This is the only harbour in the UK which has been credited with ‘Royal’ status - an award given by George IV as a token of appreciation for the hospitality he received whilst passing through. Ramsgate was an important embarkation port during the Napolionic Wars and almost a 150 years later the port received the majority of the 30,000 troops that escaped from the beaches of Dunkerque. There are three marinas in the harbour providing a total capacity of 700 berths, one is locked from the tide in the inner harbour and the other two have full tidal access in the outer harbour. There are visitors berths on both of the outer marinas and after investing in new amenities in 2000 the marina has been consistently awarded its 5 gold anchors. Ramsgate's close connections with the continent are reflected in the cosmopolitan bars and cafes that line the picturesque waterfront. Depending upon which marina you’re berthed, the local shopping centre for provisions and groceries etc. is about a 5 minute walk away and there are excellent public transport links throughout the town.
There's a well marked E/W channel dredged to 7.5 for entering Ramsgate but this is primarily for Commercial traffic. Small craft are recommended to use the ‘Yacht Track’ which runs south of the main E/W Channel and yachts approaching from the south can join the yacht track at any point, but yachts approaching from the north will need to cross the main channel and join the yacht track using the N/S crossing point running west of Nos 3 & 4 port and starboard hand buoys. All vessels must listen out for Ramsgate Port Control on VHF Ch 14 on the approach to the harbour and note the IPTS traffic lights on the East Pier which control movements in and out of the Royal Harbour and in the Approach Channel.
The tide sets across the entrance to the harbour in a NE/SW direction and about 1 cable off the South breakwater, you may cross the main commercial, channel if all is clear, and head for the marinas. Ramsgate marina Office on VHF Ch 80 will provide berthing information, and for lock gate information contact the Dock Office on VHF Channel 14.
Signal lights at the Dock Office control movement in and out of the Inner Marina;
RED RED RED vert - Indicates that a vessel may not enter the approach channel or the inner marina, or leave the outer harbour.
GREEN GREEN GREEN vert - Indicates that a vessel may enter the approach channel or the inner marina, or leave the inner marina or the outer harbour.
ORANGE flashing - Indicates a ferry movement in progress, no vessel should enter the approach channel or leave the Royal Harbour.
The lock gate is open for approximately 2 hours either side of high water (subject to height of tide). A RED and YELLOW flag by day and a single GREEN light by night indicate that the gate is open.
• Western Marina - is found on the left hand side as you enter the Royal Harbour Marina and is used by permanent berth holders and visitors.
• Eastern Marina - is found directly ahead as you enter the Royal Harbour Marina, used by fishing, angling and visiting boats.