MINUTES of the 2019 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
held at COBBS YACHT CLUB
on SATURDAY 30th March commencing at 10.00am
|Committee Members present:-||Apologies from Committee members:-|
|Jonathan Saunders – Chairman
Kevin Butler – Vice Chairman
Carol Turner – Secretary
Peter Hayton – Webmaster
Jim Reynolds – Members Representative
Clive Snow – No portfolio
|Val Grant – Membership Secretary
Gavin May – Treasurer
Emma Butler – Dry Stack & Facebook
The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming the guest speakers – Mike Glanville – MDL MD and Frank Gelder – Cobbs Quay Manager. Richard Marshall was unable to attend. Jonathan advised that the guest speakers would be addressing concerns concerning lift outs and electrolysis.
Jonathan thanked the members for attending and also the Cobbs Yacht Club for hosting the AGM. He introduced the committee members and thanked them for their efforts through the year.
Minutes of 2018 AGM
The minutes of the previous AGM held on 24th March 2018 had been posted on the CQBHA website and copies were available at the meeting. Kevin Butler proposed acceptance of the minutes, Peter Button seconded, and the motion was carried. There were no matters arising.
Dispensing with the usual Power Point presentation, Jonathan had prepared a handout of his report.
What we have been doing in 2018/19
- Still the core of what we do
- Had cruises planned for Shepard’s Wharf, Port Solent, Plymouth / Falmouth / Torbay, Port Hamble, Portland, Jersey / St Quay / Guernsey, Bembridge and Weymouth
- An adventurous set of cruises but the weather had other ideas for some!!
- Annual party by MDL – important annual chance to get berth holders together
- Harbour Control Visit
- Visit to the new RNLI base on the Quay
- Shore-based courses and practical events with Powerboat Training UK
- Members need to support these better – or say if something different is wanted
- Increased by 16 this year – now around 945 berth holders past and present in the CQBHA database
- New this year – Association Facebook Forum – please join and use this closed group exclusively for CQBHA members
- Facebook – Are you ‘liking’ us?
- Monthly member news email – Are you receiving us?
- Website – Some changes and regular updates – Make sure you visit it. Frank Gelder has promised to make regular contributions.
- But photos …….. Can we get photos of cruises and events? – No
- Keeping on top of plans for new marina and quay wall work in the ‘basin’
- Limited activity / contact with Bridges Operating Board (BOB).
- Recent direct contact with the Council over Twin Sails breakdown, investigation and pin removal. CQBHA is now a ‘stakeholder’
- Small growth in funds this year
- Web Site Statistics: –
- Around 370 pages visited a day (130k p.a.)
- 61 people a day (22k p.a.)
- Top pages Passage Planning, Weather, Service Providers, Cruise Programme/Booking
- Good range of advertisers. Please mention us when you use them
- Facebook reaches 2.7k per month on average and has over 230 followers
- New Facebook Forum has 71 members
- Some changes in our team. Sandra Bainbridge had retired as Treasurer and been replaced by Gavin May.
- After 17 years, Kevin Butler had decided to retire from the role of Cruise Leader and Nina Dunne had also retired as Cruising Secretary. Andy Vey had taken over briefly, but now a new organizer was needed – and Jonathan appealed for volunteers to ensure this year’s programme could go ahead. Kevin outlined requirements for a Cruise Leader:-
- Book cruise venue with marina
- Request confirmation from booked vessels
- Communicate with marina over number of vessels and berthing plan
- Send cruising notes to participants – these were already available from previous cruises
- Conduct skipper’s briefing the night before a cruise
Anyone willing to help with one or more of the cruises should contact Jonathan or Kevin.
