Cowes Harbour Commission Newsletter
August 2014
Summer 2014 round-up
At the end of July we celebrated the official commissioning of our new hydraulic crane at Shepards Wharf, and it was super to have all the competitors in the Etchells Invitational Regatta present to share the occasion with us.

During Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, Shepards Wharf Marina proved very popular as one of the event venues offering shoreside entertainment dedicated to sailing crews, friends and family. My sincere thanks to Manuka Events and our excellent team at CHC for helping to make the 2014 Cowes Week regatta a success.

The weather may have turned rather autumnal, but I hear that Hurricane Cristobal is forecast to miss the UK when it crosses the Atlantic and pull warmer weather up from the south, which would be very good news indeed.

Please make sure you check our latest Notices to Mariners on the changes to the breakwater Exclusion Zone, and for the Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race this weekend.

Best regards,
Captain Stuart McIntosh
Cowes Harbour Master
MS Albatros visits Cowes

MS Albatros, a stylish cruise ship operated by the Germany-based travel agency Phoenix Reisen, is due to visit Cowes Harbour on Tuesday, 16th September from 08:00 - 14:00. The MS Albatros has a long cruise pedigree, and celebrated her 40th year in service in 2013.


Albatros is notable for her bright turquoise funnel rising above the white ship.

Yacht Tek now at Kingston

Marine services company Yacht Tek Limited has recently relocated to East Cowes, and joins other local businesses based at Kingston Wharf.


Yacht Tek is located in the unit adjacent to the hoist dock at Kingston Marine Boatyard, behind the main yacht lay-up area. Owned by Simon Clark, Yacht Tek specialises in the sales and installation of PrestoMarine Lifts for tenders or PWCs, synthetic 'teak' decking, and Tek Tanks - water, waste and diesel fuel tanks.


Read the full story on

Shepards VHF/DSC course

 There is still time to book a place on the Shepards RYA Active Marina VHF/DSC One Day Course on Saturday, 13th September 2014. The day long course will be held at the on-site Amabi Restaurant from 09:00 and includes an exam.


Contact Shepards Wharf Marina to find out more and to book.
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Cowes Harbour Commission is always glad to receive 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, 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 us.
Marine services
Cowes Harbour Commission also owns and operates the following commercial services: 
Shepards Wharf Marina 
Kingston Marine Boatyard
Kingston Marine Services
Cowes Harbour Moorings
Cowes Harbour Fuels
Local Notices to Mariners
Sailors and boaters using Cowes Harbour are advised to regularly check Local Notices to Mariners.

Links to recent Notices:

All current Local Notices to Mariners are available at:
Installation of breakwater gravel core

D2 sprayer barge
Work on the new Cowes breakwater progresses extremely well with contractors Boskalis Westminster currently on stage 4 of the 2014 programme, the installation of the breakwater's gravel core up to approximately 4 metres above chart datum.

The dredger Sospan Dau delivers up to to five loads of gravel per day which is then sprayed onto the breakwater footprint via the floating pipeline and spray nozzle located on the D2 barge. The barge is secured with anchors and anchor wires that run to the extremities of the Exclusion Zone. On completion of this stage the breakwater will be visible at all times, apart from at spring high waters.

CHC would like to remind all harbour users that the Cowes Breakwater Project construction programme is wholly contained within the Exclusion Zone which is marked by large, lit navigation buoys; any vessel not involved in the works shall remain outside of the Exclusion Zone at all times due to the presence of works equipment, mooring wires above and below the surface, obstructions and a growing gravel bank.


LNTM No 21(T) of 2014

Breakwater Exclusion Zone

The breakwater Construction Zone has been extended into the area of small craft moorings to facilitate the required mooring arrangement for the D2 works barge when all mooring wires will be contained north of the breakwater. Two additional yellow marks have been deployed along the boundaries of the extension; an 80m section of floating pipeline has also been anchored on the eastern boundary of the Exclusion Zone.

