The Solent has many types of ports:-
Major Commercial Ports: Southampton, Portsmouth
Military Ports: Portsmouth, Marchwood Military Port
Ferry Ports: Ryde, Cowes, Yarmouth, Lymington Fishbourne
Yacht Marinas in Chichester Harbour, Hamble, Lymington, Yarmouth, Cowes, Langstone, Gosport, Fareham. Bembridge, Beaulieu, Portsmouth and Southampton
Leisure Harbours in Langstone, Chichester, Beaulieu, Bembridge, Newtown, Keyhaven
Additionally, there are safe launching facilities for trailer boats in many locations, usually managed by the local authorities.
The statutory basis of these harbours varies enormously from totally private ventures like Beaulieu and Bembridge, through Trust Ports like Chichester, to full statutory ports like Portsmouth and Southampton.
Recently, the ownership of Bembridge Harbour has changed. SPS was a founding member of the Bembridge Harbour Trust, a local charity which is developing a working relationship with the new owners. A prominent member of the Trust sits on the SPS Council. Another Solent harbour also faces an uncertain future, as the Marchwood Military Port, presently owned by the Ministry of defence (MoD(, is on the market and bids are likely to be invited in the near future. Although the MoD is likely to want to continue to use the facility for some time to come (because it is one of only a small number of places which is licensed to handle explosives and ammunition and equipped to load and unload heavy military vehicles dlievered to site by road or rail, it is possible that there will be a major change of use of the site as a whole. SPS is keeping a watchful eye on the situation and will press for any redevelopment to be sensitive to the needs and traditions of the Solent.
The maintenance of dredged channels is imperative to keep the major ports operating efficiently, and this activity causes considerable concern, so we have made it an item in the Current Issues section.
To find out what is happening right now in these Solent ports, visit our Solent Now page
From time to time we will add comment and analysis of Solent ports we visit. Select from list below
Newtown, a magical harbour July 2013
Understanding ABP March 2013