Chairman’s Address

Jonathan Chairman’s Update Spring 2020

Welcome to the start of a new season.  As I am writing this ‘Spring Update’ we have just had a few days of mild and sunny weather.  It is still windy though so time on the water is either ‘off’ or not that pleasant.

The biggest issue though, on top of anything else, is Coronavirus.  It has impacted everything but, very sadly, many have become ill and died.  Many places, including the marina, are closed and nobody can get out on boats of course.  Right now there is a lack of any certainty of when this might end and what the impact will be.

I want to try and be positive though.  I can only hope that as we move towards Summer the ‘lock down’ eases and we get some better weather.  CQBHA plans and cruises are uncertain so make sure you are getting our monthly email newsletter a ‘book early to avoid disappointment’!

In this update :- Coronavirus, Cruises, AGM 2020, Harbour Dues, Poole Bridges – Bridges Operating Board, Poole Harbour Commissioners Annual Meeting, Marina Summer Party 2020, Poole Harbour Boat Show and Member Communications.


It cannot have escaped anybody’s attention that the world has been turned upside down.  At a very minor level this has led us to put a hold on our plans too.

With the marina currently closed, and a restriction on movement and work, people are not only prevented on going out on boats but also going down to check and work on their boats too.

I have spoken to Frank (Marina Manager) and I know the team are keeping your boats secure with the restrictions on self-distancing.  There are plans to put updates and ‘video tours’ on Cobbs Quay’s Facebook page so make sure you have a look.

I hope that you all stay healthy and well in these uncertain times.


Don’t forget this is the main reason we exist – cruising in company.  The point is that you can get the reassurance of going on a cruise, maybe that bit further away than before, with the support and camaraderie of others in the Association.

We did have a programme planned which started in Easter with Shepard’s Wharf, then the early May Bank Holiday in Port Hamble, a late May Bank Holiday cruise to Ocean Village, then Portland in early August and finishing with Weymouth for the August Bank Holiday.

Check out our Cruise Programme 2020 page on the web site for more details.

In view of the Coronavirus situation we have decided that it would be appropriate to cancel the cruises to Shepards Wharf, Port Hamble and Ocean Village.  We will be refunding cruise fees that have been paid.

The situation is ever changing and so we will be retaining the bookings with the marinas for Portland and Weymouth in the hope that things may change and we can finally get away on a later cruise.  Watch out for updates here on the website, in the newsletter and keep your eyes on Facebook.

Cruises were open for booking (from February), at a cost of £15, and there are still places available.  We are typically limited to 20 or 25 craft or less and so offer cruises on a first come first served basis and those who missed out last year were among the first to book in 2020.  Where necessary cruises are running wait lists and people do drop out so do book if you fancy going on a cruise.

You book and pay online.  If there aren’t any places left you will be placed on the waiting list and refunded if you cannot be accommodated.  As I have said in previous years, we have been able to place most people so don’t despair.


This year we had to make the choice to cancel the AGM in view of the Coronavirus situation.  We put the reasons for this and published a report of the year’s activities and next year’s plans on the web site CQBHA 2020 AGM .  I haven’t had any comments or concerns raised and so we will proceed as proposed.

At the AGM I would have made a plea for some other people to volunteer to be on the committee – or even just help us – with cruising especially, and other efforts.  If you think you can help please get in touch.  It doesn’t have to be hours of work – every little helps!!  Please get in touch with me if you can help.

As well as the normal business at the AGM we would have had Kerry Marriott (Operations Manager at MDL) and Frank Gelder (Manager at Cobbs Quay) speaking to us.  Shame because it would have been good to hear from them and have the chance to ask them some questions.

Harbour Dues

Harbour dues have risen again this year.  This is the final year of an agreement for an ‘above inflation’ rise.  Apparently this was agreed with the Poole Yachting Association and a further meeting of this group with PHC is planned.  I am seeking to attend.  In order to effectively approach the Harbour Commissioners individual comments would carry more weight.  If you would like to comment please get in touch at

Poole Bridges

Bridges Operating Board

Frank Gelder now sits on the Bridges Operating Board as the Leisure Representative.  I am pleased to say it is clear that Frank stands no nonsense and is fighting the leisure boaters corner strongly.  I am in close contact with Frank and he is keeping me fully informed of activity which I am able to pass on to you via Facebook and the Newsletter.

The closed Facebook group, used as a method of reporting incidents and enquiries, has been abandoned.  ‘Nuff said!!.

Twin Sails Bridge repairs

At this time I believe the pins still need to be replaced!

I am aware that MDL, together with Sunseeker and the RNLI are in talks with the Council about the general longevity of the Twin Sails Bridge and how reliability and repairs will be as it gets older.

Inter bridge/basin work

I had viewed and commented on planning applications for reinforcement of the quay on the Hamworthy side of the basin (the area between the bridges) and also for a marina near to the Sydenham’s site.  I believe planning applications have been approved but I understand that the building work is not being pursued but I am not sure about the marina.

Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) Annual Meeting 25th March 2019

No report at this time as it was cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation.  I believe there is a plan to have it in September.

Marina Events

We would like to hope that the team at Cobbs will be able to arrange some events at the marina.  I think a programme has been/is being developed.  We don’t have details as yet but CQBHA will be doing everything we can to help make it a success.  Of course things are all up in the air at the moment with the new bertholders welcome meeting being cancelled for instance.

We will let you know more as soon as we find out.

Poole Harbour Boat Show – 12th – 14th June 2020

What would have been the fifth annual boat show at Poole Quay again this year has also been cancelled.

It’s a shame because last year Poole Quay was lined with a selection of stalls selling a wide variety of products including water sports equipment, clothing, RYA training, tenders and RIBs, trailers, outboard engines, marine insurance and more.

MDL Cobb’s Quay team was also there so it was a nice chance to pop along and see them.  There was also fireworks and live entertainment.

There is a dedicated web site if you would like to take an advanced look at the planned activities for next year

Member Communication

Most important to us is keeping in touch with you as members.  We sometimes ask for your opinions – could I ask at least one person to try and reply!!  On the pontoons you have your own representative so get to know them as they are your ‘on site’ information and communication person.

We’ve also hit the social media.  We have started the Cobbs Quay Bertholders Association Forum which is a closed group to exchange ideas and meet up with people for trips and much more.  Please ask to join CQBHA Facebook Forum Link

We’re also on Facebook (Cobbs Quay Bertholders Association click here CQBHA Facebook Link) for general but more importantly ‘instant’ communication such as bridge closures.  Please ‘like’ us.

We have the web site as a huge resource for boating information, weather, cruise planning, marina and eateries locating, marine activities, marine services and other information and adverts for your Cobbs Quay resources (make sure you mention the web site when you visit our advertisers) and, of course, our monthly newsletter.

So please, get in touch!! – there is no reason for you not to be up to date!.

Are we doing what you want?

Finally your committee is keen to be sure we are doing what you want so we need your feedback.  Could I 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