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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Chichester Harbour
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    405

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    http://tradewind35.co.uk/wp-content/...orages.pdf.pdf Might be of interest for an outline reference for ideas, probably out of date though. Also possibly not particularly relevant for a 55ft yacht? If creeping about inshore and you like a book with good pictures then try Solent Hazards and another one I think it is called Wight Hazards.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
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    28,771

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    I found this good; apart from this it's all pretty much common sense for someone experienced like yourself, with a good recent chart; VHF 12 to hear what's around VTS near Southampton / mid Solent, 11 for QHM near Portsmouth,

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Solent-Haza...s=books&sr=1-1

    Chimet is very handy too

    http://www.chimet.co.uk/(S(yx5kai45d...)/Default.aspx

    Lymington has far more space and berths - also pubs, restaurants - than Yarmouth

    The Needles Channel and ' the bridge 'are worthy of respect, I almost always prefer the North Channel but beware the tide sets onto the Shingles - the North Head buoy turning point is beyond visual range from the entry to the North Channel by Hurst Castle, which should not be passed too closely - see ' The Trap ' in the above book - and can have quite impressive overfalls if one times it wrong in bad weather.

    Also watch out for lobster pots on the bee line past Hampstead Ledge / Hengistbury when heading west.
    Anderson 22 Owners Association - For info please ask here or PM me.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    9,762

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    Brilliant! Thanks again.

    You are quite right - the reservations relate to handing a large unfamiliar boat in tight spaces with a crew who are unused to her. We have sailed on a couple of sister ships which I suppose is a start.

    Lymington is the start and end point as she is ashore there and needs to go back there to have a furler fitted.
    Last edited by Kukri; 15-08-19 at 20:42.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    1,417

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    Anchorages between Selsey and Weymouth

    This list is far from exhaustive and is only intended to indicate some places that I or friends have found useful or enjoyable. Where an anchorage is well known but I havenít tried it, I have said so.

    In principle we can anchor anywhere where it isnít actually prohibited Ė we arenít restricted to areas with an anchor symbol on the chart. However, common sense will suggest that anchoring in channels, among swinging moorings, near charted submarine cables or in locations with strong tidal streams is not a good idea. Under the ColRegs vessels of under 50m LOA are obliged to show a black ball on the forward part of the boat in daylight, and an all-round white light in a similar position at night. Iím assuming a suitable type and weight of anchor and sufficient cable (to anchor with confidence in depths up to 10m requires 40-50 m of cable of which at least 20 m should be chain) and that the cable is laid out properly rather than dropped it in a heap. A particular anchorage may be OK in a slight roll for a heavy sailing cruiser but much less acceptable in boats with less ballast and flatter bottoms and especially for fast motor cruisers. Comfort at anchor can often be improved by:


    • Reducing snubbing by bending a strong nylon warp to the chain with a rolling hitch, paying out a few more metres of chain and warp, making the warp off to a strong fore-deck cleat and easing the chain until the load is taken by the more elastic warp
    • Bringing the bows to face a side-on chop or swell (Braye Harbour is the classic case of this, though I have also used this locally in Sandown Bay) by means of a longer relieving line taken to a cockpit winch or aft cleat
    • Encouraging the boat to lie bow to wind by setting a mizzen, or by setting a small sail (eg a spitfire, small storm jib or a home-made item) on the backstay, sheeted in to the centre
    • Giving up and going somewhere more sheltered


    For most anchorages I have given a latitude-longitude position that lies more or less in the middle. However, these coordinates are only intended to assist finding the right general area on the chart; they should not be taken as ďX marks the spotĒ for anchoring. Decisions on where to drop the hook will always require a combination of chart work, bearings or transits, tidal information and depth sounding, combined with an awareness of any likely changes in wind strength and direction.

    Chichester Harbour is sheltered and suitable for any type of boat to anchor, but available places are more restricted than you may expect, largely because most of the anchoring space has been filled with swinging moorings and much of the rest turns to mud at LW.

    • Nearly everybody knows East Head anchorage (50, 27.33 N; 000, 54.60 W), where the channel passes close to the sandy beach of the Head. The beach is steep-to so you can get in quite close. Holding is moderate but shelter from most wind directions is excellent (though not a good place in a fresh breeze between N and E). When itís crowded, you may find yourself exposed to strong tidal streams if you have to anchor on the edge of the channel.
    • Nearby and quieter is Pilsey Island anchorage (50, 48.08 N; 000, 54.20 W) at the west side of the lower end of Thorney Channel. Donít try to land on Pilsey Island in spring or summer Ė the rare birds that nest there wonít like it.
    • Another useful spot, within dinghy reach of the pub at Itchenor, is to fetch up clear of the down-harbour end of the moorings on the Itchenor side, below the Northshore yard and its associated moorings (50, 48.50 N; 000, 52.60 W).
    • Ingenious use of a Chichester Harbour chart will allow you to find a few small holes in side-channels where you can lie afloat at LW. I wonít spoil the fun by giving lat and long.


