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Thread: N or S of IOW?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    186

    Default N or S of IOW?

    Hypothetical questions -

    Leaving Chichester harbour at high tide heading West for Studland or Swanage,
    with 4 to 5 SW wind, in a LAR keeled catamaran, so not close winded, would you
    go South or North of the Isle of Wight?

    Just planning a few weeks away and this seems to be our normal situation when setting off!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: N or S of IOW?

    Go to France

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    36,776

    Default Re: N or S of IOW?

    I would probably go South, but that's partly because I see the Solent often enough.
    On a spring tide if it's towards F5+, you might want to be fairly well off St Cat's.
    You'll get max benefit of the W going tide, and no messing with narrow channels at Needles or Milford.
    In general out in the channel is no less comfortable the the West Solent IMHO.

    But there's no stopping points, and there is nothing wrong with a tour of the Solent.
    So if you felt like having a plan B option of stopping at Yarmouth or Lymington, I'd see your POV.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West London
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: N or S of IOW?

    Quote Originally Posted by stephen_h View Post
    Hypothetical questions -

    Leaving Chichester harbour at high tide heading West for Studland or Swanage,
    with 4 to 5 SW wind, in a LAR keeled catamaran, so not close winded, would you
    go South or North of the Isle of Wight?

    Just planning a few weeks away and this seems to be our normal situation when setting off!
    How "not close winded" if facing a SW breeze?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chichester Harbour
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: N or S of IOW?

    Assuming about 5kts cruise speed, I would go through the Solent, but timed exactly to get the maximum tide with you past Cowes and down through Hurst. Ideally leave Chi entrance at local HW -2, assuming favourable conditions on the bar. Which could be awkward in a SW wind because you are often coming down the harbour against the tide and sometimes wind as well. So I would try to get to an anchorage (East head) near the entrance on a falling tides, then just pop around the corner at HW-2. With a SW wind and the tide building up you will be probably be able to just about sail close hauled as you can from Chichester through the forts or better still with a tack or two the Submarine Barrier gap, then fine Reach to Cowes or more likely Bramble bank area (could be half tide down by now) because the wind could go west briefly as you approach Cowes. Along this NW leg there would be less of an exposed fetch on the sea so those LAR keels will get a better grip on the water. Then drop the sails and go around the corner motoring SW into what could be at Springs a choppy sea but with a very strong tide sweeping you down to Hurst eactly in the right direction, or a fiddly Beat to Hurst if weak engine/purist. Again some shelter from the chop could be found on the north side. Then at Hurst tack NW via North Channel, tack a few more times again out of the bay and clear Hengisbury Head shallows, then if lucky a fine reach to Studland but against an increasing contrary tide, so much slower progress For this latter stage across the bays I would say the tide against you would be weaker inshore as opposed to be coming in NW direction from way offshore. Also as you approach the shelter of the Studland/Swanage headland there will be some reduction in the chop to help those keels once more. A lovely sporting finish on maybe flat sea going into Studland. Watch out for pot buoys off Chichester and Hengisbury Head. Mind the ships as you cross the Portsmouth entrance and in the eastern Solent. Enjoy Studland Anchorage (while you can). Loads of options going inshore for a plan B if you need to dip in somewhere for shelter, repairs or change of plan.

    If you go south around the IOW from Chi it is straight into the wind for the first stretch, then I find the wind can stay go right on the nose along the east side of IOW, or die off a lot if in close and the tide takes you first SW instead of West (what you need). Off the east side of IOW are hazards such as unpredictable ferries, pot buoys on New Grounds and thereabouts, St Catherines overfalls (wind against tide when you would be there). At least in a chop off Gurnard the sea seems to be predicable and some shelter from slamming can be found by going inshore a little.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,070

    Default Re: N or S of IOW?

    1. Straight line route is about five miles less going through Solent than going S of IoW. (About 40nM v 45nM) Current runs faster through Solent, but you would be doing most of the trip under motor.
    2. If you want to sail all the way, with SW wind, you would have to start by tacking S for quite a way, probably about 20nM before tacking to Studland (Total 60nM).
    3. Motoring into wind till you get S of St Catherine's Pt (also about 20nM) then you could sail the rest of the way (another 25nM, Total 45nM).

    If your in a hurry, Option 1
    If you have loads of time and don't like motoring, Option 2
    Else, Option 3 will give you a shorter distance motoring and a decent sail, so I would go with 3.
    MontyMariner.co.uk
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: N or S of IOW?

    Thanks for all the replys.

    Would like to go to France but we have a dog as crew!

    We normally go with LadyInBed's option 1 through the Solent
    but may give option 3 a go for a change of scenery. Depends on the day and
    it just may not be a SW wind!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    36,776

    Default Re: N or S of IOW?

    In a SW wind, depending on exactly when you get past Chi Bar, you should get W-going tide on your lee bow, so beating on a Southerly heading won't be too bad.
    It might be worth a careful look at the forecasts, if the wind is going to back or veer during the day.

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