Harbour Information

You are viewing the expanded version of this Harbour, for faster browsing
use the regular version here

Portsmouth Harbour 3- North, inc Fareham

Your Comments: 4 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


None Given


Admiralty 2036, 2037, 2045, 2628, 2629, 2631, SC5600   (links)

Rules & Regulations

10Knts Speed Limit in Harbour. Must Keep 50m Away from MOD Ships and Property, and 100m away from submarines.


Tidal Data Times & Range

HW +0029 Dover, MHWS 4.7m, MHWN 3.8m, MLWN 1.9m, MLWS 0.8m   (links)

This site is designed for slower, roaming broadband connections, like you would get at sea, so it needs JavaScript enabled to expand the text.

General Description

This is the third article covering Portsmouth, and is concerned with the Northern (mainly shallow and drying part) part of Portsmouth Harbour:

Entrance to Portsmouth, and immediate mooring options are covered here:


Gosport and it's mooring options are covered here:


Once through the narrow entrance and past the dockyards and marinas the harbour opens right up with several deeper channels amidst the large drying areas.

The upper reaches of the harbour can provide sheltered waters for sailing dinghies, and there are adequate launching facilities for trailer sailers.

Other options include swinging moorings or pushing on up to Fareham or full marina facilities at Port Solent Marina.

Thanks for info from member Garry Flashman embedded in this coverage.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

Getting away from the entrance area there are further mooring opportunities, and for the shoal draft cruiser there are anchoring possibilities in the Northern part of this historic harbour.

Fareham Lake.

Fareham lake is the Western channel into which the harbour divides north of the marinas on your port side and the docks on your starboard side. The eastern arm is called Portchester lake and leads to Port Solent marina which is covered shortly.

The lower part of Fareham Lake channel is identified by big ship moorings and laid up shipping. As you enter the Fareham Lake Channel, having passed Priddy's hard and almost due west of the junction between the Fareham Channel and the Porchester channel lies the Hardway Sailing Club pontoon.

Hardway Sailing Club

This club welcomes, nay encourages, visitors. Full details are in our Gosport coverage

Pushing further north you will come to Bomb Ketch Lake and Spider Lake on your starboard side, recognisable by the numerous private moorings. At this point you should see a couple of southerly Cardinal marks, one of which is lit (VQ(6)LFl.10s), and these need to be left to starboard.

From now on channel is marked by piles (but only lit as far as Bedenham Pier, which should not be approached closer than 12 m). Shortly after passing this pier the channel leads to the pier and premises of Wicormarine on the eastern side.

Our research of the waters inland from Bedenham Pier show that there are four different versions of the chart for this area in existence :- UKHO 2631, Navionics, Wicormarine pontoon chartlet, and Google Maps. None of them agree. The positioning of the numbered piles is OK but the light signatures, where mentioned, cannot be relied on. The QHM, who is responsible, has no funding  or interest in the waters past Bedenham Pier but may undertake some sort of survey sometime. 

We notice that there is a recent (2019?) N to M stating that the piles in Fareham Lake after pylon 31 are unlit

The buoyage and lighting for the channel up to Port Solent Marina has been farmed out to the marina. 


Wicormarine is a traditional boatyard that has been around since 1966. Depending on where you look there are various schematics of the layout here; the only one that is correct is on their own website (hyperlink below) and we have put a copy of that in our images gallery.  One of the major changes here is that they now have walk ashore pontoons one of which, Pontoon H, is set aside for visitors so you no longer have to inflate the dinghy to get ashore. The depth at this pontoon is thought to be about 2 metres but the bottom is soft mud. There is water on this pontoon but no shore power. 

Diesel (in smallish quantities) is available as well as Camping and Calor gas. There is a small chandlery and a cafe, but no longer a shop for provisions. They are still charging (2022) £2.00 per  metre per night and would like you to book ahead. The nearby village of Porchester is able to provide further provisioning.  Contact the yard on 01329 237112, or check the link to their website below:


Anyone planning to push on up to Fareham must take note of the overhead electricity cables which only have a safe clearance of 16 m at MHWS, and soon after Wicormarine depths rapidly shallow out in the channel. Normal draft yachts can get to Fareham two hours either side of high water.

