The Royal Navy has been brought in to help Briggs Marine with their £5m contract to remove the SS Richard Montgomery’s corroded masts after surveys warned that they could collapse onto the fragile deck and set off the 1400 tons (TNT equivalent) of explosives remaining on board.
Please note there have been many seriously inaccurate reports of this project, even in the quality press. The ship itself is not being touched, just the masts. However these have become a sight to see and their loss will affect the local tourism trade.
The RNSA Medway has agreed a lease with Homes England to remain at the Mast Slip in the Chatham Historic Dockyard until at least the end of 2022. This means that the RNSA can promote their moorings in the river Medway.
The RNSA has its roots in the Royal Navy and other associated groups such as the Royal Navy Reserves and the Sea Cadets. The membership is extended to the civilian community, who make up the majority of the members at Chatham. The membership encompasses like-minded souls with interests in sailing as well as motor boating, providing a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The RNSA Medway is based at the Mast Slip at Chatham just down river from Turks Boatyard at the Chatham Historic Dockyard. The compound around the Mast Slip is secure with a dedicated access. The group owns and operates 28 swinging moorings in Chatham Reach, either side of Chatham Marina lock gates. The moorings are regularly maintained and can support yachts up to a maximum of 36ft in length. Access is by dinghy from the slipway
The facilities at the Mast Slip compound include an extended walkway into the river on the slipway along with secure storage for tenders and storage for outboards in a dedicated and secure container. Trailer dinghies can also be stored on site for those members interested in sailing of this type. There is a Ward Room where members can meet as well as a workshop.
The moorings charges are £495 per year plus a membership fee to the RNSA Medway. For more information please contact Maurice Smith, Moorings Master, on 07973 404117.
If you remember the arrival of HMS Medway in September 2019, you may be interested to read about what she is doing in the newsletter of the Chatham Naval Officers Association. As you can see in the video James Bond antics are only a small part of their day to day activities.