Port Regs

Old Document




To which all vessels coming to Seaham Harbour will be subjected.

The Master of any vessel breaking these Regulations will be fined accordingly.

Vessels casting ballast at sea must cast it to the Southward, and any vessel casting ballast in less than 10 fathoms water to the S.E. of Seaham Pier Head will be fined according to Act of Parliament, £2.

Any master boiling pitch, tar, or any other combustible matter on board, or having a fire in the cookhouse or open hearth on deck, £5.

Any master smoking his vessel without permission of the harbour master, £5.

Any ashes or dirt of any description thrown overboard into the docks, or on the quay, except in the places appointed for that purpose, £2.

No fires or lights will be allowed on board of the vessels in the docks, (except in the master’s cabin), after 8 o’clock at night, from the 1st of October to the 1st of April, and after sunset from the 1st of April to the 1st of October. Any lights found on board after these hours, or after the ringing of the bell, or having been ordered out by the proper person, £1.

Any vessel taking the harbour out of turn, or when the tide flag is down will be made to pay all damages, should any occur, and must go into the dock pointed out by the harbour master or his deputy; and any master moving his vessel in the docks, or placing his vessel under extensive repairs without permission of the harbour master, will be fined £1.

Before entering the dock the anchors must be stowed on deck, and topsail yards hoisted as soon after as possible, and sails to be furled when ordered, the jib-boom and mizzen or main boom must be hauled close in, and till booms and irons taken off the yards. Masters of vessels will be answerable for any damage caused by such neglect.

Vessels will be taken on turn for loading as they reach the anchorage in Seaham Roads, which extends within the limits of Old Seaham Vicarage and Noses Point, each bearing W.N.W., headmost and weathermost ships coming from North or South, first in rotation, the anchorage ground to be not less six fathoms water. For vessels running or lying to with strong winds, the passing limits are Hendon to the Northward and Castle Eden Dene to the Southward, in-shore Vessels to have the priority ; Vessels obliged to pass from Stress of weather, will be allowed their turn, provided they send a person to take them on, and that they come to Seaham Harbour, as soon as the weather permits; Vessels actually bound to Seaham Harbour, receiving damage on their passage which cannot be repaired there, will be allowed their turn similar to vessels passing in stress of weather. Masters arc directed to go to the Harbour Master’s office to have their turn decided, before going to the Fitting 0ffice as all disputes are to be decided by him. The masters are particularly directed to take notice that unless they leave a sufficient number of men to move their vessels in the docks, such vessel will be passed over and lose her turn, or be charged double shifting fee for such neglect. Twenty four hours after arrival will be allowed to decide what coals they load, if they do not fix then, they can only be taken on turn after those vessels that have fixed.

No vessel will be allowed to leave the harbour unless her dues and fines (if any) have been paid, and dock office pass delivered at the harbour master’s office.

Masters of ships are cautioned to be most particular in giving the vessel’s

true draught of water, as any injury which may be sustained from a false statement will

be a serious loss to their owner.   Steamtugs not held responsible for the breaking of towropes.

             Masters of vessels are requested to make known to the chief agent any complaint they may have against the pilots, harbour men, or any other person connected with the duties of the harbour, in order that the same may be investigated.

Any person receiving a bribe of any kind will be immediately dismissed.

  1. Light and Harbour Dues.—Vessels of 50 register tons and under, 3s. 6d  above 50 tons, halfpenny per ton additional.
  2. Moving Vessels in the Dock.—Vessels of 8 keels and under, 5s; above 8 keels, 4d. each keel additional.
  3. Ballast.-Taking out, per ton, 1s
  4. Night Watch.—8 keels and under, 6d.; above 8 keels. 1s.
  5. Cooking.—8 keels and under, 1s. ; above 8 keels, 1s. 6d.
  6. Fresh Water.—8 keels and under, 9d.; above 8 keels, 1s.6d.; steamers, 2s. 6d.
  7. Pier Rope.—7 keels and under, 9d. ; above 7 keels, 1s.
  8. Gas.—6 keels and under, 3d.; above 6 keels, 6d.
  9. Hospital.—8 keels and under, 1s. ; above 8 and under 16, 1s. 6d.; above 16 and under 24, 2s.; above 21 and upwards, 2s. 6d.
  1. Lifeboat.—1d. per voyage on every vessel.
  2. Trinity Dues.—Under 100 tons register, 11d.; above 100, 1s.1d.; and 2d. for every additional 100 tons.

