Navigating to Trafalgar Wharf by sea

Located in Portchester Lake behind Portchester Castle, Trafalgar Wharf provides immediate access to Portsmouth Harbour.

The following notes are provided as a simple guide to approaching the site 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 Trafalgar Wharf tide times here.

Trafalgar Wharf Entrance Waypoint: Latitude: 50° 50' 37.0'' N, Longitude 1° 06' 41.3'' W

21 Drystack 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.

Once past Portchester Castle on your port side, look for two yellow diamond transit posts which are located to the left of the port side pontoon on the corner of the ship lift. Keep the diamonds in line until you reach the wall of the ship lift, then starboard turn to follow the wall to the Dry stack pontoon.

Notices to mariners

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

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