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Southampton Water, including approach to Hamble River and Hythe Marina Village

Your Comments: 12 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


From E East Bramble(E.Cardinal) 50:47'.23N 001:13'.63W From W Lepe Spit (S.Cardinal) 50:46'.78N 001:20'.64W


Admiralty 2036, 2041, 2038, SC5600

Rules & Regulations

Moving Prohibited Zone around shipping, see text for details.


Shipping, Bramble Bank

Tidal Data Times & Range

Double HW, First HW approx -0013 Dover (Springs) Stand halfway up flood tide. MHWS 4.5m MHWN 3.7m MLWN 1.8m MLWS 0.5m   (links)

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General Description

Southampton Water is the deep water inlet leading 6 miles from the Solent to the historic city of Southampton, with its deep water docks and jetties. ... read more


The yachtsman or motorboater needs to exercise extreme care in the approaches to Southampton water. ... read more

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

The main berthing facility in the area covered is Hythe Marina Village lying on the port hand side in the close approaches to Southampton docks , clearly shown in the aerial pictures. Full details of berthing arrangements and prices here are covered shortly. If a visitors berth can't be arranged here, there are plenty of other options in the River Itchen, covered separately. ... read more

Your Ratings & Comments

Hill Head Harbour
Written by Tyro Sailor | 27th May 2023
This little, drying harbour between Lee-on-the-Solent and Hamble was the only one in the Solent I hadn't visited - until last month.

Approach (under power, since there's no room inside to get the sails down) not long before high water from the south-west and head for the two white buildings. The right hand one is the Clubhouse and the one on the left is the nature reserve welcome centre. Leave the yellow pole with the cross to port and head for the black one with white bands. Leave this close to starboard and turn slowly towards the well-marked harbour entrance, with a close eye on the echosounder. There's a gravel bank in the way if you turn too sharply, but you should be OK near the top of the tide.
In the entrance keep well to starboard to avoid the obvious shingle bank on the port side. The plastic jigsaw pontoon (well-fendered, so you don't need yours) is directly ahead. There are no cleats but plenty of rings to tie to. The harbour is open to the south-east but otherwise well-sheltered.

If no-one's around from the club (worth a call beforehand) call the helpful and friendly harbourmaster (number in the almanac) for advice on getting ashore - you'll need the combination for the dinghy-park gate lock....or use your dinghy. The bottom is gravel and mud, and the (three!) slips are available for drying out. The River Meon discharges through the harbour so it doesn't dry completely.
Ashlett Creek - dredged!
Written by Tyro Sailor | 18th Aug 2022
The big news here is that the area around the club pontoon has been dredged. I did ask some helpful and friendly club members this week to what depth, but didn't get a definitive reply. But at low water on 16th August my Centaur (draught 0.9m) was just about aground. You do the maths! It was very strange, being afloat or nearly so with walls of mud a few yards away with boats sitting on top. How long it will stay like that remains to be seen.

Enter the creek between the blue tugs and the nearest PHM, the one with the topmark. Straight from there to the buoyed channel. The shallowest bit is between the second and third pairs of buoys. After that, turn to starboard and follow the beacons. The last SHM mentioned in the text is no longer there.

I have photos of the channel if someone can upload them.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Update April 2022
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 5th Apr 2022
I reviewed these notes in early April 2022. I've added notes on Calshot Creek but you should have a look at the extensive notes below for further info. Note that Calshot Oil terminal chimney has gone but that the area is being used by the off-shore wind generating industry and so there is still shipping in the terminal channel. Prices are up to date.
Calshot chimney is no more
Written by Tyro Sailor | 29th Nov 2021
The well-known and much-used landmark of the Fawley Power Station chimney has been demolished. Two controlled explosions brought it down at 0700 on 31st October, together with one of the turbine halls. There are many photographs and videos of this momentous event available on line, taken by some of the many witnesses on the water at the time. I was still tucked up in my sleeping bag in the Hamble, but heard the explosions.

I read that the site of the power station will be used to build a development of luxury houses. And I assume that the adjacent Power Station Creek (see below) is no longer available to yotties.

A sad, but inevitable loss.
Calshot moorings and anchorage
Written by Tyro Sailor | 27th Nov 2020
Tucked in behind Calshot Castle and the nearby Activities Centre are several chunky mooring buoys, a couple of which were vacant this summer. There's also space to anchor, if you'd rather. It all dries 2 to 3.5m to soft, gloopy mud. Very sheltered in there, but markedly less so further out close to the castle where one suffers the wash of every large and/or fast vessel moving along Southampton Water.

Dinghy ashore above half-tide; below that the landings are VERY muddy (he said, from bitter experience). The pontoon looks inviting but is private, usable only close to HW and has a locked gate. The slip to its right is a better bet, as long as you're inshore of the mud!

Ashore there's the excellent and enormous Activities Centre with unofficial loos and probably showers, which used to be the Sunderland flying boat hangar. Further west, past the caravan site, you may well find an ice-cream van and further on still there may be a cafe.
The castle is reputed to be worth a visit and there's also the lifeboat station and NCI lookout.
1 of 1 people found this helpful
Ashlett and Power Station Creeks - update
Written by Tyro Sailor | 27th Nov 2020
The channel into Ashlett Creek was straighter this season than before, but if anything, even shallower.

In Power Station Creek the mooring buoy described below was missing this year, presumably removed as part of the decommissioning and demolition of the power station. Even the chimney (conspic.) is going, I hear. :-(
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Power Station Creek
Written by Tyro Sailor | 1st Jun 2018
North of Calshot and south of Ashlett Creek and the Esso Jetty, at the southern end and western side of Southampton Water is this romantically-named deep-water creek, said to have been dug to float in the boilers for the then new power station. I've been told that it was later used by barges bringing in coal before the power station was converted to burn oil.

The whole of the creek is very well marked with P & S posts, deep, more or less straight and leads to a single large yellow mooring buoy close to the (now disused) power station. Take care, however, not to stray outside the marked channel or you're liable to find yourself on the putty. No facilities at all.
Ashlett Creek
Written by Tyro Sailor | 1st Jun 2018
This is a small, drying creek on the west side of Southampton Water, leading to an attractive natural drying harbour with a friendly yacht club.

The creek is entered at a PHM post, immediately south of the Esso jetty and well-marked with P & S buoys. The channel is shallow at the best of times and dries completely at about half tide. It tends to shift each winter and the buoys are said to be moved each spring to accommodate this. The description in the almanac is therefore always out of date, but the buoys will see you right. The last SHM should be approached closely before turning to port to enter the drying moorings at the top of the creek, or more sharply to port to tie up alongside the drying pontoon which is supplied with both water and electricity.

There's a basic toilet/shower block accessed by a code, and a friendly clubhouse which has provided me with tea but can probably do more than this at various times.

Walks to Calshot and elsewhere, and when the tide and club members go away there's nobody within half a mile - apart from the pub at the top of the harbour (which I haven't yet visited). Despite the proximity of the oil industry it's a secluded and pleasant harbour.
Written by Don Thomson | 23rd Mar 2018
No major changes here, new charts and prices have been uploaded.
Update Spring 2016
Written by dononshytalk | 30th Mar 2016
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2016. No changes other than the prices at Hythe Marina

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