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When you arrive within 20nm of St Helena, you should call St Helena Radio on VHF Channel 16 to confirm your arrival and seek customs/immigration clearance.

You should fly a ʻQʼ flag (yellow) until you have gained pratique. Yachts may be boarded by Port Authority/Immigration/
Customs officers or you may be directed to report ashore at an appointed time. The visitorsʼ moorings are allocated by the Harbourmaster.

Should you arrive during normal working hours, try calling on VHF Channel 14 as you arrive and speak to the harbourmaster directly.

The Harbourmaster or St Helena Yacht Services will direct you to one of the numbered moorings, dependent on your LOA and tonnage.

Should you arrive out of hours or have difficulty contacting the Radio who will assist you in making contact. Should you arrive during the night and the Harbourmaster is not available, you may pick up any free red/yellow buoy until morning, or assistance can be provided by St Helena Yacht Services.

You will find a 25mm galvanised mooring ring on the buoy, to which you should attach your own mooring lines.
A suggested method of approach can be found in this booklet.

Allocation Control

Please note that only the Harbourmaster or Assistant Harbourmaster are empowered to allocate or direct yachts to a particular
mooring. St Helena Radio, Police Officers, Immigration Officers or Customs Officers may give directions in an emergency.

The Approach

Skippers MUST navigate in accordance with the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS). The following coordinates (WGS 84 Datum – Admiralty Chart 1771) will place you just to the north of the visitorsʼ mooring field which is located to the west of Ladder Hill point, between the 10m and 20m contours:

015º 55ʼ.400S – 005º 43ʼ.500W


When approaching James Bay from the east, yachts should stay clear of the charted mooring and anchoring areas. Be aware when arriving during the hours of darkness or in conditions of reduced visibility, that vessels on the moorings are not lit and that some
moorings in the area off Mundenʼs Point are not charted.  Keep a lookout for fishing pots along the coast.

Rollers and heavy swell are most common between December and March. In the event of an extreme weather event or high rollers, the Harbourmaster may direct yachts to evacuate the moorings. Failure to obey the directions of the Harbourmaster or an Officer of the Crown (Police/Customs/Immigration) is an offence under the Harbour/Police Ordinances and may render you liable to arrest and/or prosecution.

Suggested Approach

This is a suggested approach only and skippers are reminded of their responsibility to ensure that his/her actions are safe and appropriate at all times.

Before you approach the moorings, ensure you have been allocated a numbered buoy. Turn on your engine and drop your sails. Drive by the allocated mooring to ensure you have positively identified it (at night use a torch). Assess the elements; wind direction, tide/current and direction of swell. Decide which is the stronger element and approach your mooring driving into it. This will help to slow you down rather than pushing you over the buoy. Rig a good quality long mooring line (polyester is good) on your bow cleats. Attach one end to your port cleat using a bowline loop or spliced eye, having passed it outside the guardrail. Pass the other end outside your forestay, guard rail etc and attach it to your portside cleat in the same manner to reduce chaffing. Nominate a crew member to take charge of this and have them coil the loose line and divide it, holding half in each hand whilst leaning on and reaching around the forestay.  This method works well you are welcome to use methods that work for you.

Nominate another crew member to stand on the foredeck and give the helm directions using agreed hand signals. Approach your allocated mooring buoy slowly, but maintaining enough drive to overcome the elements. As you reach within a metre or so of the buoy, your bow crew can now throw the line ʻupwards and outwardsʼ so that it lassoes the buoy. Stop your boat and let the elements push you back. In calm conditions, give a very short burst of astern power. You now have control of the buoy and can take your time to rig a permanent mooring line. Using this method means that you do not have crew leaning over rails with a boat hook when the boat is moving and you will not be stabbing at the buoy causing it damage. You may wish to leave the lasso on as your safety line.

Note: If you miss it first time, stop, recover the line and go around into your approach again; The bouoys are soft Do not try to stay on the buoy or reach for it, as this is when accidents happen. You get no extra points for getting it right first time! We advise all crew to wear lifejackets and life lines.