Continuing onwards from this yard into Fareham itself, you will pass on your port hand side a large yard run by Portsmouth Marine Engineering who provide long-term drying berths. This is known as Fareham Yacht Harbour, and it may be possible to get a drying berths here when residents are away. Try telephoning them on 01329 232854, they charge a flat rate of £10.

Next up comes a pontoon belonging to Fareham Sailing and Motorboat Club, who may be able to offer you an overnight drying berth. Telephone 01329 280738 link provided below:


"At the top of Fareham Lake is Fareham Sailing Club.  Actually Fareham Sailing and Motor Boat Club, but let’s not be too pedantic.

They welcome visitors, and have a pontoon.  This dries around 2.5 hours either side of high water and you need to be comfortable taking the ground on a reasonably hard bottom.

The club itself is run by members, both the bar and the galley.  The clubhouse is small but has a lot of character, and looks out over the creek to the golf course beyond.  There is a drying wall and a very good slipway for trailer sailors."

Next up comes the premises of Trafalgar Yacht Services, who do not offer berths but are well known specialists in the Westerly marque. Bilge keelers may be able to dry out on the hardstanding either side of the slipway, with access for shoal draft craft around two hours either side of high water.

Fareham Marina is the small outfit just to the north of the slipway, and they may be able to offer a drying berth for you but by arrangement only, for a flat fee of £10 per night. Link to website below:


This concludes the facilities in Fareham Lake/Channel.

Porchester Lake and Port Solent Marina.

Porchester Lake, or channel is located just to the north of the marinas on the eastern side. It is not to be confused with Fountain Lake which is part of the big ship harbour and houses the continental ferry port. Yachts are discouraged from entering here. Entry is between two beacons both lit, the green with triangular topmark is numbered 95 (QG), and it's red counterpart is number 57 (Fl(3)R5s). From here the channel trends north-easterly and is marked by piles.

After passing the big ship moorings, with the best water being to starboard the channel narrows and trends in a northerly direction. It then swings in a north-easterly direction in the area of Tipner Lake which lies to starboard. The water is now shallowing out, and care is needed. Do not confuse the red and green piles showing the entrance to Tipner Lake with the main Porchester Channel.
Some of these piles carry warnings about the firing range.

The channel now trends in a northerly direction and can be recognised by the moorings on either side. Once Portchester Castle draws abeam on your port side you will be entering the dredged channel leading to the Marina. If approaching at low water caution should be exercised, as some of the piles are just outside of the channel.

Port Solent Marina recommends that you call on VHF channel 80 or telephone 023 9221 0765 when you get to starboard hand pile number 78, to request use of the lock. This is just before Portchester Castle is abeam.

The lock operates 24 hours a day, sometimes with free flow at the top of the tide. If the lock is available for you continue along the channel and enter it providing it is showing a green light. There is a waiting pontoon with deep water available but you may need to raft up.

Services available here include water and electricity (included in the berthing fee) on the pontoons, and the fuel berth selling petrol as well as diesel. The shower and toilet facilities ashore are highly rated also. Berthing fees (2022) are £3.40 per metre per night for an 8 to 12.5 metre boat in the season with a minimum charge of £27.40 short stays £1.48per metre with a minimum charge of £10 but free if taking on fuel. Berthing charges run mid-day to mid-day.

Wifi is available in the Marina and the first four hours is included with the mooring fee.

For the boat there are lifting facilities up to 40 tonnes, together with local on-site Marine specialists (details in the directory).

Provisioning is easy with a large 24 hours Tesco's, as well as a good selection of other shops. Cash machines are available in Tesco's and elsewhere.

The place is pretty well self-contained, which is just as well because it's miles from anywhere. We provide a link to their website below:


This just about concludes our coverage of the berthing opportunities in the Portsmouth harbour area. There may well be other places, and if they make themselves known we will include them in here.

