Harbour users and visitors to Cowes this season will notice that the exclusion zone in place during construction of the new detached breakwater has now been removed.

The permanent navigational aids marking the western and eastern toes of the breakwater, along with the five yellow lights spaced on the breakwater crest will remain in place.

In addition, two temporary north cardinal buoys have been positioned to mark the surplus gravel that remains in short-term storage on the northern face of the breakwater. The gravel is due to be removed in April or May.

The new 350-metre long breakwater is now providing shelter and protection to the Inner Harbour area as well as the central day class moorings, vessels in the harbour, marinas, ferries, and waterfront businesses in both West and East Cowes.

When navigating in the vicinity of the breakwater, mariners are advised to remain at least 30 metres away from the breakwater crest as the rock-armoured structure extends 25 metres to the north and south.

Also, you should avoid passing between the buoys marking the breakwater’s western and eastern toes because there is limited clearance; do not be tempted to cut inside or you may find yourself aground and holed, particularly around Low Water.


New breakwater light configuration
Fig 1: New Breakwater Light Configuration

Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Mark Light
50 46.029 01 17.840 Red Lateral Buoy Fl.R.2s
50 46.024 01 17.811 Yellow Special Beacon Fl.Y.2.5s Synchronised
50 46.015 01 17.751 Yellow Special Beacon Fl.Y.2.5s Synchronised
50 46.007 01 17.691 Yellow Special Beacon Fl.Y.2.5s Synchronised
50 45.998 01 17.631 Yellow Special Beacon Fl.Y.2.5s Synchronised
50 45.989 01 17.571 Yellow Special Beacon  Fl.Y.2.5s Synchronised
50 45.985 01 17.543 East Cardinal Buoy VQ(3).5s


Table 1: Breakwater Navigation Marks, Positions and Characteristics

Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Mark Light
50 46.048 01 17.800 North Cardinal Buoy Q
50 46.015 01 17.567 North Cardinal Buoy Q


Landing on the detached breakwater or the East Cowes Shrape breakwater is prohibited, except in emergency or with the written permission of the Harbour Master.

For Local Notices to Mariners visit: www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk