Enjoy the many delights of Cowes with a berth at the popular East Cowes Marina.
East Cowes Marina is located on the South Coast of England, on the Eastern banks of River Medina, on the Isle of Wight. Tourism is deep rooted in the past, as the island has popular tourist resorts that date way back to the Victorian period. It lies in a sheltered location, protected from the winds and waves, while its position on the right side of the river assures you a sunshiny day, all day long. The restaurants and cafés in the area serve delicious food accompanied by stunning views.
FACILITIES & BERTHING
The marina is fully equipped with more than 300 berths and has all the facilities that a boat owner needs, or can be found close-by.
The first series of pontoons, ‘A’ and ‘B’, at the northern end of the marina are entirely dedicated to visitors. The marina also accommodates visiting yachts throughout the marina on finger berths belonging to resident holders that are away.
All pontoons are fully serviced with fresh water and power, which are included in the berthing cost. Pontoons have ample power points, and extensions and adaptors are available for hire from the marina office.
The marina has excellent shower, toilet and laundry facilities, free wireless broadband internet access, free car park, rubbish and waste oil disposal facilities. It also exchanges gas bottles.
The staff can arrange to have hire bikes delivered to the marina too. Whether you are a lover of Lycra, a muddy mountain-biker or a country-lanes cruiser you will find perfect cycle lanes and wonderful off-road trails across the island.
The pump-out berth, for use by any boat (with prior notice), is located on the south pontoon at Shepards Marina in Cowes. Please call the marina on 01983 297821 or VHF Ch 80 to arrange access. Cowes Harbour Commission levies no charges for the holding tank pump-out to encourage more sailors and boaters to use the facility.
Diesel and petrol are available on the west bank of the Medina River either from the Cowes Harbour Fuels barge just south of the Chain Ferry or from Lallows pontoon between Shepherds Wharf Marina and Cowes Yacht Haven.
Whilst the boatcare service centre at Haslar Marina in Gosport and Deacons on the Hamble provide a one-stop shop for all boat repair and maintenance tasks, from deck repairs to rigging and electronics, there are lift-out facilities at Kingston Yard, the Medina Yard, Cowes Yacht Haven and at Richardsons in Island Harbour. For smaller motorboats Tristan and his team have great facilities next door to the marina at Solent Marine Services in Clarence Boatyard.
Ideal for boat lovers across the South Coast, East Cowes Marina is also home to boatpoint, a growing boat sales business by boatfolk in partnership with Network Yacht Brokers. The boat sales arm of boatfolk provides a professional yacht brokerage service in the heart of the Solent and the surrounding area.
There are several more marine businesses close-by and on-hand to assist berth holders and visiting boats alike.
East Cowes Marina is on the east bank of the Medina River, approximately 500m south of the Floating Bridge. If you are arriving by sea, enter Cowes via the main Western Channel (inner fairway) or the small craft Eastern Channel. There are tidal depth gauges on the piles at either end of the Eastern Channel.
Once you are in the Medina River, call the marina on VHF channel 80 or on the phone 01983 293 983, and you will be allocated a berth. You will almost always be allocated a berth into the tidal stream to facilitate tying up. The first set of pontoons you arrive at is the visitor area. The outer side of the first pontoon is designated A1 with the inside of that same pontoon being A2, and so on into the shore. If you would like a hand with your lines, give the marina team a call and they will pop down to help.
Keep an eye out for the tidal current through the marina. There is a two-to-three-hour stand, and then the whole of the ebb occurs in the last three hours before low water.
The best time to arrive (and to leave) is between half an hour before high water and two-and-a-half hours after high water. This is obviously more critical during spring tides.
If you are arriving by car, Red Funnel car ferry services from Southampton Town Quay come right into East Cowes, and is located just a three-minute drive or 10-minute walk from the terminal. If you want to leave your car in Southampton, the Red Jet high-speed passenger service comes into West Cowes. This is approximately a 20-minute walk away, taking in the Cowes Chain Ferry (or replacement ferry service), which currently costs £1 each way.
During popular events, such as Cowes Week, Round the Island Race and the Isle of Wight Festival, it is essential to book well in advance to secure a berth. To guarantee the availability of a pre-booked berth the vessel must arrive during office hours.
