England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

St Mary's Pool

Tides and tools
Overview





St Mary's Pool lies adjacent to Hugh Town and Saint Mary's Harbour which is the principal town and pier for the Scilly island group. It offers visitor moorings, an anchorage with the potential of coming alongside the quay to dry out.

St Mary's Pool is well sheltered from northeast through east to south but becomes progressively uncomfortable as the winds become westerly and it is wide open to the northwest. The Isles of Scillies, with countless rocks and shoals that are exposed to the unpredictable and fast-changing Atlantic swell and wind, require a high degree of attentive navigation. However, being the island group's principal port, St. Mary’s Pool is well marked and the best point of arrival into the islands, night or day and at any stage of the tide.



Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for St Mary's Pool
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableDiesel fuel available alongsidePetrol available alongsideGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore 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 areaMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesScuba diving cylinder refill capabilitiesRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresBicycle hire available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this 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 baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: harbour fees may be charged

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
July 13th 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 availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore 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 areaMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesScuba diving cylinder refill capabilitiesRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresBicycle hire available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this 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 baseUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: harbour fees may be charged



 +44 1720 422768     HM  +44 1720 422768      hm@stmarys-harbour.co.uk     stmarys-harbour.co.uk/      Ch. 14/16 [St Mary’s Harbour]
Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

49° 55.114' N, 006° 18.979' W

This is the head of the pier of Saint Mary's Harbour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Saint Mary's Sound Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
49° 53.357' N, 006° 17.590' W
This is southeast of the entrance to Saint Mary's Sound the safest and easiest approach to the island group. It is on the 307° T alignment of the western extremity of Great Minalto with North Cam of Mincarlo that leads through Saint Mary's Sound and 1 mile out from the lit ‘Spanish Ledge’ East Cardinal Mark, Q(3)10s.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern England’s coastal overview from Land's End to Isles of Scilly Route location.
  • Keeping ¼ of a mile of the southern points clears all dangers on approach.

  • If possible pick out the Admiralty 307° T alignment of the charted western extremity of Great Minalto with North Carn of Mincarlo. But if it cannot be seen, or there is any confusion it is not required simply follow the marks.

  • From the initial fix pass 'Spanish Ledge Cardinal' close to port.

  • Stand off the 'Woolpack' FL.G.5s when passing it to starboard.

  • Leave the lit 'Bartholomew' red beacon, Q.R, and red can buoy on 'N. Bartholomew' Fl. R.5s to port to enter Saint Mary's Road.

  • Follow the island northward for about ¾ a mile standing out 300 metres from the shore making way to the harbour's lit lateral marks.

  • Enter via the marks, also supported by a transit, to pass The Cow and Calf, off Taylor's Island, and the Bacon Ledge shoal.


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 St Mary's Pool for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Mousehole - 19.6 miles ENE
  2. Newlyn - 19.7 miles ENE
  3. Penzance Harbour - 20.3 miles ENE
  4. Saint Michael's Mount - 21.4 miles ENE
  5. Porthleven Harbour - 24.7 miles ENE
  6. Mullion Cove & Porth Mellin - 25.5 miles E
  7. Kynance Cove - 26.1 miles E
  8. Cadgwith - 27.4 miles E
  9. Helford River - 29.2 miles ENE
  10. Coverack - 29.5 miles E
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Mousehole - 19.6 miles ENE
  2. Newlyn - 19.7 miles ENE
  3. Penzance Harbour - 20.3 miles ENE
  4. Saint Michael's Mount - 21.4 miles ENE
  5. Porthleven Harbour - 24.7 miles ENE
  6. Mullion Cove & Porth Mellin - 25.5 miles E
  7. Kynance Cove - 26.1 miles E
  8. Cadgwith - 27.4 miles E
  9. Helford River - 29.2 miles ENE
  10. Coverack - 29.5 miles E
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

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.

