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Poole – Sailing Directions

Precautions / Regulations / Facilities

Maintain Listening Watch within Poole Harbour on Ch. 14 (VTS).

Navigation: Avoid using the main channel, if possible, by making use of the minor channels. Main channel can be busy with commercial traffic. Use the “small boat channel” on the western side to navigate the Harbour entrance. From seaward leave “Red can buoys No 4, No 6 and No 8” to starboard but pass “Red can buoy No 10” leaving it to port. After passing the Chain ferry cross to the starboard side of the channel so as to leave the “West card” buoy and “Green No 13” to starboard. Leave “South card No 15 Bell Buoy” to starboard for main (Middle Channel) channel and to port for North Channel. If using main channel cross to “small boat channel” at “Green card No 17” and keep within “Red” pile markers and main channel buoy until “Red can No 28” & “South card No 29 Stakes” where the channel should be crossed to navigate toward Poole Quay Boat Haven, Fuel pontoon or lifting bridge.

Depths: The Harbour has numerous drying areas and shallows, including parts of the “small boat channels”. Careful attention should be paid to the rise of tide before navigating within the area.

Tidal Streams: The Harbour entrance has, at times, a strong tidal stream running NNW / SSE @ up to 5 Knots.

Winds: The Harbour entrance can be dangerous in south / southeast winds on an ebb tide.

Speed Limits: Harbour entrance 10 knots otherwise 6 knots. (During summer period certain areas have exemptions from the above speed limits).

Harbour entrance: A large “Flashing Orange” light on South Haven CCTV mast indicates that a large vessel is about to transit the entrance.

Chain Ferry: The chain ferry has right of way at all times. The ferry should be passed from astern. A black ball hoisted at the forward end will indicate the direction of travel and a white strobe light flashes when the engines are engaged.

Browsea Island: Check for permissions before going ashore.

Lifting Bridge: Only required to pass when going further up stream than Poole Quay Boat Haven. See: “Links”.

Marinas: Several Marinas. See: “Links”.

Anchoring: Permissible to anchor anywhere out of the main channels where there is sufficient water. Providing that vessels are not impeded in minor channels and clear of anchorage sensitive zones and local mooring. Check with Harbour authorities before anchoring.

Incident reporting: Poole Harbour Control & H.M. Coastguard (Brixham / Solent). See: “VHF communications” & “Useful Telephone Contacts”.

VHF Communications

Fuel (Next to Poole Bridge): No VHF Ch.

H.M. Coastguard (Portland): M.M.S.I. No 002320012

H.M. Coastguard (Solent): M.M.S.I. No 002320011

Parkstone Yacht Haven: Berth Master ((Office Hours) Ch. 37 or Cn. 80. Call sign “Parkstone Haven”. Outside office hours call the Club Steward; see below.

Poole Bridge: Ch. 12 Call sign “Poole Bridge”.

Poole Harbour Control: Ch 14. or 16. Call sign “Poole Harbour Control”.

Poole Quay Boat Haven Ch. 80 Call sign “Poole Quay Boat Haven”.

Salterns Marina: Ch. 37 or Cn. 80. Call sign “Saltern Marina”.

Useful Telephone Contacts

Fuel (Next to Poole Bridge): 01202 669092

H.M. Coastguard (Potland): 01305 760439

H.M. Coastguard (Solent): 02392 552100

Parkstone Yacht Haven Bar, Club Steward 01202 743610 Ex. 5

Parkstone Yacht Haven advance bookings: 01202 738824

Poole Harbour Control: 01202 440230

Poole Quay Boat Haven 01202 649488

Salterns Marina 01202 709971


Click here for Poole Harbour Authority.

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