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Shamrock Quay

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Overview





Situated on the south coast of England, deep within The Solent and Southampton Water, Shamrock Quay Marina is on the west bank of the Itchen River within the city of Southampton. The marina offers a convenient pontoon berth close to the heart of the historic and nationally important city with excellent onshore repair facilities.

Situated on the south coast of England, deep within The Solent and Southampton Water, Shamrock Quay Marina is on the west bank of the Itchen River within the city of Southampton. The marina offers a convenient pontoon berth close to the heart of the historic and nationally important city with excellent onshore repair facilities.

Set a mile and a half up-river of the largely protected Southampton Water the marina offers complete protection from all conditions. Safe access in all reasonable conditions, at most all stages of the tide, night of day, is provided by The Solent and Southampton Water, one of the most well-marked and protected expanses of water in the world.
Please note

The run up to the pontoon is a trek of about twenty five miles from either of The Solent entrances. Although well marked the western Needles Channel entrance option cannot be relied upon in all weather conditions. Tidal planning will be essential for approaches and marina berthing and especially so on springs. Vessels should be prepared to give way to commercial shipping throughout The Solent and Southampton Water.




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Keyfacts for Shamrock Quay



Last modified
July 17th 2018

Summary

A completely protected location with safe access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWaste disposal bins availableGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableExtensive shopping available in the areaSlipway availableLaundry facilities availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet via a wireless access point availableDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaTrolley or cart available for unloading and loadingHaul-out capabilities via arrangementBoatyard with hard-standing available here; covered or uncoveredMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesRegional or international airport within 25 kilometresCar hire available in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesNavigation lights to support a night approachUrban nature,  anything from a small town of more 5,000 inhabitants  to a large cityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: Traffic Separation Scheme nearbyNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterwaysNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged



Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 54.490' N, 001° 22.920' W

This is the position of the southwest point of the Hammer Head pontoon where a light is exhibited.

What are the initial fixes?

The following waypoints will set up a final approach:

(i) Easter Approach - No Man's Land Fort

50° 44.215' N, 001° 5.410' W

This is positioned 500 metres southeast of No Man's Land Fort. The eastern fairway into Spithead and The Solent passes between No Man’s Land Fort, on the Isle of Wight side, and the corresponding Horse Sand Fort, off the mainland. Leisure craft may use a boat channel located close west of No Man’s Land Fort.

(ii) Western Approach - The Needles Channel

50° 38.230' N, 001° 38.980' W

This is positioned of the safe water Fairway Light-buoy L Fl.10s situated off the southwest end of the entrance to the Needles Channel. The port hand SW Shingles Light Buoy and Bridge West Cardinal, marking the seaward end of the Needled Channel, will be conspicuous to the northeast. Likewise a direction light, bearing 041° T, of Hurst Point Light will be picked up to lead up through the seaward end of the channel.
Please note

Initial fixes only set up their listed targets. Do not plan to sail directly between initial fixes as a routing sequence.




What are the key points of the approach?

The entry and the run-up thorough The Solent, Southampton Water and River Itchen are covered in
The Solent and Isle of Wight Route location coastal description.

  • Enter the River Itchen to the east of Southampton Docks and follow the marked channel for about 2 miles up to Shamrock Quay.

  • Visitors typically come alongside pontoon D but it is advisable to make berthing arrangements in advance. Watch out for a run of current under the pontoons and especially so on the ebb at springs.



Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Shamrock Quay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Saxon Wharf Marina - 0.2 miles NE
  2. Kemps Quay - 0.2 miles NE
  3. Ocean Village Marina - 0.5 miles SSW
  4. Town Quay - 0.7 miles SW
  5. Hythe Marina Village - 1.3 miles SSW
  6. Marchwood Yacht Club - 1.4 miles W
  7. Deacons Marina and Boatyard - 2.1 miles ESE
  8. Elephant Boatyard - 2.1 miles ESE
  9. Netley - 2.1 miles SSE
  10. Universal Marina - 2.1 miles SE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Saxon Wharf Marina - 0.2 miles NE
  2. Kemps Quay - 0.2 miles NE
  3. Ocean Village Marina - 0.5 miles SSW
  4. Town Quay - 0.7 miles SW
  5. Hythe Marina Village - 1.3 miles SSW
  6. Marchwood Yacht Club - 1.4 miles W
  7. Deacons Marina and Boatyard - 2.1 miles ESE
  8. Elephant Boatyard - 2.1 miles ESE
  9. Netley - 2.1 miles SSE
  10. Universal Marina - 2.1 miles SE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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How to get in?


