Cowes Harbour Commission Newsletter
28th May 2015
Shipbuilding in Cowes
Inward investment to support the local economy and create employment for Cowes and the Island is an integral part of CHC's vision and strategic policy for Cowes Harbour and we are therefore delighted at Red Funnel's plans for a new Red Jet to be built on the Isle of Wight.

I would also like to offer congratulations to the Royal Yacht Squadron on their bicentenary, 1815 to 2015. We are really looking forward to seeing the fantastic display of members' yachts in Cowes Harbour for the RYS Fleet Review on 5th June. CHC has enjoyed supporting the RYS celebrations through the provision of moorings and organisation of the Fleet Review and fireworks display safety management plan. Please see LNTMs No 15(T) and 16(T) of 2015 which relate to the RYS events on 5th and 6th June.

Meanwhile, our breakwater contractors Boskalis Westminster will be mobilising in June to commence the reshaping of the new breakwater's gravel core before applying rock armour layers. We will issue Cowes Local Notices to Mariners in advance with full information on the Exclusion Zone and associated navigation advice.

Best regards,
Captain Stuart McIntosh
Cowes Harbour Master
Developing young people
Apprenticeships are a valuable means of helping young people develop the skills and qualifications that are needed in the industry of their choice. Cowes Harbour Commission supports and is actively involved in a continuing programme of apprenticeships through the Isle of Wight College. Over the past few years CHC has taken on apprentices at both Kingston Marine Services and Shepards Wharf Marina and currently employs a business administration apprentice at the marina.

At their April Board meeting, CHC Commissioners were therefore delighted to hear about the formation of the Royal Yacht Squadron's Isle of Wight Foundation, a charitable cause established by the Squadron to promote opportunities in the marine industry for young people living on the Island, opening their minds to opportunities outside the realm of their normal environment.

June events in Cowes
Despite the variable weather, the season is truly hotting up in Cowes and June will see a variety of exciting on the water events, not least amongst these the RYS Bicentennial Fleet Review on 5th June (see our E-news article for pertinent navigation information), the J-Cup from 11th-13th June, the Westward Cup from 14th-16th June, and the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday, 27th June.

The Landsail Tyres J-Cup Regatta from 11th-13th June, hosted by the Island Sailing Club, will offer three days of exciting racing exclusively for J Boats. The event also includes the J/88, J/97 and J/109 UK Nationals.

The Westward Cup Regatta will be held from 13th-16th June, with the Royal Yacht Squadron acting as the Organising Authority. The 2015 Westward Cup is lining up to be a stunning event and definitely worth going afloat to take a closer look!

Check out our pre-Round the Island Race E-newsletter on 24th June for a preview of this incredibly popular one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, which regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors!

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

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Links to recent Notices:

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High speed catamaran building returns to the Isle of Wight

Cowes Harbour Commission has welcomed Red Funnel's major announcement yesterday (Wednesday, 27th May) confirming that the company is bringing high speed ferry construction back to the UK with its new passenger ferry Red Jet 6 due to be built in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight.



After receiving tenders from shipyards around the world, Red Funnel has placed an order for a 40m high-speed catamaran with Shemara Refit LLP for delivery in summer 2016. Costing 6m, Red Jet 6 will be the first vessel of her kind to be built in the UK for 15 years.


Kevin George, Red Funnel's CEO commented: "From the outset, Shemara Refit shared our vision to bring fast ferry construction back to the UK and particularly to the Isle of Wight where the specialist aluminium fabrication skills and yard facilities still exist. The Red Jet 6 contract will bring significant inward investment to underpin the Island's marine manufacturing sector and help to further grow the Isle of Wight economy.


"Red Jet 6 will serve the Isle of Wight for many years and we believe that it is important for as many young Islanders to be involved as possible. We will be inviting local schools to participate in mini projects and will be seeking to develop our existing support with the Royal Yacht Squadron Isle of Wight Foundation to ensure apprenticeship opportunities are open to young Islanders. In the competitive world of shipbuilding, it is fantastic news that Red Jet 6 will be built for the Isle of Wight, on the Isle of Wight, by the Isle of Wight."

Annual Public Meeting report

On a warm and sunning May evening, Cowes Harbour Commission's Annual Public Meeting saw very good attendance at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes with over 70 people turning out to listen to the Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh's presentation of CHC's Annual Report and key development projects taking place in Cowes Harbour during 2015.



Capt. McIntosh delivered a short presentation of the Annual Report and highlighted the following areas:

* CHC is well on the way to delivering the strategic objectives as set out in the 2010-2015 Strategic Framework Document.

* Key achievements for 2014 to 2015 included completion of phase 1 of the new Cowes Breakwater construction, major repair projects at Kingston Wharf and also for the Trinity Landing pontoons, and investment at Shepards Wharf Marina with a new crane and refurbished events centre.

* CHC invested almost 4.7 million into stakeholder dividend projects during 2014, with a significant proportion funded from returns from CHC's marine service operations which are reinvested back into the port.


The second half of the presentation focused on the major harbour projects currently in progress, namely the Cowes Breakwater Project, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) East Cowes development, the Solent Gateways project, and CHC's strategic policy review and plans for 2015-2020.


A lively debate followed the Harbour Master's presentation, with questions posed regarding the new Cowes Breakwater, tidal flows and sedimentation, race start lines and safety management in the harbour. CHC will issue a full update in June regarding safety and navigational information for this year's breakwater construction programme, along with the latest information on tidal flows and sedimentation monitoring.


