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Hamble River Harbour Master

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Overview





Warsash is situated on the south coast of England at the entrance to the River Hamble which flows into the northeast side of Southampton Water. It is home to the Hamble Harbour Master who offers visitors a midstream pontoon off the village and two jetties, one at Warsash and one above at Hamble, that have some walk ashore berths.

The Harbour Master provides good berthing opportunities but, although located inside the protected body of Southampton Water, the river mouth is somewhat exposed to developed southerlies and the wash from the busy fairway can make them uncomfortable. Warsash can be safely accessed night or day, at any state of the tide and in all reasonable conditions.
Please note

Visitors are advised to check availability in advance of any arrival as berths cannot be reserved and are allocated on a 'first come, first served’ basis.




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Keyfacts for Hamble River Harbour Master
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaChandlery available in the areaMSD (marine sanitation device) pump out facilitiesScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineSail making or sail repair servicesBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: Can be subject to wash from commercial vesselsNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
July 17th 2018

Summary

A good location with safe access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas availableShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaChandlery available in the areaMSD (marine sanitation device) pump out facilitiesScrubbing posts or a place where a vessel can dry out for a scrub below the waterlineSail making or sail repair servicesBus service available in the areaRegional or international airport within 25 kilometres


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periodsNote: Can be subject to wash from commercial vesselsNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged



HM  +44 1489 576387     HM  +44 7718 146380      Ch.68 [Hamble Harbour Radio]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 51.140' N, 001° 18.487' W

This is the southern most end of the Harbour Master’s Warsash jetty.


What are the key points of the approach?

The entry and the run-up thorough The Solent and Southampton Water are covered in
The Solent and Isle of Wight Route location coastal description. The River Hamble and its approaches are detailed the Deacons Marina and Boatyard Click to view haven entry.


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 Hamble River Harbour Master for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Warsash Sailing Club - 0 miles SSE
  2. Hamble Point Marina - 0.1 miles WSW
  3. Port Hamble Marina - 0.3 miles NNW
  4. Mercury Yacht Harbour - 0.7 miles N
  5. Netley - 0.8 miles WNW
  6. Universal Marina - 0.8 miles N
  7. Swanwick Marina - 1.1 miles N
  8. Ashlett - 1.1 miles SW
  9. Elephant Boatyard - 1.1 miles N
  10. Deacons Marina and Boatyard - 1.2 miles N
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Warsash Sailing Club - 0 miles SSE
  2. Hamble Point Marina - 0.1 miles WSW
  3. Port Hamble Marina - 0.3 miles NNW
  4. Mercury Yacht Harbour - 0.7 miles N
  5. Netley - 0.8 miles WNW
  6. Universal Marina - 0.8 miles N
  7. Swanwick Marina - 1.1 miles N
  8. Ashlett - 1.1 miles SW
  9. Elephant Boatyard - 1.1 miles N
  10. Deacons Marina and Boatyard - 1.2 miles N
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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How to get in?


Warsash is located on the east bank of the river immediately within the entrance to the River Hamble. The small village is made conspicuous by the Harbour Master's Office tower, circled by white with black bands and a flagstaff, that fronts its riverside. Hamble Harbour Master holds jurisdiction of the river, within the limits best seen on a chart, on behalf of Hampshire County Council.

The Harbour Master offers three potential berthing options:

  • • A midstream pontoon at the entrance with drafts in excess of 4 metres chart datum.

  • • The Harbour Master's jetty at Warsash with a draft of 1.8 metres chart datum.

  • • The Harbour Master's jetty at Hamble with a draft of 1.5 metres chart datum.
The River Hamble provides a draft of no less than 3 metres chart datum to all of the Harbour Master’s berths.

All Harbour Master berths may be freely used for quick set-downs or pick-ups. No charge will be made for stays of up to 30 minutes provided the berths are available and the vessel is not left unattended.


