Poole Harbour & Local Area Hazards
A few of the local hazards and things to be aware of within Poole Harbour and the local riding spots.. these are certainly not all of them so please refer to a Chart, Notice to Mariners etc for further information.
Mud & Sand Banks
Poole Harbour & surrounding areas have many sand and mud banks, many of which are not easily visible even at low water (low tide) but which could still present issues for your PWC.. Check a chart of your operating area and the tide height to ensure you don't get into strife !
As an example the mud bank to the East end of PWC area can have less than 10cm of water coverage during a Spring Low Tide, which is definitely an issue when we need approx minimum 60cm...
Poole Harbour Chain Ferry
The chain ferry at Poole Harbour entrance has the right of way over all other vessels, except those under compulsory pilotage. Keep well out of the way and never cross ahead when the chain ferry is moving and beware of the chains astern !
Studland Bay Training Bank
Beware of the training bank, particularly around low tide. This 'man made' bank runs on the starboard (right) side of the Swash Channel from Shell Bay and ends after Port Mark (red buoy) # 6 and before Port Mark (red buoy) # 4
Poole Lifting Bridge
Make sure you abide by the light signals !
When does the bridge lift?
Generally every hour on the 1/2 hour (high season)
Bridge Control VHF Channel: 12
Notable Vessels to be cautious of in & near Poole Harbour
Condor Ferries & Commercial Shipping
Ferries & large ships are making regular trips in and out of Poole Harbour. They have to remain in the main shipping channels & do not have the ability to avoid you so please ensure you stay well clear.
Based in Hamworthy Poole, you may catch a view of single or fleets of RM vessels of all sizes sometimes speeding through the harbour when out on exercise. Please note RM are exempt from harbour speed limits.
As the main training base for RNLI crews you will often see RNLI vessels of all sizes out on training exercises, keep clear to allow them to carry out their manoeuvres and practice.
Sunseeker Motorcruisers are built in Poole and are occasionally test run at higher speeds (with permission of the Harbour Control). The area they generally use to do this is south of the Ferry terminal, westward (Hamworthy direction).
Wildlife Best Practice
Invasive animal and plant species are one of the top 5 highest risks to global and UK biodiversity. Learn more at: https://thegreenblue.org.uk/you-your-boat/info-advice/wildlife-habitats/invasive-species-prevention/