Marina Information (use the icons to find out more)

Portishead Marina and approaches to River Avon

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

None Given

Charts

Admiralty, 1179, 1859, SC5608

Rules & Regulations

See Text and Link

Hazards

Plenty..Fierce Tides, Shipping, Narrow Channels, Drying Areas

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Dover -0405 MHWS 13.1 MHWN 9.7   (links)

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General Description

Portishead Docks were once used for servicing adjacent power stations, but with the closure of these a Marina has been built within the locked dock. This is a fairly recent development having been commenced in 2000.

Portishead Marina is now fully established and is strategically important spot for those intending to push on up the River Avon to Bristol, or up the Severn to Sharpness. Due to the extremely tidal nature of the area it has always been very important for small craft to find somewhere safe to await the correct tidal conditions before proceeding to these two places. The Marina now provides this, beforehand the only option was an extremely exposed anchorage. Full Marina services including fuel are available. ... read more

Approach

If approaching from the West the yachtsman or motorboater needs to be acutely aware of shipping approaching Avonmouth, Royal Portbury Docks or heading for The Avon (or vice versa). It is mandatory to keep listening watch on VHF channel 12 for Bristol VTS. Inward bound commercial vessels report when passing the English and Welsh Grounds fairway buoy (EW Grounds on the larger chart), and the Welsh Hook Buoy. Outward Bound ships report when leaving Avonmouth or Portbury docks, when passing Shirehampton (all vessels leaving the River Avon), and when passing Lower Shoots Beacon (vessels leaving Sharpness).

Pilotage Directions...

The Portishead Cruising Club produces a very useful guide available here, you will have to locate the pilotage guide from the menu at the side: ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Marina staff will give you berthing instructions as you pass through the lock. Prices (2013) here work out at £2.50 per metre per night, with a minimum fee of £21.00.The minimum fee is to cover the lock operation, and the same price applies to short stays.

In the days before the Marina small craft waiting for a suitable tide would have to anchor in Portishead Pool to the north-east of Portishead Pier, in depths of around 3 m. This option is still available but not recommended. Note on the chart the areas bounded by the pecked lines, any anchoring must be done within these limits.

The Anchorage is very exposed and can be dangerous in strong winds from anywhere other than offshore, add to that the fierce tides and shipping, it is unlikely your experience will be a pleasant one. Call Bristol VTS for advice on VHF channel 12 if you plan to anchor here. The authorities recommend you use the Marina. However, as has been said above, before the existance of the Marina, Portishead Pool was the only option and was advised as such by all the yachtie Pilot Books (the old Imray Lundy pilot carried a photo of a yacht at anchor there - hull down behind the mud banks!); why it carries such dire warnings these days is a puzzle. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

1 comment
Udate 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 19th Feb 2013
These notes were updated by Don T on the 19th February 2013. Prices were updated for the 2013 season. NB it is no longer necessary for yachties to talk to Bristol VTS at all, except when emerging from the River Avon, but it is still mandatory for you to monitor channel 12 in these waters.
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