The marina is managed and run by Premier Marinas and being located right up at the top of Portsmouth Harbour, its perhaps not so appealing to visitors, who in fairness could probably find a berth both closer to the city and nearer the harbour entrance. Once past the entrance to the harbour, the long haul up to Port Solent does seem like an eternity, and to compound the issue further, there’s a fair chance of a long wait for the locks - especially over summer weekends. However once inside, you can certainly appreciate what it has to offer with regards to its facilities. The 'Broadwalk' is the focal attraction of the marina with its mix of cocktail restaurant bars, book shops, gift shops, a cinema, a fitness centre, a convenience store and the county’s largest chandlery. For support services, there's hard standing and storage for 500 boats and various independent marine trades and services.
The marina was partly built using reclaimed land and the local land fill site has managed to become the marina’s neighbour, where the buried rubbish is producing an artificial hill, whose summit is gaining in height each year. Naturally, this buried rubbish is producing methane gas which occasionally finds its way in the marina and harmlessly bubbles up to the surface. Berthing for visitors is subject to the number of resident berth holders being away at the time. Since Port Solent has so much on offer within the marina campus, most visitors stay put and enjoy what’s at hand. However, If you had 2 weeks to spare, then you might just mange to squeeze in all the attractions and activities that surrounds Portsmouth Harbour.
The closest attraction to hand is Porchester Castle, which is run by English Heritage. Inclusive of the entry ticket, is an audio tour which will tell you that the castle is the only Roman stronghold in northern Europe whose walls still stand to their full height. After becoming a Saxon settlement, the huge waterside fortress became a Norman castle in the 12th century. Portchester was in the front line throughout the Hundred Years War, serving as a staging post for expeditions to France and repelling cross-Channel raids. Richard II transformed part of the castle into a palace in 1396 and Henry V used it as a departure point for the Agincourt campaign in 1415. Thereafter it saw little action, but was used to house troops in the Civil War, and prisoners of war during the Dutch and Napoleonic Wars.
Portsmouth Harbour is a very busy commercial harbour as well as being a large and important naval base, therefore there are some fairly strict protocols and procedures. For navigating the harbour entrance through the narrows see the approaches for Gosport Marina. Before approaching the narrow winding channel to the marina at Porchester Lake, it's recommended to read up and familiarising yourself with the pilotage of this channel - especially at night. Once abeam the Tipner Lake make your call to ‘Port Solent Marina’ on VHF Ch 80 and request a lock in.
At Pile ‘B’ the lock entrance will be clearly visible. Do not proceed into the lock barrel unless three green entry lights show. If it is necessary to wait for the lock, moor to the outer waiting pontoon clear of the lock entrance.
Lock Traffic Signals:
RED Lights - Vessels shall not proceed. Vessels inbound to the lock should heave to or give way to outbound vessels.
GREEN Lights - Vessels may proceed.
Flashing ORANGE light - Indicates Free Flow is operating.
Flashing RED light - On seaward side, indicates less than 1m in channel.
FREE FLOW – excises at the top of the flood tide and both sets of lock gates are opened. During Free Flow there is no need to call our lock keeper and You may enter on the Green Light. During Neap tides and at the top of extreme Spring High Tides Free Flow may not operate and Normal locking procedures apply.
Lock rules and procedures:
All yachts going inbound or outbound through the lock must monitor VHF Ch 80, Skippers without VHF radio should contact our lock keeper by mobile phone on 02392 210765.
There is no requirement to call our lock keeper inbound - simply Join the queue and monitor VHF channel 80 at all times.
When wishing to leave, call Chichester Marina on VHF channel 80 for instructions