    Spithead has little to offer on the mainland side apart from open anchorages on its abundant shoals. These can save an unnecessary Pan-Pan call if the engine fails and the boat is being swept off by the tide, but are not generally places of choice for a lunch-hook or overnight stop, The Island side, however, has several good possibilities between Culver Cliff and Ryde:
    Whitecliff Bay (50, 40.20 N; 001, 05.50 W) is a small anchorage tucked behind the N end of the prominent white nose of Culver Cliff. Holding is only fair but it is well sheltered from anything between S and W. Swell tends to creep round into it, so it can have quite a roll unless the sea is fairly flat. Iíve been in to have a look but havenít tested it overnight yet.
    There are several minor anchorages in the approaches to Bembridge Harbour. Inspection of the chart will show possibilities outside the drying area NW of St Helenís Fort, but bear in mind that the banks shift about and the depth gauge is more important than the charted soundings. Shelter is good from W through S to SE, and holding is pretty good too.

    It is possible to anchor almost anywhere in sufficient depth in Priory Bay (50, 42.7 N; 001, 05.1 W) and off Seaview (40, 43.5 N; 001, 06.5 W). Small local moorings take some space off Seaview (there are also a few visitorsí moorings), but Priory Bay has few obstructions beyond the odd lobster pot. These are peaceful and attractive places, well sheltered from W to S, and with a grandstand view of the big ships coming and going from Southampton and Portsmouth. The only disadvantage is that the ferries tend to create a bit of wash from time to time.


    The Eastern Solent


    The area of Ryde Sands is generally so shallow that any anchorage tenable at LW would be miles offshore at HW. However, there are plenty of opportunities for lunch stops around HW if you feel mildly adventurous. Much the same is true to the west of Wootton Creek as far as Barton Point. However, the best-known (for many, the only) anchorage on the island side between Wootton and Cowes is Osborne Bay (50, 45.4 N; 001, 15.1 W). This gives good shelter in anything with any south in it, and is also reasonable in westerlies. The main problem is the number of other boats at lunchtimes and afternoons, though there is always room for a few more round the edge. However, it is excellent as an overnight stop, with good holding in most places (the few rocky patches are obvious from the chart), relatively weak tidal streams and an excellent view of the big ships rounding Brambles Bank. The shoreline is very attractive, but it all lies within the grounds of Osborne House and no landing is allowed.

    The only well-known possibility on the mainland side is Stokes Bay (50, 46.8 N; 001, 09.7 W), lying to the W of Gilkicker Point. This is very useful in any wind with north in it. The classic sailing-school approach is to follow the transit of the sailing club flagpole with the square tower of Alverstoke church until you are in your required depth. Done carefully, this leads to lots of boats anchoring on top of each other. However, it is all totally unnecessary and the main consideration is to avoid anchoring where you will interfere with the dinghy-racing activity during daylight hours. There arenít any swinging moorings here, so if you pick one up it is probably one of the marker buoys for the dayís course.

    West of Stokes Bay, the shallow area on the mainland side of the big ship channel is bisected by the North Channel, used by ships of lesser draft to avoid the precautionary area round Brambles Bank and Calshot Spit. The whole area between the North Channel and the low-lying mainland shore offers endless possibilities for open-water anchorage in quiet conditions. As the chart shows, everywhere is shallow but a moderate-draft yacht can only go aground by getting too close to the beach. Tidal streams are slight in this whole area, and the North Channel and its surroundings provide an excellent route for beating a foul tide if you are heading for the Hamble, Southampton Water or the Western Solent.

    Southampton Water has little to offer except limited anchorages off the main areas of small boat moorings, but who would want to stop there anyway? In the Hamble every possible anchorage was gobbled up by marinas and swinging moorings long ago. The quiet beauties of Ashlett Creek, improbably placed between Calshot power station and the Fawley oil refinery, are denied us for anchoring purposes because most of it dries below half tide, and even at HW you are either in the channel or aground. However, it is well worth a visit for a lunchtime pint at the stand on HW springs Ė moor to the piles on the (often slightly submerged) concrete quay and visit the Jolly Sailor, but clear out before the ebb starts unless you plan to dry out overnight.

