Originally Posted by Alenka
I am looking for a berth for a 43ft monohull
for the months of April and May anywhere along the south coast before we head
off across Biscay. I appreciate there are plenty of spaces available in places like Port Solent but £850 pm is outside my budget
(it seems April is now classed as summer here!).
I would consider northern France
where I believe costs are much lower - or maybe this is an urban myth?
Any and all suggestions welcome. Maybe someone is interested in sub-letting a berth??
France is cheaper but N Brittany and Normandy ports
are mostly very remote
and isolated and hard to get anywhere from. If you need to be near civilization in order to provision and refit
before your big trip, then Cherbourg might do.
On the S Coast of England
walk-on pontoon berths will be expensive everywhere. Cheapest will be non-commercial operations like Southampton
; maybe you can find a sublet. Far cheaper will be a non-walk on arrangement like a mooring
or a mid-river pontoon. Ironically, although the Hamble is the most expensive place in the UK to keep a boat, there are thousands of mid-river pontoon berths and hundreds come up for sublet when the mooring holders leave for their summer cruises. It's quite inexpensive compared to marina berths, but obviously you've got no electrical
connection or water
at your berth. But the Hamble is a terrifcally cool place to be; a whole separate kingdom of sailors and sailing; a whole floating nation. It's also a terrific place for any refitting you need to do -- every conceivable service
or part available on the spot. And it's just a little over an hour from London by train (from Southampton Airport
station) if you need civilization. All sublets are handled through the harbormasters; give them a call.
There are also hundreds of moorings in Portsmouth harbour; unlike the case on the Hamble where the harbourmaster manages them all, in Portsmouth there are a variety of private companies doing it. You have to call around systematically.
Another great place is Poole; a huge natural harbor with a large quantity of moorings managed variously by the harbourmaster (through the Yacht Haven), and various clubs and private companies. Poole is a nice place with everything available you might need, and good train connections should you need to go anyplace else. Theoretically you can anchor
in Poole harbor, but nearly all the feasible spots are covered in moorings so I don't know; I've never been able to manage it. There is a beautiful anchorage at South Deep if you have the draft
for it; I can't quite get in there.
There is a popular anchorage in Studland Bay South of Poole but it is not feasible for long-term residence, since there is no shelter to the E.
You could live for free (I think) at anchor in Portland
Harbour, near Weymouth. You could pop into Weymouth from time to time for water
and provisions. The former military harbor is completely enclosed by a huge breakwater and I suppose the shelter would be good except maybe in strong Easteries.
As Atoll said, you can anchor out at Falmouth as well. Falmouth is a very cool place; I would love to spend a couple of months there. But you pay the harbourmaster for every day anchored in the main harbor and it's not cheap
. Besides that, the anchorage is quite crowded in the summer. Maybe you can anchor for free up the estuary somewhere outside of the main harbor; Atoll can probably tell you about that.
Here's a terrific resource for UK harbors: Free charts, tide tables and pilotage : from Visit My Harbour