Questions from the audience also covered encouraging a wider representation of the public on the Board of Commissioners, especially by way of age and gender, water quality and pump out facilities, issues surrounding the potential loss of swinging moorings in the harbour, waterfront employment sites, launch ramp facilities, and the Destination Cowes initiative, all of which are being fully considered by CHC as the Commission moves into the final stages of developing the new Cowes Harbour Strategic Policy Document for 2015-2020.


Read the full article at
Royal Yacht Squadron Fleet Review

This year the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) achieves its bicentenary and will be celebrating 200 years of yachting. There are two significant events planned during these celebrations, a Squadron Members' Regatta in June, including a Fleet Review on 5th June and an International Regatta from 25th-31st July.


Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes. Photo: Olek Creations.


On Friday, 5th June starting at 1400 the Duke of Edinburgh, as Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, will be conducting a Review of the yachts belonging to members of the RYS who are commemorating their bicentenary. The Duke will be joined by other members of the British Royal Family and overseas Royal guests. In excess of 180 private sailing and motor boats will be moored in the Solent at the mouth of the Medina River in Cowes, from 1200 on the 5th June.


Prior to and during the RYS Fleet Review, in the interests of navigational safety and for security reasons, Cowes Harbour Commission will introduce and enforce a number of Exclusion Zones, as well as a temporary speed limit of 6 knots in the Outer Harbour, under CHC's Powers of General Directions (Cowes Harbour Revision Order 2012, Section 12, para 7b).


At approximately 1400 the Review flotilla, consisting of two P2000 Naval Patrol vessels, will depart the Royal Yacht Squadron Haven and proceed south along the Inner Fairway and make a turn at No. 6 buoy before proceeding north. At No. 2A buoy the flotilla will leave the fairway and proceed east, passing south of the new Cowes Breakwater, and enter the Small Craft Channel before reviewing the small craft fleet moored in the area of small craft moorings to the north and east of the new breakwater. The flotilla will then proceed in an anti-clockwise direction reviewing the larger vessels at anchor in Cowes Roads before reviewing the vessels moored on M Row to the west of the Outer Fairway off Prince's Green.


Local Notice to Mariners No 15(T) of 2015 has been issued outlining the area and all restrictions.

Cowes Port Handbook out to tender

Cowes Harbour Commission is always looking for ways to improve its publications and therefore, as part of CHC's ongoing strategic review, improvements to communications with harbour users and stakeholders are under consideration. Revised communications policies and objectives will be published in the forthcoming CHC Strategic Policy Document 2015-2020.


At present, in accordance with the Commission's policy, CHC is tendering for the engagement of a new publishing and marketing partner for the annual Cowes Port Handbook.


Companies with relevant experience within the marine industry are invited to tender and the successful company will be expected to produce the next edition of the Cowes Port Handbook in time for Easter 2016. Management and delivery of the affiliated website is an option within the tender.


Submissions of interest to be received by Friday, 19th June.


Read the full article at
Shepards-based J/70s train with National Champion Ruaridh Scott

J/70s training. Photo: RTYC
RTYC members assembled at Shepards Wharf Marina on a fine Saturday morning for a weekend of training on the new J/70s with Ruaridh Scott, J/70 National Champion leading the coaching, reports the Royal Thames Yacht Club in their May newsletter.

Members were able to see the exciting developments at Shepards Wharf including the new Events Centre that is nearing completion and the new RTYC workshop/container. After a briefing during breakfast at Amabi, the excellent restaurant in the marina, Ruairidh walked members through the finer points of sail set-up and trimming to maximise boat speed.

The rest of the day was spent sailing a windward/leeward training course with Ruaridh and Josh Downer, the new RTYC bosun at Shepards, swapping around the boats to give everyone the benefit of their wisdom. Conditions were close to ideal with a breeze varying between 12 and 16 knots and blue skies.

The unanimous view of the members is that the Shepards base provides an ideal 'race base' for RTYC in Cowes and that the boats are a fantastic asset that members can enjoy for both competitive inter-club racing and also against other J/70s in the Solent.

New Chain Ferry and public consultancy on East Cowes Regeneration

As readers may already know, the Solent Gateways project announced last autumn, which is designed to improve connectivity between the Isle of Wight and Southampton, will also include funding to deliver a new Chain Ferry for Cowes at a cost of circa 4m. Cowes Harbour Commission recognises the importance of this vital transport link between East Cowes and Cowes for residents, businesses, and visitors alike.

However, the Chain Ferry is located at the narrowest point of the River Medina and impacts on the navigable depth and therefore the size and draught of ships that can use the river south of the 'floating bridge'. The Chain Ferry also has significant safety and navigation impacts which require careful management and consideration during the design process for the new 'floating bridge'. As a result, Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh has been invited by the Isle of Wight Council to sit on the steering board for the procurement of the new Chain Ferry for the harbour.

As reported in the Isle of Wight County Press last week, a public consultancy is due to take place with residents and businesses from the Isle of Wight being encouraged to have their say on the multi-million pound Solent Gateways plans to create a new look for East Cowes. 'East Cowes Regeneration,' part of the Solent Gateways development project, is holding a public consultation event today (Thursday, 28th May) and local people are invited to come along. The event will be held at East Cowes Town Hall from 1000-1900.

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