The Hamble Harbour Master strictly allocates berths in the order in which visitors arrive. The only exception to the first-come, first-served rule is in the case of rallies that may be accommodated in advance. It is therefore advisable to make contact in advance of arrival so that the Harbour Master can advise on the current availability. Likewise it may prove useful to call well in advance so as to avoid times when they are likely to be overwhelmed by rallies or special events. In most cases they find a way to accommodate their visitors.

Harbour Master P: +44 1489 576387 VHF Ch. 68 call sign [Hamble Harbour Radio]. The office in Warsash is open 8.30 am to 5 pm daily. If the office is unavailable Hamble Patrol operates in the summer, 1 April to 30 September, from 6.30am to 10pm and in winter, 1 October to 30 April, 8.30am to 5pm. The patrol is available on M: +44 7718 146380 or +44 7718 146381.



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. Vessels converging on the entrance will find nothing in the way of local hazards by staying in reasonable soundings and following the Solent’s ample marks. The entrance to the River Hamble is made known from a great distance by being almost opposite to Fawley Power Station in Southampton Water. Fawley's 198 metres high chimney makes a conspicuous mark throughout the central Solent and beyond.

The approaches and run up the river as far as the Bursledon Bridge, the effective head of navigation for most sailing craft, are covered in the Deacons Marina and Boatyard Click to view haven entry.





Haven location The Harbour Master’s visitor’s pontoon is the first mid-stream pontoon encountered immediately to port of the main fairway, between Warsash and Hamble Point Marina. The fist pile has red/green/red striping after which it has distinctive blue piles, numbered B1 – B6, and is clearly marked ‘Visitors'. By night its head pile exhibits a light off its southern end Fl(2+1)R.10s 2M.


Land by tender at the Warsash Jetty in front of the Harbour Masters office, at the Harbour Masters Jetty at Hamble or on the public hards. Alternatively there is a River Taxi service available on P: +44 23 8045 4512; M: +44 7720 438402 or VHF Ch 77 with contact by phone being preferred.




The Harbour Master’s Warsash Jetty is the third jetty projecting from the east entrance point of the river. The first is Warsash Sailing Club’s pier, the second is the Lobster Quay that is reserved for fishing boats. The Harbour Master’s jetty is made obvious by its gangplank leading across to the foot of its conspicuous tower. All the piers exhibit a light at night and the Harbour Master’s jetty has two, one from the southwest face of the jetty and the other from its north end.




Visitors may berth on both sides of the Harbour Master’s Warsash Jetty hammerhead and the inner southern finger. The inner and north finger is reserved and likewise the inner side of the inside third southern finger. Minimum depth of about 1.8 metres at chart datum can be expected in the available berths here.




The Harbour Master's jetty at Hamble, officially Hamble-Le-Rice, is situated just below the RAF Yacht Club on the west side of the river and a ⅓ of a mile north-westward of the Warsash Jetty. A single hammerhead shaped pontoon jetty extends into the river from the quay that exhibits lights on its north and southern ends at night. The harbour master prefers visitors to come alongside the outside of the pontoon as the river ferry uses the inside berths.




It may also be possible to berth alongside the Warsash Sailing Club Pier. The club receives members of RYA associated clubs here. Its pontoon has water and electricity and can accommodate three yachts of under 40 feet (12.2 meters) and/or 12 tonnes gross weight. Vessels can raft up to three vessels abreast. Stays over 2 hours need the authority of a Club Officer but overnight stays are available with the permission of the club. If a yacht is to be left unoccupied please ensure the Skipper’s telephone details are left on the vessel and made conspicuous.




As with all the River Hamble’s pontoons and jetties the helmsman should be mindful of the tide state when berthing alongside any pontoon. A great measure of care is required to deal with strong cross currents that could be encountered when passing between the marina’s pontoon heads. This is especially the case on Springs when the ‘river effect’, of a very fast initial tidal drop, is amplified by the Solent’s double high ‘tidal stand’, that only provides the ebb 3 - 4 hours to complete its cycle. This creates a disproportionately sudden and strong ebb flush that requires particular attention from the helmsman.