    Cowes and the Medina River are hopeless, the problem in the Medina being the usual one of moorings everywhere, plus the fact that the bottom is littered with old chains and other junk that would spoil your day if your anchor fouled it.

    The Western Solent is much better news. On the island side, a succession of bays leads westward towards Yarmouth:

    The first, Gurnard Bay, is a picturesque spot but the presence of Gurnard Ledge makes it distinctly risky to look for an anchorage there. Having bounced a long-keeler off the top of the ledge, I can confirm that it is steep-to and very hard. Anyway, the chart shows this section of the West Solent as a no-anchoring zone.

    The next one, Thorness Bay, is unaccountably neglected by yotties, though its outer part is much used by small LPG tankers waiting for the tide. There are a few well-charted dangers, but there is plenty of water of sensible depth and out of the tide. It provides good shelter from the south and, unusually for Solent anchorages, from the east. However, take care not to anchor much east of the transit marked by the RW posts on the shore if you wish to avoid being in the no-anchoring area. Holding is variable but generally OK. There is nothing there, but the whole place is peaceful and picturesque in a slightly rugged way.

    Probably the top Solent anchorage is Newtown Creek. It has quiet beauty, is surrounded by nature reserves, offers near-perfect shelter from all directions, has pretty good holding and boasts an adjacent sandy beach for BBQs (just outside the entrance on the W side). To top it all, a pleasant run in the tender to Shalfleet and a 10-minute walk take you to the New Inn, famous for its good ale and its generally respectable seafood. Landing or departure at Shalfleet is only possible in the top half of the tide, but 6 hoursí drinking should be enough for anybody. Entry into the creek is simple at any state of tide. Approach from the North keeping the correct side of a small port-hand buoy (donít cut the corner if coming from the east) and line up the leading beacons on 130T; the front one has a ball and the back one a Y, so they align gunsight-fashion. There is also a pair of big wooden beacons, port- and starboard-coloured, that forms a goalmouth through which you must pass. Once through the goalmouth, turn to starboard towards the entrance which is much deeper than the approaches. Once in, the fairly well marked channel bends to port, then you can choose between going east into Clamerkin Lake (6 visitorsí moorings and lots of anchoring space) or north up the Shalfleet Channel (18 visitorsí moorings but nowhere to anchor). It is debatable whether it is better to arrive at HW (allowing more manoeuvring room and a chance to sound out where there is sufficient depth) or at LW when many of the worst bits are dry. I prefer the former, but the most important thing is to get there before the place is full up. The best times are mid-week or out of high season. Donít go beyond the notices marking the limit of navigation; apart from the risk of grounding, your anchor or your keel will be smashing up someoneís carefully preserved oysters and you will be deeply unpopular. There is a charge for the moorings and for anchoring Ė the anchoring charge is forgivable at Newtown because it all goes to the National Trust. You get a handy discount if you show a NT membership card Ė for anchoring but not for swinging moorings.

    If the creek is excessively crowded, there is an excellent anchorage outside in the lee of the NE side of Hamstead Point. Sound into a suitable depth more or less anywhere. The holding is very good Ė it normally take 20 minutesí hard work to scrub the clay off your anchor. If leaving westbound, donít go too close to the end of the Point without checking your chart or you may have an unscheduled stop on Hamstead Ledge.

    There are a number of potential anchorages for appropriate conditions between Hamstead Ledge and Yarmouth, though there are also a few rock ledges and other inshore dangers so caution and a good chart are both needed. Yarmouth itself has limited opportunities for anchoring inside or outside the excellent but expensive swinging moorings to the north of the harbour wall. It isnít exactly splendid isolation, but it is peaceful enough after the pubs have closed and the last water-taxi has gone home.

    The mainland shore of the western Solent has only two good anchorage areas. The more easterly is the first reach of the Beaulieu River to the north of Gull Island. The most popular area is on the south side, between beacons 20 and 22 towards the west end of the reach. Just follow the channel until the red beacons define a shallow bay outside the main channel. Holding is good, though I once fouled my anchor on something at the east end of the bay. Alternatively you can anchor anywhere else in this reach where you are not obstructing the channel between the beacons. The situation is wonderful, with perfect shelter between the salt marshes to the north and the shingle bank of Gull Island (donít land Ė another important bird breeding site), and great views of the Solent across the island. The only snag of this lovely spot is the Beaulieu Estate, which charges a hefty sum for anchoring despite the fact that no facilities whatsoever are provided locally. This outrage is apparently licensed by the unusual situation that Lord Montague owns the riverbed as well as the banks, but perhaps his Lordship should be above petty avarice. My unofficial advice is to arrive very late and leave very early. There are also a few visitorsí moorings near the clubhouse.




