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. However, wind direction and force and barometric pressure can materially alter these conditions. The tidal range at Springs is 2.5m 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 30 minutes at peak times. For guidance refer to 'Small craft beware ferries' section on www.lymingtonharbour.co.uk.
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. Ferries may wait here for one coming from the opposite direction.
To the west of the marked navigation channel in Short Reach in the vicinity of the No. 10 and Cocked Hat port-side beacons there is a 100m long rock breakwater. The northeastern end, nearest the channel, is marked by a beacon displaying two fixed red lights vertically disposed. Visit Lymington Harbour website to see Local Notice to Mariners for full details of the location coordinates and navigation advice.
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 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 75 visiting boats within two minutes walk of the town centre. Harbour staff can be contacted on 01590 672014. An out-of-hours messaging service operates. The Harbour Master does not offer a VHF service.
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. There is a separate walk-ashore facility further downstream, the Dan Bran pontoon, which is available on a pre-booked basis for visiting boats. Newly upgraded with electricity, the Dan Bran Pontoon 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 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. Water may be obtained on the two public pontoons at the Town Quay and at the Harbour Master's pontoon by the slipway in Bath Road.
There is a public slipway from the Bath Road car park; a charge is made for launching. Please pay the Harbour staff or at the nearby Harbour Office. Public pontoons 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 designated emergency services area at the HM pontoon except by prior arrangement with the Harbour Master.
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 opposite Lymington Pier railway station and the Wightlink ferry terminal. 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, deluxe washrooms, a launderette, and ice. Call Sign 'Berthon Lymington Marina'.
Contact: Berthon Lymington Marina, The Shipyard, Bath Road, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 3YL. Tel: 01590 673312. www.berthon.co.uk