Why visit here?
Warsash was first recorded as Wereasse in 1272. The name is thought to have been derived from a description of an ‘ash tree by the weir’ or perhaps the ‘ash bank’ owned by a man called ‘Waer’. It is locally believed that the area acquired its name many centuries later in the 16th century after the dissolution of the monasteries. At the time the river bank was given over to donkeys to freely graze and this lent it the name of ‘Warish Asse Field’ which became shortened to the present.


Either way the Warsash area remained largely untouched by development down through the centuries. Before the 19th century Warsash and the surrounding area was made up of a number of separate small hamlets dotted along the entrance to the River Hamble and the shores of Southampton Water. These were in order Warsash, Newtown, Hook, to the south at the mouth of the River Hamble, and Chilling to the southeast. Of these settlements Hook was by far the most important historically. Evidence of Iron Age people, Romans, and Saxon settlers have been uncovered in Hook. It was during the 1337 to 1453 ‘Hundred Year War’ with France that Hook enjoyed its heyday. Being conveniently situated at the conjunction of the wide and sheltered river entrance and the southern end of Southampton Water, Hook developed a substantial dockyard that sent 11 ships and 208 men to the French Wars.


When the French wars finally came to an end so did Hook’s importance and it fell into terminal decline. For more than three centuries afterwards Hook, along with Chilling, settled back to being a small farming, fishing and smuggling community. But in 1783 things were to about to change dramatically for Hook when the government granted the lands of Hook, Chilling and Brownwich to William Hornby. Hornby had been the Governor of Bombay from 1771 to 1784 and returned to England to retire and set about building a magnificent country mansion. The mansion was designed in the style of his Government House in Bombay and he called it 'The Hook'. It was finally completed in 1790, after he had removed the remains of a medieval village to create his parkland, and in the process Hornby entirely transformed Hook into a country gentleman's estate.




Newtown, between Hook and Warsash, then began to develop somewhat. By the end of the 18th Century it had a tallow chandler, a blacksmith and many salterns fronting its shoreline. The salterns at Newtown transformed into a Chemical Works by the middle of the 19th Century, and an iron smelting works grew alongside these works. The Hornby family offered Hook Spit to the Admiralty on a 90-year lease and they built and opened a Coastguard Station there in 1881. The Newtown Coastguard Station featured an officer’s house, a signal station, a water tower and cottages to accommodate eight families. Prior to this four families had lived in an old wooden hulk beached near the mouth of the river. The hulk was then towed up to Warsash where it was beached, renamed the ‘Gypsy Queen’ and transformed as an eatery in the summer for crab and lobster and dancing in the winter. After many years of service the ‘Gypsy Queen’ decayed and was broken up for firewood, but by then Warsash had been well established.


A passenger ferry operated between Warsash and the village on the opposite bank since at least the Medieval period. The original ferry was capable of carrying horses as it was recorded in 1598 that the fare was a half-penny with a horse, or a farthing without. It is most likely that it utilised the same ‘hards’ for landing as the present ferry does today, as a 1797 survey map indicated that it lay in its present position. Warsash’s true development, akin to Hook many centuries before, centred on the construction of ships to fight wars with the French. It was to be the Napoleonic Wars that initiated the development of Warsash and the legendary shipbuilder George Parsons. George Parsons was born in Poole in 1744, and after been a shipwright in the Royal Dockyard he had worked his way up to having his own yard at Bursledon. By this time he had participated in building a host of excellent ships for the navy amongst which was most famously HMS Elephant which became Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Copenhagen. But in 1807 Parsons somehow lost the lease to his shipyard at Bursledon. He did so however with ample notice that allowed him to acquire a new yard at Warsash which he named ‘George & John Parson’s Yard’. With the assistance of his son John, and his grandson John Rubie he dismantled all his buildings and machinery at the Bursledon site, including a large graving shed and mould loft, and re-erected them in Warsash. Two elm launch-ways were built on the river front as were seven houses to help accommodate his men, plus a blacksmith's shop and an inn. Warship building resumed and a number of vessels came down the Warsash’s new slips.