  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    1,417

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    The Lymington area offers open anchorage on the mudflats on either side of the main channel, but has little attraction. The main interest remaining is Keyhaven, tucked in behind the shingle bank of Hurst spit. The entrance is straightforward except at the bottom part of the tide, guidance being provided by a pair of cross-topped transit posts (on 283T) on the marsh and a port hand buoy covering a sand-spit extending from North Point. Once in the first part of the haven, use your depth sounder and tidal calculations to find a comfortable depth for anchorage; up to 2 m are available at LAT in a few places. Above the first reach, local moorings occupy most of the territory and it mainly dries at LAT anyway. Keyhaven is different Ė it doesnít offer great protection from the wind, but is perfectly sheltered from the sea state. Holding is reasonable, and a pleasant dinghy trip up the channel brings you to a small quay giving access to fascinating walks across the salt marsh and, even more importantly, rapid access to The Gun, one of the Solentís nicest pubs. If the first reach is full, or if you just want a stopover in quiet weather, I am told that anchoring in suitable depth between the haven entrance and Hurst is very pleasant.

    The South Side of the Island

    The fairly small minority of Solent sailors who use the back of the Wight tend to do it in the day rather than anchoring. None of the anchorages from Bembridge Ledge to the Needles are sheltered from the south, but Sandown Bay (50, 38.5N; 001, 09.2W) offers reasonable protection from the SW and is well sheltered in anything between W and N. The only natural hazards are the clearly charted inshore rocks at the Culver Cliff and Shanklin ends of the bay. A charted pipeline runs SE for a mile from the shore at Yaverland, but the area off Sandown itself is clear apart from the inevitable few pots in the approaches. Iíve found Sandown a useful stopover in suitable conditions when returning cross-Channel and feeling too tired to muster the concentration needed to negotiate Spithead and Portsmouth Harbour in darkness. A confidence-inspiring way in at night is to pick up the 2 vertical fixed reds on Sandown pier head and approach keeping these on about 330T. This gives a good sense of where you are because the track crosses a bank carrying 7-8m at LAT, then deepens inshore of this to 11m or so, thereafter gradually shoaling towards the beach. A good place to anchor is a few cables SSW of the pier lights in about 4m at LAT. Holding in sand seems good and the tidal streams are weak. Speed must be kept below 10 kt in the recreational area within 400 m of the beach between 0900 and 1800 Ė this area is marked in summer by yellow buoys.

    The rest of this attractive and peaceful coast offers lots of possibilities for lunch and even overnight stops in quiet or northerly conditions if you keep away from the charted bricks and tuck into bays to get out of the tide. There was much talk in 2003-4 of developments for yachtsmen in Ventnor. By November 2004 there was a breakwater offering shelter for small fishing boats but no sign of the rumoured yacht moorings outside it. Reeds 2007 reports that the promised shoreside comforts have not yet materialised, while the moorings are reported laconically as some visitorsí buoys (may be drying). When I checked in 2007; there were four moorings, of which the outer pair carries enough depth for my boat (draft 1.8 m) but the inner pair would be too shallow except at dead neaps. Maybe itís just as well Ė the lack of shelter and facilities is what keeps the back of the Island quiet and unspoiled.

    West of the Solent

    Between Hurst Narrows and the Needles are three bays. Colwell Bay is full of rocks and should be avoided. Totland Bay (50, 41.2N; 001, 33.0W) has good holding and is very atmospheric after dark. Alum Bay (50, 39.9N; 001, 34.6W) is reputed to be good provided you keep clear of the reef occupying the back part of the middle of the bay. Both are well sheltered from the S and E. Scratchellís Bay, under the imposing cliff SE of the Needles, is used as a lunch stop under calm conditions. However, the exposed situation and the presence of a nasty rock just off the centre of the bay have discouraged me from using it when there are many more sensible places.

    Christchurch Harbour is attractive, but only for small motor-cruisers or sailboats with bilge or lifting keels Ė it is impossibly shallow for all but the most modest keelboats (maximum draught a tad more than 1m), and all reasonable anchorages are full of local moorings.

