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Penzance Harbour

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


South Pier Head 50:07'.06N 005:31'.68W


Admiralty, 2345, SC5603

Rules & Regulations

5 Knts Speed Limit in Harbour


Keep clear of ferry and commercial shipping , Approach DANGEROUS in strong onshore winds. Pot Marker buoys in Mounts Bay. Outer harbour dries. Gear Rock to the South of Entrance

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW= Dover-0635, MHWS 5.6m, MHWN 4.4m, MLWN 2.0m, MLWS 0.8m

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General Description

Harbour Office  tel  01736 366113 mob 07779 264335 VHF #12
Penzance Sailing Club  tel  01736 364989  http://www.pzsc.org.uk/

Penzance Harbour consists of an inner drying area, and a wet basin accessed through a gate only open for 3 hours or so each high water. Once inside boats can lay in complete safety at reasonable rates. The wet dock can be used to leave your boat unattended for a few days to go exploring ashore if bad weather delays your plans.

As the depths of water around the harbour area are shallow, in strong onshore winds the seas get very rough, breaking over the harbour wall. Obviously in these conditions Penzance cannot be classed as a harbour of refuge, and should not be approached. Newlyn provides the only alternative in the Mounts Bay area in these conditions, and even then it is wise to wait until high water before attempting entry.

Penzance town itself is by far the largest in the area and is rather colourful and full of character. It is a busy market town as well as being a popular tourist centre, and all provisioning needs can be met, together with good transport links.

There were plans afoot for a 200 berth marina in Penzance with all tide access, as well as MDL proposing another 195 berth marina nearby at Port Penlee, between Newlyn and Mousehole. At present the plans for Penzance have been shelved as the funding has been withdrawn and the there is not much movement on the conversion of the quarry at Penlee. It is understood from local sources that constructing a suitable entrance into the marina under the Mousehole road is causing some heartache.  It is hoped to do some serious dredging in Penzance harbour itself but that will mainly effect the area beside the Ferry berth and the approach to the Wet Dock. ... read more


If approaching from the East the visiting yachtsman or motorboater will need to go south of the South Cardinal Mountamopus Buoy YB  (Q(6)+LFl 15s). This marks a 1.8 m Shoal, and you will see St Michael's Mount on the starboard bow. Penzance can be located by the conspicuous tower of St Mary's Church. By night the white sector of the light (sectored light, Fl WR 5s) on Penzance harbour South Pier will show you the safe sector of approach.

Further Pilotage Details...

If approaching from the South take note of Gear Rock Beacon, an isolated danger mark, red and black with two black spheres as a topmark (Fl your (2) 10s). This should be left well to port, while aiming for a position to the east of the lighthouse at the end of the South Pier. Again, the white sector of the South Pier light shows the safe approach. ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

As you enter the wet dock you will be allocated a berth by the harbour master or his assistant. In the busy summer months you may well have to raft up, and the charges (2016) are £1.50per m per night and special weekly rates for unattended boats. This makes Penzance an attractive option should you need to leave your boat. Shore power is available on a card. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 10th May 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in May 2016. The discussions about Penzance's future continue with input from every conceivable body of authority; but they remain that, discussions. Note that the cargo vessel Gry is being replaced by a bigger version. Their charging system has changed and they now charge a basic £1.50 per metre across the board
Update March 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 19th Mar 2014
The harbour and its facilities remain unchanged as do prices. We understand that the plans for a marina development collapsed through finance and the future of Penzance remains unclear; the various committees and interested groups involved have yet to agree on a way forward.
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Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 31st Jan 2013
Penzance Harbour notes were updated by Don T on the 30th January 2013. Plans that were in the pipeline for the expansion of Penzance and the building of a new marina at Penlee are on hold for the moment. Note that the prices for a berth in Penzance have been adjusted downwards for the 2013 season.
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