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Salcombe

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Overview





Salcombe lies on England's south coast about five miles west of Start Point. Set into a pretty ria it is a major centre for leisure craft, providing visitors with a range of river moorings and the option of anchoring.

Salcombe lies on England's south coast about five miles west of Start Point. Set into a pretty ria it is a major centre for leisure craft, providing visitors with a range of river moorings and the option of anchoring.

The deep ria valley provides good protection, but developed southerlies can send an uncomfortable swell up the harbour. In these conditions the further up the estuary a vessel progresses, the better the protection can be had. Although the entrance is fringed by several dangers they are well marked by lighted buoys and leading lights that make approaches straightforward with a sufficient rise of the tide, night or day. The entrance is, however, obstructed by a shallow sandbar which in normal conditions is not a problem. But during south or southeasterly gales, particularly on an ebb tide, a heavy sea breaks over the bar rendering the harbour unapproachable. It is likewise dangerous when any swell is running during which time it should only be attempted on the top end of the tide.
Please note

If in any doubt about the state of the sea over the bar call the harbour master before approaching.




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Keyfacts for Salcombe



Last modified
January 28th 2019

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableShop with basic provisions 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 availableDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesBus service available in the areaBicycle hire available in the areaCar hire available in the areaTourist Information office availableShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Remote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: may be subject to a sand barNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be chargedNote: sectioned off swimming area in the vicinity



HM  +44 1803 867034      Ch.14 [Salcombe Harbour]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 13.587' N, 003° 46.668' W

This is in the entrance, about 100 metres south of the Pound Stone Beacon and abeam of Blackstone Rock where the 000° T leading marks on Sandhill Point turns onto the main fairway course of 042.5° T.

What is the initial fix?

The following Salcombe Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
50° 12.421' N, 003° 46.666' W
This is opposite the Starehole yellow Buoy. Steering north from here will pick up on the 000° T leading marks, both red/white beacons in the entrance. The front mark is the Pound Stone Beacon with a red cage topmark and the rear mark is a white diamond on a white mast, 12 metres in height.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern England’s coastal overview from Start Point to Lizard Point Route location

  • Salcombe’s entrance is made recognisable by the sudden turn to the northward of the prominent headland of Bolt Head.

  • Steer north to pick up on the 000° T leading marks, both red/white beacons in the entrance, or at night use the directional light.

  • When Blackstone Rock is drawing abeam to starboard, turn off 000° T to a course of 042.5° T up the fairway that is also supported by a second leading light at night.


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 Salcombe for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Starehole Bay - 0.5 miles SSW
  2. Kingsbridge - 2 miles N
  3. Hope Cove - 2.1 miles WNW
  4. Hallsands - 2.9 miles E
  5. River Avon - 3 miles NW
  6. River Erme - 5.1 miles NW
  7. Dartmouth Harbour - 6.7 miles NE
  8. Dittisham & The River Dart - 7.2 miles NE
  9. River Yealm - 7.3 miles WNW
  10. Brixham - 9.2 miles NE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Starehole Bay - 0.5 miles SSW
  2. Kingsbridge - 2 miles N
  3. Hope Cove - 2.1 miles WNW
  4. Hallsands - 2.9 miles E
  5. River Avon - 3 miles NW
  6. River Erme - 5.1 miles NW
  7. Dartmouth Harbour - 6.7 miles NE
  8. Dittisham & The River Dart - 7.2 miles NE
  9. River Yealm - 7.3 miles WNW
  10. Brixham - 9.2 miles NE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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What's the story here?
Salcombe
Image: Michael Harpur


Salcombe, situated at the southern tip of Devon, lies in an inlet located about 5 miles west of Start Point. Its entrance is situated between Prawle Point and Bolt Head, 2½ miles west, and the town is mostly built on its steep western side two miles within the mouth of the small but well sheltered Kingsbridge Estuary. The harbour is primarily a recreational and leisure centre but is also home to a traditional shellfish fishing industry.

The harbour can normally accept vessels up to 30 metres LOA, drawing up to 5.5 metres draught, who can enter at high water. It has, on occasion, hosted larger vessels by arrangement.

The harbour is approached through The Range which is clear of dangers. However, above this is The Bar that obstructs the narrows of the entrance to the inlet. It has a minimum depth of 0.7 metres on its recommended leading transit, but may vary and it is worth contacting the harbour master for the latest information.

The Range is entirely open south round to southeast and any blow from these directions throws a heavy sea onto The Bar which makes it dangerous to cross. This is particularly the case during the ebb, that can attain rates of 3 kn on the ebb, and towards low water, when breakers form on the bar about ½ a mile south of the estuary mouth.
Please note

A convenient tide wait anchorage in prevailing conditions can be found by anchoring close to Starehole Bay's Click to view haven southeast headland where it is possible to watch for the breakers on the bar to subside. Then allow some time for the height of tide to increase, which should be given a considerable margin if any swell is running.




SOUTH HAMS DISTRICT COUNCIL

The Harbour Authority is South Hams District Council whose role is to make leisure visits to the area as pleasant and trouble-free as possible Landline+44 1548 843791, VHF Ch. 14 [SALCOMBE HARBOUR], E-mailsalcombe.harbour@southhams.gov.uk, emergency out-of-hours Landline+44 1803 867034.


Harbour Master launch
Image: Michael Harpur


The Harbour Authority charges (2019) £2.00 metre, £10.00 per week, for moorings or Harbour Dues of £1.00 metre, £5.00 per week, for vessels anchoring. No berthing is allowed without permission of the Harbour Master.

The Harbour Authority runs a yacht taxi service from Whitestrand Pontoon. The service may be
booked directly via VHF Channel 12 [SALCOMBE TAXI], M: +44 7807 643879, or phoning/calling into the harbour office just above the jetties.


MOORINGS

Visitors’ buoys are generally marked with a 'V' with maximum holding indicated by LOA. Assistance with mooring can be obtained from launches marked 'Harbour Master' which maintain a listening watch on channel 14 [Harbour Patrol] between 0700 and 2300 during the summer. Vessels can expect to raft during busy periods. If a mooring cannot