Expand to new tab or fullscreen



What's the story here?
Hugh Town situated on the neck of a peninsula at the southwest end of the island
Image: Visit Isles of Scilly


Situated near the southwestern end of St Mary’s Island, Hugh Town is the administrative centre, capital and the largest settlement on the Isles of Scilly. The town is located on a narrow isthmus which joins the peninsula known as the Garrison, to the west, with the larger body of the island to the east. To the north of the isthmus is a natural bay of St Mary's Pool. It is further protected to the west by the quay of Saint Mary's Harbour that also serves as a breakwater for the inner harbour area.


The Scillonian III alongside at Saint Mary's Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Saint Mary's Harbour comprises a pier that extends northward to connect to Rat Island and a further 150 metres further northeastward where the island ferry, The Scillonian III, has its berth. Close to its root is the Old Pier from which inter-island launches connect to all the other inhabited islands. To the south of the isthmus is the alternative haven of Port Cressa.


Saint Mary's Harbour as seen from Garrison Hill
Image: Michael Harpur


Saint Mary's Harbour is a private Harbour run by the Duchy of Cornwall. It caters for around 2000 visiting yachts each year, 60 cruise ship along with all the ferry and cargo deliveries to the island group. Landline+44 1720 422768, out of hours Mobile+44 7789 273626, E-mailhm@stmarys-harbour.co.uk, Websitewww.stmarys-harbour.co.uk/, listening on VHF 14/16 [St Mary’s Harbour], working 14. Office hours during the season, from April-October: 0800-1700 daily.


The harbour as seen from Newford Island with Newman Rock right
Image: Michael Harpur


The port area lies behind a line joining Newman Rock with the westernmost drying ledge of Newford Island. Within this area, there is no anchoring but the harbour provides thirty-eight visitors swing moorings. 10 of these, coloured green and placed in depths of at least 2.1 metres LAT, are suitable for vessels from 12 - 18m (60ft) LOA. The remaining yellow buoys are suitable for vessels of up to 12 metres in length. Stay for three nights and the fourth is free, but be prepared to raft up if need be. During busy periods vessels may raft up on any of the moorings.

Charges applicable from 1st April 2019, inclusive of VAT, combining Harbour Dues and Mooring Charge:

Harbour Moorings per night:

  • • Yellow visitors buoy. Maximum LOA 40’ (12.19m) £20.00
  • • Green visitors buoy. Maximum LOA 60’ (18.3m) £25.00


Alongside berths:

  • • Up to 40’ (12m) £25.00
  • • Up to 60’ (18m) £30.00
  • • Over 60’ (18m) £40.00

A half day price is 50% of the above charges.

Visitors row/island drying pontoon (maximum LOA 7.62 metres 25’):

  • • £10.00 overnight
  • • £5.00 per day.


St Mary's trots of moorings as seen from the shore
Image: Michael Harpur


Vessels may berth alongside the quay wall at the inner berths only, ahead of the white line painted at the top of the inner steps. This area dries to approximately 1 metre above LAT. Overnight berthing is available here for a vessel that can take to the bottom or it may be used on the tide to collect water or top up the electricity. It may be possible for larger vessels to lay alongside the Quay’s outer berth on certain nights by arranged with the Harbour Master. Immediately north of the Old pier is a floating landing pontoon. This may only be used for vessels up to a maximum of 5 metres (16 feet) LOA.


How to get in?
St Mary's Island
Image: Visit Isles of Scilly


Convergance Point Use southwestern England’s coastal overview for Land's End to Isles of Scilly Route location. The initial fix sets up an approach through St. Mary's Sound which is the preferred approach to St Mary's Road set out in the coastal overview.


St Mary's Sound as seen from the southwest with Gugh right
Image: Michael Harpur


St Mary's Sound separates St Mary's Island from the tiny island of Gugh that is attached to St Agnes, situated about a mile southwestward, by an isthmus. Situated between two of the major islands of the group and marked by buoys, beacons and a lighthouse it is not difficult to identify and the easiest to confidentially navigate. Wide and deep it is the principal approach to the St Mary’s Road and principal approach for the south and east. Though we have chosen St. Mary's Sound we do not want to suggest this is the approach that should be taken to St Mary's Road. An alternative approach can be made, given suitable weather and state of tide, via Crow Sound from the east and the Scillonian passenger ferry takes this path at high water. Likewise, Broad Sound or the North West Passage is well-marked approaches from other directions.


