Cowes delivers
Today, we are one big step closer to turning Cowes into a truly sheltered harbour. The appointment of Boskalis Westminster is more than a milestone for this project, it marks the physical start of construction. After many months of planning and consultation, it is a momentous occasion.
The recent storms, which have battered the south coast, have only served to highlight the importance of protecting Cowes from weather extremes and tidal surges. Perhaps a timely reminder of the potential benefits and significance of the new breakwater defences.
Much care has been taken to minimise any negative impacts on the operation of the harbour over the next couple of years, and I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Every piece of feedback has been very valuable indeed. 

Best regards,

blue sig

Captain Stuart McIntosh,

Cowes Harbour Master


CHC pledges support for Cowes Etchells event 

At the Commission's February Board Meeting, it was unanimously agreed to support this summer's inaugural International Etchells Invitational Cup in Cowes.

This exciting, new fleet racing event for the Etchells Class is being run by the Royal Thames Yacht Club in conjunction with the Royal London Yacht Club, and takes place from 26 to 31 July 2014. The intention is that it will become an annual event.


The Commission has confirmed that subsidised moorings will be provided at Shepards Wharf Marina, and a mooring will be supplied at Trinity Landing for a fully dressed Etchells yacht, in front of the RLYC, to provide good spectator appeal and help promote the class.


Cowes Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh, said: "My Commissioners and I, are really looking forward to working with the Etchells Class to make this inaugural event a great success. This promises be a truly international event, which will draw considerable interest to Cowes, and it fits well with CHC's proposal to support initiatives to bring new events to Cowes."


Cowes Etchells Captain, David Franks, said: " I am delighted by the support of the Cowes Harbour Commissioners for the inaugural Etchells Invitational Cup. We have 16 countries, and 20 teams competing, including the Australian John Bertrand, America's Cup Champion and World Etchells Champion."


Peter Taylor, MBE, Vice Commodore of the RLYC, stated that the club was delighted to be jointly hosting the International Etchells Invitational Cup. This event will see competitors coming from all over the world, and will be very good for Cowes. He said: "We very much appreciate the support we are receiving from Cowes Harbour Commission in respect of the use of Trinity Landing and the provision of a mooring, for a boat to be dressed overall, in front of the clubhouse to draw attention to the event. This regatta fits in well between the Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week, which is run by the Royal London, and Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and will be a busy three weeks for the town."


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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: 
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: Waves breaking over the seafront near Egypt Point, Cowes, during February storms, 2014. Photo Hamo Thornycroft.
Breakwater build set to start at Easter
Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has today (28 February 2014) appointed Boskalis Westminster to undertake construction of the new 7 million detached breakwater for Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The construction of the new breakwater will be carried out in two phases, with the first phase, creating the core structure of the breakwater, commencing in spring 2014.

This initial construction phase will continue through the summer of 2014 and will then be followed by a consolidation period to allow for settlement of the breakwater structure during the autumn through to spring 2015. The contractor will then return to Cowes to re-dress the core structure and complete the construction of the breakwater during the summer of 2015.


Capt. Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, said: "The signing of the breakwater construction contract is a significant milestone and we are really looking forward to working alongside specialist contractor Boskalis Westminster to finally deliver the Cowes breakwater.


"The Cowes breakwater project is CHC's main priority, because not only does it offer great opportunities for harbour users, but it will enable economic development to follow, to the benefit of the local community."


The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is investing 3.16 million towards the installation of the Cowes breakwater. Paul Flatt, Senior Development Manager at the HCA, said: "The work to install a new breakwater at Cowes is an important part of wider plans to bring new investment and jobs to Cowes and provide a significant boost to the local economy.


"The benefits of this work, through supporting the Island's marine and tourism economy and attracting extra visitors and trade for local businesses, are clear to us. This will happen in addition to plans we are progressing to develop a new 400-berth marina, which will secure Cowes' reputation as an international destination."


CHC continues to work closely with Atkins, the design and engineering consultancy appointed to project manage the breakwater. Iain Roberts, Maritime Engineer at Atkins, said: "We've made significant progress to date in managing the procurement of the harbour infrastructure elements of the scheme and look forward to working with Boskalis Westminster as we move onto the next phase. Their design is technically robust and will have a long design life."


Paul Datson, Head of Capital and Coastal Projects at Boskalis Westminster, stated: "Boskalis Westminster has extensive experience around the world in the design and construction of breakwaters and other rock structures, and we are keen to start work on this project that will have such a positive benefit for Cowes."


Cowes Harbour Commission will issue regular navigational information and news updates for stakeholders and harbour users during the construction process. More information on the Cowes breakwater project can be found at:


Read the full article on

Vacancies on Board of Commissioners
Forthcoming vacancies on the CHC Board of Commissioners offer a valuable opportunity for individuals who wish to contribute to the local community and to the strategic direction and management of the important port of Cowes.

Dramatic sky over Cowes Harbour. Photo Hamo Thornycroft.


CHC has two Commissioners reaching the end of their second term of office this May, and consequently a recruitment process is underway to seek replacements.


The philosophy within the Commission is to look ahead at the skill sets we believe will be needed over the next few years to meet requirements. It is particularly important for the Board to contain an appropriate balance of skills, competencies and experience to manage the harbour effectively and provide leadership, motivation, and strategic direction.


Chairman of CHC, Roger Mathias, said: "For the period 2014 to 2017, the Commission is particularly seeking candidates with expertise and experience in marketing, as well as safety and security. These skills are not prescriptive and candidates who can contribute in other relevant areas will be considered in the broad context of a balanced Board requirement.


"We have been very fortunate in the quality of our Commissioners and CHC will be looking to build on that to match future needs."


Each Commissioner is appointed for a three year period which may be extended to a second period, and only in exceptional circumstances, to a third period.


A recruitment panel is being formed which will consist of the Chairman of CHC, a local stakeholder, and an independent. The Commissioner posts will be advertised online on the CHC website, and also in the Isle of Wight County Press on 7 March. The closing date for applications is Monday, 24 March.


A full Harbour Commissioner information pack and application form will soon be available on the CHC website:


The interview panel will convene in early April. Recommendations to the CHC Board will be made later in April with the intention of the new Commissioners starting their appointment in May.

Cowes Harbour Fuels spring update
Cowes Harbour Fuels is still due to close for scheduled maintenance, as soon as a suitable weather window occurs! CHC hopes to be able to carry out the necessary maintenance to the fuel berth during early March, which will entail a closure of up to 14 days.
Lallow's Boatyard, 50 metres south of Cowes Yacht Haven, will remain open during the temporary closure of the CHC fuel berth.
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