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Cowes Harbour Commission – E-news bulletin February 2011

Yachtsmen advised to always check the spec of fuel at the pump! 

An EU directive that came into effect on 1st January 2011, states that all gas oil (commonly known in the UK as ‘red diesel’) marketed for use in non-road mobile machinery and inland waterways vessels must contain no more than 10 milligrams of sulphur per kilogram of fuel (virtually ‘sulphur free’). Fuel suppliers had originally planned to meet the new requirements largely by supplying road diesel, which contains up to 7% biodiesel, with a red marker dye. 

Whilst most engines are fully compatible with low sulphur fuel containing biodiesel in the proportion found in road fuel, some fuel system components on older engines, and in particular fuel seals and pipes, may not be compatible with biodiesel.

Biodiesel has strong solvent and detergent properties in its pure form and can also cause problems during storage and on certain materials used in fuel system components. It is also more prone to bacterial contamination potentially resulting in blockage of fuel filters and increased corrosion.

As this new regulation doesn’t apply to sea-going vessels, those craft taking on diesel at Cowes Harbour Fuels don’t have to comply with the new regulations and, as a result, Cowes Harbour Fuels have secured a supply of Red Diesel with the original sulphur content and free from any biodiesel.

However, supply is not going to be uniform around the coast so it is important that you ask at the pump what specification of fuel it is that you are buying and whether it contains biodiesel, and if it has a low sulphur content.

The Department for Transport ‘Fuel Quality Directive Gas Oil Requirements’ information sheet containing a Q&A section and a product data sheet can be downloaded from the CHC website at http://cowesharbourcommission.co.uk Cowes Port Handbook & Directory and cowes.co.uk

Official Cowes Port Handbook and cowes.co.uk
Since CHC’s previous publishing partner The Knowledge Zone was relaunched as TKZ Media, its new owner took the decision to publish a rival handbook to the official Cowes Port Handbook & Directory, being published by CHC’s new publishing partner, Island Holiday Media.

After some frank discussions, TKZ Media has since withdrawn and replaced their rate card and agreed to re-name their publication ‘Solent Handbook and Directory’.

Island Holiday Media have had a busy few weeks reviewing our Port Handbook from cover-to-cover to include new content and features, together with all the essential local information aimed to enhance any visit to Cowes in 2011. Alongside the time tables, charts and revamped Yachtsman’s Guide, there will be far more information about the towns of Cowes and East Cowes, the Medina estuary and the Island as a whole. We have secured exclusive distribution for the Handbook in Cowes Yacht Haven and have agreed a new working partnership with Cowes Business Association which is also exclusively supporting the Cowes Port Handbook.

CHC is delighted that the 2011 edition of the official Cowes Port Handbook is on target for publication before Easter.

As the content is created it will first appear on the re-designed website www.cowes.co.uk so please make sure you take a look and do give us your feedback. We will pass this directly to our publishers, Island Holiday Media, who will be delighted to take it on board.

Since switching on the news, events and accommodation channels two weeks ago, all the search terms (e.g. “cowes news”) have gone straight to the top of Google. This has to be very good news for Cowes businesses and it is certainly creating an international shop window for Cowes and re-establishing cowes.co.uk as the pre-eminent website for ‘everything Cowes’.

Robust appraisal process carried out
In accordance with one of the requirements of the Commission’s governance policy of April 2010, CHC has successfully achieved a robust appraisal of the performance of the Board of Commissioners and their senior executive.

There were questionnaires, ratings and follow up interviews with all of the Commissioners and the senior executive. The appraisal considered the overall performance and management of the Cowes Harbour Commission Board its Chairman. Roger Mathias, individual commissioners and the Chief Executive and Harbour Master, Stuart McIntosh.

The purpose of the process was to provide a 360 degree appraisal of the Commission’s management with a view to the ongoing process of monitoring and refining the efficiency of CHC’s management and operation.

The Commissioners considered that the appraisal process as recommended by the Trust Ports ‘Guide to Good Governance’ provided a worthwhile opportunity for both Board and individual self-reflection.

Roger Mathias commented that whilst he and the Commissioners considered that this appraisal policy was essential for a modern well-run organisation, he also felt it vital that feedback from harbour users and stakeholders was received. As part of this ongoing communication initiative, he will be actively looking for opportunities for direct discussions with stakeholders and the Commissioners on an individual and collective basis.

CHC also continues to welcome feedback from our external audience on its performance and activities.

Seaclear starts to earn her keep
A busy three-week period has seen the Kingston Marine Services afloat team aboard MV Seaclear engaged on bed levelling contracts with works being carried out at East Cowes Marina, Town Quay, RWE NPower and the UKSA. Town Quay is being surveyed this month.

Seaclear has also undertaken a number of towing jobs including contracted work for Mackley Construction involving towing small barges on the Medina.

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
With the news that Aberdeen Asset Management has signed a three year agreement with Cowes Week Limited to be the headline sponsor, the Commissioners have all agreed that this is excellent and positive news for everyone concerned, including Cowes Harbour!

We’re all looking forward to another busy season ahead!

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 Harbour Office on Town Quay, or phone and make an appointment on Tel: 01983 293 952, or email chc@cowes.co.uk.

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