The largest of the recreational harbours in Aberdeenshire is Stonehaven, which hosts the world famous Fireball Ceremony every hogmany starting and finishing at the slipway. The harbour has three basins extending to 18,200m2 and 550m of berthing space on the quays. There are also additional mooring chains in the inner harbour. Almost 140 regular moorings are fully occupied and there is a waiting list for vacancies.
There is no longer a fish market at Stonehaven and it is now more of a recreational harbour but it is still used by several fishing boats in the 50-foot class. Services available include water and power points on the quays, a concrete slipway and a 6 tonne crane on the fish jetty.
Under certain storm conditions only the inner basin is suitable for berthing and priority is given to local fishing boats. There are over 50 berths in the inner basin and a heavy steel boom can protect it.
Both inner and middle basins dry out at low water but the cofferdam basin, an open area protected by the breakwater, has a depth of three to four feet (1m) at MLWS.
Vessels entering or exiting the harbour are to ensure vessel propulsion systems are fully operational and the vessel has full operational maneuverability enabling safe entry and exit of the harbour