Exploring Dartmouth on the water


Beyond Dartmouth Castle, the River Dart starts to open out into the sea offering a complete contrast to the estuary. The steeply wooded cliffs out to Froward Point are covered with spectacular pines clinging to the rocks, and turning the point opens up a spectacular vista of the Mewstone, a dramatic collection of rocks thrust upward from an ancient volcanic eruption. This maze of rocks becomes the home of colonies of cormorants, shags and gulls during the spring and summer. A small colony of seals rest here at low tide during the summer when it becomes to busy for them in the Dart, and watching them laze in the sun with their pups is a privilege.

Exploring this area by boat is the best way to see the sights and trips from Dartmouth regularly run around the area. The Boathouse is located right on the rivers edge.  Ideal for fishing and crabbing, sailing and investigating the surrounding waterways.

Further along the coast are sheltered coves such as Pudcombe Cove and Scabbacombe that can only be seen and accessed by boat offering tranquillity, and often the sight of peregrine falcons hunting with their young. Further out to sea numerous deep water sea birds such as Fulmars, Guillemots and Razorbills are sighted, along with the spectacular sight of a flock of Gannets plummeting high from the sky to dive for fish. Other visitors to the sea around Dartmouth are Sunfish, Dolphins, Pilot Whales and Basking Sharks.

Exploring the above areas with the boat operators based in Dartmouth will open an exciting area for a few hours or a day and a real contrast to the River Dart.

For boat owners a running mooring is available upon request with The Boathouse.  Please contact us for more information.

Dartmouth, a great place to sail


Dartmouth is deep, sheltered and easy to enter. The approach is from SSE, leaving Castle Ledge green buoy to starboard and the red Homestone buoy to port. Two south-cardinal buoys guard the dangers on the east side of the approach around the Mew Stone.


Opposite Kingswear Castle leave Checkstone red buoy to port, steer through the narrows and follow the river upstream. Opposite Bayard’s Cove, watch out for the Lower Ferries whose floats are towed alongside with tugs – they need room to manoeuvre. The Higher Ferry, half a mile further up, is paddle-driven on two cables that sink down behind it, so wait to pass at least 50m astern. Dart marina is just beyond the Higher Ferry on the west shore.


At night: The white sector of Kingswear leading light brings you safely in from the south-east between the Homestone and West Rock buoys and then through the castle narrows.


Dartmouth Approach Waypoints



Homestone clearing, 1 cable SE of Homestone red buoy

50º19.52'N, 03º33.45'W


Dartmouth approach, 1 cable west of Castle Ledge green buoy

50º20.00'N, 03º33.28'W


Dartmouth entrance, 200m SW of Kingswear Castle

50º20.45'N, 03º33.72'W


West Rock clearing, 4½ cables 230º T from Mew Stone SE tip

50º19.75'N, 03º32.47'W


Mew Stone south clearing, ¼ºT from Mew Stone SE tip

50º19.82'N, 03º31.76'W


Eastern Blackstone clearing, 2 cables SE of eastern rock

50º20.05'N, 03º30.99'W

Datum WGS 84

Useful contacts for Yachtsmen


Dart House, Oxford Street. Tel: 01803 832337. Channel 11, call sign ‘DART NAV’. Yacht Taxi Tel: 01803 832337

Mob: 07970 346571. Channel 69


Dartmouth YC, South Embankment. Tel: 01803 832305

Royal Dart YC Kingswear Tel: 01803 752272



DMS Chandlers, Noss on Dart. Tel:01803 833772

Shipmates, 2 Newcommen Road. Tel: 01803 839292

Darthaven, Brixham Road, Kingswear. Tel: 01803 752733




Dartmouth and District visitors Information Centre

The Engine House, Mayors Avenue. Tel: 01803 834224

Click here for Marina enquiries.

Useful links

Riverlink - cruising in style on the beautiful River Dart  www.riverlink.co.uk

The Picnic Boat  www.thepicnicboat.co.uk

Dart Harbour Sea School - Learn in beautiful Devon on high spec boats www.dartharbourseaschool.co.uk

Greenway Quay and Ferry service www.greenwayferry.co.uk

Dartmouth to Dittisham ferry www.dartmouthdittishamferry.co.uk

Canoe Adventures  www.canoeadventures.co.uk

Sea tboats Rib hire and charter  www.sea-tboats.com

The Boathouse, on the waters edge