Locking Procedure at Chichester Marina
Once aboard, please switch to VHF Ch80 and prepare to leave your berth; call Chichester Marina with your “call sign” (your boat name) and request a lock out.
The lock keeper will then either ask you to proceed directly to the lock or you will receive a queue number and ask you to stand by on your berth if queuing is in operation. It is vital that you maintain a listening watch on Ch80 to avoid missing your lock slot.
When you hear your call sign and queue number, leave your berth and proceed to the lock as quickly as possible. As you approach the lock, the ‘traffic lights’ will either be RED or GREEN. If they are red, please hold your station until the lights turn green. If green please proceed into the lock.
When you arrive at the lock, our staff will pass a stern line to you and then a bow line. When tying the line onto your boat ensure that you make half a turn on the cleat and hold onto the end of the line to allow the line to ease out when the boat ascends/descends - do not tie any lines off whilst in the lock. Once the outer gates are fully open, please proceed in turn or as advised out of the lock as quickly and safely as possible.
As you approach Longmore Point, ensure that you have your VHF on Ch80; on passing Birdham Spit pile call the marina using your boat’s “call sign”, advise your position and request lock entry.
The Lock Keeper will acknowledge your call and either instruct you to “proceed to the lock on a green light” or, in busy times, “join the back of the queue for the lock and enter in turn upon a green signal light”. While holding position, or approaching, favour your starboard hand to allow room for outbound traffic to pass port to port in accordance with COLREGs Rule 14.
To ensure that we handle your vessel as safely as possible and with minimum delay, we operate a “first come first served” queuing system. Please maintain your position in the queue and avoid overtaking while in the main channel; once in the approach channel do not overtake.
As you arrive in the lock, our staff will pass a stern line to you, and then a bow line. When tying the line on to your boat ensure that you make half a turn on the cleat and hold on to the end of the line to allow the line to ease out when the boat ascends/descends - do not tie any lines off whilst in the lock. Once the inner gates are fully open, please proceed in turn or as advised out of the lock as quickly and safely as possible.
DURING FREE FLOW
At certain times, around high water, free flow is in operation. During free flow, follow the radio and traffic light signal procedure outlined above. Generally speaking, there will be little or no delay in receiving clearance to leave your berth. The Duty Lock Keeper will make an “all stations” announcement at the beginning and end of free flow. In addition, a flashing yellow beacon signifying that free flow is in operation will be illuminated.
If you are at the front of the queue to get out, but the lights are RED, please hold your station favouring your starboard hand giving room for inbound vessels (who may be constrained in their ability to manoeuvre due to currents in the lock).
When inbound to the South Coast marina, follow the radio and light procedure as described in the arrival procedure above. Then transit the lock in turn, or as advised, one vessel at a time on a green light signal. If the Red light is displayed, hold your position in the vicinity of the end of the outer waiting pontoon – allowing outbound vessels to leave.
During free flow, Chichester Marina staff are required to close the inner gates at set intervals to facilitate pedestrians crossing the lock - as quickly as safe operation allows.
Please note that the marina may not operate free flow if the sea state makes it unsafe to do so.
Click here to view tide and free flow times at Chichester Marina >
Click here to see our instructional video of the approach to Chichester Marina and transiting the lock >