All times have been corrected to local
Tides on: 22/04/2024
Sunrise 06:08
Sunset 20:23
HW 05:44 5.1m
LW 12:12 1.1m
HW 18:07 5.0m
LW -
SP NP 3.9m 69%

Using the port for recreation

Plymouth is a busy port with a unique mix of water users, Military, commercial and recreational.

Whilst the waters are open for all to enjoy it is important that all users are aware of the rules and regulations and are considerate to other users. This section contains useful information for recreational users including those planning on organising an event within the Port.

Facts to keep in mind


Avoid sailing in the main channels.

Obey Rule 9 of the Collision Regulations(ColRegs) for conduct in narrow channels by keeping to the starboard side of the channel and crossing only when this does not impede the passage of a large vessel that can safely navigate only within the narrow channel.


Do not underestimate the speed of ships.

If your boat is slow, allow sufficient time to take effective evasive action in the vicinity of large ships.


Be visible.

At night make sure your navigation lights can be seen. If you see the navigation lights of a vessel and you think you have not been seen, get out of the way. Use torches, search lights or a spotlight on sails, or fire a white flare to indicate your position. Carry a radar reflector high on your boat.


Be alert - keep a good lookout.

Look around every so often, especially astern.


Keep an extra vigilant watch at night.

Even on a clear night you will have difficulty seeing a big ship approach. You might see it first as a black shadow against a background of shore lights, or as a growing shadow – at that point you are not far apart. Remember that your lights will not be easily spotted from the ship, particularly if seen against shore background lights.


Keep your radio tuned to Channel 14.

In an emergency, if you believe you have not been seen or you are unsure of a ship’s intentions, call them on VHF Channels 14 or 16 then shift to a working frequency for intership safety messages.