Chairman’s Address

Jonathan Chairman’s Update Spring 2018


Welcome to the start of a new season.  As I am writing this ‘Spring Update’ we have just had a great weekend of sunny weather – if a little windy!!  Just when I was getting excited back came the cold and wet!!

I can only hope that as we move towards Summer we get some better weather but we have some exciting stuff coming up these next few months so make sure you are getting our monthly e mail newsletter a ‘book early to avoid disappointment’!

In this update :- AGM 2018, Poole Bridges – Bridges Operating Board, Poole Bridge repairs update and inter bridge/basin work, Cruises, Marina Summer Party 2018, Poole Harbour Boat Show and Member Communications.


At the AGM I made a please for some other people to volunteer to be on the committee – or even just help us – with our social events, and other efforts.  If you think you can help please get in touch.  It doesn’t have to be hours of work – every little helps!!

As well as the normal business at the AGM we had to propose the first change to our Association Rules since 2006.  It was all to do with data protection.  European legislation has sought to protect us in this digital age and introduced the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  As a result we changed clause 15 to read :-

  1. General Data Protection Regulations.
    From 2017, in seeking membership of the Association, you will have been asked to give your consent to the holding of the relevant personal data for the use by the Association.  This is essential for us to process membership, cruise bookings etc.  This data is never shared with people outside CQBHA.

For those whose membership predates this there is the option to have their details removed or to confirm what details are held.  Contact

CQBHA had undertaken a data audit and developed a new privacy policy and process to address the requirements of GDPR and this has been posted on the website GDPR Information .

The rest of our usual business was followed by two speakers from the RNLI.

Our first Speaker was  Neil Hardy MBE, FNI – Lifeboat Operations Manager Swanage & RNLI Council Member

Neil spoke about the new RNLI station at Swanage being built to accommodate the new Shannon class lifeboat.

Design work on the Shannon began in 2010. A competition was held, that resulted in the building of 7 scale models. From these, 3 designs from the UK, Ireland and France were selected for further testing. The winner was selected ‘blindly’ and turned out to be the UK design from an in-house designer working at the RNLI.

The first 13 boats were built at Berthon, with 3 in build at any one time and each one completed in 8 weeks. The Shannon was designed to replace the Mersey class and is longer, wider and faster with more powerful engines, which use waterjets rather than propellers. The design allows for carriage launching and a speed of 20 knots in a Force 8 gale and with a hull lifespan of 50 years. It has a capacity for 23 casualties in self righting mode or 79 otherwise. The special sprung seats cost £10,000 each!

Neil invited members to visit the Swanage Lifeboat station to see the Shannon – identified as 13-13 and so far there have been over 13,000 visitors. Neil explained that Swanage worked in close co-operation with Poole and Mudeford RNLI stations – known as the ‘Purbeck Project’ and conducted joint exercises. Our local area is thus very well covered by RNLI services!

Our second speaker was Gary Richardson – Community Lifesaving Officer.

Gary’s mission is to reduce the number of deaths by 50%. To this end, he had performed an analysis of the 284 Swanage Lifeboat shouts in the period 2012 – 2017. Some key statistics have emerged.

In terms of boat type – 75 were yachts, 54 were motorboats. In terms of nature of incident – 54 involved loss of propulsion – which suggested more maintenance is required. There were 27 incidents involving rope entanglement – mainly involving yachts and low tide conditions.

A member asked about the role of Sea Start.  Gary explained that the RNLI’s role was to save lives, but where possible they would also bring a vessel to a place of safety. At Swanage, this would often be the RNLI swing mooring. Thereafter the RNLI would often recommend using Sea Start or local dive boats to get the vessel back to its home port.

Our third speaker was Dave Wilson – Marina Manager – Cobb’s Quay

Dave provided an update on marina matters. T

  • The Marina had undergone a £500,000 upgrade and now had a 1000W electricity supply, removing the need for generators during the winter months.
  • Further infrastructure changes were planned for the pontoon electrics.
  • Following a visit to Saxon Wharf, Health and Safety inspectors had raised concerns about Dry Stack operations and the use of plant machinery in public areas. Consequently :-
    • Staff would have to wear hard hats and stop moving the hoist in close proximity to pedestrians or vehicles.
    • It is now forbidden to work on boats while on the bottom rack in the Dry Stack and a special work rack area would have to be used instead.
  • The new 40T hoist had arrived, which had a 6m fixed beam.
    • A reorganisation of the carpark was planned to reduce the impact on hoist movements.
    • Overall, the changed procedures were likely to be slower and reduce the number of daily lifts.
  • The MDL berthing renewal packs contained a list of marina events, which this year included two open air cinema events for ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Grease’.
  • More trolleys would be purchased as over the year as in recent months the number had reduced from 23 to 12!
  • The CCTV system had been upgraded to provide better night time operation. A number plate recognition system was planned.
  • A keypad upgrade was also planned to use a smart card, allowing collection of statistical information and the possibility of some form of reward scheme.
  • The problem of speeding in the marina was raised. Dave believed that ‘No wash’ signs were better than a speed limit. In addition a tannoy system was being installed, so that any speeding boats could be ‘told off’.

