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Falmouth 1, approach, entry, Inner Harbour, Penryn River

Your Comments: 6 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Black Rock R.Can 50:08'.68N 05:01'.74W


Admiralty, 32, 154, 18, SC5602 SC5904 SC5912

Rules & Regulations

Inner Harbour 8Knts, minimal wash. Restronguet/Mylor/Percuil..5Knts


Black Rock, St. Mawes Buoy / Lugo Rock...Busy Commercial Port, Upper Reaches Dry.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Dover -6.10 MHWS 5.3m MHWN 4.2m MLWN 1.9m MLWS 0.6m   (links)

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General Description

Falmouth is a fine deepwater natural harbour of some considerable size. The town and the surrounding creeks and villages have a long seafaring history. Great sailing ships from every corner of the world have come to anchor in Carrick Roads, awaiting further instructions. The captains of these vessels were instructed " Falmouth for Orders", and the ships agents would then tell them where they had to take the cargo.

For the modern day yachtsman or motorboater the whole area is a delight to visit, and shelter is available in virtually all conditions in various parts of the harbour. Those looking for hustle and bustle, marinas, stores and repairs will find that the town of Falmouth provides all. For those looking for a bit of peace and quiet, there are numerous creeks, moorings, and anchorages to be had where the worst gales can be ridden out in complete peace.

Falmouth is still a busy commercial port, dealing with cargo and ship repairs. Anyone venturing deep up the River Fal, will find many large ships laid up awaiting cargoes or charters. ... read more


The entrance is between Pendennis Point with a conspicuous Castle lying to the West, and St Anthony's Head marked by a 22 m high white tower, Lit Iso.WR.15s 16/14M, to the East.

Approaching from the South and West the Manacles buoy (an easterly cardinal mark) needs to be left to port. From the East, a set of overfalls sometimes builds up some 2 1/2 miles north-east of Zone Point. All dangers in the general approaches are well charted, and the approach is sheltered even in strong westerly blows. Easterlies can cause an unpleasant lumpy sea, not dangerous, but uncomfortable. More pilotage directions:

The entrance itself between Pendennis Point, and St Anthony's Head would be simplicity itself if it wasn't for the fact that there's a big black drying rock more or less right in the middle! The aptly named " Black Rock" covers at half tide and has a black conical beacon topped by an isolated danger mark (2 Black Balls, vertically), and is lit Fl (2)10s 3M. The main channel for shipping lies to the east of this danger, and it is further marked by a red can Buoy Fl.R.2.5s, which should be left to port as you enter. Note: this red can buoy has replaced the original cardinal buoy moored in roughly the same spot.  Alternatively Black Rock itself can be passed on the western side by small craft, as there is around 6 m minimum depth. It should not be approached too closely as shallows extend to the north and south of it. ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

In the area covered there are a few choices for mooring up, an anchorage area, mooring buoys,  the Falmouth Haven, Port Pendennis Marina, and Falmouth Marina. These are now described together with prices:

Once in the inner harbour area, as already mentioned, most visitors make straight for Falmouth Haven. It is simply a matter of finding a vacant space and tying up, staff will appear to collect dues. There are around 60 visitors berths here. If going round to the inside, as opposed to mooring on the eastward facing pontoon (along from the fuel berth), don't stray far from the pontoons themselves in order to stay in the dredged area. The innermost pontoons have depths of 1.5 m, the outer pontoon having 2.5 m. Water and electricity are available on these pontoons, as is free WiFi Internet access. Security is good and the pontoons are accessed through a gate by the Falmouth Haven supervisor's office for which you will need a PIN number. There are showers, toilets and even a laundry in the ablutions block which is accessed by PIN number. Charges (July/August 2017) are around £3.00 per metre per night with discounts for weekly stays. A short stay of two hours will cost you £1.00 per metre but anything over two hours is the daily rate. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Update 2017
Written by Don Thomson | 1st Feb 2017
The notes have been edited to take account of the newish name of Falmouth Haven (the erstwhile Visitors Yacht Haven)
Update 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 3rd May 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in May 2016. No changes apart from prices.
Update March 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 13th Mar 2014
No changes; prices have been updated for 2014
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 27th Jan 2013
The Falmouth 1 notes were updated by Don T on 27th January 2013. There are no major changes to the facilities here apart from the prices which have been updated to cover the 2013 summer. I have discovered that the projected new marina in the docks area has been scrapped (this may be old news to some of you). This was on the drawing board as far back as 2007 along with plans for deeper dredging in the main channel; when the cancellation of the marina occured is unclear, but it has and there are no plans to resurrect it.
Tom Webb, around Britain on a 21' Beneteau 2011
Written by Tom Webb Sailing | 31st Oct 2011
26-27/8 – Falmouth – Falmouth has a great premier marina that is out the way of the busy harbour, there is plenty of traffic and navigational dangers within the harbour as well as large navy ships and RFA ships that patrol, The premier marina was very friendly and was the home of huge super yachts, the staff are very friendly and the range of shore facilities are 10/10.
Buoyage change in entrance
Written by Bryant | 19th Apr 2011
The aptly named " Black Rock" covers at half tide and has a black conical beacon topped by an isolated danger mark (2 Black Balls, vertically), and is lit Fl (2) 10s 3M. The main channel for shipping lies to the east of this danger, and it is further marked by an easterly cardinal " Black Rock", ( Q(3) 10s )

Above mentioned E.Cardinal Buoy "Black Rock", has now been replaced with a Red Can buoy (Fl.R.2.5s)

New chart and text being uploaded soon.
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