Tides on: 17/01/21
  • Sunrise 08:08
  • Sunset 16:45
  • HW 08:25 5.4m
  • LW 02:23 1.1m
  • HW 20:47 5.0m
  • LW 14:47 1.1m
  • SP NP 4.1m/73%
All times are Local and have been corrected for BST where appropriate.
< Back to Queen's Harbour Master Plymouth

Leisure Users

Facts to Keep in Mind

Avoid sailing in the commercial shipping channels, especially in poor visibility. 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. Remember, from the bridge of a loaded container ship or large tanker, the captain or pilot will lose sight of you a third of a mile ahead, although you can see the ship at all times!

Be alert. Look around every so often, especially astern.

Keep 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.

Know the visual & sound signals Stated in the ColRegs.

Keep your VHF R/T tuned to channel 14, to listen for vessel traffic information from QHM’s Harbour Control. 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.

Ships with deep draught may have less room for manoeuvre than is immediately apparent.

Restricted view from the bridge of a large ship means small vessels may not be visible when within a third of a mile.

More Links

Public Access Points

MoD Police Boat Watch Scheme

Water Events Checklist

Water Events Diary

Water Events Risk Assessment

Plymouth Waterways Small Craft Guide

RNLI Coastal Safety Advice

Devon and Cornwall Wild Swimming.co.uk / swimsafe