Richard Marshall brought along an underwater camera, which was now available to berth holders to use, free of charge, to check their anodes. Dave commented that over the past 12 months, there had been a problem with accelerated anode erosion in certain areas of the marina. The cause was still unknown – but it was happening at Davis’ too.

Last year’s St Malo cruise had encountered problems, so a full refund had been given within 48 hours. Another cruise was available this year.

As of the 1st July, all hoses would be removed from the pontoons, to comply with water regulations, so berth holders would have to provide their own. On the positive side, the RPZ valves causing reduced water pressure, might be removed. Some spare rollup hoses would be available at the MDL office. A member suggested that more taps were required in the Dry Stack area to avoid the need for very long hoses.

Currently there were two empty offices at the marina.

New bike racks had arrived and eventually any abandoned rusty bikes would be removed. A member suggested bike sheds with a roof should be provided, but Dave said that these were not practical or cost effective.

Finally Harbour Dues was discussed.  Harbour dues had risen 8.9% this year, compared with a 4.6% rise in 2017 and was the 23rd year of price rises greater than inflation.  In order to effectively approach the Harbour Commissioners it was recognised that individual comments would carry more weight.  If you would like to comment please get in touch at

Poole Bridges

Bridges Operating Board

Dave Wilson is now the chairman of the Bridges Operating Board – as well as the Leisure Representative.  This is a positive move and, hopefully, will ensure that the interest of marine users are considered from an experienced point of view.

Dave has arranged a closed Facebook group as a method of reporting incidents and enquiries.  So, if you have any issues, problems or concerns please mail me at

Poole Bridge repairs

The long term repairs on Poole Town Bridge due to finish in June 2017 were long overdue.  When Poole Bridge was finally opened it has been subject to a number of closures and repairs.  Hopefully all is fixed now and we are back to the normal two bridge system and the usual hourly timetable.

Inter bridge/basin work

I have viewed and commented on (very) early planning applications for reinforcement of the quay on the Hamworthy side of the basin (the area between the bridges) and also for a marina near to the Sydenham’s site.


Don’t forget this is the main reason we exist – cruising in company.  The point is that you can get the reassurance of going on a cruise, maybe that bit further away than before, with the support and camaraderie of others in the association.

We have an exciting programme in prospect which started in Easter with Shepard’s Wharf, then Port Solent, Plymouth/Falmouth/Torbay, Port Hamble, Portland, Jersey/St Quay/Guernsey, Bembridge in early August and finishing with Weymouth.

Cruises were open for booking in January, at a cost of £15, but as Kevin said at the AGM many are full.  We are typically limited to 20 or 25 craft or less and so offer cruises on a first come first served basis and those who missed out last year were among the first to book in 2018.  Where necessary cruises are running wait lists and people do drop out so do book if you fancy going on a cruise.

This year you can again book and pay on line.  There may not be any places left but you will be placed on the waiting list and refunded if you cannot be accommodated.  As I said, in previous year’s, we have been able to place most people so don’t despair.

Check out our Cruise Programme 2018 page on the web site for more details.

Marina Summer Party – 21st July 2017

MDL will again be organising a Summer party at the marina.  This year it is planned to be on Saturday 21st July.  CQBHA will be doing everything we can to help make it a success.

The party is still in the planning so no details yet.  We will let you know more as soon as we find out.

Poole Harbour Boat Show – 8th – 10th June

The third annual boat show will be based at Poole Quay this year.

Poole Quay will be lined with a selection of stalls selling a wide variety of products including watersports equipment, clothing, RYA training, tenders and RIBs, trailers, outboard engines, marine insurance and more.

MDL Cobb’s Quay team will again be there so pop along and see them.  There will also be fireworks and live entertainment.

There is a dedicated web site if you would like to take an advanced look at the planned activities

Member Communication

Most important to us is keeping in touch with you as members.  We sometimes ask for your opinions – could I ask at least one person to try and reply!!  On the pontoons you have your own representative so get to know them as they are your ‘on site’ information and communication person.

We’ve also hit the social media.  We’re on Facebook (Cobb’s Quay Bertholder’s Association click here CQBHA Facebook Link) for general but more importantly ‘instant’ communication such as bridge closures.  Please ‘like’ us.  We have the web site as a resource for marine services and other information (make sure you mention the web site when you visit them) and our monthly newsletter.

So please, get in touch!! – there is no reason for you not to be in touch.

Are we doing what you want?

Finally your committee is keen to be sure we are doing what you want so we need your feedback.  Could I ask that you let us know if we are doing a good job, a bad job or if want us to do something differently.

I wish you safe passage.

Jonathan Saunders