South West Cruising Info
The South West Region stretches from Portland Bill to Lands End and the Isles of Scilly. It is an ideal cruising ground for Broom boat owners, with a huge choice of marinas and facilities to suit every taste – busy seaside resorts, quiet wooded anchorages, secluded moorings and several tourist and cultural centres. Cruising the Region presents few navigational hazards – certainly nothing that sensible planning won’t cope with. The approach from the South Coast across Lyme Bay is especially interesting as, for many, it will be their first out-of-sight-of land boating experience.
The West Country has a long and proud association with everything maritime: – fishing fleets still operate out of harbours such as Brixham and Newlyn; Plymouth is a major Naval base; Dartmouth, a home for the Britannia Royal Naval College; Fowey the setting-off point for china clay cargoes and Falmouth the point of departure for long distance yacht races. All of these simply add to the interest of boating in the area and never detract from cruising pleasure or the peace and beauty for which this coast is renowned.
No matter what your boating preferences, the South West will more than meet them, offering a warm and peaceful welcome to visiting boats.
Safety information: Coastguard: area is Falmouth, VHF16.
Local harbours operate a variety of management systems:
- Dartmouth Harbour Authority call VHF11;
- Salcombe Harbour Office, VHF 14;
- River Yealm Harbour Authority – no radio watch kept – try phoning 01752 872533;
- Plymouth – Queen’s Harbour Master VHF 14 (Longroom);
- Fowey Harbour Office/patrol – VHF 12:
- Falmouth Harbour – Falmouth Harbour Radio VHF12 (which also contacts Harbour master’s launch “Killigrew“):
- Helford River – Helford Mooring Officer tel 01326 250749 VHF #37A (M1).
To describe all the delights of the area would be virtually impossible, but much can be gleaned from the guides and pilot books that have been written over the years. These currently include:
- West Country Cruising Companion: A Yachtsman’s Pilot and Cruising Guide to Ports and Harbours from Portland Bill to Padstow, Including the Isles of Scilly. Author: Mark Fishwick; Publisher: Fernhurst Books Ltd.; 9th edition (Oct 2020) ISBN-10: 1912621053;
- Hidden Harbours of Southwest Britain Author Dag Pike Publisher: Imray ISBN 9781846232046;
- The West Country Author: Carlos Rojas & Susan Kemp-Wheeler Publisher: Imray ISBN 9781846232022.
The BOC South West Regional Representative will be happy to provide more guidance and advice! The maps below show the main boating centres in the Region – but further suggestions will be provided on request!