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Cowes pulls together

The memories from a season of great events in Cowes are only just starting to fade, but it's never too early to start looking forward to 2013 and beyond. The Commissioners are concerned about the current challenging climate that faces the leisure and yachting sector, caused by the economic situation and poor weather over the last few seasons, as this impacts on the whole town and local business community.


Attracting new events to Cowes is important for us all, so the Commissioners, together with the Directors of Cowes Yacht Haven, will be inviting local organisations to discuss ways in which to incentivise and attract more sailing and boating events to Cowes. The benefits that accrue from a successful event are felt right across Cowes and East Cowes and indeed the wider Island, so I feel that this is a positive move.


I'd also like to thank all of you who took part in our recent consultation for the Cowes Breakwater Project. We started our most ambitious dialogue to date during Cowes Week and all of the feedback has been invaluable. Most importantly, it confirmed local support for this project which was our main goal, and the reality of a sheltered harbour for Cowes has moved one small, but important step forward.

Best Regards,

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Captain Stuart McIntosh,

Cowes Harbour Master


Disposal of old flares

If you have out-of-date or damaged flares, first contact the place where you bought the flares, or where you are going to buy replacement flares as they may operate a 'take back' scheme.

Isle of Wight based sailors and boaters only may dispose of their flares at Newport Police Station Property Office who will accept up to 10 flares from private individuals, however, this service is not available to businesses or commercial organisations. The Property Office is open Monday to Thursday, 0830-1700, and is contactable on 01983 538550.


Non Isle of Wight based mariners should contact the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC Solent) on 02392 552 100, who will advise you on how the flares can be disposed of safely.


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CHC at work

The team at are busy compiling a library of images showing Cowes Harbour Commission at work.


Cowes news for all

If you have friends or family who live or work in Cowes, come on holiday to Cowes, sail from Cowes or have an interest in the town's activities on and off the water, then please share this newsletter with them. They can register to receive CHC news here.


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 Harbour Master, please feel free to call into the Harbour Office on Town Quay, 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 the news on our website:


CHC Local Notices to Mariners (LNTMs)

Sailors and boaters using Cowes Harbour are advised to regularly check current Notices to Mariners.

Links to recent LNTMs:

No. 30 of 2012: Diving at Work and Commercial Swimmers

No. 23 of 2012: Cowes Harbour Fairway

No. 20 of 2012: Approaches to Cowes Harbour

All current Notices are available on the CHC website.


Above: Cowes Harbour Fuels will remain open throughout the winter, currently from 1000-1500 Monday to Friday, and 1000-1600 at weekends.
Cowes breakwater project update

Cowes Harbour Commission is delighted to report that months of successful consultations with harbour stakeholders have resulted in a confirmation of support for the new Cowes breakwater from the Isle of Wight Council, as well as local Town Councils, Cowes Harbour Advisory Committee, yacht clubs and class associations.

As a consequence, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has commenced the process of seeking internal approvals to invest in the Cowes breakwater project.


Captain Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, explained: "The HCA is currently still reviewing the funding situation based on the overall economic case and it is envisaged that a decision will be announced in the first quarter of 2013. CHC will then be in a position to provide stakeholders with a projected timeline for delivery of the new Cowes breakwater - subject, of course, to a favourable investment decision from the HCA."


Delivery of the Cowes breakwater remains top priority for CHC and in order to continue progressing the project, CHC may move towards a phased delivery of the overall harbour infrastructure development, of which the breakwater forms the first phase. Phases two and three of the harbour infrastructure development are: a short extension to the existing Shrape Breakwater on the East Cowes side of the harbour, and the dredging of a new Eastern Channel for small craft.


The importance of ongoing local support and endorsement for the new Cowes breakwater remains vital for enabling delivery of this challenging but important project, and to this end CHC is committed to keeping all Cowes harbour users, stakeholders and the Advisory Committee fully updated every step of the way.


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Cowes breakwater questions answered

Cowes Harbour Commission has spent some months engaging with stakeholders, harbour users and local Councils to secure backing for the new Cowes breakwater.

During this process a variety of questions were posed by stakeholders regarding costs and timing of the breakwater project, economic benefits, harbour dues and more.


You can now read a selection of 'Frequently Asked Questions' on the CHC website regarding the new Cowes breakwater and other aspects of the proposed harbour infrastructure development.

Time to renew CHC mooring holdings

In early December all Cowes Harbour Commission licensed mooring holders will be receiving their annual license renewal forms. Please ensure that these are completed and returned promptly and in any case by 31 December 2012 to ensure that your mooring is retained.

There is a waiting list system for all mooring types on the river including Shepards Wharf Marina. If you are on the list please ensure that your contact details and your intended size of vessel are up-to-date. If you have any queries please contact the moorings team at

In next month's E-newsletter...

Read our December newsletter to find out about Christmas and New Year river patrols, opening times for Cowes Harbour Fuels, and how to contact the Harbour team over the festive period. 

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