Keyhaven is an attractive harbour at the western tip of the Solent lying within an area of unspoilt Hampshire coast. The harbour is shielded by the massive shingle bar that leads to the famous Hurst Castle situated at its strategic position, guarding the western approaches to the Solent and originally built by Henry VIII.
Keyhaven has many qualities ranging from the extent of sheltered water, which makes it so suitable for teaching youngsters sailing and canoeing, to the great wealth of nature conservation and landscape interest.
To approach Keyhaven from the west, enter the Solent by Hurst Point and beware of The Trap if coming in via the north channel. Be aware of strong tidal cross streams. The entrance is approximately 0.5m north-northwest of Hurst Point. There are two unlit buoys, one red and one green near the entrance at North Point. The depth between these buoys is virtually at chart datum so whatever height of tide is shown at that time is how much water there is.
Normally, entry is restricted to 2 hours each side of HW. Red and white hooped transit posts line up at a bearing of 308º. Proceed through the buoys until a red buoy is abeam on your port side. Enter the river around this buoy. Note the first of many starboard hand laterals for the channel. When entering from the east, and when Port Albert is abeam, turn to starboard and head towards the red and green buoys. Then follow the directions above. It is not advisable to to attempt entering Keyhaven in strong easterly winds.
There is a 4 knot speed limit once inside the River. Anchorage is close to the spit on your port side. The deepest water is always where the mooring buoys are. There are no dedicated visitor moorings. Pick up any spare buoy and contact the River Warden on VHF 37/M1 or P1 or phone 01590 645695. Charges for both mooring and anchoring apply.
The West Solent Boat Builders yard is situated immediately behind the quay providing a full range of boatyard facilities, including cranage. On the north side of the quay, a slipway with a cradle is used to haul out vessels too heavy to be lifted by crane.
Contact: Keyhaven River Warden, The Observation Tower, Keyhaven Quay, Keyhaven, SO41 0TR. Tel: 01590 645695. www.newforest.gov.uk
Please note, information in this publication is to be used as a guide only and not for navigation.