Mahau Sound marks the head of the Pelorus Waterways. It has a different character from the other waterways in that it is shallow with arms and bays and has little depth of water near the shore making it unsuitable for cruising boats (yachts) and deep hull runabouts.
This lack of depth of water makes anchoring in the area difficult. There is, however, good anchorage from all N sector winds along the southern shore of Putanui Point. The bays and coves along this point give good holding and excellent shelter. It is important, however, not to proceed too far into Ohinetaha Bay as it dries for a large distance at LW.
Boats drawing more than two metres will find themselves aground at LW if they proceed further than one and a quarter miles from the head of the bay. A combined club mooring can be found at Putanui Point and is suitable for all N sector winds, but should not be used in S sector winds. This mooring is placed a fair distance from shore because of lack of depth of water.
Mahakipawa is too shallow to be used by other than small trailer boats.
The tidal range in this area is up to four and a half metres at spring tides. This large tidal range makes it important to stay in the marked channels especially during the ebb tide.
The channel to Havelock is well marked from Black Point onwards. The various channel markers are lit at night and are easy to follow. The channel from Cullen Point into the Havelock wharf is liable to shift but the marker pile number seven is moved so as to indicate the marked channel. It is deep close to the shore from the number five pile onwards to Cullen Point.
There is a 340 berth marina at Havelock. Visitors should berth at pier FJ1A and make arrangements at the marina office for short term berthing. There is ample parking, a café and a laundry at the marina. Fuel and water is available from the wharf and the town shops and any hotels are within easy walking distance. Note that deep draught vessels may find the approaches to Havelock difficult near LW.
The Pelorus Boating Club has its clubhouse within the marina complex.
There is a boat yard in Havelock, with a slipway capable of handling vessels up to 15 meters in length.
In general Mahau sound to Havelock Marina is not an ideal overnight anchorage unless experienced in sea conditions and weather conditions for this area.