Raising the profile of Cowes and East Cowes
January has been a month of weather extremes on the Island, with everything from days filled with sunshine and bright blue skies, encouraging sailors out onto the Solent, to torrential rain, strong winds and local flooding.
However, once the new Cowes breakwater is in place, the 345m rubble and rock barrier will play an important role in helping to reduce the risk of flood damage to waterside properties. The breakwater will deliver a properly protected harbour for Cowes, and facilitate further investment opportunities. As regards appointing a construction contractor for the breakwater, CHC are very close to an agreement with the preferred contractor, and we will share this information with you as soon as possible.
My Commissioners and I are extremely pleased at the news of further regeneration to come in East Cowes, with a marina and associated waterside development, and this, along with business opportunities such as the new Isle of Wight Expansion Fund, means that the Island's maritime sector has good reason to be fairly optimistic about the future.

Best regards,

blue sig

Captain Stuart McIntosh,

Cowes Harbour Master


Cowes RNLI Open Day

Cowes RNLI's SOS Day is taking place on Saturday, 1 February from 1000 until 1600; it's free and suitable for all the family. There will be activities for children of all ages, opportunities to meet the RNLI lifeboat crew, take a tour and find out how the lifeboat station works, take the 'get your kit on' challenge, and have tea and cakes whilst enjoying a stunning view of the Solent.


There is also a chance to challenge the RNLI crew to a Tug o' War on The Parade. Watch the Fire Service, HM Coastguard and many more go 'head to head' with the RNLI crew in this exciting test of strength and stamina!


Helping out on the day will be several CHC staff who are regular volunteers at Cowes RNLI lifeboat station.


Cowes Harbour Fuels

Cowes Harbour Fuels is due to close for scheduled maintenance for up to 10 days in February, with the exact dates to be confirmed when a window of dry weather is forecast! Please check the CHC website for the latest information. Lallow's Boatyard, 50m south of the Yacht Haven, will remain open during the temporary closure of the CHC fuel berth.


Yacht Haven dredge

CHC has received an application for a maintenance dredge licence at Cowes Yacht Haven.


The area to be dredged includes the north basin and parts of the south basin. The final dredge level will be between 2m -3m below chart datum as per those shown on SNC 2793. The amount of spoil dredge material to be removed is up to 15,000 cubic metres. The work is aimed to be carried out in late February or early March this year.


View the Yacht Haven dredge plan.


Island Expansion Fund

CHC welcomes the news that businesses in the marine, maritime and advanced manufacturing sectors on the Isle of Wight are being urged to apply for grants from a new fund set up by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), in collaboration with the Isle of Wight Council.


The 2.46m Isle of Wight Expansion Fund, is designed to help companies expand, start up new activities or diversify with the aim of creating or safeguarding jobs.


Read the full story on COWES.co.uk.


Sign up for Cowes news

We would like to encourage all our readers to share this newsletter with family and friends via the "Forward email" link at the foot of this email.

Alternatively, just scan the above QR code with a smart phone to register for free CHC E-newsletters. 

Please keep in touch!

Cowes Harbour Commission is always happy to gain feedback on its services and on the issues it is tackling on behalf of all harbour users and stakeholders.

If you would like 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 email: [email protected]. 
CHC also owns and operates the following commercial services: Shepards Wharf Marina, Kingston Marine Services & Boatyard, Cowes Harbour Moorings, and Cowes Harbour Fuels. 

You can keep up-to-date with all CHC 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. 05 of 2014: Marking of Fishing Gear within Cowes Harbour Limits

No. 04 of 2014: Current Local Notices to Mariners in Force

No. 03 of 2014: Cowes Chain Ferry

No. 02 of 2014: VHF Radio Communications within Cowes Harbour

No. 01 of 2014: Navigation within the Cowes Harbour Fairway

No. 27 of 2013: Small Craft Channel

All current Notices are available on the CHC website.
Above: Dinghy sailors make the most of some January sunshine in the Shrape Watersports Area, Cowes Harbour.
Developer sought for marina project

There is exciting news for East Cowes with the recent announcement from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) that they are seeking to procure a development partner for a new 400 berth marina and surrounding waterfront development.

