Chairman’s Address

Jonathan Chairman’s Update Autumn 2019

Those of you who read my Summer Update will know I talked about not very good weather!  It certainly wasn’t as good as last year.  A bit mixed and quite windy at times I would say?

In this update.  Cruising in Company, Cruising for 2020 – a request for feedback, Southampton Boat Show, Pontoon Reps meeting with the marina manager, Bridges Operating Board, Electrolysis and Anodes, Cobbs Quay Marina Summer Party, Facebook, Newsletter and Web site and Feedback.

Cruising in Company

There were 3 cruises this year organised by Peter Hayton.  The cruises to IOW – Shepards Wharf, Portland, and Weymouth all went off well.  Highlights included everybody making new friends at all the cruises with an evening cruise meal at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, a Pimms party on the pontoon at Portland and visit to the Royal Dorset Yacht Club and pontoon party at Weymouth.

Cruising is the main reason we exist – ‘cruising in company’.  You get the reassurance of going on a cruise, maybe that bit further away, with the support and camaraderie of others.

Keep your eyes on the web site and look out for the newsletter for details of the destinations and bookings to start early next year.

Cruising for 2020.  What do you think?

I am sure it cannot have escaped your notice that Kevin, after 17 years at the helm, has decided it is time for him to let go of the responsibility of planning and leading cruises.  We had a replacement for a brief spell but that was not to be!

Peter Hayton picked up the challenge for this year and made sure that some cruises were planned and happened, everybody who went had a great time and I have heard many appreciative comments.  Thank you Peter!

Of course one option for the future is certainly to find a person who would take a lead in planning and leading cruises.  I would be delighted if anybody would like to do so and please get in touch with me to talk about what would be involved.  Please consider it.

However we are planning on the basis that no one individual will take the lead on cruising next year.  We will be operating cruises in a different way and I have a request for your feedback – please respond.

As a committee we will decide venues (although suggestions would be welcome – I have posted a request on Facebook too) and book the marinas.  We will provide a ‘cruise pack’ which will include detailed guidance notes and skippers will be encouraged to use a Peter Cumberlidge and/or other pilot books to consider and plan routes (although guidance will be offered) and review destination marinas.  Especially useful for route planning is a waypoint guide.  Click this link Peter Cumberlidge Books.

As in previous years we hope to arrange training with Powerboat Training UK to cover the basics of route planning and pilotage to help those newer to boating.

This approach to cruising would work with a ‘point of contact’ i.e. rather than a cruise leader.  Members of the committee will step in here with as much of the preparation as possible and we would provide any necessary admin or paperwork but it would be useful to have a point of contact to meet the skippers the night before a cruise, check everybody leaves and arrives safely for the outward and return leg and tell the marina you have arrived.

Is that you?  Please think about helping.  A member of the committee would be available to you at all times for any questions.  Would you be prepared to volunteer to be a point of contact?

The alternative is that everybody will meet as a group on the night before the cruise to finalise any details and plan the departure.

Would this work in your view?  What more could we do to help?

What we need to know is what you think.  Would this work?  Would you volunteer?  Please, please respond to this request – so many go unanswered.

Please give me your feedback.

Please contact me at

Southampton Boat Show

Did you go?  I did and had the chance to meet CQ Marina Manager Frank Gelder and Michael Glanville (Managing Director of MDL).  The MDL stand seemed pretty busy again this year and is in a great location.  There was also a short talk from someone from WeSUP who are offering paddle boarding at Torquay.  He was heckled big time by some bertholders from Torquay poor man!!

I felt that although there were a lot of boats on display – including a number of global launches – the show somehow seemed a little smaller this year..  There were plenty of yachts there again – I like the catamarans (motor though!).  They always seem to offer a lot of deck space as well as space down below.

Sealine was there again with some good looking new boats along with Princess, Sunseeker and Fairline.  I was having a look at the outboard engines and crikey some of the 450 bhp engines were huge!

We went on a few boats, including a Fleming (a trawler yacht which is a shape I have always had a soft spot for) and we also saw a huge Princess 85 yacht – wow!!.

Pontoon Reps met with Marina Manager

We have a team of pontoon reps so each pontoon has a ‘go to’ person to discuss matters CQBHA and marina.  Have a look at the pontoon heads to see who the reps are on your pontoon and where they are berthed.  Otherwise check out the web site – Pontoon Reps Page Link.

