Permitted Cruising Area
RIB Charter Safety
Bembridge Marine is licensed by the I.O.W Council to operate as a self drive boat hire service. Just like taxis and bars, we have strict codes to adhere to. We are not permitted to allow boats to depart if our staff believe that the crew does not have sufficient competence to navigate without putting others at risk, or being able to control their passengers or crew. If we, or others see one of our boats being operated outside its limits or in a manner which causes concern we are legally required to cancel your hire. When agreeing to hire one of Bembridge Marines RIBs, the skipper and or renter are stating they have undertaken an instructional course, supplied by a recognised training body, to the minimum standard we require or above. Crew must have previous experience in boat handling, feel confident they can operate the vessel competently and shall take full responsibility for the vessel and its safety, along with the crew on board, while on hire. The skipper must be on board and in charge while the boat is underway, and ensure that that the crew are fit and able to go to sea safety. Those on board must wear life jackets while the boat is underway, and the skipper must use a kill cord as much as practically possible. Our boats have been assessed and are licensed for safety reasons to carry a maximum of 8 persons, the boat only carries enough safety equipment for a maximum of 8 persons. The Skipper and or renter may not operate the RIB under the influence of drink or drugs, and will not be covered by insurance if they do so. The boats can not be operated after dark. Please pay attention to your safety briefing, we want to help you to have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Other than the main body of Southampton water, all harbours have a 6kn speed limit, be courteous to other users and keep your wash down to a minimum. When passing at close quarters or in a channel, as per your training, you are required to pass Port to Port ( like driving in the EU). Please be vigilant as not all of the boating community are as knowledgeable as they should be.
Notable areas which need caution around the Solent
Ryde sands is a Huge sandbank which starts at the end of Ryde pier, it runs out to No Mans fort and extends into Seaview. It has around 2.5m of water covering it at high tide, but is difficult to navigate at mid tides, some parts near Ryde pier are shallower than the western end. We recommend you go out and round it. It has red metal poles driven into the ground on its outer boundaries, the first is just inshore of No Mans Fort, the second to the east between Nomans and Ryde pier and a red buoy close to Ryde pier. It is clearly marked on the GPS.
Submarine barrier running from Horse sands fort outside Portsmouth to Southsea beach, a line of submerged concrete blocks designed to stop submarines sneaking into Portsmouth docks in WW2.It is marked on the chart and GPS, has yellow markers above the surface from the fort to the shore.There is one opening for boats to pass through which is marked with yellow poles.
Wootton Rocks, is to the west of the Fishbourn car ferry, towards Cowes you will see a fleet of racing dinghies and a starter box belonging to Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Close by is a red post indicating Wootton Rocks, which should be avoided. You need to follow the main ferry channel out, and run down the coast offshore.
Bramble Bank is situated between Cowes and Southampton harbour entrance, It is marked with a yellow weather station / pole. It only comes above the surface on Spring tides.
You would be unlucky to go aground, but it is best avoided. It is clearly marked on the GPS
Warren ledgeIs situated at the west end of Colwell bay, it runs a good distance out to sea, exposed at low tide, but under the water at high tide. You need to keep well off shore when passing this point.
The wreck of Vavassi
The wreck of Vavassi is 100m off the end of the Needles, just below the surface. It will be on the GPS
Explore the Solent By Boat
Hire a RIB from us and explore the Solent waters with friends, family or work collegues