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Dover is a town and major ferry port overlooking the Strait of Dover in southeast England. The port of Dover is most well-known as a ferry port dealing with cars, coaches and lorries travelling to and from the Continent and beyond, but it also has a large and welcoming marina for leisure craft.

Tucked away within an inner harbour, and behind its substantial breakwaters, the marina offers complete protection. Safe access is available night or day, at any stage of the tide and in all reasonable conditions.



2 comments
Keyfacts for Dover
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: Traffic Separation Scheme nearby

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
January 28th 2019

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBus service available in the areaTrain or tram service available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: Traffic Separation Scheme nearby



Berthing  +44 1304 241 663     HM   +44 1304 206063      marina@doverport.co.uk     doverport.co.uk/      Ch.80 [Dover Marina]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

51° 6.681' N, 001° 19.674' E

This is the head of the western Admiralty Pier extension at the west entrance. It exhibits a light Fl. 7.5s21m20M. During periods of reduced visibility, a high-intensity strobe light is exhibited from the pier head.

What is the initial fix?

The following Dover will set up a final approach:
51° 6.660' N, 001° 20.600' E
This is a ⅓ of a mile southeast of the Southern Breakwater. The harbour is then entered through the eastern or western entrances which lie at either end of the Southern Breakwater.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the southeast England’s Coastal Overview for North Foreland to the Isle of Wight Route location.

  • When 2 miles off call ‘Dover Port Control’ on VHF Ch.74 call sign [Dover Port Control] P: +44 (0)1304 206063 or Marina Office on +44(0)1304 241669 to use the entrances. Maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch.74 at all times and follow the instructions from Port Control. Call again when 200 metres from the entrance.

  • Proceed to the Inner Harbour and call Port Control when approaching the 'Wick Channel'for permission to transit.

  • When clear of the Wick Channel, call the marina office, call sign [Dover Marina] on VHF Ch.80 for berthing instructions.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Dover for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Folkestone - 3.4 miles WSW
  2. Ramsgate - 8.3 miles NNE
  3. Rye Harbour - 14.6 miles WSW
  4. Sovereign Harbour (Eastbourne Marina) - 26.2 miles WSW
  5. Newhaven - 32.3 miles WSW
  6. Brighton - 35.5 miles WSW
  7. Shoreham - 38.5 miles WSW
  8. Littlehampton - 45.3 miles WSW
  9. Dell Quay - 51.4 miles WSW
  10. Chichester Marina - 51.8 miles WSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Folkestone - 3.4 miles WSW
  2. Ramsgate - 8.3 miles NNE
  3. Rye Harbour - 14.6 miles WSW
  4. Sovereign Harbour (Eastbourne Marina) - 26.2 miles WSW
  5. Newhaven - 32.3 miles WSW
  6. Brighton - 35.5 miles WSW
  7. Shoreham - 38.5 miles WSW
  8. Littlehampton - 45.3 miles WSW
  9. Dell Quay - 51.4 miles WSW
  10. Chichester Marina - 51.8 miles WSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
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Port of Dover
Image: Port of Dover via CC BY 2.0


Dover is a large artificial harbour and is easily identified by the large breakwaters which protect it. The harbour is the principal cross-Channel ferry terminal in the United Kingdom and an important commercial and cruise ship port. The tidal harbour and the inner docks contain a large yacht marina. The harbour is formed by Admiralty Pier and its extension, Southern Breakwater and Eastern Arm. Together they enclose an area over a mile wide extending ¾ of a mile offshore. Outer Harbour, in which there is an anchorage for large ships and in the past leisure craft close inshore, is the greater and central part of the harbour. A fairway lies between the anchorage and Southern Breakwater.

Eastern Docks in the northeast part of the harbour contains the ferry and cargo terminals. Western Docks, which is divided from Outer Harbour by Prince of Wales Pier, lies on the southwest side of the harbour. It has cruise ship terminals on Admiralty Pier and provides access to Granville and Wellington Docks, both non-tidal.