CQBHA Goals and Objectives
These remain unchanged:-
Bring people together to have a better experience cruising from Cobbs Quay and Davis’ Boatyard
Enabling members to ‘Go Further‘
- Promote Safety and Skills
- Develop members’ experience of cruising
- Continue to enhance communication with members
- Continue to be seen by MDL and others as a valuable partner
The key objectives of the Association are: –
- Positively influence the functionality of the bridges
- Enhance the involvement of Dry Stack and smaller / day boat users
- Develop quality relationships with the MDL team
- Contribute to the use and experience at the Cobbs Yacht Club
- Drive up membership numbers by 20 during the year
- Contribute to 2 social and training activities for the benefit of members
- Enhance the role and impact of pontoon representatives
- Have a positive impact on the use of the Backwater Channel and the Harbour
- Continue to develop communication with members
- Liaise with MDL to give value add to members enhancing our joint working
- Use finances prudently to the benefit of all members
- Continue to develop a relationship with Davis’ Boatyard – office and members
Plans for this year
2019 Cruise programme – subject to finding suitable Cruise Leaders
- Shepard’s Wharf – 19-22 April – would be led by Peter Hayton
- Portland – 4-6 May
- Port Solent/Hamble – 25 May-1 June
- Weymouth – 24-26 August
- New Members cruise – June / July TBC
- Sponsors had been agreed for the pontoon parties
Training – Powerboat Training UK are again supporting us
- A range of shore-based and practical events for a small RNLI donation
- Booking in the shop. Please get involved!
- Viv from PBTUK described the courses being offered for the 2019 season:-
- Radars & Chart Plotters
- Lifejackets & Flares
- Using a Defibrillator & CPR
- Kids powerboat driving
- PBTUK would be promoting the courses at the MDL New Berth Holders Breakfast.
- Supporting member issues with MDL and wider e.g. recent electrolysis and lift-out problems
- Jonathan stressed that Issues should be raised with MDL first, but then if the issue was not resolved satisfactorily CQBHA should be notified
- Post your ideas on the Forum – ‘If …. happened …. would be better’
- Kevin was taking on a new role of Social Events Organiser
- Visits and some social events to be planned – including a marina party
- May include a Fish & Chip Cruise and a trip to the RNLI by boat
Twin Sails Bridge / Poole Bridge / Basin
- Looking to improve collaboration with the Leisure Rep on the BOB
- CQBHA recommends that Frank Gelder replaces Dave Wilson as the Leisure Rep on the BOB
- CQBHA discussing whether it should also have a place on the BOB
- Now a ‘stakeholder’ on Council communications
- New marina / basin work
- Facebook Forum and Facebook Page, Newsletter, Website,
- Committee members old and new have done a great job for CQBHA during 2018 / 19
- Any ideas for events to engage all berth holders as well as CQBHA members?
- Cruising is still at the heart of the Association – same for 2019
- We do need more help on the committee – especially with events and promotion
- And we have burgees and mugs (signed by the artist) for sale at special prices!!
“Enabling members to go further”
Copies of the audited accounts summary for the period 01 January 2018 – 31 December 2018 were available for members at the meeting. Total income for the year amounted to £3083.89 with total expenditure of £1821.13, resulting in a profit of £1262.76. The opening balance was £9656.96 and closing balance of £10919.72.
Gavin May sent the following to accompany the accounts summary: –
Financial Review CQBHA 2018
The financial aim of the Committee is that the position should remain broadly neutral. However, as the actual numbers themselves are both small and quite few, this target should be reviewed over several years rather than a year to year basis.
The Committee itself is managed by volunteers; so costs associated with the Committee are minor sundry costs such as postage or stationery.
The cash reserve increased during 2018 by £1262, compared to a small loss the previous year. This was achieved predominantly by a large number of cruises and high participation. With fewer cruises planned for 2019, the expectation is that this surplus may well be reversed in 2019.
Notes on Income
New members pay a £10 joining fee and we are pleased to welcome the sixteen or so joiners.
Advertising income is from on-site businesses supporting the Association on the CQBHA webpage and broadly cover the costs of the web site. Please try and support them and mention their CQBHA web site advert.