Gilstone Rock visible outside Carrickstarne
Image: Michael Harpur


St Mary's Sound is not without its dangers and the greatest hazard for a vessel approaching from the east is the unmarked Gilstone rock. Drying to 4 metres and the southern end of foul ground extending from Tolman Point it is situated 0.4 of a mile eastward from Peninnis Light.


St Mary's Sound can be positively identified from some distance
Image: Michael Harpur


What makes St Mary's Sound a highly attractive point of arrival, a clearly identifiable pass between two substantive land masses in a scattered archipelago, also makes it more challenging than other approaches because tidal streams can attain significant velocities in the narrow channel making St. Mary's Sound can be a rough and unpleasant body of water at times. Winds and swell from southwest round through west to northwest and a strong east to southeast wind-against-tide can make it very unpleasant. Likewise, heavy southwest round through west to northwest winds can create a rough sea over the shoals at the northwest end of the passage. But it is more than manageable in most all reasonable conditions. As such it is used by vessels approaching from east or south and the one that newcomers’ tend to default to if there is any concern.


Great Minalto and Mincarlo off transit but more easily seen at dusk from Garrison Hill
Image: Michael Harpur


Finally, the recommended leading marks on the Admiralty chart is, as often the case around the islands, very difficult to identify. As often as not the visibility is such that the more distant marks are indistinguishable. Even with the best of visibility, picking out these historic Admiralty transits, that severed during a time of high decks and telescopes, are difficult to pick out from a low leisure vessel.


Great Minalto and Mincarlo seen off transit from Garrison Hill
Image: Michael Harpur


In the Isle of Scillies, the numerous rocks also have a tendency to look similar and the oddity of their names do not help. As in this case, the front Great Minalto is a much smaller rock than the rear Mincarlo. As often as not trying to pick out and positively identify these transits may only serve to add an unnecessary degree of anxiety to the navigation of this very well-marked sound.
Please note

During a weeklong stay in the group, I failed to find a ferry boatman on the island that knew the prescribed Admiralty transits for Saint Mary's Sound or Road existed let alone even provided any service. The general consensus was that these transits only serve to add an unnecessary concern to a newcomer. Use the marker buoys and should you chance to identify the transit, as showed, it can serve as a useful to gauge any tidal set across the course up the sound. If, on the other hand, a decision is made to use the prescribed transits it is essential to absolutely positive in the identification and check the bearings making appropriate allowances for magnetic variation.




Great Minalto and Mincarlo open of each other as seen from the sound
Image: Michael Harpur


The leading line is not important for the navigation of the Sound but should there be clear visibility and the decision is made to use it, Great Minalto, 7 metres front, and Mincarlo, 16 metres rear, are the first substantive rocks that will be seen up St Mary's Sound westward of the Isle of Samson.


307° Transit of Great Minalto and Mincarlo
Image: Michael Harpur


The handful of rocks close west and around them is a scattering of small heads at best at low water. The Saint Mary's Sound initial fix is on the Admiralty 307° T alignment of the charted western extremity of Great Minalto with North Carn of Mincarlo.


Saint Mary's Sound


Yacht passing Peninnis Head
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the initial fix steer the 307° T that leads through Saint Mary's Sound. A good mark to steer for is the 'Spanish Ledge' East Cardinal Mark that is passed to port moored very close south-westward of the leading line through the sound.


