Plymouth is a busy naval and commercial port, and only in more recent times has it become popular for leisure craft. There are now four large centrally located marinas with excellent facilities for visitors, and several smaller marinas. Couple this with miles of navigable water in the rivers that flow into the main harbour, (with a multitude of anchoring opportunities), and you have an area that even deeper draft seagoing yachts could spend a good week exploring.
Nowadays Plymouth is an internationally renowned yachting centre and several major racing events are hosted here. Virtually all facilities can be found. ... read more
It should now be possible to see the conspicuous 19m white lighthouse (Iso.4s10M) that marks the western end of the very low lying breakwater, which is sometimes difficult to see. At night the light is visible from 031 degrees to 039 degrees True, and points the way for shipping from the Draystone Buoy, to the western entrance.
The central breakwater was completed in 1841, and transformed the open roadstead into a fleet anchorage. It is almost 1 mile long, took 29 years to build and landing on it is prohibited.
From the Draystone Buoy a Northerly course, with a touch of East, will bring the small craft towards the entrance and clear of shipping. At night the white sector of the Maker lighthouse ((Fl(2)WRG 10s 16m 11-6M) will help get you in. Note the red can buoy Queens Ground (Fl(2)R.10s), which the small craft can leave on the starboard side thus keeping out of the shipping channel. You are now in Plymouth Sound, expect to see anchored ships.
Further Pilotage Details: ... read more
It has a gently shelving beach with good holding and has a surprising number of facilities ashore. There is a no anchoring area around Penlee Point and it stretches to the north-east into Cawsand Bay, so anchor off the town fairly close in. It is unwise to leave your boat unattended here in case the wind swings to the East, which makes this anchorage untenable, however if on passage westwards and not wanting to mess about going into Plymouth it is a useful stopping point. Cawsand can get crowded at weekends with local boats.
Ashore there is a shop in Kingsand which is open to 9 p.m. seven days, selling fresh veg, frozen meat and an off-licence. There is a small chandlers that doubles up as a post office in Kingsand also. Hungry sailors will find a good choice of takeaway food and assorted pubs and eating places. Land by dinghy on the beach.
Inside Plymouth Sound anchorage can be found in Barn Pool, due West of Drake's Island. This is sheltered in most westerly weather but it is worth buoying your anchor as the bottom is foul in some places. This anchorage is preferable at neap tides, as getting ashore is easier in the dinghy.
North-east of the pier on Drake's Island is another option. Moorings in this vicinity belong to the Royal Marines. Beware of an underwater obstruction (0.9 m) 400 m due north of the pier.
It should be noted that Millbay Marina Village shown on the charts does not take visiting yachts, only residents. The five marinas with plenty of room for visiting yachts are now listed starting in the West with Mayflower International Marina, followed by King Point Marina, Queen Anne's Battery Marina, Sutton Harbour Marina, and Plymouth Yacht Haven. Full entry details and visitors prices are now provided: ... read more