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Dartmouth Harbour and River Dart

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

Castle Ledge Buoy 50:19'.99N 003:33'.11W

Charts

Admiralty 2253, 1634 SC5903 SC5914

Rules & Regulations

6 Knts, Minimal Wash Dead Slow in Home Reach (Totnes)

Hazards

Various lit and unlit rocks close to Entrance, Rough in strong onshore winds with ebb, Cross river ferries both have right of way.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Dover-0510 MHWS 5.5m MHWN 2.2m MLWN 2.2. MLWS 0.8m   (links)

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General Description

For many approaching from the Solent or from Poole, Dartmouth will be the first port of call in the West Country. In many ways it gives a taste of what is to come with steep to shoreline, plenty of deep water and interesting historic towns. The Royal Naval College overlooks the harbour, and often warships visit with much activity in the immediate area.

The harbour is extremely attractive, well sheltered and easy to enter. Day or night at any state of the tide, and in nearly any weather conditions Dartmouth is safe to enter, and is well worthy of the title " harbour of refuge". There is plenty of room to accommodate super yachts and heavyweight levithians, whilst shallower draft craft can make their way up the River Dart as far as Totnes. ... read more

Approach

From seaward the entrance to Dartmouth is not obvious until much closer in. There is a very conspicuous daymark on the Hill to the East of the entrance, a drawing of which is on the chart. It stands 24 m tall on the 170 m hill, and is easy to pick out. The Mewstone Rock lying off Outer Froward point can easily be picked out when approaching from the West, but perhaps it's not so easy to see when you are approaching from the South.

Much will be made clear by looking at our satellite image/chart combination, click here.

When approaching from the East keep a good offing to clear the Eastern Blackstone, and The Mewstone (marked by the "Mewstone" southerly Cardinal buoy (VQ(6)+LFl.10s)). Further dangers run parallel to the shore...The Cat Stone and The Verticals, and these are marked by another southerly Cardinal buoy "West Rock" (Q(6)+LFl.15s). These dangers and their associated buoyage need to be left well to starboard in the approach as sometimes the tide can set onto them. Next identify and leave to starboard the green conical "Castle Ledge" buoy (Fl.G.5s). Do not approach the western shore at Blackstone Point as the unlit Western Blackstone rocks lay about a cable off, instead make your turn as soon as you pass Castle Ledge.  It is worth noting that the Castle Ledge buoy marks the limits of the Dartmouth harbour authorities area, and from now on there is a strictly enforced 6 kn speed limit.  More pilotage details: ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

The harbour authorities provide plenty of mooring buoys and pontoons for visiting yachtsmen and motorboaters, but if you care to anchor off the town you must do so in the area east of the heavy ship moorings that are laid in the middle of the channel.

The ground chains for these moorings are shown on the charts and you will need to keep your tackle well clear of them or you will risk an embarrassing snarl up. The town is a dinghy ride across and the harbour charges are 65p per metre per day. The authorities are uncomfortable with boats being left unattended other than for very short periods, and it is essential to be on board at the turn of the tide. Anchor shapes and lights are required, as plenty of local vessels work in and out of the moorings. Wind against tide together with varying sizes, drafts and scopes of vessels anchored in close proximity will lead to anchoring antics of the irritating kind. Probably better to take a mooring. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

4 comments
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 3rd May 2016
These notes were reviewed b y Don in May 2016. Noss Marina's plans are once again on hold. Dart Yacht Marina has dropped its prices (when they have room) The harbour tariff has changed and you need to look at their website to work out what you will be charged where.
0 of 1 people found this helpful
Update March 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 12th Mar 2014
No changes, Dartmouth survived the winter of 2013/14. Harbour dues have gone up to 80p/metre and the marinas prices have been updated as far as possible
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 24th Jan 2013
The harbour notes for Dartmouth were updated on 24th January 2013. The only changes were to the prices which were updated where known. The harbour dues rose to 75p per meter in 2012 and will remain so for 2013 but there will be slight increases to mooring fees on the harbour facilities. The marina prices have all been updated to 2013 rates.
3 of 3 people found this helpful
Tom Webb, around Britain on a 21' Beneteau 2011
Written by Tom Webb Sailing | 31st Oct 2011
29/8 – Dartmouth – Darmtmouth is breath taking much the same as Plymouth, there is beautiful surrounding hills scattered with oddly coloured house that over-look the entrance, There is a fuel barge near the marina and the visitors pontoon is the first pontoon you get to before the marina, the staff were okay but the location of the marina makes it a great place to visit.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
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