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Portree and Raasay Pontoon (Churchton Bay)

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


57° 24.7N 006 09.6W


AC 2534 Portree Harbour & Sound of Raasay; AC 2209 Inner Sound; AC 2210 Approaches to the Inner Sound; Imray C66 Mallaig to Outer Hebrides (with harbour plan Portree); SC5616 Sound of Raasay North, Central, South & Portree harbour

Rules & Regulations

No overnight on the Portree pontoon except by arrangement. The Raasay pontoon is available for o/n (see their website) There is a traffic control system at Raasay to help the ro-ro ferry.


Sgeir Mhór and associated reef projecting out from the North shore at the entrance to Portree

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Portree is 25 mins before HW Ullapool. MHWS 5.3m MHWN 3.7m MLWN 1.9m MLWS 0.7m   (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

HM 01478 612926
Portree Mooring Association. Moorings Officer (Tommy) 07831 090066
Raasay Pontoon Warden                                                   
07561 854077

Be warned; on the face of it Portree looks as though it ought to provide good shelter from Westerlies but it doesn’t; the glens and lochs on the other side of Skye to the nor’west and sou’west funnel winds from those quadrants and they whip through here. 

For Raasay see the Further Berthing Information section below

As you enter you may notice a fair few buoys laid in Camas Bain to the south of the fairway into Portree; they belong to local fishermen who park their boats there in south west gales! If you are in for a blow from the South West you will find far better shelter in Tianavaig Bay, two and a half miles south of Portree; and, considering the lack of facilities provided by the Highland Council at Portree, you won’t be much worse off!!

Portree is a very popular holiday destination catering mainly for coach trips and land travellers; the harbour has quite a busy inshore fishing fleet, there are three or four sightseeing boats in regular work during the season and it is a popular destination for cruise ships. The bay to the north of the pier is full of moorings some 15 of which are for visitors and are run by the Portree Mooring Association whose website is at

 Portree Moorings

The Highland Council has no interest in visiting yachts here apart from the pontoon and even that is banned from use by yachties if there is a cruise liner in. There are no amenities such as toilets and showers (there is a notice on the pier indicating where the public toilets are situated – up the road and halfway out of town) The HM is not on duty at the weekends and his main interest in us is to make sure we pay our £5 to tie up at the pontoon to bunker water so best do that at the weekend in his absence. Having visited once, we will not be returning in the near future.

There is some hope on the horizon as the Portree Area Community Trust has set in train a project to put a marina in Loch Portree but that is still in the survey stage and will a long time coming, if ever. This project is still ongoing and has reached the stage of having a bid for funding put in. Details including a schematic of their intentions on the Community Trust website's Projects tab at 

Portree Harbour | portreeandbraes


The approach to Portree is simple and free of dangers but note....

.... Sgeir Mhór and its SHM and also don’t stray south into Loch Portree as it dries completely to mud.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

As has been said, the moorings in the bay are run by the Portree Moorings association.

By tea time on a Friday most of the buoys are occupied and it  becomes unclear which are for visitors and which belong to permanent berth holders. Additionally the HM knocks off for the weekend by teatime on Fridays so there is no one around to advise on their use.  The visitors buoys are all located in the northern side of the bay and if you are confused you could always give their Moorings officer (Tommy) a ring on the contact number above for advice. There is room to anchor on the North side of the bay but be careful of your depth and be aware that it can be very windy there. Those who do use this part of the bay generally land their dinghies either at the Sailing Club slip (see our Google link, top right) or the other slip on the North side (but it is then a healthy walk into town).

The PMA ask that, if you use a visitors buoy, you leave a fee of £15 per night in the honesty box located in the door of the Lifeboat Station. It would help with their records if you could include your boat's name with the fee. There is also information on what account to transfer funds by BACs if you wish.

Location – Portree Moorings

There may sometimes be room for one boat to drop anchor between the end of the trot which parallels the quay and the RNLI mooring (we did and no one complained)

We are indebted to the PMA  for their help with information on their moorings.

