Pilotage

Yachting Monthly - - A LONG WEEKEND -

The chan­nels are all well buoyed and marked but vis­i­tors must be aware that Chich­ester Har­bour is very tidal and with­out lo­cal knowl­edge, must re­sist the temp­ta­tion to drift out­side these marked chan­nels. They should re­spect the speed limit of 8 knots.

If pos­si­ble, aim to ar­rive at the West Pole Bea­con with a fair tide or at slack wa­ter. The Bar is pe­ri­od­i­cally dredged to main­tain a min­i­mum depth of 1.5m be­low chart da­tum, al­though this may be less af­ter se­vere gales.

From the west, leave West Pole Bea­con to port, leave the Bar Bea­con close to port and then pass be­tween Eas­toke Buoy and West Win­ner. At this point, boats head­ing to­wards East Head, Itchenor or Bosham may well be tempted to head across the Win­ner and what ap­pears to be deep wa­ter. Don’t do it! Many boats have come to grief here. Keep head­ing north un­til Hayling Is­land Sail­ing Club is abeam and then turn to the east and follow the buoyed chan­nel.

If ap­proach­ing from the east, sailors are ad­vised not to cross the 5m con­tour un­til the West Pole Bea­con bears 310¡T.

In strong on­shore winds with an ebb tide, which can run at over 6 knots, it is best to avoid the en­trance and in any strong winds, sailors should pro­ceed with great cau­tion.

Once in­side, ev­ery­thing calms down. The tidal streams still run fast but there is nor­mally flat wa­ter and a ver­i­ta­ble de­light of places and land­marks to see and visit.

THE LOCA L PILOT

chich­ester Ma­rina has a wide range of ac­cess, with a wait­ing pon­toon if you miss the lock

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