Poole Harbour

Chain Ferry Byelaw

Priority between chain ferry and other vessels. All vessels navigating in the Harbour which are not subject to compulsory pilotage shall give way to the chain ferry
The entrance is the most hazardous area of the harbour and special vigilance and care is required when passing through. It is only 300 metres wide, with very strong tidal streams particularly at spring ebb and a slow moving chain ferry operates at its narrowest point.
Sailing vessels so fitted please use your engines when transitting the entrance. It may be a source of pride to you to achieve this under sail alone, but it is not safe when congested, and imposes greater risk to other users, especially when the wind is light and the stream strong.


Sailed around here a couple of times. 2014 was a weeks sailing with the GP14 Cruising Section. We used Poole YC and this proved to be an ideal base for all sort of reason's, excellent facilities, launching area and location just to mention a few.

Just like the harbour byelaw says the ride out and in of the entrance is tense and exciting and worrying and dangerous and.... we did without and engine and on a no wind day, it was the tide that took as in and very slowly it was too. Your eyes never move away from the ferry - it waits for no one!

Have also sailed their with the DCA launching from the slipway at Warham and down the River piddle. Not to be recommended unless you get the tides right. Also it had been raining heavily the week previous so the flow was quite severe

Recommend viewing is this YouTube clip taken on the first day.

I believe this to be the best small boat day sailing place on the south coast.