Shamrock Quay Marina is situated on the east side of Southampton. Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire and is host to one England’s principal ports. The marina is situated on the west bank of the River Itchen that passes along the city’s eastern side.

It is advisable to have made berthing arrangements in advance by contacting the Shamrock Quay Marina on VHF Ch 80 or P +44 23 8022 9461.



Convergance Point The Solent and Isle of Wight Route location coastal description provides approach details. Vessels navigating the six-mile length of Southampton Water should keep a listening watch for Southampton VTS, on VHF Ch 12/16, especially around the docks, and give priority to commercial traffic.

Haven location Berth as advised by the marina staff. Visitors usually come alongside pontoon D. Shamrock Quay's pontoons are exposed to very strong tidal currents so a great measure of care is required to deal with the cross-currents when passing in between the marina’s pontoon heads.

This is especially the case on Springs after its double high’s ‘tidal stand’. When the Spring stand ends the ebb tide whistles out under the pontoons making berthing between pontoon heads challenging to the extreme. During these times it is advisable to inquire if it is possible to temporarily come alongside the outer hammerheads with the intention of taking up an allocated berth when the run abates. It is also advisable for newcomers to plan their arrival for slack water and if in any doubt whatsoever to ask the dockmasters, who are available 24 hours a day, for berthing assistance.



It is also worth noting that the River Itchen is well trafficked. As such it is advisable to keep well to the starboard side of the River Itchen and cross swiftly into the marina entrance when berthing. Likewise, keep a good lookout for river traffic when exiting the marina.


Why visit here?
Shamrock Quay Marina is owned and operated by Marina Development Limited (MDL) based in Hamble Hampshire. The company owns and manages eighteen coastal marinas and boatyards in England including its adjacent sister marina of Saxon Wharf, located a ½ mile above on the River Itchen, Ocean Village a mile below and Hythe Marina Village near the head of Southampton Water. It has other facilities in France, Italy and Spain and the company provides its berth holders with freedom to roam between their extensive ranges of facilities when space is available.

The marina takes its name from the beautiful J-Class yachts that graced the seas in the late 1920s and 30s. The ground that the marina stands on today was once home to Camper and Nicholsons’ yard that took part in the construction of the famous J-Class Shamrock V.




A J-Class yacht is a single masted racing sailboat built to the specifications of Nathanael Herreshoff's Universal Rule. The one rule was established in 1903 and rated double masted racers, classes A through H, and single masted racers, classes I through S. From 1914 to 1937 the rule was used to determine eligibility for the Americas Cup with the J-Class being considered the peak racers of the era.



During this time Sir Thomas Lipton, 1848 –1931, had a fixation on winning the Americas Cup. He was the owner of the English Lipton chain of grocery stores and is best survived today by the Lipton tea brand that was acquired by Unilever in 1983. Between the years of 1899-1930 he took five challengers across the Atlantic to claim the cup. All of the boats were named Shamrock after the three-leaf clover that is the unofficial national symbol of Ireland. The original Shamrock was helmed by Robert Kemp Senior, as well as the King’s own yacht ‘Britannia’, whose descendants still manage Kemps Quay, situated ½ a mile upriver more than a century later.

In each challenge he entered a newly built yacht and in each event Lipton lost to the Americans by a significant margin. His well-publicised bids to win the cup, only earned him an especially designed "the best of all losers" cup. But the canny self-made Glaswegian had more than a sporting perspective in mind with these highly expensive endeavours. Because the race took place in the US and was followed with great interest by the population, Lipton correctly calculated that the interest would help him promote his tea brand across North American.


Shamrock V was his fifth, and ultimately last, America's Cup challenge. He retained Charles Ernest Nicholson to design the challenger and she was jointly constructed at the Camper and Nicholsons’ yard in Gosport and here on their yard alongside the Itchen River. Constructed with wood over steel frames, and most significantly a hollow spruce mast, Shamrock V was revolutionary.