Spanish Ledge cardinal mark as seen from Peninnis Head with Gugh in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Peninnis Light Fl.20s36m17M, a white round metal tower on a black metal framework tower, will be clearly visible on Peninnis Head. The head is steep too but it has Pollard Rock, that dries 1.8 metres at low-water springs, lying about 60 metres south of its inner head.
Please note

As there is plenty of water close south of Peninnis Head a boat approaching from the east can simply keep south of a line of latitude of the Peninnis' Outer Head to clear the Gilstone.




Spanish Ledge east cardinal mark as seen from Morning Point
Image: Michael Harpur


A mile from the initial fix is the 'Spanish Ledge' East Cardinal Mark, Q(3)10s that is passed to port. It is moored north-eastward of Spanish Ledges which are 400 metres in extent and awash at low-water springs.


Gun Battery on St Mary’s Woolpack Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Leaving Spanish Ledge to port steer to pass the starboard beacon 'Woolpack' FL.G.5s well to starboard. The beacon stands on one of two heads of Woolpack Rock that projects nearly 300 metres southwestward from Woolpack Point on St Mary’s Woolpack Point. The rock dries to 0.6 meters a little before low water. Northwestward of Woolpack point, the coast of St. Mary's island is foul to a distance of 150 metres.


Yacht passing Woolpack starboard beacon with Peninnis Head in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Then leave the lit Bartholomew red beacon, Q.R, and red can buoy on 'N. Bartholomew' Fl. R.5s, lying about a ½ mile north-westward of Spanish ledges, to port. The Bartholomew ledges consist of two shoals 400 metres in extent and include several rocky heads which near the beacon dry at low-water springs to 0.6 metres.


Yachts passing Bartholomew beacon and N. Bartholomew buoy
Image: Michael Harpur


The 'N Bartholomew' port buoy, marks an isolated northern section called North Bartholomew. It is separated from the southern shoal by a deep channel and with 3.4 metres over it that is more of a concern for commercial shipping. However, during a westerly swell the sea rolls heavily in the vicinity of these shoals, and boats should keep well clear of them.


Saint Mary's Road


St Mary's Road opening around Steval Rock
Image: Michael Harpur


Passing between 'N Bartholomew' and the 3-metre Steval Rock, which represents the western extremity of St Mary's Island, leads into St. Mary's Road. St. Mary's Road lies westward of the island of St. Mary's and it is possible to simply turn northward and stand out 300 metres from the shore to clear its dangers. The harbour is about ¾ a mile at this point and its two lateral marks will soon become visible.


Bacon Ledge lateral mark visible after rounding Steval
Image: Michael Harpur


The primary outlier along this leg is the Woodcock Ledge, that with 2.7 metres of cover LAT, is more of a concern for commercial vessels. Deep-draught yachts arriving at the bottom of the tide with a surge can elect to use the charted transit of St. Martin's daymark in line with the northern summit of Creeb Rock on 040.5° T that leads north-westward of this rock.

Primary marks used for Saint Mary's Road transits
Image: Michael Harpur



Saint Mary's Pool and Harbour


Saint Mary's Pool and Harbour
Image: Visit Isles of Scilly


The shores of which Hugh Town is situated is fronted by St. Mary's Pool. Two main dangers lie between St Mary's Road and the pool: The Cow and Calf off Taylor's Island, which dry to 0.6 and 1.8 metres respectively, and the Bacon Ledge shoal, located about 200 metres southwestward, with 0.3 metres LAT over it. Approaching from the south Bacon Ledge is easily avoided by passing through the harbour's leading marks. The port 'Bacon Ledge' buoy, Fl(4)R.5s, is moored 100 metres southwest of the shoal.

The Mount Flagon 097.3° leading marks
Image: Michael Harpur


The path through the lateral marks is also supported by a charted entry transit that leads south of Beacon Ledge. This is set on Mount Flagon on the line of bearing 097.3° of white beacons, with a triangle top mark pointing upward, and an X topmark on the skyline. The two white beacons may be difficult to distinguish behind the rigs of visiting yachts but if at first you look for the lifeboat and then to the skyline the X topmark will be seen on the horizon close right of a prominent bungalow. These are not the easiest marks to pick out during the day, particularly in poor light or with the morning sun behind. At night the lower leading mark displays a light Iso.RW(vert)2s, and the upper leading mark Oc.WR(vert)10s, present a readily identifiable leading line through the centre of the harbours two lit lateral buoys.

