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Autumn round-up

Events this month have been overshadowed by the weekend's sad news concerning the Swanland, a regular visitor to Cowes. The ship and her crew were well known to many in Cowes and in particular my team here at the Harbour Commission. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who lost their lives. 


Elsewhere, CHC's staff are working hard on essential maintenance and making sure all the plans for 2012 are on-track.

The new RNLI build is underway, we have new artists impressions of the Shepards Wharf Sugar Store development, and I'm grateful for the feedback on the proposed new mooring facilities at Town Quay.

CHC now has the online facility for permanent berth holders to renew their annual mooring license, and the news that we are to host the Superyachts Cup just prior to the Olympics, is good news for Cowes.

Finally, I'm pleased to welcome the team from Southampton University who are looking at the future of the floating bridge over the next six months. I'm sure that their work will help us all to gain a better insight into the value of something we all take for granted.


Best Regards,

blue sig


Safety Tip

Check your moorings thoroughly.

Those of you  that are  leaving your boat on its  mooring this winter are strongly recommended to check the condition and suitability of the mooring lines or strops. The inevitable winter gales will place an increase load on the lines causing any weak links to fail. 


Ensure that you have adequate lines out with equal tension on each, check your strops and give consideration to the parts of strop that are not readily visible or covered by anti-chafe tubing as these are commonly the area most prone to rot. Check that the lines coming on board your vessel pass through a suitable fairlead and are not chaffing on rails or sharp edges. 


Our Berthing Masters conduct daily river inspections keeping an eye on your moorings throughout the year and tend to them if necessary but it is the owners' responsibility to ensure the lines or strops are fit for purpose and you vessel is moored securely. 


RNLI station takes shape

Phase one of construction is the 'marine works' which have now commenced. It will involve using 18 tubular piles of between 10m-13m in length to provide a solid foundation for the new lifeboat slipway deck. After these are in place some protective sheet piling will be deployed to enable dredging to commence without undermining the adjacent public slipway.


Rob Hayman, site manager for Raymond Brown who have been contracted to undertake these works commented, "It's good to be getting this first phase of construction under way. We are on track to complete the marine works by the end of January 2012, when the phase two building works will start."

RNLI Station_Building Site


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: 

01983 293952, or 



Cowes Harbour Commission also owns and operates the following commercial services: Shepards Wharf Marina, Kingston Marine Services, Cowes Harbour Moorings and Cowes Harbour Fuels.


You can keep up to date with all our news on our website:

Cowes saddened by loss of the Swanland

Swanland in cowes_cropped
The Swanland was a regular visitor to Cowes last calling only two weeks ago and was bound for Cowes on her ill-fated voyage.


Cowes Pilot Rod Hodgson commented, "I had the pleasure of piloting the vessel on many occasions and always found the Captain and crew a pleasure to work with being extremely welcoming, friendly and of the utmost professionalism, everyone who had dealings with the vessel are shocked and saddened on hearing this tragic news".


Stuart McIntosh Cowes Harbour Master said that the Commissioners and the team at Cowes Harbour Commission send their deepest sympathies to the missing sailors families and the owners of the vessel.


For further details, see

Online mooring payments
Mooring Licence ApplicationCowes Harbour Commission has introduced a new online payment facility for permanent berth holders to renew their annual mooring licence. The new service makes licence renewal quick and easy, with the advantage of being able to process the payments from work or at home. If you have yet to respond to the online payment request email, we recommend that you take advantage of this new facility. If you have not received the online payment request email, please take this opportunity to update your email address with the mooring administrator.


Harbour Master Stuart McIntosh said "This new facility is part of improving our service to berth holders. The payments system is robust, secure and easy to use. At the same time, we will be keeping our existing processes in place to allow customers to pay by cheque should they wish."

Commodore's Cup & Superyachts

The biannual regatta organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) will take place between Saturday 21st and Saturday 28th July 2012. 


The event is due to see a few changes next year, the most prominent being an all-new title sponsor. Brewin Dolphin, one of the UK's largest independent private client investment managers will be supporting the regatta. Jamie Matheson, Executive Chairman has commented, "We are proud to add such a prestigious event to our portfolio."

Superyacht Cup1

The RORC have also introduced a change in the IRC rating band in order to encourage more entries. The racing format will also change next year so that all the boats will start together rather than having three individual races.  RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine explained the reason behind these changes. "In previous events some categories have struggled to find a competitive boat in each band. We are keen to get more foreign teams to enter the competition and feel this will help."


While Cowes plays host to the Commodore's Cup, the one-off Superyacht Cup 2012 will be staged in Cowes from 22-25th July, making for one of the best pre-Cowes Week yachting spectacles of 2012.

UKSA & Harbour Commission help jobseekers
Youth maritime charity UKSA has announced that six unemployed young people have joined a new training programme designed to equip them with the skills and work experience to find full time jobs.
With funding from the Job Centre Plus, UKSA has created 'Change Direction', a new seven-week programme that focuses on building better bridges into work.
Cowes Harbour Commission is assisting with the Change Direction scheme by providing two full day work experience placements each week during the programme based with teams at Kingston Marine Services and Shepards Wharf Marina.
Rod Hodgson1
Deputy Harbour Master, Rod Hodgson commented "The Harbour Commission regularly provide work experience placements for students in full-time education but it is very satisfying to be able to assist in a scheme which aims to provide young motivated job seekers with the essential skills and experience to find a full time job."
University students analyse floating bridge future
Civil Engineering degree students from Southampton University have started a six-month consultancy project looking into the future of the Cowes floating bridge. 
The five students will be working in Cowes for almost half of their academic year and are looking for realistic, workable solutions to the potential future of the River Medina crossing. 
The valuable study is thanks to concerned East Cowes residents who took it upon themselves to get Southampton University involved after the Isle of Wight Council spoke about privatising the vital crossing.  
Chain Ferry with sponsor
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