RYA Cruising/Racing Conference, Eastbourne,12 Jan 2020

This bi-annual cruising/racing conference is aimed at the motor and sailing yacht fraternity within the RYA London and SE region and is for RYA personal members, and members of RYA affiliated clubs and organisations (including the MSBA) as well as members of stakeholder organisations in the region.

It aims to provide interesting and cutting-edge talks and workshops to inspire sailors for the upcoming season, providing a forum for networking and discussion on topical issues. The event schedule can be viewed here.

The conference is free to attend with an optional £12 pre-bookable hot lunch payable at the latest on the day. Book here

CA Winter Warmer: Medway Pilot, Thu 14 Nov 2019

David Lloyd will reminisce about his life and times as a pilot, picking up ships off Ramsgate and advising the master of a safe route to the Medway. David’s home port was Sheerness but other ports were served including Ridham Dock and we will hear of “near misses” when the train had priority. David will describe a typical trip into the Medway and highlight occasional “difficulties” both with ships and captains. There will be much for us to learn.

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association 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 menu is available.

Kingsferry Bridge Closures, Oct 2019

Network Rail have informed Peel Ports Medway that, due to essential maintenance, the Kingsferry Bridge will be inoperative and unable to be lifted on the following dates and times: 21:00 07/10/19 – 00:30 08/10/19 • 21:00 08/10/19 – 00:30 09/10/19 • 21:00 09/10/19 – 00:30 10/10/19 • 21:00 21/10/19 – 00:30 22/10/19 • 21:00 22/10/19 – 00:30 23/10/19 • 21:00 23/10/19 – 00:30 24/10/19. Admiralty Chart Numbers 2482 & 2572 refer. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74, call sign “Medway VTS” or telephone 0151 949 6148 or 0151 949 6650

CA Winter Warmer: Colin Brown on RNLI, Thu 10 Oct

Colin Brown has been an active boating enthusiast and, owning his own boat for most of his life, the RNLI has always been close to his heart. Having the knowledge that they were always there should he ever have the misfortune to be in trouble whilst at sea has been very comforting. The RNLI story is one that captures audiences young and old The presentation is a fast moving talk supported by video, slide and sound and tells the story of the modern RNLI operations, equipment and training Colin will also bring with him a charity box and some merchandise and leaflets

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association 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 menu is available.

“Stress Free”, Hollowshore CC, Oct 19

Duncan Wells.

DUNCAN WELLS, author of the highly-regarded “Stress Free” series of instructional books and DVDs on sailing, motor boating and navigation, will be guest speaker at Hollowshore Cruising Club, Faversham, on Saturday October 19 at 7pm. There is no entry charge, and visitors are welcome. He has a wealth of experience as an RYA instructor and skipper, and as Principal of Westview Sailing School, which produces the Westview Sailing RYA shore-based Day Skipper and Yachtmaster video tutorials used by RYA students. His presentation will include “robust” techniques for casting off and coming alongside from the cockpit. Hollowshore CC’s clubhouse is at Youngboats Yard, Oare Road, Faversham ME13 7TX.

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”.