Berths and other facilities for small craft are limited at Wilmington due to the heavy commercial traffic. Extensive small-craft facilities are at Southport. Municipal ramps are eastward of the channel just north of U.S. Route 74/76 highway lift bridge.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
Cape Fear River, 370 miles long and the approach to the city of Wilmington, empties into the sea immediately westward of Cape Fear.
Wilmington, 24 miles above the mouth, on the east bank of Cape Fear River, is the leading port of North Carolina.
A Federal project provides for a channel 40 feet deep over the ocean bar, thence 38 feet for 24 miles to Wilmington including the turning basin off the southerly part of the city; thence in Northeast Cape Fear River 32 feet to and including a turning basin 0.4 mile above the mouth, thence 32 feet to Hilton Bridge about 1.2 miles above the mouth, and thence 25 feet to the upstream limit of the Federal project about 1.5 miles above the bridge, including a turning basin about 1 mile above the bridge. The channel is well marked with lighted ranges and other aids.
An overhead power cable with a clearance of 165 feet over the main channel crosses Cape Fear River about 18.8 miles above the mouth.
U.S. Route 74/76 highway lift bridge with a clearance of 65 feet down and 135 feet up crosses Cape Fear River at Wilmington, about 23.5 miles above the mouth. The bridgetender monitors VHF-FM channel 16 and works on channels 13 and 18; telephone 910-251-5773.