Lymington Harbour is located within an attractive estuary on the Hampshire coast at the western end of the Solent. The estuary is 2 miles long with the entrance channel lying between salt marshes. It is shared by yachtsmen, fishermen, and the Isle of Wight ferry.
Lymington River is well sheltered and access is available at all states of tide making it a popular destination for visiting yachtsmen. The speed limit is 6 knots with an advisory limit of 4 knots upstream of the wave screens near the entrance to the Lymington Yacht Haven. There is a double High Water at Springs which gives a stand of 3 hours. At Neaps there is a stand of 2 hours. The tidal range at Springs is 3.1m and at Neaps 1.5m.
On approach the first thing you see is the yacht club starting platform with a distant backdrop of masts in the Yacht Haven marina. Leave the platform well to starboard. Jack in the Basket is a single red pile with a basket top-mark to the southwest of the entrance. Water depth in much of the marked channel is in excess of -2.0m below chart datum. However, on the marked channel margins the depth of water is shallower in some locations.
Please give way to the Wightlink ferries which run every hour at peak times. At night, the main channel piles are lit, green to starboard and red to port, all flashing every two seconds. Leading lights for entering the river are fixed red on 319°T.
In Short Reach (as the river bends to the right) there are two red and white transit posts lit by fixed white directional lights to the west of the river at the south end and two black and white posts similarly lit on the east side of the Reach at the north end. These are to assist the ferries to line up and pass in the river.
Either side of the marked navigation channel in Short Reach are rock breakwaters. The end of the eastern breakwater that is nearest the navigation channel is marked at night by a beacon displaying two fixed green lights vertically disposed. The end of the western breakwater that is nearest the navigation channel is marked at night by two fixed red lights vertically disposed. The extent of both breakwater underwater footprints is marked by yellow special marks mounted on vertical posts – keep clear.
The wave screens mark the beginning of the inner harbour. Beyond these you pass to port in quick succession the entrance to the Yacht Haven marina, Dan Bran visitors’ pontoon, the Harbour Master’s pontoon and the Harbour Office, public slipway, the two yacht clubs and finally Berthon Lymington Marina which faces the ferry terminal on the opposite bank.
Above the ferry terminal the channel narrows and turns to port between two lines of piles forming moorings. This part of the channel has a maintained depth of 1.7m below chart datum up to the Town Quay where there are visitors’ mooring buoys and pontoons for visitors. At the Town Quay there is room for up to 60 visiting boats within two minutes walk of the town centre.
Visitors are invited to go directly to the Town Quay where walk ashore and fore and aft moorings are available on a first come first served basis. Mooring areas are maintained to 1.7m below chart datum.
The Dan Bran pontoon is a separate bookable visitor walk ashore pontoon, which has both electricity and Water and can accommodate rallies of up to fifty (10m) boats moored together. Mooring areas are maintained to a minimum of 1.7m below chart datum. There are also six bookable berths for small boats up to 8m in length on the inside of the Harbour Master’s Pontoon.
There are free showers open for visitors all year round adjacent to the visitors’ moorings on the Town Quay. Separate shower facilities are available for users of the Dan Bran pontoon. Two scrubbing areas are available at the Town Quay slipway and three areas immediately north of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Reservations and payment must be made through the Harbour Office first.
There is a public slipway from the Bath Road car park; a charge is made for launching. Please pay Harbour staff on the slipway or at the nearby Harbour Office. Public pontoons for landing can be found at the Town Quay and off the car park in Bath Road. Boats must not be left unattended in the yellow hatched emergency area on the Harbour Master pontoon.
Contact: Lymington Harbour Commissioners, Harbour Office, Bath Road, Lymington SO41 3SE. Tel: 01590 672014. VHF Ch 66 (office hours) www.lymingtonharbour.co.uk
Both marinas at Lymington may be contacted on VHF Ch 80 for berth availability.
Lymington Yacht Haven
Lymington Yacht Haven is the first marina that comes into sight as you make your way up the Lymington River. The Yacht Haven offers 24-hour security, on-the-water fuel 24/7 (except Christmas Day), showers, Wi-Fi, and a bar and restaurant with panoramic views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. Lymington Yacht Haven boasts a comprehensive range of marine services on-site, including full hoists and wash off facilities, engine servicing and repairs, rigging specialists, and a chandlery. Out-of-hours haul outs are available in emergencies.
Contact: Lymington Yacht Haven, Kings Saltern Road, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 3QD. Tel: 01590 677071. www.yachthavens.com
Berthon Lymington Marina
Lymington Marina is located on the west bank of the Lymington River and closest marina to Lymington high street and railway station. One of the longest established marinas in the UK, Lymington Marina offers 280 deep water, well-protected berths for yachts up to 45m (150ft) LOA. Full marina facilities are available, including shore power, water, fuel, gas, a launderette, and ice along with acclaimed luxury washrooms with under floor and shower seat heating amongst other innovations. Call Sign ‘Berthon Lymington Marina’ ch 80
Contact: Berthon Lymington Marina, The Shipyard, Bath Road, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 3YL. Tel: 01590 673312. www.berthon.co.uk