Protected by breakwaters and set within England’s most extensive natural harbour Parkstone Yacht Club offers complete protection. Safe access is available in almost all reasonable conditions, night or day and at all states of the tide.
Keyfacts for Parkstone Yacht Club
SummaryA completely protected location with safe access.
Position and approaches
Haven position50° 42.579' N, 001° 57.580' W
This is the outer head of the breakwater at the entrance.
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?
- Salterns Marina - 0.3 miles SE
- Poole Quay Boat Haven - 0.6 miles W
- Port of Poole Marina - 0.6 miles W
- Poole Town Quay - 0.7 miles W
- Poole Yacht Club - 0.9 miles W
- Brownsea Island - 0.9 miles SW
- Cobb's Quay - 1 miles WNW
- Goathorn Point - 1.3 miles SSW
- Lake Yard Marina - 1.4 miles W
- Shipstal Point - 1.6 miles WSW
How to get in?
Parkstone Yacht Club is located on the north shore of Poole Harbour, off the North Channel between Salterns marina and Poole Town Quay. It has 232 berths and supports draughts of 2.0 metres. 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 Yacht Club, provides at least 2 metres or more throughout. The final ¼ mile to the marina’s entrance has a maintained depth of 2.0 metres.
The marina is run by Parkstone Yacht Club and has few designated visitor berths. It is therefore advisable to make berthing arrangements in advance by contacting the club office on VHF M/80 call sign [Parkstone Yacht Club], P: +44 1202 743610 or mailing email@example.com.
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 breakwaters and tall buildings of Salterns Marina, one mile above the entrance to the North Channel, will be readily conspicuous from the outset and Parkstone is situated a ⅓ of a mile beyond this.
Break off the North Channel for the marina entrance immediately above the lit NC11 green starboard buoy, Fl.G.3s. The final ¼ of a mile to the marina entrance is clearly marked by unlit port and starboard marker buoys. The marina’s entrance opens to the east and is marked by flashing lights on the heads of the outer breakwaters, port and starboard.
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 lit NC14 red port buoy, Fl.R.4s, buoys of the North Channel and proceed to the NC11 buoy.
Berth as directed by the club office.
Why visit here?Parkstone, first recorded as Parkeston in 1326, is believed to have taken its name from a boundary stone that marked the perimeter of a medieval hunting ground belonging to Canford Estate. The area largely remained as such, untouched as a rural backwater with few inhabitants, until the early part of the 19th century.
But as the 19th century progressed, the discovery of an abundance of clay deposits usable for brick, earthen ware and pipe clay brought pottery production to the area. In 1856 Southwestern Pottery established a factory south of Ashley Cross, see Poole Salterns Marina, to produce bricks, stoneware drainage pipes and terracotta facing blocks. At the time bricks, floor and wall tiles, and pipes were in huge demand and none more so than in this locality as the Victorians began to develop Bournemouth. The establishment of the large scale pottery factory with its employment finally began to spur the development of Parkstone and its adjacent Ashley Cross. The areas 1841 population of 851 before the arrival of the factory would dramatically rise to over 2,000 by 1881.
Despite this central beating heart of industry the areas surrounding landscape remained those of heathlands bordered by woods with trickling streams and leafy green lanes. This varied landscape, combined with panoramic harbour views, began to appeal to moneyed Victorians who were looking for a rural retreat. As affluent families gradually began to move into the area they brought behind them a procession of butchers, bakers, ironmongers, tailors, drapers and other tradesmen to meet their needs. With the trades came the shops and inns that would form the nucleus of high streets and introduce urban planning. Parkstone Park, adjacent to the club, was officially opened in 1890 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and many of its buildings date back to the Edwardian and Victorian era.
The British modernist writer Mary Butts, born that year and brought up in an 18th-century house at Salterns, would articulate Parkstone’s change describing the area of her childhood being of ‘ancient woods’, ‘delicate drifting lanes’ and ‘pale sand and couch grass wilderness’ of Sandbanks. It would be these rustic qualities, that drew the people to the area in the first place, that the influx of people would destroy in time. As Parkstone continued to grow throughout the 20th Century it eventually merged into what Mary Butts would later lament to be ‘the dreadful juncture of Poole industrialism and the suburban extension of Bournemouth. A place which has lost centre, character, distinction, hierarchy. ’
Today Parkstone is divided into 'Lower' and 'Upper' Parkstone. Upper Parkstone, locally know up-on-'ill , so-called because it is largely on higher ground slightly to the north of the lower-lying area of Lower Parkstone, known as the The Village, which includes areas adjacent to Poole Harbour. Though very far from Mary Butts rustic idyllic, Parkstone remains one of the Poole Harbour’s most desirable residential areas to this day.
The foundation stones of the areas fronting Parkstone Yacht Club, and that of Salterns Marina, return to the days of Southwestern Pottery. The club was established in 1895 on the site of the original 1864 wooden Parkstone Pier developed by the factory to provide a link to Poole Quay. Parkstone Marina emerged from the Mitchell’s Boatyard businesses, which in turn arose within Southwestern Pottery’s brick kiln site. Likewise Salterns Marina, a half mile southeast, was the site of a larger 1867 pier that was built to take in the factories coal, and export its produce. A line extended from Salterns Pier to Parkstone Station that ran until 1922 and was only finally removed in 1967.
Today the Parkstone Sailing Club has 2800 members, comprising equal numbers of dinghy and cruiser owners, which makes it the largest club within Poole Harbour. The Yacht Club plays host to a variety of events including Poole Week, held towards the end of August which it is singlehandedly responsible for, and it regularly hosts World and National Championships. It has a full calendar of events throughout the year.
For cruisers, it is a highly accessible Poole Harbour berth that 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 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.
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. The club has large changing rooms with shower and laundry facilities. Its clubhouse has a bar & restaurant.
The club’s large concrete slipway is accessible at all states of the tide. It has a Wise boat hoist, a Manitou fork telehandler, for stepping and unstepping masts, and an industrial pressure washer. A marine engineer is always available on site.
Parkstone railway station is a 25 minute walk. The station is operated by South West Trains and is served by both the Weymouth express and the Poole stopping services.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur site founder. Photography Michael Harpur.
Parkstone Yacht Club video illustrating club life
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