Further Berthing Information

Raasay Pontoon in Churtown Bay (South end of Raasay)

Contact The Pontoon Warden on 07561 854077 

This facility was laid out in 2022/23 and has been well thought out; they've included water and shore power, decent cleating for mooring. The Island itself is about the size of Coll and Tiree; it has some paved roads (single track) and some cars. Visitors can bring cars over the Ferry from Sconser on Skye. There is a Community Shop about quarter of a mile away along the shore path from the Ferry Pier. There is also a Hotel/Restaurant/Bar about quarter of a mile up the road from the Pier and the Distillery has a bar also.

Firstly, note the direction of the buoyage (The "flood" is deemed to be going northwards) This is necessary because the hazards have been marked with lateral marks, not Cardinals. The only hazards on the approach are Jackal Rock (0.5nm South of the pier), Penfold Rock (4 cables SW) and McMillans Rock to the North West.  High Water times are about four hours forty before Dover. 
From the north or the South just avoid the hazards out in the channel and when the bay is open and (when the signal is working check that) make for the pontoon. If the wind is forecast for the  SW I'd ignore the fingers and go around to the North side and tie up alongside there. Be careful if you are long and want to use the hammer head berth at the NW end of the pontoon because you'd be best tying up facing out and I am not sure of the depths outside that hammerhead for turning. Contact the Pontoon Warden on his mobile for advice.

The pontoons fingers can be a bit sloppy in SW winds but they are aware of this and trying to find an answer. The fingers are of the springboard type - attached to the pontoon at one end and a float at the outward end (you know the ones - run along and get the cadence right and it will launch you into space!!)

They have a website which covers the Island and details of pontoon prices at Pontoon - Isle of Raasay  (Opens in a new window)

At the moment (Early Sep 23) they are still in the process of installing the traffic signal and it's operation is not clear; it will be operated by the ferry in order to close the approach to yachts  during its own approach and departure.

Portree tends to be a bit like St Ives in the summer; you are tripping over tourists and it is also a stopping point for cruise ships.  This pontoon may be a quieter option.



At Portree water is available on the pontoon but if you do go alongside to top up you will be charged a £5 landing fee.  All other facilities have to be sourced outwith the harbour; diesel can be obtained from the BP station behind the harbour office; petrol, Gas and Gaz from either of the garages on the outskirts of town (about a forty minute walk). For showers you’ll have to ask at the local hotels although the CCC cruising notes recommend the Harbour View Restaurant or the Sparta health Club in the Royal Hotel in town. 

There is a medium Co-Op close to the harbour or a Co-Op superstore on the outskirts of town (even further than the garage!). You can swap or purchase second hand paperbacks at the charity shop on the Quay. Souvenir shops abound and you can buy tartan everything here, but you’ll be tripping over the coach tours to do so.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

There are plenty of restaurants from fish ‘n chips to expensive hotel ones. Many of the establishments appear on this site

Portree pubs and bars; pubs in Portree, Isle of Skye # beerintheevening.com


Your Ratings & Comments

Up date August 2023
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 30th Aug 2023
I've added notes on the Pontoon facility over in Churton Bay on Raasay.
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 19th Aug 2022
I reviewed these notes in August 2022. The Moorings Officer here has changed so there is a new number for him. Very little else has changed apart from the PMA asking £15 per night to use their moorings. The plans for a marina here are advancing slowly - they're looking for massive funding this summer. I've added an image of their hopes in our gallery
Update Summer 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 27th Jun 2019
These notes were reviewed in June of 2019. No changes were necessary but we've updated the charts
Written by Don Thomson | 13th Apr 2017
I reviewed these notes in April 2017. They have inspected all the visitors buoys and the £10 mooring fee remains in place.
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 7th Apr 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2015. No changes were made
Busy bustling town.
Written by Barbados Billy | 25th Jun 2014
Picking up a visitors mooring in the harbour is probably the easiest. Anchoring is possible but it is crowded and empty space is quite a dinghy ride. The harbour is fairly sheltered but some swell can work in. The tender landing can get crowded so make sure your mooring line is long enough to lay off a bit. The town can be very crowded with coach parties and when a cruise ship turns up it will take days to get your fish and chips. There is water via a commercial hose but beware the pressure. I had a pillow tank and stupidly managed to burst it! A good place to get odd stuff as it has timber/builders' merchants.
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