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Barmouth

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

Charts

AC 1970 Cardigan Bay Northern part; AC 1484-3 Barmouth; SC 5609 North West Wales including the Menai Strait; Imray C51 Milford Haven to Tremadoc Bay (No plan Barmouth)

Rules & Regulations

None

Hazards

Sarn Badrig Shoals and Sarn Bwch Shaols along with the shifting entrance through the sand bar.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Barmouth is HW Milford + 0200 hours. MHWS 5m MHWN 3.7 MLWN 1.9m MLWS 0.7m   (links)

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General Description

Harbour Master 01341 280671, mobile 07795012747, VHF #12
Merioneth YC    01341 280000

Barmouth lies in Cardigan Bay to the South of Porthmadog and the North of Aberdovey. As with the other harbours on this coast it has a shifting bar at the entrance to the bay and, mostly, dries at LW. There has been a record of a small port here since the sixteenth Century and may well have been in existence well before that. Today there are a few inshore fishermen harvesting crustaceans but the main traffic in the bay is us yachties and other leisure craft.


It has Snowdonia as a backdrop and, should you wish to mix hill walking with sailing, this would be a nice place to stop. Once a year this mix becomes serious and Barmouth is host to the Three Peaks International Yacht Race; that’s the one where one crew member has to run up Snowdon, Scafell and Ben Nevis and the rest of the crew ferry him from one to the next in their yacht!!  You can find all the gen at:

https://www.threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk/ 

The town/village is also a popular holiday destination and, along with a long sandy beach to the north of the harbour, has many small tourist businesses, restaurants etc.

The Merioneth Yacht Club has its home here in a club house which looks out over the harbour. During the summer months they are open every evening except Mondays and Tuesdays and welcome visitors from other RYA affiliated clubs.

Approach

Your approach to this harbour is complicated by the sandbars....

...... to the North and South of it; it’s not so bad if you are coming around Bardsey or up from Fishguard as a small dogleg will take you outside the shoals but, if you are coast hopping you will have to go out into the middle of Cardigan Bay to get round the shoals and that will turn a 10 mile trip into the best part of 25 miles. There is a passage inboard of the shoal to the North of Barmouth but you would need to take advice from local sailors about that because that is a shifting, unbuoyed passage.


Once clear of these shoals the estuary of the Mawddach should be fairly easy to identify as it lies between Cadair Idris to the South and Diffwys to the North and, as you aim for that you will pick up the Barmouth Outer Red & White SWM.

The approach into Barmouth should be made two and a half hours either side of local HW, and given that there is a fair old tide ripping through here on the ebb (3 to 5 knots) it’s probably best to make it before HW.
 
Thereafter you need to look for the buoyage laid out by the harbour and changed by them as required;  Click on the image below to enlarge it.

 

There is the Y perch SCM marking a shoal to port of the main channel and this should be given a wide berth to your port as it generally lies outside the main channel. Once you have passed the last red PHM you can turn to port and make for the quay or the pontoons.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

This is a drying harbour so your options if fin keeled are limited.

There are a few deep water moorings but you would need to contact the HM to check their availability at the time of your intended visit. The pontoons dry at half tide onwards and you will have the usual problems of the respective heights of those and your yacht, so will need sausage fenders as opposed to round ones.


You may be able to find space to berth against the quay but you need to check with the HM in advance for that. They are charging £10 per night to stop here overnight. The deep water moorings were also £6.50

Facilities

There are toilets in the building above the pontoons and showers are available in the Yacht Club; although the YC Bar is only open in the evenings. You can gain access to the showers and toilets throughout the day using an entry code which can be obtained from the Bosun on 07470 447359

Fuel (diesel and petrol) is available in the town (under the railway bridge and turn right). Calor Gas and Camping Gaz refills can be found at one of the hardware shops (the garage does Calor and propane) as can minor chandlery.  We are informed they can order other chandlery for next day delivery.

Shore power and water is not supplied to the pontoons but, if you are desperate, the HM can run a line (or hose) down to your berth. There are no plans to have this fitted at the moment.

You have to remember that this little harbour and yacht club is host to one of the major endurance sailing/cycling/running events in the world - the race starts in early June and things will be pretty crowded then; the good news to the rest of us cruising yachties is that as a result of the support the harbour gives to this event there will be very few problems that they cannot help you with.

For restocking there is Coop shop/minimarket.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

This being a holiday destination (it has a fabulous beach) there is little you can’t find here; there are plenty of bars, restaurants, hotels and fast food outlets.

There is a local museum, a small theatre which stages various entertainments and, believe it or not, a night club (but we suspect that may be for the younger members of your crew!)

Links

Your Ratings & Comments

4 comments
UPDATE SUMMER 2021
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 3rd Aug 2021
I reviewed these notes in August 2021. Note the comments about the silting (below) - unfortunately our member did not say what his draft was. The new HM there says it really is not a good place for fin keelers. (which seems strange for a harbour hosting the Three Peaks Race - though, I believe, they put out extra buoyage for that event) The HM no longer has the code for the YC so if you want to use their showers contact the Bosun whose number is in the facilities section.
Great place but
Written by Paulprd | 21st Feb 2021
We visited in the summer of 2020. A very warm welcome. But beware the harbour has silted up considerably. We used to be regular visitors when there was never a problem on the wall if you arrived at hw. This year we almost got neaped even at the deepest end of the harbour wall. This was only mid neaps/springs so not towards neaps. Moved the boat having carefully watched the tide over a few days with just 10cm under the keel at hw to the fuel berth which was deep. But not a regular berth.

So yes well worth a visit but maybe a chat with the HM before to make sure you will have enough water on the wall. There are deep water moorings but quite a way to row ashore in the river stream.

Cheers

Paul
2 of 2 people found this helpful
UPDATE SPRING 2018
Written by Don Thomson | 19th Apr 2018
The July 2017 local chart is in our "navigation gallery" and it is expected to be valid for this year. No increase in harbour dues and the carrot of some new deep water moorings has been dangled.
A great place to stay
Written by Steveh56 | 23rd Aug 2014
Ive been to Barmouth twice this year (2014) and it is a good place to stay. Plenty of good pubs, chippies,eateries etc, all extremely close to my berth! Co-Op next to station for food etc, gas from Garden Centre up the road from Co _Op, (fantastic garden centre), Lots of interesting shops if yu are into shop browsing and great hardware in main st

Showers are available in Sailing Club (opposite harbour wall), 50 p for a six minute shower. Club bar seems to be open most evenings although i never tried it. (Never got that far!).

Pontoon appears to get depth of water sooner than harbour wall. a yacht similar to ours left an hour before we did on a rising neap. That was demoralising as we also got stuck on the mud! Bilge keelers beware the quayside.

HM is good and friendly and will offer two big fenders if mooring on wall. Accept them. £6 to overnight, water ion quay,toilets on quay, no power

Very tricky entrance, get HM to talk me in
3 of 3 people found this helpful
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