Brighton Marina

Pilotage information.. on your phone

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


Safe Offing 50:47.314 N, 000:07'.100 W Harbour Entrance 50:48'.540 N, 000:06'.373W


Admiralty 1991, SC5605

Rules & Regulations


Lobster Pots inshore to East of Marina, SE Gales make entrance impossible.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW +0004 Dover, MHWS 6.6m, MHWN 5.0m, MLWN 2.0m, MLWS 0.5m. Brighton tide-tables:  

Admiralty Easy Tide Forecasts

7 Day Weather Forecast

Brighton Marina  tel 01273 819919 VHF #37

Brighton Marina is an entirely artificial edifice that juts out from the coast about 1 mile east of Brighton itself.

It consists of two completely separate arms, the larger Eastern Breakwater which curves around and encloses the pontoons within and the shorter Western Breakwater. The Western Breakwater curves around in such a way as to protect the entrance. Sailing into the Marina involves doing a virtual U-turn upon entry, and this arrangement provides perfect shelter within.

The breakwaters are made of huge concrete caissons linked together. The Marina  opened in 1979, received a severe testing during the hurricane force winds that battered England in October 1987. Having spoken to people who were on their boats in the Marina at the time it is clear the structure was well up to it.

The Marina has to be one of the biggest in Europe with over 1200 berths, quite a few which are available for visitors. Although it does have a large resident population it has never filled right up. Perhaps this is because Brighton is not really that close to anywhere you want to go for a weekend, unlike the Solent where sheltered waters and numerous nearby harbours await.

There was a period in the 2016s and 17s when there was much silting in the entrance and around the pontoons and not very much was being done about it. Since then in 2020 and 2021 there has been extensive dredging in the entrance and around the visitors moorings. If you are offered a permanent mooring here it would be wise to have a look at it during LWS to see how much depth you really have. The depths in the fairways are estimated to be 0.5 or less than CD and vessels with a draft in excess of 1 metre are advised to wait two hours either side of LW before navigating in the marina.

For anyone making passage up or down the Channel, Brighton Marina really is one of the most useful stops you could make. Entry is possible in most weather, depths are no problem, finding a spot inside is virtually assured even for large vessels. If in a hurry Brighton is attractive as it does not involve intricate pilotage up creeks or rivers and nerve wracking encounters with shipping and ferries. You can sail in, do the necessary, and depart.

To that end you will find a hypermarket within the Marina that is so complete and huge that you could easilly stock the boat up for an Atlantic crossing.

The Marina complex is not that close to Brighton, but it's pretty well self-contained with shops, pubs, and restaurants. On-site you will also find a multiscreen cinema and a bowling alley.

For the boat there is a travel lift and full boatyard, repair and rigging services. A decent chandlers, fuel and gas bottle exchanges complete the picture.

If staying for a couple of days it is well worth visiting Brighton itself as there is plenty to check out. Brighton Pavilion and the Lanes with it's slightly kooky and offbeat shops are worth a look and there is untold nightlife. Brighton has been described as "London on Sea", but being a Londoner it doesn't look that way to me.

The Marina offers very good deals for wintering your boat afloat within, and I have used this service a few times for a large boat with satisfactory results.

Transport connections are excellent making this a good place for crew changes,or maybe abandoning your boat for a while should the need arise.

For details of the new windfarm in the approaches to Brighton click on this link Windfarm Alerts

For the yachtsman or motorboater the only situation in which a entry to Brighton Marina will be ill-advised is in gale force south easterly conditions....

......but in any kind in strong onshore conditions, the waves bouncing off the caissons make the entrance rough and a challenge.

In normal conditions from East or West there are no real problems in the approach providing a good offing is maintained. Close inshore between Newhaven and Brighton Marina are lobster fishing grounds, giving rise to plenty of pot markers. The area is best avoided particularly at night under engine.

Approach from across the Channel now has that new Rampisham wind farm in the way and we have a link to the details about that in the harbour description above. 

The Marina is reasonably easy to identify with a batch of tall buildings on the cliffs more or less behind the entrance.

The safest approach is probably from about half a mile off, with the Marina entrance bearing North to Northwest. This gives you some chance of seeing what's emerging.

In strong onshore winds the entrance can get tricky, and in gales from the south-east it would be inadvisable to attempt entry at all. Newhaven may be a better bet in these circumstances. In strong south-westerly conditions the Marina can be entered, (I've had no problems in up to F7). The thing to watch out for in these conditions is the waves bouncing off the caissons... they meet an oncoming wave and heap right up. (clapoptic waves ?). The entrance will be rough.

