Cowes Harbour Commission
Harbour Authority & Marine Service Provider
Newsletter 31st May 2017
Progress on Harbour Commission objectives
I would like to thank all those who joined us for our Annual Pubic Meeting last Thursday, at which we reported on progress to date on the key objectives set last year in our Strategic Plan 2016-21.

As regards the Cowes Outer Harbour Project, I would like to remind readers that CHC continues to work on our commitment to the government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Isle of Wight Council to deliver the harbour infrastructure elements of the project as part of the potential £50 million investment into the regeneration of East Cowes. Negotiations continue on the 'Harbour Infrastructure Funding Agreement' (HIFA) between CHC, the HCA, and the HCA’s developer for the Victoria Quay marina in East Cowes. The HIFA is nearly ready to sign, and CHC is ready to place the construction contracts for the Eastern Channel dredge and Shrape extension; however, it is important to emphasise that this is still conditional on the marina developer completing and securing the funding that will enable delivery of the remaining harbour infrastructure works.

Following our annual review of the Cowes Harbour General Directions and after consultation with stakeholders, a revised set of Directions will come into force on 1st June. Please read our article below for more information.

In next month’s newsletter we will be previewing some of the event highlights of July in Cowes, and also introducing our new Assistant Harbour Master Ed Walker who joined CHC earlier in May.  

Captain Stuart McIntosh Cowes Harbour Master
Annual Public Meeting report
Cowes Harbour Commission’s 2017 Annual Public Meeting was held last Thursday (25th May) on a beautifully warm and sunny evening at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes. Even though it was one of the nicest evenings we have enjoyed so far this year, the meeting was well attended by harbour users and stakeholders, including local yacht clubs, the Harbour Advisory Committee, Cowes Town Waterfront Trust, as well as town and Isle of Wight Councillors.

Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh delivered a presentation covering the highlights and challenges of running a busy harbour such as Cowes, and reported on the Commission’s progress against the six strategic objectives from CHC’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021.

Medina Estuary sedimentation management
At the beginning of May, CHC hosted a forum meeting for dredging stakeholders at which a presentation was delivered on the basic hydrodynamics and evolution of the Medina Estuary. A review of sediment management monitoring reports was presented, and discussion was held on the development of a stakeholder Maintenance Dredging Management Plan covering surveying, consents, dredging options and partnership working.

Revised General Directions for Cowes
A revised set of Cowes Harbour General Directions will come into force on 1st June 2017, after consultation with the Harbour Advisory Committee, the Chamber of Shipping and the RYA. The amendments to existing Directions (3.17 and 3.19) and the introduction of two new Directions (3.17.1 and 4.7) are designed to further improve the safety of navigation in the harbour. Full details on all the changes can be viewed in the ‘General Directions’ section of the CHC website.
Destination Cowes website live
New web content to help boost Cowes tourism has recently been launched on the official tourist board’s top ranking website ( with a whole collection of detailed pages designed to showcase the towns of Cowes and East Cowes and everything they have to offer.

The new web presence, a successful collaboration between Destination Cowes, Visit Isle of Wight and Cowes Harbour Commission, is available to view at:

New race Committee Boat for Cowes
The official launch of Cowes United, a brand new Committee Boat for Cowes, took place on 13th May on Trinity Landing, attended by Ben Rouse, High Sheriff of the Island, and a host of local sailors.

This purpose-built catamaran is a state-of-the art Committee Boat, which is fully equipped to a high standard, and the boat has already been booked by Cowes clubs for some of their racing this season. (Photo ©

Safe boating in Cowes
With summer just around the corner, Cowes is preparing for an increase in river traffic as the harbour gets set to welcome thousands of visitors over the next few months. All vessels approaching Cowes should do so at a safe speed, maintain a good lookout and give full consideration to other vessels, some of which are manned by inexperienced crews. In addition, harbour users are reminded of the requirement to not to produce wake or wash that could cause a nuisance to other river users.

This extra traffic can sometimes mean that incidents do unfortunately occur and mariners are respectfully drawn to 'Local Notice to Mariners 08 of 2016 - Reporting of Damage, Incidents and Potential Risk'. The reporting of incidents allows CHC as the investigating party to share any learning outcomes and potentially put measures in place to avoid such an incident happening again. The reporting provided by you, the users, allows us to create an even safer environment for all harbour users, both local and visiting. All incidents can be reported via our Incident Report Forms.
New Boat Museum opens soon & call for volunteers
The new Classic Boat Museum at Medina Yard in Cowes, next to the Hammerhead Crane, is due to open later this summer and a special exhibition is being prepared now that work on the building is reaching completion.

Meanwhile, the Classic Boat Museum Gallery is still located at the Columbine building in East Cowes, and is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 1000-1600 and on Thursdays from 1000–1300 .

The Museum is currently seeking volunteers for both the Gallery in East Cowes and the new Boat Museum in Cowes. (Photo © Hamo Thornycroft)

CCCA 2017 race results
At the request of the Cowes Clubs and Classes Association (CCCA), CHC is pleased to be hosting a web page with links to all the CCCA race documents for 2017, as well as links to the all important race results for the Cowes Keelboat Solent Series and the Cowes Keelboat Championship.

Vessels of interest visit Cowes
Following the visit to Cowes in April of the Nao Victoria, this May also saw visits from the Caravel Boa Esperança and the elegant cruise ship Le Boreal.

Both the Nao Victoria and the Caravel Boa Esperança moored at Trinity Landing, which is located 100m south of No. 1 fairway buoy in Cowes Harbour and is also used by tenders from visiting cruise ships to land their passengers.

For all enquiries about cruise ship stopovers in Cowes, as well as visits by tall ships and private yachts, please contact the Harbour Office .

Cowes Harbour Commission | 01983 293952 | |