Little has been said about anchoring, but the intrepid shoal draft cruiser who can sit upright could probably find any number of quiet spots. A good reconnoitre of the proposed drying out spot should be conducted at low water first. There could be all manner of unexpected and unpleasant objects festering in the mud...

Keelboats looking to lay afloat at anchor need to make sure they are completely out of the channels and clear of the moorings which is not easy and probably best avoided. It is a requirement that you get permission from the QHM if anchoring in more than 10 m, although no doubt this is more relevant to ships.

In conclusion it could be said that Portsmouth Harbour offers a good variety of berthing options at very reasonable prices.


"Fareham is a reasonably large town, with all you might expect.  Excellent supermarkets, more than enough pizza outlets, pubs and restaurants, and plenty of conventional stores including big brands.  It is easily accessible from Gosport via an excellent bus service - the Eclipse route."


Gas is obtainable from Wicormarine, as well as Percy See Ltd, Lower Quay rd, Fareham.

Trailer Sailers.

The following list of launching places is by no means complete and exhaustive but covers some of the popular spots.

Port Solent.
This is not in the Marina but just to the north. Access is available at about a quarter of the tidal range and it's free to use.

Fareham, Lower Quay.
This concrete ramp is free to use, having access at about a quarter of the tidal range. It is well used and maintained with parking nearby.

Porchester, Wicormarine.
Wicormarine have a concrete slipway with access at about a quarter of the tidal range. There are charges. Contact details have already been given.


 Verbal or written reports delivered in plain English at the level you require, in a pragmatic way. We work with private owners, yacht brokers, charter companies, insurance companies, finance companies, and also coding organisations.
 We specialise in surveying FRP and steel vessels, charter yachts and all small marine craft. With 25 years in the marine industry, www.marinesurveysuk.com are members of BMSE and YDSA Call Matt on   07798 554535   or email [email protected]


Link to history of Fareham:


Eating, Drinking & Entertainment


The town of Fareham offers a decent choice of restaurants and pubs including an Indian and Chinese, as well as more upmarket eateries serving French and International cusine. Italian food is also catered for with two restaurants. Links are provided below for further investigation:

Pubs Fareham.

fareham pubs and bars; pubs in fareham # beerintheevening.com

Eating Out Fareham.

THE 10 BEST Restaurants & Places to Eat in Fareham 2021 - Tripadvisor

Port Solent.

Port Solent is a completely self-contained area well away from everything else. Suffice to say that if your boat is moored here a quick recce around the Broadwalk will reveal what is on offer. This ranges from cafes, bar restaurants, and all kinds of eateries with foods ranging from Cajun, Mexican, Indian, and Chinese.. not forgetting Italian.

The yacht club here is open to visiting sailors too.

There is little point in providing links as everything is right there on the spot and what you see is what you get.


Your Ratings & Comments

Update March 2022
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 31st Mar 2022
I reviewed these notes at the end of March 2022. The UKHO charts of Wicor Marine should be viewed with scepticism as they have had walk ashore pontoons there for at least two years and one of the charts doesn't show them. I've put a chartlet in the Nav images to help. Their prices remain the same..
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 19th Mar 2020
I reviewed these notes in March 2020. The multitude of charts for Wicormarine still exists but the layout on their website is still the most accurate. I queried the lights in Fareham Lake with the QHM and I see they have issued a Notice to the effect that they are no longer lit. Prices have been updated and a new chart uploaded.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update Spring 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 23rd May 2019
These notes were reviewed in May2019. The pontoons at Wicormarine have been improved and there i now a Visitors pontoon connected to the shore. We've added a Wicormarine pontoon layout chart to the gallery. We have uploaded the latest UKHO chart for this area but none of the charts for this area agree.
Written by Don Thomson | 21st Mar 2018
There are new prices in some of the places but overall they seem to have stayed pretty static. There are new charts
1 of 1 people found this helpful
© visitMyHarbour.com | website design created by Black Culm Ltd