Famous cruise ship to visit Chatham on Fri 10 August

The Hebridean Princess is due in Chatham Dockyard, Basin 3, at 09.00 this Friday.
This is part of her ‘Treasures of Normandy and Channel Islands’ cruise and her passengers will be visiting the Chatham Historic Dockyard. This cruise will be on the future Hebridean Princess cruise programme, visiting the River Medway every three years. It is hoped that the facilities at Chatham will encourage visits by other ‘compact’ cruise ships.

Faversham Nautical Festival is success

Faversham Nautiocal Festival went with a swing at the weekend (14+15 July) with colourful traditional vessels, sea shanty singers and stands from all sorts of voluntary organisations.

Friends of Maritime Heritage Trust event, Sat 30 June

Richmond – Historic and ceremonial river craft and gentlemen’s yachts. The day will include behind the scenes visits and traditional boat trips on the Thames.

Find out more…

Admiral’s Cruise, 23+24 June 2018

The flotilla rounding the Montgomery wreck on Day Two. Photos and article by Fred Trice.

Once a year, rain or shine, a very mixed group of Medway leisure craft led by local fishing boats, accompanied by police RIBs and sometimes the Sheerness lifeboat, makes its way up and down the Medway. Held over two days on an early summer weekend, the flotilla Beats the Bounds of the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery.

ROFF, a very ancient organisation indeed, can trace its roots back to a charter granted by Henry III to the City of Rochester and another by Henry VI giving the local fishermen rights to harvest fish and oysters from the river. The charter was given further weight in 1729 when George II passed an Act of Parliament allowing management of the river to be organised and policed  by ROFF.

Day One

The Admiral’s Court in Rochester Guildhall

Each year, Saturday starts early with the Mayor, as Admiral of The River, holding court in the Rochester Guildhall, listening to reports from the Chamberlain of the Fishery, as to how the year has gone. The health of the fishery is noted; poaching has been a problem in the past.

The Beadle leads the procession. Can you spot the local MP who is also MSBA Patron?

After the court the Mayor led by the Beadle makes his way round the corner to Rochester Cruising Club where a boat has been allocated as his Barge for the Day.

Hawkwood Stone, the upstream limit for the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery

The flotilla then heads upstream to the upper limit of the fishery with members of the great and good aboard. Then it’s back down the river for refreshments.

Day Two

Once again the fleet sets off following the ROFF fishing boats, this time heading downstream, frequently picking up vessels from some of the clubs and marinas as we pass. It is traditional that we fire a cannon at all the various clubs  we pass and they answer in the same manner.

The historic tug Touchstone laying a wreath over the wreck of HMS Bulwark

First “hove to” is the war grave of HMS Bulwark where a vessel is stationed  for a wreath laying with local sea scouts and piper aboard. Then it’s off out past Garrision Point, sometimes with a water display from the Sheerness tugs and on to the SS Richard Montgomery

One of the Sheerness tugs saluting the Admiral with  fire hoses

Again a “hove to” for a wreath laying and the Last Post before returning into Queenborough at the invitation of the Mayor of Queenborough and his good lady. Over 70 boats have been known to attend.

Queenborough Harbour 3rd Classic Yacht & Motor Boat Festival, 29-30 September 2018

The festival is open to any boat, large or small, designed or built before 1970 – wood, steel, aluminium, fibreglass, ferro cement, sail, power, steam or other, the bigger the variety of boats the better the show. If in doubt as to whether your boat qualifies please email a photo and a short description.

Without classic boats, we will not have a festival, so we are delighted to offer free berthing for up to 5 nights for qualifying vessels that register with us before 31 August.

You must register by email and have received a confirmation email to attend. To register your Classic Boat please email admin@queenborough-harbour.co.uk

Visitors (by foot)

Entry is FREE, the harbour will be open to the public to view the boats and meet the skippers. In addition, we plan to run passenger trips around the harbour and visit classic boats on their moorings.  Last year almost 1000 people attended and the atmosphere was terrific.

Opening Times

Friday 28th           Most of the Classic Boats arrive in harbour
Sat 29th                 Festival open 10am to 5pm
Sun 30th                Festival open 10am to 2pm

We hope you can join us in making this 3rd festival even better than last year and a regular feature in the boating calendar.

MT Kent going to Ipswich

SE Tugs have booked the 1948 motor tug Kent into the Maritime Festival in Ipswich on the weekend of 18-19 August. The Ipswich Maritime Festival features heritage vessels, tugs, tall ships etc and takes place on Ipswich Waterfront. Activities include Pirate & Sailor theme, Programmed stage of live entertainment (fully programmed all day both days), Street entertainers, Food market, Craft stalls, Bar, Vessels, Re-enactment activities and displays, Face painting, glitter tattoos, Funfair rides, Fireworks on Saturday night at 9:45pm

PS Waverley visits the Medway

PS Waverly 2017

Photo by Jason Thomas

PS Waverley, the last passenger-carrying sea-going paddle steamer in the world, visited the Medway on Saturday as part of her annual round Britain cruise. The historic tug Touchstone was among the local boats that went out to meet her.

Help wanted to raise old tug, 12 Oct

MSBA fan Mark Thorne, known to many as the first mate on X-Pilot, has acquired the classic Tom Pudding tug “Water Haigh” which is currently on the mud near Strood Pier. He is requesting help from 3 or 4 able-bodied people to refloat the tug on Thursday 12 October. X-Pilot will be assisting but someone with a workboat would be a great help. Contact webmaster@mbsa.org.uk or click Reply and I will pass on your details.

Queenborough Harbour Closed for Classic Boat Show, 9 & 10 Sept

PLEASE NOTE: Queenborough Harbour will be closed to visiting boats from Noon Friday 8th to 6pm Sunday 10 September to accommodate the classic boat event. We hope to see you there, but kindly request you come by road or rail.