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Sailing Directions


The following sailing directions are provided as a helpful guide only to entering St Andrews Harbour and it is not the intent nor implied that they should relieve the obligation on any person in charge of a vessel to refer to official charts and pilotage information.

Visiting vessels are requested to contact the Harbour Master ahead of arrival.

Notices To Mariners

Number Description Valid From
01/2019 Installation of Pontoons 25/03/2019


Harbour Entrance Position: 56o 20'.35 N , 02o 46'.77 W

St Andrews Harbour sits in the SW corner of St Andrews Bay and is recognisable by the ruined twin spires of the Cathedral and square tower of St Regulus (St Rule), below which it nestles. The harbour entrance should be approached from an easterly direction on a track substantially parallel to and just to the south of the line of the Long Pier (see Lights below).

The Harbour Basins and entrance fairway dry at low water. Approximate entry times before and after high water depending on draught are: Information coming soon

Tide\Draught 0.5m1m1.5m

Approach the Harbour entrance with care on a track close to the inner wall of the Long Pier between the Burn Stools rock ridges that lie to the south of the seaward end of the Long Pier and rocks extending beyond the end of the Long Pier itself. The rock on which the Long Pier is built forms a buttress low down on its inner side along its entire length, meeting the slipway in the NW corner of the harbour Outer Basin. The buttress encroaches approximately 1.5m into the fairway from the vertical line of the inner wall of the Long Pier at its seaward end and gradually widens to that of the Outer Basin slipway where it meets it. Between the Burn Stools and until well inside the Cross Pier the water to the south of the fairway is shallow. Navigation in the Outer Basin should be from its central area toward the western quayside.

Do not approach within 2 cables of the north side of the Long Pier or the shore stretching west of the Harbour under the Castle, cliffs and as far as the West Sands; the bottom along this shore is of low rock ridges awash from around mid-tide and has only small navigable gaps known to locals.

Anchoring and Berthing

There is no anchoring within the Outer and Inner Basins of the harbour.

Visitor berthing is normally in the Outer Basin, alongside the slipway in the NW corner. The bottom is soft mud. Alternative arrangements will be made when any swell is entering the harbour from the east. Please contact the Harbour Master prior to arrival. Charging information can be found here, and payment should be made to the Harbour Master or by post to St Andrews Harbour Trust, Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DR, noting the name of the vessel and date(s).

Harbour Gates/Bridge

Between the Outer and Inner Basins there is a lock gate that is periodically closed at high water springs to allow a build-up of water behind it, in the Inner Basin, for later release and scouring of silt accumulations in the Outer Basin and Fairway.

Over the lock gate is a pedestrian bridge, which forms part of the Fife Coastal Path and provides access from the town side of the harbour to the East Sands area. The bascule style opening bridge has an air draft of less than 1m at MHWS and will be required to be opened by most vessels (including small power driven vessels) at most states of the tide. Visiting vessels requiring access to the Inner Basin should tie up or put someone ashore on the western side of the harbour and contact the Harbour Master (preferably in advance of arrival).


The following lights are visible on approach to St Andrews Harbour and have the chracteristics noted:

Position: (56o 20'.36N 02o 46'.77W) Outer end of Long (North) Pier; Fl.G. 5s 3M. (Flashes green every 5 seconds)

Position: (56o 20'.37N 02o 46'.95W) Outer end of Cross Pier; Fl.R. 2s 2M (Flashes red every 2seconds)

Sector Approach Light Centred on 56o 20'.00N. , 02o 41'.80W; Iso. WRG. 2s 17m 9M. The sector approach light is isophase (equal on and off time) white 2 seconds when approaching on the correct track of 277.5o from the above position. To the north of the track the sector light will appear isophase green 2 seconds, while on approach south of the correct track it will appear isophase red 2 seconds. At the edges of the central white sector alternate white/green or white/red flashing will be observed to the north and south of the preferred track respectively.

Within the harbour, the bridge between the Outer and Inner Basins is lit. Information coming soon


Harbour VHF: Currently unavailable

Harbour Master Mobile: 07506 409792; email: Send Mail; On-line Form


In the event of an emergency at sea contact the Coastguard on VHF Ch.16 or by phone dial 999 and ask for Coastguard.

For routine and non-urgent matters UK Coastguard (Aberdeen CGOC) can be contacted on 01224 592334 or VHF Ch.16. HM coastguard routinely broadcast Marine Safety Information including inshore weather forecasts at 07:30 then every 3 hours on VHF Ch.16 [then listen for the best working channel, usually Ch.84]

Time expired pyrotechnics (flares) are collected for safe disposal by St Andrews Coastguard Rescue Team at their base 500m south of the harbour along the East Sands. Collection dates are listed here, but please contact UK Coastguard (Aberdeen CGOC) on 01224 592334 to confirm opening times.


  • Admiralty Chart: 190 Montrose to Fife Ness including Isle of May (1:75,000) & 1407 1:200,000
  • Admiralty Leisure Folio: SCF5617.1
  • Imray Chart: C27 Firth of Forth (1:77,000) & C23 Fife Ness to Moray Firth (1:239,000)
  • Ordnance Survey: Landranger Sheet 59
  • Ordnance Survey: Explorer Sheet 371

Ordnance Surveys maps are not to be used for maritime navigational purposes.

See Notice to Mariners 5699/12 or Imray correction notices ILNW 541/12 for the latest information on St Andrews sector approach lights.