Please read Cowes Local Notice to Mariners No 21(T) of 2014 for more information on the fourth stage of works, the new Exclusion Zone diagram, plus mark positions and light characteristics of the Exclusion Zone buoys.

Cowes Classic Powerboat Race 2014

The Solent will again reverberate to the sound of high powered, high octane powerboats when the annual Cowes - Torquay - Cowes Powerboat Race takes place on Sunday, 31st August.
Cowes start marshal plan
Cowes muster and pre-start formation

In close consultation with the RYA and Cowes Harbour Commission, race organisers the British Powerboat Racing Club have worked hard to ensure that fans can see an organised start closer to the shore. So, this year the race starts from Cowes itself and some 15-20 Marathon Class offshore powerboats will cross the harbour entrance and roar off down the western Solent at 09:00 providing a thrilling spectacle for onlookers.

Activity will commence at approximately 08:45 when the racing fleet will muster to the east of Cowes Harbour entrance. Race boats will then pass in a convoy, at speed, between Snowden and Trinity House buoys before starting the actual race immediately to the north of Gurnard cardinal buoy at 09:00.

As always, the safety of both spectators and the race boat crews is paramount. Further guidance for spectator craft, pleasure boats and other mariners regarding the course and safety precautions for the event is provided in Cowes Local Notice to Mariners No 22(T) of 2014: Cowes - Torquay - Cowes Powerboat Race 31st August 2014.


Read the full article at

The Cowes Breakwater Project story

CHC has produced a short video and installed display boards in Cowes telling the story behind the new Cowes breakwater. You can watch the Cowes Breakwater Project video below:



Repairs at Kingston Wharf in final phase

The repairs to the commercial shipping wharfage at Kingston in East Cowes, carried out successfully by Prestec UK Ltd, are now nearing completion and will provide a 'fit-for-purpose' wharf structure with a lifetime of at least 20 years.


CHC's Marine Services Manager, Barney Sollars, said: "The refurbishment of the waterfront has been technically challenging, however, the works have progressed smoothly and I would like to thank our leaseholders Isle of Wight Fuels and Isle of Wight Aggregates for their cooperation throughout."


The Kingston Wharf repairs represent a significant investment and will ensure the terminal is well placed to continue serving the local community for many years to come.


Read the full article at

Pump out for free at Shepards Wharf

Yachtsmen visiting Cowes and harbour users are encouraged to make use of Shepards Wharf Marina's pump out facility for boats, which is available and free to use all year round.

The pump out berth, for use by any boat, is located on the south pontoon at Shepards Wharf in Cowes. You can call the marina on VHF Channel 80 and the Berthing Master will be glad to help you. CHC levies no charges for the holding tank pump out in order to encourage more sailors and boaters to use the facility.

The water quality of Cowes Harbour and Medina Estuary is extremely important to the Commission and CHC is working in partnership with the Isle of Wight Estuaries Project, the Environment Agency, RYA and The Green Blue Project to encourage boaters to dispose of blackwater responsibly. CHC offers free holding tank pump out facilities all year round as part of their long-term commitment to sustainability and to support The Green Blue's 'Love Where You Sail' promotion, launched last year with the Environment Agency.

Great success for new Etchells event

The inaugural Etchells Invitational Regatta, hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club with yachts berthed at CHC's Shepards Wharf Marina, was an outstanding success and we are extremely pleased to announce that a 2015 event has already been confirmed.


America's Cup coach Andrew Palfrey of Houston Yacht Club who was competing, said: "Cowes is one of the most interesting places to sail, it's just such a challenging place."


You can hear more from Andrew Palfrey, David Bedford, Jeanne-Claude Strong, Graham Sunderland and other Etchells competitors, as well as see fantastic footage of the Isle of Wight, Cowes, Shepards Wharf, and great close up shots of the competitive racing in the video below:


Read the full article at

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