Merchandise is predominantly used to promote the Association and is charged in the year that the stock was purchased. This means that any subsequent sale of stock is recorded as a profit, whereas in reality this is a recovery of the original cost.
Notes on Expenditure
There was a one-off charge for fuel incurred as a result of supporting a significant boat breakdown on a cruise. We have amended the Cruise application form to reflect that it is expected the owner of a vessel that breaks down should assist in the supporting boat costs, rather than the CQBHA subsidise this.
Other costs are self-explanatory – main items being insurance, accounting, web hosting, RYA Affiliation.
The Michael Duffy Partnership Limited had audited the accounts and was willing to act again for CQBHA next year. Ivor Moorhouse proposed that the accounts should be accepted. This was seconded by Jim Reynolds and accepted unanimously by the meeting.
The Chairman concluded the Treasurer’s Report by stating that CQBHA aimed to spend its funds for the maximum benefit of its members.
Election of Officers
No new nominations had been received and all the current committee members were willing to stand for re-election. The Chairman suggested that the committee be re-elected en bloc in their current roles. This was proposed by Simon Ellis, seconded by Peter Hayton and accepted unanimously.
The official AGM business concluded at 10:40. After a short break, the meeting resumed to listen to the guest speakers.
Guest Speakers: Mike Glanville – Managing Director MDL & Frank Gelder – Cobbs Quay Manager
Mike Glanville began by introducing Frank Gelder, who was the new Marina Manger at Cobbs Quay, following Dave Wilson’s retirement. Frank was initially dividing his time between Cobbs Quay and Hythe but would soon become full-time at Cobbs.
Mike had 20 years of experience in the Marina industry, including time with 3 of the largest marina operators. He had previously been Operations Director at MDL, before becoming MD. He was service focussed and liked talking to customers.
Mike illustrated his talk with some slides, beginning with some information about MDL. MDL had been in business for 40 years, with 21 marinas, 7000 berths in the UK, Spain & Italy and employed just over 260 staff. In the UK, the Marinas were predominantly along the south coast. MDL are a leisure service business. MDL Estates accommodate over 500 tenants, with currently only 5% vacant. MDL’s products include Freedom Berthing, dry stack berthing and a cruising club.
MDL’s mission statement is ‘To be the leading marina and water based leisure hub provider by putting our customers at the centre of everything that we do’.
MDL is a capital intensive business and has invested £1.1M in Cobbs Quay in the last 3 years to cover dredging, an electrical infrastructure upgrade and new boatyard equipment. The development of the Twin Sails Bridge and its ongoing maintenance issues had resulted in a loss of customers. Mike was talking to the council – along with representatives from Davis’, RNLI and Sunseeker. He promised to keep berth holders informed via the MDL newsletter.
MDL faced several challenges for the future. These included Brexit, economic uncertainty and exchange rate fluctuations which could all result in reduced new boat sales and rising capital costs. Fewer younger people were getting into boating and older people were leaving boating – some in favour of holiday homes, lodges and motorhomes.
MDL’s plans for the future include: a Leisure Card – a single card for everything, service improvements via staff training, leisure hubs providing access to a variety of water-sports, lodges & caravans (MDL have purchased the caravan site next to Mercury Marina), storage facilities (MDL have purchased the storage unit at Cobbs Quay). MDL decided to join up with ‘Beds on Board’ to actively manage this facility – although to date there are very few vessels involved.
Mike acknowledged that there had been a lack of communication over the electrolysis / anode erosion problems during 2018. He reassured members that the pontoon infrastructure had been tested every year and this had shown no leakage or electrical issues. However, a number of hotspots had been reported by berth holders in the marina. From Mike’s own experience in the past, these have usually been caused by a ‘problem’ boat, although brackish water / environmental change due to the hot summer was also a possibility.