Mooring Fees & Harbour Dues

Yachts will be required to pay the following fees to the Harbourmaster for which a receipt must be issued:
Harbour/LightDues :# GBP 35 per
Mooring Fee Yellow Buoys
(First night free):# GBP 2 per
Mooring Fee Red Buoys
(First night free):# GBP 3 per
Mooring fees are under review

No visas are required for St Helena; however Entry Permit fees may be payable for each crew member over 12 years of age. As a special concession no fee is payable if your yacht is staying less than 72 hours. After this time the following charges are made by Immigration:
Up to 183 days# # GBP 17.00
(Visa/Mastercard 6% service charge)

All visitors will be required to provide proof of medical insurance which is valid and covers you for the duration of your stay. This can be obtained on island through Solomonsʼ Insurance Office should you not have cover, this will incur a small fee. Visitors should also have sufficient
funds to maintain themselves during their stay and your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the expiry of your entry permit. Any questions or queries in respect of Immigration should be routed to or telephone +290 22626. The Immigration Office is located at Coleman’s House.

You will be required to complete a Customs Masterʼs Declaration form. You will need to show your original registration document and clearance out from last port of call. A crew/passenger list is required. You should arrange clearance out during normal office hours. There is no Customs clearance fee.  Firearms must be declared. Any questions or queries regarding Customs matters should be routed to or telephone +290 22287.

Facilities Ashore

There are dedicated yacht services (showers, toilet and washing facilities) located at the Wharf at the Yacht Club building (the two storey blue building). You can obtain the entry lock code number from the Harbourmaster, ferry, Police
or tourist office. There is a drinking water point beside the steps at the wharf landing point.  The St Helena Yacht Club Wifi vouchers.

Weather forecasts, club opening times and other useful information can be found on the Yacht Club notice board.
The Harbourmaster and Customs offices are on the upper floor of the large white building with a clock tower
on the Wharf. The Police Station and Immigration office are located in Coleman’s House.

Tourism Information

St Helena Tourism provides a range of information about the island and can assist visiting yachts with laundry, fuel and other requirements. The Tourist Office is open Sunday t0 Friday and is situated at the top of Main Street. The Office can be contacted on VHF Channel 8 or email on .

Harbour Ferry

A ferry service to and from the Wharf Landing Steps operates in James Bay Harbour and can be called on VHF Ch16. A charge of GBP 2.00 per person, per round trip is charged dependent on the time of day and is payable to the coxswain. Visitors are warned that the Wharf Steps can be dangerous for small tenders in conditions of swell and are advised to make use of the ferry service, contact the Ferry Service 15 minutes in advance on channel 16.

Pick up the mooring ring with a boat hook or by hand and nominate a crew member to rig another mooring line and thread it through the mooring ring. If you have used loops on the cleats for your lasso, bend on your permanent line with an ʻ0800ʼ. This
has the advantage of securing your loop on to the cleat. Check that all your mooring lines are ʻoutside the boatʼ, not chafing and fed through fairleads if you have them. Your mooring lines should be long enough to leave a distance of 4-6 metres
between the mooring buoy and your boat. Only when you are secure on the buoy should you turn your engine off.

As there are no swivels incorporated in the design, in certain weather/sea conditions, mooring lines may “wind-up”. Mooring lines should be checked regularly and any winding up should be released by detaching the line from your cleat and untwisting it.

 You MUST NOT secure your lines to more than one buoy without permission.

 You MUST NOT tamper with the mooring buoy, shackle or ring in any way. Contact the Harbourmaster if you encounter problems. 

The visitorsʼ yacht moorings are owned by St Helena Government (SHG) who operate a programme of regular inspection and
maintenance. Should you find any fault with a mooring, it must not be used and the fault must be reported to the Harbourmaster
immediately. It is the skipperʼs responsibility to check the condition of the mooring buoy, chain, shackle and ring before use and to secure his/her yacht to the moorings safely and without causing damage to other yachts or the mooring components. A skipper leaves his/her yacht unattended on the moorings entirely at his/her own risk. No liability is accepted by SHG for any loss of or damage to property or injury to persons caused by the incorrect use of the moorings or the failure of equipment or methods used by visiting yachts.

St Helena has laws restricting the consumption of alcohol whilst navigating in the harbour.

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