“Fowey is the harbour of harbours.” So said Hilaire Belloc in The Cruise of the Nona in 1925 and we can find no reason to disagree with him. Fowey Harbour sits on the south coast of Cornwall at the mouth of the River Fowey and elegantly combines the needs of thousands of leisure craft and a busy commercial port. China Clay is a major export of this area and makes up a significant proportion of the marine traffic in this natural deep-water haven. Cruise liners are also regular visitors along with many thousands of leisure craft each year and the harbour can become very busy in summer.
The charming town of Fowey (pronounced Foy) sits on the western side of the harbour and has an excellent range of shops, galleries, pubs and restaurants. The short stay pontoons on this side of the harbour are good for stocking up with provisions. The ancient fishing village of Polruan, on the opposite bank, has a maze of narrow streets and steps winding between the cottages and has a charm of its own. Fowey and Polruan are connected by a regular passenger ferry across the harbour, running daily throughout the year.
Navigation & Pilotage Notes
Please Note: Navigation and pilotage notes are provided for general information only and it is essential to use an up to date chart and pilot book for navigation purposes
Entry is possible at Fowey 24 hours a day in almost any conditions. The harbour entrance lies between St Catherine’s Castle on the west side and Punch Cross Rocks on the east side. At its narrowest point the harbour entrance is less than 200m wide.
Enter the harbour on a northerly course through the entrance then north easterly to the Swing Ground area off the Town Quay. The vast majority of visitors moorings can be found on the east side of the harbour. At night keep in the white sector of the Whitehouse Point light until abeam of Polruan Castle.
Maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 12, where information can also be obtained from Fowey Harbour Radio and Fowey Harbour Patrol.
The speed limit in Fowey Harbour is 6 knots with minimum wash.
South to south westerly gales can cause a heavy swell in the lower harbour.
The main deep water channels are in constant use by large vessels restricted in their ability to manoeuvre. Keep well clear and use the small craft routes on either side of the main channels whenever possible. Cross the main channel at right angles to the channel and avoid crossing the bows of oncoming commercial vessels. Ships over 90 metres turn around in the Swing Ground area assisted by one or more tugs. Small craft must keep well clear of this operation.
Imray’s 2400: West Country Chart Pack covers Fowey. Admiralty Charts also publish a West Country Leisure Folio No. SC5602.
Admiralty Easytide provides tidal predictions for Fowey for the next 7 days.