Protected by large breakwaters and set within England’s most extensive natural harbour Salterns Marina offers complete protection. Safe access is available in almost all reasonable conditions, night or day and at all states of the tide.
Keyfacts for Salterns Marina
SummaryA completely protected location with safe access.
Position and approaches
Haven position50° 42.231' N, 001° 57.094' W
This is the head of the southernmost outer breakwater at the entrance which exhibits a light 2 FR (vert) 2M
What are the key points of the approach?
- Branch off into the North Channel opposite Brownsea Castle marked by the Bell Buoy (No.15) south cardinal.
Not what you need?
- Parkstone Yacht Club - 0.3 miles NW
- Port of Poole Marina - 0.8 miles W
- Poole Quay Boat Haven - 0.8 miles WNW
- Poole Town Quay - 0.9 miles WNW
- Brownsea Island - 1 miles WSW
- Poole Yacht Club - 1.1 miles W
- Goathorn Point - 1.2 miles SW
- Cobb's Quay - 1.3 miles WNW
- Lake Yard Marina - 1.7 miles W
- Shipstal Point - 1.7 miles WSW
How to get in?
Salterns Marina is located on the north shore of Poole Harbour, off the North Channel and about midway between the harbour’s entrance and Poole Town Quay. It has 275 berths, which includes 75 swinging moorings, supports draughts of 2.5 metres and with prior arrangement can accommodate yachts of up to 18.3 metres in length. Approaches through Poole Bay and Poole Harbour provide depths of not less than 6 metres CD and the North Channel, leading to Salterns Marina and Parkstone Bay, provides at least 2 metres or more throughout. The final approach to the marina entrance has a maintained depth of 2.5 metres.
The marina has a few designated visitor berths. It is therefore advisable to make berthing arrangements in advance by contacting the marina office on VHF Ch. 37 and M/80 call sign [Salterns Marina], P: +44 1202 709971 or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entry into Poole Harbour is covered in the Poole Town Quay entry. Within the entrance take the Middle Ship Channel, the main fairway that leads up to Port of Poole, northward close east of Brownsea. Then branch off into the North Channel opposite Brownsea Castle where the Bell Buoy (No.15) south cardinal, Q(6)+LFl.15s, marks the dividing point.
Follow the North Channel as it passes to the east and then north of the Middle Ground and Parkstone shoals, as it skirts the mudflats opposite that extend from the east and north side of the harbour. The marina’s breakwaters and tall buildings, one mile above the entrance to the North Channel, will be readily conspicuous from the outset.
Break off the North Channel for the marina entrance immediately above the lit NC7 green starboard buoy, Fl.G.3s. The final approach into the marina entrance is marked by an unlit port buoy and three unlit starboard marks.
The marina’s narrow entrance opens to the southeast and is marked by flashing lights on the heads of the outer breakwaters, port and starboard. The southern most head's light, 2 FR (vert), is visible for 2 miles. The entrance is constrained and the line of the unlit starboard buoys offers the best line of approach.
Vessels approaching from the west, Town Quay, should branch off the Middle Ship Channel and enter the North Channel to the west of Parkstone Shoal, close west of the Diver (No. 25) west cardinal, Q(9)15s. Then pass between the lit NC13 green starboard, Fl.G.3s, and the lit NC14 red port buoy, Fl.R.4s, buoys of the North Channel and proceed to the NC7 buoy.
Berth as directed by the marina office.
Why visit here?Salterns Marina takes its name from a saltern that operated here for more than two centuries. Although now a domestic suburb of Poole that has some of the most sought-after residences on the shores of the harbour, this area has had a long history of industrialisation.
Although the Romans built various salt works around the harbour, the commercial extraction of salt from sea-water only commenced here as late as the 1730s. The area had seen other industrial uses by then, as the earliest chart of Poole Harbour, dated 1585, noted ‘mynes’ in this area which were believed to have been extracting alum. It was a later 1748 chart which showed the lagoon, together with the immediately inshore and higher areas of Lilliput, as ‘salt works’. The progress of the saltern is then tracked by a succession of Admiralty charts and the first Ordnance Survey map which was published in 1811.
