Using the Marina
Call Dover VTS when 2 miles off the port
Advise Dover VTS – Who you are, where you are and where you want to go. Advise Dover VTS of the vessel’s dimensions and of any defects.
Cannot contact? Keep a safe distance, well clear of either entrance and await the Harbour Patrol Launch.
Unable to use engines? Entry under sail alone should not be attempted, inform Dover VTS VHF Ch.74
When three red lights are displayed at the entrances, DO NOT proceed without specific permission from Dover VTS.
VHF Channel: 74 (Dover VTS)
Tel: +44 (0) 1304 240400
VHF Channel: 80 (Marina)
Tel: +44 (0) 1304 241 663
What to do if you don’t have VHF radio
Vessels without VHF radio should try and establish visual contact with Dover VTS to determine whether it is safe to enter or leave the harbour. Alternatively, if you have a mobile phone you can contact Dover VTS directly on +44 (0) 1304 206 063 for permission to use the entrances or the Marina Office on +44(0) 1304 241 669.
What to do if you can’t establish contact
If contact cannot be established, vessels should keep a safe distance from both entrances and wait for the Harbour Patrol Launch to come to your assistance.
Do not attempt to enter the port by sail
Both entrances are frequently busy with commercial traffic and are additionally susceptible to strong currents, therefore entry under sail should not be attempted. Craft that are unable to use engines should inform ‘Dover VTS’ on VHF Ch.74. The Harbour Patrol Launch will assist if necessary and will be happy to guide you in. In South Westerly gales, a very confused and steep swell may develop off the Western Entrance.
Dover is Britain’s busiest Port. Both entrances are busy with commercial traffic and are susceptible to strong currents and swell. Permission must always be obtained from Dover VTS on VHF Ch.74, prior to entering or leaving the Port. A careful watch must be maintained at all times with due regard for other vessels, some of which may be hidden by harbour walls.
Maintain a listening watch on channel CH74 at all times
Call Dover VTS back when 200m off for permission to enter. Maintain
a listening watch on VHF Ch.74 at all times and follow the instructions from Dover VTS.
Navigational tips for crossing the Harbour from East to West
When crossing the harbour from the Eastern Entrance over to the west keep well
to the south, close to the Southern Breakwater, keeping well clear of the ferry berths & cruise berths.
Harbour Transit Caution: Watch for Small Craft
When transiting through the outer Marina entrance keep a sharp look out for port service vessels and other small craft.
Call Dover VTS when approaching the South Cardinal mark
The Outer Marina entrance is managed by Dover VTS and operated with inbound or outbound convoys.
Two way traffic is not permitted.
Small craft may be expected to wait in the vicinity of the south cardinal mark until the outbound traffic from the Marina is clear.
Once inside the Outer marina and clear of the entrance, call “Dover Marina” on VHF Ch.80 for berthing instructions
Take caution when strong winds coincide with high water
springs or when approaching the reception pontoons at tidal
heights below two meters.
On arrival at the Marina, keep the two green buoys to starboard at all times and at low water stay in the main channel until the leading light is opened.
This light (FW vis 324º to 333º t) is positioned on the quay edge by the second seaward pile of the Crosswall Quay pontoon.
- Admiralty 1698, 1892
- Stanford 1, 9, 19
- Imray C8
Dock gate opening times
- Wellington Dock HW -1.5 / +1.5 hours approx.
- Granville Dock HW -3.5 / +4.5 hours approx.
Customs and immigration
All craft entering the Port from non-EU countries, or with crew members from non-EU countries, must fly a yellow Q flag until the Border Force has boarded. The Berthing masters have a supply of forms C1331 which should be completed and given to the Border Force if you plan to visit a non-EU country.