As of 2019, the Port of Dover is developing a new 250 berth marina in the outer harbour, This is planned to occupy a space on the Eastern side of the Prince of Wales pier and on Dover’s Seafront. The existing tidal basin and Granville dock are being filled in. The berths are planned to accommodate vessels ranging from 8-32 metres LOA and cater for drafts of between 2.5 - 3.5 metres and be accessible at all states of the tides. On account of this, anchoring is no longer permitted in the outer harbour. It is unknown whether anchoring will be permitted again on completion of the development of the new marina.


How to get in?
Convergance Point Offshore details are available in the southeast England’s Coastal Overview for North Foreland to the Isle of Wight Route location. Coastal cruisers should be watchful of the limits of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) as the southwest-bound TSS lane from the Dover Strait is only 4¼ miles off the entrance.

Owing to frequent large vessel movements within the harbour and its approaches it is compulsory and vital for safety to contact Port Control when within 2 miles of the port. Contact the Dover Port Control on VHF Ch. 74 [Dover Port Control], Landline+44 1304 206063 or the Marina Office on Landline+44 1304 241669 and await instructions on when and how to use the entrances. All vessels must maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch.74 at all times and follow the instructions from Dover Port Control.

The approach sectors charted outside the two harbour entrances contain the greatest concentrations of ferries. Dover Harbour Board advise small craft to navigate with caution within these sectors and to keep a good lookout.

Port Control Signal Station at the head of Admiralty Pier Extension
Image: CC0


International Port Traffic Signals No. 2 and 5 are used to control vessels entering and leaving Outer Harbour. Movement through the entrances is one way only, so that when a signal permits a movement in one direction, a signal prohibiting movement is shown in the opposite direction. Signals for the eastern entrance are displayed from the Port Control Signal Station and for the western entrance from the signal station at the head of Admiralty Pier Extension. Quick flashing of the Aldis Lamp from Port Control means you should not enter or leave, as another vessel has been given permission to manoeuvre. When three red lights are displayed at the entrances, DO NOT proceed without specific permission from Port Control.

The Western entrance and the fairway to the Western Docks
Image: Port of Dover via CC BY 2.0



Initial fix location Call ‘Dover Port Control’ back when 200 metres off for permission to enter. The harbour is approached directly from seaward and entered through the eastern or western entrances which lie at either end of Southern Breakwater. Depths in the eastern entrance and in the approach to Eastern Docks exceed 10 metres, depths in the western entrance and the approach to Admiralty Pier exceed 7 metres.
Please note

Allowance must be made for the tidal stream when entering or leaving either entrance.



The western entrance, 225 metres wide, lies between the head of Admiralty Pier Extension and the southwest head of Southern Breakwater. Lights stand on both heads. During periods of reduced visibility, a high-intensity strobe light is exhibited from the head of Admiralty Pier Extension.

The Southern Breakwater as seen from the Eastern Entrance with the Knuckle Light
Image: CC0


The eastern entrance, 205 metres wide, lies between the head of Eastern Arm, on which stands a VTS station having a light mounted on a radar reflector, and the North head of Southern Breakwater, on which stands a light. Normal entry for conventional ferries, commercial vessels and cruise vessels is through the eastern entrance.

Both the entrances can be challenging in boisterous conditions and are subject to standing waves in as little as a Beaufort F4/5. The Eastern entrance can be subject to a steep cross sea in F5 and above with some South in it. The Western entrance can be a surf riding experience in strong conditions from the South to the West.


The Wick Channel as seen from the Inner Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


From the two entrances, there is a clear approach to the Western Docks via a fairway.
Please note

Speed limit of 8 kts applies to all vessels inside the harbour, except pleasure speed boats with written consent from the Harbour Master.



When crossing the Harbour, keep well clear of the ferry berths and cruise berths. Pass up through the inner harbour towards the ‘Wick Channel’, keeping a sharp lookout for numerous workboats.

