Dover is well know for being the busiest port in England, anyone that has sailed past it will confirm this. Constant ferry traffic, including fast cats, enters and leaves in a steady stream. Nevertheless this is not a yacht unfriendly place.
Since the Channel Tunnel ferry traffic has declined a little, and purpose-built marinas have been developed and established since the early 90s.
Dover is most certainly a harbour of refuge, and anchorage is available within to wait out foul weather. For a short stay the all tide dredged marina is easy to enter and close to the town facilities. For a longer stay it is possible to lock in to the additional marina facilities in Granville Dock. This could be a real option if you need to leave the boat for a length of time, as shelter is perfect, and prices are reasonable. ... read more
The port consists of a large outer harbour where the cross-channel car ferries have their lair in the north-eastern corner. There are two entrances East and West, with the car ferries tending to use the Eastern entrance. Anchorage can be had in this outer harbour area.
If you think you can escape the commercial traffic by using the Western entrance think again because the fast catamarans use this one... ... read more
Entering the inner harbour has already been described and is straightforward, bearing in mind what has already been said about the excavated channel at low water and not cutting corner when turning to starboard into the tidal harbour. Anchoring is prohibited anywhere within the inner harbour. ... read more