The marina scheme represents the next important phase in the regeneration of East Cowes, and has been partly enabled by the impending construction of Cowes Harbour Commission's new detached breakwater to the north of the proposed marina, which will give additional protection from northerly gales.


Consent has also been obtained to extend the existing Shrape Breakwater westwards by 58 metres and establish a new eastern access channel between the two breakwaters.


Paul Flatt, HCA Senior Development Manager, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for a developer with experience in marine and waterfront development to bring forward the next key phase of the regeneration of East Cowes. The development of a new marina at East Cowes is a unique opportunity in one of sailing's most prestigious locations.


"The marina project is an important next step in the ongoing regeneration of East Cowes town centre. The scheme will provide an important addition to marina facilities in the Solent and continue to attract visitors and jobs to East Cowes itself. We have received very strong interest in this project, from established marine developers in the UK as well as abroad. We are confident that the scheme will be a success and reinforce Cowes as one of the most important sailing venues in Europe."


Read the full story on COWES.co.uk.

Cowes breakwater  countdown
Cowes Harbour Commission is making good progress towards finalising agreements with a short-listed contractor for the build of the new detached breakwater and hopes to be in a position to make  an announcement within the next month.
New year - new Cowes LNTMs 
We would like to draw your attention to a number of new CHC Local Notices to Mariners, which came into force on 1 January, covering navigation and radio communications within Cowes Harbour, the Chain Ferry, and a comprehensive list of all LNTMs active at the beginning of the year.

The 2014 Local Notices to Mariners issued to date are:


No. 01 of 2014: Navigation within the Cowes Harbour Fairway


No. 02 of 2014: VHF Radio Communications within Cowes Harbour


No. 03 of 2014: Cowes Chain Ferry


No. 04 of 2014: Current Local Notices to Mariners in Force


No. 05 of 2014: Marking of Fishing Gear within Cowes Harbour Limits 


View all Local Notices to Mariners on the CHC website.

CHC Board seeks new Commissioners

This spring, CHC will begin recruiting for two new Commissioners to join the independent board, as both Peter Jackson, Commissioner for Safety, Security & Environment, and Peter Morton, Commissioner for Marine Services, will be coming to the end of their second term, having completed six years of exemplary service to the Harbour Commission.


At a time when the profile of Cowes is being raised through major investment in harbour infrastructure such as the new Cowes breakwater, and the regeneration of East Cowes forges ahead with a new HCA-led marina development, Cowes Harbour Commission will, alongside its statutory duties, continue to facilitate business growth and improve facilities for local residents and visiting sailors and boaters.


There will be more information on the forthcoming Commissioner vacancies in our February newsletter.

Support for Destination Cowes

Cowes Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh was amongst those present at a well attended meeting held at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on 17 January, which was called with the aim of bringing the Etchells World Championships back to Cowes in 2016.

Etchells racing, 2013. Credit: Rob Goddard.


Organised by Cowes Business Association with the Cowes Etchells Fleet, the meeting focused firstly on the introduction of a new International Etchells Invitational Cup this summer, with Cowes Fleet Captain David Franks expressing his hope that it will prove be a showcase event for Cowes.


Conversation then turned to the type of all inclusive offer that Cowes needs to produce (a single 'price per boat' cost for events), in order to compete with other yachting centres and attract sailing events such as the Etchells Worlds, which is currently destined to be held in Weymouth in 2016. It was agreed by several members of the audience that Cowes Harbour Commission's proposed 'Destination Cowes' partnership venture could provide the perfect model for this kind of enterprise.


Whilst Red Funnel, Cowes Yacht Haven, and UKSA have joined CHC Commissioners in confirming their financial backing for Destination Cowes, and in principal support has been received from East Cowes Town Council, in spite of the personal backing of Cowes Mayor Cllr Geoff Banks, the initiative is still awaiting an indication of support from Cowes Town Council itself.


In addition, CHC is awaiting confirmation as to whether the yacht clubs of Cowes will be on board with the Destination Cowes project. The Commissioners remain hopeful of achieving a unified approach, which is so important for initiatives such as these to be successful.


Anyone interested in supporting the formation of a Destination Cowes partnership, is encouraged to contact Capt. Stuart McIntosh at the Harbour Office by sending an email to [email protected].


Could the Etchells World Championships return to Cowes? Read our article on the COWES.co.uk website.

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