Notes on navigating within the Solent Area:
It is recommended that if you are within the confines of the East & West Solent that you monitor Southampton V.T.S. VHF Ch. 12 at all times underway. Although primarily the Traffic Management Control is for large commercial traffic you will receive early warning of vessel movement.
Under Rule 9 of the International Collision Rules large vessels have priority / right of way in most areas of the Solent.
Be aware of the Precautionary Area (Thorn Channel to a line drawn between the Bramble and Prince Consort buoys). You may hear VTS mention a ‘clear channel vessel.’ This is a vessel of more than 150 metres in length which navigates through the Precautionary Area within a ‘moving prohibited zone (MPZ) – you must not enter an area within 1000 meters ahead or 100 meters on either side of this vessel. The Southampton Harbour Patrol launch nearly always accompanies one of these vessels through the Precautionary Area. Large fines have recently been handed to yachtsmen who failed to comply with these requirements.