Peel Ports dealing with abandoned vessels

Whitstable Marine on behalf of Peel Ports lifted this sunken vessel yesterday at Rochester Pier. The wreck was moved to the Strood side of the river where it will be broken up and disposed of. If you have any information about the boat or its owner please contact adam.taylor@medway.gov.uk

Furthermore the obstruction near Sun Pier (at only 0.7m depth) has now been marked with an orange pellet buoy which says “wreck.”

We are pleased to see Peel Ports and Medway Council acting together to clear such abandoned boats which are an increasing nuisance on our river.

Mystery boat sunk on Rochester Pier

A vessel moored at Rochester Pier without permission, sank on Thursday 9th September.

We believe the boat was a liveaboard and would like to contact the owners.

If you have any information, please contact adam.taylor@medway.gov.uk

UPDATE 16.09.2021: The vessel was lifted yesterday by Peel Ports and moved across the river to the Strood side, where it will be broken up and disposed of.

Isle of Sheppey RTI Race, 5 Sept 2021

  • A 40-mile clockwise circumnavigation of the Isle Of Sheppey
    in north Kent organised by IOS Sailing Club
  • The UK’s longest annual dinghy, cat & board race!
  • Established since 1959 as an endurance event
  • Open to all classes of dinghy, catamaran & sailboard
  • Sea, river & estuary sailing with tidal conditions
  • In popular years 100-300 competitors have taken part
  • Every competitor successfully completing the course receives a circumnavigation certificate signed by the Commodore
  • SailRacer Live GPS Tracking
  • Part of the2021 Allen Endurance Series

More information…

PLA Harbour Revision Order Consultation

On 18 August the Marine Management Organisation started a 56-day consultation on the PLA’s application for a Harbour Revision Order (HRO). The PLA is seeking the HRO to update the provisions of the Port of London Act under which they operate, and they are required to promote the consultation along the length of their jurisdiction.

Among the miscellaneous changes are “modifying limitations on the exercise of the PLA’s powers in relation to the Medway approach and areas off Southend-on-Sea and Sheerness.”

For more information visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/port-of-london-authority-harbour-revision-order.

Queenborough Classic Boat Show, 11-12 Sept

Step aboard a variety of historic tugs, sailing barges and sailing yachts. Free entry.

Queenborough Harbour is conveniently situated in North Kent where the Swale, Medway & Thames meet and an ideal base for cruising. Queenborough Harbour Trust is a not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of the local community and maritime users both resident and from further afield. Trust members are drawn from local boating and civic interest groups such as the Queenborough Yacht Club, Queenborough Rowing Club and the Queenborough Society. Queenborough Harbour is the primary boating refuge on the Swale providing valuable mooring facilities for local yachtsmen, fishermen and visitors alike drawn by the exceptional natural beauty and wildlife of the area, its fascinating maritime history, the convenience of the all tide landing and its strategic positioning as a safe haven between London and Ramsgate.

Rochester Pier still closed but there’s hope

Adam Taylor of Medway Council advises that Rochester Pier remains closed to all river users, please do not attempt access via the brow (walkway between the pontoon and main pier).

Medway Council are working hard to secure resources to repair the pier and bring it back into full use, more updates will follow.

The MSBA understands that the pontoon is safe to moor on and this is allowed for short stays (no overnight mooring) but you must not attempt to go ashore via the brow.

Fingers crossed for funding!

Festival of Chatham Reach, 18-19 Sept

A country fayre atmosphere, with a focus on the heritage of the river and river vessels, we’ll be remembering the history of Sun Pier as a hub of river life coinciding with the second weekend of Heritage Open Days. Located alongside and on Sun Pier in Chatham – currently the only available public river access point in Medway – we will celebrate with historic vessels open to explore, free have-a-go stalls, history walks, and interactive activities to entertain and educate all ages.

In the days leading up to the festival a free sail will take place offering community groups and organisations who would never usually experience life on the river the chance to take the helm and have a go at steering the ship. Haul a sail, wind a winch, learn the history of the area and enjoy the peace of being on the river, all under sail on a 115-year wooden sailing barge (pre booking required). Seeing Medway from the river is without doubt its most beautiful viewpoint. These sailings will need to be booked in advance.

This event is organised by Medway Council in partnership with Sun Pier House and Tiller and Wheel.

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.

The Swale Match: a Celebration of Traditional Sail

Report by Julian Mannering

Last Saturday witnessed the 48th annual Swale Smack & Sailing Barge Match and the magnificent sight of some thirty traditional vessels racing in the River Swale off Faversham and Whitstable. The organisers, the Kentish Sail Association, were delighted that, having had to cancel the event for two years due to gales and the pandemic, they were finally able to fire the starting cannon for the 22-mile race out into the Thames estuary and back to the finishing line off Faversham Creek.

Strong winds on the Friday had prevented some entrants arriving from Essex, but there were plenty of vessels to make a great spectacle. The newly-built Thames barge Blue Mermaid was one of the few craft to make it over from Essex and she went on to win the Bowsprit Class. A good turnout of Kent barges – Repertor, Orinoco, Marjorie, Niagra, Edith May and the beautifully restored Cambria ­– had a fine day’s racing with Repertor winning the Staysail Barge Class, and Cambria the Restricted Class. There were prizes for other craft with the smack William & Mary, the smack yacht Bird of Dawning, the large gaffer Almita and the small gaffer Fifi all taking line honours in their classes.

The Swale also welcomed two traditional Dutch sailing vessels, Albatros and Johanna, the Humber keel Selby Ellen,and Lilian, the beautiful gentleman’s motor yacht, built in Stockholm in 1916, which this year acted as the Committee Boat and added another layer of old-time elegance to the day.

The Swale Match is the largest such traditional boat event on the East Coast, possibly in the country, and offers a vital celebration of these beautiful craft that still play a part around our coast and in our maritime story.

Don’t get caught by this new hazard at Sheerness!

If you’re passing close in to the Sheerness RoRo terminal, which is being used for a new ferry service, beware of the new mooring buoy which is connected to the jetty by a line which could entrap your vessel.

Peel Ports Notice to Mariners No 32 of 2021, issued today, states: “The mooring buoy will be utilised by Ro-Ro vessels berthing on SD.10, when alongside, the ship’s mooring lines will create a hazard between the buoy and the vessel. When the berth is not in use the mooring lines will run from the buoy to the berth and be made fast on the downstream dolphin, whilst the ropes are in the water they will be made more conspicuous by coloured marker buoys. When ropes are running from the buoy to the berth, passage between the mooring buoy and downstream dolphin on SD.10 will not be possible. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in the vicinity of Garrison Point and NOT pass between the buoy and the end of Sheerness No.10 berth.”

Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74, call sign “Medway VTS” or telephone 0151 949 6148.