The transit leads into the north of Woodcock Ledge, between the lateral marks, south of the Bacon Ledge that dries to 0.3 metres LAT and is marked by port light buoy and north of the drying ledges extending from Rat Island and about 60 metres north of the pierhead.


The 151° transit on the shelter and tower on Buzza Hill
Image: Michael Harpur


An alternative charted entry transit, known locally as the Middle Passage, supports an approach to St. Mary's Pool from the northwest. This leads in on a course of 151° between Bacon Ledge and The Cow. The front leading mark of this transit is on a small cream sun shelter, about the size of a bus shelter on the green, with a wide vertical white stripe on a black roof. The rear mark is a conspicuous squat stone tower at an elevation of 37 metres on the skyline of Buzza Hill. This entry transit also serves as an astern transit, also 331° with the east edge of Hangman Island, for Carn Near on the southwestern point of Tresco.


Local mark to show when clear of The Cow rock
Image: Michael Harpur


A useful uncharted local boatman daymark is also available to provide a clearing line of the unmarked The Cow rock. This is a small painted white stripe on the crest of the 12-metre rocky peak of Taylor's Island and a prominent conservatory of a house in the backdrop. Once in line, The Cow rock has been passed.


The Scillonian turning to starboard to exit via Crow Sound
Image: Michael Harpur


Approach on either of these lines until the head of the quay is abeam. It is advisable to have the VHF set to Ch. 16, should the harbourmaster wish to provide instructions. Likewise, give and the outer end of the quay a wide berth as the constant stream of island ferry boats come out quickly from behind the wall. A path should be immediately cleared should the island supply boats seen to be manoeuvring and making way in and around the harbour area.

This is the Scillonian island ferry, which typically arrives about 1200 and departs at 1630 Mon-Fri with various times on Saturdays, or the blue-hulled cargo ship Gry Maritha that comes alongside three times a week. The harbour speed limit is 3kn keep a watchful eye out for the busy island ferries.
Please note

If the waves breaking on Newford Island or the shore to the northward show any white water it is most likely that Mary's Pool is untenable. Upon seeing this It would be best to turnaround and find an alternative anchorage.




The trots of green and yellow visitors' moorings just east of the lifeboat
mooring

Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Pick up the mooring buoys immediately inside the lifeboat, anchor off outside the harbour limits. Or dry out on the pier.


Yachts alongside the pier
Image: Michael Harpur


Strictly no anchoring must take place in the approaches and harbour limits that lies behind a line joining Newman Rock with the westernmost drying ledge of Newford Island.

Yachts anchored outside the harbour limits between Newford and Taylor's Island
Image: Michael Harpur



Why visit here?
The origin of the name Scilly is uncertain. First recorded as Sully in the 1st century AD it is derived from an ancient pre-English name thought by most to be Roman. Scilly could have come from Sulis, the Roman Sun God describe its climate with excellent sunshine records, or Sillina a Roman word meaning 'place-of' or 'island-of'. Roman Scilly appears to have been a pilgrimage centre, dominated by a marine goddess. Alternatively, on old charts the islands were called Sorlingus, Les Sorlingues in French, Las Sorlingas in Spanish which could be a corruption of salt ling (fish). Whatever the case, visitors should never call then, The Scilly Isles, rather the Isles of Scilly (IOS) or just Scillly if they want to stay in good terms with the locals who like to be called Scillonians, pronounced with a silent 'c'.

Hugh Town's name dates back to the 17th-century when it was named from the Hew Hill 1593. Better known as the Hugh it is most likely to have have come from the old English word meaning hóh mean in 'spur of land'. In the mid 16th century the potential national strategic value of Scilly was realised and the islands became the focus of a programme of defensive works. Garrisons were established on St Mary’s and Tresco and the medieval castle at Old Town was equipped with artillery. Hew Hill's name then changed to Garrison Hill.