    Poole Harbour and surroundings provide a range of possibilities. Outside the harbour, Studland Bay (50, 38.9N; 001, 56.4W) attracts large numbers of local lunch-hook visitors, but most of these retreat in the afternoon. The anchorage is well sheltered unless there is any east in the wind, and there are refreshment possibilities ashore. Poole Channel can be an ordeal at summer weekends but, once through the entrance, following the channels takes you to beautiful and peaceful anchorages such as Goathorn Point (50, 40.6N; 001, 58.5W), South Deep (various places, but most obviously around 50, 40.7N; 001, 59.0W), Pottery Pier (50,41.55N; 001, 59.3W) and Shipstal Point (50, 41.6N; 002, 01.35W). Other possibilities will suggest themselves on careful inspection of the chart. The depths often seem minimal, but the small tidal range inside the harbour is very comforting. Shipstal needs a little care as the tide may limit arrival and departure time, though a keelboat can remain afloat in the deep bit at all states of the tide. It is easy to take the dinghy up to Poole town, but who would want to?

    Beyond the Poole area, Swanage Bay (50, 36.7N; 001, 57.0W) is succeeded by the anchorages under the Purbeck hills leading to Weymouth. Chapmanís Pool (50, 35.3N; 002, 04.0W) is highly commended though not yet visited by me, and Worbarrow Bay (50, 37.1N; 002, 11.6W) is spacious and well sheltered from W through N to E, but avoid being directly in line with the conspicuous valley mouth in quiet summer weather unless you wish to experience the katabatic winds that often roll down it during the night. The eastern end of the bay is best sheltered under such conditions. Lulworth Cove (50, 37.1N; 002, 14.7W) looks sheltered but doesnít offer much room and has a reputation for being evil and inescapable if a swell gets up during the night. However, this is all getting a bit beyond local territory.

    Wherever you go, have a great time, and remember the golden rules.


    • Once your boat has settled to anchor, improvise a couple of transits that will tell you if you have shifted position
    • If you are unsure about the holding, donít leave the boat unattended and keep an anchor watch
    • If you look like fouling someone who anchored before you, it is up to you to move
    • If in doubt about the possibility of fouling your anchor, play safe and use a tripping line
    • If your anchor gets stuck, you may need to cut it loose buoyed to a fender. Make sure that the bitter end of the cable is secured with light cord that can easily be cut by someone on the foredeck. If you shackle the chain to a deadeye, a little corrosion will make it immovable and then you will be stuck there forever!

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Sussex / Hants
    Posts
    28,771

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minn View Post
    Lymington is the start and end point as she is ashore there and needs to go back there to have a furler fitted.
    In that case I hope the Indian restaurant halfway up the high street on the right is as good as we remember - and the Wetherspoons near the top of the hill does very good breakfasts as does the place a little lower down on the left ( when ascending ).
    Last edited by Seajet; 15-08-19 at 21:02.
    Anderson 22 Owners Association - For info please ask here or PM me.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    9,762

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seajet View Post
    In that case I hope the Indian restaurant halfway up the high street on the right is as good as we remember - and the Wetherspoons near the top of the hill does very good breakfasts as does the place a little lower down on the left ( when ascending ).
    Haven’t tried the Indian yet. The place halfway up on the left is a regular for breakfast. Haven and Ship both good. Interesting lobster and steak place far up on the right. Basically now bored with Lymington but impressed by quality and range of specialist services available in the Solent at, often, lower prices than our home waters.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    887

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Minn View Post
    Haven’t tried the Indian yet. The place halfway up on the left is a regular for breakfast. Haven and Ship both good. Interesting lobster and steak place far up on the right. Basically now bored with Lymington but impressed by quality and range of specialist services available in the Solent at, often, lower prices than our home waters.
    Yes! I have my boat in the Hamble for the summer and though the Solent can be very crowded sometimes I really do like the range of services and suppliers that are available. And the water is blue! Don’t see that too often in the Swale. I pump the loo just for the sheer joy of seeing it flush with clear water...

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Home: Saffron Walden... boatless
    Posts
    2,432

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Harry View Post
    Anchorages between Selsey and Weymouth...
    etc
    SNIP
    What an excellent summary, I've copied this and saved it for future reference...
    Graham. "Scala" now sold. Boatless.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    21,262

    Default Re: Can I ask about the Solent?

    The words 'Shell Channel Pilot' awaken a whole host of memories!

    My first forays across to France under sail were guided by the wise words of Captain Johnny Coote. A first class Submariner who I had the pleasure of meeting several times.

    And after that, developed by the well known Mr. T. Cunliffe. Another chap Ive met, sailed with and shared a glass or two!.

    Laptop navigation, whilst laudable in its intent, certainly requires the users to miss the wisdom and wit of those two chaps.

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