Harbour Directions

The Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order 2005

Originating from an Act of Parliament dated 1865, the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order contains all the long-standing regulations that mariners must follow. The order should be read in conjunction with the latest Notices to Mariners which may affect changes since the publication of the Order.

Local Notices to Mariners

Local Notices to Mariners are produced and promulgated by the Queens Harbour Master Portsmouth. They advise, guide and direct mariners of local rules and regulations, dangers, hazards, and Harbour events that have a major impact on the safety of navigation for Harbour users. They are often written in conjunction with the Commercial Port Harbour Master Portsmouth and Southampton Harbour Master.

The Commercial Port Harbour Master also issues Local Notices to Mariners that, due to their very localized affect or nature, do not require the wider promulgation of QHM's Notices.


Portsmouth Navwarns are promulgated from HM Naval Base Portsmouth. They contain temporary or urgent notices to mariners that cannot wait until a Local Notice to Mariners is published. They are faxed or e-mailed to major users in the Harbour.

Vessel Traffic Services

Vessel traffic services (VTS) contribute to safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and protection of the marine environment, adjacent shore areas, work sites and offshore installations from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic.

The VTS in the area is controlled by Associated British Ports Southampton VTS for the outer Solent. The approaches to Portsmouth Harbour is the responsibility of the Queens Harbour Master at Harbour Control Semaphore Tower.

VTS Reporting Points
In bound to Portsmouth (report to)
call "Southampton VTS" on VHF Ch. 12 call "QHM" on VHF Ch. 11
at Nab Tower at Nab Tower
Between No Man's Land/Horse Sand Fort at Warner Buoy/(North Sturbridge from the West)
  at Saddle Buoy (to request permission to enter the approach channel).
Out bound from Portsmouth (report to)
call "Southampton VTS" on VHF Ch. 12 call "QHM" on VHF Ch. 11
at Southsea War Memorial (Before leaving Berth if 20m or more in length)
  at Fountain Lake Corner (large commercial vessels)
Between No Man's Land/Horse Sand Fort at Saddle Buoy
at Nab Tower at Nab Tower

Menu Page