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A day out in Portsmouth harbour - the best way to explore

By: Neil Dennis | May 12 2008 | 383 words | 853 hits

Portsmouth harbour is the main naval base in the UK and as such offers a fantastic variation of naval and pleasure craft. There are many ways to explore the harbour including harbour tour boats, ribs and even by Thames sailing barges. The harbour contains some world class sailing boats, the famous spinnaker tower and is home to many British destroyers and aircraft carriers.

The tour boats are a cheap way of getting around the harbour but they have to stick to a set route. They offer fixed prices per person with reduced rates for children. These trips generally take about an hour and cover the main areas of the harbour.

Another option is to charter a RIB (RIB Charter) - (rigid inflatable boat) for the day. If you take some friends or family this actually works out great value for money and gives you the freedom to chose which parts of the harbour you visit. The Rib can be at your disposal all day and some are capable of over 50mph so you can be anywhere in the Solent in no time. Portsmouth harbour actually has a speed limit of 10 knots so if you hire a Rib and fancy doing some wave jumping and high speed turns you have to venture out of the harbour.

You can also tour the harbour in style on a Thames sailing barge. Thames sailing barges were initially used for carrying cargo up and down the Thames and from 60 to 100ft. Due to there shape, they have huge deck space and large areas beneath deck. As with the Rib you can chose where you visit and you are not restricted to Portsmouth harbour alone. Despite there large size the lack of a keel means that you are not restricted by shallow water which is handy as Portsmouth harbour is very tidal. Most of the sailing barges also have plenty of berths down below so you can even sleep on the boat and continue sailing the next morning.

What ever method you chose to explore the harbour you can almost guarantee a great day out with plenty to see and do. Rib and Thames barge charters give you more freedom and add another angle to the day's fun but the tour boats offer a very cost effective method of exploring Portsmouth harbour.


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