Originally Posted by L4RRY
That'd be a great help, thanks! Is the lightship quite a distance from Hamble?
I'll drop you a PM nearer the time and see if the RIB'll be fit!
The section in the middle with no speed restrictions is about 12 miles or so, so an easy 30 mins at 25 knots. Plus a bit each end to leave Hamble, and then enter Portsmouth Harbour, so might be about 50 mins total. All assuming a nice calm day of course. It took quite a bit longer last December when Nos was with me for the same trip, the wave pattern was too unpredictable, but that was in December! I am hoping for a nicer day than that!
Launching can be a bit of a pain at Warsash depending on tide. It is quite a shallow slip, but should be OK for a 4m boat with more than one person. Easy parking, and free IIRC. Charge to launch though (£5 or so)
Launching at Camber in Portsmouth is on the other hand almost bliss in comparison, very easy. Charges for parking, but it is plentiful, about £8 IIRC, you need coins for the machine. Launching normally free if someone has already launched and left the barrier up.
You could also try launching from Hythe marina at the top of Southampton Water. No idea of costs for this slip.
If it were me, I'd wait to see what the forecast is like. If it's nice and we go to Ventnor, you will need enough fuel for the trip there and back. It is something like 18 miles one way from Portsmouth Harbour, so 36 there and back (unless you decide to go round the island). If you decide to do the same trip from Hamble, it's about 25 miles or so more. So your launching venue might be driven by the amount of fuel you can carry.
If the weather (or just the sea state) is not looking so good, Nos said a trip to Cowes and up to the Folly could be in order. In that case, launching from Hamble or Hythe would probably be best, as you then only have to battle it across the solent, about 6 miles from Hamble to cowes entrances. (about 9 from Portsmouth).
Tell me to shut up if I'm saying stuff either of you already know, and keep asking the questions.