The beauty of berthing your boat on the Medina River is that you have all the harbours and anchorages of the sheltered Solent on your doorstep, whilst also being at the centre of the yachting and boating scene.
From Cowes you can day-sail to great beaches at Totland and Colwell (famous as the home of ‘The Hut at Colwell Bay’) in the west to Osborne Bay, Priory Bay and even Whitesand Bay in the east.
If you choose to turn left as you leave Cowes harbour, a weekend cruise could take in one of the marinas in Lymington or Yarmouth harbour and the historic Buckler’s Hard in the upper reaches of the Beaulieu River.
If you went straight ahead out of Cowes you could visit any of the marinas at the top of Southampton Water such as Hythe Marina Village, Town Quay, Ocean Village or Shamrock Quay. North of Cowes, up the Hamble River, there are at least six marinas offering a number of overnight possibilities with lots of choice of restaurants and bars.
Turning right out of Cowes you have Bembridge harbour on the island side, the whole of Portsmouth Harbour opposite that and just a little further east, the whole of Chichester harbour with its numerous marinas and anchorages to enjoy. The Solent really offers an amazing amount of choice in an area that can comfortably be navigated in a weekend.
Its location at the top of the island also favours longer trips across the Channel to Cherbourg and the Channel Islands and even the North Brittany coast.
LOCAL AREA HIGHLIGHTS
With so many attractions, it is hard to know where to start. There is Osborne House, just 20-minutes’ walk away, the Monkey Haven, Robin Hill, Blackgang Chine, East Cowes Esplanade, beaches galore and a cracking bus service to get you there, or you can have a hire car delivered to the marina.
The town of Cowes is fully introduced in the Cowes Harbour entry. The comparatively smaller East Cowes is situated on the east bank of the River Medina, opposite its more prominent neighbour but connected by the Cowes Floating Bridge.
The ferry service, costing £1 each way for foot passengers, has run seven days a week since it commenced 1849 when it was powered by horses.
Visiting vessels approaching East Cowes from the eastern Solent will have already seen two of the town’s most prominent buildings that both overlook The Solent. The first of these is the magnificent Osborne House that is covered in the Osborne Bay anchorage entry. It is situated a mile southward of Castle Point and the building is made conspicuous from seaward by its prominent tower and flagstaff.
You can catch sight of a kingfisher or an oystercatcher and still be a short walk from shops and restaurants. Even better, enjoy a sundowner overlooking the marina at the Lifeboat pub. The best place to relax and watch the boats float by on the Medina River. There is room on the deck for everyone, and a great range of food and drink.
On the marina’s side of the river there is The Taste of India, and a Prego Italian restaurant. Both are a 10-minute walk from the marina, close to the Red Funnel terminal. Pop into the office to grab a map.
Whether you are a sailing fanatic or looking for some summer sun, a visit during Cowes Week and the Round the Island Race is a must. These events take place on the Solent each summer, attracting thousands of competitive sailors and even more enthusiastic spectators.
Take on the full 68-mile Coastal path, or just ramble from beach to pub to hill to harbour. The island has so many great walks, the only problem is to decide which ones to do – luckily, the marina team can help you choose.
Cowes High Street is positively awash with all the best yachting brands to deck yourself out in style, and after all that hard work there is a plethora of bars, cafés and restaurants to slake your thirst and satisfy your hunger.
For provisioning, walk to Waitrose or nip up to Nisa (just a short trot up Alfred Street) and pick up everything you need. For the more adventurous there is locally produced garlic, Island blue cheese, Briddlesford halloumi, Adgestone wines, Goddards Beer and not forgetting Mermaid gin.
For links and further information on these recommendations visit: www.boatfolk.co.uk/east-cowes-marina/things-to-see-and-do/east-cowes
Royal Yacht Squadron: 01983 029 2191
Island Sailing Club: 01983 029 6621
Royal Corinthian Yacht Club: 01983 029 3581
Royal London Yacht Club: 01983 029 9727
Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club: 01983 029 6333
Royal Ocean Racing Club Yacht Club: 01983 029 5144 (during Cowes Week)
East Cowes Sailing Club: 01983 053 1687
Manager: Mike Townshend
01983 293 983
Postcode: PO32 6UB
Lat & long: 50o 45’ .0N, 1o 17, .5W