Harbour Master tel 01308 423222 mob 07870 240636 VHF #11
Although Bridport Harbour is the “Official” name of this place it is known to everyone in the South West as “West Bay” which is not to be confused with the “West Bay” lying just to the West of Portland Bill.
It is a very popular holiday resort on this coast and day trippers abound during summer weekends. The harbour was originally built for trade and ship building and its development has not been linked primarily to the fishing industry so it has not suffered the decline that other larger ports have.
Bridport as we see it today is the result of quite a few rebuilds and extensions, the original medieval harbour being further inland closer to Bridport itself. The latest addition is the West Wall built in 2005 which is designed to protect the harbour from the prevailing South Westerlies and the town from flooding.
The harbour consists of an inner, L-shaped drying basin and an outer harbour with a large slip and mooring pontoons laid out during the summer. Around the harbour there is a multitude of fast food outlets with open air seating.
We have given a way point within the white sector of the lead-in light and
...... there are no off lying dangers along this bit of coast; your main problem will be rounding Portland Bill either before arriving from or departing for the East. The Weymouth and Portland Cruising Association has something to say about that:
Other than that the tidal streams around Lyme Bay are interesting in that, although they follow the flood and ebb in the English Channel there is a stand of an hour where there is very little tidal stream reducing the ebb (west bound) to five hours.
Whichever way it is flowing there is seldom more than a knot at peak Spring tides.
If approaching from the West note that there is a red unlit perch close SW of the end of the West Pier (it is shown on the harbour chart but you could miss it if not looking for it- a little circle with an “R” beside it)
If you wish you can anchor close to the East Beach using the shelter
..... of the harbour walls but don’t impede the movement of boats into and out of the harbour. Most people opt to go into the harbour and clew up on the pontoons where a berth will cost a 10m boat £21.50.(2021)
The depth at the pontoons is said to be about 1.5 metres at LWS but take into account the fact that you may be going up and down by half a metre it would be unwise to park a 1.75 m draft fin keeler here; you should seek advice from the HM.
A word of caution here, if the wind is in the SE it does not take much to set up a jolly romp on these pontoons and we are told that this is also the case in SW winds. We were told that, if it did get up too much, they would move the visitors inside but exactly where was not obvious because it was pretty crowded in there with boats lying to running moorings around the walls and on fixed trots in the middle. In these conditions you would be better off going to Lyme Regis to pick up a buoy or enter their inner harbour and lean on the wall.
We took this video of the pontoons as the wind was about F2 from the SE and it was already bobbing about considerably.
There is no shore power or water in the pontoons although water can be obtained from taps on the piers. They have toilets and showers for yachties which is included in the mooring fee.
If you need diesel or petrol that can be obtained in cans from a Morrisons about two miles away (have a chat with HM and he can give you a lift to get that) That garage does Calor Gas refills but not Camping Gaz, for those you will have to go to Bartletts Country Stores in Bradpole on the other side of Bridport (3 miles)
The Harbour Master has a small stock of chandlery supplies and can also do diving bottle refills.
For snacks there are many fast food shacks around the harbour vying for the tourist trade.
For pubs (most of which do food) see