This month we head over to Cardiff Marina, a 350 berth marina in the heart of Cardiff Bay.

Situated on the River Ely within Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Marina is perfectly positioned to provide safe, secure and sheltered moorings for motorboats and yachts. The Pont Y Werin Bridge at the heart of the marina completes the Bay Edge Footpath, allowing a walk around the entirety of Cardiff Bay and easy access to a train station, supermarket and a variety of places to eat and drink in the picturesque seaside town of Penarth.

Cardiff Marina offers a range of flexible berthing options and welcomes boat owners all year round, providing annual, seasonal and visitor berths. As part of The Marine Group, Cardiff Marina is a member of the company’s ‘Visitor Network’ which allows annual berth holders the opportunity to visit the company’s three other coastal marinas around Wales for up to 30 days for free. In addition, the Visitor Network offers discounted berths at member marinas in North Wales and Ireland.

Since building Cardiff Marina in 2008, The Marine & Property Group Ltd has invested considerably in the facility. Over the past three years the waterside setting of the marina has been transformed by the development of Bayscape, a new mixed-use development of 115 apartments. The new building is also home to the marina’s new marina management suite, laundry and luxury washrooms. In addition there is a south facing lounge bar, Coffi Co, with an extensive terrace overlooking the marina, providing a great location for berth holders to relax and unwind.


Cardiff Marina can accommodate boats up to 60ft in its 350 berths and has capacity for a further 110 motorboats in its drystack facility along the river. All the berths have electricity and water and there is dedicated parking for berth holders. The marina also runs a brokerage from the marina office with a range of motorboats and yachts for sale.

The marina is home to the biggest boat lifting facility in the Bristol Channel, a 50 tonne Sealift. This state-of-the-art, self-contained, floating dock is suitable for lifting yachts, motorboats and catamarans up to 50 tonnes. Vessels can be lifted out quickly and easily for maintenance work, hull inspections and surveys. The marina also offers a comprehensive rigging service and has a knuckle boom crane for mast work.

Cardiff Marine Village, further along the river, is home to Cardiff Marine Services, the marina’s boat refit and repair centre. They offer a wide range of specialist boat servicing treatments and repairs, working with industry leading brands. The boatyard holds a number of dealerships including Hot Vac Osmosis Treatment Centre, International and Awlgrip Paint Application Centre, 3M Gelcare Centre and Dek-King Centre.

As well as this, Cardiff Marine Services is a leading insurance repair centre with extensive workshops suitable for carrying out the most complicated repairs.

The three-acre site also offers ample space for hard standing storage for boat owners looking for winter storage or carrying out refit and repair work with the boatyard.

The marine business park at Cardiff Marine Village is home to Force 4 chandlery, a sailmaker and boat insurance company as well as Cardiff Marina’s marine engineers who are dealers for a number of leading brands such as Mercury/Mercruiser, Yamaha, Yanmar, Suzuki and Tohatsu.


Cardiff Bay is an attractive and approachable environment for boat users of all standards. Providing 200 hectares of freshwater to explore and the Barrage allows 24-hour access to the Bristol Channel.

On approach to Cardiff Bay you should contact Barrage Control on VHF 18 to request a lock in. They will advise you of the next available lock and give the instruction to enter the outer harbour. Cardiff Marina can then be contacted on VHF CH.M/37. All new boats must report to the Marina Office on arrival to complete a mooring contract. The Marina Office is situated on the River Walkway overlooking the marina.

When approaching Cardiff by day the Ranie Buoy (Port Hand Buoy) marks the extremity of the rocks and sand spit of Lavernock Point. The south Cardiff cardinal buoy makes the southern extremity of the Cardiff Grounds. From a position between the two buoys make a course for the Outer Wrach Buoy (West Cardinal Buoy). Follow the Wrach Channel and Buoys into the Cardiff Bay Outer Harbour.

