The most westerly harbour on the Isle of Wight, picturesque Yarmouth welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year by car ferry from Lymington, Hampshire, and 100,000 visitors by boat, many from elsewhere in the Solent, but also from the West Country, Ireland, the Channel Islands, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Scandinavia.
Yarmouth Harbour is accessible at all states of the tide, being dredged 2m below chart datum. Its close proximity to the Needles and the English Channel makes it ideal for those entering or leaving the Solent.
The harbour entrance can become very congested especially on summer weekends. Great caution is to be taken entering and leaving the harbour and vessels must adhere to the speed limit of 4 knots within the harbour and Western Yar River, and 6 knots from the entrance Dolphin at the breakwater to the outer harbour limits. If the "Harbour full" sign and signal (flag R) is displayed (the Harbour Full sign on the Eastern side of the Harbour Entrance is illuminated at night), you should not attempt to enter the harbour.
When approaching from the east, leave East Fairway buoy to port, turn onto a bearing of 187° and follow the leading light. When approaching from the west, leave the Poole Belle buoy to starboard, turn onto a bearing of 187° and again, follow the leading light. On spring tides the last hour of the flood and ebb can see strong tidal movement in the harbour entrance and in various parts of the harbour. There can be a double high tide or a long stand at Spring tides.
Yarmouth Harbour operates on VHF Ch 68, Call Sign 'Yarmouth Harbour', monitored by the Harbour Office and Berthing Masters on the water. The water taxi operates on VHF Ch. 15, Call Sign 'Harbour Taxi' and can also be called on 07969 840173.
Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners were granted the powers of general and special direction and new General Directions came into force on 1 March 2012 replacing the harbour's previous Byelaws. Users of the harbour are asked to familiarise themselves with these new directions which can be downloaded from the harbour website www.yarmouth-harbour.co.uk.
Yarmouth is shared by yachtsmen, fishermen, and ferry operators. At times the entrance can become very busy and special vigilance is required when navigating in this area. Visitors are particularly requested to give the Wightlink ferry a wide berth as it enters and leaves the harbour.
Yarmouth Harbour Commissioners have completed Phases 2 and 3 of the planned harbour development, creating more walk ashore pontoons and finger berths with power and water, making best use of the water space, constructing a new quay wall and installing a new crane with an environmentally friendly washdown facility. Previous phases also saw the redesigned layout with the initial walk ashore pontoons and a pontoon area, near the RNLI lifeboat berth and adjacent to the emergency slipway, that will be used for RIBs and small craft at lunchtimes and overnight walk ashore pontoon berths for yachts.
Yarmouth Harbour has a range of facilities including a crane on South Quay, maximum load 5 tonnes, showers and toilets, a launderette, gas, Wi-Fi, night watchpersons, waste disposal facilities, and a power washer.
There are several slipways that the public may use in Yarmouth. The largest slipway is on the corner between the South Quay and the Town Quay; accessed via the Wightlink marshalling area. At the western end of the South Quay there is another small but steep slipway, close to the Harbour Office. South of the swing bridge across the Western Yar River, on the east bank of the river, adjacent to the dinghy park there is a small slipway. Other slipways are located at Harold Hayles boatyard and at Yarmouth Sailing Club.
If intending to pass through the Yar Swing Bridge into the river during the summer season, boat owners are requested to co-operate by synchronising their bridge use around a schedule of fixed opening times, as published on www.yarmouth-harbour.co.uk. For winter operation, a minimum of a half hour's notice is required, and by arrangement with the Harbour Office on VHF Ch 68 or by phone on 01983 760321. The punctuality of boat arrivals to a close but safe proximity to the bridge is essential to prevent road traffic congestion.
Contact: Yarmouth Harbour Office, The Quay, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, PO41 0NT. Tel: 01983 760321. www.yarmouth-harbour.co.uk
Please note, information in this publication is to be used as a guide only and not for navigation.