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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) and 3.0m clearance at Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT is 6.5m 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 16:00 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 if out of hours. A voicemail will not be recieved until the following day.

The harbour has around 6 to 12 large ship arrivals per year. The best place to get up to date information is our facebook page. We typically get between 48 hours to 1 week notice and we post arrival/departure times as soon as they are confirmed.

See our visitor pontoon page here.

 No. Harbour dues are payable for powered craft, sailing vessels, and berthed houseboats only.

The Harbour Office is open 10:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday year round, and at weekends and Bank Holidays from April to September.
The office is closed between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

The office will occasionally be closed temporarily during these hours if the team is responding to an incident, supporting a shipping arrival, or if a specific project is underway which requires all of our staff. We thank you for you patience in these situations.

If you need urgent assistance when the office is closed, please call 01903 721 215 and select the option to be put through to the on-call Duty Officer.

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 have two pontoons available for residential mooring and vacancies do come up from time to time. Please register your interest by visiting the harboru Office, calling 01903 721 215, or emailing 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 tide timetable booklet from the Harbour Office and various other locations around Littlehampton.

Swimming and bathing in the harbour is dangerous due to the cold water, fast currents and regular vessel traffic.
It is prohibited under the General Directions, except with the express permission of the Harbour Master.

No, the annual harbour dues must be paid in full, in advance, and run from 1st April through to 30th March of the following year.
We do offer daily and monthly rates which may be suitible for shorter stays. If you would like to discuss your requirements please call us on 01903 721 215 or email

I’m afraid that there is no Wi-Ii available. However, should you require internet access in an emergency please visit us in the harbour office.
Weather forecasts and current charts are dispalyed on the screen downstairs at the rear of the harbour 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 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.

For those who would rather not involve a vessel, we encourage using the West Beach Cafe carpark and scattering them over the railings directly into the river. Please consider the tide and weather (particularly wind direction). This would be best 30mins – 90mins after high water

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.