A significant amount of the produce of this saltern would have gone to preserve cod when, during the 17th and 18th centuries, Poole enjoyed its seminal years in the Newfoundland cod fisheries. Although the industries’ preserving salts would have come from various sources the fishing trade must have provided the mainstay income for this saltern. For when the War of 1812 ended Britain's monopoly over the Newfoundland fisheries the fortunes of the saltern also diminished. The Admiralty survey chart of 1849 showed the lagoon had taken on the name of ‘Old Salterns’ indicating it had fallen into disuse.
For the following sixty years, the pier and it’s surrounds was an enclave of industry on a marshy shoreline backed by pastureland. During World War 1 the area was used as a wharf and coal yard with several war related industries operating alongside. Pottery production finally came to an end after the war and the area then fell derelict. Extensive plans to develop a shipyard were floated during the 1930s but soon failed and the area slowly become a quiet backwater. Then, in 1934, Captain Preston bought the abandoned Salterns site and transformed the industrial area into leisure use by building the Harbour Club, now Salterns Hotel.
The hotel was then requisitioned during World War 2 when BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) transferred its flying boat operations from Hythe, in Southampton, to the relative safety of Poole Harbour. This brought Britain’s only international airport to the site creating a hub for international air travellers. BOAC based their terminal in Salterns Hotel, which had only been completed two years earlier, and they remained there until 1948. Four trot-ways criss-crossed the harbour for 24 passenger Flying Boats that were supported by 600 staff. The Hotel provided the departure lounge for the passengers before boarding launches took them out to their flying boat. In 1967 the South Western Pottery Company site was finally sold off for housing development and the Conifer estate now occupies the area. Two years later, the Smith family, 'the world's largest car-maker', the makers of Matchbox toys, purchased the wharf. In 1974 they developed the marina that is encountered today.
Today, having been awarded five ‘Gold Anchors’, the highest marina accolade obtainable, Salterns marina is one of the best in the country. With views from the entrance round to Brownsea Island and the Purbeck Hills beyond, it has one of Poole Harbour’s most enviable vantage points to enjoy a sunset drink. The same views, if not better, can be seen from nearby Sandbanks, which is the fourth most expensive place in the world to live and where properties change hands for more than £10 million.
For cruisers, a Poole Harbour berth is away from the hustle and bustle. It makes for an ideal base from which to explore the hidden recesses of Poole Harbour by dinghy, or to make day trips to Studland or Swanage Bay. Likewise, being close to the entrance it provides an ideal stepping stone to The Solent, the Dorset and Devon coasts westward, or the French coast to the south. It also has a wide range of on-site facilities and services enabling it to cater for almost any need.
What facilities are available?The pontoons provide power and water. All domestic requirements up to and including WiFi can be found within the marina area. A coin operated launderette is open 24 hours a day.
Diesel, unleaded petrol and gas cylinders are available at the fuel dock, located between Pontoons ‘A’ and ‘B’. The fuel dock is open 24x7. The marina provides general waste disposal, and full recycling facilities. Arrangements can be made for the disposal of waste oil.
A well stocked chandlery on site is open seven days a week. There are ample restaurants, including bars and cafes overlooking the marina area, and the small village of Lilliput is a short stroll ashore.
Salterns fully serviced boatyard and repair facility has a wide range of skilled staff and fully qualified factory trained marine engineers with technical advisors on hand. It can be taken that it offers almost any conceivable marine service or facility a vessel could require. The boatyard has two hoists, a 5 tonne and 45 tonne hoist.
Hard standing is available for vessels up to 20.0m LOA with undercover storage available for vessels up to 18.0m LOA in a secure and environmentally controlled facility. During the winter months, long-term storage ashore is available within the boatyard and marina car parks, where water and dedicated electricity points are widely available around the site.
Parkstone railway station is a 30 minute walk or ten minutes by taxi. The station is operated by South West Trains and is served by both the Weymouth express and the Poole stopping services.
Any security concerns?The marina has 24 hour security but their moorings in the Wych Channel are highly exposed. Crime is difficult to predict.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur site owner. Photography with thanks to Michael Harpur.
Aerial overview of Salterns Marina
Aerial overview of Salterns Marina
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