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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Second Coast, Ross-shire, overlooking Gruinard Bay.
    Posts
    7,442

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    Quote Originally Posted by alant View Post
    Coming from the west (poole), pass Hengistbury Head to port & head toward Hurst Castle.
    En route you will see a green buoy (north head) with the channel inside that. Deep water even close to the shinge spit right through past Hurst. I usually aim for Fort Albert until a clear run through.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quiddle View Post
    Thank you both.
    When I came through on May Bank Holiday 2015 from Weymouth I was anxious to try to get into Yarmouth Marina ASAP. It was bumpy, sure enough, and I knew not of the North Channel. If I'd been earlier in the day I might have detoured, but it looked like an awful lot of blue on the chart!
    Kay Sarah Sarah
    57°51.42' N 5°29.44' W

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home Berkshire, Boat Hamble
    Posts
    8,412

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilson View Post
    Thank you both.
    When I came through on May Bank Holiday 2015 from Weymouth I was anxious to try to get into Yarmouth Marina ASAP. It was bumpy, sure enough, and I knew not of the North Channel. If I'd been earlier in the day I might have detoured, but it looked like an awful lot of blue on the chart!
    It's very much a better choice than the Needles Channel in any marginal situation. Plenty of water for yachts but can be unnerving being so close to the beach

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Second Coast, Ross-shire, overlooking Gruinard Bay.
    Posts
    7,442

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    Quote Originally Posted by alant View Post
    Coming from the west (poole), pass Hengistbury Head to port & head toward Hurst Castle.
    En route you will see a green buoy (north head) with the channel inside that. Deep water even close to the shinge spit right through past Hurst. I usually aim for Fort Albert until a clear run through.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quiddle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jac View Post
    It's very much a better choice than the Needles Channel in any marginal situation. Plenty of water for yachts but can be unnerving being so close to the beach
    That too!
    Kay Sarah Sarah
    57°51.42' N 5°29.44' W

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
    Posts
    28,932

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    I'm a great fan of the North Channel, but approaching a lee shore in already unnerving conditions, if not used to it, may require more nerve than is wise; I always find N Head buoy surprisingly difficult to visually acquire from either direction until relatively close even in perfect conditions - and one cannot see Hurst Castle from there or vice versa, I'd be a bit dubious about using this even having passed by there dozens of times, there can be a strong tidal set and hearing the surf on The Shingles doesn't help !

    The OP was spot on, by going East he got an easier way into the shelter of the Solent with plenty of options; the very last thing to do in a sailing boat when bothered by conditions is worry about ' when can we get back ? ' - to the office or whatever - that has killed a lot of good people, it's the same classic mistake in sailing as the ' loop too low ' with aircraft.
    Anderson 22 Owners Association - For info please ask here or PM me.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    32,180

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Wilson View Post
    Thank you both.
    When I came through on May Bank Holiday 2015 from Weymouth I was anxious to try to get into Yarmouth Marina ASAP. It was bumpy, sure enough, and I knew not of the North Channel. If I'd been earlier in the day I might have detoured, but it looked like an awful lot of blue on the chart!
    I use that way in almost exclusively from and to Poole. Then makes sense to leave Poole through East Looe, which the pilot books say needs local knowledge. However the only real knowledge required is to know that channels are marked with red and green marks - and a draft of less than 1.5m if you want to go at low water. Saves about an hour compared with out to the end of the Swash and down the Needles channel.

    North Channel is very satisfying - picking up the incoming tide just east of North Haven and aiming for Fort Albert doing 9 or 10 knots over the ground. Even more satisfying coming out, timing your last tack to take the tide out past Hurst. This all assumes you are working the tides properly!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK - Solent region
    Posts
    37,617

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seajet View Post
    I'm a great fan of the North Channel, but approaching a lee shore in already unnerving conditions, if not used to it, may require more nerve than is wise; I always find N Head buoy surprisingly difficult to visually acquire from either direction until relatively close even in perfect conditions - and one cannot see Hurst Castle from there or vice versa, I'd be a bit dubious about using this even having passed by there dozens of times, there can be a strong tidal set and hearing the surf on The Shingles doesn't help !

