Royal Forth Yacht Club 0131 5528560 (0900 to 1300 mondays to Fridays)
Granton is an artificial harbour built in the 19th Century just to the West of Leith on the Firth of Forth to the North of Edinburgh. It is no longer used as a commercial harbour although the Forth Pilots operate from here. You may find it listed as the “Edinburgh Marina”; don’t be fooled, it is anything but a “marina” They have a website at http://theedinburghmarina.co.uk
The harbour consists of encompassing East & West Walls and a Central Pier. Most of the West basin has been filled in though a small area of it is still used for moorings and some very large visiting boats tie up on the West side of the central pier. The East basin is tidal and dries to deep mud apart from a narrow channel from the harbour mouth to the East side of the Central Pier where there is a long pontoon belonging to the Royal Forth Yacht Club and the Forth Corinthian Yacht Club. The rest of the East basin is used for yacht moorings where the boats either sink to their hulls in the mud or lie on their sides.
The channel in from the harbour mouth and around the pontoons is now dredged to a least depth of about 2.0m so should be accessible at all states of the tide for a normal 10m boat (ie draft less than 2m!!)
To all intents and purposed the yacht part of the harbour is administered by the Royal Forth Yacht Club and it is to them you need to address requests for a visitors berth. Apart from the Club House there is very little close to the harbour so its main attraction is the proximity of Edinburgh and a very regular bus service into its centre. It is an ideal spot from which to explore Edinburgh (the Athens of the North?) taking it a bit at a time as there is so much to see there.
There are plans for a commercial marina in the Western basin but that is a long way and a lot of politics off
There is nothing to trouble the yachtsman in his approach to Granton....
.... just be aware, if coming from the West, of the Drum Sands and don’t cut the corner. Inbound from the East you can pass either side of Craig Waugh (which will be awash at HW so only its beacon will be visible). You should also take care to avoid Little Herwit and a wreck just off the Southern end of Inchkeith.
Pass straight through the middle of the harbour entrance and head for the East side of the Central Pier, keeping a good lookout for Pilot Boats heading either in or out at their “I’m- important-and-in-a-hurry” speed.
Hitherto the channel in to the pontoon was fairly shallow but in 2015 that channel was dredged to 2.0 metres and so is accessible at all states of the tide. The area between the pontoon and the pier was also dredged so that there is no longer a lump halfway along that to catch you out.
Update 2018. They intend a further dredge sometime in the near future but for the moment the approach to the Yacht Club Pontoon is 1.2 m below CD with a small hump just before the pontoon which is 0.5m below CD. The depth at the pontoon is just below CD for most of the inside of the pontoon and for the first half of the outside of the pontoon; the southern half of the outside of the pontoon is just above CD but the bottom is soft mud so fin keelers will sink in place.
We have added some new photographs of the area around the pontoon in our gallery.
You can berth either side of the Yacht Club pontoon.....
.... and will probably park bows South but be aware that, for departure there will not be enough room to “drive” the boat round in a 180 turn to get out unless you do so at the top of the tide. We were parked on an inside berth as it was busy and found it sensible to go in stern first; if you want to tie up bows North on the outside of the pontoon at anything less than an hour either side of HW you will not have enough room to turn the boat round in the dredged channel so will either have to use prop wash to turn, or plant her bows-on and swing her round on a bow fender.
They ask that you contact them by phone or email to advise them of your intended visit.
When the Yacht Club is open you can pay your dues there and they will give you all the necessary security codes for access. Out of hours you should make sure that you have the pontoon gate code before you exit the pontoon as there may not be anyone at the Club. There is a notice inside the gate (ie before you exit) giving phone numbers to obtain the security codes during the summer. You can also pay on line at https://theedinburghmarina.co.uk/register-and-pay-online They also provide honesty envelopes for the payment of dues.
They charge £2.80 per metre, per night with a week counting as 6 nights.
There is a water supply on the pontoon but NO shore power. Showers and toilets are available in the Yacht Club. There used to be a chandlery near by but that has ceased trading so the nearest chandlery supplies are at Port Edgar. There is a Go Outdoors sports/camping shop and warehouse nearby which carries stocks of Calor Gas and Camping Gaz refills.
The harbour does not do fuel so auto diesel or petrol must be obtained from nearby garages or supermarkets (NB carriage of hazardous materials, including petrol, is prohibited by most bus companies) Red diesel can be obtained at Port Edgar.
As has been said there is very little close to the harbour apart from a fast food van in the square; for other supplies you will have to walk up the road towards the Lidl’s (see our expanded Google maps link top right) where there are a few shops and a fish and chip shop.
Further afield there is a Morrisons at the West end of Granton and an ASDAs at Leith Harbour.
There are pubs and restaurants in Leith but your best bet is to catch a bus into Edinburgh. NB there is a flat charge of £1.80 for the bus and there are no facilities on the bus to give change. (although you can now pay by card) There is also a direct bus to Edinburgh Airport every half an hour(Service 200) which makes it a useful place to do a crew change (compare Port Edgar which is a bit out on a limb for public transport)