Here is the guidance for cowes harbour speed limits, although it makes no mention of the ability to maintain steerage that I can see.
Full document: COWES HARBOUR COMMISSION – GENERAL DIRECTIONS 1st JANUARY 2014
3.2. Speed Limit:
3.2.1.Every vessel navigating the Inner Harbour of Cowes or within 100 metres of the
Mean High Water Mark shall unless otherwise authorised by the Harbour Master
in writing, subject to the requirements of maintaining adequate steerage way and
control, be navigated at a speed not exceeding 6 knots through the water.
3.2.2.Complying with the maximum permitted speed will not exonerate the Master of
any vessel from the responsibility of reducing speed as necessary in the
observance of normal practice of safe seamanship. This includes, but is not
limited to, when passing mooring trots, pontoons, vessels alongside quays, jetties
or pontoons, vessels engaged in maritime works and when approaching the
Cowes Chain Ferry. Vessels shall at all times be navigated with care and caution
and in such a manner so as not to endanger the safety of other persons or cause
nuisance to the occupants of any other vessel, person or property.
3.3. Wash - A vessel shall not be navigated or manoeuvred in any part of the Inner
Harbour or within 100 metres of the shore in a manner or at a speed so as to cause
wash to be generated that may cause damage to or endanger the safety of other
persons, vessels or property.
3.4. Navigation in the Shrape Watersports Area – Within the Shrape Watersports
Area the following activities are permitted to exceed the 6knot speed limit if safe to
i. Dinghy and Day Boat Sailing
ii. Wind Surfing COWES HARBOUR COMMISSION – GENERAL DIRECTIONS, 1
st of January 2014
Page 10 of 23
iii. Kite Surfing
v. Support and rescue craft involved in the above activities.
3.5. Speed Exemptions - General Direction 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 shall not apply to any
vessel on any occasion when it is being used by the Police, Fire Service or RNLI
or other recognised rescue or patrol craft in an emergency situation, or for the
purposes of enforcing these General Directions, any Special Directions or the