    The OP was spot on, by going East he got an easier way into the shelter of the Solent with plenty of options; the very last thing to do in a sailing boat when bothered by conditions is worry about ' when can we get back ? ' - to the office or whatever - that has killed a lot of good people, it's the same classic mistake in sailing as the ' loop too low ' with aircraft.
    If you can't see Hurst from there, you need specsavers.
    There's a bloody great white lighthouse next to it.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
    Posts
    28,932

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    I suggest you try it, especially seeing N Head from Hurst; you can't - and the lighthouse is hardly bloody great either.

    For someone who hasn't been there before to approach N Head buoy down a strong wind hoping they'll see it in time would be stupid, GPS and depthsounder ( which one must always assume will drop out at any critical moment ) or no, unless they had some sort of medical emergency aboard worth risking piling the boat up which the rescue service could deal with better in deep water anyway; a few more hours going the safe way is not a huge loss, unless one is suffering the tragic ' back-to-the-office-itis ' mentioned earlier.
    Last edited by Seajet; 12-09-17 at 07:00.
    Anderson 22 Owners Association - For info please ask here or PM me.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home - Sothampton, Boat - Gosport
    Posts
    10,566

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    suffering the tragic ' back-to-the-office-itis ' mentioned earlier.

    Sadly a disease that is too often fatel
    Steve
    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK - Solent region
    Posts
    37,617

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seajet View Post
    I suggest you try it, especially seeing N Head from Hurst; you can't - and the lighthouse is hardly bloody great either.

    For someone who hasn't been there before to approach N Head buoy down a strong wind hoping they'll see it in time would be stupid, GPS and depthsounder ( which one must always assume will drop out at any critical moment ) or no, unless they had some sort of medical emergency aboard worth risking piling the boat up which the rescue service could deal with better in deep water anyway; a few more hours going the safe way is not a huge loss, unless one is suffering the tragic ' back-to-the-office-itis ' mentioned earlier.
    "Suggest you try it"?
    I live next to it & have been seeing it for the last 40 years, even when sailing.
    Last edited by alant; 12-09-17 at 07:59.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,637

    Default Re: Needles / Overly Cautious?

    Quote Originally Posted by lpdsn View Post
    I've gone out of the Needles Channel in a F7 Southerly on a spring ebb when racing. I actually saw a boat come off a wave with only its keel and rudder still in the water. I didn't see what happened next as we went through the next wave, or so it seemed.

    If you've done a lot of offshore racing, as I guess you have, it is very easy to over-estimate the ability of a cruising skipper in a AWB to cope with conditions that an experienced offshore race crew could take in their stride.
    Hmm, fair points and my post was probably a bit general in nature as the OP didn't provide much detail about boat, etc.

    You mention a 'wave-pop' racing out of the Needles and for sure; zoom over one of those standing waves between the 'Shingles Elbow' and 'Shingles West' buoys and think, "OMG Where's the back of this **** wave?" Then again you were no doubt on a mission and a rib, lifeboat, or whatever would have also probably popped?!

    Returning to cruising mode; in the absence of a heavy post-gale swell or something like that; I'd personally say a F6 through the Needles is fine in a normal well-found cruising boat and I'd certainly say the North Channel is not too hard. In fact I'd guess loads of boats do this every blowy summer w/e. Also the whole North Channel malarkey is a bit overdone; most yachts during most states of the tide and sea can slip in fairly close to the west to the 'North East Shingles' Cardinal and one really only has to avoid the bank itself. (recently updated charts a must as the Shingles Bank sometimes goes walkabout!)

    If you think about it the RYA sets 25kts max for most open water dinghy sailing; indeed it cautions race committees against cancelling too easily, as this unfairly prejudices heavy weather weather specialists. Then there is the question that having declined the Needles a yacht would have another 10-20 miles to bash around/through some nasty water around St Catherine's.

    Either way, the Needles demand respect in heavy weather and if I inadvertently suggested otherwise, then consider that withdrawn

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