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Portavogie Harbour

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


54 27.5N 00524.7W


AC 2156 Strangford Lough & East Coast, SC5612.9A & B, Imray C62 Irish Sea

Rules & Regulations

Dont obstruct the fishing boats


Plough Rocks to the South of the entrance channel and McCammon Rocks to the North

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Dover +0016 or Belfast +0005. MHWS 4.7m MHWN 3.9m MLWN 1.4m MLWS 0.6m==The bottleneck effect of the North Channel is beginning to lessen here; expect off shore streams to be in the region of 1.5 kts at Springs.   (links)

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General Description

Contacts: Portavogie HM  VHF #12, #14, #16 (Mon to Thur 0800 to 1630, Fri 0800 to 1530 & Sat 0800 to 1200)   tel 028 4277 1470.  At the end of the 2011 season the present HM retired and the post was vacant.

This is a busy commercial fishing port and is not set up to deal with cruising sailors. If you need to come in here it is unlikely that you will be turned away but be aware that you come very low in their priorities.  Fishing boats here accept that they will raft against other boats, use old car tyres as fenders and tramp to and fro over each others boats at all times of the night and day; you should not be surprised if your shiny gel-coated boat receives the same treatment.

This is especially so at the weekends when most of the fishermen aim to be alongside, holds cleared and sold before teatime on Friday afternoon.  There is a fish auction here most evenings of the week and several fish processing plants to service that catch.

Having said that, the harbour provides excellent shelter, entry is well marked for day & night entry and accessible in all but strong onshore winds.


It is imperative that you contact the harbour authorities to ascertain....

.... if your boat can be accepted before setting up the approach.

If you are coming from the North once you have rounded Burial Island there four navigation marks ahead and the one you want (the red can buoy off Portavogie) is the smallest; In a straight line beyond that are the pylon marker on the North Rocks, the disused light house on the South Rocks and to seaward of that the South Rocks Racon buoy.

If you have come round to seaward of Burial Island it really doesn’t matter which of these marks you pick up first they’ll all keep you clear of inshore dangers, just don’t be surprised if you finally pick up the Portavogie can buoy broad on the starboard bow later on. If you have braved the inner channel inside Burial Island it would be wise to stand out to sea a bit until you are certain of what you can see ahead because a straight line from the inner channel to the disused light house on the South Rocks (likely to be the first you see) will take you too close to the inshore dangers along the coast.

Coming from the South you can safely set course to pass inshore of Butter Paddy and the South Rocks, then outboard of the North Rocks to pass them tracking north for the Portavogie buoy.(if you can see Burial Island, just head for that and you’ll trip over the can buoy en route!)

Once you have picked up the Portavogie can buoy leave it to port and head in for the harbour mouth on a course of between 258°T and 275°T; the harbour mouth will open to port and is wide enough not to present a problem. If coming from the South and you can see the Plough rocks you can pass between them and the Portavogie PHM can staying a cable clear of the rocks. Keep a good lookout for other boats entering and leaving the harbour or manoeuvring within it and, if in any doubt at all, give them priority. 

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

You will be told by the Harbour Authorities where to come alongside but don’t be surprised if you are required to raft against another boat.  Prices are not available.


Water but not shore power can be found on the wharfs. Petrol and diesel can be obtained at the petrol station within sight of the harbour, although, being a fishing port, it may be possible to arrange delivery of diesel; they also do Calor Gas but not Camping Gaz.

As you would expect there are engineering facilities to deal with most mechanical and electrical problems. There is also a chandlery adjacent to the harbour.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

At the SW end and overlooking the harbour is the Quays Sea food restaurant which has good reviews; further up the road is a Chinese restaurant.


Your Ratings & Comments

Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 10th Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. No changes were made.
Update November 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 22nd Nov 2013
Updated November 2013 by Don Thomson. No changes were made
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