Old drying harbour converted into modern marina

Yachting Monthly reader Peter Carnegie sent us this picture of a new marina 10 miles west of St Malo in North Brittany. The multi-million pound, 780 berth marina has been built from a small drying harbour at St Cast. It will rival the only other similar marina on this coast which is at St Quay-Portrieux 40 miles west.

Set in rural Brittany, well sheltered and straightforward to access at all states of tide, it provides a welcome alternative to the earlier generation urban marinas at St Malo and St Servan with their sills and locks, Peter an RYA Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor said.

‘As information has yet to filter through to pilot books and almanacs, there was a good excuse to sail down from Jersey for a look. From St Helier it is around 35 miles west or east about the Minquiers. Surprisingly we found its spacious walkways and pontoons already bustling with visitors undeterred by ongoing building activity ashore. Dockside infrastructure has yet to materialise but promises an impressive new Capitainerie and facilities block, a boatyard with spacious parks equipped with boat hoists and commercial centres. For the time being, visitors have to be content with portable shed facilities which were basic but well maintained.’

Approaching from the North: make for a position 1 mile east of Cap Fréhel, then shape a course down the eastern side of the peninsula keeping at least 1 mile off. This will pass Pointe et Fort de la Latte (conspic) and Pointe de St Cast. The only coastal hazards to be avoided are Banc l’Entendrée, east of Cap Fréhel, the two Basses North of Pointe de la Latte and Les Bourdinots (drying 2 metres) NE of Pointe de St Cast. This is marked with an East Cardinal buoy from where the new mole will be seen.

‘Since construction of the new mole, there has been some silting across the entrance and this is currently being dredged (August 2009) As a result, the channel buoys are subject to repositioning and at the moment yachts are recommended to avoid entering or leaving 1 hour either side of low water,’ Peter added.