He proposed the following strategy:
- Concerned individuals should speak to Frank, then they will be asked if they have had their boat checked for electrical leakage,
- They will be offered a ‘test’ move to another part of the marina and offered the use of an underwater camera.
- MDL would identify ‘hot spot’ areas in the marina and speak to owners within an approx. 30 m vicinity to see if they have had their boat electrically checked and if they would be willing to do so.
Mike agreed that MDL would produce an article for the newsletter. It is clearly important to regularly check anodes – maybe using the camera that MDL can loan.
One affected member – Simon Ellis – indicated he was happy with the proposed actions.
Frank acknowledged the problems of lift-out unavailability – with many berth holders unable to book a lift-out within a reasonable timescale. Mike suggested that with the current lift-out duration of 6 weeks, MDL staff could contact the owner after 4 weeks to check on status.
One member suggested that the new hoist was causing problems – the tight fit on the slipway slowed down the process and increased the gaps required between boats on the hard. Ivor Moorhouse suggested different zones for short-term and long-term lift-outs – together with better booking facilities – possibly online. It was also noted that boat sales had taken over some of the yard space previously used for lift-outs and that the incentives for a summer lift-out had reduced over the years. Frank agreed to come up with some new ideas for the lift-out procedure and to discuss these with a small group of berth holders to get feedback.
There was general discussion of the anode erosion problem and another possible explanation was proximity to the steel pontoon piles. Mike did not think this was likely. Grant Henley reported he had berthed by a pile for many years without any problems. A hot spot could be caused by a single boat being poorly maintained. Owners could get their boats tested for about £30.
Davis’ had not yet reported any electrolysis problems. CQBHA would consider purchasing a probe for berth holders to use that could measure stray electrical currents in the water. One member said rapid anode erosion could also be caused by inappropriate or poor-quality anodes (especially cheap imports from China). Clive Snow advised that there were fresh water springs within the marina, which could affect the salinity and thus the rate of anode erosion. Kevin Butler observed that all canal boaters have to have electrical certification for their vessels.
The ongoing Twin Sails problems had on occasions changed the expected lifting sequence to Poole Bridge, Twin Sails, Poole Bridge – so that the number of Twin Sails lifts were kept to a minimum. Members agreed that any changes to the expected lift sequence or other problems should be proactively communicated by the Council (ideally via a smart phone app) to avoid time wasting at the bridges.
Frank had suggested to the Bridges Operating Board that the length of time taken for the Twin Sails bridge to operate could be reduced by not lifting to a full vertical position – but this would require the installation of new sensors.
The length of time taken for Poole Bridge to open had also increased since the installation of new pedestrian walk ways. It is believed that this was due to an incorrect balance point after repair.
Frank would discuss with the Council whether boats could be left in the basin if Bridge problems prevented skippers returning to their berths.
In the past, the Poole Bridge operators were remote and had other duties – e.g. car parks – which sometimes resulted in delayed bridge openings. Jonathan said he was not sure that this was still the case.
Frank confirmed that the hoses had been removed from the pontoons before the AGM.
One member asked whether moveable cleats would be available on any new pontoons. Requests to reposition cleats should be logged in the office – and agreement was dependent on the pontoon structure.
Alan Maitland asked about dredging on the East side of ‘A’ pontoon. Frank confirmed that both the pontoon refurbishment and dredging plans were available for inspection in the office.
One member complained that the office was posting up to 4 electricity bills & reminders before the payment date had been reached. An email or phone call would reduce costs.
Another member reported difficulties booking a lift out with storage in the shed. Frank promised to investigate these matters further.
He also promised that the pontoons would be jet washed before Easter and that boats and fender socks would be washed off afterwards.
Other questions concerned:-
- A waste disposal facility for boats with holding tanks,
- ‘No wash’ signs for the end of ‘F’ pontoon and
- More stakes to mark the channel out of the marina.
The meeting closed at 12:05.
Chairman: Jonathan Saunders
c/o Cobbs Quay Marina,
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