The River Hamble Harbour Authority

Personal Watercraft and Jet Ski’s

Personal Watercraft can be launched at Warsash Slipway which is 1.5 miles from the Solent and Southampton Water. The River Hamble has a wash and speed limit restriction of 6 knots which is strictly enforced by the Harbour Authority Patrol Boats. Infringement of the speed or wash limit normally leads to a prosecution by the Harbour Authority. General advice is that PWC’s should proceed at slow speed until reaching Southampton Water.

Charges

Daily or annual charges apply and must be paid at the Harbour Office at Warsash. Annual stickers are issued by the Harbour Authority and must be displayed on the vessel.

Slipway Information

Type of surface: Firm gravel – upper area shingle – lower area mud. At low spring tides there is some mud near water but launching light boats is possible. There can be rather deep seaweed collecting near the top of the ramp. As many other craft launch at this slipway trailer and vehicle parking can sometimes be at a premium.

Hazards

Low training wall along the right hand (northern) side extends underwater at high tide and the wall is Marked by two yellow posts with an ‘X’ on the top. The River is very busy with yacht and motor cruisers and the speed restriction area extends into Southampton Water. Commercial fisherman have a jetty running along the northern side of the slipway and load their catch onto lorries parked on the slipway.

General Points

There are other slipways and launching sites on the River but the slipway at Warsash allows the quickest access to Southampton Water. The River Hamble is not suitable for personal watercraft or jet ski’s to navigate mainly because of the volume of River traffic and the narrow channels.

Preparation

  • Get an accurate and up-to-date weather forecast.
  • Check tide tables and the accessibility of your recovery site.
  • Find out about by-laws and local hazards.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you are expected back.
  • Have some means of calling for help.
  • Equipment to be taken – lines or rope for towing – chart and compass – suitable clothing – flares – VHF radio – first aid kit – lifejacket - torch