Navigational Guidelines


Directions, Guidelines and Procedures Manual 2018






Passage Planning


A Port Passage Plan for all vessels should be completed by the pilot and fully discussed and agreed with the master. The Port Passage Plan must then be incorporated into the vessels own passage plan.  The agreed plan should contain the following:

  •  Shared understanding by bridge team of potential hazards;
  •  Agreed method of monitoring required actions;
  •  Tug procedure;
  •  Abort procedure; and
  •  Reduced visibility procedure.


Under Keel Clearance


The recommended minimum under keel clearance for vessels is at least 10% of draught.  Squat allowances, atmospheric pressure, prevailing wind direction, and the limit of the tide table accuracy should be taken into consideration in order to achieve the above clearances.  This should be incorporated into the vessels passage plan.


Abort Procedures


Abort areas shall be a function of the passage planning agreed between the master of the vessel and pilot.  In the event that a decision is taken to abort on the inward passage, port control shall be alerted to the situation.


Navigating in Reduced Visibility


Masters and Pilots should incorporate reduced visibility navigational procedures into their passage plans. Masters of regular ships should consider their bridge teams practice reduced visibility procedures in good visibility.  All vessels should consider that not all shipping movements, especially leisure movements are reported to Port Control.


Cruise Ships Visiting AAM Jetty


Due to the positioning of Yokohama fenders and coach parking arrangements on the Jetty, a cruise ship’s berthing position needs to be pre-arranged and will be incorporated into the port passage plan.  The port’s navigational risk assessments identify that vessels should swing prior to berthing and berth starboard side to.


Vessels inbound or outbound from Anglesey Aluminium Jetty will not normally be expected to navigate in visibility of less than 3 cables.  In conjunction with Holyhead Pilots, a risk assessment / simulator study has been carried out for berthing different types of vessel in different wind conditions.  Current weather conditions can be obtained from port control and found on the port’s website. The weather for arrival, duration of stay and departure will need to be assessed by the Master and Pilot on arrival.


Throughout the period of time that the vessel is moored at the Anglesey Aluminium Jetty a constant monitor should be kept of the prevailing and forecasted weather conditions by the ship’s master.  If winds in excess of 35 knots (average) are forecast then the additional moorings are put out as required. In winds of 35 knots (average) or gusts in excess of 40 knots from a direction of south-south-east through east to north or sustained winds of 45 knots from any direction the following procedures should be considered:


  • Pilot to be called;
  • Passenger disembarking / embarking to be stopped;
  • Terminal manager to be alerted;
  • Bunkering operations stopped and hoses disconnected;
  • Holyhead Port Control alerted; and
  • Tug to be called, if available, as required by the Master in consultation with the Pilot.


Passenger operations should not resume until the wind speed drops below the stated thresholds. 

Pilot and tugs may then be released from the vessel following a satisfactory assessment of the weather conditions by Master / Terminal Manager in consultation with the Pilot.


Tug Guidelines


The port has one 25 tonne Bollard Pull tug for general harbour use.  Tugs from other ports are not readily available.  A visiting vessel should consult the port on tug and tug crew availability and suitability, prior to arrival. 

The port tug has twin Kort nozzle propulsion and is consequently only suitable for ship berthing assistance in the following conditions:

  • When the tug assistance is for very slow speed manoeuvring off / onto the berth;
  • When the assistance is in the push / pull configuration;
  • When the tow is over the tug’s stern the direction of vessel and tug must be generally the same;
  • To avoid a girting situation the tug must never be allowed to be pulled astern by the vessel being assisted. Therefore the tug, when towing over the stern, must not be made fast to the stern when the vessel is moving ahead or made fast to the bow when moving astern; and
  • The tug assistance is clearly agreed between the Pilot, Master and tug crew and incorporated into the vessel’s passage plan.

The decision on tug use should be based on, but not limited to, the characteristics of the vessel, the weather conditions expected and the state and height of tide.


Safety Advice and Guidelines for Leisure Users


The following Local Notices to Mariners contain guidance to port leisure users:

The above are distributed to the Marina and Sailing Club.