Following her launch on 14 April 1930 the colossal 36.4 metres (120 ft.) long, 6.07m (19.9ft.) beam and 4.75 metre (15.6Ft) draft racing craft showed early promise. She won 15 of 22 races on the British Regatta circuit. During this first season Shamrock V was continuously upgraded with alterations made to her hull shape, rudder, and rig to create a more effective racing sail plan. After this she departed for Newport, Rhode Island, for the 15th America's Cup.




Shamrock V’s challenge however was to be plagued by bad luck and haunted by one of the most ruthless skippers in America's Cup history, Harold Vanderbilt. The Americans were well prepared for the hot contender. Despite the Wall Street Crash the sailing clubs had constructed four variations of the J-Class rule Enterprise, Weetamoe, Yankee and Whirlwind to take on the hot British contender. They raced them out until Enterprise narrowly proved to be the best in class. But when the Shamrock V was finally revealed, Enterprise appeared an outdated wooden boat with a heavy wooden mast that performed poorly to windward. Sensing the mismatch Vanderbilt moved quickly to fit Enterprise with the World's first very lightweight Duralumin, an aluminium alloy, mast that entirely transformed the vessel’s performance.


This the first of the best-of-seven races was a convincing victory for Enterprise winning by nearly three minutes. Shamrock V was to fare worse in the second race losing by nearly 10 minutes. The third race finally provided the assembled thousands on the shore at Newport the racing they craved. Shamrock V 's initial lead at the start was relinquished to Enterprise after a tacking duel. Following this surrender Shamrock V 's main halyard parted and her sail collapsed to the deck eliminating here from the race. The fourth race clinched the cup for Enterprise after which Sir Thomas Lipton was heard to utter resignedly "I can't win".


At the same moment Harold Vanderbilt had arrived at the pinnacle of his yacht racing career. The victory putting him on the cover of 'Time' magazine. In 1934 he went on to defeat the UK’s Endeavour in Rainbow, and in 1937 he won again in Ranger, the last of the prohibitively expensive J-Class yachts to defend the Cup. Later on Vanderbilt would become Commodore of the New York Yacht Club and would be intimately involved in many successful America's Cup defences. Sir Thomas Lipton would die the following year never fulfilling his ambition to win the cup. But after endearing himself to the American public, with five brave attempts over 31 years, he had captured America’s dominant tea brand.
Shamrock V survives to this day as one of only three surviving J's in the world and the only remaining wooden J-Class. Re-built and restored many times it is perhaps the ultimate, pure sailing yacht and is available for charter. In August 2001 Shamrock V participated in a fitting reunion with the only two remaining J-Classes, Endeavour , and Velsheda , for the America's Cup Jubilee in The Solent.




Shamrock Quay retains its Camper and Nicholsons’ yard heritage to this day. Within the immediate area every repair facility is available and yachts, large and small, are continually refitted here.


Aesthetically the area surrounding the marina is industrial and has few landmark buildings. Being home to the Spitfire, a major commercial port and industrial area, Southampton was particularly hard hit in World War II. Likewise, after D-Day, the docks of Southampton handled military cargo that kept the Allied forces supplied. This made it a key target of Luftwaffe bombing raids until late 1944. The city lost a lot of lives and much of the older historic city around the docks area was levelled as a result.

A short taxi ride or a 20 minute walk will bring a visitor into the heart of the city where there is ample to explore and enjoy. Football fans may also note that St. Mary's Stadium, passed 600 metres down river from the marina and a short walk, has been home to Southampton Football Club, nicknamed The Saints, since 2001.

From a pure sailing perspective this is an excellent bolt hole, set deep inland, to escape extreme weather. It has every yachting facility immediately ashore making it an ideal place to tackle a boat overhaul. Also what is not immediately available can easily be had in the city of Southampton.


What facilities are available?
All the pontoons provide power and water. Domestic requirements such as showers, toilets, launderette facilities up to and including WiFi can be found throughout the marina area. Facilities for garbage disposal, and waste oil can be disposed of ashore close to the marina office. A sizable chandlery that caters for gas exchange is a few minutes walk from any berth, along with a pub, and a choice of food outlets.

