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Transit along the South Coast: Brighton or Newhaven

Koeketiene

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24 Sep 2003
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16,182
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Finistère
I will be transitting West along the South Coast next week.

Whilst there seem to be plenty of marinas/marinas west of the IoW, there are fewer options to the east.

As possible overnight stops between Ramsgate or Dover and the Solent I have identified 3:

- Eastbourne I have discounted: I will be on my own and I don't fancy the lock

- Newhaven I have never been.
Is the marina accesible at all states of tide?
And will I remain afloat at all time? Boat draws 2.05m

- Brighton I stopped by twice before in previous boat (drawing 2.10M)
The first time (2009) I ran aground on my way to my assigned berth.
The second time (2012) I ran aground approaching the reception pontoon.
I have heard plenty of horror stories about the lack of dredging at Brighton.

What's the current situation?
 

stuartwineberg

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24 Oct 2007
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1,331
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Romsey, Hants
Visit my harbour suggests that Newhaven is now essentially a wind farm support vessel harbour and not very interested in visiting yachts. Shoreham is an option but it does have a lock.
 

DJE

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21 Jun 2004
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6,976
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Fareham
- Eastbourne I have discounted: I will be on my own and I don't fancy the lock
IMHO that is a mistake. Excellent harbour and about half way between Dover and Portsmouth. There are two locks and IIRC they keep one full with the inner gate open and one empty with the outer gate open. They swap them over every 30 minutes or so. Also there are pontoons inside the locks. It couldn't be much easier.
 
Joined
9 Jan 2005
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Location
Sussex
I wouldn't be put off Eastbourne marina because of the lock. As I recall, it has floating pontoons in the lock, so no problem for single handers.
 

ashtead

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17 Jun 2008
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Surrey and Gosport UK
Might be worth speaking to Eastbourne or someone who has stayed there to see what lock help they might give to a snglhander but to my mind looks a better choice than others to invest
 

pvb

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16 May 2001
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40,841
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UK East Coast
Eastbourne is a bit out of the way, but is very easy, even for a single-hander. Brighton has some depth issues, and can be a disturbed entrance in certain wind directions.
 

ashtead

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17 Jun 2008
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Surrey and Gosport UK
Yes the OP might contact Scala who was berthed there I believe but depth has always put me off Brighton along with the tired location itself.
 

Trident

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21 Sep 2012
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Somewhere, nowhere
Did Eastbourne alone last season in a 50 foot cat without any problems - its all very easy there and if you need help they'll send someone down from the office
 

Scala

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21 Feb 2004
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Home: Saffron Walden. Boat: Swanwick
Yes the OP might contact Scala who was berthed there I believe but depth has always put me off Brighton along with the tired location itself.
I'm here.

Yes I agree with the others about Eastbourne. Approach is straightforward. Locks are large and well equipped, they operate as a pair (one in / one out, in pairs every 30 minutes, 24/7). Staff there are well used to helping boaters in the locks if requested. NOTE: Channel 17. Call when you're in the approach channel, ample time for someone to meet you at the lock.

The lock control office is literally just above the locks. Inside each lock you'll find a wide floating pontoon on both sides, each equipped with cleats and short docklines, so you can either use your own lines or the supplied ones. Visitor berths and fuel just inside the marina. And a terrific Indian restaurant.
 
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James_Calvert

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6 Oct 2001
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1,882
If you are coming from a UK port I doubt there's any basis for refusing entry.

At worst you might spend the night in the Eastbourne lock..
 

Iliade

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27 Apr 2005
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1,563
Location
Shoreham - up the river without a paddle.
Shoreham has an outer harbour in which you can anchor close to the north shore (ask no questions and avoid disappointing replies.) and likewise you can anchor up river below the swing bridge, but beware of impeding the gravel ships lower down the river.

If you can take the ground, or if it is neaps and you don't draw too much, notwithstanding any CV19 issues, SYC is welcoming of visitors. Currently they also have a number of jetty-supported drying mud berths which are unoccupied because of the access obstructing building works. (HW +/- 2 hrs appx.) I'm still on mine!

The entrance to Shoreham is a lot more pleasant than Brighton and the offing more pleasant than Newhaven.



Shoreham is more of a traditional harbour town than Brighton or Eastbourne. Newhaven is more of a port. SYC is centred on the town, if you anchored in the outer harbour you would be unwise to leave the boat unattended and it's a mile or so in the dinghy to the town centre. Ladybee marina (inside the locks) is close to Southwick town centre (nondescript) but there is a bar alongside the marina.

If you just needed to stop for a nap I would use the outer harbour:
 

Attachments

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Koeketiene

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24 Sep 2003
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Finistère

laika

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6 Apr 2011
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Limbo
So far, got a 'no visiting foreign yachts' reply from:
Interesting. No mention of foreign flags in the announcements from MDL and "boatfolk" (as Dean and Reddyhoff seem to have rebranded) and nothing I can see in the government guidance ...maybe worth a call to Premier head office for clarification (you don't want to be speaking to random new person on the front desk who's reading the same info as you). Perhaps they just don't want to bother with trying to verify your last port of call. If that *weren't* an issue...depending obviously on on the speed you plan for and your masochism, eastbourne to solent is a bit of a slog involving punching a whole tide against you between beachy head and selsey. Conversely if you do Eastbourne (not daunting as others have said) *then* Brighton, the two are close enough together that you can arrive at Brighton with a fair tide at least a couple of hours before LW, and when you leave it'll be approaching HW, thereby sidesteping depth issues and only doing some very mild tide punching at the start of the trip from Brighton. Depends of course on your wallet and timetable (and this foreign-flag thing obviously).
 
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ryanroberts

Active member
Joined
25 Jul 2019
Messages
554
- Alderney (no visiting yachts from outside the bailliwick).
Yeah tried to get in for a night on the hook to break up Guernsey -> Poole a little and the harbourmaster sounded worried, channel islands may not be open for some time.
 

Concerto

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16 Jul 2014
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Sail on the Medway, Kent from Chatham Maritime Mar
Mark I would choose Eastbourne as your best choice. The lock is much larger than Chatham and has the same floating pontoons on both sides of the lock. The only thing I should mention is the wreck of an old boiler just north of the entrance marked by some green buoys, it dries at low tide.
 

LadyInBed

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Joined
2 Sep 2001
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13,109
Location
Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
Locks are large and well equipped, they operate as a pair (one in / one out, in pairs every 30 minutes, 24/7).
Slight aside, but I'm curious - Do you know if they just pump the water from one lock to the other (a smart idea if they do) or do they use the standard sloose to sea / harbour?
 
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