Maidstone River Festival, 27 July 2019

Thanks to sponsorship by Weston Homes, the Maidstone River Festival is back after a pause of a few years and we are planning a day all the family can enjoy. The River Festival started 40 years ago and people of all ages in Maidstone have great affection for what was the county town’s biggest annual event. We’ll have dressed up boats, raft races, fun and games for all the family. There will be illuminated boats in the evening and it will all end with a big bang as an award-winning fireworks display will go off from the top of Fremlin Walk in the town centre.

More info at www.maidstoneriverfestival.info

MCA yacht and powerboat safety consultation

The MCA wants to hear recreational boaters’ views on six draft Marine Guidance Notes (MGN) concerning guidance on boat safety over the next few weeks. The six notices cover guidance on keel groundings, rigging inspections, preparedness, stowage of life saving gear, vessel resilience and emergency procedures, and maintenance, modifications, damage and repairs. They are aimed at both small commercial vessels as well as pleasure boats. The MCA states that it wishes to reinforce to owners, managing agents and skippers of both commercial and pleasure vessels what it considers good practice in terms of safety when going out to sea.

Boaters’ views are sought in the following areas:
1. Whether the draft notes contain guidance that is realistic to carry out in practice;
2. What other costs and benefits there might be that haven’t been included in the de minimis assessment; 
3. If there is the right level of content in each MGN. 

Full details on the draft MGNs and how to give your views can be found on the government website. A full list of consultation questions is contained in Section 5 of this consultation. The consultation closes on Thursday 18th July 2019 and the RYA encourages all boaters to respond.

West India Dock Rally, 23-26 Aug 2019

Medway/Swale clubs are invited to join a rally to West India Dock (in the heart of London’s Docklands) on the August bank holiday weekend. The event is organised by the Dockland Scout Project on behalf of the Association of Thames Yacht Clubs. Apart from being a very inexpensive way to visit London there are lots of fun events to watch or join in. For full details click below to download the invitation letter…

For additional info, see reply by Fred Trice.

CA Winter Warmer: Dick Holness (East Coast Pilot), Thu 11 April

Dick is well known to many of us for being the co-author of the popular and innovative pilot book, which is regularly updated.

This is the last of the 2018/19 Winter Warmer series organised by Clifford Mickleburgh who runs the Kent Section of the Cruising Association. We are all invited to these excellent talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm before the talk. A special CA 7-choice menu is available for £9.95

Gillingham Marina training

Passage Planning Lecture (free, all welcome)
Tuesday 26th March – start 18.30 

VHF/ GMDSS courses
(Price £90 plus £60 to the RYA including handbook and lunch, from 08.45 to approx 18.00 hrs)
Tuesday 9 April, Wednesday 29 May, Tuesday 4 June, Tuesday 23 July, Tuesday 6 August, Tuesday 10 September, Tuesday 8 October, Tuesday 12 November, Tuesday 10 December.

Sun Pier re-opened at last!

We’ve just heard from Adam Taylor of Medway Council that Sun Pier is open again following some “enhanced engagement” with the electricity supplier. Note that overnight mooring is not currently allowed but we should take every opportunity to visit the Pier and the nearby Rats Bay river moorings if we are to keep them. Use them or lose them!

Please note there is no restriction on overnight mooring for the FREE visitors’ mooring buoys in Rats Bay, close to Sun Pier. If coming ashore to experience the delights of Chatham High Street, leave your dinghy on the inside of the pontoon or in the dinghy rack. There is no charge but it will cost you a pound to buy a token from the machine to get back through the gate. Sun Pier House is well worth a visit for the cafe and art gallery with a spectacular view of the river.