Bernie comes home

Fresh as a daisy, Bernie Branfield is seen here on Tuesday mooring up his Invicta 26 “Louisa” at Hoo Ness YC after returning from the Jester Challenge single-handed transatlantic race. Another of the five competitors, John Apps from Medway CC, also with a Kent-built Invicta, returned a month ago. Both intrepid sailors had to retire from the race after being beaten back by storms in mid-Atlantic. Bernie enjoyed the Azores so much he stayed there a while to enjoy the scenery before returning. Respect!

Brian Corbett funeral, 1 August

Brian’s family have announced the funeral arrangements as follows:
Monday 1st August 12pm at St Nicholas Church Strood, all welcome
Crematorium 1pm, family only
Wake at Medway Yacht Club, all welcome from end of Service at St Nicholas
We would like to try and get a gauge on numbers, please email
We would love to meet with you and share this sad time together

Brian Corbett

We are very sad to announce that our beloved chairman Brian Corbett died on Tuesday 29 June after a long illness that caught up with him very quickly in the last few weeks. Hard to believe, in his eighties Brian was still working for the NHS and regularly racing his Herreshoff half-rater Winifred, pictured. A true old-school gentleman and generous to a fault, Brian earned the respect and affection of all who knew him. He championed the interests of all forms of boating locally and elsewhere in the UK, with a special interest in classic sailing yachts and was a leading light in the Old Gaffers Association, the Association of Yachting Historians, the Maritime Heritage Trust and the Heritage Harbours movement. Brian was instrumental in Medway becoming Britain’s first Heritage Harbour. We will miss him.

Some of the many tributes we have received are in the Replies to this post.

Brian’s funeral will be on 1st August, see details in other post.

Gillingham Marina is hiring

To help us deliver exceptional service we are looking to recruit a Marina Operative to join the Berthing Team. Working as part of a small hard-working team this role will include, but is not limited to:

⚓ Assisting with safe boat lifting and yard operations

⚓ Carrying out Lock Keeper duties

⚓ General maintenance around the site

⚓ Regular site patrols and maintaining site cleanliness

⚓ Welcoming visitors and serving fuel

A good knowledge of boats and experience driving plant would be a significant advantage but not essential as training, where required, will be given.

If you feel you could be part of our team please send your CV with a covering letter to:


Morris Tolhurst

Today was the funeral of MSBA Treasurer Morris Tolhurst, who died on 18 July, aged 69. He owned Beacon Boatyard at Borstal, near Rochester, and was father of our Patron, Kelly Tolhurst MP. He leaves his wife Chris, two daughters and two granddaughters.

Morris, a quiet but gifted man, will be missed greatly by his family and his many friends in the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships and the Medway boating community.

Commodore of local club crosses Atlantic TWICE, single-handed

Segas Sailing Club commodore John Molloy has returned safely back into UK waters arriving off Hugh Town in the Scilly Isles late this afternoon. Some time ago John left the UK to sail around the world in his yacht Aronele, a Rival 36. Martin Kuhn, Segas SC vice commodore, and Erica his wife, crewed with him on Aronel for the first leg down to Portugal. John then sailed single-handed to the Caribbean via the Canaries, intending to reach the Pacific via the Canadian North West Passage. He then worked his way up the East coast of the USA. 

Unfortunately Covid struck and he had to abandon Aronele at a boatyard in Chesapeake Bay.  John made it back to the UK on one of the last flights, just before the lockdown. Once he had had both Covid vaccines, John flew back to the States to re commission Aronele. His original plan to sail through the North West Passage had to be abandoned as the Canadian Government had closed it off to all yachts. Some weeks ago John set sail for the UK across the Atlantic Ocean, again single handed.

Boatperson vacancy at MYC

Medway Yacht Club is looking to appoint a Sunday trot boat driver. This is a paid position, hours are 0900 to 1800 on Sundays and Bank Holidays in the racing season (April – October). Power Boat L2 and SRC are essential qualifications, please contact the club office by telephone 01634 718399 or email to apply.

SB Raybel is recruiting

Thames Sailing Barge Raybel, moored at Milton Creek in Sittingbourne, is recruiting:

Assistant/Trainee Shipwright Full Time 
With restoration work now underway we are looking for someone to join the shipwright team. A rare opportunity to work with a credited national expert on barge restoration, learn heritage skills, and contribute to the regeneration of Sittingbourne and Swale Heritage.  
More details at

Artist in Residence £3600 based on 2 days a month of heritage-based  community arts activities.
Applications sought from artists living, working, or with a strong connection to Swale. Timescale  April  2021 until December 2022. 
More details at 

Socially  Engaged  Artist Mentorship 10 working days over a year. 
An opportunity to work alongside Salford  Makers, a highly  experienced arts collective, commissioned to deliver a programme of heritage-based arts engagement during 2021. Would suit an early career artist living, working, or with a strong connection to Swale.
More details at