Shamrock Quay has every repair facility a vessel could require; marine engineers, riggers, sailmakers, electronic and electrical experts all immediately ashore. If you cannot find what you need directly ashore the very helpful marina staff will be only too delighted to help you. A travel hoist can lift vessels weighing up to 63 tons and hard standing can be obtained ashore. The single exception to the marina's list of services is the ability to provide a diesel fuel fill alongside. Diesel fuel, not petrol, can however be obtained at Itchen Marine at American Wharf, close south, or within Hythe Marina Village in Southampton Water.

Shamrock Quay is a taxi ride to downtown Southampton that, being a major city and commercial port, has excellent transport connections. Regular car ferries, or fast catamarans, ply their way to Cowes, Isle of Wight, and these are a short taxi ride away. Mainline trains are available to London Waterloo, 70 minutes, Poole, Weymouth, Portsmouth and Brighton. These are complemented by a wide variety of local and regional bus services. Southampton International Airport with internal and continental flights is a 20 minute taxi ride in free flowing traffic. M27 connecting to the M3 and A3 is a 20 minutes drive.


Any security concerns?
The marina is highly attentive to the security of vessels either alongside pontoons or up on the hard. Gates are coded and a 24 hour security system is maintained with CCTV. The founder of inyourfootsteps.com kept his vessel 'Whistler' in Shamrock Quay for three years. In that time there was never an incident or even an anecdotal account of an incident in this very well run marina.


With thanks to:
Michael Harpur S/Y Whistler. Photography by Michael Harpur.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fixes' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.




















































This video presents a promotional overview of the marina.







A jaunt downriver from Shamrock Quay


About Shamrock Quay

Shamrock Quay Marina is owned and operated by Marina Development Limited (MDL) based in Hamble Hampshire. The company owns and manages eighteen coastal marinas and boatyards in England including its adjacent sister marina of Saxon Wharf, located a ½ mile above on the River Itchen, Ocean Village a mile below and Hythe Marina Village near the head of Southampton Water. It has other facilities in France, Italy and Spain and the company provides its berth holders with freedom to roam between their extensive ranges of facilities when space is available.

The marina takes its name from the beautiful J-Class yachts that graced the seas in the late 1920s and 30s. The ground that the marina stands on today was once home to Camper and Nicholsons’ yard that took part in the construction of the famous J-Class Shamrock V.




A J-Class yacht is a single masted racing sailboat built to the specifications of Nathanael Herreshoff's Universal Rule. The one rule was established in 1903 and rated double masted racers, classes A through H, and single masted racers, classes I through S. From 1914 to 1937 the rule was used to determine eligibility for the Americas Cup with the J-Class being considered the peak racers of the era.



During this time Sir Thomas Lipton, 1848 –1931, had a fixation on winning the Americas Cup. He was the owner of the English Lipton chain of grocery stores and is best survived today by the Lipton tea brand that was acquired by Unilever in 1983. Between the years of 1899-1930 he took five challengers across the Atlantic to claim the cup. All of the boats were named Shamrock after the three-leaf clover that is the unofficial national symbol of Ireland. The original Shamrock was helmed by Robert Kemp Senior, as well as the King’s own yacht ‘Britannia’, whose descendants still manage Kemps Quay, situated ½ a mile upriver more than a century later.

In each challenge he entered a newly built yacht and in each event Lipton lost to the Americans by a significant margin. His well-publicised bids to win the cup, only earned him an especially designed "the best of all losers" cup. But the canny self-made Glaswegian had more than a sporting perspective in mind with these highly expensive endeavours. Because the race took place in the US and was followed with great interest by the population, Lipton correctly calculated that the interest would help him promote his tea brand across North American.


Shamrock V was his fifth, and ultimately last, America's Cup challenge. He retained Charles Ernest Nicholson to design the challenger and she was jointly constructed at the Camper and Nicholsons’ yard in Gosport and here on their yard alongside the Itchen River. Constructed with wood over steel frames, and most significantly a hollow spruce mast, Shamrock V was revolutionary.