A group of the pontoon reps recently met with the new marina manager (Frank Gelder) to discuss the issues you had raised.  Jim has reported on these in the newsletter and will give an update on this meeting in a newsletter soon.

The meeting was very positive and allowed the reps to ask about issues as wide as dog fouling and lift outs, electrolysis and parking.

Please take the chance to talk about any issues with them or to suggest any ideas you have of things we should do – or just have a chat with them.  You never know, you might even get a free key ring!

Bridges Operating Board (BOB)

Frank Gelder is now on the Bridges Operating Board and has been very robust in bringing our concerns direct to the BOB and quickly too.

Twin Sails Bridge is now due to be fixed at the end of October.

In truth I think the BOB is pretty ineffectual.  Difficult to see it as other than paying lip service to what is think its role is – making the bridges work for and balancing the needs of marine and road traffic.  Three issues I mentioned in this report last year are still unsolved.  IALA lights and height markers – how hard is that to solve if the will from the Council is there!!  The third, the stakes on the Backwater Channel, have again got a commitment from the PHC to replace!

Key things I have raised recently are :-

  • Notice/being informed of bridge issues. The Council have again (!) committed to advise Cobbs.  Plans are that there will be a global text sent from Cobbs to advise bertholders.  Watch out for the request for your mobile number.
  • Emergency action in breakdown. Sunseeker have given permission to use there jetty but I am still awaiting a brief about what happens if people need to go home and leave their boat in the basin in the case of long term breakdown.  How to get off, how to return the boats to the marina etc.
  • Will the plans for a bridge website page for the bridge (managed by the Council) allow people to report issues on it.
  • What about the long term prospects for Twin Sails bridge functionality. How will it be working in 10 years.  Not that I will have any effect but I am raising the option of replacing the ‘sails’ with normal leaves.

Of interest too is that the 23 berth marina near the Sydenhams site is going ahead but the development on the Power Station site is now not happening.

Electrolysis and Anodes

Those who went to the AGM will be aware that there was significant concern over electrolysis and anodes wearing quickly and also causing costly collateral damage.

MDL has taken this very seriously and have carried out a number of tests including a full test on the electrical system in the marina.  Recently a number of members accompanied Stef from Sureline (who carried out the testing) and set about testing the water and boats across the whole marina.  All of them were entirely satisfied that there were no issues with the MDL infrastructure and that, unfortunately, the two boats that had experienced very serious problems were as a result of a manufacturing issue.

Nevertheless, anybody who experiences issues with anode wear should talk to Frank Gelder at the office.

Cobbs Quay Marina Party

The Cobbs Quay Summer party was cancelled this year due to lack of support.  Recent years have seen a consistent drop in people booking in advance and it is hard not to support Frank’s decision to stop the party this year.

This is what happened to us as CQBHA when we used to run the parties and, not having the financial stability that MDL have, we had to stop running the parties too.

Having said that the lack of early ticket take up may be causing a rethink in the marina office too!  We may not see a party next year.

Facebook, Newsletter & Web Site

Facebook is now a key part of our communication with you, our members.  I think we are getting closer to 260 likes now on our Facebook page!  People are also commenting on and liking some of our posts which is great for us!!  If you are a Facebook user keep your eyes out for the pictures and videos of our antics!

We also have the CQBHA Facebook Members Forum.  This is a closed group, you join by request, and it gives members the chance to discuss issues, ask for advice, find people to go with them on a trip and much more.

We use Facebook for things that need ‘instant’ contact such as bridge closures, short notice LNTMs and to show some of the goings on in photos so I hope it will be useful to you.

I would be interested to hear what you think about our Facebook page or Facebook Forum – or, if you are a Facebook user, maybe you would like to ‘like us’ or ask to join the Forum?

Jim prepares and sends out a monthly newsletter of topical items.  If you are not getting yours please let me know.

Last but not least we have our web site for all the information on CQBHA and as a key resource for weather, marine services and a host of other interesting topics (Please make sure you mention the web site when you visit our advertisers).

Is anybody out there?

We would love to take it that your silence means that we are doing a good job but we need your feedback.  Could I once again ask that you let us know if we are doing a good job, a bad job or if want us to do something differently.

I wish you safe passage.

Jonathan Saunders