The detached Cowes Breakwater provides shelter and protection to the Inner Harbour.The Cowes Breakwater at the entrance to Cowes Harbour
The Cowes Breakwater is marked with five GPS-synchronised yellow lights spaced equidistant along the breakwater crest, displaying flash characteristic Fl.Y.2.5s. Stay at least 30m from the breakwater crest as the rock-armoured structure extends 25m to the north and south.
The western end, on the Inner Fairway extremity, is marked by a red channel mark Fl.R.2s and the eastern end by a green starboard channel mark Fl.Y.5s. Do not cut inside between these channel marks and the ends of the breakwater; there is limited clearance and obstructions.Diagram above: A transverse cross-section of Cowes Breakwater showing extent of submerged toes.
Diagram below: The western end of Cowes Breakwater and suggested safe routes.
A large wind shadow may exist on the lee side of the breakwater, particularly in light winds and localised tidal eddies.
If travelling east-west along the northern side of the breakwater, you may not be visible to craft northbound in the Inner Fairway. Avoid entering the Inner Fairway close to the western end of the breakwater so as to allow a full appraisal of the situation.
Avoid passing through the area south of the breakwater due to the presence of moorings and the limited depth of water unless proceeding to a mooring in the immediate vicinity.
The Cowes Breakwater is private property. Landing is strictly prohibited and an offence under the Cowes General Directions.
See also Cowes Local Notices to Mariners
for more information.