Shell Island has always been connected to ships and trade. The Estuary which, at one time used to flow South, was the main way which goods were imported into the area. The Earl of Winchelsea, in 1819 cut a new entrance for the river, to improve the route of trading ships passing up river to Pensarn Wharf. Pensarn Wharf, prior to the arrival of the railway in 1871, was very important to the local economy. It was the main trading post, for the farms and villages between Penrhyndeudreath
in the North, and Barmouth in the South. Trading vessels would bring in coal, grain and manufactured goods, and leave with wool and slate from the local quarries at Llanfair and Llanbedr. Slate and stone from Llanbedr's quarry, was brought down to the wharf on flat bottomed skiffs, when there was sufficient water in the river. Boating today at Shell Island relies on Leisure boats. Boat owners started to bring their boats to Shell Island in the 1960's and the first moorings were put down in 1966.
Today up to a hundred boats moor here and there is a waiting list to come in. We have two concrete slipways for you to launch your boat. At the South end of Shell Island, about a mile from the entrance there is St Patricks Causeway which provides an ideal fishing reef for anglers. The Bay is ideally suited to the yachtsman as Abersoch, Pwllheli, Portmadoc, Barmouth and Aberdovey are all within a few hours of sailing.
All Trailered boats need to be registered with either Gwynedd, Conwy or Anglesey Council. You can contact Barmouth Harbour Master on 01341 280671 to find out more information about the registration. This is only if the HP exceeds 9.9hp for the engine. Small sailing boat's need not apply.