Fraserburgh Harbour Office tel 01346 515858
Fraserburgh Harbour Control tel 01346 515926 VHF #12
Fraserburgh is arguably the busiest deep sea trawler port in the UK and trawlers can be seen bustling into and out of the harbour at all times of the day and night. It has a complex of inner harbours protected by the substantial South and Balaclava breakwaters. The harbour has developed over the centuries to accommodate the increase in the fishing industry and has managed to maintain its involvement as other, smaller harbours have declined. Aberdeen and Peterhead to the South of it have become more involved with the off-shore oil and gas industries and are now becoming involved in the off shore development of wind farms whilst Fraserburgh has taken over their commitment to the fisheries. Catering for visiting yachts is a very small part of their operation and you are unlikely to get a dedicated service from them.
Until recently we and other almanacs have published the fact that “Fraserburgh does not encourage visiting yachts” but in 2014/15 they reversed this policy and reserved berths on a pontoon in the South Harbour near the Harbour Office. It is uncertain how many berths are available as recent photographs show many of the berths occupied by small trawlers and it is suspected that only the hammerhead is used for visiting yachts.
The town itself is, like Peterhead, unprepossessing; the buildings are either bare granite fieldstone or rendered with grey/brown rendering. Those near the harbour are converted fishermen’s dwellings and the fishermen have moved out to the housing estates which surround the town - and they are built of granite. It is a very “grey” place.
The harbour website can be found HERE
Coming from the South you will have weathered Rattray Head which has a fearsome reputation.....
..... but that reputation has been given by sailors battling adverse tides or in strong wind against tide conditions. If you tackle that headland on a favourable tide and with following or light winds you’ll be OK but in any other conditions you need to give it a good three or four mile offing. In favourable conditions you can pass quite close to Cairnbulg Point but be aware of its off-lying reef (there’s a wrecked fishing vessel and perch there to show you where not to go!!)
From the North and West in offshore conditions you can go quite close to Kinnaird Head as it is steep to but be aware of the reefs between it and the end of Fraserburgh breakwater.
Once the harbour mouth is open you can make your way towards it. You need to clear your entrance with the harbour on VHF#12. There are two lead in marks within the harbour as shown on the harbour chart; they are on WRW poles and are topped by IsoR2s17m5M lights but may be difficult to make out from a distance. Suffice it to say that if you head for the middle of the gap on 291T you will be alright.
You can download a copy of the harbour plan here (opens in a new tab)
There is a sequence of photos in the Navigation Gallery showing the route in
The pontoon itself is in the South end of the South Harbour so once you turned to port and have passed through the gap between the North pier and the square white Control tower you should then turn to starboard before coming round to port to enter the small basin wherein lies the pontoon. The visitors berth is dead ahead and you can berth starboard side to.
If you wish, once inside the Southern basin you could sit quietly just to the SW of the control tower to sort out warps and fenders to come alongside but, unless you have had a battle to get in I’d be inclined to clear away for harbour in the approaches.
There is nowhere to anchor within the harbour.
The pontoon lies within the small basin bounded by the Bruce’s jetty and the Saltoun jetty, see plan.
The Port Authority will advise where on the pontoon you should clew up but it will probably be on the hammerhead. It’s going to be very narrow in there (especially if the wall opposite the hammerhead is occupied) so you will either have to paddlewheel around on the way in or the way out, or consider warping around.
A berth here will cost you £27.50 +VAT for boats up to 12m - above that it's £35.50. That's for the first night; subsequent nights are £5 less. If there isn't room on the pontoon and you have to use a wall elsewhere it'll cost you £24< 12m< £32
You will need to get an access code for the pontoon gate which you can get from the Office or from the Watchtower (tel number above - they are unlikely to give it out on the radio)
There is electricity on the pontoon but you may need an extension lead to source it. (the Port has these available, we're told) The cost of this is covered by the berthing fee. Water can be obtained from a hose at the root of the pontoons. The showers and toilets are in the Seamens' Mission adjacent to the basin and these have been refurbished. You can get the entry code in the Harbour Office or from the Watch Control
The harbour can supply diesel but petrol is by cans from petrol stations on the outskirts of town as the one in the centre of town has closed.
There is not a yacht chandlery here as most of the supplies are slanted towards the fishing industry. The nearest chandlery is at Macduff (Buccaneer 01261 835199) which also does electronic repairs.
Fraserburgh Outboards is based here and can be contacted on 07795 228435
There are several pubs around the harbour and the rest can be found at: