Chairman’s Address

Jonathan Chairman’s Update Autumn 2020

Those of you who read my Summer Update will know I talked about Covid-19 without expectations it would last so long or be so devastating.  I can only sincerely hope that you have been unaffected.

In this update.  We need a Treasurer,Cruising in Company, Cruising for 2021,Southampton Boat Show, Bridges Operating Board, Facebook, Newsletter and Web site and Feedback.

We need a Treasurer

We need a Treasurer!!  As a committee we have been meeting over Skype since April and still managing to have a fun meeting and get our business done.  Gavin May who has been our treasurer has decided now is the time for him to step down from the role and, whilst he has said he will support us in the short term, we do need someone to take over the role.  I promise it is not onerous!  There are usually just a handful of transactions in the year and it would even be possible to help us with this role without necessarily attending our committee meetings.  Please get in touch with me if you think you can help –

Cruising in Company

There were 4 cruises this year organised by us.  Covid 19, that affected people in some terrible ways, also affected the cruise programme with all but Weymouth being cancelled.  In the end very few people went to Weymouth so all in all a terrible season for cruising.

As a result we have had a long, hard look at how we approach cruising in company going forward.  The conclusion is that we will be much more flexible and ‘light touch’.

Cruising is the main reason we exist though – ‘cruising in company’.  You get the reassurance of going on a cruise, maybe that bit further away, with the support and camaraderie of others.  So, we believe it is still essential that it remains at the core of our offering as a bertholders association.

Cruising in Company for 2021

Our plan is to decide venues (although suggestions would be welcome) and book the marinas but for 5 or 6 boats only.  We will still open the cruise for booking in early February as usual and, for those who book, we will advise the marinas and give you details of fellow cruisers so that you can get in touch with each other.

How you run the cruise will be up to you as skippers.  With smaller numbers going the Association won’t need to help with any organising so it will be your cruise and not CQBHA’s.  There won’t be any cruise notes or other guidance from us but we are always available as individuals to give any hints and tips you might want. You will decide when and how to go, the route, when to leave etc.

An option you may consider is that everybody could meet as a group on the night before the cruise to finalise any details and plan the departure.

As in previous years we hope to arrange training with Powerboat Training UK to cover the basics of route planning and pilotage to help those newer to boating.

Keep your eyes on the website and look out for the newsletter for details of the destinations and bookings to start early next year as well as training opportunities.

Southampton Boat Show

Sadly the usual Southampton Boat Show was cancelled fairly early but smaller ones were being organised at the same and other venues.  Only days before they were due to start changes to Government restrictions led to them being cancelled by Southampton City Council.  Some companies jumped quickly to offer some online or other solutions but all together a‘no Show’!

Despite that it appears that boat sales have been strong with many marinas full.  The thinking is that this is in response to the move to a ‘staycation’ with the Covid19 virus still impacting.

Bridges Operating Board (BOB)

Well, we managed a return to hourly lifts but the lights and height markers are still to be fully sorted over a year on!

Effectively the BOB has not met since Covid-19 so it is a matter now of waiting until there is some action in that direction before picking up the baton again.

Facebook, Newsletter & Website

Facebook is now a key part of our communication with you, our members.  I think we are getting closer to 270 followers now on our Facebook page!  People are also commenting on and liking some of our posts which is great for us!!  If you are a Facebook user keep your eyes out for the pictures and videos of our antics!

We also have the CQBHA Facebook Members Forum group.  This is a closed group, you join by request, and it gives members the chance to discuss issues, ask for advice, find people to go with them on a trip and much more.

We use Facebook for things that need ‘instant’ contact such as bridge closures, short notice LNTMs and to show some of the goings on in photos so I hope it will be useful to you.

I would be interested to hear what you think about our Facebook page or Facebook Forum– or, if you are a Facebook user, maybe you would like to ‘like us’ or ask to join the Forum?

Jim prepares and sends out a monthly newsletter of topical items.  If you are not getting yours please let me know.

Last but by no means least we have our website for all the information on CQBHA and as a key resource for weather, marine services and a host of other interesting topics (Please make sure you mention the website when you visit our advertisers).

Is anybody out there?

We would love to take it that your silence means that we are doing a good job but we need your feedback.  Could I once again 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