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Mooring and berthing in Cowes and East Cowes

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Live Tide height in
Cowes Harbour
at 23:36 30/03/2017

2.63m  |   8' 8"

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LIVE AIS SHIP TRACKING in Cowes and the Solent area.


Mooring and berthing in Cowes

There are a large number of visitor swinging moorings and river pontoons both in Cowes Harbour and upstream in the River Medina. The main marina facilities for visiting craft are at Shepards Wharf Marina, Cowes Yacht Haven, East Cowes Marina, and Island Harbour Marina.

Visitor mooring charges are shown in this section, but note that special rates tend to apply during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, or for other major events, so it pays to enquire in advance. For river pontoons and swinging moorings, call ‘HM1’ on VHF Ch 69. During busy periods you may well need to ‘raft up’ and when possible you should always, as a courtesy, hail the vessel you intend to moor alongside and request permission. For marinas, call on VHF Ch 80.

**See also our Directory of Cowes Marinas, Moorings and Berths.**

Cowes is a very busy harbour so you should ensure that your crew is alerted in good time and your boat is prepared for mooring. It is a good idea to know in advance where you intend to berth and to have bow, stern and spring lines ready and fenders outboard on the side you intend to moor up on.

Trinity Landing. Credit Rick Tomlinson.

Trinity Landing

The outside of this facility, on the fairway side of Trinity Landing, is for pick up and drop off only, and you may moor, with the vessel attended, for 10 minutes for free (ideal for landing or boarding crew). Mooring on the inside of the pontoon is for leisure craft and is available under the direction and control of the Cowes Harbour Master. Both water and metered electricity are available.

VHF Ch 69 call sign ‘HM1'.

Overnight mooring: £2.00 per metre

Short stay: £1.00 per metre
NB. The pontoon will be ashore for maintenance during April/May and should be back in position for the summer season.

Cowes Roads Swinging Moorings

M Row: A row of heavy duty yellow swinging moorings is laid to the west of the harbour entrance between Egypt Point and the Royal Yacht Squadron, providing deep water moorings for vessels up to 25m in length (May to October).

VHF Ch 69 call sign ‘HM1'.

Overnight mooring: £1.35 per metre

Short stays less than 4hrs from £5.00

Cowes Roads: Just outside the Shrape Breakwater, Row J is laid to the east of the harbour entrance between May and September for vessels between 10-35m in length.

In addition, in July approximately 200 swinging moorings for small day class vessels are laid to the east of No. 2 buoy in preparation for Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Most other buoys south of No. 1 and 2 fairway buoys are licensed to residents.

VHF Ch 69 call sign ‘HM1'.

Bookings for events to be made via your class secretary

Town Quay

Town Quay offers pontoon moorings for RIBs under 7m in length and a free scrubbing berth for vessels up to 10.6m in length. Cowes water taxis operate from Town Quay.

VHF Ch 69 call sign ‘HM1'.

Overnight mooring: £2.00 per metre

Short stay: £1.00 per metre

Cowes Yacht Haven

The Yacht Haven has 260 fully serviced berths, 24/7 access, a 30 ton hoist, and 15 ton mobile crane. Facilities include WiFi, showers, toilets, launderette, on-site engineers, electricians and boat repairers. The Yacht Haven also has one of the largest major events and conference centres on the Island.

VHF Ch 80 call sign ‘Cowes Yacht Haven'. Tel: 01983 299975

Mooring: £2.46 per metre Sunday - Thursday

£2.96 per metre Friday - Saturday

Shepards Wharf Marina.

Shepards Wharf Marina

Shepards Wharf Marina offers cruising and racing yachtsmen affordable marina berthing in a welcoming atmosphere. We have visitor and annual berths, all at very competitive rates which benefit from free WiFi, inclusive showers, and site-wide CCTV. Shepards is also home to Cowes Harbour Commission’s moorings and berthing team. Our on- site businesses include Amabi Basque Restaurant, Island Divers, Solent Yacht Brokers, and Solent Sail Company.

Home of Cowes’ premier Dry Sailing facilities, Shepards is perfect for RIBs, motor boats and trailered keelboats and hosts the Cowes Etchells and the Royal Yacht Squadron J80 fleets.

Brand new for the 2014 season is a state-of-the-art crane, offering maximum launch and lift flexibility; boat care packages also available.

VHF Ch 80 call sign ‘Shepards Wharf'. Tel: 01983 293952

Mooring from £2.45 per metre per night

Short stays: £0.95 per metre

Whitegates Pontoons

The next set of visitor moorings are past the Chain Ferry on the port side, although you will need to use the water taxis or your dinghy to get ashore. These moorings are quiet and ideal for craft wishing to stay overnight in Cowes but outside of a marina. They represent excellent value and many are suitable for deep draught vessels.

