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
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
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