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Bembridge Harbour

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Overview





Bembridge Harbour is situated on the south coast of England, close north of the eastern most point of the Isle of Wight. It is a tidal harbour that offers a marina, along with the possibility of drying out on the beach close to an historic village that is set into a very attractive part of the island.

Set within a nearly landlocked harbour Bembridge is well protected from all weather conditions. Although tidal and set behind a meandering channel, with a sufficient rise of tide a daylight entry is made straightforward by its closely spaced and numbered channel marks. The approach channel becomes challenging in north to the northeast winds of Beaufort force 4 and above, and in such conditions it is best avoided by a newcomer.
Please note

Tidal planning is essential and this may involve a single opportunity to enter or leave, as a night entry through the unlit twisting channel would be inadvisable without the benefit of local knowledge.




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Keyfacts for Bembridge Harbour
Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas 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 areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaMarine engineering services available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open water

Considerations
Restriction: rising tide required for accessRestriction: may be subject to a sand bar

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
October 15th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water hosepipe available alongsideWater available via tapWaste disposal bins availableGas 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 areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaMarine engineering services available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open water

Considerations
Restriction: rising tide required for accessRestriction: may be subject to a sand bar



 +44 1983 872828      office@bembridgeharbour.co.uk      Ch.80 [Bembridge Harbour]
Position and approaches
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Haven position

50° 41.666' N, 001° 6.026' W

This is the eastern end of the marina pontoon within the harbour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Bembridge Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
50° 42.468' N, 001° 5.016' W
This is the position of the Bembridge Approach Light-beacon. It is a yellow pile with an X topmark Fl.Y.2s 1M and has a tide gauge.


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 primary hazard for vessels approaching from the north is the expansive and drying Ryde Sand that mariners should approach with caution.

  • Vessels approaching from the south should note the position of Bembridge Ledge and its outlying patches of the Dickey Dawe Rocks and the very dangerous Cole Rock offshore of Bembridge Lifeboat Station.

  • Find the Bembridge Approach Light-beacon situated about 400 metres northward of the conspicuous St. Helen's Fort.

  • Carefully check the tide gauge on the Light-beacon to confirm there is sufficient clearance to proceed into the harbour.

  • Enter the meandering channel, located about 400 metres westward, and strictly follow the marks as they ascend inwards.

  • Dry out inside the entrance or proceed to Duver Marina to stay afloat.



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 Bembridge Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. St Helens Duver - 0.6 miles NE
  2. Priory Bay - 0.7 miles NNE
  3. Whitecliff Bay - 0.9 miles SSE
  4. Seaview - 1.1 miles N
  5. Ryde Harbour - 1.9 miles NW
  6. Sandown Bay - 2.1 miles SW
  7. Ryde Roads - 2.6 miles NW
  8. Wootton Creek (Fishbourne) - 3.1 miles WNW
  9. Stokes Bay - 3.4 miles NNW
  10. Haslar Marina - 3.6 miles N
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. St Helens Duver - 0.6 miles NE
  2. Priory Bay - 0.7 miles NNE
  3. Whitecliff Bay - 0.9 miles SSE
  4. Seaview - 1.1 miles N
  5. Ryde Harbour - 1.9 miles NW
  6. Sandown Bay - 2.1 miles SW
  7. Ryde Roads - 2.6 miles NW
  8. Wootton Creek (Fishbourne) - 3.1 miles WNW
  9. Stokes Bay - 3.4 miles NNW
  10. Haslar Marina - 3.6 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?


Bembridge Harbour lies close northward of the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight and immediately west of Bembridge Point. It is a tidal harbour bordered by the twin villages of Bembridge and St. Helens that lie opposite each other across the harbour. The larger of the two villages is Bembridge, reputed to be largest village in England, which is home to many of the Island's wealthiest residents. Its chief attraction is the pretty harbour and its surrounding scenery.


At low water Bembridge Harbour dries to a channel and is almost entirely landlocked. A sand bar lies within the commencement of its outer entrance channel, which almost dries at low water springs. It is therefore essential to work the tides to access the harbour. Times of high water correspond very closely to those of Portsmouth, but it's important to note the range in Bembridge is very much reduced. This is particularly important on neap tides when vessels carrying a draft of 1.8 metre (6ft.) will have little if any clearance over the bar. A fair ‘Springs’ or medium tide expectation is that a vessel carrying a draft of 1.5 metres can enter approximately HW +/- 3 hours. On full Spring tides the depth in the channel can exceed 3.5 metres.




