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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    296

    Default Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    Hi, We are planning a trip to Brighton from Solent. I have done this passage in the past in Mobo and always used to plan it so I have slack water near Selsey Bill - but now we want to catch the tide from the Solent all the way to brighton (or close to it) - so I was wondering how bad rough Selsey bill gets (say in F4-F5) I have always kept between those green/red buoys... thanks for advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    Depending which end of the Solent you're in, and what your sailing, carrying the tide all the way may be optimistic. I sailed Chichester to Brighton this Sunday on neaps. We had slack water around West Pole and wind on the nose all the way to the Looe Channel (the green / red buoys ). Then it was one long close reach all the way to Brighton, most of it at 6-7knts OG and we just made it one one tide.

    I've not been through the Looe in an F5, but better sailors than me have told me not to.

    If it's rough, it might be best to stay South of the Looe Channel and go south of the Owers but it is longer. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shoreham - up the river without a paddle.
    Posts
    1,156

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    The Owers bank can draw the teeth of a running sea so I normally go through the Looe if it is windy and only outside if I have messed up the tides.
    The sea crashing on the bank can be spectacular to watch too!

    The tide through the Looe can be very strong (>5kt?) but I have never known it to be overly rough in said strong-flowing section, presumably because it is deep.

    There is something of an eddy inshore around Shoreham so though a fair tide is not guaranteed all the way, but by the time you get to the Shoreham 'bay' it is not that strong anyway.

    http://www.visitmyharbour.com/articl...h-channel-east

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    913

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    I have been through the Looe many times, so have some knowledge.

    Inevitably the size of boat will be a factor.

    For me up to a F5 as a general rule of thumb is fine. Anymore and I would probaby plan to go round.

    Obvioulsy the direction of the wind has a huge impact, with a northerly having little effect on the passage, and an easterly potentially the greatest.

    I usually expect to carry that passage on a tide BUT you probably need to plan to average about 7 knots.

    At LW the charts are accurate and there isnt a huge clearance between the buoys.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fareham
    Posts
    6,541

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    I did it a few times in the previous boat which made about 5.5 knots on average on passage. By getting to the Street and Boulder buoys at the west end of the Looe Channel about 4 hours after HW Portsmouth (when the tide turns east) I could carry one tide all the way to Beachy Head.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Brighton
    Posts
    4,774

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by DJE View Post
    I did it a few times in the previous boat which made about 5.5 knots on average on passage. By getting to the Street and Boulder buoys at the west end of the Looe Channel about 4 hours after HW Portsmouth (when the tide turns east) I could carry one tide all the way to Beachy Head.
    The tide is more significant between the solent and selsey than it is at the Brighton end. I tend to think you usually minimize trip duration leaving the solent approaching slack, getting a decent push round selsey and dealing with any adverse tide at the other end as necessary. I wouldn't bet on making it in a single tide: with a couple of angles to sail you can guarantee the wind will either be on the nose or straight behind you at some point.

    I tend to think the "dangers" of the Looe are exaggerated. It's a long way round the outside and there are more and bigger waves. Sure it can get a bit choppy with tide against a significant breeze but If it's too bad to go through the looe I probably woldn't have left Chichester or Brighton

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    11,853

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    I've only been that way once and that was going West but according to the Tide Charts Slack Water is around HW Dover +5 (HW Portsmouth +4) so that's when I wound aim to be there.
    MontyMariner.co.uk
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    913

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    FWIW and despite my earlier comment my windiest is top end of a F6, gusting F7 - my boat is a fair size (55 feet and 23 odd tons, so takes most things in her stride. There was a quite confused sea and some steep waves especially approaching the bouys were the water cascades over the shallows, but it was fine. In something smaller I guess it would be pretty wet.

    Some of us may recall that was were Morning Cloud met her fate in the depths of the night without Ted on board in pretty dreadful weather.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    21,544

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    I agree with laika that the Looe has acquired a worse reputation than it deserves. I'm not saying that it should be treated lightly but that part of the problem was related to the difficulty in finding one's way through it. With GPS this shouldn't concern anyone. I have been through a number of times and in normal wimp-sailor weather have seen nothing unusual, the choppiest perhaps being when motor-sailing west against a f5-6 with the tide.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shoreham - up the river without a paddle.
    Posts
    1,156

    Default Re: Solent to Brighton - When to go around Selsey Bill?

    My 24' & 26' boats always lapped up the Looe's slop. I suspect that your 55' and 23t may actually be the problem. With a longer boat you need a longer wavelength or you could get wet and the mass will also affect her ability to ride waves.

    I once crewed on an Australian built 65' steel charter boat. In something like a F6 off Brighton she behaved like a submarine and I had to keep scurrying up the forestay to avoid getting immersed!

    I would never try to stem the tide at the Looe as I have anchored just outside the channel when becalmed and the rode was like an iron bar!

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