If approaching Cardiff by night from the South or West, leave the Ranie Buoy (FL(2)R.5s) to Port and the South Cardiff (FLQ(6)+LFL.15s) to Starboard. Steer a course for the Outer Wrach Buoy (FLQ(6)+LFL.15s). You will pick up the Sector Lights for the Wrach Channel (oc 10s WRG). Stay in the white sector until you pick up the Buoyed channel for the Cardiff Bay Outer Harbour and the sector light (LFI.WRG5s).

Note: Vessels coming from Kings Road (Avonmouth) are advised to use the SOUTH/WEST APPROACH. It is important that you keep a careful watch for large vessels coming from Cardiff Docks as they are severely constrained by their draught.

For those approaching by land, Cardiff Marina is easily accessible from Junction 33 of the M4. Alternatively, if using public transport, there is a bus stop directly outside the marina and Cogan train station is a five minute walk.


The location of Cardiff Marina, in the Welsh capital city, ensures there are lots of activities within close proximity to the marina. The impressive waterfront along the freshwater bay known as Mermaid Quay offers pay and display moorings allowing boat owners direct access to a wide range of bars and restaurants, or the opportunity to watch a performance at the Millennium Centre.

For those looking for history and culture, Cardiff Bay offers a number of attractions including the Norwegian Church, the Senedd and the Pierhead building. There is a train station the marina with regular trains into the city centre, which is less than a 10 minute journey, to explore the numerous shops or the National Museum or Cardiff Castle. If its match day at the Principality Stadium, the marina is a great base to retreat to after the vibrancy of the stadium.

The area is also rich in wildlife with Flat Holm Island only five miles from Cardiff and the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve both bursting with wildlife. The Bristol Channel is popular for fishing and offers the perfect setting for both serious and leisure fishermen. Throughout the year there are number of events and festivals held within Cardiff Bay for berth holders to enjoy.

Cardiff Marina is also perfectly positioned for berth holders looking to participate in other types of sport and recreation. Neighbouring Cardiff Marina is Cardiff International White Water Rafting Centre, an Olympic-standard canoe and slalom centre and a flower rider surf facility. Cardiff International Pool is only 150m away offering a leisure pool and a 50m Olympic Pool. The ice rink is next to the pool which is the home of Cardiff Devil’s Ice Hockey Team.


Coffi Co Lounge bar overlooks the marina and offers a wide range of coffees, cocktails and beers. You can enjoy breakfast on the terrace or indulge in one of their amazing selection of cakes or hot chocolates. In the evening, unwind with a glass of wine, listening to live music.

Alternately, on the opposite side of the river is the family friendly Oystercatcher pub and for those wanting fine cuisine there is the Custom House Restaurant or Pier 64 steakhouse. The independent shops and bars on Penarth’s high street are also a short walk from the marina.

If you need to stock up on provisions, Tesco supermarket is just a few minutes away across the Pont Y Werin bridge or Morrisons and Asda are alternatives also within walking distance.


The location of Cardiff within the Bristol Channel allows sailors the opportunity of exploring not only the South Wales coast, but also Somerset and North Devon. Cardiff Marina is a great location from which to explore the Bristol Channel. If you are looking to take to the water just for the day you can enjoy the sights of Flat Holm or Steep Holm islands or even stay within the freshwater lake of Cardiff Bay itself.

For weekend breaks the vibrancy of Bristol or Portishead with their modern waterfront developments are a popular choice. For those looking for something a little more tranquil Watchet is a hidden gem. For those looking to go further afield, Cardiff provides a good base from which to explore the coastline of Wales with the city of Swansea and the beautiful coastline of The Gower a great weekend cruise destination. From here it is easy to continue further along the coastline to the popular seaside town of Tenby or the blue waters around Milford Haven.

Sailing south from Cardiff allows you to discover the northern coastline of Devon and on to Cornwall with hidden gems such as Watermouth Cover and Porlock Weir or the better-known harbours of Ilfracombe and Padstow.

Marina Manager: Rob Freemantle

Cardiff Marina, Watkiss Way,

Cardiff, CF11 0SY

02920 34 34 59 / 02920 396 078

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