Almanac Events
Visitors Marina Guide


Ch 80

Call Sign

'Thornham Marina'


HW ±2

Berthing Rates

short stay:
not offered

£22.46 flat rate

Book a Berth

YHA Rating

not rated


£1, £5 cards


View plan

About the Marina

Thornham Marina is perhaps Chichester Harbour's best kept secret. Located right at the top of the Thorney Channel, the marina is well off the beaten track and only receives around 2 visitors a year. 40 years ago the site of the marina was cut off from the sea by a causeway, until it was broken through to create what's now called Prinsted Bay. The marina provides 270 berths on fully serviced pontoons and ashore there's a vast area of hard standing space, which makes Thornham a popular location for winter berthing and laying up. The inner pool is maintained to a depth of 5 feet by a sill and it's mainly used as a holding pool for boats being lifted in and out of the water. At high water you'd be lucky to have 6 feet of water over the sill, and I saw a Contessa 36, which draws 5'6"/1.68m just scrape its keel over the sill with the tide gauge showing 5'10". The rest of the marina completely dries out which means most of the berth holders have boats with bilge keels or lifting keel plates, plus there is a sizeable contingent of catamarans which isn't surprising when this is the HQ of Multihull World. The Boaters Bar and Restaurant is the focal point of the marina which provides hot food at realistic prices twice a day. For 2011, expect to see a brand new toilet and shower block, plus new pontoons and a slight change in the pontoon configurations which have already been incorporated in the above marina plans. The foot path that cuts through the marina is popular with bird watchers as the area falls within the Chichester Harbour Conservancy. The attractive Georgian and market town of Emsworth is a long 20min walkaway with an interesting shortcut through the Emsworth Marina and past the Mill Pond. Buses which ply the routes between Havant and Chichester can drop you off at the end of Thornham Road which can shorten the walk by 10mins or so.

Marina Approaches

As mentioned above the marina is located right up at the head of the Thorney Channel in Prinsted Bay. From the Camber SCM off Longmere Pt the Thorney Channel is well marked however its unlit so a night time approach is not recommended. Prinsted Bay at the head of the Thorney Channel was once enclosed by a causeway which was broken through 40 years ago and much of the causeway has weathered away. What remains of it is locally known as the 'Sharks Teeth' and there is a channel that's been cut though the causeway which should be accessible between HW+2hrs. Once inside Prinsted Bay the quality of the channel marks of the Prinsted Channel declines - basically sticks with conical or can top marks - however they are accurately placed and one should not deviate from the channel which is very narrow in places. The final approach into the marina is long and straight and yachts should take the lefthand channel of the two marked channels that run parallel to each other. The starboard channel belongs to the neighbouring Paynes Boat Yard. Assistance is very good and friendly here, and visitors are more likely to be placed on the pontoons adjacent to the approach channel.

Channel Is
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