Call Port Control when approaching the 'Wick Channel' traffic lights / Red Monopole, to seek permission to pass through the Wick Channel. The Wick Channel is a narrow channel with a sharp blind bend. It is managed by Port Control and operated with inbound or outbound convoys. Two-way traffic is not permitted. Small craft may be expected to wait in the Inner Harbour until the outbound traffic from the Marina is clear.

Passage through the ‘Wick Channel’ may be suspended at times, when large vessels are transiting the channel. Follow the instructions from Port Control and keep well clear. When clear of the Wick Channel, call the marina office, call sign [Dover Marina] on VHF Ch.80 for berthing instructions.

Granville Dock left, Tidal Harbour Right and Wellington Dock above the swing
bridge

Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Dover Marina comprises a Tidal Harbour and two non-tidal basins, Granville Dock and Wellington Dock. Visiting craft should go straight to the reception pontoon, enter the Tidal Harbour or berth as directed by the berthing master.

The Tidal Harbour has 107 berths with 24-hour access. The Wellington Dock offers 160 berths which are accessible via a swing bridge HW ±1.5hrs. Granville Dock has 133 berths which are accessible up to HW -3hrs / +4hrs approx. Vessels with a draft in excess of 1.5 metres may touch soft silt when the dock gate is closed.


Crosswall Quay reception pontoon where the marina office may be found
Image: Michael Harpur


International Port Traffic Signals, exhibited from the west side of the entrance to Wellington Dock, control exit and entrance to the dock. An amber flashing light gives warning of the opening of the swing bridge at the entrance to the dock.


Wellington Dock
Image: Michael Harpur


Crafts can anchor in the Outer Harbour, but owners are advised not to leave vessels unattended. This anchorage should only be used with direct permission from the Duty Port Manager. The holding ground is fairly good, but caution is required in strong winds.

© Crown Copyright and/or database rights. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (www.GOV.uk/UKHO). Not to be used for Navigation.


Why visit here?
The name of the town derives from the name of the river that flows through it, the River Dour. First recorded in its Latinised form of Portus Dubris, the name derives from the Brythonic word for waters (dwfr in Middle Welsh; dowr in Cornish). The same element is present in the town's French (Douvres), and Modern Welsh (Dofr) forms, as well as the name of the River Dour and is evident in other English towns such as Wendover.

Dover Castle overlooking the port is one of the town's prime attractions
Image: Chensiyuan via CC ASA 4.0


The current name was in use at least by the time of Shakespeare's King Lear (between 1603 and 1606), in which the town and its cliffs play a prominent role. The sight of the white cliffs when approaching Dover may have given the island of Britain its ancient name of Albion.

Archaeological finds have revealed that the area has always been a focus for peoples entering and leaving Britain. Finds have shown that there were Stone Age people in the area and that some Iron Age finds also exist. After the coming of the Romans, the area became part of their communications network. It was connected by road to Canterbury and Watling Street and it became Portus Dubris, a fortified port. Dover has a preserved Roman villa. A Roman lighthouse built on the present-day site of Dover Castle is one of the oldest buildings in Britain.

Dover later figured in the Domesday Book. It is one of the Cinque Ports and has served as a bastion against various attackers: notably the French during the Napoleonic Wars and Germany during the Second World War.

One of the oldest and best-known ports in all of England the town is today Europe's busiest ferry port and the administrative centre of the Dover District. The Port of Dover is a vital international gateway for the movement of people and trade. It is also an award-winning cruise port, the second busiest in the UK and hosts some of the world's most prestigious cruise lines.

Dover Marina, one of the best-known marinas on the South Coast, is incredibly convenient for cross-Channel sailing. There is no marina closer to France, and just 20 miles separate the cliffs of England and France. It is also a similar distance from our neighbouring UK marinas if you are sailing around the UK coast.

