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KHM Portsmouth

Using the Port for Recreation

Map displaying dockyard point limits in Portsmouth

This page contains useful information for leisure users, including:

  • Organising events and diving
  • Swimming across the Solent
  • Guidance for Personal Water Craft users
  • How to enter the harbour and other safety information

Facts to keep in mind

  1. 1

    Avoid sailing in the commercial shipping channel, especially in poor visibility

    Obey Rule 9 of the Collision Regulations (COLREGS) for conduct in narrow channels by keeping to the side of the channel and crossing only when this does not impede the passage of a large vessel that can safely navigate only within the narrow channel.

  2. 2

    Do not underestimate the speed of ships

    If your boat is slow, allow sufficient time to take effective evasive action in the vicinity of large ships.

  3. 3

    Be visible

    At night make sure your navigation lights can be seen. If you see the navigation lights of a vessel and you think you have not been seen, get out of the way. Use torches, search lights or a spotlight on sails, or fire a white flare to indicate your position. Carry a radar reflector high on your boat.

  4. 4

    Be alert

    Look around every so often, especially astern.

  5. 5

    Keep an extra vigilant watch at night

    Even on a clear night you will have difficulty seeing a big ship approach. You might see it first as a black shadow against a background of shore lights, or as a growing shadow - at that point you are not far apart. Remember that your lights will not be easily spotted from the ship, particularly if seen against shore background lights.

  6. 6

    Keep your VHF radio tuned to Channel 11

    In an emergency, if you believe you have not been seen or are unsure of a ship's intentions, call them on VHF Channel 11 or 16 then shift to a working frequency or intership safety messages.

More information

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