A tide gauge that indicates the depth of water in the shallowest part of the channel is mounted on the Bembridge Approach Light-beacon that marks the outer Harbour limit. The beacon, a yellow pile with an X topmark Fl.Y.2s 1M, is situated about 250 metres northward of St. Helens Fort and marks the point of approach into the harbour. A live electronic feed from the tide gauge, exhibiting the current depth of water over the on the bar, is streamed to the top of page on the Bembeidge Harbour website so that it may be also appraised from distance over the web. The site also provides local tide height and time predictions for the week ahead. The site also a provides a channel pictorial guide showing a walk through of all the channel marker buoys in turn.




In fair conditions newcomers may enter with confidence as Bembridge has a well-maintained set of closely spaced and numbered marks. With a rising tide and a sensible clearance, which may be accurately confirmed on the tide gauge, it presents little concern to those who carefully follow the buoy’ ascending increments and maintain a modicum of seamanlike attention. Newcomers however should avoid the harbour in winds of over Force 4 or above between northeast and east. These conditions create confused seas in the channel, add wave troughs that require added clearance, and this turns the Duver shoreline that the channel runs very close to into a dangerous lee shore.


The harbour authority is in charge of all the moorings within the harbour, and they can be contacted on VHF Ch. 80 call sign [Bembridge Harbour] or P: +44 1983 872828. Harbour Office: 0900-1700 Monday to Friday and it is closed at weekends and Bank Holidays. Berthing Staff operate 7 days per week 0800-1800 during summer; Winter 7 days per week 1000-1600. The harbour as a whole can accommodate approximately 100 visiting yachts and takes advance bookings usually 24 hours in advance.

In all cases staff will make best endeavors to find a berth, rafting vessels when necessary in most cases. During busy weekends in the season the harbour often gets overwhelmed so it pays to arrive earlier on the tide during these times to increase the likelihood of securing a berth. It is however advisable that larger vessels should make contact in advance and especially so during peak periods. Then stay on VHF channel 80 to listen for any special instructions from the Harbour Staff.




North Eastern Approach The primary hazard for vessels approaching from the northwest is Ryde Sand. Keep its Red Piles at least 200 metres to starboard approaching No Man's Land Fort.

No Man's Land Fort can be passed via the ¼ mile wide Small Boat Channel on the fort’s western or island side. It has a least charted depth of 2 metres between the fort and the red beacon that exhibits a light at night, Fl.R.12s. After passing No Man's Land Fort steer for St. Helen's Fort, just over two miles southward, leaving the various spherical seasonal buoys to starboard to clear the rocks and shoals off the shore between Nettlestone and Nodes Point.




South Eastern Approach The key hazards for vessels rounding Foreland, the low eastern extremity of the Isle of Wight, is the Bembridge Ledge, Cole Rock and the Dickey Dawe Rocks.

The eastern point of the Isle of Wight is fringed by one unbroken rocky Bembridge Ledge. A wide variety of boats commonly run aground here, especially in the often stormy weather conditions which affect the area during winter months. This ledge uncovers at low water and extends out nearly one third of a mile from the shore. These rocks are high and steep-to at their outer edge, and over many parts there are not more than 1 to 1.5 metres at high-water springs. Outside their edge the depth increases to about 3 metres very quickly. The outer rim of the shore reef is made plain by the Bembridge Auxiliary Lifeboat Station’s slipway which extends into the sea to the east of the village.




But this is not the only danger as the northern part of Bembridge Ledge has three unexpected outlying patches that leisure vessels should approach with great caution. These are called the Dickey Dawe Rocks, the very dangerous Cole Rock and a shallow area to the northwest of this. These are situated about 350 metres out from the ledge lifeboat station and lie parallel to the shore in a northwest to southeast line a little over a ½ mile in length. The south-eastern Dickey Dawe Rocks is an uneven area of rock that has 1.8 metres over its shallowest part. The much more