Port of Entry

“If you wish to come to the port of Sablons (to use the Port of Entry), you will have to contact us two days before your arrival so that we can see if we have a place available. Moreover, there is not a particular port to come to, it is you who choose VAUBAN or SABLON.”

This is the form préavis PAF DDTM 35


There are 2 email addresses that you need to send the form to. I have typed them below so you can cut and paste them as they are long! didpaf-rennes-spafp-saint-malo-uct@inter…; ddtm-dml@ille-et-vilaine.gouv.fr
Message received on 4th May 2024 indicates the first email address is being replaced with dipn35-paf-spafp-uct@interieur.gouv.fr

The Saint Malo douane do not normally respond. This was still the case in April/May 2024

The blue arrow points to the Douane building

The customs (Douane) are where the cars check-in for the ferry.

The Douane office

It is not in the building where you buy the tickets or the passenger building.

It is not this building

It appears you either need to go into one of the marinas, or there are 2 holding buoys outside of the Sablons marina. These are not for overnight stays.

The 2 buoys outside of the marina. Not suitable for poor weather or a long stay

We love the Vauban marina. Through the large lock gates, the marina is almost in the heart of Saint-Malo, located just outside of the walls. This does mean it is a busy and sometimes noisy marina but used to be well worth a visit.

The harbour staff are very helpful and speak very good English.

Saint Malo Marinas require the following form to be completed prior to your visit: ESCALE_STOPOVER

May 2024: Unfortunately, the facilities are now very poor. One toilet and one shower for the whole marina.

The old yacht club is being demolished.

The new Capitainerie is due for completion 2026.

An additional portacabin is due on June 14th to cope with high season.

Demolished Yacht Club, facilities in the background, Photo by Richard Havill May 2024

There are 2 toilets at the Tourist Information office. The Tourist office has 2 toilets which are generally clean, no charge (although says 30 cents) and you need to take your own toilet paper. Press the button below the light when you get in.

There are also very good toilets just inside the entrance (le Grand Port) by the Woodnik boat. These are open 10:30 to 12:30 and 2:30 to 8:00 (may change and was open for longer in May). You just leave a tip as you leave the facilities.

2022 – the marina facilities have been demolished

They are now based in a portacabin. Office on the right and facilities on the left. There are 2 coded doors.

The marina can get very busy in the summer, so even smaller boats may have to go alongside the wall and raft up. They do get large regattas as well, sometimes with over 100 boats. Do call them first.

The Saint Malo marinas have been split into 2 separate pages. The marinas are very different and worthy of a separate page.

Vauban Marina lock timeswww.saintmalo-cancale.port.bzh/page/hora…

The marina can also accommodate large boats along the wall. Do check though as I was told it is run by a separate company and they charge a lot more.

The lock entering the marina is huge, but so are the boats that sometimes use it.

I have produced a sped-up video of leaving the lock gates and heading for the Rance Barrage – youtu.be/XAxifYkv0LM


The new pontoons, taken from the ramparts. photo by Colin 2015

The new fingers with the walls of Saint Malo behind – very idyllic


Les Bas-Sablons marina, note Bassin Vauban marina just outside of the walls of Saint Malo at the top left of the picture – photo by marinas.com


Vauban marina, this is the old layout. The pontoons now come off the pier on the right of the photo – by marinas.com

Entering from the sea. Make sure you have a big loop at the end of your rope. People on land will normally take your rope. We found they were on the port side as you enter



Turn left as you come through the lock gates and the marina is in front of you. Some very large boats may need to go along the wall. This is fine but ensure your boat is secure and be aware that the height of the marina does drop a little and so if you are not tied to a pontoon, you need some slack in your ropes

On the way out of the lock – the lights can be quite hard to see

They are planning to add an extension to the portacabin to provide more facilities.

The plan is to demolish the cafe/restaurant and build a new office and facilities, but that will not be completed until 2024.

The man or lady in the dinghy comes to meet you as you arrive at the marina

2019 There is a new pontoon alongside the wall which runs alongside the marina. This will be useful and will save having to adjust the ropes as the water level rises and falls.

New pontoon, photo by Neil Robert July 2019

Official website www.saintmalo.port.fr

Pilot Guide
St Malo lock and lots of other information, wind speed, Vauban lock, Rance lock nautisme.lefigaro.fr/bloc-marine/fiche-p……

The lock operates as follows and is based on Saint-Malo HW. The time listed for Entry is the time the lock gate opens to the sea. It‘s better to arrive 15mins before.

Normally the lock opens at the time stated and lets the boats in the lock, leave. It then lets you in. After about 10 mins the lock closes and the water height is adjusted. At the set time for the next opening, they open the gates and let you out, so you will normally be in there for half an hour.

The people on the wall of the lock now throw down a line with a ball on the end. You need to do a simple knot and connect it to your rope so you can pass the rope up. Make sure it has a big loop ready so they can put it over the bollard.

When the exit gate opens, you can just leave, there are no lights.

The times published for the opening of the gate are interesting. From the outiside, the outer gate closed at the published time so do get there at least 10 mins before.

You will then wait in the lock for up to 30mins as they want to close the road on the marina side for as short a time as possible. So they open that lock gate around the published time for leaving the marina.

  • 2.5 hours before HW
  • 1.5 hours before HW
  • 0.5 hours before HW
  • 0.5 hours after HW
  • 1.5 hours after HW
  • 2 hours before HW
  • 1 hour before HW
  • High Water
  • 1 hour after HW
  • 2 hours after HW

The above is based on my calculation based on the lock times in 2015. Please check with the Harbourmaster or other sources of information if the timing is critical for you.


Marina Office

Email address: ports@saintmalo.plaisance.bzh



May 2024, the WiFi was not working.





There is now a bakery just inside the main gate. More upmarket. They have their croissants delivered soon after 8am so are effectively closed until the first delivery.


Preferred bakery in 2024. Croissants were good. Go in through the Grande Porte (not the main gate) – and keep walking straight. About the 2nd shop on the right.

Forum information

Market day
Tuesday, Friday

Dinard Markets – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings all year round on Esplanade des Halles, Place Rochaïd.

Extra information
Wind graph at Saint Malo – www.iwindsurf.com/windandwhere.iws?regio…

Weather – www.meteo.fr/marine/naviweb/bulletins/13…



Saint-Malo weather forecast from xc weather – www.xcweather.co.uk/forecast/saintmalo

9 day – Saint-Malo – www.weather-forecast.com/locations/StMal…