Buckie Harbour


Moray Council


Darren Bremner, Harbour Master 
Harbour Office
28B Commercial Road
Buckie, Moray
AB56 1UN


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01542 831700 / 07779 888599

Buckie Harbour

Buckie is a historic fishing town on the coast of the Moray Firth. It extends along three miles of coastline. It is made up of several communities, from Buckpool or Nether Buckie in the west through Easter Buckie to Ianstown and Portessie in the East. The earliest known reference to Buckie is believed to have been as long ago as 1362. There was a fishery settlement in Buckie from the middle of the seventeenth century, and by the end of the next century there were 14 boats and a yawl fishing from the village. The Moray Firth Coast Railway, a part of the Great North of Scotland Railway, opened for passengers on 1st May, 1866, and linked Buckie by rail to Elgin and the North, Aberdeen and the South. The railway closed at Buckie in 1968 which left Keith with the only Railway Station in Banffshire.

The first harbour was built in 1843 and extended in 1852 to include a harbour of refuge. Boat and ship building was carried out from the end of the eighteenth century. In 1842 Buckie was a busy port with 117 large and 28 small fishing vessels. It went from being a small port to become the major fishing port of the Moray Firth and by 1913 was to have the largest steam drifter fleet in Scotland. In 1874 work began on the construction of the Cluny Harbour; this, the present harbour, occupied a site of 9 acres. Work was completed in 1880. In 1909 ownership of the harbour passed to Buckie Town Council. In recent times ownership has transferred to the Moray Council.

Buckie harbour nowadays consists of four basins. The maximum LOAs are currently 88 Metres at Pier 1 and 80 Metres at Pier 2, maximum Beam 15 Metres and maximum Draft 4.5 Metres. With appropriate risk assessment the port are willing to look at vessels outwith that criteria to a maximum of 90 Metres LOA, 16 Metres Beam and 5 Metres Draft. This would be on a case by case basis and involve more stringent weather condition restrictions and will only done at the top of the tide.

It is very much a working port and a walk down by the harbour will be punctuated by the sights and sounds of repair work being done on numerous trawlers. Macduff Shipyards have recently purchased one of the old ship building and slip facilities with it expected to be up and running by summer 2018. They will offer all sorts of ship repair services including fabrication and installation of equipment, all engineering and electrical works, cranes and painting. Although they specialise in fishing boats they also have a lot of experience with all types of workboats servicing the energy sector including those made from composites.

The harbour is manned 24 hours, 7 days per week.

Tidal range

The depth below datum in the entrance channel is 2.2 metres. A depth of 2.5 metres below datum is available in basins 1, 2, 3. In basin No 4 the entrance depth of 2.0 metres shelves towards the shipyard slipways. MHWN - 3.2m and MLWN - 1.8m, MHWS - 4.3m. and MHWL - 0.5m. HAT is 4.5m

Max vessel dimensions port has accommodated

Beam - 15.00m
Draft - 4.50m
LOA - 88.00m

Relationship between Chart Datum and Ordnance Datum


Heaviest load over quayside to date

380 tonnes

Total quayside length


Port Services

  • Pilotage available on request
  • Bulk water available through hydrant system on piers 1 and 2. Water also available on piers 3 and 4 but at a slower transfer rate
  • Shore power available on piers 2, 3 and 4 as well as along the front of the fish market
  • North East Stevedoring Ltd. For stevedoring, forklifts, riggers etc.
  • Fuel trucks available from Regency Oils whose premises are very close to the harbour
  • Macduff Shipyards group - Mobile cranes available through Macduff Cranes. Cranes have a SWL of from 40 tonnes to 160 tonnes. Macduff Shipyards can also carry out repairs to most vessel types and have ship lift which is good for 50 tonnes and can be used to lift vessels out and into a workshop. Since the group have purchased the old shipyard and slip facilities this will open up more space for boats to be slipped and boats of a larger size will be able to be accommodated. This team have done a lot of work with oil and gas vessels before on their other sites
  • Forsyths have 2 sites at the harbour and they specialise in all forms of fabrication having completed projects for the oil and gas sector, cable laying reels and distilleries.

Future Development Plans

There is a lot of potential in Buckie for development with ample space available and a local workforce with extensive energy sector knowledge.


Buckie Harbour quayside facilities

Quayside Ref
Length (m)
Depth below CD (m)
Open area (m2)
Shed area (m2)
General load capacity (t/m2)
Heavy lift capacity (t/m2)
Primary Use
Buckie North Pier
North pier Breakwater is currently used to store and work on fishing equipment.
Buckie Pier 1
Cargo vessel operations, both bulk goods and engineering equipment. Fishermen also use the pier to work on nets when no cargo vessels in
Buckie Pier 2
Bulk cargo vessel operations and fishing related activities
Buckie Pier 3
Fishing related activities, 1 offshore CTV and our pilot boat.
Buckie Pier 4
Fishing related activities, several permanent berths for our dredger, shipyard activities and a tourist boat