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Falmouth 2, St. Mawes, Percuil River

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Castle Buoy (Green, Fl.G 2.5s) 50:08'.94 N 05:01'.6 W


Admiralty, 32, 154, 18, SC5602 SC5912

Rules & Regulations

Vessels over 15m by arrangement only for moorings.


Harbour Dries Out, Oyster Beds In River

Tidal Data Times & Range

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

This site is designed for slower, roaming broadband connections, like you would get at sea, so it needs JavaScript enabled to expand the text.

General Description

St.Mawes is a bit off the main holiday track, and

.....is not overdeveloped or commercialised. It was once a fishing village, and enjoys a particularly mild climate. All day-to-day needs can be met ashore here, and from the sailor's point of view it offers a good protected anchorage (and some moorings) when the wind is from the easterly quadrant.

For the shallow draught boat or bilge keeler prepared to take the ground, the Percuil River offers an interesting cruising area away from the crowds. The River winds inland as far as Percuil, drying out to a large extent. The intrepid explorer needs to take care not to wander into the oyster beds.

Other Falmouth coverage which can be reached via the links below or the Channel West link on the left of this page

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

Falmouth 3, Carrick roads, as far as Restronguet Creek, including Mylor and its Marina

Falmouth 4, The Upper Reaches as far as Truro 




Once the Castle Buoy (Green Fl.G.2.5s) has been identified

.......an easterly/north-easterly course is set. Be sure to identify the yellow and black St.Mawes southerly cardinal buoy, (Q (6)+L Fl 15s), as this marks the only danger in the entrance, Lugo Rock with 0.6 m at LAT. This must be left on your port side as you enter. Follow a central track up the river, and the small drying harbour of St Mawes will be seen to port on the northern shore.



Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Anchoring is possible on the north side of the inlet,

...... off the beach, keeping clear of the moorings and leaving a fairway for the small passenger ferries that ply between St. Mawes and Falmouth. On the South side of the entrance to St Mawes between Carricknath and Amsterdam Points, yachtsmen and motorboaters are asked to refrain from anchoring too close in, and this voluntary restriction is aimed at protecting an eelgrass bed, that extends outwards to a depth of 3 m. If you anchor in deeper waters there is no problem. There is a long Document about Environmental impact in the Fal Estuary with Codes of Practice etc and shows areas in which anchoring is not encouraged.

Environmental Code of Practice | St Mawes Harbour

The area within the pecked lines shown on the chart comes under the jurisdiction of the St Mawes Pier and Harbour company, their office is on the Town Quay, telephone 01326 270553. A listening watch is kept on VHF channel 16, with working traffic on Channel 12, callsign " St Mawes Harbour Radio". The harbour master is often afloat in his RIB, and will assist and advise. He will also relieve you of 50 p per metre/per night anchoring charge. The harbour office maintains 28 visitors moorings, these are green buoys, marked St Mawes and located off the Quay. The charges per day range from £20 for a 10m boat to £35 for a 12 t0 15m boat (15 m maximum). You need to email or phone to book one of these moorings.

You can come alongside the pier but it will cost you £8.00 per hour for a 5 to 8 metre boat and more for a 10 m boat.


If anchoring keep well clear of the moorings and the fairway. Land by dinghy on the large slipway or beach. The St Mawes town Anchorage area is well protected in Easterlys, but very exposed to the Southwest quadrant. In these winds shelter can be sought up the Percuil River, past Amsterdam Point. The River is crowded with local moorings and it may be difficult to find a spot to lay yours. Shallow draught craft can follow the river inland with the deeper water being indicated by the line of the moorings, obviously best done on a rising tide. Above Polvarth Point, there are oyster beds on either side of the river which are marked by withies, vessels must not anchor or dry out in the marked areas. It is an ideal area for an exploratory mission in the dinghy.

Further Berthing Information

It should be noted that St Mawes has applied for more powers to controlling the use of boats within their harbour limits.


Boats can water up alongside the quay by making arrangements with the harbour master, alternatively water can be lugged in jerry cans from a tap on the quay near Lloyds Bank, and dinghied out.

As far as we know diesel and gas are not obtainable, but it is not far to nip across to Falmouth if these items are required. Repairs, spares, chandlery etc are all at Falmouth.

The village of St Mawes has a reasonable choice of shops including a Co-op food store, Butcher, Baker, delicatessen, and chemist. There is a cash machine at Barclays bank.

St Mawes Sailing club is above the Quay, and visitors may use the bar and showers. They are on 01326 270686, links to websites below.


For Boat Launching and Recovery, try The Freshwater Boatyard, Freshwater Lane, St Mawes telephone 01326 270443, or at the main Harbour slipway St Mawes. This has access at half the tidal range and consists of a steep concrete ramp. Charges are from £4-£9, depending on the length of boat.

More Info



The town takes its name from the Celtic saint Maudez (Mawe), who may have come from Ireland.

St Mawes Castle is a well-preserved coastal fortress from the time of Henry VIII, built to counter the invasion threat from the Continent.

The Agatha Christie film Murder Ahoy was filmed here.

The text on this HISTORY page is covered by the following licence

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

As well as the cafes and pubs, you will find several of the hotels have restaurants that are open to nonresidents.

There is also the obligatory fish and chip shop, The Jolly Sailor Takeaway.

For more ideas we've provided a couple of links below.

Eating Out, St Mawes

Much useful information about St.Mawes


Your Ratings & Comments

Update April 2022
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 14th Apr 2022
I reviewed these notes in the Spring of 2022.. The Percuil River may be getting a wee bit crowded these days, Saint Mawes certainly is on summer weekends. I've only updated prices but am enquiring about space up the river.
Cellars Beach 2021
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 1st Apr 2021
I've checked with the local authorities about this beach. It belongs to the Place Estate and, I am told that you would be asked to relocate if you anchored here - Tyro was possibly fortunate that nobody noticed him when he anchored here.
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 31st Mar 2021
I reviewed these notes at the end of March 2021. The prices are those for 2020 but will be updated if they change for this year and we are checking on local information about anchoring in Cellars Beach but, for the moment we can find no restrictions on anchoring there
Cellars Beach
Written by Tyro Sailor | 20th Mar 2021
Inshore of the moorings opposite the village is a possible anchorage for a smallish bilge keeler. The bottom is quite good mud if you can find a gap in the weed, and, unlike the moorings in the middle of the creek, it's completely sheltered from the SW. The locals, I'm told, object if you go too far in, but I've seen a boat beached near HW and getting antifouled there.

The more conventional anchorage is nearer the village, but more exposed and not far from some very sharp-looking rocks.
Written by Don Thomson | 30th Apr 2018
Prices have gone up a bit.
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 3rd May 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in May 2016. No changes were made; not even the prices!!
Update March 2014
Written by dononshytalk | 13th Mar 2014
St Mawes took a bit of damage this winter but nothing significant and all will be well for the summer. No changes to the 2013 prices
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 30th Jan 2013
The harbour notes for Falmouth 2 were updated on 3oth January 2013. There are no significant changes and the prices have been adjusted for the 2013 season
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