Restrictions on Harbour Use - Covid 19


Update 13 May 2020

Salcombe Harbour Authority is adjusting its stance in line with recent Government guidance (published May 11th) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 but allow for the reopening of public spaces and activities from Wednesday 13th May 2020. This includes the ability to spend time outdoors for recreation including unlimited exercise or sport, where (unless from the same household) social distancing can be maintained.

Having reviewed the related Government documentation, we interpret that from Wednesday 13th May the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary can be used for local exercise, sport, or spending time outdoors, where social distancing can be maintained. Should you wish to use your vessel please bear in mind each step of the process and how you can maintain social distancing, especially whilst accessing pontoons or landings which might become busier than normal as people venture out, as well as making every attempt to remain safe and reduce the chance of requiring assistance. Our pontoon landings are generally not over 2m wide and cannot be adjusted, however their layout does provide for passing places; please observe the pontoon you wish to access, anticipate having to use extra precautions, use common sense, and be patient.

Harbour Dues are payable by all vessels moored/launched within the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary INCLUDING THOSE VISITORS ARRIVING BY LAND. All boats to be registered at the Harbour Office or Batson Boatpark or download the Boat Registration form here. For Rate & Charges information click here PLEASE DISPLAY YOUR PLAQUE.

Please note that toilet facilities will NOT be re-opening around the estuary at this time. Most other facilities and businesses remain closed in surrounding local towns. 

The Harbour will remain closed to visiting yachtsmen (from sea) as government guidance is clear that, apart from day trips, leaving your home - the place you live - to stay at a second home for a holiday or other purpose is NOT ALLOWED. This also pertains to resident vessels cruising elsewhere; local ports will not be expecting arrivals.

Currently the Boatman will continue to run 7 days a week, but only between 09:00 and 16:30 monitoring VHF channel 14. Salcombe Harbour Authority will attempt to monitor activity to the best of our ability and may impose limits or restrictions on accessing certain facilities (or busy areas) should their use prove to be concerning.

The Harbour Taxi will resume a restricted availability/capacity service to prevent overcrowding a particular trip and remove waiting or queuing. Advanced booking is essential by phone or email, half hourly between 09:30 and 16:00, daily. The Harbour Taxi will be monitoring VHF channel 12 and mobile 07807 643879.

Work will begin to plan for the reopening of the Harbour Office in a safe manner but we continue to monitor our phones and email, Mon - Fri, 09:00 - 16:30.

All staff are operating to a revised risk assessment to ensure their (and others) ongoing safety in line with current Government guidelines. We anticipate this safe system of work may have to be adjusted to follow any further guidelines which may influence the service without notice. Ferry operators and other commercial passenger carrying craft, where operating, will also be severely limited and a backlog could present its own problem for customers’ queueing. Please check their current status before assuming a service is provided.

Hand in hand with the ability to use the estuary, we will begin to launch those boats stored on Batson Car Park and those boat owners are welcome to continue with their own preparations for this to take place, whilst observing social distancing measures.

Should your facility be temporarily unavailable whilst we try to catch up with those tasks we have not been able to complete under lockdown, and you require an immediate option, please contact us. 

Salcombe Harbour Authority has had to interpret the government guidelines so as to provide a balance between social distancing and your ability to enjoy the estuary. We reserve the right to review these measures at any time if it is clear that social distancing is not, or cannot be maintained in the course of enjoying the estuary.

The Harbour Authority, Harbour Board and SHDC will continue to review Government guidance and update our own guidance in early July at the latest. We appreciate your continued support in maintaining safe and efficient port operations whilst being able enjoy the benefits of getting afloat.


Update 25 March 2020

In addition to our previous post regarding the current operational status of Salcombe Harbour Authority, including the restrictions we all face to maintain our health and safety, we would like to clarify what we feel constitutes a necessary journey or essential activity on the water.

Commercial activity (fishing etc), or residents in isolated locations traversing the harbour for the purpose of shopping for essentials or medical provisions, we deem essential activity. It is not appropriate that the harbour is used for the purpose of exercise or leisure. Although the weather is fair and this may seem very appealing, we would advise it is not a necessary or essential action.

Update 24 March 2020

In line with government policy to tackle the spread of Covid-19, Salcombe Harbour Authority has suspended all none essential operations whilst maintaining a watch system applicable to its statutory duties. The Harbour Office is closed and services, such as boat lifting and the harbour taxi, are cancelled with immediate effect until such a time restrictions are lifted. We appreciate that the next few weeks (at least) are going to be difficult but we expect everyone to follow current government guidelines such as no unnecessary journeys and only leaving home for essential activities.


We, therefore, do not expect to see our stakeholders, including visiting craft, using harbour facilities or going afloat without a good reason that falls within the guidance published at that time. We will be in touch with new information when the situation changes.


The boatman will endeavour to maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 14 daily from 30th March 09:00-16:30. The Harbour Office phone will be answered remotely Mon-Fri 09:00-16:30 but email is our preferred means of contact for everyday business.


Our out of hours contact number is 01803 867034 but in an emergency afloat or along the coast please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

These efforts are being made to maintain everyone’s health and safety. We look forward to getting back up and running to facilitate your enjoyment of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary when we are advised it is safe to do so. 


Thank you for your kind attention.

Salcombe Harbour Authority


Harbour Office

Whitestrand, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8BU

01548 843791


Batson Boatpark

Gould Road, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8NJ

01548 843791


Salcombe Harbour Emergency Out of Hours 01803 867034

Copyright ©2020 Salcombe Harbour Authority All Rights Reserved

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