Personal watercraft use

All Personal Watercraft operating within the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth need to be licenced by QHM. Below are the guidelines to use your Personal Water Craft (PWC) safely within the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth.

Watercraft use

The area

The area

The Dockyard Port of Portsmouth consists of 55 Square Miles covering the eastern Solent from a line between East Cowes and Hill Head. 

A 10 knot speed limit applies to all craft including PWCs within the harbour and within 0.5 nautical miles of the shore throughout the Dockyard Port, except when operating within areas designated for PWC use which are detailed further down this page.  All PWC users should familiarise themselves with General Direction 1/16.

Designated PWC Area - Lee on the Solent

Designated PWC Area - Lee on the Solent

At Lee-on-Solent a variety of water sports take place in the vicinity of the Hovercraft slipway. At all times, all water users are to keep a sharp lookout for swimmers and ensure they keep well clear.  The PWC Area is bounded by the following coordinates:

50° 48’ .47 N                                     001° 12’ .75 W
50° 48’ .35 N                                     001° 12’ .58 W
50° 48’ .05 N                                     001° 13’ .17 W
50° 48’ .15 N                                     001° 13’ .34 W

This area is marked by yellow buoys at the east and west limits extending out from the groynes either side of the slipway. A buoy is placed either side of the outermost bouys, indicating the extent of the 1000yd (0.5nm) distance from shore.

Within this area, PWCs, commonly known as jet skis, are authorised to exceed 10 knots. PWC operators remain responsible for their own safety and that of other water users and they are to ensure they remain a safe distance from other craft and swimmers at all times. The image below shows the inshore arrangements and signage placed at Lee-on-Solent.