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News & Events

Lock Operations and Etiquette


As a result of a compacted season and glorious weather the number of lock movements we are performing each day is extremely high. This means that it’s now more important than ever that everyone adheres to our lock etiquette so that we can pack the lock more efficiently, speed up transit rates and make using the lock a more pleasant experience for novices. Please remind yourself and your crew of our lock etiquette here:

The lock is 25.6m long and 7.16m wide and access to the lock is through inner and outer gates. These gates are connected to motors which wind steel wires around drums and in turn connect to the gates.

  • The marina monitors VHF channel 80 call sign Chichester Marina.Call the lock keeper before departing your Chichester berth or on passing Birdham Pool. Our lock keeper will then give you instructions for locking out/in.
  • During busy times we operate a waiting system to manage the rate at which boats depart/arrive at the lock. The system orders boats by number and name in the order they call to reduce overcrowding of the marina fairways.
  • When you arrive at the lock please move as far forward as possible and follow staff instructions. Once in place turn off your engine. 
  • The marina provides ropes which help stabilise boats in the lock whilst the locking process is in operation.
  • On the south side the ropes are passed to you by a staff member; on the north side ropes hang down in a loop so they can be reached. In addition, there are ropes encased in yellow hose that hang down vertically and are secured at each end to the lock side.
  • All vessels, including smaller boats can easily use these ropes. Passing the vessel’s line through the fixed line and then making it fast on board the vessel makes best use of these lines. This enables the vessel to move freely up and down in the lock.
  • Free flow occurs when the outside sea level is equal to the marina basin level and both lock gates are opened to allow free transit to and from the marina. The free flow daily timings are published on the lock side board and in Premier’s tide tables.
  • Free flow times can vary from those published due to a number of factors including the barometric pressure, weather and marina requirements. 

 To find out more about free flow click here.