Cowes, the Isle of Wight’s main port, is synonymous with yachting. It is home to the Royal Yacht Squadron and the UK’s premier regatta, Cowes Week, takes place here annually at the beginning of August. It is also one of the UK’s most popular cruising destinations, being located at the very centre of the Solent and easily accessible for all types of craft.
The River Medina creates a natural harbour and Cowes and East Cowes sit on opposite banks at the mouth of the river, linked by an old fashioned chain ferry. There is a wide choice of berthing options ranging from full service marinas right in the heart of the town to mooring buoys and berths away from it all. Many marine service businesses are based in Cowes providing a full range of services and repairs.
There are a number of marinas in Cowes offering both long term moorings and overnight berthing for visiting craft.
All three marinas offer a wide range of facilities as well as easy access to Cowes town centre.
In addition to the marinas there is a range of other berthing options, both short and long stay, available in Cowes.
Cowes Harbour Commission is responsible for most of the visitor and annual mooring facilities outside of the marinas in Cowes as well as those along the River Medina as far as the Folly Inn.
There are nine large Visitor Buoys off The Green and a number of Visitor Pontoons just south of the chain ferry on both sides of the river. Trinity Landing on The Parade has short stay and overnight berthing on the inner side with facilities for pick up and landing on the outer side. Both water and metered electricity are available.
Venture Quays on the east side of the harbour, north of the ferry terminal, offers berthing with access to shore by water taxi only. UKSA also has 5 berths available to visitors.
Visitors to Cowes should note that the Royal Yacht Squadron Haven is strictly for members only.
There is also an anchorage in Osborne Bay, approximately 2 miles east of Cowes, which is sheltered from south-east to west but exposed to wash from shipping. Landing is not allowed in Osborne Bay.
More moorings and Island Harbour Marina can also be found away from the hustle and bustle of Cowes a little further up the River Medina.