Cowes Harbour Commission Newsletter
February 2015
Positive outlook for 2015
2015 is the year in which construction on the new Cowes Breakwater will be completed, and in our newsletter this month we look ahead to the exciting final stages of the breakwater build, as well as back to some of the history surrounding proposals to protect Cowes Harbour.

We have also just issued two important Local Notices to Mariners so please make sure that you read LNTM No 08 which gives the latest information on changes to tidal flows in Cowes Harbour, and LNTM No 09(T) which covers the February breakwater works.

If you are still looking around for an annual mooring for your 'pride and joy', then CHC might be able to help. We currently have some availability on our river moorings, either pontoon, pile or swinging, and these are located in the quieter stretches of the River Medina. Do contact our moorings team for the most up-to-date information.

Best regards,
Captain Stuart McIntosh
Cowes Harbour Master
New boatbuilding business at Kingston Wharf
Island RIBs Ltd, designers and manufacturers of Rigid Inflatable Boats, has moved into Units 4 and 6 at Cowes Harbour Commission's Kingston Wharf site in East Cowes. Director Brian Hallett is the founder and previous owner of Coastline Marine. In this new venture, Brian is working with fellow director and marine engineer Alex Cottle.

Since moving to Kingston Wharf in July 2014, the team have been developing new tooling ready for the launch of their new model, the Island 7.5m. Brian and Alex are confident in their decision to choose Kinston Wharf for their workshops and believe that the ongoing redevelopment plans for Cowes Harbour will greatly benefit their business.
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Local Notices to Mariners
Sailors and boaters using Cowes Harbour are advised to regularly check Local Notices to Mariners.

You can also sign up to receive direct email notification of new Cowes Local Notices to Mariners.

Links to recent Notices:

View all current Local Notices to Mariners in force.
February breakwater works in Cowes

We can now bring you the first news on this year's breakwater construction works. Following a winter monitoring and settlement period of the new breakwater's gravel core, Cowes Harbour Commission's contractors Boskalis Westminster will return on 25th February 2015 to carry out a week's re-shaping work using the same plant as last year, an excavator and the Doreen Dorward barge. As part of the February works, Boskalis will also carry out further surveys to determine that settlement of the core material into the subsoil is as predicted and in accordance with construction plans.



An Exclusion Zone continues to be in operation around the breakwater construction area and all mariners are advised to check Cowes Local Notice to Mariners No 09(T) of 2015 Breakwater Works for the latest up-to-date information.


At the end of May, Boskalis will mobilise again to start the final phase of this 18-month project. The slopes of the gravel core will be brought into profile and then in mid to late June, the placement of the rock armour protection will commence, which should take approximately three months.


Further updates and more detail on the 2015 breakwater construction programme will be published over the coming months in our E-newsletters and on the CHC website, as well as in the 2015 Cowes Port Handbook.


Read the full article at
Commissioner selection panel

CHC would like to thank all those who responded to our recent advertising campaign for three new Harbour Commissioners; we received a good number of applications and have now commenced a shortlisting phase until the end of February. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview by our selection panel in mid-March.

The Commissioner selection committee of three is led by CHC's Chairman Roger Mathias, but also has a harbour stakeholder representative and an independent member, thereby ensuring that the balance of the selection panel is independent of the Commission. Richard Thornton, CEO of UKSA and Steve Hopper, the Queen's Harbour Master of Portsmouth, have kindly agreed to sit on our selection committee this year as stakeholder representative and independent member respectively.


Read the full article at
River Medina annual moorings

Going, going, gone! We still have some availability on annual moorings in Cowes Harbour, mainly in the Folly area of the River Medina, with tariffs starting from just £53 or £59 per metre per annum (including Harbour Dues and VAT). Pontoon, swinging and pile moorings are available and are suitable for boats up to 13m (43ft).



These river moorings are situated in a sheltered and peaceful environment, and as with all CHC moorings in Cowes Harbour, benefit from a central Solent location, and daily safety and security checks. You can find out more from our friendly and helpful moorings team based at Shepards Wharf Marina; give them a call today on 01983 297821.


Find out more at
Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs)

Yarmouth to Cowes Marine Conservation Zone dropped from second tranche consultation
On 30th January 2015, Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) published a consultation on the second tranche of proposed Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) for the UK; the consultation runs to 24th April and the outcome is expected in December. Twenty-three new Marine Conservation Zones are being promoted in English inshore and offshore waters, including the Solent.


Marine Conservation Zones were introduced by the UK government as the result of the European Union's Marine Strategy Framework Directive, designed to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe. Each Member State is required to develop and implement a marine strategy for their waters in order to protect and conserve the marine environment, prevent its deterioration, and, where practicable, restore marine ecosystems in areas where they have been adversely affected.



The Needles MCZ is the only candidate site on the Isle of Wight coast being proposed for designation in the second tranche of public consultation after stakeholders raised concerns that recreational boating, and local ports and harbours in the Solent would be adversely affected by MCZs at the other sites around the Island, namely Yarmouth to Cowes, Norris to Ryde, and Bembridge.


Of particular interest to Cowes Harbour Commission is the Yarmouth to Cowes candidate Marine Conservation Zones, an inshore site measuring 17 km≤. This site runs along the Island's northwest coast, from Sconce Point on the west of Yarmouth to the West Cowes headlands and includes Newtown Harbour and the important Salt Mead anchorage in Thorness Bay.


Read the full article at
Cowes worthy Admiral de Horsey and the 19th century campaign for a breakwater

The proposal for a breakwater to protect Cowes Harbour from northerly and northeasterly winds was, in fact, first tabled in 1860 by Admiral de Horsey, a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and one of the best-known residents of Cowes at this time.



On 25th July 1892 Admiral de Horsey retired from the Royal Navy and lived at Melcombe House in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. On 20th February 1893, he wrote a letter to the Local Board of Cowes campaigning for a harbour breakwater. De Horsey proposed a pile breakwater 1,850ft (563.88m) long with a gap near the shore. The breakwater "would be beneficial to Cowes" by "improving the whole shore property between RYS Castle and the ferry; deepening the channel; and affording a sheltered harbour, which would attract a large number of small yachts and other vessels to this port".


De Horsey wrote that the object of the proposed breakwater was "that of making a secure harbour" since "Cowes is no harbour during north-easterly gales". He estimated that an outlay of £5,000 would suffice for materials, plant and labour, and the annual expense of a boatman to light and extinguish a light on the outer end of the breakwater would cost around £20.00, "the distance to row being only about 200 yards of water"!


Read the full article at
Solent Racing Marks

There is not long to go until the sailing season starts again and so race mark designations for 2015 have now been published by the Solent Cruising and Racing Association (SCRA). The list of marks is published in Zones, and also as an alphabetical version so that a known buoy name can be located. PDF downloads are now available on the CHC website; visit our new section on Solent Racing Marks.



For those of you who have ever wondered what happens to the race marks during the winter, they are all stored at CHC's Kingston Marine Services site in East Cowes before being re-painted for the new year. Over the coming days you may well spot CHC's Multi-Cat Seaclear laying the marks out in the Solent for the season ahead.


Read the full article at
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