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News - 05/01/15

CHC news – December 2010

The Official Cowes Port Handbook and Website take shape 
Since the appointment of our new publishing partner, Island Holiday Media, production of the 2011 Cowes Port Handbook and the official Cowes website at cowes.co.uk has been accelerating and we are now delighted to announce two important innovations. 

For the first time, the Directory will feature all businesses in Cowes and East Cowes to ensure it is comprehensive. Secondly, all advertisers will benefit from an online profile at no additional cost to them. 

The all-new official cowes.co.uk website is set to launch on 4th January 2011 and the Handbook and Directory will be delivered on 31st March 2011. In the meantime, if you have any ideas or comments please email: info@cowes.co.uk or if you’d like to talk to the team at Island Holiday Media, please telephone: 01983 200336.

Commissioners respond to the challenging economic climate
The Harbour Master reported at the November meeting that the harbour and the Commission had not been isolated from the downturn in the economy and that unfortunately with the current cuts in public spending, 2011 will probably prove to be equally challenging!

The Commissioners, being mindful of the fragile economy and the challenges faced by the marine and tourist sectors of the market, have agreed to keep increases to annual charges to a minimum.

The Board unanimously agreed to keep the annual schedule of charges increases to just 2%, approximately half the current rate of underlying inflation. Additionally, CHC has managed to delay the additional cost of the rise in VAT until 2012 by processing the invoices during the current year.

Kingston Marine Services
Seaclear takes on an important new role as a ‘Green’ bed levelling/dredging vessel.The Commission’s multi cat work vessel Seaclear has now been equipped with a 6 metre wide bed levelling plough. The new equipment provides Seaclear and Kingston Marine Services with the capability to undertake bed-levelling operations in Cowes Harbour and the Solent.

It may not mean much to the uninitiated, but bed levelling provides a cost-effective and environmentally ‘green’ method of removing areas of siltation from navigational channels, marina channels and mooring berths. It is a simple process of ploughing or dredging the built up areas of siltation back into the main deep water channel and then allowing the tidal currents to re-distribute the sediment around the Solent.

This re-distribution maintains the sediment within the Solent system and is considered environmentally friendly. It allows the sediment to assist with saltmarsh maintenance and for the intertidal mud banks to be replenished, thereby helping the natural habitat to keep up with sea level rise.

Whilst this method of dredging is not suitable for all dredging operations, it is a cost-effective and green option that is promoted by Natural England and other environmental bodies. The operation is included in the Medina Estuary Maintenance Dredging Baseline Document that has recently been approved by all the statutory organisations and signed off by the Marine Maritime Organisation.

The team at Kingston Marine Services has been gaining valuable experience of the new equipment and techniques. Bed levelling campaigns have been being carried out at both the Kingston basin and in a successful operation of returning depths back to those originally charted at Shepards Wharf Marina.

This new capability will be of significant benefit to the maintenance of Cowes Harbour and the Medina and provides another service from Kingston Marine Service’s new powerful multi-function work vessel Seaclear.

River Patrols over the Christmas period
Our Berthing Masters will be carrying out daily river patrols over the Christmas period this will involve checking all vessels, moorings and navigation marks. The duty Berthing Master can be contactable on VHF Channel 69 whilst on patrol only and these times will vary.

In an emergency only the Harbour Master’s team can be contacted through Solent Coastguard on 02392 552100 or VHF Channel 67. If you wish to contact a Berthing Master over the Christmas period, a message can be left on the Shepards Wharf Marina answer phone 01983 297821 and this will be checked daily.

Shepards Wharf Marina
Visitors are welcome at Shepards Wharf throughout the Christmas period. If boat owners do not see the Berthing Master either afloat or in the office they will probably find a small envelope left aboard. This will indicate the amount to pay and where to post your envelope. We would remind visitors that rafting against marina residents is not permitted. Again, if you wish to contact a member of staff during the Christmas period, a Berthing Master will be patrolling periodically. However, you are advised to leave a message on the office answer phone, as this will be checked daily.

Cowes Harbour Fuels
Cowes Harbour Fuels remains open for reduced hours over the Christmas period with Diesel, Petrol, Lub Oils, Calor Gas and Additives available as follows:

(UNTIL DEC 23rd)
MON – FRI: 1000 – 1400
SAT – SUN: 1000 – 1500

FRI 24 th: 1000-1200
MON 27 th: 1000-1400
WED 29 th: 1000-1400
FRI 31st: 1000-1400
JAN 2nd: 1000 – 1400
JAN 4th: 1000 – 1400

Please keep in touch!
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 to Rod Hodgson, the Deputy HM, please feel free to call into the refurbished Harbour Office on Town Quay, or phone and make an appointment on Tel: 01983 293 952, or email chc@cowes.co.uk.

You can keep up to date with all our news by visiting:

Happy Holidays
It just remains for everyone at Cowes Harbour Commission to wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Please note that the Harbour Office is closed from midday on December 24th and re-opens on Tuesday January 4th.

In an emergency the Harbour Master and his staff can be contacted through Solent Coastguard on 02392 552100 or VHF Channel 67.