Following her launch on 14 April 1930 the colossal 36.4 metres (120 ft.) long, 6.07m (19.9ft.) beam and 4.75 metre (15.6Ft) draft racing craft showed early promise. She won 15 of 22 races on the British Regatta circuit. During this first season Shamrock V was continuously upgraded with alterations made to her hull shape, rudder, and rig to create a more effective racing sail plan. After this she departed for Newport, Rhode Island, for the 15th America's Cup.




Shamrock V’s challenge however was to be plagued by bad luck and haunted by one of the most ruthless skippers in America's Cup history, Harold Vanderbilt. The Americans were well prepared for the hot contender. Despite the Wall Street Crash the sailing clubs had constructed four variations of the J-Class rule Enterprise, Weetamoe, Yankee and Whirlwind to take on the hot British contender. They raced them out until Enterprise narrowly proved to be the best in class. But when the Shamrock V was finally revealed, Enterprise appeared an outdated wooden boat with a heavy wooden mast that performed poorly to windward. Sensing the mismatch Vanderbilt moved quickly to fit Enterprise with the World's first very lightweight Duralumin, an aluminium alloy, mast that entirely transformed the vessel’s performance.


This the first of the best-of-seven races was a convincing victory for Enterprise winning by nearly three minutes. Shamrock V was to fare worse in the second race losing by nearly 10 minutes. The third race finally provided the assembled thousands on the shore at Newport the racing they craved. Shamrock V 's initial lead at the start was relinquished to Enterprise after a tacking duel. Following this surrender Shamrock V 's main halyard parted and her sail collapsed to the deck eliminating here from the race. The fourth race clinched the cup for Enterprise after which Sir Thomas Lipton was heard to utter resignedly "I can't win".


At the same moment Harold Vanderbilt had arrived at the pinnacle of his yacht racing career. The victory putting him on the cover of 'Time' magazine. In 1934 he went on to defeat the UK’s Endeavour in Rainbow, and in 1937 he won again in Ranger, the last of the prohibitively expensive J-Class yachts to defend the Cup. Later on Vanderbilt would become Commodore of the New York Yacht Club and would be intimately involved in many successful America's Cup defences. Sir Thomas Lipton would die the following year never fulfilling his ambition to win the cup. But after endearing himself to the American public, with five brave attempts over 31 years, he had captured America’s dominant tea brand.
Shamrock V survives to this day as one of only three surviving J's in the world and the only remaining wooden J-Class. Re-built and restored many times it is perhaps the ultimate, pure sailing yacht and is available for charter. In August 2001 Shamrock V participated in a fitting reunion with the only two remaining J-Classes, Endeavour , and Velsheda , for the America's Cup Jubilee in The Solent.




Shamrock Quay retains its Camper and Nicholsons’ yard heritage to this day. Within the immediate area every repair facility is available and yachts, large and small, are continually refitted here.


Aesthetically the area surrounding the marina is industrial and has few landmark buildings. Being home to the Spitfire, a major commercial port and industrial area, Southampton was particularly hard hit in World War II. Likewise, after D-Day, the docks of Southampton handled military cargo that kept the Allied forces supplied. This made it a key target of Luftwaffe bombing raids until late 1944. The city lost a lot of lives and much of the older historic city around the docks area was levelled as a result.

A short taxi ride or a 20 minute walk will bring a visitor into the heart of the city where there is ample to explore and enjoy. Football fans may also note that St. Mary's Stadium, passed 600 metres down river from the marina and a short walk, has been home to Southampton Football Club, nicknamed The Saints, since 2001.

From a pure sailing perspective this is an excellent bolt hole, set deep inland, to escape extreme weather. It has every yachting facility immediately ashore making it an ideal place to tackle a boat overhaul. Also what is not immediately available can easily be had in the city of Southampton.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Ocean Village Marina - 0.5 miles SSW
Town Quay - 0.7 miles SW
Eling - 2.3 miles W
Marchwood Yacht Club - 1.4 miles W
Hythe Marina Village - 1.3 miles SSW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Saxon Wharf Marina - 0.2 miles NE
Kemps Quay - 0.2 miles NE
Netley - 2.1 miles SSE
Hamble Point Marina - 2.7 miles SE
Port Hamble Marina - 2.4 miles SE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Shamrock Quay.



























This video presents a promotional overview of the marina.







A jaunt downriver from Shamrock Quay



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