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Frequently Asked Questions

 On a first visit to Littlehampton Harbour it’s best to arrive from High Water -2 to +1 hour. The visiting sailor should be aware that the spring ebb stream can reach up to 5 knots. From 1½ hours before until 4 hours after High Water a westerly stream runs across the harbour entrance.

 The level of the Littlehampton bar which extends 600 metres southwards from the end of the West Pier is 0.9 metres above chart datum. The depth of water covering the bar can be calculated by subtracting 0.9 metres from the height of water indicated on the tide boards situated within the harbour or on the live tide guage here. Alternatively consult the Hydrographic Office’s on-line tidal prediction for Littlehampton at Easytide website and take account of the bar, your vessel draft and under-keel clearance when calculating your time of entry or departure.

The retractable footbridge has a 3.6m clearance at Mean High Water Springs (MHWS is 5.9m at Littlehampton). It gives access for masted craft north of the footbridge and to Littlehampton Marina. It is opened by request to the Harbour Office before 16:30 the previous day. Short notice openings may be possible if staff are available, please call 01903 721 215 or VHF channel 71 within office hours.

If you believe it could pose a hazard to underway or moored vessels, call 01903 721 215 to report it. Please select the option to be put through to the Duty Officer mobile if out of hours. A voicemail will not be acted on until the following day.

The harbour recently has about 15 large arrivals per year. The best place to get up to date information is our facebook page or at the bottom of our homepage. We typically get between 48 hours to 2 weeks notice and post arrival/departure times as soon as they are confirmed.

See our visitor pontoon page here.

 No, other than for sailing dinghies, harbour dues are payable for powered craft only. 

The Harbour Office is open office hours Monday to Friday all year and at weekends April to September.

The office is occasionally temporarily closed during these hours if the team is responding to an incident, supporting a shipping arrival or if a specific project is underway requiring all our staff. 

The office is closed between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

If you need assistance when the office is closed, you can always call the Duty Office mobile on 07775 743 078.

You are welcome to call us on 01903 721 215 to discuss your concerns but it is better to call Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service (WADARS) directly on 01903 247 111. If it is a dog with a worried owner, and the dog cannot rescue itself, please stop the owner entering the water and call 999 asking for the Coastguard who will send the RNLI lifeboat to assist.

The River Arun is fast flowing and therefore self scouring so the main navigation channel does not need to be dredged. Dredging of moorings is the responsibility of each mooring operator. The harbour team dredge beneath each of their pontoons as required which is usually every one to two years. The other key area for dredging is the shoal bank at the harbour entrance where shingle tumbles over the west breakwater (known as the “West Works”) and falls into the river. This build up requires shingle recycling alongside the Environment Agency once or twice per year. Due to Natural England imposed limitations due to nearby nesting habitats, this can only be carried out March to November. 

We currently have a waiting list of 1-2 years on all Harbour Board moorings but please register your interest by visiting us, calling 01903 721 215 or emailing harbour@littlehampton.org.uk. Our residential mooring cycle starts on July 1st. More info on harbour board and other moorings is available here.

Tide times for the next seven days are available here. Tide times are copyrighted UK Hydrographic Office data so cannot be made freely available online. If you need tide times for a future date, please telephone us on 01903 721 215 or alternatively you can collect a free 2019 tide timetable booklet from the Harbour Office and various other locations around Littlehampton.

Only by prior arrangement and risk assessment with the harbour master. Swimming in a harbour is dangerous due to the cold water, fast current and fast moving vessels.

No, the annual harbour dues rate must be paid in full and in advance. Alternatively daily or monthly rates are available but will only be more cost effective if you visit just a few times per year or only for a few weeks each year (e.g. only in July).

No, however if you need a weather forecast or internet access in emergencies, feel free to visit us in the office.

Scattering ashes within the harbour or at sea is permitted.

This is unfortunately not something we can help with using our own working vessels. However, you have a few other options on the river. The local RNLI Lifeboats (for a modest donation) will do a ceremony for you during one of their scheduled training sessions. This is most Thursday evenings or Sunday mornings where it aligns with a high tide. Whilst you cannot be a passenger on board, the families typically congregate on the East Pier and the ashes are scattered into the sea just off the beach 50m away and below them. Please contact littlehampton@rnli.org.uk for more details.

The other option (where you could go aboard as a passenger) would be to hire one of the local charter vessels. See our charter vessels page for their contact details. You can spot most of these vessels moored on the east bank close to the Harbour Office.

If the Surrey Street car park at the public slipway is full, click here for a useful google maps guide to other nearby car parks or click here for the District Council’s parking information page which includes prices.

The car park at the Harbour Office is for staff and berth holders only. If no on street parking is available nearby, the nearest alternative options is the large West Green car park at the Harvester on the sea-front or St Martins car park behind Sainsbury’s on the high street.

No, they are owned by paying mooring customers.  Both are part-time renovation projects that have met delays and setbacks for various reasons. They are a good source of income for the harbour and these moorings would be otherwise difficult to lease as they are closest to the entrance and typically suffer from wave action and faster currents. Only large or rugged vessels can safely moor there. We are in frequent touch with the owners regarding the visual appearance of the boats and are working to improve it.

The Look & Sea Centre unfortunately closed in August 2018. The building is available for new tenants.

Click here for Arun District Council’s latest update on the future of the centre.