Drying, and located at the head of the protected natural harbour the marina provides complete protection. Safe access is available in all reasonable conditions, during daylight hours for vessels prepared to work the tides.
Keyfacts for Fareham Marina
Summary* Restrictions applyA completely protected location with safe access.
Position and approaches
Haven position50° 50.889' N, 001° 10.702' W
This is set on the southern end of the outer pontoon.
What are the key points of the approach?
The Solent and Isle of Wight coastal description. Approaches to Portsmouth Harbour and its entry can be found in the Gunwharf Quays Marina entry.
- Advance tidal planning is essential as the marina and its approaches dry.
- Continue up the harbour from the Ballast Bank marker until it widens out and merges into the Fareham and Porchester lakes.
- Following the well-marked channels of the western shore within Fareham lake to the town quay.
Not what you need?
- Portsmouth Marine Engineering - 0.1 miles SSE
- WicorMarine Yacht Haven - 0.7 miles ESE
- Hardway Sailing Club - 1.7 miles SE
- Port Solent Marina - 1.8 miles E
- Hill Head - 1.9 miles SW
- Royal Clarence Marina - 2.2 miles SE
- Gosport Marina - 2.4 miles SE
- Haslar Marina - 2.6 miles SE
- Gunwharf Quays Marina - 2.6 miles SE
- Stokes Bay - 2.6 miles S
How to get in?
Fareham Marina is based at the head of Fareham Lake at the northwest end of Portsmouth Harbour about 4½ miles above its entrance. It is situated on the old town quay of the historic market town of Fareham.
The marina dries to 0.9 metres and its approaches dry ½ a mile below it. It cannot therefore receive fin keels and is only suitable for yachts that can take the hard. Its sweet-spot are boats between 8 (26ft.) to 10 metres (32ft.) but it also has moorings that will take larger Catamarans up to 11 metres (36ft.) and smaller boats up to 5.8 metres (19ft). The marina holds no specific visitor berths and accommodates visiting yachts in the berths of resident holders who are away. It is therefore advisable to make berthing arrangements in advance by contacting the marina on P: +44 1329 233255 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the marina and its approaches drying, tidal planing is essential for any vessel intending on visiting Fareham. Fareham Lake has depths of from 10 metres at its entrance reducing to 5 metres off the entrance to Bedenham Pier, a little over 3 miles within the harbour entrance. Above this the channel maintains depths of 3 metres to the Wicor Hard where it then turns westward into Heavy Reach shoaling considerably to less than a ⅓ of a metre at low water about ½ a mile below Fareham. Yachts drawing 1.5 metres should not proceed beyond Foxbury Pier, ¼ of a mile west of Wicor Hard and about a mile below Fareham, 2½ to 3 hours either side of High Water.
The helmsman is advised to stand off the navigational piles as some are on mud-banks which edge into the channel. It should also noted that vessels with a high rig need to be aware of an overhead power cable, with a safe vertical clearance of 16 metres, which crosses the channel 600 metres below Fareham.
The Solent and Isle of Wight coastal description provides approach details. Approaches to Portsmouth Harbour and its entry can be found in the Gunwharf Quays Marina entry. Pass the entrance to Haslar Marina to port continuing past the Ballast Bank Beacon.
From the Ballast Bank Beacon continue northward along the western side of the harbour passing the entrances to Gosport Marina and Royal Clarence Marina to port until it widens out and merges into the Fareham and Porchester Lakes.
Keep on the west or port side of the channel towards Fareham passing the entrance to Portchester Lake to starboard and the jetties fronting Hardway, including that of Hardway Sailing Club , to port and continue north-westward up the main channel into Fareham Lake.
Fareham Lake is about 350 metres wide at its entrance, at low water, from which it gradually narrows. Pass within the trots of mooring buoys in this three-quarters of a mile length to where Bombketch and Spider lakes open from the east side of Fareham Lake. There is ample depth here with from 9 to 5 metres of water available in this stretch.
At the head of this length the Fareham Lake channel bends north-westward for a ¼ of a mile and is entered by passing between a port-hand mark Fl(2) R.10s and a South Cardinal Mark, VQ (6) + LFl.10s, passed to starboard that separates Fareham and Spider lakes. Although the channel narrows it has a maintained depth of 5 metres as far as Bedenham Pier and a well-marked fairway with lit piles.
A trot of large ship moorings, passed to port, will be seen on the west side of the channel opposite green fairway piles 47 & 48. WicorMarine Yacht Haven's downstream swinging moorings flank both sides of the main channel between green fairway piles 47 & 48, on the starboard side opposite the aforementioned trot, and a little above on the port side between red fairway piles 25 & 26. The small Pewit Island will be seen to starboard passing these moorings.
Bedenham Pier, on the western shore, port side, is made readily identifiable by its two cranes. At night it exhibits a light 2F.R (Vert).
Above Bedenham Pier the fairway, although still well marked, is only partially lit for half the remaining distance to Fareham. The channel initially runs north-westward for a ⅓ of a mile with good depths of about 3 metres. This length is flanked on either side by the mid-channel pontoons of WicorMarine Yacht Haven .
At the head of this, off Wicor Hard, the channel turns westward into Heavy Reach where depths drop to between 1.6 to 1.9 metres around Foxbury Point, where another pier will be seen exhibiting a light at night 2F.R (Vert).
Thereafter depths at low water drop to less than a ⅓ of a metre where the channel bends northward. An overhead power cable, with a safe vertical clearance of 12 metres, crosses Heavy Reach on the bend about 600 metres below Fareham. A private jetty with a pontoon will be seen extending from the shore immediately north of the cable crossing.
Portsmouth Marine Engineering's pontoon, charted Fareham Yacht Harbour, will be passed on the west side of the lake a ⅓ of a mile northward. It runs parallel to the channel on the old Lower Quay adjacent to the southern end of the town of Fareham.
The jetties of Fareham Sailing & Motor Boat Club will be found about 300 metres above and Fareham Marine will be found immediately above this.
Berth as directed by Fareham Marina.
Why visit here?Fareham, originally known as Ferneham, derives its name from the conjunction of the words fearn and hám meaning 'homestead where ferns grow'. Places with ‘ham’ or ‘ing’ endings, such as Fareham, indicate they were Saxon settlements and it is likely that the majority of the present day market town dates back to Saxon period.
Image: Michael Harpur
Though little is known of Fareham during Saxon times, the early middle ages were a period of relative prosperity and rapid population growth in this area. New towns were being built or villages expanded at this time and it is believed Fareham had taken shape as a substantial settlement on the high ground above the River Wallington by the 10th century. The area was part of the original endowment of the "see" of Winchester and, as most villages with a stream or river nearby had at least one water-powered mill at the time, it was the location of the Bishop of Winchester's tidal mills. Alongside this the town quay was developing as a thriving port and the present alignment of Fareham’s High Street still follows that of the early mediaeval town.
Fareham’s first documented history dates back to the Norman era when a part of William's army marched up from Fareham Creek before continuing to the then Saxon capital of England, Winchester. The Domesday Book listed it as Ferneham noting that it had 90 households and that it was subject to a reduced assessment on account of its exposed position and liability to Danish attacks.
Image: Michael Harpur
In 1205 Farnham had bailiffs, and in 1207 it was a mesne borough under the bishops of Winchester. It is probable that the privileges of the burgesses were allowed to lapse during the 18th century, as by 1835 it had ceased to be a borough. The town was granted a two day fair by Henry III (1207-1272). The days were originally meant to be 31st of October/ 1st November but this appears to have been changed to the 29th and 30th June shortly afterwards. The island between Union Street and High Street is where the annual fair took place trading in cheese, horses and cattle. It continued until 1871 when it was important for the sale of toys.
In the latter part of the middle ages, Fareham owed its importance to its facilities for commerce. It was a free port and had a considerable trade in wool and wine. Later its shipping declined and in the 16th century, it was little more than a fishing village. Some shipbuilding took place in the Lower Quay area, which was later linked to the town centre with a bridge over the Gilly Creek. Salt was produced to the south of Lower Quay. Early maps show rectangular areas on the shore, likely to have been evaporating bays, to the north and south of Salterns Quay.
Image: Michael Harpur
But all that was set to change when Henry VIII declared Portsmouth harbour as the home of the British navy. Fareham’s close proximity to the centre of this enormous military effort would bring centuries of prosperity. In the late 17th century, buildings and stores on the quayside of Fareham Creek were used as hospitals for sick and wounded sailors, and became known as ‘Hospital Yard’. By the later part of the 18th century, Fareham was a well-established market town with a population of approximately 3,000.
These were economically vibrant times for the town and its principal industries were the manufacture of sackings, ropes, bricks, coarse earthenware, terra-cotta, tobacco-pipes and leather. Vessels of up to 300 tons would arrive in Fareham Creek to discharge their cargo of imported granite, timber, milling grains and coal from around Europe. They would then load up with chimney pots and Fareham Red bricks that were exported all over the world. Many of Fareham's famous red bricks would have a shorter journey during the 19th century.
Then the need to defend the important dockyards and naval bases around Portsmouth Harbour provided the impetus for the construction of a series of Victorian hill forts, completed by 1868, including five along the chalk scarp of Portsdown Hill. The remains of Fort Wallington is the only fort within Fareham Borough itself. The forts were constructed with bricks made in a local brickworks just north of Fareham and their solid red brick walls can be clearly seen from the sea along the ridge of Portsdown Hill. By the beginning of the 20th century, Fareham had developed into a major market town. A successful open-air market still continues in the town centre today, every Monday, with a farmers market on the first Saturday of every month.
Image: Michael Harpur
With a history dating back to Saxon times, Fareham town centre combines a historic High Street and waterfront, a modern pedestrianised central shopping area and a secondary shopping street leading to the railway station. The prosperity of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has left the town with many fine Georgian and Victorian buildings and it is thought to be one of finest county-town streets in the south of England.
The presence of many yachts, the mix of uses and continuing marine activity, carry on the maritime tradition of this part of the town and contribute strongly to its character. The Town Quay is graced by a number of fine examples of late Georgian grain stores and by the adjacent impressive early Victorian railway viaduct.
Image: Michael Harpur
From a sailing point of view, situated at the head of a creek opening into the north-western corner of Portsmouth Harbour, these are highly protected waters with excellent resources immediately to hand. But this is a drying estuary that makes it the domain of shallow draft creek-crawling craft that can happily take to the mud at low water.
What facilities are available?The marina's capabilities are limited to providing water, showers and toilets ashore, and a lift out and storage service for its berth holders and guests.
Fareham town provides extensive provisioning capabilities, bars and restaurants, and includes a new large scale Tesco all within a short walk. The town is well served by road and rail networks. The M27 motorway passes around the northern edge, and is the main traffic artery into and out of the area. The A32 passes through Fareham at the Quay Street roundabout, a notorious bottleneck, on its way from Gosport to Wickham. Fareham railway station is on the West Coastway Line, with regular services to Portsmouth, Southampton, Brighton, Cardiff and London. Bus transport in the town is provided by First Hampshire & Dorset, which runs nearly all bus routes. Services run as far as Winchester. The bus station is adjacent to the Market Quay development.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur S/Y Whistler. Photography with thanks to Michael Harpur and geni.
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