Steam-boat towage.—7 keels and under, 7s.; and 1s. per keel extra for every keel,    Weighing anchor in Seaham Roads, £2 10s.

Masters of vessels slipping from their anchors and cables in Seaham Roads are directed to put a ship buoy on the end of their chain cables, and to take care that the name of the vessel is branded on the buoy, and on every wooden stock of their vessels and cut with a cold chisel on the hank or crown of the anchor.

Masters of ships are requested to take notice that the crews of steamboats are not allowed to make any charge whatever, and any complaint (if such demand should be made) will be immediately attended to.


The trimming of all ships entering the Port of Seaham Harbour will be as follows:—


Coals.—Single decked vessels under 20 keels, 4s. per keel 1 hatchway, 3s. 6d. per keel, 2 hatchways and upwards. 20 keels and under 25, 5s. per keel, one hatchway; 4s. per keel, 2 hatchways and upwards. 25 keels and upwards 5s 6d per keel, I hatchway ; 4s. 6d. per keel, 2 hatchways and upwards.

        Shifting coa1, from main hatchway to ends of vessel to be double price of trimming. Levelling coal, to be charged 1s 6d per keel additional. Vessels with part cargo in (except such part cargo be coals, or stowed in the ends of the vessels) 1s. 6d. per keel  additional. Vessels taking in stiffening coals before ballast is discharged, to pay 10s in addition to trimming account

Coke.— single decked vessels, 6s. per keel; double do., 7s. per keel.


Coals.—Single decked vessels 3s. 6d. per keel.

Bunker coal for steamers to be charged at the same rate as cargo up to 4 tons, and 1s. per chaldron on the quantity taken in above 40 tons.  When bunkers are underneath bridges, 5s.  6d. per keel   up to 40 tons, and 1s. per chaldron the quantity taken in above 40 tons.    When steam vessels take bunker coal only, without cargo, 1s. per chaldron on the whole quantity taken on board. Bunker coal when wheeled or put into funnels to be fixed by the staith master.

All trimming accounts to be paid as soon as the cargo is on board.

If any difference arise as to the charge for trimming a vessel, or as to the manner of doing the work, the master or shipowner is requested to apply to the staith  master,  and  any  dispute   arising  will  be  settled at the  Londonderry Fitting Office.    This charge to be regulated by any alteration at the neighbouring ports.

Ships frequenting this port are not obliged to take a pilot.    Masters arc left to the exercise of their discretion.

The following Signals will be shown to enable masters to know whether the harbour can be taken : —

Tide Flag.—No vessel to attempt the harbour when this flag is not hoisted.

At night a bright Red Light on the South Pier will be shown as Tide Signal and no vessel must attempt the harbour when the light is not shown.

Blue Pendant above Red Flag.—Vessels drawing six feet water or under when this signal is hoisted may enter the harbour.

Blue Pendant above Black Ball.—Keep to windward until tide-time. Pilots and steamboats will go off if practicable.

Blue Pendant below Black Ball.—Use your own discretion to lay off or go to another port.    You must not attempt the harbour.

Black Ball.—The harbour cannot be attempted. You had better make a port before dark.

N.B.—Blue lights will be burnt in the night time when the harbour cannot be attempted.

To prevent accidents masters of vessels are particularly requested to keep their hatchways closed during the night.

The following Signals will be made to the Marquis of London­derry’s Steamers when they are NOT required to come into Seaham Harbour:—

During   Daylight.

Hoisted at Masthead on Seaham Staith


Black Ball.


Red Flag with Black Ball below.


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