An approach with the entrance bearing NW and keeping plenty of speed on the boat seems to work. Before making your final approach in these conditions it may be wise to call up the Marina on VHF channel 37 or 80, (telephone 01273 819919) to make sure that nothing is about to emerge as you charge in. It is also worth briefing the crew, and getting everybody in lifejackets and holding on tight.

Once inside the first set of breakwaters, in either good or bad conditions it will be necessary to execute a gentle U turn. The dredged channel is well marked by three green conical buoys, and three red can buoys. The entrance can shoal up after strong onshore weather, and in these cases leaving it a bit after dead low water would probably be wise. The Marina issued a NOTAM in 2016 about the entrance and this is an on-going problem. The room in this outer harbour has been further restricted by the building of a coffer dam and we are advised that is safer to favour the western (red buoyed) side of the channel there

Heads up January 2023. The marina issued a NOTAM 1/2023. 2023 THAT NOTAM IS STILL IN FORCE Marina Entrance is dredged to 1.7m below CD. Depth "estimations" within the marina indicate a depth of 0.5 metre or less below CD.

They are expecting to dredge again this summer and now have their own dredger so the situation should slowly improve, but if you are visiting you should check with them before departure as it could affect your planned ETA.

There is, in normal conditions, plenty of room for boats to pass each other in this entrance channel.

Upon swinging around and entering the Marina proper you will find enough space to sort out your warps and fenders if you haven't already done so. Do not stray over towards the outer walls as there is a build up of sand there as well.

Normal size yachts berth where shown on the plan, ie just inside the entrance. Larger vessels move slightly deeper into the Marina where a series of pontoons capable of holding boats up to 30 m odd awaits on your port side. In either case the best plan is to get berthing instructions from the Marina. (VHF channel 37 or 80, telephone 01273 819919). The Marina can accommodate vessels of over over 45 m depending on the draft, but all large vessels should check in with them before entering for the first time.

Night entry is possible with the breakwater ends all being lit, and two of the red can buoys are also lit. The lights shown on these buoys have been reported as weak, use caution.

A link is provided below to the marina's website which has plenty of useful information:

After entering the harbour normal sized visitors berths are immediately on the port side.....

.....and larger craft berth slightly deeper into the harbour.  We have received reports that the dredging here leaves a lot to be desired and many boats lie aground at Low Water.  You would be advised to consult with them before departing for here to ascertain what states of tide they can accept a boat of your draft and whether you will be afloat for the whole of your stay.

If you have berthed your boat without receiving instructions from the staff you should make your way to the Marina Reception which is at the end of the West Jetty up some stairs and overlooking the entrance and visitors berths.

It is here also that you pay.

The costs at the Marina (2022) workout at £3.55 per metre per day for a 10m boat, the charging period running from midday to midday. There is a minimum charge of £28.40 and includes £5.00 worth of electricity. Short stays of up to 4 hours are charged at £1.48 per metre with a minimum charge of £11.84 but if you are just dropping in for fuel there is no charge.

Periods of over seven days can work out cheaper, and winter rates from 1 October to the end of March can come down to as little as £00.65 p per metre per day providing you are taking more than 90 days with payment in advance.

All the usual Marina facilities are available here, water and electricity (£5 worth included in the berthing fee) on the pontoons, toilets and shower blocks and launderette. For the boat there is easy access to the 24-hour fuel pontoon which sells diesel and petrol. Calor gas and camping gas exchanges are available at the marina office.

The marina amenities blocks are situated on both the East and West Jetties and those on the East were refurbished this winter (2017/18)

Wifi is available in the Marina but they charge £3.50 and hour, £7.50 a day or £10.00 for the weekend.

For the boat there is a travel lift and hardstanding, together with all kinds of engineers, shipwrights, and repair facilities... check out the directory. The chandlers will also be found within the Marina complex.

As already mentioned the Asda superstore can cater for all stocking up needs, and is virtually on the spot. It would be hard to find another harbour where serious provisioning could be accomplished so easily. This supermarket is open 24 hours a day during weekdays, 8 AM to 10 PM Saturdays, and 11 AM to 5 PM Sundays. The superstore also operates a cafe serving very good value meals and breakfasts.

A cash machine will be found outside Asda.

Also Brighton Marina Yacht Club welomes visitors, check their website:

Although about a mile away, Brighton station offers a direct service to London Victoria normally in about one hour. The rail network also links with other South coast towns. Gatwick and Luton airports connect easily with Brighton. Buses link the Marina and the town, as do three wheeled motorised rickshaws !


