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Isle of Man-Port St. Mary

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign

Waypoint

54° 04.21N 004° 43.37W

Charts

AC 2094 Kirkcudbright to the Mull of Galloway & Isle of Man; AC 1826 Irish Sea Eastern Part; AC 2696-7 Bay ny Carrickey; SC 5613.20 Isle of Man West Coast incl. Calf Sound; SC 5613.22 Isle of Man Harbours, Port St Mary; Imray C62 Irish Sea; Imray Y70 Isle of Man (Harbour Plan of Peel)

Rules & Regulations

None known

Hazards

The Carrick in the middle of the Bay. Rocky outcrop close NW of Alfred Pier and further rocks within the outer harbour

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW is HW Dover +0020 MHWS 5.9m MHWN 4.8Mm MLWN 1.6m MLWS 0.5m.

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General Description

Harbour Keeper  VHF 12    tel no +44 (0) 1624 833205   

Port St Mary is a pretty little harbour on the West side of the Bay ny Carrickey at the Southern end of The Isle of Man. It owes existence (as do most of the harbours you and I visit) to fishing and years ago had a vibrant fishing fleet and fish processing plant.

That’s all gone now and we yachtsmen have inherited the harbour. It consists of an outer harbour and a drying inner harbour contained by piers, the ends of both of which are lit at night with the end of the inner pier being marked by an 8 meter red and white striped tower. The edges of the bay and the headlands are laced with rocky outcrops up to 2 cables off shore and there is a large outcrop right in the middle of the bay called The Carrick which dries to 2 meters and is marked by a lit, black & red striped perch. 

Gansey Point just to the North of the harbour has an off lying rock which carries a green SH perch with an unlit, triangular top; there is a further unlit SH perch inside the harbour marking the middle of an outcrop of rocks which runs parallel and close to the inside of the outer pier (Alfred Pier). There are other rocks inside the outer harbour (Pot Rock & the Little Carrick) which cover at HW so must be born in mind if tying up on the outer pier. 


There is a small number of fishing boats based here but the main traffic is leisure boats with trips for divers and anglers or just plain sightseers pottering in and out all day.  The village itself is quite small, the main shops being located overlooking Chapel Bay.  If you are in need of a walk there’s a path along the cliffs to the SW leading to a spot overlooking the Calf Sound which is worth a stroll especially if you are contemplating passage around or through there! 

The harbour and anchorages are open to winds from the E and SE; if you don’t believe me have a look at the photos; strong seas from the SE will break over Alfred Pier and they set up a nasty send else where in this corner of the bay.

Approach

The Initial Fix is set up using the ends of the piers as lead-in marks on 295°T;

The red and white tower on the inner harbour wall is very conspicuous.

A run in on 295°T will lead clear of The Carrick Rock which is well marked and will be awash from half tide as well.  Coming from the East if you are tacking in against a NW and are completely happy with your navigation there is no reason why you shouldn’t leave The Carrick to port on the port tack and then run down on the harbour on the starboard tack still keeping the rock to port; otherwise a straight run at the harbour from the vicinity of Dreswick Point is clear of danger. 

If you have chosen well and weather Dreswick point on the turn of the tide (HW Liverpool) you can miss the overfalls and, provided you can see the rocks skirting that point, you can pass a cable off Dreswick point in deep water. It’s basically a judgement call, if conditions are right go inside the overfalls, in bad conditions it’s the long way round, two and a half miles off the point.

Approaching from the West whether you have come through Calf Sound or around the lot you just make your way up the coast, stay a good cable and a bit off the shore as you approach Alfred Pier and then turn in for the harbour as soon as the Inner pier red & white Lighthouse opens around the outer pierhead.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

On offer are drying, alongside berths in the inner harbour,

......... floating, alongside berths against Alfred Pier (in both cases you should expect to have to raft), a visitors buoy (of which there are four, bright yellow to the NW of Alfred pierhead) or anchoring somewhere in the bay.  They are very accommodating here and you should find somewhere to your liking.

If you do choose to tie up on Alfred Pier be very careful of the marked reef alongside it; there really is not much room and you can’t afford to take a wide sweep round to come alongside starboard side to. They've basically dredged a trench parallel to the pier and erected a SH perch to indicate the width available. NB the perch does NOT mark the end of the rocks.There is a photo in the gallery in which you can see that perch to give you some idea of the available space inside it, although the more observant of you will notice the furled genny on the left of that photo; someone managed it! (Ed note - my mistake he's moored port side to)

An alongside berth will cost a 10m boat £15.36 a night.

NB the sound advice here is that if the forecast suggests that the wind might pick up from ESE, get out of there and make for Port Erin or Peel through Calf Sound which is dealt with, along with Port Erin, in another article; but basically, as long as you pick the time right, even though it might be rough along the coast the Sound itself is quite sheltered and you are shot through on very rapid but flat water!

Facilities

There’s water on the piers and if you have a long enough shore cable there’s shore power to some alongside berths but this is charged on a card from the HM.  Showers and toilets are available ashore both in the Harbour Office and the Isle of Man Yacht Club (their website is below).  Most people here do their shopping in Douglas or Castletown so there’s not much available although, surprisingly, there is a chandler up in the village.  You can catch a bus here to Douglas or trot out to the railway station and use the narrow gauge railway which might be fun.

One point to note is that there is no fuel here; the nearest is at the petrol station at Port Erin.

The shops are a "fair walk" up from the harbour and the Harbour Keeper says that of you need to do substantial shopping it's worth berthing in Castletown instead where the shops are very much more handy by the swing bridge.

Isle of Man Yacht Club       http://www.iomyc.com/

Bus time tables       https://www.gov.im/categories/travel-traffic-and-motoring/bus-and-rail

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

Not much; there’s the hotel on the Quay and a restaurant round the corner and a few pubs up in the village. Your best bet would be to hop a bus into Castletown; they are fairly regular and there’s a late bus back. As has been said there’s the narrow gauge steam railway for an afternoon trip and there are about four runs a day in each direction on a first come, first served basis. There’s a link to train times on the bus timetable website in the section above this.

Links

Your Ratings & Comments

4 comments
UPDATE SPRING 2018
Written by Don Thomson | 18th Apr 2018
They are re-organising the visitors' buoys here so there should be some improvement. Prices have been adjusted for 2018
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 14th Apr 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2016. In the comments below reference is made to "Albert Pier" - it's Alfred Pier. There is a Harbour Keeper and he's the same one that was here in the nineties (they made them all redundant and have recently taken them on again!) The prices have been updated and we have noted the lack of fuel.
PSM update
Written by Taff | 4th Jul 2015
PSM now has a harbourmaster and substantial work is underway to renovate the Albert pier. Our ladder, at least, was firmly attached. Things are looking up!
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Current Issues at PSM
Written by Taff | 18th Jun 2014
The harbour master has retired and there are no plans, as far as I know, to replace him on a full time basis,
The climb up a ladder from a boat on to the Albert Pier can be about 12m at low water. The ladders are rusty and some are not fully attached to the wall. There is one tap at the closed harbour office, and one male (and one female) WC and shower. (All clean, if basic). There is no display of charges, and no honesty box. Diesel is not available.

Very long warps are needed, and it can be very uncomfortable against the wall in many wind conditions.

The commercial operators we encountered were friendly and helpful.

The town itself is pretty, but with many empty shops. The pub (The Albert) has good beers.

All a bit sad really.

2 of 2 people found this helpful
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