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Brucehaven & Limekilns

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


56° 01.42N 003° 29.0W (Outflow Buoy)


AC 0737 River Forth, Rosyth to Kincardine; SC5615 Whitby to Edinburgh; Imray C27, Firth of Forth (with coast plan

Rules & Regulations

None known


Drying reefs either side of the narrow harbour entrance

Tidal Data Times & Range

Very little data available; the Spring range is about 5 metres and the neaps about 3 metres. Nearest Easy tide data is Rosyth   (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

Contacts   Harbourmaster/Moorings (volunteer) 01383 872691  07748 068061

Forth Cruising Club    http://forthcruisingclub.org

Brucehaven (Capernaum Pier) is home to the Forth Cruising Club and gets very little mention in the standard pilot books for the Firth which is, in our opinion, a sad loss because this is a very welcoming stop for the cruising yachtsman who can take the ground. Capernaum pier protects a small area of mud/sandy bottom in Brucehaven bay which has fore and aft moorings for the local boats. The harbour is accessible two to three hours either side of HW (which is roughly at the same time as that of Rosyth which lies a couple of miles East)

Half a mile to the West is Limekilns Pier where the Forth Crusing Club has moorings for its members.  There are no facilities there for Cruising Yachts and, like Brucehaven, it dries out.

There has been a settlement here certainly since the 14th Century but the “why” has been lost in the annals of time. There were limekilns here (but there was a much larger operation further along the coast at Charlestown) and there was a small fishing concern but those ceased during the industrial revolution.  The village is just another sleepy little village on the Fife coast that had additional housing built during the 1960s and 70s. In the 18th Century there was a ferry from here to Bo’ness but that has long past as has the railway link with the outside world.

The harbour is administered by the FCC and all the work on harbour maintenance is done by their members on a voluntary basis. The harbour wall is rough stone with access ladders but in the summer they float three pontoons against the wall (two near the pierhead and one further along by the root of the pier.) The draft of the pontoons is such that they tend to dry out at roughly the same time as a 1.5 metre draft boat.


The safest approach is along the edge of the main Firth navigation channel....

.... until one is abeam the yellow outfall buoy opposite Capernaum Pier and to then motor in towards the pierhead from there..  There are reefs to left and right of the channel and there are a couple of marks laid during the summer months to indicate them.  The only publication these marks are shown in is the Forth Yacht Clubs Association East of Scotland Pilot Handbook where they appear as East & West Cardinal Marks. Be warned they will not be at all obvious from the outfall buoy as they are no more than withies with the appropriate yellow/black marks on top about the size of a small fender!!  Because of this you would be wise to pick a mark on the shoreline at the back of the harbour to use as a lead in mark in conjunction with the pierhead as there will be tidal cross currents as you approach

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

There will normally be space on one of the pontoons against the pier wall and this will be the most convenient place to tie up.

There are withies along the East side of the harbour to show where the edge of the Brucehaven reefs are so don’t stray to the East of these; on the other hand the bottom is fairly flat so you can motor through the trots and turn port handed into the pontoon to be facing seawards for departure.  If you are fin keeled you can lean against the wall but you will need the usual extensive fendering.

A word of warning here; the pontoons are locally constructed and are not the standard marina type of pontoon. (See image No 4 in our gallery) There is an outward toe rail along the pontoon and the mooring cleats are fixed tight inboard of these and you will NOT be able to lean out and loop a mooring rope around them from your boat unless you have one of those clever buoy pick-up boat hooks (and even then it would be dodgy) be prepared to put a crewman ashore to handle your lines or, if single handed, to go ashore yourself with the moorings. Normally this will not be too much of a problem as there is likely to be a member of the yacht club around to take your lines but it does mean some forward planning before you begin your approach, especially if there is any sort of west wind in the approach (which will be an off shore wind by the time you tie up facing North or South!!)

They won’t charge you a penny for a couple of nights stop and will help you with the shore power hook up


There is water and shore power on the pier; the showers and toilets are in the FCC club house adjacent to the pier (you’ll need an access code which they’ll will readily give you). Other than that there is a small shop for basics and an excellent butcher who doubles up as a paperback exchange. It is worth stocking up with fresh veg at your previous port of call take advantage of his meat.

Regrettably there are no fuel supplies as, along with all the other small petrol stations along the coast, they have been run out business by the supermarkets. There nearest fuel is about 2.5 miles away on the road into Rosyth.

There are hourly buses to Dunfermline where there are supermarkets; the last bus back is at about 2230 

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

You will find a couple of pubs and a restaurant in Limekilns. The Club House has no fixed opening hours but will be open after sailing events and they have an excellent bar. Further afield Dunfermline has a theatre and a cinema with full programmes of entertainment


Your Ratings & Comments

Update June 2022
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 20th Jun 2022
I reviewed these notes in June 2022 and made no changes. I'm puzzled by the query below about the waypoint - on the other hand I maybe corrected the incorrect one years ago!!
Wrong Waypoint
Written by Helly | 31st Dec 2017
Please check your waypoint.
56° 01.42N 003° 29.0W keep sence!
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