave Sutton Harbour.
PILOTAGE INFORMATION QUEENS ANNES BATTERY Enter Plymouth Sound via either the Western or Eastern Channels which are well buoyed and lit. When north of The Breakwater steer toward South Mallard buoy, VQ(6) + L Fl 10s. The least depth is 3·7m and there are no hazards. QAB bears 027° 0·5 miles and is close east of Royal Citadel. Please call on VHF Ch 80 or by mobile for berth allocation.

The Spaniards Riverside Inn.
For those of you planning to arrive at The Spaniards Riverside Inn by boat, they have 4 free visitor moorings and their own slipway.
Moorings are available in the deep water channel (6 meters). For most vessels, moorings are available alongside a 14ft wall and are suitable for two hours either side of high tide.
At low tide during the spring there is a 5.5 meter depth on each mooring.

The picturesque villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo lie on each side of the secluded Yealm River. A couple of pubs (the Swan and the Ship are in Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers is home to the Dolphin.) There is also the welcoming Yealm Yacht Club, a few Shops and the Post Office are located in Newton Ferrers. The Harbour Office and showers are located at the bottom of the Yealm Steps at the inner end of the main dinghy pontoon. At the outer end of this pontoon is a water supply. There are three visitors swinging moorings. The first is located between Misery Point and Warren Point and will take a 60' / 25 ton displacement boat. There are 2 more swinging moorings on the south side of the channel opposite the Spit Bouy which can take up to three yachts each. There is a Visitor's pontoon in the Pool which can take around twenty yachts and a further Visitor's pontoon upstream off West Shore which provides about twenty berths. A two knot tide can run at various states of tide so some care should be taken when mooring.
Anchorages can be found in the entrance to the river and at Cellar Bay. The River Yealm can become busy at weekends in the high season. On these occasions when the visitor's moorings are full it is possible to pick up an empty private mooring but his is at your own risk and you must seek approval from the Harbour Master before you leave your boat. The Harbour Master and his staff are on the river from early in the morning to late in the evening fro April to October. The Harbour Master can be contacted by telephone on 01752 872533

Helford River Pilot Notes
Pilot Maps
Plymouth Yacht Haven
Queen Annes Battery
Sutton Harbour
Mayflower Marina
Royal William Yard Harbour
Torpoint Yacht Harbour
Milford on Sea
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