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Old 12 May 2014, 16:55   #1
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Poole harbour good idea?

I have a honwave with a 15hp outboard, im looking to go camping somewhere that I can take my boat and launch it near the campsite and not have the hassle of loading up my van before and after launching, I found a campsite with a private slipway but it means to get to the beach I need to go through poole harbour! Is this going to be a bad idea for someone who has little experience on the coast? And how long would it roughly take to get to a nice beach from the campsite in the pic(I have uploaded a googlemap screenshot of where the campsite is so you can see the route I would have to take). I must add that mine and my friends partner are joining us and they won't be doing much if any boating with us so this is the reason I want to be near a beach preferably with a floating pontoon, so that we can set off early and meet them at a beach, or at least that's my plan. For you guys that may know the south coast is this somewhere that meets the criteria or can you recommend anywhere else, I have done Lyme Regis before and the pontoon there was perfect for us boys to go off boating and still keep the girls happy by popping back and meeting them on the beach from time to time ! I haven't been up Bournemouth/Weymouth coast before so if anyone can give me any tips I would really appreciate it. Im from Bristol and thanks in advance! James
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Old 12 May 2014, 16:57   #2
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Old 12 May 2014, 17:04   #3
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It's a long run through a 6 knot limit to get to any beaches from Wareham.
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Old 12 May 2014, 17:06   #4
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Poole Harbour is definitely a lovely place, but no picture to tell us which campsite you're at! Remember there's a 10kn speed limit throughout the harbour at this time of year, so if you're up at Rockley or something, I'd allow a good 30 mins to get to the entrance.

There's not many (if any) beaches with pontoons nearby.

Shell Bay just inside the harbour entrance has a small marina with pontoon, which you may be able to use as a visitor if you phone them - that's then right beside a lovely sandy beach, with a nice walk to Studland and Old Harry.

Failing that friends could drive to Arne (towards the top end of the harbour) and you could meet them on the beach there - a nice quiet nature reserve.

Or you could have a relaxing (slow, 4kn limit) trip up the River Frome to Wareham, and meet them on the quay.

Perhaps they could take the ferry to Brownsea Island and walk there, great beaches on South and West sides, whilst you SIB over and meet them.

Other than that, you could SIB to Studland itself, but that's beach landing only. Bournemouth likewise. Depending on the boat's capabilities, Swanage is a bit further, but again is basically beach landing only, although sometimes you can drop off/pick up at the pier.
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Old 12 May 2014, 17:11   #5
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Picture is now attached.

The speed limit from Redcliffe down the River Frome is actually 4kn, and once in the Wareham Channel and then into the Main Channel, you can do 10kn.

Personally I'd stay in the harbour and go to Arne or something. Nice beaches there, a quiet spot behind Round and Long Islands that not many other boats can get to, so tends to be nice and tranquil. No cafes or anything though. Or go to Brownsea Island or Shell Bay.
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Old 13 May 2014, 03:28   #6
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Hi James

Poole Harbour is a great place to explore, but if the girls want beaches that compare to Lyme, you are looking at a 45 minute jaunt to Poole Harbour entrance from your campsite (Redcliffe?): Allow about 15 minutes winding down the river Frome at 4kts then 30 minutes through the harbour at 10kts. With 4 up in a Honwave, you might struggle to get on the plane at those speeds.

As mentioned, Arne and Brownsea offer tranquility, but without facilities. Shell Bay is just outside the harbour on the Purbeck side, and has a cafe etc nearby. Sandbanks side offers more facilities and powdery sand but landing might involve a short paddle. At least both of these options will mean you can be nearby with the boat.

A couple of points:

Get a chart for Poole Harbour, and stay well within the marked channels.
There are 2 tides per day at the harbour entrance, but only 1 at the top of the river.
Currents and sea state at the entrance can be tricky, especially is S/SE winds, so be prepared.
Look on the Poole Harbour Commissioners website for local news and information:

www.phc.co.uk
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Old 13 May 2014, 07:12   #7
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Not sure how big your Sib is but it would be a bit of a slog to go from wareham to studland for example. Plus if your going through the harbour at trhe harbour entrance by the chain ferry it can get rather choppy dependant upon tide but you could get to the other side of shell bay on the inside of the harbour by going round the back of brownsea island. Alternatively there is arne but no facilities or small beach on brownsea island.

whatever you decide a handheld vhf would be a good idea. and lifejackets ..
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Old 13 May 2014, 08:58   #8
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Can you not launch a sib at Studland national trust slip anymore?
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Old 13 May 2014, 17:26   #9
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Thanks for the replys some great response! It all seems a bit daunting still though with the tides, how busy it will be, and the potential of choppy weather. I just love the thought of being able to set straight off from a campsite without the van and return without the hassle of deflating the boat ect to do it all again in the morning. Lyme Regis seems like a safer option but not so enjoyable as regards to the launching process. I really need to invest in a trailer! I'll have a think shell bay ect does sound interesting!
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Old 13 May 2014, 18:44   #10
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Don't be put off by the tides - just check the tide table before you set out, and as suggested, maybe avoid the entrance itself at full flood/ebb, especially if wind against tide. Obviously check the weather forecast, in light winds there will be no issues at all in the harbour - I regularly take small motor dinghies (have even done it in our Avon Redcrest with a 2hp more than once...) all over the harbour to get to various moorings.

If you do go, then maybe first trip start with something like Arne/Brownsea which are closer to the campsite than the other options and within the relative protection of the harbour. You could then look at Shell Bay, or if very calm weather, possibly out to Studland.
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