It has been a very busy start to the 2010 season at Cowes Harbour Commission. We are pleased to bring you a brief round-up of some of the hot topics and initiatives that are either launched or are now well underway!
Government indicates ‘Green Light’ to Outer Harbour Project consent
SEEDA and Cowes Harbour Commission are delighted to report that both Natural England and the Environment Agency have confirmed that they are happy to remove their objections to the Outer Harbour Plan as all the conservation issues have been successfully addressed. The Government’s Marine Fisheries Agency (M.F.A.) has therefore indicated that as a result of this consensus it is their intention to grant consent both for the construction and dredging disposal licences.
This latest news is an important step forward and meets one of the joint objectives of both SEEDA and the Commission to ensure that the project doesn’t have a detrimental impact on the important nature conservation features of the Estuary. This result has been achieved by pro-active consultation with all the conservation organisations and statutory consultees.
This development will now allow the Isle of Wight Council to consider the Planning Application and for Cowes Harbour Commission to issue its consent.
In addition to this positive news, SEEDA has confirmed that three ‘blue chip’ marina operating companies have been shortlisted to tender to become their commercial development partner to deliver the entire Outer Harbour Project. These three companies have received the detailed tender package and been given a ten-week timetable for submission.
The contract will be awarded by SEEDA based on the quality of their tender submission and also on their requirement for part funding of the harbour infrastructure by the Commission and SEEDA.
The new Training Pontoon is commissioned by James Stevens and Peter Jackson
A unique new training facility has been commissioned on the River Medina, Cowes We are delighted to announce that our unique facility for all users of the River Medina in Cowes, Isle of Wight, was inaugurated by the RYA’s International Training Manager, James Stevens, on Friday 26th March. Welcoming the guests, including media, to the ceremony at the new 11-metre Training Pontoon on the Folly Reach, Cowes Harbour Commissioner Captain Peter Jackson explained that every boat owner needed at some stage to acquire essential boat handling skills such as berthing. He quipped that during the peak summer months in Cowes this was akin to trying to learn to fly at Heathrow Airport!
Ben Willows, Operations Manager at the UKSA, who contributed to the venture, welcomed the initiative on behalf of the numerous South Coast sailing schools who sometimes struggle to find space for training. David Walters, Chairman of the Cowes Harbour Advisory Committee, commented that the new pontoon would significantly reduce the chance of conflict between river users and occasional damage to moored boats.
James Stevens congratulated Cowes Harbour Commission on providing what he believed to be a unique facility in the world. He went on to say that the RYA very much welcomed the initiative as it encouraged all boat owners to improve their berthing skills and enhance safety by training family and other crew members to handle their boat properly in case of emergency.
Cowes has long been a favourite destination for many South Coast yachtsmen and in particular the large number of sail training organisations visiting from Poole, Hamble, Portsmouth and further afield. Cowes Harbour Commission has now taken positive steps to ensure that all yachtsmen have somewhere to acquire these essential skills, and that inconvenience and disruption to other river users is minimised.
A new, two-way, window on the World Wide Web
After a comprehensive tender process, the Cowes-based “website development company BoxStuff has been contracted to create new websites to represent CHC and its commercial services and we’re going live from 1st May.
The purpose of this new ‘stand alone’ site will be to provide Cowes Harbour Commission with its own unique site. The Commission will continue to support and promote the popular Cowes Online site that is operated successfully by CHC’s contractual partner ‘The Knowledge Zone’. It is planned that users will have a seamless transfer between both sites.
The CHC website will be accessible via its own domain name of www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk and will include information about CHC, all required statutory documents and links to sub-sites for each of the commercial services that Cowes Harbour Commission provide, namely:
* Shepards Wharf Marina
* Kingston Boatyard
* Cowes Harbour Fuels
* Commercial Marine Services
* Visitor and Annual Moorings
As well as a clear presentation of the statutory data, the site design will aim to provide quick and easy access to the key information a leisure marine visitor to Cowes might need including a link back to the content held within www.cowes.co.uk.
The existing domain names for our current web content will be used for each sub-site representing a commercial service so that traffic from search engine results is not lost and anyone who has a bookmarked link will find the new site automatically.
Forms and Integration with Internal Systems
CHC currently provides various forms for submitting information, bookings and requests. These are to be converted to web based form/s that can be completed and submitted online.
We’re also hoping to provide versions of the site optimised for viewing on mobile devices such as smartphones. Many of the people who benefit from access to the CHC site will be visitors whose primary means of accessing the website content will increasingly be via their mobile phone. The website content is being prepared and stored in such a way that it can easily be used within a future mobile solution, either as web pages optimised for smaller screens or as a standalone app.
To make best use of the popular social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well as the niche marine web news sites e.g. SailingNetworks, AllAtSea, BlueSheets, the clever technology will automatically post links and details of news and events to these sites.
We’re canvassing your opinion
Would you, as a regular recipient of our regular E-Newsletters, be irritated or pleased if we were to occasionally flag up in the newsletters, information about special offers from Cowes Harbour Commission’s various commercial operations such as this mid-season makeover offer currently underway with Kingston Marine Services?
Kingston Marine Services | Mid-season offers
Give your boat a seasonal makeover
Mid-season offers are available from 1st May through to 30th September at Kingston Marine Services.
You can get a Lift & Scrub (a maximum of one hour in the slings) for £110 incl. VAT.
Why not combine a Lift, Scrub and a short stay ashore
for anti-fouling etc for a maximum of 48hrs.
Vessels up to and including 12.2 mtrs £160.00
12.3mtrs up to and including 15.2mtrs £170.00
15.3mtrs and over £180.00
Extra days storage up to a maximum of 7 days are
charged at normal storage rate of £0.55per mtr/day
Vessels ashore for longer than 7 days will be subject to the
normal re-Iaunch charge.
The inclusion of this type of information in our E-Newsletters does assure us that you are being kept in the loop of everything that happens under the Commission’s remit but we leave it up to you to decide whether it is something you wish to have included or not. Please let us know your views by email email@example.com.
Don’t forget that Cowes Harbour Commission is always happy to gain feedback on its services and on the issues it is tackling on your behalf. If you want to talk to the Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh or Rod Hodgson, the Deputy HM, please feel free to call in to the newly refurbished Harbour Office on Town Quay, or phone and make an appointment on Tel: 01983 293 952, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.