RYA Dinghy Hire Fleets

Would your club like more youngsters on the water for race training, regattas and fun weekends? Contact the YTF (Youth Training Fund) which manages 6 Fevas, 6 Teras and 12 Optibats for the RYA London and South East region. Start off in the Oppies, move on to a Tera or just get straight into a Feva which is a high performance, double handed dinghy with spinnaker. The Fevas come with training sails as well as mylar racing mains. All boats are fully equipped to be ‘rigged, launched and sailed’ and come on stacker road trailers. If the Fevas are too racy, try the Tera which is gaining popularity. Otherwise you have the fantastically reliable Optibat, the real starter boat which leads on to the Optimist and other classes which can be seen all over the world. 

RYA L&SE Hire Fleet Charges 2019 5 days 2 days
Optibats (1 trailers with 6 boats) £300 £180
Teras   (1 trailer with 6 boats) £390 £230
Fevas     (1 trailer with 3 boats) £300 £180

Download a Booking Enquiry form from RYA website or contact Pip Deverson at ryalsehire@ryalse.org.uk  or mobile 07768 240467

Blackstakes buoy gone for good

The cylindrical yellow buoy on the south side of Saltpan Reach has again been removed by Peel Ports without notice, this time permanently. The Blackstakes buoy was a racing mark, located to keep boats well away from the LNG Terminal, as we are constantly exhorted to do by Peel Ports. As in 2016, the unexpected removal of the buoy has caused unnecessary inconvenience to clubs which race in the Medway estuary. Enquiries by Medway YC and the MSBA elicited the response from Peel Ports that the buoy was considered “not commercially viable” and today a notice to mariners was belatedly issued. The two adjacent commercial mooring buoys (Saltpan Nos. 8 and 9) have been given a fresh coat of yellow paint (see photo) but this does not mean they are a replacement for Blackstakes. There has been no explanation of why the clubs were not notified in advance of the buoy’s removal.

Blackstakes has gone. Don’t use these nearby yellow mooring buoys as a replacement.

Adult sailing sessions at Medway YC, Saturdays

Medway Yacht Club is running “adult sailing sessions” on Saturday mornings. The participants can sail their own boats or clubs boats and one instructor will be on water giving advice and training. The informal session is open to all the sailing abilities and levels, from beginner to advanced. It will give a chance to spend time on water, to learn new skills and techniques, to try new boats or simply warm up and try the rig tuning for the afternoon racing. The informal sailing sessions start at 9.00 and finish around 12.00. The price is £5 per session.

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.

Medway yachtsmen compete in Jester Challenge

The Medway has been the nursery for famous sailors from Drake, Adams and even Nelson. Several of our local sailing/yacht clubs have intrepid solo yachtsmen who think nothing of crossing oceans in boats that many would nowadays consider barely suitable for a Channel crossing. As part of the Jester Challenge, two members of Hoo Ness Yacht Club have just completed crossings from Plymouth to Baltimore in South-West Ireland: Tom Fisher in his Elizabethan 33 “Arctic Smoke” and Bernie Branfield in his Achilles 24 “Mischief”.

Commodore’s Hard closure (updated)

Medway Council advise that Commodores Hard slipway will be CLOSED to all users for essential safety repairs from 1st June to 1st July 2019. PLEASE DO NOT USE THE SLIPWAY DURING REPAIRS. The nearest public launch sites (apart from nearby Gillingham Pier) are Queenborough and Herne Bay. Medway Council 01634 333333

UPDATE 21 June: Owing to delays, the Hard will remain closed until 13 July.