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 The Western Solent - Profile

Location

Southampton Water and The Solent encompass a large area of protected water and is probably one of the busiest and most famous sailing areas in the world. Not only is it home for thousands of leisure craft, it is a port for very large container and tanker vessels, cruise liners and ferries of all descriptions. Consequently it is advisable to be very alert when transiting these waters and to have up-to-date charts and sailing instructions. Add to this, fast tides, a shallow bank, various defensive forts and a submerged barrier, and you have a very interesting mix! Another thing to add, is that it is never boring sailing here!

The area is generally divided into the East and West Solent, with Southampton Water and the River Medina at Cowes forming the dividing line. The East Solent has the harbours of Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester on the mainland, and Ride and Bembridge on the Isle Of Wight. The West Solent has The Beaulieu River and Lymmington on the mainland and Newtown and Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight (IOW).

Position 50° 42.06'N, 01° 32.75'W (Western entrance)

Clearance

All yachts arriving from outside the EU must contact HM Customs and Excise.

Customs
Tel:+44(0)845 010 9000

Docking

Care needs to be taken when entering the Western Solent via the Needles Channel (western entrance) as in strong wind over tide conditions it is dangerous.

The eastern entrance to the Solent is navigable at all states of the tide.

When planning to use a berth in a marina, it is wise to call ahead, and you will then be allocated a berth number and advised which side to you will be mooring. Most marinas in this area do not have dedicated pontoons for visitors, but slot them into available spaces.

Apart from marinas, the Solent has many mooring buoys and anchorages which can be used.

Until very recently there was no harbour on the southern shore of the IOW, but now there are breakwaters at Ventnor providing a small refuge.

Beaulieu River and Buckler's Hard
Take care to follow the entrance channel markers as the river runs parallel to the shore (with the seaward bank being covered at high tide) for about a mile before turning inland.

There is a charge for anchoring in the river. Mooring buoys are also available (limited availability), however more tend to be available beyond the marina. Wonderful for peace and isolation. Berthing masters patrol the river in dingies and collect fees.

The marina at Bucklers Hard has all facilities (see photo below by SY Suwena).

Last updated April 2016.

Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour
Harbour Master's Office , Buckler's Hard, , Beaulieu , Hampshire SO42 7XB
Tel:+44 (0)1590 616 200 Fax:+44(0)1590 616 211
Opening hours: Office 09:00-17:00
Located 3 miles up river from the entrance. 116 berths. All facilities, fuel berth, gas, electricity, water, laundry, WiFi, chandlery, a choice of walk-ashore berths, mooring buoys and a detached pontoon. Sailmaker, boatyard with crane, boat hoist, shore storage and repair facilities. Some provisions, restaurant and bar. A peaceful and attractive berth.
Town Quay
Associated British Ports , Town Quay , Southampton SO14 2AQ
Tel:+44(0)2380 234 397 ,VHF Channel 80
Opening hours: 24/7
Fore-and-aft moorings, all-tide access. Situated in the heart of Southamton and accessible at all tides. 24/7 berthing assistance. Electricity, fuel, gas, ice, laundry, new shower and toilet facilities, WiFi.
Beware of Red Jet hi speed ferry. Vessels larger than 20m need clearance from Southampton VTS to enter/leave - VHF 12.

[Show additional 9 entries for this category]

Yacht Clubs

Bembridge Sailing Club
Embankment Road, , Bembridge, , Isle of Wight PO35 5NR
Tel:+44(0)1983 872237
Brading Haven Yacht Club
Embankment Road, , St Helens, , Isle of Wight, PO33 1XQ
Tel:+44(0)1268 776539
Keyhaven Yacht Club
The Club House , Keyhaven , Lymington, Hampshire SO41 0TR
Tel:+44(0)1590 642165
Lyminton Town Sailing Club
Bath House, Bath Road , Lymington , SO41 3SE
Tel:+44 (0)1590 676 514
Royal Lymington Yacht Club
Bath Road , Lymington , Hampshire SO41
Tel:+44 (0)1590 672 677
Royal Solent Yacht Club
The Square , Yarmoth , IOW PO41 0NS
Tel:+44 (0)1983 760 256
Yarmouth Sailing Club
Bridge Road , Yarmouth , Isle of Wight PO41 0NL
Tel:+44 (0)1983 760 270
Yarmouth Sailing Club sits next to the swing bridge over the River Yar at the western end of the Isle of Wight. It’s a friendly, informal, inclusive club with around 970 members run entirely on a volunteer basis. A welcome is always extended to visiting yachtsmen
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