Welcome to the Weekly Navigation Bulletin for the 2023 season. This bulletin is published every Friday from 1 April to 31 October. To receive this bulletin direct to your inbox each week, sign up by clicking the “Information for Mariners” button in the footer of any page. To view the latest edition please click the link below.
To get in touch with our patrol team call CHICHESTER HARBOUR PATROL on VHF Channel 14, or telephone the Harbour Office on 01243 512301. In an emergency, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Know your Harbour
Quiz Question and Answer
Q. What is the Chichester bar dredged to? Is it deep enough for your vessel at low water?
A. Chichester Bar is normally dredged to approximately 1.5m below chart datum giving a depth of 2m, at MLWS. However, through gradual accretion and after severe gales the bottom can vary markedly and it is then prudent to assume a least depth of 0.8 metres below Chart Datum.
The low lying entrance to Chichester Harbour, is not easily distinguished against the backdrop of the South Downs and is bordered on both sides by extensive drying banks; West Pole, Middle Pole and East Pole Sands, the latter extending more than a mile seaward. A deep-water channel running between these banks to the Harbour entrance is interrupted by a bar joining West to Middle Pole and East Pole Sands, this mobile feature varies in position and height and is periodically dredged to maintain a charted depth of 1.5 metres. The width of the dredged channel across the Bar is a little less than 200 yards.
Vessels approaching the Harbour from the west are advised to shape a course for West Pole Beacon 50º 45′.45 N, 00º 56′.59 W. On rounding the Beacon aim to pass between Eastoke Buoy and West Winner Beacons leaving the Bar Beacon 50º 46′.023 N, 00º 56′.380 W, close to port. When approaching the Harbour from the east, mariners are advised not to cross the 5 metre contour until West Pole Beacon bears 310º T. On reaching the beacon shape a course for the Harbour entrance keeping the Bar Beacon close to port.
Chichester Bar is normally dredged to approximately 1.5m below chart datum giving a depth of 2m, at MLWS. However, through gradual accretion and after severe gales the bottom can vary markedly and it is then prudent to assume a least depth of 0.8 metres below Chart Datum. Mariners should be aware that ebb tides in the entrance to the Harbour can attain a rate of up to 6 knots on springs. With a falling tide and strong winds from a southerly sector a dangerous sea may be encountered. In these conditions it is advisable to exercise caution and cross the bar between three hours before and one hour after HW springs. In very strong winds entry should not be attempted.
A survey of Chichester Bar was completed 05 May 2022 showing a least depth of 1.3m below Chart Datum.
Please check the Local Notices to Mariners for recent changes.
Information for Mariners 2023
Our annual publication contains tide times, navigation guidance, information about our facilities and more. As well as the online version you can find printed copies in locations all around the harbour. Contact the Harbour Office on 01243 512301 for further information.
Chichester Marina operates a ‘free flow’ for its lock during periods of high water to maintain water levels in the marina basin. For details of the times that the lock is in free flow please click here.
Local Notices to Mariners
Please click here for the latest Local Notices to Mariners.
To find out about the water quality in Chichester Harbour and to view the latest water sampling results please click here.
Sailings operate on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from 01 April to 31 October and run +/- 2 hours either side of high water between 08:30 and 17:00.