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Brighton is a city on the south coast of England and, with its neighbour Hove, forms the City of Brighton and Hove.

The ancient settlement of Brighthelmston dates from before the Domesday Book (1086), but it emerged as a health resort during the 18th Century and became a destination for day-trippers after the arrival of the railway in 1841. Brighton experienced rapid population growth reaching a peak of over 160,000 by 1961.[2] Modern Brighton forms part of a conurbation stretching along the coast, with a population of around 480,000.

Eight million tourists a year visit Brighton. The town also has a substantial business conference industry. Brighton has two universities and a medical school.

History of Brighton

In the Domesday Book, Brighton was called Bristelmestune and a rent of 4,000 herring was established. In June 1514 Brighthelmstone was burnt to the ground by French raiders during a war between England and France. Only part of the St Nicholas Church and the street pattern of the area now known as "The Lanes" survived. The first drawing of Brighthelmstone was made in 1545 and depicts what is believed to be the raid of 1514. During the 1740s and 1750s, Dr Richard Russell of Lewes began prescribing seawater at Brighton. By 1780, development of the Georgian terraces had started and the fishing village became the fashionable resort of Brighton. Growth of the town was further encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent (later King George IV) after his first visit in 1783. He spent much of his leisure time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion during the early part of his Regency.

The arrival of the railway in 1841 brought Brighton within the reach of day-trippers from London and population growth from around 7,000 in 1801 to over 120,000 by 1901. The Victorian era saw the building of many major attractions including the Grand Hotel (1864), the West Pier (1866) and the Palace Pier (1899).

After boundary changes between 1873 and 1952, the land area of Brighton increased from 1,640 acres (7 km²) in 1854 to 14,347 acres (58 km²) in 1952. New housing estates were established in the acquired areas including Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Coldean and Whitehawk. The major expansion of 1928 also incorporated the villages of Patcham, Ovingdean and Rottingdean, and much council housing was built in parts of Woodingdean after the Second World War.

More recently, gentrification of much of Brighton has seen a return of the fashionable image which characterised the growth of the Regency period. Recent housing in the North Laine, for instance, has been designed in keeping with the area.

In 1997 Brighton and Hove were joined to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove, which was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the millennium celebrations in 2000.


The Royal Pavilion is a former royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early 1800s and is notable for Indian architecture and Oriental interior design. The building and grounds were purchased by the town in 1849 for £53,000.

Brighton Pier (originally and in full "The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier", and for long known as the Palace Pier) opened in 1899. It features a funfair, restaurants and arcade halls. The funfair has been criticised for its prices, with rides costing up to £8. Brightonians refer to it as Palace Pier in protest at the commercialisation.

The West Pier was built in 1866 and has been closed since 1975 awaiting renovation, which faces continual setbacks, in part because the owners of the Palace Pier, the Noble Organisation, have opposed plans. The West Pier is one of only two Grade I listed piers in the United Kingdom, but suffered two fires in 2003. Plans for a new landmark in its place – the i360, a 183m (600 ft) observation tower designed by London Eye architects Marks Barfield – were announced in June 2006. Plans were approved by the council on 11 October 2006. As of early 2009, construction had yet to begin.

Created in 1883, Volk's Electric Railway runs along the inland edge of the beach from Brighton Pier to Black Rock. It is the world's oldest operating electric railway.


The seafront has bars, restaurants, nightclubs and amusement arcades, principally between the piers. Being less than an hour from London by train has made the city a popular destination. Brighton beach has a nudist area (south of the easterly part of Kemptown). Brighton's beach, which is a sand-free shingle beach, has been awarded a blue flag. The Monarch's Way long-distance footpath heads west along the seafront above the beach.

Since the 1978 demolition of the open-air lido at Black Rock, the most easterly part of Brighton's seafront, the area has been developed and now features one of Europe's largest marinas. However, the site of the pool itself remains empty except for a skate park and graffiti wall, and further development is planned including a high-rise hotel which has aroused debate, mirroring proposals for the King Alfred leisure centre in Hove. In addition, part of the eastern side of the beach has been redeveloped into a sports complex, which has courts for anything from beach volleyball to ultimate Frisbee, and opened to the public in March 2007.

Night-life and popular music

There are 400 pubs and many nightclubs. There are also live music venues including the Concorde 2, Brighton Centre and the Brighton Dome, where ABBA received a substantial boost to their career upon winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.

One of the most prominent musical events has been the irregularly-recurring "Big Beach Boutique", for which a substantial portion of the beach is controversially closed off for a concert by Fatboy Slim.


