Cowes Harbour Commission
Harbour Authority & Marine Service Provider
Newsletter 28th September 2017
Questionnaire on Cowes Harbour Moorings
Welcome to our September stakeholder newsletter. We are in the process of sending out questionnaires to all our annual mooring customers in Cowes Harbour, as detailed in our lead article below, and look forward to receiving your responses. The comments you give us on the service we provide will be invaluable to the Commission in planning future mooring provision and associated services for the harbour.

At the beginning of September, the Cowes Floating Bridge (Chain Ferry) was withdrawn from service by the Isle of Wight Council until such time as it can be demonstrated that the bridge, and the service it provides, can operate properly in accordance with the Council’s specified requirements. We have re-confirmed Cowes Harbour Authority’s protest to the restriction in access to the River Medina caused by the reduced clearance over the chains of the new Floating Bridge. However, we continue to work closely with the IW Council and to offer every assistance during the Council’s efforts to resolve the situation.

Finally, may I encourage you to read our article below on the issue of speed and wash, which is a timely reminder to all of us to remember to look astern – as well as ahead! In a busy harbour environment such as Cowes, it is essential for everyone’s safety and enjoyment that all water users understand how to navigate safely, and know the local regulations.

Captain Stuart McIntosh - Cowes Harbour Master
Annual Moorings Survey
We are conducting a survey to find out our customers' views on Annual Moorings, to help inform Cowes Harbour Commission's continued investment into our mooring facilities. The feedback we receive from you, our customers, will be extremely useful in determining the future provision of and improvements to Annual Moorings in the harbour.

We know that your time is valuable - and so the first completed questionnaire drawn at random at noon on Friday, 20th October 2017 will receive a voucher worth £100 off any services at Shepards Wharf Marina or Kingston Marine Services!

If you hold a Cowes Harbour Annual Mooring on the River Medina, or are a resident berth holder at Shepards Wharf Marina, you will soon be receiving a short questionnaire with a request to give us your opinion on various aspects of our Annual Moorings service, including providing feedback on water taxis in the harbour. Alternatively, you can access the survey via the link below:

If you have previously held a Cowes Harbour Annual Mooring, we would still be interested in your views on the service you received and the reasons for giving up your mooring.

For all enquiries regarding this survey, please contact the Cowes Harbour Moorings team at Shepards Wharf Marina on 01983 297821 or email
Harbour water taxi service provision
In order to ensure harbour users had a 7-days-a-week water taxi service, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has been providing a stakeholder subsidy contribution to Cowes Water Taxis Ltd for the 2017 season. This subsidy was discussed and agreed with the Harbour Advisory Committee at the beginning of the year but runs out at the end of this month. Commissioners have been consulting the Advisory Committee on the future provision of the service for 2018 and beyond. 

As part of the solution, CHC will be opening a tender process for potential water taxi operators to submit a bid to receive a stakeholder dividend contribution towards the delivery of next year’s water taxi service in Cowes Harbour. We propose to use the feedback from the customer ‘Annual Moorings Survey’ to inform the requirements for harbour taxi service provision for 2018. 

Vacancy for Harbour 'Designated Person
Maintaining a safe harbour for all users is Cowes Harbour Commission’s overriding priority. 

In accordance with the Port Marine Safety Code, Cowes Harbour has an appointed ‘Designated Person’ with direct access to the Board of Commissioners who provides independent assurance about the operation and effectiveness of CHC’s Marine Safety Management System and to ensure full compliance with the Code. 

Capt. Peter Jackson has fulfilled the role of ‘Designated Person’ and provided an excellent level of service to Cowes Harbour for over eight years. However, he will soon be looking to step down from the role and CHC is therefore looking to engage with other individuals who have a suitable skill set and are keen to serve the harbour.

Limit your speed and wash
You’ve had a great day on the water, a delightful run ashore for dinner and you’ve arrived safely back aboard for a peaceful night in your bunk. You’re just drifting off when you hear an ominous rumble drawing closer at a worrying pace. You prick up your ears at the sound of shouts from adjacent berth holders: “Slow down!” You brace for a rough ride when you hear the ropes start to sing…
May we take this opportunity to remind all mariners that wash caused by vessels, even at speeds lower than the Cowes Harbour speed limit (6 knots through the water), can result in damage to vessels, injury to other harbour users, particularly those in shallow water, and damage to the intertidal and marine environment.

Royal opening of CECAMM
Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex, carried out a number of engagements during her visit to the Isle of Wight on 13th September. After visiting Shanklin Chine and the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, The Countess travelled to East Cowes to officially open The Isle of Wight College’s new Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine industries (CECAMM). The £12m investment for this new facility was secured through the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in conjunction with local engineering employers, including: GKN Aerospace Ltd, MHI Vestas Ltd and Gurit (UK) Ltd. 

CECAMM Principal Debbie Lavin and New Build Project Manager David Loudon welcomed The Countess and escorted her on a tour of the building. The Countess said that she was really impressed with the facility and the benefit it will bring to the Island's businesses.

Disposing of out-of-date flares
Flares contain explosives and once they are past their expiry date it is essential that out-of-date flares or Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEPs) are disposed of carefully. 

Ultimately, the responsibility for the safe disposal of TEPs rests with their owner. The eventual disposal of TEPs should become part of your buying decision and who you buy them from.

If you have out-of-date flares and need to arrange their safe disposal, it is a good idea to initially contact the supplier you bought them from to see if they will take them back. Clearly this is not possible if you buy them online and you should bear this in mind when purchasing flares.

Cruise ship Ocean Majesty visits the Isle of Wight: Cowes makes a fantastic port-of-call for cruise lines catering for northern European cruises. Cowes Harbour Commission is working to increase the number of small to medium-sized luxury cruise ships visiting the Island and we were therefore extremely pleased to welcome cruise ship MS Ocean Majesty to Cowes on Saturday, 16th September.