We are currently out and about finding Havens and talking to sailors like you. By popular user request, we have posted this marina in advance of our normal production. Hence we have adapted Wikipedia data in this ‘Why visit here’ section. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this text under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.


What facilities are available?
Water and electricity are provided on the pontoons. The Marina features a modern amenity block with free showers, toilets and coin-operated launderette facilities. Wireless internet connection is available through the marina berthing areas. Recycling points are available.

Petrol and diesel are available as required. A hoist, with a lifting capacity of 50 tonnes, is situated in the Granville Dock. The hoist is equipped with a jib crane to remove masts, engines and other equipment weighing up to 1 tonne.

The Port of Dover is a 20-minute walk from Dover Priory railway station. Trains run from Dover Priory to London Charing Cross, London Victoria or London St Pancras International stations, and to Ramsgate or Sandwich in Kent. Trains from Dover Priory are run by Southeastern (train operating company).

Stagecoach in East Kent provides local bus services. Dover is on the Stagecoach Diamond network providing links to Canterbury and Deal. The Western Docks at the port of Dover are served by a service from the Town Centre as well as Canterbury and Deal. Dover is the start of The Wave network service to New Romney via Folkestone, Hythe and Dymchurch. There are services to Lydd via Lydd Airport, with one continuing from Lydd on to Hastings via Camber and Rye. There is also a link to Sandwich and Ramsgate. Buses run from Dover to Canterbury via Aylesham.

National Express runs coaches from Dover to other towns in Kent including Canterbury, Folkestone, Ashford, Kent, Maidstone, Gillingham at the Hempsted Valley shopping centre, and Greenhithe at the Bluewater Shopping Centre for Dartford to London including Bexleyheath, Eltham, Walworth, Canary Wharf, Elephant & Castle, The City (The City of London) and to Victoria Coach Station. All buses serve Pencester Road except route 68 to Maxton operated by Regent Coaches.


Any security concerns?
Crime in Dover is very low, but the security of your craft is an important priority. Port of Dover has its own dedicated Police Service who patrol the Marina and provide 24 hour response coverage here. Dover Marina has key coded access to all Marina areas, CCTV surveillance and 24-hour Marina staff.


With thanks to:
eOceanic, UK Hydrographic Office and Dover Marina.


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Dover Marina, Port of Dover, Kent
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Granville Dock left, Tidal Harbour and Wellington Dock above the swing
Image: eOceanic thanks Port of Dover via CC BY 2.0


Yachts in Granville Dock
Image: eOceanic thanks Port of Dover via CC BY 2.0


Wellington Dock
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Dover Marina office on Crosswall Quay
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Wellington Dock swing Bridge opening
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Yacht exiting Wellington Dock
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Dover Marina's 40 Tonne travel hoist
Image: eOceanic thanks Port of Dover via CC BY 2.0




Port of Dover



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Add your review or comment:


Bruce Peckett wrote this review on Jan 11th 2019:

Notes for 2019 - the new marina is due to open in the outer harbour on the Eastern side of the Prince of Wales pier (the existing tidal basin and Granville dock are being filled in).

At present, anchoring is not permitted in the outer harbour. It is unknown whether anchoring will be permitted again on completion of the development of the new marina

General notes - it is compulsory and VITAL for safety to follow the procedures for contacting Port Control due to frequent large vessel movements within the harbour and its approaches. You really don't want to get on the wrong end of a cross channel ferry!

Both the Eastern and Western entrances can be subject to standing waves in as little as an F4/5. The Eastern entrance can be subject to a steep cross sea in F5 and above with some South in it, the Western entrance in similar from the South to the West can be a surf riding experience (in such conditions, once safely alongside, an urgent dash to Cullins Yard for several pints of that which soothes is the order of the day!)

Average Rating: Unrated


Michael Harpur wrote this review on Jan 28th 2019:

Thank you Bruce,
I have worked your notes into the main body text. They are more than helpful.

Average Rating: Unrated

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