Approaching and departing St Helier Marina
The marina is situated within the commercial port of St Helier and traffic through the area has to be closely controlled, particularly at peak shipping times.
It’s important to check the Notice to Mariners before arriving in St Helier.
All vessels approaching and departing St Helier must do so according to the directions shown in the ‘St Helier approaches map’ document.
All craft should listen to ‘St Helier VTS’ on VHF channel 14 for shipping movements when within the port area. A sharp, careful lookout must be kept – especially astern.
Channel M (VHF Marina frequency) is not used in St. Helier.
Port traffic signals
The traffic signal lights are arranged around the lower part of the VTS tower, at the Victoria Pierhead. They are visible from the main harbour, Elizabeth Harbour, small roads and La Collette yacht basin.
Be cautious when you’re within the port area – blind spots do exist where the signals are not visible.
Traffic signals used are as follows:
|Fixed||Stop||Do not enter|
|Fixed||Go||Clear to enter|
|Fixed||Go||Two way traffic|
|Flashing||Serious emergency||All vessels to stop. Await instructions|
Prevention of collisions at sea
Whilst approaching and departing St Helier, the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea apply – especially rules 5, 6 and 9.
A 5 knots speed limit applies to all areas of St Helier Harbour and its approaches, northward from La Collette Tanker Berth Breakwater and south-eastwards of the Elizabeth Castle Causeway.
Entering and leaving marinas
The gates at St Helier and Elizabeth Marina close at exactly 2.0m height of tide above the marina sills. The depth gauges begin flashing at 2.5m indicating the closing sequence is about to begin. You should not attempt to cross the sill once the lights begin flashing.
If you intend to enter or leave the marinas, you must be aware of your vessel’s true draft. This draft is almost certainly not the manufacturer’s quoted draft in the specification of your boat and must be increased by an amount corresponding to the addition of:
- people (85kg per average person)
- water (1kg per litre)
- fuel (0.85kg per litre)
- other added fittings
Some boats – particularly motorboats – increase their draft due to squat when operating at slow speeds and that wind can generate small waves within the harbour and further reduce clearances.
It is recommended that when entering or leaving the marinas you allow a minimum of 50cms under-keel clearance when operating close to the opening and closing times. If you ground on the marina sill, you may be liable for the costs of damage to the gates themselves, as well as to other boats that may suffer damage due to the partial or total drain of the marina.
Accessing St Helier Marina by boat
Your vessel will be directed through the commercial harbour and to the visitor berths by the port control signals and the harbour control during peak periods. You must observe port signals closely.
If the marina is not accessible, your vessel should wait at the holding pontoon at the marina entrance, located at the head of the commercial harbour.
Accessing Elizabeth Marina by boat
The entry and departure lights at Elizabeth Marina operate on an alternating one-way basis when the gate is open. This is due to the fact that visibility is restricted by the dog-legged rock armour wall on the approach, which affords protection to craft from swells and storms.
The alternating light sequence rotates in 10 minute periods (three IALA fixed red lights or three IALA fixed green lights). During the last two minutes of this period, the IALA lights flash to indicate the end of the sequence. This is to allow vessels that are committed to proceed safely before the lights change. This is followed by a two minute period where three fixed IALA red lights are displayed both inside and out.
As with all IALA lights, if you see three red lights then you must not proceed and keep the fairway clear. At the very most, you will have to wait up to 12 minutes until the light sequence alternates back to three IALA green lights.
All leisure craft are advised to keep a listening watch on VHF channel 14 when manoeuvring within the port of St Helier and its marinas. Details of the IALA lights at Elizabeth Marina are shown below:
|STOP||Do not enter or leave the marina|
|ONE WAY||Vessels may proceed into or out of the marina|
The St Helier Marina pond is maintained at a level of 5 metres (16.5 feet) above chart datum by a sill gate.
The Elizabeth Marina pond is maintained at a level of 5.7 metres (18.7 feet) above chart datum by a sill gate.
International port traffic signals and depth gauges show when entry and exit are possible. This is approximately three hours either side of high water, the actual period differing slightly with spring and neap tides.
A digital gauge showing the depth of water (in metres) above the sill gate is situated at the entrance to both marinas.
La Collette Tanker Berth
When tankers arrive and depart, red ‘stop’ lights will be shown at VTS. Departing tankers, which can be hidden from view, may sound one long blast just before leaving the berth.
Accessing the marinas on foot
All three marinas around the port of St Helier have security gates. You can only access the marinas with an electronic swipe card. These are restricted to vessel owners and boat crews only. The same swipe cards are used to access the marina facilities and shower blocks.
If you need to access your drying harbour mooring when your craft is holding or awaiting tide, you will also be issued with a swipe card.