Navigating to Port Solent Marina by sea

Port Solent is situated in Portchester Lake in the upper reaches of Portsmouth Harbour.

We enjoy welcoming visitors to our marina, but we highly recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment, especially in peak season. Priority access is given to Premier berth holders visiting from other marinas. 

The following notes are provided as a simple guide to approaching the marina by sea and should not be relied on for navigation. Please consult up-to-date charts and pilot books to ensure you are aware of any navigational dangers. Visitors should also be aware of the King’s Harbour Master Rules and Regulations and current Notices to Mariners, the weather and tides. See Port Solent Marina tide times here.

Marina Lock Entrance Waypoint: Latitude 50º 50’ 37” N, Longitude 01º 06’ 06” W

Port Solent 26 NW Mixed Content Block 952X664

Portchester Lake entrance

The entrance to Portchester Lake, about a mile north of the Portsmouth Harbour entrance, is marked to the west by pile No 57 and to the east by pile No 95. The whole channel is marked by red piles to the west, numbered 57 to 74 (leave to port) and by green piles to the east running from 95 to 75, some of which are lit by navigational lights.

Port Solent 23 NW Mixed Content Block 952X664

Passage north through Portchester Lake

At night make for pile 57 and look for pile 95 until the channel opens. Both these piles are visible at 3.2 miles. Two unlit spherical yellow buoys mark foul ground to the north of pile 94, leave these to starboard. The best water is defined by large unlit buoys, which should be left to port - the channel here is defined by lit starboard piles 93, 92, 90, 88 and 86. 

Pass pile 63 to port and 88 to starboard, the channel narrows and bends left. North of pile 86, the best water is close to port piles 66, 67, 68. Take care not to confuse piles 82 and 85 marking the entrance to Tipner Lake with the main Portchester channel. Lit piles 68 and 80 mark the sharp turn left into the final section of the channel with Portchester Castle to port.

This section is marked by moored yachts. From pile 80 turn slowly almost due north to pile 79, avoiding shallow water north of pile 80. At pile 78 call Port Solent on VHF channel 80 to request a lock in. At low tide keep to the port side of the channel to pile 72A, then take the starboard side. Pile 75 opens the channel between rows of piled yacht moorings. 

Port Solent 22 077 NW Mixed Content Block 952X664

Approaching the lock

Proceed between the moorings steering on pile A and pile B. Once a beam of pile B, steer to follow a line leaving the outer pontoons to starboard. At pile B the lock entrance will be visible. The lock operates 24 hours a day, sometimes with free flow at the top of the tide. If the lock is available, enter on a green light. There is also a waiting pontoon if needed. See Port Solent's lock procedure here.

Notices to mariners

Keep up to date with the latest notices to mariners from the King's Harbour Master Portsmouth.

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Take control with MyPremier and the Premier App. Sign in to the app with your MyPremier account and access a range of unique features to help you when you're out and about. Inform your home marina of your departure and expected return, view the latest tides and weather information or report any maintenance.