Each May the city hosts Brighton Festival, the largest arts festival in the UK after Edinburgh's. This includes processions such as the Children's Parade, outdoor spectaculars often involving pyrotechnics, and theatre, music and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some brought into this use exclusively for the festival. The earliest feature of the festival, the Artists' Open Houses, are homes of artists and craftspeople opened to the public as galleries, and usually selling the work of the occupants. Since 2002, these have been organized independently of the official Festival and Fringe.

Brighton Festival Fringe runs alongside Brighton Festival, and has grown to be the second largest fringe festival in the world.. Together with the street performers from Brighton Festival's "Streets of Brighton" events, and the Royal Mile-esque outdoor performances that make up "Fringe City", outdoor spectacles and events more than double during May.

Other festivals include The Great Escape in May, featuring three nights of bands across the city; the Soundwaves Festival in June, which shows classical music composed in the 21st Century, and involves both amateur and professional performers; Brighton Live which each September stages a week of free gigs in pubs to show local bands; and Brighton Pride (see Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, below). The Kemptown area has its own small annual street festival, the Kemptown Carnival, and the Hanover area similarly has a "Hanover Day".

An inaugural White Nights (Nuit Blanche) all-night arts festival took place in October, 2008.

On 1 September 2007, competitors from the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and other countries convened for the World Beard and Moustache Championship . Hosted by The Handlebar Club, categories include Dali moustache, goatee and full beard freestyle. Additionally, Brighton is permanent home to notable moustache advocate Michael "Atters" Attree.

Brighton is also host to The Great Escape Festival which started in 2006. It's hosted the likes of The Kooks, Kate Nash, Still Remains, The Ting Tings and The Fratellis. It's hosted in May each year and features over 300 bands over 3 days in over 30 venues of Brighton.


Brighton museums include Brighton Museum and Art Gallery; Booth Museum of Natural History; Brighton Toy and Model Museum; and Brighton Fishing Museum, which includes artefacts from the West Pier. The Royal Pavilion is also open to the public, serving as a museum to the British Regency.

Teatre and cinema

Theatres include the expanded Komedia (also used as a music venue) and the Theatre Royal which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007. There are also smaller theatres such as the Marlborough Theatre and Nightingale Theatre, both above pubs, which attract mostly local productions.

Brighton also has a history of involvement with the film industry, and the Duke of York's Picture House has been in operation since 22 September 1910.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community

Brighton is well-known for having a substantial LGBT community, served by shops, bars and night-clubs in addition to support organisations. It is referred to as "the gay capital of Britain", in a similar vein to San Francisco, USA and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Gay Pride carnival every August attracts thousands. It consists of a carnival parade and a party and funfair in Preston Park. There is also a "Winter Pride" in February.


Brighton has a high density of businesses involved in media, particularly digital or "new media", and since the 1990s has been referred to as "Silicon Beach". According to the Boho Britain creativity index developed by United States economic regeneration expert Richard Florida, Brighton and Hove ranked sixth of 66 British new cities when measured against the three criteria of his index. Florida states the index measures the appeal of cities to the new "creative class" and is an indicator of a city’s health.

American Express has a former headquarters building in Edward Street. It employs around 3000, the largest private employer in the city.

"The Lanes" form a retail, leisure and residential area near the seafront, characterised by narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing village. The Lanes contain predominantly clothing stores, jewellers, antique shops, restaurants and pubs. The North Laine area is a retail, leisure and residential area immediately north of The Lanes. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon "Laine" meaning "fields". The North Laine contains a mix of businesses dominated by cafés, independent and avant-garde shops, and theatres. Churchill Square is an indoor shopping centre with a floor space of 470,000 sq ft (43,663 m²) and over 80 shops, several restaurants and 1,600 car-parking spaces. It was built in the 1960s as an open-air, multi-level pedestrianised shopping centre, but was rebuilt and enlarged in 1998 and is no longer open-air. Further retail areas include Western Road and London Road.


Public transport dates back to 1840. There are several railway stations, bus services, taxis, and coach services. A Rapid Transport System is under construction and in the past it has had trolleybuses, ferries, trams and hydrofoil services.

Frequent trains operate from Brighton Station. Destinations include London Victoria, London Bridge, Gatwick Airport, Portsmouth, Ashford, Kent, Reading, Berkshire and Bedford. Twice-daily services also operate to Birmingham and Manchester, and via Bristol to Wales. The fastest service from London Victoria takes 51 minutes.

Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company operates 300 buses. There is also a limited night service. Brighton seafront is the home of the Volks Electric Railway, the world's oldest electric railway.

Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina is a large, man-made marina situated in Brighton, England. The construction of the marina itself took place between 1971 and 1979, although developments within it have continued ever since. The marina covers an area of approximately 127 acres.

Existing facilities

The land within the marina has been developed in several stages and now accommodates a large ASDA supermarket and two groups of boutique shops, restaurants and bars, plus a hotel, a bowling alley, a health club, a casino, and a multiplex cinema with a multi-storey car-park built over and around it. On the east side of the marina there are several gated communities consisting of townhouses and apartments, some of which come with their own moorings, alongside public moorings and facilities for boats and their users, ranging from boat sales and service companies through to a floating launderette at the main moorings. Both harbour arms are popular locations for local fishermen; the east breakwater is often packed to capacity during summer weekends, and there is regular sightseeing and fishing boat trips from the marina..

A SeaJet service ran from the Marina to Dieppe in France between 1979 and 1980. Two Boeing Jetfoils were used, with three "flights" per day. The service suffered from poor reliability of the Jetfoils in the early stages, was restricted due to mid-channel wave height, and suffered during the French fishermen's blockade of channel ports.

From time to time there have been summer-season passenger services to Fécamp, France, using small catamaran ferries.

Immediately to the west of the marina is Black Rock, wasteground which was once a lido and is to be redeveloped into an arena.

Ongoing developments
Work was due to begin in spring 2007 on a new district of the marina to contain 853 new apartments, cafés, bars and restaurants. The development was planned for the south-western part of the marina and would partly sit on stilts over the sea. The centrepiece building was to be a skyscraper dubbed The Roaring Forties which would stand at 40 storeys tall and include a public viewing platform on the top floor. Two new pedestrian bridges were to be included in the scheme, one retractable to link the marina arms and the second to link the western beach with the new scheme. The developers are local firm Brunswick, and the architects are Wilkinson Eyre, noted for Gateshead Millennium Bridge. CABE have highlighted the development as one of four national developments demonstrating best practice in design and planning. No significant building work has started and the whole project has now been put on hold in view of the current financial climate.

A planning application to redevelop much of the west side of the marina was submitted in October 2007. The plans include several tall apartment blocks (the tallest would be Marina Point which would be 28 storeys high and Quayside which was to be 16 storeys), various new retail provisions including small shops, a new central square (where the current roundabout stands) and an "eco park", connected to the Undercliff Walk. The supermarket would be demolished and rebuilt to a larger size with car parking underground and apartments above, freeing up the considerable space presently used for its open-air car park, allowing for further development. The petrol station and McDonalds would also be demolished and rebuilt under this scheme. Around five new apartment blocks will be added to the marina in total. The developers are Explore Living, a division of Laing O'Rourke, and the architects are Allies and Morrison. Planning permission for this scheme was refused on 12 December 2008 when the six Conservative and three Green members of the planning committee voted against it, with only the three Labour members voting in favour.

There has been considerable local opposition to both the above developments, which have been accused of being inappropriate, too dense, damaging to the Brighton skyline and to cliff and sea views, and in breach of the provision of the Brighton Marina Act 1968 that no building should exceed cliff height (approximately ten storeys). The main campaigning organisation is savebrighton which is coordinating opposition from individual residents, residents' organisations and amenity groups. The campaign was launched in November 2007. The founder of savebrighton, Brian Simpson, has written an e-petition to the Prime Minister calling for the "gross over-development of Brighton Marina" to be stopped.

Update 2013

It appears that the planning permission for this redevelopement continues and as yet no physical changes to the Brighton skyline have been approved.

The text on this HISTORY page is covered by the following licence

Brighton Marina is a tourist attraction in its own right, thus if you can't be bothered to make your way to Brighton itself you won't be stuck for things to do.

There are numerous restaurants ranging from fish and chips through to Indian and Chinese.... not forgetting pizzas and burgers. More upmarket Italian and fish restaurants can be found.

The Pubs virtually all serve food too. Rest assured if you arrive on the boat it is unlikely you will need to leave the Marina complex at all.

A multiscreen cinema, a fitness centre and a 24 lane bowling alley complete the entertainment picture, and the shopaholic won't be suffering withdrawal symptoms either as fancy boutiques abound.

A couple of links are provided below that relate directly to the Marina complex:


Brighton pubs and bars; pubs in Brighton #


It's way beyond the scope of these articles to delve into the tourist attractions of the town, but bearing in mind Brighton is home to over 400,000 people there is plenty going on. A link is included below for further investigation:      

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