There is safe anchorage with good holding ground in the Outer Harbour, which is situated to the East of Old Quay Head. The Outer Harbour dries out completely during spring tides, but shallow draft vessels can remain afloat during neaps.
Visiting vessels should avoid anchoring close to the Pier and other landings in the Outer Harbour as visiting ships require a clear approach.
It is important that a clear fairway is maintained between the Inner Harbour and seaward in order to allow continuous access for working and pleasure craft. Most importantly, the clearway is required for the launch and recovery of the lifeboat, which is towed to the water by tractor.
Local trawlers use the harbour around the clock and, for your own safety, you must display an anchor light between sunset and sunrise when at anchor.
Bilge keel vessels generally moor in the Outer Harbour where there are 8 visitors moorings just East of Old Quay Head. These moorings dry out on to firm sand.
Wall space on the North Wall in the Inner Harbour is at a premium, and is generally reserved for fin and long keel vessels. There is also limited wall space available on the west end of the south wall by the lifeboat slipway. These berths are marked 'Visitor' at the top of the pile. It is wise to contact the harbour prior to making a passage to Ilfracombe to check that wall moorings are vacant.
Visitors moorings are yellow buoys and marked 'Visitor'. The buoys are attached to the head rope, and the stern rope is clipped to the riser with a spring clip - please ensure that the stern rope is reattached when vacating the mooring.
When coming ashore, do not leave unattended dinghies tied to or obstructing landings, as they are in constant use by pleasure and commercial vessels.
Visitors wishing to leave their vessel unattended for more than 24 hours must notify the Harbour Office.