Warsash’s maiden ship was the Royal Navy 18-gun Cruizer Class brig-sloop HMS Peruvian launched in 1808. It was highly distinguished in battle and went on to claim Ascension Island for Great Britain in 1815. After this came the 36-gun frigates HMS Theban and HMS Hotspur in 1809 and 1810, and the 38-gun frigate HMS Nymphe in 1812. But HMS Nymphe was to be George Parsons’ last ship as he passed away three days after her launch. A contemporary obituary remarked that 'He has left a high character for inflexible, undeviating integrity, and, the punctuality and uprightness with which he performed his Contracts with Government, in the building of ships of war for the Navy, gained him the esteem of the Navy Board, and render his death a public loss. 'George Parsons passed his yard on to his son and grandson who went on to build the 36-gun frigate HMS Laurel and many other vessels at Warsash.


Most of Warsash’s cottages grew up around Parsons shipyard. The rest developed along the Newtown Road that was laid down to serve the Chemical and Iron Works and joined Newtown and Warsash in 1865. These Victorian cottages virtually filling in the open space between Newtown and Warsash creating one community. But this was not a prosperous time as the lack of threat from the French had sent the shipbuilding industry into terminal decline and the iron and chemical works too. The main sources of income for the area were the burgeoning strawberry growing industry and traditional fishing and agriculture. But by then sailing as a leisure activity was starting to take off and business that provided refreshments and services to the new leisure sailing market began to grow around Warsash. William Page noted in his 1908 ‘A History of the County of Hampshire’ that ‘The village of Warsash is small, and its inhabitants are chiefly employed in the crab and lobster trade, which occupies them through the late autumn, winter, and spring, many of them in the summer working as sailors on the many yachts which make their headquarters in the Solent and Southampton Water.



Today Warsash is a small quiet commuter village but boating remains the most important mainstay in the village's economy. The day-to-day management of the River Hamble harbour is the responsibility of the Harbour Authority and its staff, based in the Harbour Office in Warsash. The Warsash Maritime Academy, which has absorbed the old coastguard station, is part of Southampton Solent University and provides training for Merchant Navy Officers from around the world. With the Hamble recognised as the home of British Yachting the entire river area is part of a major servicing centre for all types of recreational boating. Warsash is often overlooked by many visitors but the convenient price efficient berths offered by the harbour master, as well as its Warsash Sailing Club, offer an excellent point to explore the area.


What facilities are available?
Electricity and a fresh water tap are available at Warsash Jetty. The water may be used free of charge and electricity is included in the berthing fees. The Harbour Office no longer provides any shower facilities, but public toilets are available at Warsash and Hamble Village. The Hamble Jetty also has a water tap. There is a Recycling Point on the Harbour Masters Jetty.

Diesel, unleaded petrol and gas are available at the upstream Stone Pier fuel pontoon. Fuel may also be obtained across the river at the head of pontoon ‘B’ of MDL’s Port Hamble Marina, or at Swanwick Marina self-serve fuels berth pontoon ‘F’, again upriver.

The harbour office provides general waste disposal, and full recycling facilities at Warsash. Arrangements can be made for the disposal of waste oil. A sewage pump is available for vessels with holding tanks at Harbour Master's Jetty, Warsash. There are maintenance piles at Warsash, Hamble and Lands End Hard. Available on first come first serve basis, the charge is £25 for 24 hours or part thereof for visiting vessels.

Warsash village offers a selection of shops, pubs and restaurants up to and including some mini-supermarkets and a village post office. Hamble, or Hamble-Le-Rice, >, accessible by ferry, features several restaurants and pubs plus a useful mini supermarket. The village is served by Hamble railway station, which provides services to both Southampton Central and Portsmouth Harbour. These services run once per hour in each direction. From Hamble rail station a local bus service operates to Hamble village. It is also linked by ferry to Warsash, and has bus services from pre-dawn to late night / early morning to and from Southampton and Eastleigh.


Any security concerns?
The river area is monitored 24-hour's a day by CCTV.


With thanks to:
Sharon Baggaley Assistant Harbour Master. Photography Michael Harpur, Mike Sutton and Graham Horn.


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An overview of the entrance to the River Hamble that includes Warsash



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