Environment Agency consultation closes on 22 December

Mark Loos of the Medway Swale Estuary Partnership reminds us that the closing date for comments on the Environment Agency’s ‘Challenges and Choices’ consultation is Sunday 22nd December.  Please submit your comments at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/33252.aspx

Do you listen to the Shipping Forecast?

That is the question being asked by the BBC. However their poorly designed questionnaire refers not to the forecast but to “Maritime Safety Information” and is really about whether they should keep their aging long wave transmitter going. Moreover the answers are on a scale of 1 to 5 but 1 is high and 5 is low so the survey may give misleading results. A cynic might conclude that the decision has already been taken!

For more comment and the survey itself: http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/specials/535619/bbc-to-assess-future-of-shipping-forecast

Yacht Design Course

Yacht Design Course  6 evenings – Jan to March  2014  Central London and Southampton

The International School of Yacht Design (ISYD) is running  a Yacht Design Course over 6 evenings in Winter 2014. The course ran successfully in 2013 and this year is being offered as a ‘RYA Member offer’ for RYA members  but the course is open to all and there are  likely be members of your Club who might well be interested who are not RYA members.

Many attendees are interested in understanding the basics of stability and seaworthiness, or the aerodynamics of sails or the effect of hull surface roughness on performance plus many other topics from modern materials to the strength requirements of mast, boom and spreaders. Others  are interested in understanding the design of their yacht, either to improve the yacht’s performance by modification of the hull, keel, rudder or sail plan, or simply to become a better sailor. The course is also of interest to those who want to learn how to evaluate the performance of a yacht based on its main data, for instance when buying a new yacht. A smaller group of interested course participants are those who ultimately want to design their own yacht.

Lectures will be held in Southampton on starting on  Wednesday January 29th and in  Central London on Thursday January 30th, 2014 and on successive Wednesdays/Thursday for 6 weeks  but omitting the week of Feb 17th  which is half term. The Lecture time is 18.00-22.00.

There are further details on the ISYD website  – www.isyd.org – including the lecture syllabus and registration/payment details. Registration and payment needs to be made by December 15th as places are limited.

Medway Queen has arrived

Film by OCR Studios

Medway Queen under tow off Herne Bay
Medway Queen under tow off Herne Bay. Photo Dick Holness, www.eastcoastpilot.com

Source Kentish Times

The Medway Queen, which was rebuilt in Bristol with a new riveted hull just like the original, berthed at Gillingham Pier on 19 November with a welcome from crowds of cheering onlookers. It is hoped that the “Heroine of Dunkirk” will soon be able to act as a floating museum and venue for events. One day she may even venture out under her own steam. Those who have given their time and money to revive the old girl can only hope!

Read more

Will Qatar gas deal scupper plans for airport on Grain?

In a £4.4bn deal, Centrica, which owns British Gas, announced a four-and-a-half-year agreement yesterday to buy up to 3 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas from Qatargas. Sixty percent of our gas will be imported by 2020 and the Isle of Grain terminal is the largest in Europe. For security reasons, the terminal would need to be moved at huge expense if an airport were to be built there. Read more

Gillingham Marina & Clarke & Carter Christmas Party, 5 Dec

Gillingham party)Peter Norris writes, “We are celebrating another very successful year at our Kent offices at Gillingham, Ramsgate & Chatham by holding, in association with Gillingham Marina, a Christmas Party in the Gillingham Marina Chandlery between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday 5 December 2013.

“We will be offering festive refreshments with live music and there will be a number of very special offers on chandlery items on the night. GJW Insurance will also be on hand to discuss any insurance questions you might have. There will also be a number of technical representatives from suppliers around on the evening for you to ask questions.

We look forward to seeing you on the 5 December. Please drop an e-mail to kent@clarkeandcarter.co.uk to inform us of numbers attending. We look forward to hearing from you.”

All Tide Landing, Isle of Sheppey, Happier Times.

Press Release from Tim Bell of the Even Keel Project:


This year has seen the all tide landing at Queenborough closed for EKPs’ use and the impact it has had on the Even Keel disabled sailing project has been rather significant.

Two years ago the community and businesses on the Isle of Sheppey and local areas rallied around to create a permanent site for the project with great success and a specially designed boat was purchased along with a secondary boat loaned from The Even Keel Project.

A sailing week with the fleet from the project started off the season with local dignitaries including the mayor, MP Gordon Henderson, Southern water, Swale heating, Queenborough Harbour Trust, Queenborough yacht club and a lot of the local community all in attendance offering their support in one way or another and the year went with great success with over 300 disabled, disadvantaged, local schools and communities using the facilities.

After the sailing week two boats were permanently available for the use by the local community which was run by a great team from the Isle of Sheppey Sailing club.

Sadly at the beginning of the year the landing became damaged and was put out of use to the project under grounds of safety but unfortunately it still has not been repaired significantly enough due to lack of funds and the project has had to stand by as it is the only deep water pontoon in the area that the project can use. Not only does that have an impact on the local community who had booked the boats out for the majority of the year but also the expectation and requirements from local funders and sponsors alike.

David Rutter founder of the project quotes ‘it is a real shame that the project has not been able to run this year, it took a lot of hard work from everybody to get the project up and running and the community was fantastic in its support, only for it to not be able to continue in its success in the second year. Having to turn down people wanting to go sailing is disheartening and has an impact on a lot of people. With this pause it will take a lot more effort to get the project back up to speed next year and that is dependent on the landing being in good repair. It’s sad to see the equipment available for use but not be able to operate and all the people wanting to use it, let’s hope we can get up and running again soon’

Alan Milton QYC’s representative has said “We put the All Tide Landing there and it’s been a marvellous facility but it’s also been a headache with the lack of support. There isn’t a plan in place for how to raise the money but appealed to people to come forward and help.”

Currently Queenborough Yacht club run the all tide landing and have very little funds to repair the landing.

Queenborough Harbour Trust have offered help and have been in talks with QYC to take ownership and have plans to raise the funds necessary to repair the landing but this has been rejected by QYC.

We hope a positive decision will be made for the good of the community and the EK project can get back up to speed and continue in the good its doing.

Perhaps this is something the people of Sheppey can do together, by working with QYC and QHT by offering their views and support to bring about a positive solution, so the All Tide Landing can be repaired for all to be able to enjoy in one way or another. Let QYC and QHT know your views.

Tim Bell [Sheppey Even Keel volunteer and Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club’s Rear Commodore]

Queenborough All Tide Landing closes – is this the end?

Mind the gap!
Mind the gap!

Eddie Johnson writes: “Queenborough Yacht Club has shut the All Tide Landing and is in the process of dismantling the walkway. Though no confirmation has been made regarding this as maintenance or a permanent move, it has been stated by a spokesperson for the yacht club that there is insufficient funds to complete the repair work required.

“Though the Queenborough Harbour Trust will endeavour to provide a fully running service next season, this will obviously be hampered by the removal of the ATL.
It is hopeful that QYC will accept the offer from QHT to take over the ATL and repair the structure ready for next season. Any updates will be posted on the Queenborough Harbour Trust Facebook site.”
Read more on Kent Messenger website.

Is your club vibrant? Nominate it for Club of the Year!

The closing date for the RYA Club of the Year 2014 is 18 November. Make sure your club has completed the Expression of Interest form to be in with a chance of being selected as on of the best clubs in the UK. Shortlisted clubs will be invited to complete a full application by 6th January 2014, and five finalists will be chosen by the RYA Honours and Awards Panel later in January, to attend the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show in March. Full details at www.rya.org.uk/go/cluboftheyear