PILOTAGE

Yachting Monthly - - A LONG WEEKEND -

Ap­proach­ing Cowes from the west, re­stric­tions ap­ply north of the line be­tween Gurnard buoy and Prince Con­sort buoy, where there is a Pre­cau­tion­ary Area for large com­mer­cial ves­sels. Be aware of strong cross cur­rents up to 3 knots in the Outer Fair­way. The main en­trance into the In­ner Har­bour is marked by the No. 1 Q.G and No. 2 Q.R buoys. Col. Reg. 9 – Nav­i­ga­tion in Narrow Chan­nels – ap­plies. The chan­nel is well-marked with lit port-hand buoys as far as the Red Fun­nel car ferry ter­mi­nal in East Cowes.

If com­ing from the east, keep 200m north of Old Cas­tle Point leav­ing Shrape Bea­con to port. Go north of the swing­ing moor­ings and the Cowes break­wa­ter be­fore turn­ing to port into the In­ner Fair­way. Al­ter­na­tively, use the Small Craft Chan­nel from Shrape Bea­con, which con­nects to the In­ner Fair­way op­po­site Town Quay. There is a lim­ited depth of 0.2m below chart data. Avoid the chan­nel if your draught is more than the cur­rent tide height. The chan­nel is marked with lat­eral buoys. Again, there can be strong ti­dal streams. It is ad­vis­able to check the Cowes Har­bour Com­mis­sion’s web­site for the lat­est no­tices be­fore ar­riv­ing. There is a 6-knot speed limit within the har­bour and River Me­d­ina up to the Folly. The chain ferry has right of way over all traf­fic. The Me­d­ina is buoyed and dries up­stream of the Folly. Boats up to 2m draught can nav­i­gate to Is­land Har­bour. New­port Har­bour can be reached up to 2hr be­fore and 3hr af­ter High Wa­ter, de­pend­ing on tide and draft.

the royal Yacht squadron is one of nine clubs based in cowes and east cowes

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