VHF Ch 69 call sign ‘MH1'.

Moorings from £1.35 per metre

Short stays less than 4hrs from £5.00

East Cowes Marina

Situated just a few minutes south of the Chain Ferry is Dean & Reddyhoff’s East Cowes Marina, which is accessible at all states of the tide and offers superb facilities for 360 berths (including visitors’ berths), fully serviced with electricity and water. The marina includes a launderette, excellent showers, toilets, free WiFi, berth holders’ car park, and the Lifeboat Inn (one of East Cowes’ favourite pubs).

VHF Ch 80 call sign ‘East Cowes Marina'. Tel: 01983 293983

Mooring: £2.75 per metre weekdays

£3.06 per metre weekend. Winter rate £1.80 per metre

Folly Reach

It can take as little as 20 minutes to motor to Folly Reach from the harbour entrance. Almost halfway up the River Medina, it is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Cowes and is designated as a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. Please produce minimum wash in this area, keeping your speed below 6 knots through the water. Pontoon moorings are available although most require use of a tender or the Folly water taxis to get ashore.

VHF Ch 72 call sign ‘Folly Launch'. Tel: 07884 400046

Moorings from £1.35 per metre

Short stays less than 4hrs from £5.00

Island Harbour marina.

Island Harbour

Island Harbour is just under half a mile upstream from the Folly Inn. Access is via lock gates up to 4 hrs either side of High Water. The maximum draft is 2.3m over the sill of the lock, depending on tide height.

Island Harbour is set in a beautiful and secluded valley, yet also offers easy access to Newport, Osborne House and (just once a year) the site of the Isle of Wight Festival. The peaceful marina offers over 200 berths for annual moorings and visiting yachts, an on-site bar/ restaurant, a launderette, and free WiFi. Full marine services include a well-stocked chandlery and 50 ton travel hoist, free car parking for yachting visitors along with extensive hard standing. The marina is exceptionally well sheltered and dredged up to 2.3m.

VHF Ch 80 call sign ‘Island Harbour'. Tel: 01983 539994

Mooring: £2.70 per metre mid-week

£3.00 per metre Friday - Saturday

Newport Harbour

Located at the head of the River Medina, Newport Harbour is a journey back in time, and all the better for it. The harbour is close to the centre of Newport, county town of the Isle of Wight, which has a broad range of facilities including shops, chemists, and restaurants.

The harbour is fully tidal, so if you plan to stay you will dry out against the harbour wall or on one of the pontoons. As an alternative, moor opposite The Bargeman’s Rest for a longish (3 hours) lunch, and head back down the river with the ebb tide. Newport Quay is Isle of Wight Council operated.

VHF Ch 69 call sign ‘Newport Harbour' Tel: 01983 525994

Leave a message and the Harbour Master will get back to you.

Mooring from £12.50 per night

Short stays from £5.50

Newport Harbour.

Training Activities

Cowes is the home of several maritime training establishments and a favourite destination for the many Solent-based sailing schools. Private owners and their crews also need to practise boat handling skills. Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) welcomes both novice and experienced sailors. A dedicated training pontoon is located east of the fairway in the vicinity of No. 8 buoy, south of Kingston Power Station. This is available for all to practice berthing manoeuvres.

The pontoon is secured by anchors rather than piles so it is less stable than other pontoons. It is not subject to regular pressure washing, therefore crews are discouraged from landing on the pontoon except in emergency and then only with great care. Crews should give consideration to others wishing to use this facility and not lie alongside unnecessarily. Other pontoons and mooring buoys can sometimes be used for training; please check availability with berthing masters, call sign ‘HM1’ on VHF Ch 69.

Permanent Moorings

The River Medina has a large number of permanent berths controlled by either Cowes Harbour Commission or various yacht clubs. If you plan to extend your stay, or would like a permanent mooring, Cowes offers exceptionally competitive rates on a seasonal or annual basis. Contact the CHC moorings team at Shepards Wharf Marina on Tel: 01983 297821.


One of the few types of mooring not available in Cowes is anchoring. There are simply too many obstructions, such as ground chains, so it is for all practical purposes forbidden. Osborne Bay, 2 miles east of the Shrape Breakwater has excellent holding ground, and the bay is reasonably well protected. Vessels up to 150m in length (usually visiting passenger vessels) may anchor in one of the dedicated anchorages in Cowes Roads by prior arrangement with the Cowes Harbour Master.

For further information visit Cowes Harbour Moorings.



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