There has been human activity in the area around Hugh Town for at least 4000 years, with archaeological evidence for settlement from the Bronze Age to the early Christian period. The present town, however, had its origins around the quay built to serve the major defensive complex created at the end of the 16th century on the headland to the west.

Initially, the town’s economic functions were probably limited to serving the military garrison; by the 18th century, it had taken on a central role in the Scillonian economy and become the largest settlement in the islands. It remained small – the population in 1800 was only 350 – until the 19th
century when, under the proprietorship of Augustus Smith, a new phase of building expanded the settlement considerably.

The economy diversified to include shipbuilding and maritime trading and, towards the end of the century, the export of flowers and bulbs and tourism. During the first half of the 20th century,
there were improvements in transport links with the mainland and redevelopment of key areas in the historic core of the town.

The post-war period saw the increasing dominance of tourism in the island economy, with Hugh Town providing a large proportion of visitor beds and facilities. From 1949, the Duchy of Cornwall, to which the whole of Scilly historically belonged, sold the freeholds of many of its properties in Hugh Town, prompting a spate of development in and around the historic settlement. This period also saw the construction of several modern institutional buildings.

At the beginning of the 21st century, provision for the 120,000 visitors received annually by the islands represents 85 per cent of the economy, with horticulture making up most of the remainder.
Regeneration planning acknowledges the need for additional affordable housing, enhanced transport links, increased economic diversification and a widening of employment opportunities for the island population. It also recognises the opportunity provided by the high-quality environment of Scilly while
acknowledging that there are very significant environmental constraints on development.

St Mary’s is the largest of the five inhabited islands and houses more than 1600 of the total population for Scilly of about 2150. Hugh Town is the major settlement on St Mary’s with an estimated resident population of a little over 1,000. It is the only large settlement on the islands and is effectively the ‘capital’ of Scilly, providing commercial, retail, administrative, educational and
transport services for residents and a large proportion of the 120,000 visitors received annually; at least 70 per cent of all visitors are accommodated on St Mary’s and more than half of the available
beds there are in Hugh Town.


What facilities are available?
Toilets & Showers in the main building on the Quay. The Shower and Toilet block is open 24 hours throughout the season. Showers are operated with a £1 coin or with a token available from the harbour. Two points providing fresh water and electricity on the inner berths along the wall - just be aware these berths dry to about 1 metre LAT. General refuse should be placed in one of the various grey wheelie bins along the front of the main building. If there is more than a small quantity please come and see us in the Harbour Office. Recycling bins are placed along the quay for glass and metal whilst plastic can be placed in the recycling bins to the rear of the town hall. The harbour has no pump-out facilities. The whole of the Harbour is covered by Free Public Wifi - look for MyWyFy where you will find various methods of logging in.

Diesel and petrol are available both in cans and direct to vessel from 'Sibley’s' '‘VHF Ch12' on the Harbour’s middle berth: 0800-1130 and 1300-1700. You can also telephone for fuel on +44 1720 422431. The fuel berth is subject to tidal constraints and dries to approximately 0.5 metres LAT. Within easy reach of the Harbour are Marine Engineers, a Launderette, Sail Makers, Banks and Shops.

A weather forecast is displayed on the notice board outside the harbour office and copies are usually available in the office during busy periods. The inshore waters forecast is given by Falmouth coastguard at 0710 LT and every three hours afterwards. These forecasts are currently announced on VHF channel 16 and broadcast on VHF channel 86.

There is no Customs Office in Scilly. Non-EU yachts or yachts with non-EU crew should fly flag Q and telephone +44 800 7231110 to clear. Pets from outside the United Kingdom cannot be brought ashore on the Isles of Scilly without meeting the requirements set out by DEFRA.


With thanks to:
Michael Harpur


Expand to new tab or fullscreen
Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.