Cowes Harbour Commission
Harbour Authority & Marine Services
Newsletter 28th June 2018
Safe summer sailing in Cowes Harbour
Cowes is one of the busiest leisure ports in the UK and during the summer months the density of small craft can present a challenge for skippers of leisure craft. In this busy marine environment, Cowes Harbour Commission’s number one priority and overriding objective is always maintaining safety in the harbour. 

CHC's navigational safety policy is based on a continuing, formal assessment and mitigation of risk in consultation with river users. Our policy for enforcement is to ensure effective distribution of harbour regulations, such as Local Notices to Mariners and General Directions, along with a clear emphasis on education to harbour users, leaving enforcement via prosecution as a last resort. 

The fundamental principles of good seamanship are unchanging, whatever new technology is introduced, so please remember to watch your speed and wash, keep a good lookout, including astern, and have consideration for other boaters whilst navigating in Cowes Harbour and the Medina River. 

For detailed safety information, do see our website sections on Approaches to Cowes and Small Craft Navigation . Additionally, our Harbour Patrol Officers, who are contactable on VHF Channel 69, are on the water daily and can help with general enquiries and advice, or give mooring instructions. 

Wishing you all an enjoyable and safe summer of boating in Cowes.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh - Cowes Harbour Master

Top photo: Round the Island Race start 2017 © Paul Wyeth
Please watch your speed and wash
It is not just your boat speed but also the wake from your vessel that can have an impact within the harbour. Excessive wake from vessels creates an unsafe environment for all harbour users and too much wake can cause damage. 

Whilst CHC works hard to ensure effective promulgation of the rules on speed and wash within our jurisdiction, there continue to be some vessels flaunting them. CHC educates mariners wherever we can, although some claim that they are completely unaware of the rules. However, there is no excuse for not observing the practice of good seamanship. 

Please note, the phrase “ within 100m of the shore ” is included in the Cowes General Directions that limit speed and prohibit wash in order to provide a safety barrier for people wishing to enjoy the beaches, to help protect the beach itself and the wildlife that inhabits our shores, and to reduce coastal erosion.


Cowes welcomes new Harbour Commissioners
The Board of Cowes Harbour Commissioners (CHC) has recently welcomed James Evans and Steve Cooper as new members. 

James Evans practises as a barrister specialising in commercial law, and Steve Cooper is a Chartered Surveyor.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, said: “I welcome both James Evans and Steve Cooper as Commissioners; they bring extensive knowledge and expertise and will really add value and complement the existing balance of skills and experience within our current Board. All our Commissioners together help to provide the strategic direction necessary to encourage the continued growth and success of Cowes Harbour.”

Changes to General Directions
Following completion of the statutory consultation process with the Harbour Advisory Committee, Chamber of Shipping and RYA, a revised set of Cowes Harbour General Directions has been ratified and will be introduced on 1st July 2018. 

General Direction 3.19 “VHF Communications within Cowes Harbour” has been changed and now applies to all vessels of 20 metres LOA and above. There has been also been a minor amendment to General Direction 2.31 .

For further information on the updated General Directions, please see Local Notice to Mariners No. 13 of 2018 . The full set of updated General Directions is available to view on the CHC website, and hard copies can be obtained from the Harbour Office if required.
Consultation on Third Tranche of Marine Conservation Zones
Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has opened a public consultation on Trance 3 of the Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), to seek the public’s views on proposals to designate 41 new MCZs and to add new features for conservation in 12 existing MCZs.

Sites proposed in the Solent include Yarmouth to Cowes , Selsey Bill and the Hounds, and Bembridge. There is an opportunity to give your views in the Defra online survey that closes on 20th July 2018.

July event highlights in Cowes
Eight days to go!
The countdown is on to the 2018 Round the Island Race in association with Cloudy Bay with 1,186 boats entered as we write. The start times and fleet flags are shown on the event website , with the first start at 0630 on Saturday, 7th July.  

The UK’s premier classic yacht regatta
Panerai British Classic Week - the annual Regatta of the British Classic Yacht Club - will see the 17th edition in 2018, taking place from 14th – 21st July. New for 2018, is a Nab Tower race (replacing the Around the Island Race) on Monday, 16th July.

Exciting new firsts for Cowes Classics 2018
Cowes Classics Week , from 21st to 27th July, is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year. In a first for Cowes Classics Week, the Etchells dayboats will also be entering the regatta, plus, the event will have an International Jury.


Photo: Cowes Classics Week 2017 © Jake Sugden
CHC Annual Report and Public Meeting Presentation: Cowes Harbour Commission’s Annual Public Meeting on 24th May was well attended by over 80 harbour stakeholders, including representatives from the Isle of Wight Council and the Island's MP, Cowes RNLI, local yachtsmen, residents, and businesses. If you missed the meeting, a summary of the Annual Report, the full Annual Report, and the Public Meeting Presentation are all available to view on the CHC website .
Cowes Lifeboat Station Anniversary Exhibition: At the end of June, Cowes Lifeboat Station is celebrating 30 years of lifeboating in Cowes with an exhibition at Regatta House telling the story of the lifeboats in Cowes. All are welcome to attend the exhibition on Saturday, 30th June from 1100 to 1600 and on Sunday, 1st July from 1200 to 1400.